Digable Planets

Digable Planets

Digable Planets is a Grammy award-winning hip hop trio formed in 1987, in Brooklyn, New York. The trio is composed of rappers Ishmael "Butterfly" Butler, Mariana "Ladybug Mecca" Vieira, and Craig "Doodlebug" Irving. Butler and Irving met in Philadelphia in the late 1980s; Vieira and Irving met in Washington, D.C. while Irving was attending Howard University. Originally from Seattle, Butler was interning at Sleeping Bag Records in New York and would visit his grandmother in Philadelphia where Irving was living and rapping with an outfit called the Dread Poets Society (later known as the 7 OD’s) The initial demos recorded under the name Digable Planets featured only Butler. After a brief stint with two other members, Butler began collaborating with Irving and Vieira in 1989.

The group signed to Pendulum Records in 1992 and all three band members moved to New York, where Butler and Irving became roommates. Their debut album Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space) was released in 1993 and certified gold by the RIAA. The album's lead single, "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)" became a crossover hit, peaking at #15 on Billboard magazine's singles chart, earning gold certification by the RIAA, and winning Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group at the Grammys. The track peaked at #67 in the UK Singles Chart in February 1995.

The group's second album Blowout Comb was released in 1994. The album was noted by critics as a stark departure from the previous album, being darker, less hook-oriented and more overtly political in its references to Black Panther and Communist imagery. Writing for Spin in December 1994, Craig Marks declared it "... a beguiling, demanding, damn near revolutionary follow-up." Blowout Comb features guest appearances from artists Jeru the Damaja, Sulaiman and Guru of Gang Starr.

The band subsequently disbanded in early 1995 citing "creative differences".