It's been 25 years since a new group called Arrested Development slammed the gangsta dominated world of hip hop with defiant lyrics of hope. Apparently the world was ready for the change as AD reaped two Grammy awards, one for Best New Artist and one for Best Rap Single, which was a first.
Money came in but not for precious stones and big cars. Instead, these pioneers of the conscious rap game took one big step for mankind by giving back and becoming the first African American artists to donate money to Nelson Mandela and the ANC. They used their voices and their status to the benefit of many underprivileged brothers and sisters around the world.
With the success of the single Mr Wendal, Arrested Development brought the issue of homelessness to the forefront, and donated half of the royalty earning from Mr Wendal, to the National coalition of the homeless. Awards, chart success and accolades continued to follow. One of the highlights was being asked to write a song for Spike Lee’s movie about minister and human rights activist, Malcom X. The movie, X, went on to become one of Spike Lee’s most highly acclaimed works. The Arrested Development song, Revolution, would forever be associated with one of the most important movies in black culture. Eighteen years later, the response that comes whenever the group performs this song is inspiring.
Their album, 3 years, 5 months and two days In The Life of, sold over 4 million units, with singles from that maiden voyage playing like a soundtrack in the lives’ of so many people world wide Their sophomore release “Zigalmaduni” was a critics favorite, but although the album was well received and garnered another Grammy nomination, it failed to reach the same heights as the previous album, nonetheless, reaching sales of 500,000 copies.
With the pressures of the music industry weighing heavily, and inner turmoil striking within the group, it was time for Arrested Development to take a break and redefine their individual and collective purpose. For some members, it was time to take a hiatus from the industry, for a few, it was time to start a family, while other members delved into new musical projects and collaborations.
In the year 2000, Arrested Development re emerged with a new lineup and a new album called “Heroes of the harvest” This time the inner turmoil was replaced by inner peace, the pressures of the industry were lifted and one of hip hop’s best was back rocking stages.
Arrested Development has performed concerts in literally every part of the world. They continue to release new music and find new success in different corners of the globe. Their shows are a celebration of life. Experiencing an Arrested Development concert is an uplifting and spiritual event wrapped into one big party.
In 2016, founding member and front man Speech, teamed up with multi platinum award winning producer and hit maker Kevin “Khao” Cates, (best known for his work with TI, Jay-Z, Ludacris, Snoop Dog, Lil Kim ) together, they produced the album SPLASH which has received substantial recognition in the USA and Internationally.
in 2019, Arrested Development were recipients of the hip hop legends award, which was presented to them by the Black Music Honor awards which was televised around the globe.