Black Sheep Reunites For A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing 25th Anniversary
Twenty five years ago this October, New York City Hip-Hop duo Black Sheep released A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing. Following Dres’ appearance on De La Soul Is Dead, he and partner Mista Lawnge would release their Top 40 debut through Mercury Records. Self-produced single “The Choice Is Yours (Revisited)” would go to #57 on the Pop charts, and the latest act within the Native Tongues was knighted by the Hip-Hop community.
A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing featured other hits such as “Strobelite Honey,” “Flavor Of The Month,” and “Similak Child.” A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip appeared on the LP, as did Black Sheep pupil Chi-Ali. Like Tribe and Jungle Brothers, the Sheep were a largely self-produced act. By April of 1992, the album would be certified gold.
In honor of the 25th anniversary, Dres and Mista Lawnge confirmed to Ambrosia For Heads that they have reunited. “It was time,” Mista Lawnge told Ambrosia For Heads today (August 1). “Twenty five years is a big celebration of our legacy and we are excited to be able to bring this to our longtime fans.” He confirmed that the pair has not toured together since 2005. The pair will be performing A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing in its entirety at forthcoming dates.
As Black Sheep welcomes booking offers from promoters, Dres alluded to his visions of a true third album, informed by the music the group will play on this to be announced series of dates. “I really am excited to see the response we get from this tour and though music [and] Hip-Hop has changed drastically as well the issue of samples, I would love to be afforded the opportunity for us to make a [third official album] in the vein of how we did the first two.” “It would be costly to clear samples to that degree, but I think [Mista] Lawnge is special in the way that he can fuse sound… I, too, would bring my own special thing to the table [as a producer], for us to offer something that nearly everyone says is missing from the present climate… something golden. [I am] definitely hoping for the best.”
Since 2015, Black Sheep’s Native Tongues cohorts De La Soul were able to raise more than $600,000 from fans to record this month’s …And The Anonymous Nobody. On this August 26 album, the New York trio is believed to be sampling itself.
They promise to honor their album with a great show. “A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing put Black Sheep on the map so we intend to bring the vibe and energy from this entire album to the stage. This will include a lot of humor that our fans know us for with a few surprises along the way,” Lawnge stated.
Asked about how he perceives the album differently 25 years later than shortly after its release, Lawnge replied, “This is an interesting question. There are different ways that we can look at it but because the two albums that [Black Sheep] created were a learning experience for us where we in turn felt as though we showed our fans about our views of what we thought of the world at that time. Many of the songs and skits that we did on the album touched upon good and bad situations that were occurring. We addressed these real issues in a ‘tongue and cheek’ manner of which our audience understood and respected. Since then, a new generation of Hip-Hop has been cultivated and our music has been reintroduced through national commercial campaigns [by] JC Penney, KIA, and more. It will be interesting to see the tour response from the new generation which so far has been very supportive and eager for more.”
Following A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing, the group would release 1994’s Non-Fiction. Outside of Native Tongues, Black Sheep (together and individually) had ties to Showbiz & A.G., Twista, and Slaughterhouse. Dres would form evitaN with Jarobi (A Tribe Called Quest), while Lawnge partnered with Ras Kass for several songs as The White Crows.
Earlier this year, Dres (who was instrumental in memorializing friend Phife Dawg) orchestrated the for-charity tribute track “Peace Phife,” featuring Sadat X, Chi-Ali, and Kool DJ Red Alert.