U.T.F.O. (Untouchable Force Organization)
Educated Rapper (aka EMD)
Mix Master Ice
UTFO was a rap group formed in the early ‘80s during the formative era of hip-hop founded by R&B band, Full Force who became their leading production team. Their fame is carried from starting the Roxanne Wars from the single, "Roxanne Roxanne". This was a classic pioneer dis record unintentionally aimed at Marley Marl’s Juice Crew youngster Roxanne Shante. This inspired numerous answer records toward the group. This was to be the Roxanne Wars using rival radio stations.
UTFO were scheduled to appear on Mr. Magic’s radio program on WBLS ‘Mr. Magic’s Rap Attack’ with Marley Marl as resident DJ. Instead of performing the jingle, they took their act across to rival station KISS-FM with DJ Red Alert with the tracks "Beats & Rhymes" and "Hangin’ Out" but what brought the community more attention was the b-side filler, "Roxanne Roxanne" about a girl who refused to receive the charms and flirtations of a group of young guys. Insulted and mistaken for the identity of Roxanne, Marley Marl’s protégée from his group the Juice Crew, Marl insisted on retaliating by bringing Shante into the studio to slam out a dis track at UTFO with Marl adding salt into the wound by re-using the backing track handed to them as a way of getting to the Full Force production team. The scores of answer tracks played by local radio stations made UTFO’s track an infamous heavy rotator at the time.
The self titled début album featuring the hit single, "Roxanne Roxanne" was released in 1985. Educated Rapper was absent on the sophomore album released in ’86 "Skeezer Pleezer" due to personal issues. This album produced the single "Split personality". Educated Rapper returned for the successful third release, "Lethal" in the title track the group featured heavy rock outfit Anthrax. Other singles included "The Ride" a several-minute anthology about men’s penises and cars. Also "Diss" that featured a collection of elaborate lyrical insults and ‘Burnin’ Bed’ the comedic cautionary story detailing the consequences of cheating men. The group’s other singles collection included "Leader of the Pack", "Bite It", "Pick up the Pace" and the R&B cult classic "Fairytale Lover".
UTFO and Full Force are credited with introducing digitalized layered recording. This means recording three separate vocals on two tracks to create one seamless lyric. With a parenthetical presence this effect creates highlighted portions of the vocals. This innovative technique is demonstrated on "The Ride".
Through the late ‘80s and till 1991 UTFO held together to release several more albums with mediocre success. Their innovative production techniques lead the way for new generations to experiment further on this. They will live as the group who started the Roxanne Wars with their infamous dis-track, "Roxanne Roxanne".