Formed in 1983 in Brooklyn, New York, hip hop quartet UTFO is best-known for their 1984 single “Roxanne, Roxanne”, the song that started the year-long ‘Roxanne Wars’, which consisted of a string of copycat and response songs by a variety of hip hop artists. Founded by Doctor Ice (Fred Reeves) and Kangol Kid (Shiller Shaun Fequiere) – former members of the Keystone Dancers - with Educated Rapper (Jeffrey Campbell) and Mix Master Ice (Maurice Bailey), the group was originally known as UFO but changed their name to UTFO to avoid issues with the hard rock band that had already been using the name UFO. Their first single was “Hangin’ Out”, which failed to chart. However, the single’s B-side, “Roxanne, Roxanne”, gained a lot of attention and the song was issued as their second single. Rising to Number 10 on the R&B/Hip Hop Singles chart, the song spurred a wave of ‘answer’ songs that continued throughout the next year. UTFO even entered the fray with two singles featuring a collaboration with fellow rapper the Real Roxanne: “The Real Roxanne” and “Roxanne Meets UTFO”. The hip hop quartet released their self-titled debut album in 1985 which reached Number 11 on the R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. Their second album, Skeezer Pleezer, was released in 1986 and hit the Number 14 position. In 1987, their third album Lethal reached the Number 2 position on the R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart without any of its singles reaching the Top 40. Two years later, the group’s 1989 album Doin’ It hit Number 30 but their album Bag It & Bone It (1991) failed to chart and UTFO split the following year. Educated Rapper died on June 3, 2017, of cancer. Kangol Kid succumbed to colon cancer on December 18, 2021.

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Stations Featuring U.T.F.O.

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