The Artifacts typify the thoughtful, party-style hip-hop which was prevalent in the early 1990s, evoking the type of music found among groups like Brand Nubian, Pete Rock & C.L., Main Source, and Organized Confusion, Thrasher magazine's Chris Nieratko wrote, "Between A Rock and a Hard Place broke all boundaries by delivering honest, accessible lyrics." Although the Artifacts didn't break into mainstream success with a radiofriendly hit, their debut release was generally considered by critics to be substantial, and woefully overlooked. The album's first single, "The Ultimate," was featured on the gold-selling High School High soundtrack. The Source called Between A Rock and a Hard Place, "the purest hip-hop album this year... the Artifacts are a refreshing blast of the lifeblood of hip-hop...." Between A Rock and a Hard Place fared well enough to allow the Artifacts to create their own sound and retain their artistic freedom, and when label mate Lil' Kim reached gold status, the Artifacts were roundly encouraged to release more material.
The Artifacts disbanded in 1997 shortly after the release of their second album, "That's Them". After performing together at the 2010 Rock Steady Anniversary, they have once again started to perform well-received shows together as Artifacts. They have even recorded in the studio and have collaborated with other artists. Most notably, Unique Squared's "Beatz and Lyrics 2 Go (A3C Mixtape) RV Edition"
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
* Released: October 27, 1994
* Billboard 200 chart position: #137
* R&B/Hip-Hop chart position: #17
* Singles: "Wrong Side of the Tracks", "C'mon Wit Da Git Down"
* Released: April 15, 1997
* Billboard 200 chart position: #134
* R&B/Hip-Hop chart position: #25
* Singles: "Return to da Wrongside", "The Ultimate", "Collaboration of Mics"
2010 "Big Deal" - The Beatz and Lyrics 2 Go (A3C Mixtape) RV Edition
2010 Foul Mouth Jerk – “Back Up On the Scene” (ft. The Artifacts)