Souls of Mischief

Souls of Mischief

 Oakland, California, USA
BandHip HopWorld

Souls of Mischief's music is golden-era inspired Hip Hop. It is lyrically rich and banging. As half of the Bay Area's infamous Hieroglyphics crew, which also includes Del, Casual and Pep Love, the Souls have entertained millions and have continued to be relevant for nearly two decades.


In an era when most rap albums are accomplished by emailing beats and verses back and forth, Souls of Mischief’s Montezuma’s Revenge was created the old-fashioned way, with the MCs – A-Plus, Phesto, Opio and Tajai - and producers – Prince Paul and Domino - in the lab together from the beginning to the end of the recording process honing and perfecting each song to create a magnum opus. “We rented a house across the Golden Gate Bridge near Point Reyes. We stayed in the house for at least a month,” explains Opio. “Prince Paul came out, we had no TVs or distractions, we just did music every day. It kind of seemed like he might be a slave driver, but it didn’t come to that, he just let us do our thing. We knew he wanted a highly stylized album, so we just focused on the styles.” “It was cool, because Paul was making us do stuff over, and he really did help produce the record,” adds Tajai. “He had concepts, and its good to have an outside perspective - it was a great process.”

The result is a cohesive, creative hip-hop album, the kind of project you’d expect from veteran MCs like Souls of Mischief under the auspices of a genius producer like Prince Paul. Souls first encountered Prince Paul while touring with A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul back in the day. But it was on a more recent tour with Handsome Boy Modeling School that the seeds of this collaboration were planted. “He came at me like ‘I’m a big ass fan of SOM, and I’d like to do a record with y’all,’” recalls Opio. “I wanted to just ask him for some beats, but in my mind it seemed corny to ask Prince Paul for a beat CD and I didn’t know how to go about it. On the last day of tour he said ‘I’m hella serious about doing this record.'" Opio brought the idea to the rest of the group, and the rest is history.

So what exactly is Montezuma’s Revenge? “We recorded on this street called Montezuma Street in the boonies. When we came back that was the working title, because it was called Montezuma house,” Tajai recalls. “The deeper meaning is this album will make you crap yourself.” The final product features 18 tracks worth of the quality hip-hop you’ve come to expect from Hieroglyphics, with cover art by esteemed illustrator Steve Lopez (famous for his illustrations of Erykah Badu and others).

After a rousing intro from Del the Funky Homosapien, SOM re-introduce their fans to their no-holds-barred lyricism on “Won 1”. The next track, “Postal”, talks about relationships from an honest perspective. "Tour Stories", the first single from the album, is a favorite of Opio’s. “When we first heard that track the hook just came to mind right away,” he explains. “The vibe of the song is really representative of our lives because we tour so much.” Another highlight is “Poets” where the four MCs utilize wordplay and double meanings to illustrate their tales. One of the pinnacles of Montezuma’s Revenge is “Fourmation” where the Souls pass the mic back and forth displaying a mastery of the style.

Souls of Mischief’s first LP, 93 'Til Infinity (Jive, 1993) debuted at #14 on Billboard's R&B charts, placing at 109 in the top 200. Their second album, No Man's Land (Jive, 1995) came in at #27 on the R&B charts. In 1995, Souls of Mischief members A-Plus, Opio, Phesto and Tajai joined forces with the other members of the Hieroglyphics crew including Del, Domino, Pep Love, and Casual to create a new independent label- Hieroglyphics Imperium- to publish and market the collective's, and individual members', releases. In 1998 Hieroglyphics released Third Eye Vision, their first album as a group. Souls of Mischief also released Focus in 1998, the first album on which they exercised complete creative and marketing control over their own material. In 2000 SOM followed up with the LP Trilogy: Conflict, Climax, Resolution. Hieroglyphics released their second group album, Full Circle, in 2003. In the midst of touring and recording, Souls of Mischief remained active as a group as the members released solo projects including Tajai’s Power Movement (2004), Opio’s Triangulation Station (2005), A-Plus’ My Last Good Deed (2007), and Opio’s Vulture’s Wisdom, Volume 1 (2008). Montezuma’s Revenge is a futuristic return to the vintage Souls of Mischief sound, with stellar production from A-Plus, Domino and Prince Paul (De La Soul, Gravediggaz, Handsome Boy Modeling School), who brings his unique comedic bent to the project. Even the most die-hard Hieroglyphics fan will agree after sampling Montezuma’s Revenge – it was worth the wait.
Bio written by: - Walasia "MJ" Shabazz


'93 Til Infinity

Written By: Souls of Mischief

Yo whassup, this is Tajai of the mighty Souls of Mischief crew
I'm chillin with my man Phesto, my man A-Plus
and my man Op', you know he's dope (yo)
But right now y'know we just maxin in the studio
We hailin from East Oakland, California and, um
sometimes it gets a little hectic out there
But right now, yo, we gonna up you on how we just chill

Dial the seven digits, call up Bridgette
Her man's a midget; plus she got friends, yo, I can dig it
Here's a forty, swig it, y'know it's frigid
I got 'em chillin in the cooler, break out the ruler
Damn! That's the fattest stog' I ever seen
The weather's heat in Cali; gettin weeded makes it feel like Maui
Now we feel the good vibrations
So many females, so much inspiration

I get inspired by the blunts too (too)
I'll front you (you) if you hang with a bunk crew (chump)
I roam the strip for bones to pick
When I find one, I'm done; take her home and quickly do this
I need not explain this (nahh)
A-Plus is famous - so get the anus!

Hey miss! Who's there? I'm through there
No time to do hair; the flick's at eight, so get straight
You look great - let's grub now
A rub down sounds flavor; later there's the theatre
We in the gut, the cinema, was mediocre
Take her to the crib so I can stroke her

Kids get broke for their skins when I'm in
close range, I throws game at your dip like handball
cause the man's all that
All fat - I be the chill from 93 'til

[Chorus: S.O.M.]
Yeah, this is how we chill from 93 'til
This is how we chill from 93 'til
This is how we chill from 93 'til
This is how we chill from 93 'til
Uh-huh, this is how we chill from 93 'til
This is how we chill, from 93 'til
This is how we chill from 93 'til
This is how we chill.. from 93 'til

Huh, my black Timbs do me well (yeah)
When I see a fool and he says he heard me tell (what?)
another person's business, I cause dizzyness
Until you - stop acting like a silly bitch

Yo, crews are jealous cause we get props
The cops, wanna stop - our fun, but the top
is where we're dwellin, swell and fat, no sleep
I work fit and jerks get their hoes sweeped
under their noses, this bro's quick
yo hit blunts and flip once I'm chillin cause my crew's close, kid

I'm posted, most kids accept this as cool
I exit, cause I'm an exception to the rule
I'm steppin - to the cool spots where crews flock to snare a dip
or see where the shit that's flam B
Blam leakin out his pocket
So I got tons of indo and go to the hoe in's
basement, my ace spent
Fattenin up tracks, Time to get prolific with the whiz kid

Greenbacks in stacks, don't even ask
who got the fat sacks we can max pumpin fat tracks
Exchangin facts about impacts, cause in facts
My freestyle talent overpowers brothers can't hack.. it
They lack wit; we got the mack shit
93 'Til Infinity - kill all that wack shit

Hah, this is how we chill from 93 'til
This is how we chill from 93 'til
This is how we chill from 93 'til
This is how we chill.. from 93 'til
Yeahhh this is how we chill from 93 'til
This is how we chill, from 93 'til
This is how we chill from 93 until
This is how we chill from 93 'til

I be coolin; school's in session but I'm fresh in
rappin so I take time off to never rhyme soft
I'm off on my own shit with my own click
Roll many back roads with a fat stog' and blunt, folding runts
Holding stunts captive with my persona
Plus a bomber, zestin
Niggaz is testin my patience; but I stay fresh and

Restin at the mall, attendance on 'noid
But I am shoppin for my wish to exploit
some cute fits, some new kicks
I often do this cause it's the pits not bein dipped

Flip - the flyer attire females desire
Baby you can step to this if you admire
The ex..traordinary dapper rapper
Keep tabs on your main squeeze before I tap her

I'll mack her; attack her with the smoothness
I do this, peepin what my crew gets (huh)
loot, props, respect and blunts to pass
Crews talk shit, but in my face they kiss my ass (smak!)
They bite flows but we make up new ones
If you're really dope, why ain't ya signed yet?
But I get - my loot from Jive/Zomba, I'ma bomb ya
You will see - from now 'til infinity

Ah, this is how we chill from 93 'til
This is how we chill, from 93 'til
Huh, this is how we chill from 93 'til
Yo, this is how we chill, from 93 'til
Aww yeah this is how we chill from 93 'til
This is how we chill from 93 'til
Yeah this is how we chill from 93 'til
This is how.. we chill, from 93 'til

Hah-hah, just coolin out, y'know what I'm sayin
But, but who's chillin around the land y'know?
Yo, who's chillin? I think I know who's chillin
Yeah tell me who's chillin then then Plus

Casual - you know he's chillin
Yo, Pep Love - he gotta be chillin
Jay Biz - ya know he's chillin
Aiyyo man, my my man Snupe is chillin man
Yo Mike G - you know he's here chillin
Heh, my man Mike P -


93 'Til Infinity (Album) ◄ (9 versions) Jive ... 1993
93 'Til Infinity (Single) ◄ (6 versions) Jive ... 1993
That's When Ya Lost (12", Ltd, Blu) Jive 1993
Get The Girl, Grab The Money & Run / Later On / In Front Of The Kids (Single) ◄ (2 versions) Jive 1994
Never No More (Single) ◄ (3 versions) Jive 1994
The Rarities EP (12", EP, Promo) Jive 1994
No Man's Land (Album) ◄ (4 versions) Jive 1995
Rock It Like That (12") Jive 1995
Unseen Hand (12") Industry Records 1996
Focus (Album) ◄ (2 versions) Hiero Imperium 1997
Focus (Shooting Stars/Step Off) (12") Hiero Imperium 1997
Airborne Rangers / Groundbreaking (12") Industry Records 1999
The Extravaganza / Looking Over A City (Single) ◄ (4 versions) Mo Wax ... 1999
Medication / Acupuncture (12") Hiero Imperium 2000
Trilogy: Conflict, Climax, Resolution (Album) ◄ (2 versions) Hiero Imperium 2000
Soundscience / Bad Business (12") Hiero Imperium 2001
Spark ◄ (3 versions) Chocolate Industries 2002
Montezuma's Revenge (2xCD, Album) Clear Label Records 2009
Phat & Phunky Dance Stance Compilation V (LP) Take A Ride (A+ Mix) Attic Records Limited 1995
Urban Renewal Program (CD, Comp) Spark Ninja Tune 2002
Process Of Elimination (Comp) ◄ (2 versions) Airborne Rangers Industry Records 1999
Appears On:
Rapperz Are Danger (12") Rapperz Are Danger (Mi... File Records 1994
The Extravaganza / Looking Over A City (12") The Extravaganza (Stre... Quannum 1999
Tommy Tee Presents... (12") Lethal Dosage (Main) Tee Productions 2001
An Hour-Long Mix Of Grand Central Tracks By Aim (CD, Mixed, Promo) No Restrictions Grand Central Records 2002
Hinterland (Album) ◄ (3 versions) No Restriction Grand Central Records ... 2002
Hinterland (Sampler) (12") No Restriction Grand Central Records 2002
No Restriction (Maxi, Single) ◄ (3 versions) No Restriction, No Res... Grand Central Records 2002
Schlack Schlack MK Besch (Cass, Comp, Mixed) No Restriction Mikrokosmos 2002
1973 Recon (Album) ◄ (2 versions) Ubiquitous Masters On Broadway 2003
Many Styles (2xLP) Ya Feelin It Fat Beats 2003
Sleeping Giant (CD, Mixed) Spark Clear Label Records 2003
Ubiquitous / Pull Out Your Cut (Remix) (12") Ubiquitous (Main), Ubi... Masters On Broadway 2003
Grand Central Translation - A Mix By Qool DJ Marv (CD) No Restrictions Grand Central Records 2004
Triangulation Station (Album) ◄ (2 versions) Drivers Wanted Hiero Imperium 2005
Underground Crown Holders (2xCD) No Restriction Grand Central Records 2005
Powerhouse (CD, Album) Aftershock Fouth World Music 2006
Supreme Lyricism Vol. 1 (CD, Comp, Mixed, Ltd) Extravaganza Giftstribution 2006
Jack Of All Trades (Album) ◄ (2 versions) How We Do Fat Beats 2007
My Last Good Deed (CD) Right Quick Hieroglyphics Imperium Recordings 2007
Truth Spoken Mixtape: Volume 1 (CD, P/Mixed) Extravaganza Quannum 2007
Tracks Appear On:
A Low Down Dirty Shame (Music From The Motion Picture) (Comp) ◄ (4 versions) Get The Girl, Grab The... Jive 1994
Freestyle Frenzy Vol 1 (LP, Comp) Freestyle (Nov 92) Liberty Grooves, Dolo Records 1994
Jive West 25th Vol.1 (2xLP) Good Feeling (Full Len... Jive 1994
Rap Attack (3xCD, Comp, Box) That's When Ya Lost Disky 1995
Bored Generation (CD) That's When Ya Lost Epitaph Records 1996
Hiero Oldies Vol. 1 (Comp) ◄ (2 versions) Cab Fare ('95 Remix), ... Hiero Imperium 1996
Jus' Jeepin' Again (Comp) ◄ (2 versions) '93 Til Infinity (LP V... Elevate 1996
Beats & Lyrics (Industry Hip Hop Compilation: Issue One) ◄ (2 versions) Unseen Hand Industry Records 1997
Hip Hop Hurray (CD) '93 'Til Infinity Disky 1997
Rap Attack (Comp) ◄ (2 versions) That's When Ya Lost Disky 1997
Hiero Oldies II (Cass, Comp) Break A Leg ('92), Ste... Hiero Imperium 1998
Streetwise Rap & Hip Hop (2xCD, Comp) '93 'Til Infinity Super Doubles 1998
Extravaganza (12", Promo) The Extravaganza (Stre... Mo Wax 1999
Hip Hop Don't Stop (The Greatest) (2xCD) '93 Till Infinity Virgin 1999
Process Of Elimination (Comp) ◄ (2 versions) Airborne Rangers Industry Records 1999
Quannum Spectrum (Comp) ◄ (7 versions) The Extravaganza Quannum ... 1999
Needle Addicts Presents... (Cass, Mixed) 93 'Til Infinity 2000
The World Traveler (Cass, Mixed) Airborne Rangers Not On Label 2000
Hiero Oldies Volume One (CD, Comp) Souls Of Mischief, Ste... Hiero Imperium 2001
Hiero Oldies Volume Two (CD, Comp) Batting Practice (Orig... Hiero Imperium 2001
Live At The BBQ (CD, Mixed) 93 Til Infinity Not On Label 2001
Original (CD, Comp, Mixed) From Now Til Infinity Not On Label 2001
Recon-struction 2 (CD) Let 'Em Know, That's W... Triple Threat Mix Tapes 2001
Scratch Vol 1 (Comp) ◄ (2 versions) 93 Til Infinity Rawkus 2001
90 Platten 90 Minuten (Cass, Mixed) 93' Till Infinity Shining e.p.a. 2002
AnotherLateNight (Comp) ◄ (3 versions) 9

Set List

Won 1
Make Your Mind Up
Oakland Blackouts
Let It Roll
Champ Swagger
Don Julio
Phesto Dee Short
Chaotic Erotic
Phesto Details
Tour Stories
You Never Knew
93 Til Infinity
Encore - That's When Ya Lost