SummaryIn collaboration with Uncle Howie Records – we present the 360-degree story of Non Phixion's 2002 debut album The Future Is Now (Limited to 800).
The Future Is Now Premium Edition Includes:
- 2 CDs, containing the original album vocal versions and instrumentals
- Three 7-inch singles featuring original 12-inch artwork: "Black Helicopters," "Drug Music," and "Rock Stars"
- An 80-page, hard-cover liner notes book featuring dozens of group-sourced photos and archival images, and in-depth interviews with all group members by author Chris Faraone
- Full reproduction of the group's press-only sampler cassette from 2000 (with early singles, demos, freestyles and promos): "The Past, The Present and the Future Is Now"
- Expanded artwork from Mear One's original album visuals
By the time Non Phixion's now-monumental debut album hit in 2002, the group had been on an intense and labyrinthine journey, considering that they had originally formed in 1995. At the same time, it was somewhat fitting for a group that was as explosive and unpredictable as they were talented. But no matter how The Future Is Now had come about and what path they had taken to get there, rap fans jumped on the album at the time, and still revere it to this day.
Featuring MCs Ill Bill, Goretex and Sabac [Red] with DJ Eclipse, Brooklyn's Non Phixion made their first waves as a group in the mid-1990s with the indie singles "Legacy" (1996) and "5 Boros " (1997), released on MC Serch's Serchlite Music. They fit perfectly into an era in New York City that had produced not only the Wu-Tang Clan, M.O.P. and Mobb Deep, but also underground firebrands and peers like Company Flow and the Arsonists. Aggressive, brazen, intelligent, and never predictable, they were impossible to ignore. Not-to-be-missed live shows helped to build their legend and fanbase throughout the end of the '90s.
As Chris Faraone explains in the set's ridiculously comprehensive liner notes book (featuring interviews with all four group members):
Non Phixion inspired fans to simultaneously deploy their smarts, bang their heads, and throw a fist. With their small but lauded body of collective work, Ill Bill, Sabac Red, Goretex, and DJ Eclipse introduced hip-hop to a unique brand of intelligent thuggery that looked past convenient enemies, and brought heat to the terrorists in government and beyond. From the group's formation in the mid-90s, to their breakup more than a decade later, Non Phixion kicked conspiratorial science that rings even truer now than it did before the aughts
Looking back on factors that contributed to Non Phixion, it's clear that the group set itself aside by packing a distinctively hard edge, and by tapping into a seismic range of influences – white poverty, thrash metal – that most rappers avoided. As a result, they attracted a diverse scrum of legionnaires – hip-hop fans with hardcore sympathies, bloodthirsty political animals, wordsmiths, goons, gutter kids, and even highbrow herbs conducting graduate analyses.
After the initial buzz in the wake of their early singles, they were signed to, and subsequently parted ways with, both the Geffen and Matador labels in the late '90s and early 2000s. After those experiences, Non Phixion decided – in true and appropriate indie fashion – to go for self. The Future Is Now finally hit in 2002 on the group's Uncle Howie Records, to fanfare appropriate for one of the '90s underground hip-hop movement's most impressive and hardworking crews.
In addition to new songs like the singles "Rock Stars" and "Drug Music," the album also included previously-heard tracks from the group's journey: "Black Helicopters" and "If You Got Love" (both from 2000, originally singles on Matador). Considering the mix of abrasiveness contained therein, the fact that the album went to #65 on Billboard's "Top R&B / Hip-Hop Albums" chart that year was an impressive feat.
Production on the album matched the MC talent perfectly, with tracks by Bill's brother and Uncle Howie label-mate Necro, with additional work by an array of legends, including DJ Premier ("Rock Stars"); Large Professor ("Drug Music," "It's Us," and "We Are The Future"); Pete Rock ("If You Got Love"); and JuJu from the Beatnuts ("Suicide Bomb").
With more of a decade in the rear-view mirror, The Future Is Now Premium edition is the perfect way for diehard fans to finally hear the stories about the forces that made – and eventually tore apart – Non Phixion, and how The Future Is Now came about. Those engaging tales are brought to life even more with the physical specimens provided on vinyl, CD, cassette and the printed page, bringing fans back to an age before iTunes and YouTube, when hip-hop devotees were won over gig by gig, single by single, and radio show by radio show.