Heltah Skeltah – Operation Lockdown (1996)
Heltah Skeltah – Operation Lockdown (Music Video)
Label: Priority Records – PVL 53232
Format: Vinyl, 12″
Year Released: 1996
Genre: Hip Hop
Heltah Skeltah is a hip hop duo consisting of members Rock (aka Tha Rockness Monstah) and Ruck (aka Ruckus and Sean Price). The two are members of New York supergroup Boot Camp Clik, along with Buckshot, Smif-N-Wessun and O.G.C.. The name “Heltah Skeltah” is a reference and homage to The Beatles, specifically their song “Helter Skelter” from the famous album The Beatles.
Heltah Skeltah debuted on Smif-N-Wessun’s album Dah Shinin’ in 1995, appearing on the tracks “Wontime”, “Cession at da Doghillee” and “Let’s Git It On”. Later in 1995, they grouped up with fellow Boot Camp members O.G.C. to form The Fab 5 (another nod to The Beatles), and released a surprise hit single, “Leflaur Leflah Eshkoshka”.
Out of The Fab 5 members, Rock and Ruck received the most amount of attention, due to their notable charisma and chemistry. The duo released their anticipated debut Nocturnal in June 1996, which included “Leflah”, as well as the singles “Operation Lock Down” and “Therapy”.
The album sold over 250,000 copies in the United States, and has become a classic in the underground Hip Hop scene because of its grimy, basement sound and strong lyrics. The duo released a group album with the Boot Camp in 1997, then followed in 1998 with their second effort Magnum Force.
The album’s lead single, “I Ain’t Havin’ That”, which sampled from the A Tribe Called Quest track “Hot Sex”, with the chorus sampling Redman’s 1996 hit “Pick it Up”, became a Hot 100 hit. Despite the single’s success, the album was criticised due to its lighter content. Ruck and Rock seemed disillusioned with their lack of sales, and split up soon after the Magnum Force album. Rock began having problems with Duck Down Records, and split with the label, signing to DJ Lethal’s Lethal Records. He planned to release an album titled Planet Rock, but the label folded and the album disappeared.
Sean Price remained with the Camp for their second album The Chosen Few in 2002. Heltah Skeltah reunited in 2005, making appearances on Sean Price’s solo album Monkey Barz and Smif-N-Wessun’s Smif ‘N’ Wessun: Reloaded. The duo continued work with the Boot Camp for their third group effort The Last Stand, released in July 2006.
In 2007, Heltah Skeltah had a track included on the Official Joints mixtape, a collection of previously unreleased songs by NYC rappers. Heltah Skeltah dropped their third album together tentatively titled D.I.R.T. (Da Incredible Rap Team) which was released on September 30, 2008.
Other solo future projects include Monster Music and Mic Tyson. They will also be releasing the Shell Shock DVD.
Sean Price went on to release these albums
- Monkey Barz (2005)
- Jesus Price Supastar (2007)
- Mic Tyson (2012)
- Imperius Rex (2017)
Along with a number of collaboration albums and these mixtapes:
- Donkey Sean Jr. (2004)
- Master P (2007)
- Kimbo Price (2009)
- Songs In The Key Of Price (2015)