Best friends since the age of 13, CookBook and Uno Mas started making music shortly after graduating high school. As students at Santa Monica College, you would have often found them passing time in the lunch area with other aspiring emcees, freestyling between classes, or skipping them all together to go to the local record shops. Highly influenced by the production styles of Prince Paul, DJ Premier, and Pete Rock, it was a given that their first piece of equipment was the legendary SP1200 sampler/drum machine. "We were young and excited back then. All we did was go to school and buy records… and sometimes work. I’m not sure how many records we’ve collected, but it’s somewhere in the thousands," says CookBook.
Combining both of their resources, they quickly built an extensive garage studio. "We had all this equipment and we always wanted to help our friends, so we had a lot of people coming and going," says CookBook. Their home production studio would eventually help produce some of the early works of Pigeon John, Flynn, Log Cabin (which included young high school up and comers Murs, Eligh and Scarub of the Living Legends) and eventually L.A. Symphony.
In 1997 Cook and UNO helped form the legendary L.A. Symphony collective, which released their first full-length album “Composition no.1” in 1998. The album is considered a bonafide underground classic in many circles. Since then L.A.Symphony has gone on to record and release three more highly acclaimed full-length albums, three EP’s and numerous pieces of vinyl. "We’re definitely proud of what our crew has accomplished, and the doors it has opened for us as individual artists," UNO says.
With L.A. Symphony, CookBook and UNO Mas have extensively toured in the U.S. as well as abroad. They’ve gotten the opportunity to share the stage with some of the biggest artists from hip-hop, rock, and pop. CookBook and UNO Mas have also recorded with such artists and producers as will.i.am, Black Eyed Peas, Posdunous (of De La Soul), Prince Paul (of Handsome Boy Modeling School), Mario C (of Beastie Boys) Fatlip, Murs, DJ Rhettmatic, and Evidence (of Dilated Peoples), just to name a few.
Prior to L.A. Symphony, Cook and UNO went under the name “the Eternals” and released 3 EP’s that created a lot of buzz in the local/national hip-hop underground. While their involvement in L.A. Symphony has kept them plenty busy over the years, CookBook & UNO Mas have always made it a priority to write and record as a group. They released their first proper full-length as a duo in 2001, entitled Stereo-Types, and needless to say, the fans have been eager with anticipation ever since for the follow-up.
With that, ILLECT Recordings is proud to announce that the long wait is finally over. Out now on ILLECT is a double helping of the latest and greatest tracks from CookBook and UNO Mas – first, an EP called Robertson Bullies EP, and second, a brand new full-length entitled While They Slept. Both projects go deep into the lives of CookBook and UNO since their last album, and both new releases sincerely showcase how a great hip-hop group becomes even greater. In fact, “While They Slept” is as much about perseverance and passion as it is about bomb production and the kind of microphone mastery that only comes with time. What it all amounts to is that CookBook and UNO Mas make rap music worth hearing, and they’ll continue to do so even when heads be sleeping.
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