Consisting of rapper J-Ax (Alessandro Aleotti) and producer DJ Jad (Luca Perrini), Italian duo Articolo 31 were one of the most popular acts of their country's hip-hop scene. Early on, their sound was typical of golden age rap, with freestyle rhymes and sampled beats and choruses, but from a uniquely Italian perspective. Over time, the duo expanded their sound to incorporate elements of funk, reggae, rock, and other styles. In doing so, they drifted away from purist hip-hop and reached a more mainstream audience. Their 1993 debut full-length, Strade di Città, was one of Italy's first hip-hop albums. Following its release, the duo helped establish the Spaghetti Funk collective in 1994. Messa di Vespiri also appeared that year, and was their mainstream breakthrough. Despite criticism from the underground hip-hop scene, the duo's success continued with increasingly pop-minded albums like Così Com'è, Nessuno, and Xché Si!, which featured a guest appearance by old-school legend Kurtis Blow. The duo made their acting debut with the 2001 film Senza Filtro. Following Domani Smetto (2002) and Italiano Medio (2003), as well as the 2004 live album La Riconquista del Forum, the duo went on hiatus and concentrated on their solo careers. ~ Paul Simpson
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