Gift of Gab made his name as the technically adept MC in the vaunted underground rap duo Blackalicious, in partnership with producer/DJ Chief Xcel. Born Tim Parker, he grew up mostly in Pacoima, part of L.A.'s San Fernando Valley region, but attended high school in Sacramento. There he first met Chief Xcel (born Xavier Mosley) in 1987. Parker, then calling himself Tiny T or Gabby T, was already developing keen skills as a battle MC. After graduating Parker returned to Los Angeles while he and Mosley kept up their partnership by phone. While attending UC-Davis, Mosley fell in with a group of hip-hop eccentrics who became the SoleSides collective and Parker moved up to the Bay Area to join him in 1991 settling on Gift of Gab as his hip-hop alter ego. Blackalicious issued their debut single, "Swan Lake," on SoleSides in 1994 and several more followed, establishing their underground reputation and leading to a tour of Europe. They began work on a full-length album during which time SoleSides shut down and reconfigured itself as Quannum. The process was long and laborious as Gift of Gab struggled with an alcohol problem that took several years to overcome. Finally in 1999, Blackalicious re-emerged with the A2G EP, whose "Alphabet Aerobics" electrified the underground and marked Gift of Gab as a prodigious new talent. That talent was confirmed by Blackalicious' first two full-lengths, 2000's NIA and 2002's Blazing Arrow, which elevated him to the status of perhaps the most underappreciated elite MC in hip-hop. In the wake of Blazing Arrow's critical hosannas, Gift of Gab branched out with a number of guest appearances, recording with the likes of DJ Vadim, British hip-hoppers New Flesh, and Michael Franti/Spearhead. Gabís contribution to lyrical style has solidified his position as one of the top MCs of his time, underground or otherwise. Dub Trio is no stranger to working with hip hop artists. Band members have recorded with names like 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, Young Buck, Mobb Deep, Macy Gray The Fugees, Mos Def and Common. Their branded combination of electronic, rock and jazz performed by DP Holmes (guitar & keyboards) Stu Brooks (bass & keyboards) and Joe Tomino (drums & melodica) gives Gab a lot of sound to work on his alphabet aerobics.