In 1990, M-1 headed to Tallahassee to attend FAMU (Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University) where he and stic.man met and formed a relationship due to their mutual love of music and similar leftist political ideology. There, their views solidified, M-1 becoming particularly interested in the Black Panther Party.
M-1 joined the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement in Chicago for three years, stic.man remained in Florida. Burned out by the arduous labor of Uhuru, M-1 and stic.man chose to focus on music. Brand Nubian’s Lord Jamar discovered them in New York and signed them a deal with Loud Records. Although dead prez was not always Loud’s top priority, they built a fan base due to their over-the-top performances (they’ve been known to ignite dollar bills and toss apples into the audiences, declaring that they must eat healthily).
Prior to the release of their debut album in 2000, they had already contributed songs to film soundtracks and made featurings on high profile albums. Their first recorded song, “The Game of Life (Score)” appeared on the 1997 soundtrack to the film Soul in the Hole. In 1998 their song “D.O.P.E. (Drugs Oppress People Everyday)” was featured in the movie Slam. Also in 1998, they were featured on the skit “The Rain and the Sun” off Big Pun’s album Capital Punishment, and in 1999 were featured on The Beatnuts’ song “Look Around” off their album Musical Massacre.