The Treacherous Three stands as one of the most innovative groups of rap’s early days, spawning the career of past members Kool Moe Dee and Spoonie Gee. One member however, L.A. Sunshine, has had a rougher time in life after Hip-Hop fame but hopes to reinvent himself in another fashion.
The New York Times profiled Lamar “L.A. Sunshine” Hill, who at age 50 looked back at his career recognizing his addiction to drugs and bouts of depression have led to his struggles. Still, the articulate rapper possesses a youthful energy that no doubt served him well as he worked with youth in the mid-90s.
From the Times:
When Kool Moe Dee’s solo career took off he toured with him, performing on worldwide stages. But he spent most of the time in his hotel rooms getting high, he said.
“If there’s anything I regret, I’ve been to every major city at least five times and I have no idea what they look like,” he said.
Still, he found a second career in youth development. He returned to his Harlem neighborhood, organizing a basketball tournament and acting as an M.C. for the games, and worked as a recreation specialist for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.
L.A. Sunshine ran into some legal troubles after removing drugs from his life. Other demons lurked in the form of bad finances that hindered his process, although he was flourishing well as a mentor. With the help of the Children’s Aid Society, a group funded by the New York Times Neediest Cases Fund, social workers helped LA. Sunshine get back on his feet.
The rapper still performs with his Treacherous Three brothers on occasion, and is currently enrolled in a back-to-work program while still volunteering with youth in the city.
In 2011, L.A. Sunshine released a memoir, L.A. Sunshine: A True Story, The Real Accounts with an intro from Public Enemy‘s Chuck D.
Hit the jump to see the Time‘s video profile on LA. Sunshine of The Treacherous Three.
Photo: L.A. Sunshine