20 years ago(!), Luniz dropped the album Operation Stackola, which featured the classic song “I Got 5 On it”.
The track was Luniz’s biggest hit. At one point it was number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The remix featured a number of popular Bay Area rap artists at the time, like Spice 1 and E-40. And it even gave the duo the chance to do shows with Jodeci, Mary J. Blige, and the Bad Boy Records family.
Definitely a face on the Mount Rushmore of songs that put Oakland on the map, “I Got 5 On It” would be somewhere between “Too Legit To Quit” by MC Hammer and “Tell Me When To Go” by E-40 and company.
But there’s a song on Operation Stackola that might’ve had a greater impact on Hip-Hop and popular culture in America: “Playa Hater.”
“Stop just hating all of the time,” said President Obama during a speech about working better with Congress. Dave Chappelle did a skit called “The Player Haters Ball,” which is a classic spin-off of the fictional Player’s Ball depicted in the movie The Mack — a film that was made in Oakland. Also, NPR did a feature on how “hater” has been used over the ages. The NPR piece points back to Notorious BIG as the guy who popularized the modern use of “player/ playa hater,” or “hater” for short. Notorious BIG, who was also on that lineup with Jodeci, Mary J. Blige and Luniz in 1995, dropped his version of “Player Haters” two years after Luniz.
So, we’re not just celebrating the 20 year anniversary of Luniz coming straight out of East Oakland and dropping 5 On It; but also, all of those haters out there. The world might not want to recognize Oakland’s contributions…but, haters gonna hate.