Sharing the hometown and nickname of Major League Baseball's Oakland Athletics, the Oakland, CA-based A'z garnered more national attention for the California hyphy movement with the club hit "Yadadamean" (Bay Area slang for "you know what I mean") in 2006. The real coincidence, though, lies in the fact that group members A.E., Ice, and Speedy all have the same first name: Alex Edwards, Alex Coffin-Lennear, and Alex Buffington are their real names, respectively. The group enjoyed some radio airplay and gained a relatively strong underground following in the Bay Area during the late '90s under the name 4 Deep (different from the Texas underground crew 4 Deep). In the mid-2000s, artists like E-40 and Keak da Sneak started popularizing the unbridled, youth-based music, opening the doors for other hyphy artists from the Bay like A'z. Upon the success of their "Yadadamean" single, TVT Records saw the potential for crossover appeal and snatched up the trio in July 2006. ~ Cyril Cordor
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