7L & Esoteric are a duo that hails from Boston, Massachusetts. The group’s formula of one emcee and one DJ was seen by many as an ode to the pioneering of hip-hop.

The group first formed in 1992 in Boston. During that time, Esoteric DJed a hip-hop show at a college radio station. After 7L heard Esoteric on the show playing his material, he contacted the emcee in hopes of collaborating. The duo would headline local venues and build their fan base through the beginning years.

In 1996, the duo—under the short-lived moniker God Complex—released the single “Protocol” with b-side, “Be Alert,” that also garnered attention. With the warm reception of their single and European tours already under their belt, they released the compilation album Rebel Alliance, which highlighted local talent in their hometown. Their single “Def Rhymes” would result in attention from The Source and collaborations with Wu-Tang Clan member, Inspectah Deck.

Finally, in 2001, the pair released their debut album, The Soul Purpose. The album featured the single “Call Me E.S.” which charted on the Billboard Hip-Hop Singles chart. The album would lead them to headline American and European tours. During this time, 7L & Esoteric released their second and third albums, Dangerous Connection and DC2: Bars of Death.

After what seemed like a hiatus—which included Esoteric releasing solo albums—the group reconvened for A New Dope in 2006. 1212, another full-length album would follow, in 2011. In 2013, the duo joined with Inspectah Deck to form Czarface.