Ugly Duckling (Young Einstein, Dizzy Dustin and Andy Cooper) began in Long Beach, California in 1993.
After a few years of demos, small shows, and meetings with skeptical label representatives the band
formed their own record company in 1997 and released a 12" record called Fresh Mode. The LP sold 3,000
copies around the world and put the boys on the map. In 1998 UD signed their first record deal with
1500 Records/Interscope. This partnership saw the release of the Fresh Mode EP in 1999 as well as the
group's first full length album, Journey To Anywhere, which was released in 2001. In 1999, after the
release of Fresh Mode, the boys started touring on the back of their modest success and have not
stopped traveling or putting out albums since.
The band has released 6 albums, embarked on countless tours, and developed a worldwide fanbase. In
2003 they even squeaked into the UK and German charts with their song A Little Samba. Labels have
come and gone but fan support has remained solid. Ugly Duckling's music has always been of the
highest quality and their live show is a large part of their identity.
Ugly Duckling's musical sound is a combination of late 80's/early 90's hip hop, funk, soul, and jazz with
plenty of humor and high-spirited skillfulness from both lyricists and DJ. Audiences and critics have
agreed over the years that Ugly Duckling's brand of hip hop is unique and authentic while the stage
show is always fun, exciting, and super tight. Comparable to groups like Jurassic 5, Pharcyde, and A
Tribe Called Quest, the band knows how to make listeners feel good and has kept their musical
authenticity throughout the years, avoiding the pitfalls and embarrassment of pop star ambition.
USA: More than 20 national tours and countless club dates including
performances at the Coachella Festival and the Van's Warped Tour.
United Kingdom: More than 20 national tours and performances at Reading, Leeds,
and Essential Festivals. TV appearances on CDUK, Top of the Pops, and The
Australia: 7 national tours and performances at the Pyramid Rock, Splendour in
the Grass, Park Life, Days Like This, and The Falls festivals. They've also
appeared on several national TV shows and their song Turn It Up is the theme song for one
of the country's biggest talk radio shows, Hamish and Andy.
Germany: More than 15 national tours and performance at Splash
Festival (the country's biggest hip hop festival). They have also appeared on MTV
Europe and ViVa Music Television.
Japan: 8 national tours and a performance at the Summersonic Festival. They also
appeared on the Boo-Yaa Music Show multiple times.
Other countries in which Ugly Duckling has toured and performed:
Canada, Ireland, Holland, Spain (Sonar Festival), France (Cannes, Renn Festivals), Austria, Switzerland
(Orange Brit Festival), Sweden, Norway, Czech Republic, Denmark, Belgium, Estonia, Latvia, Bulgaria,
Slovenia, Lithuania, Poland, South Korea, China, Taiwan, New Zealand, Guam.
Licensing: Ugly Duckling music has appeared in the major motion
pictures Eurotrip, The Boiler Room, Boys and Girls, and Drillbit Taylor as well as
numerous TV shows like Malcolm in the Middle, Run's House, Roswell,
Boston Public, Bargain Hunter, and Forbes 25 Richest People.
There was nothing more affecting than music in the life of a young Andy Cooper, with the possible exception of sports. Hours spent on the blacktop would offer exposure to rap music
in its infancy and lead to a nearly compulsive devotion. Ed, Dre, and Fab 5 Freddy became familiar faces as Andy amassed a vault of cassettes and music videos that covered all areas of the
newly developing genre. Soon he began experimenting with productions of his own and when he met Dizzy and Einstein the stage was set for the 3 piece Voltron-like concoction to take form.
Young Einstein was a music lover from an early age. He began experimenting with his mom's turntables while just a boy genius before moving to his first set of Technics.
The legend of his beat digging abilities can be traced back to a time when his massive LP collection was just taking shape. As his spinning prowess grew Einstein came to accept his life's
calling as the backbone of a classic hip hop trio. Soon after, he would also embrace his role as owner and keeper of the group's unofficial mascot, the dookie gold rope, value as yet undetermined.
Dizzy's illustrious career as an MC stretches back about as far as the eye can see. Having been fully immersed in hip hop culture from a young age, rhyming has always been second nature for Diz.
Growing up on the north side of Long Beach gave him the chance to sharpen and hone his unique flow into a style that would stand the test of time. From the days of chillin on the couch
in the back house to touring around the globe, Dizzy has turned a lifelong passion into his profession. As he once put it, "me without a mic is 23 without the Nikes."
Ugly Duckling has returned with quite possibly their finest effort to date, "Moving at Breakneck Speed." This dynamic effort shows
once again how very talented the Long Beach based trio is in terms of thoughtful song construction and top notch production...
full review at spacelab87.com
|1. Keep Movin'
3. $100 Weekend
5. I Wonder Where She Is Now
6. One Horse Town
7. Anything Can Happen
|8. How It Used To Be
9. Einstein Buys A Monkey
10. Run For The Light
13. The Breakneck Theme
14. Endless Summer
Andy, Dizzy and Young Einstein deliver another musically different, totally independent, 12 plus track, boundary pushing record. This time the trio got a bit more personal
but UD wouldn't be themselves if they didn't inject the listener with some humor as well. The samples used on this record are just amazing...
full review at style43.com
|1. I Won't Let It Die
3. Audacity (1 & 2)
4. Falling Again
5. It's Gone
6. I Wanna Believe
|7. Einstein Do It
8. Lonely Ones
9. Pay Or Quit
10. Right Now
11. It Never Mattered
12. Oh Yeah
"Bang for the Buck" is prove positive that in 2006, despite a long hiatus, Ugly Duckling hadn't lost their spark or desire to be dope without "Grammys or platinum plaques."
The lyrics aren't gangster but they're far from wishy-washy or weak and come off even more impressive when delivered to such a high speed tempo...
full review at rapreviews.com
|1. Bang for the Buck
3. The Breakdown
4. Left Behind
6. Einstein's On Stage
|7. Let It Out
8. Lower The Boom
9. Andy vs. Dizzy
10. Slow The Flow
11. Shoot Your Shot
12. The End Of Time
This is the second (full length) album from the Los Angeles trio. In the style of classic hip hop of De La Soul,
Jungle Brothers and Jurassic 5, Ugly Duckling blend the clever rhymes with funky...
full review at abc.net.au
|1. Opening Act
2. Turn It Up
4. Dumb It Down
5. Abigail Silk
6. Energy Drink
8. Mr. Tough Guy
|9. Pass It On
10. La Revolucion
13. The Confrontation
14. Rio De Janeiro
15. I Wanna Go Home
16. Goodnight Now
"Journey to Anywhere" completely lives up to it's dope introduction. The chemistry between the two emcees is like early Tip and Phife.
Andy's rhymes are a little more serious, while Dustin gets wackier with punchlines. The balance works very well...
full review at rapreviews.com
2. I Did It Like This
3. Journey To Anywhere
4. Friday Night
5. A Little Samba
6. The Pike
7. If You Wanna Know
|8. Eye On The Gold Chain
9. Pickup Lines
10. Rock on Top
13. Down The Road
14. Lay It On Ya
In the 1990's, the term "fresh" was seldom heard on rap recordings anymore. So when Ugly Duckling used it repeatedly on their debut EP "Fresh Mode,"
they made no secret of their dissatisfaction with much of the hardcore rap of the late 90's. By saying "fresh" they were longing for a more creative era in hip-hop...
The CD is full of references to 1980s and early '90s rap hits, paying homage to everyone from Run-D.M.C. and Biz Markie to Rob Base...
full review at allmusic.com
|1. Fresh Mode
2. Now Who's Laughin'
3. Get On This
4. Einstein's Takin' Off
|5. Everybody C'mon
6. Do You Know What I'm Sayin'
7. Everything's Alright
8. We're Here
Ugly Duckling's logos through the years
While there is some debate as to the exact origins of the group, most historians agree the the members
of Ugly Duckling (Andy Cooper, Dizzy Dustin, and Young Einstein) first crossed paths in a small village just outside Jakarta in early
1927. Einstein, one of the world's most prominent relic hunters, had been in the area for months as part of a massive excavation effort
aimed at uncovering artifacts from the 4th century Hindu kingdoms. One of just a handful of pilots considered skilled enough to handle
the Boeing F2B, Dizzy was among a small group of American aviators who sought work flying precious cargo missions in Southeast Asia following the war.
Andy had been in the area numerous times in the previous years while serving as a special agent for the armed forces under then president Calvin Coolidge
and was thought by many in the miliatry to have been captured.
Dizzy and Einstein were the first to meet. Einstein's excavation team needed a skilled pilot who they could trust to deliver rare artifacts back to their
base in Nepal without encountering any colonial entanglements. When Dizzy's services were recommended by a fellow explorer Einstein sent word for Diz to
meet him in a local saloon just before sundown to discuss the details. A few months later, Einstein and Diz were at their usual rendezvous point planning
the next mission when they noticed they were being watched by a stranger seated alone in the back corner of the saloon. Concerned that he may be a spy, they
approached the stranger and questioned him as to his motives. "I'm in need of transportation," said Andy. "I understand you gentlemen know how to move through
the world undetected." Convinced he wasn't a threat to their operation, they decided to help Andy escape.
After helping Andy gain safe passage back to the West, the three agreed to meet in California later that year. Diz knew of a quiet beach town where they would
leave the dangers of their past behind and try to find work in entertainment. Living in the shadow of Los Angeles, the trio was able to hone their skills
and quietly develop the audacious and exciting style that would later bring them to the forefront of a burgeoning music scene. After years of circling the globe
and cultivating a loyal fan base, the group continues to make classic hip hop records with the singular purpose of keeping alive the music they love. Their
ability to thrive and stay fresh in an artform that has largely become stale can be attributed to an uncommon dedication to their craft. It remains to be seen
if history will ever catch up to the incredible legacy that these brash adventurers have set forth.