Outer Space

The North Philadelphia Puerto-Rican trio took the name Outer Space because their rhyme style was said to be "beyond the earth's atmosphere." Founding member Mario Collazo was in 10th-grade science class when a flash of lightning illuminated his mental plane and he saw a vision of the future. At the time the other two members, Richard Cruz and Marcus Albaladejo, were in eighth grade.

The trio declared that Outer Space would be the next level of hip-hop--lyrically complex and mysteriously dark. After all, space is the final frontier, and they wanted to make exploring outer space, rap's great adventure. As such, they abandoned their government names and took the names Planet, Jedeye, and Crypt.

Being Puerto-Rican, they felt somewhat estranged or excluded from the core of hip-hop, which has always been dominated by black artists. Consequently, they named their first EP for Black Hoodz, Illegalienz (BH009) (which also incidentally was the name of a four-song demo tape they recorded). After being introduced to Free Time Productions in Philly (215-727-1026), the group was finally complete, having the dark, hypnotic beats to complement all of their tripped-out space lingo. The Illegalienz EP (BH009) on Black Hoodz is only a taste of a group who have many light years to travel in the vast expanses of hip-hop.