Fu-Schnickens was an American hip-hop trio. Similar to Das EFX for
their cartoonish lyrics and near-constant allusions to pop culture
staples, they were the first Hip Hop artists to rap in backwards
fashion. The Fu-Schnickens' popularity was brief but significant
in hip hop history. Their best known track is 1993's "What's
Up Doc? (Can We Rock)," featuring basketball star Shaquille
The Fu-Schnickens comprised Chip Fu (Roderick Roachford), Moc Fu
(Joe Jones), and Poc Fu (Lennox Maturine). "Fu" stood for "For
Unity" and "Schnicken" was a made-up word which meant "coalition".
The three friends from East Flatbush, Brooklyn first gained attention
after performing at a rap event at Howard University, after which
they were signed by Jive Records. The group's debut single, "Ring
the Alarm," hit the top ten on the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks
chart in 1992, which sparking anticipation for the group's debut
album F.U. Don't Take It Personal and also inadvertently immortalized
and ignited a new-found popularity for the original "Ring The
Alarm", the signature tune of Reggae/Dancehall singjay Tenor
Saw from 1985, which they sampled to create their track of the same
name. Furthermore, with the hit singles, "La Schmoove" (featuring
Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest) and "True Fu-Schnick",
the album reached the Top 20 in the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart
 and was certified gold by the RIAA.
In 1993, the Fu-Schnickens began work on their second album. They
recorded a fast-paced song called "What's Up Doc?" which
featured a sample of Bugs Bunny saying his famous catchphrase. But
they could not get sample clearance from Warner Bros so they shelved
the song. Meanwhile, the then-rookie NBA star Shaquille O'Neal was
a media sensation. In many interviews, he talked about his love of
hip-hop music and stated that the Fu-Schnickens were his favorite
rap group. This prompted the group to contact O'Neal for a collaboration.
O'Neal recorded a verse that was added on to the already-recorded "What's
Up Doc?" with the group and O'Neal saying "What's up, doc?" to
replace the Bugs Bunny sample. Although, the group had not yet completed
work on their album, the song was quickly released as a single to
capitalize on O'Neal's popularity. The single was a Top 40 hit in
the summer of 1993, briefly propelling the group into the mainstream.
The group's second album, Nervous Breakdown, did not arrive until
1994, by which time the rap landscape had dramatically changed, and
there was no longer an audience for their unique style.
The Fu took part in a huge performance on the finale of The Arsenio
Hall Show, alongside the likes of KRS-One, the Wu-Tang Clan, Naughty
By Nature, MC Lyte, Guru, Mad Lion, Yo-Yo, Das EFX, CL Smooth & A
Tribe Called Quest.
The Fu-Schnickens are also notable for their many references to
martial arts films and Asian culture before the Wu-Tang Clan,
who eventually helped make such references popular in hip-hop music.
Chip-Fu is currently working on a solo album.
* F.U. Don't Take It Personal (1992)
* Nervous Breakdown (1994)
* Greatest Hits (1995)
(Note: "Greatest Hits" included 4 previously unreleased
songs: "Cray-Z", "Original Rude Boy", "Voice
of the Ghetto" and "Bring it Back")
* "Ring the Alarm" (1991)
* "La Schmoove" (1992)
* "True Fu-Schnick" (1992)
* "What's Up Doc? (Can We Rock)" (1993)
* "Breakdown" (1994)
* "Sum Dum Munkey" (1995)