You Say It's Your Birthday: Onyx's Fredro Starr

It's also the birthday of Echo and the Bunnymen bassist Les Pattinson.

Today is the birthday of Fredro Starr, who, along with

Sticky Fingaz and Sonee Seeza (aka Suave), comprises the hard-hitting hip-hop

act Onyx, the group responsible for the breakaway hit "Slam" in 1993. Onyx

debuted that year with Bacdafucup, a much-lauded record welcomed both in

rap and pop circles, and from the beginning the group led a trail of

controversy. When they performed at London's Hammersmith Odeon in support of

their first record, for instance, fans were so eager to see the group that a

riot broke out. And back in the States, they were banned from performing in

Appleton, Wisconsin; meanwhile a church group in Connecticut burned copies of

their album.

Onyx returned to the music scene last year with their

self-produced second record, All We Got Iz Us, featuring the single

"Throw Ya Gunz." Songs on the album explore everything from inner city life to

partying and include more than a few independence-affirming anthems. Sticky

Fingaz appeared in last year's film Dead Presidents, and Starr and

Fingaz had cameos in Clockers. In addition, Marvel Comics has issued a

full-length comic book based around the members of Onyx as "rappers in

post-atomic holocaust New York."

Other birthdays: Lenny Baker (Sha Na Na),

Skip Spence (Jefferson Airplane), Mike Vickers (Manfred Mann), Glen D. Hardin

(Crickets), Andy Kyriacou (Modern Romance), Les Pattinson (Echo and The

Bunnymen) and Shirlie Holliman (Pepsi & Shirlie). -- Beth Winegarner