For a New Jersey group that was supposed to be underground, the Artifacts gained a nice amount of notoriety during their peak. Tame One and El Da Sensei recorded with the likes of Redman and Busta Rhymes and saw both of their albums make a dent on the Billboard 200 album chart, with Between A Rock And A Hard Place and That’s Them respectively claiming the 134 and 137 spots. After an amicable split in 1997, both emcees put out solo projects, with Tame One also doing group work with Del The Funky Homosapien and Slow Suicide Stimulus and El recording with The Returners. After performing together at the Rock Steady Crew’s 33rd anniversary show and during the closing of Fat Beats, El and Tame talked to Adam Bernard of Fairfield Weekly about rocking shows together again.
“The current state of the music game made us want to try to make a difference somehow,” Tame One said. “Neither of us wanted our past to just be for nothing.” El Da Sensei echoed his partner’s statements, adding, “You only have so many chances to do certain things.”
The Artifacts had their initial run before YouTube, and many fans outside of the tri-state area never saw them live. That and a desire to keep fans from dismissing the reunion as just some rumor, led to an emphasis on live shows as opposed to initially recording new material.
“We both got better, and whatever chemistry we had that made people want to see us in the first place, there’s more of that, but there’s growth, it shows some progression,” Tame added.
There’s no timetable for an album, and neither member is quite sure what how the new material will sound. But apparently, there’s no rush on either end. Those in or around Connecticut can catch Artifacts performing at Foul Mouth Jerk’s album release show on December 11. For more information, and to read the full interview with El and Tame, visit the Faifield Weekly site.