045 the area code of the bay area known as Yokohama has since the starting days of Japanese hip-hop music been known as the west coast of Japan when it comes to styles and artistic directions. If Tokyo gets its influence in hip-hop music from the old school N.Y. then Yokohama draws its influence from the L.A. G-Funk era of the mid 1990's. DS455 aka DSC (Dabstar Clique) aka Bayside Ridaz formed in the 1989 and became the first group in Japan to experiment with what had become famous with Dr. Dre and The D.O.C. in the states around the same time. MC's Kayzabro, Shalla and Maccho (Of the future group Ozrosaurus) along with the producer DJ PMX first appeared as a group on various compilation albums around 1993 with songs such as "Musty".
Since their formation in the late 80's, DJ PMX's style influenced many other DJ's with its melodies and the smooth g-funkish sound that made PMX an household name in the scene in the early 90's and made him a popular producer for such acts as Rhymester, ECD, Zingi, Gas Boys & Kimidori. Back in 1995-96 DS455 released their first underground hits and that both demonstrated smooth and hardcore flows to mellow beats and the lowrider 4 life attitude that in the future would become Yokohama's trademark. A new style had landed on the bayside.
MC Maccho who had just released his first solo material before DSC gained their first handful of fame in the underground was no doubt the star of the crew in the eyes of the media and the fans. His first solo works and his performance on the hit single brought him success and he decided to venture deeper with his solo career changing his name to Ozrosaurus in the late 1996. Maccho's departure did not cause the group to disband and the trio continued without him and featured his talents on some of their material as a guest performer later on. This however was more or less a turning point for their career and the clique went to take a break from making music even though PMX still continued producing for other artists such as Buddha Brand's (the all time classic ) and various ECD tracks.
Moving on as a 3 man unit in 1999, Shalla, Kayzabro and PMX came into the attention of the G-Funk legend Warren G and his cousin Daz Dillinger of Tha Dogg Pound and together they formed DPG Records Japan with DS455 as the first artist on the new label. Going into the studio with the new record deal in their pockets, DSC announced their first mini album titled "Bayside Ridaz", inviting fellow Bay-Area artists such as Maccho, Corn Head, Ganxsta D.X. and the familiar hooks by the sexy duo IZ to create Japan's first pure G-Funk album. The 12 track effort (that was finally released on july of 2000) was a success in the underground of Yokohama and earned them alot of support from the domestic lowrider scene. Through the support of their fans and the group's new found fame on DPG brought the trio back with a new single only 6 months later titled which became one of their last indie releases in a search for higher success.
was not only their last release for the indies but also the farewell single for Shalla who decided to quit the group for them to achieve bigger status in the game on a major label. Many people thought that this was the end for the group because Shalla was considered to be the driving force behind the group's success (after Maccho decided to leave the crew 5 years earlier) but Kayzabro and DJ PMX decided to continue as a group in the end. Forming their own label as a result of Shalla's absence shortly after, DSC returned and recorded their new single / for Bayride Recordings, their own Yokohama based indie label. Kayzabro who had been outshined by Maccho and Shalla in the past, stepped on the mic as more confident and smooth with his delivery than ever before and the 2 tracks proved that their music had moved above of mere imitation of californian g-funk music. Celebrating their newly discovered confidence the duo went on a tour and PMX ended the year 2001 by producing the hip-hop anthem of the year for the debut album of Ozrosaurus.
The biggest step towards stardom for the clique came in the early 2002 when Universal Japan signed the group after their highly succesful Lowride 4 Life tour in 2001. Leaving their independent label career behind for the major deal at Universal Japan, DSC debuted on their new label with the single and just like their second single on november of the same year the single went on to top 40 on the national charts. Having achieved their goal for higher success took DJ PMX to pursue his own solo career and he went on to release his major debut single (No Pain No Gain featuring Zeebra and Maccho) on the label Future Shock Records in December of 2002. DS455's debut full album titled with the group's alias "Dabstar Clique" was released only 2 weeks after PMX's major solo debut and demonstrated a newborn DS455 with its really advanced G-Funk melodies by PMX and more laidback and confident rhymes by the new ladies favorite Kayzabro. The album was a major success and climbed all the way to top 30 on the charts and sold over 50,000 copies in less than a year which was a huge result for the somewhat media shy group.
Kicking of the year 2003 with their first national tour and after few months of touring Japan, DSC announced the release party on their homeground of Yokohama to be released on DVD on april of 2003. After a succesful tour and the buzz from their Dabstar Clique album helped the duo to release yet another single in July of 2003. The maxi single which with the help of Sony (who chose it as the background track of their popular walkman commercial series) became their most successful release to date going all the way to the top 20 on the charts. Moving on with the plans for their second full album, DS455 released their new single in the end of november of 2003 and spent the rest of the year concentrating on backing up artists such as their new prodige Big Ron. Most recently in 2004 DS455 released their second full album Summer Sweetz and worked together with one of latin hip-hop's godfathers Kid Frost.
Already 15 years of hip-hop behind them the DSC can be called the pioneers of today's G-Funk music in Japan. Original and always consistent DS455 continues from year to year never dissapointing their fans with the highest quality G-Funk on the planet.
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