Out of Oakland, California, a collective known as Hieroglyphics were positioning away from industry control, to helm their own assets in manners more suited to their own marketing self-vision. While artists have certainly went solo prior, this came at a critical juncture for the crew during a spiraling and newfound Internet world. Born out of this independent spirit was the crew’s first official studio album 3rd Eye Vision.
The album spans twenty-two songs, all featuring beats by Domino who manned the lion’s share of production. A-Plus, Opio, Del, Casual, and Phesto also contributed beats. MCs each had their own song, short interludes highlighting their individuality through short verses, a clear espirit de corps statement.
Even among standouts like “Oakland Blackouts” or “At The Helm,” perhaps the most celebrated song off the release is “You Never Knew,” a track that propelled 3rd Eye Vision to #88 on the Billboard Top 200, not an entirely easy feat as a new label competing with the late ‘90s’ abundant onslaught of classic material.