Torii MacAdams has seen the last page of Google
Ruthless Records was more than NWA, it was a menagerie. The label’s first act includes the familiar names–NWA, D.O.C., and Above The Law–but it’s during the second that Eazy-E and Jerry Heller assembled the rap version of Dr. Moreau’s island*. True to the label’s gangster rap roots, Ruthless signed South Central Chicano gangbangers Brownside, the DJs Quik and Battlecat-produced Penthouse Players Clique, and a group of Clevelanders known previously as B.O.N.E. Enterprise. With the successes of J.J. Fad, Lady of Rage, and Tairrie B apparently in mind, they signed the narrow-hipped and sexually suggestive H.W.A. (Hoes With Attitudes) and the rawer Menajahtwa (pronounced “menage à trois”). For the more socially conscious rap fan, Ruthless had the Atban Klann, partially comprised of future Black Eyed Peas/human rights violators Will.I.Am and Apl. De Ap, and Blood of Abraham.
Blood of Abraham fit a mold: they were white rappers in the era of The Whooliganz (Scott Caan and Alchemist!), House of Pain, and Young Black Teenagers, groups meant to capitalize on the success of Beastie Boys and 3rd Bass. The twist: they were proud Jews, who rapped about subject matter of greater interest to Red Sea pedestrians from Beverly Hills than teens from Compton. Members Benyad (Benjamin Mor) and Mazik (David Saevitz) met at Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, a glorified, civilization-adjacent strip mall, after Mazik moved to the city from Las Vegas. While working at the Topanga Mall post-graduation, the duo pestered Eazy-E into letting them perform at a gang truce event at Gazzari’s in Hollywood. Their performance in front a rowdy crowd of Crips and Bloods convinced Eazy-E to sign Blood of Abraham, and, in 1993, they released their debut album Future Profits.
Like their jheri-curled mentor, Blood of Abraham were provocative. Future Profits’ lead singles were “Stabbed By The Steeple” and “Niggaz And Jewz (Some Say Kikes),” the latter featuring the aforementioned Will.I.Am under moniker “Will 1X” and Eazy-E. On “Stabbed By The Steeple,” Blood of Abraham rapped about the evils of Christian missionaries; for the song’s music video, the group wandered around Jerusalem, half-dancing and rapping at the Wailing Wall. “Niggaz and Jewz” opens with a speech from a Klansman. Despite its semi-controversial title, what follows is reasonably predictable fare–would you be shocked to know that neither Eazy-E nor Blood of Abraham are down with racism?
Blood of Abraham’s rap careers appear to have been sunk by the combined effects of Eazy-E’s untimely death, the high-minded content and narrow appeal of their lyrics, and most importantly, the group’s merely moderate ability. Still, there’s dignity in failing on one’s own terms–they could’ve pretended to be gangsters, made gimmicky joke rap like schmucks 2 Live Jews, or used their Judaism as a crutch for their own racism à la Lil Dicky. They didn’t, and, albeit briefly, they got to be part of Eazy-E’s wacky, wonderful world.
*They also signed immensely forgettable R&B act Po’ Broke & Lonely
and America’s preeminent hip-hop flutist, Jimmy Z.