Tim Parker Biography

Tim Parker

Tim Parker Biography

Claim to Fame: Rap musician (AKA "Gift of Gab")
DOB: unknown
Diabetes Type: 1

Tim Parker, a prominent rapper known as Gift of Gab, made a name as a talent to be reckoned with on the underground rap circuit.

Parker was born in Panorama City, California, part of L.A.’s San Fernando Valley region. He attended John F. Kennedy High School in Sacramento where he soon met and befriended Xavier Mosley, a local DJ known as IceSki. Because of their common interest in hip-hop, the two not only became instant friends, but almost as quickly began combining their obvious talents to form a crew and put themselves on the underground Bay Area rap circuit.

After graduating in 1989, Parker returned to L.A. putting his and Mosley’s business partnership on a brief hold, but maintaining their friendship. A short 3 years later however, the two were reunited in Davis, California when Parker decided to move to the city where Mosley was attending college at the University of California, to form the group Blackalicious. In 1994 the label SoleSides Records released their debut single Swan Lake, the following year they released an EP titled Melodica, and then in 1999 after SoleSides became Quannum Records, A2G was released, another Blackalicious EP album. The albums proved successful and the Parker and Mosley quickly began gaining recognition as the Bay Area’s most influential new hip-hop group.

Blackalicious released their first full-length album in 2000 titled NIA, a Swahili term that translates to “purpose”. The album was a compilation of creative and deeply moving tracks that reflected the turmoil the group had seen throughout their lives. The overwhelming popularity of NIA and A2G on the group's own small independent record label sparked a bidding war between larger record labels, one that MCA won in 2000 when Blackalicious signed with them. In April of 2002 the group released their second full-length album titled Blazing Arrow, one that consisted of many guest appearances including Zack de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine and soul singer Gil Scott-Heron.

In early 2003 Parker underwent emergency eye surgery stemming from complications with his diabetes. After making a full recovery he began seeking outside influence and collaborators, a process that ultimately led him to begin a solo project that resulted in the 2004 release of 4th Dimensional Rocketships Going Up. The album officially solidified Parker’s position among the top emcees of his time. It gained mass popularity on college radio charts and was used in a popular Diet Coke commercial.

In 2005 Blackalicious released The Craft, an album inspired by the beats of Dr. Dre, the Bomb Squad, and A Tribe Called Quest. It contained such hits as Black Diamonds and Pearls as well as The Fall and Rise of Elliot Brown. The Craft quickly became yet another critically acclaimed album that proved Parker and Mosley were in fact still quite capable of putting together an album full of talent and hits.

Find other musicians with diabetes.

Last Modified Date: November 27, 2012

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by Brenda Bell
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