Formed in Amherst Mass. in 1990, Rippopotamus emerged from the fertile western Mass. music scene that generated such alternative rock heroes as Dinosaur Jr., The Pixies, Buffalo Tom and Sebadoh. Starting out as a five piece, the band quickly expanded to it's current eight member size. In November of 1990, while still adding members, the band released it's first record 'N Din Som on 2 Funky International Records. The record sold well locally and garnered some attention from the local press.
Early in 1991, as the band quickly became a local headliner, Rippopotamus returned to the studio to record their second record entitled R House, again on 2 Funky International Records. R House was received even better than it's predecessor and when it was released in September of 1991, got excellent reviews, spent an amazing 11 weeks atop local sales charts and started a buzz about the band around the state. While riding the buzz created by R House, and their reputation as an excellent live band, Rippopotamus was voted best rap/hip-hop act in the Valley Advocate's 1992 Music Poll. That spring the band became the first local band to appear at UMASS's Spring Concert, which featured national acts including Fishbone and The Beastie Boys. The band also began appearing with other national acts such as De La Soul, playing at New England colleges and universities and at clubs in Boston, New York City and all over New England
In January of 1993, Rippopatamus moved to Boston and set themselves to the task of conquering that city's difficult and competitive music scene. Whil;e emerging as a headliner in Boston, the band solidified its fan base and began appearing regularly all over Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine both at clubs as well as colleges and universities. That fall the band returned to the studio again to record their follow up to R House. The Band recorded 10 new songs and re-mixed two favorites from R House (My Nike Air & Whole Lotta Love) with the aid of Hip-Hop DJ Nick Nastee.
1994 started off quite well for Rippopptamus. While finishing up the recording and mixing of their first full length release (`N Din Som & R House both being EP's) they received a nomination for Outstanding Funk Band from the Boston Music Awards. Meanwhile the band was headlining in many of New England's best known clubs including Axis, The Sting, Granny Killams, The Middle East, Pearl St. and Ralphs's. That summer the band negotiated a distribution deal with W. Springfields Off Beat Records ensuring that their next release would have national distrubution. The band also relocated from Jamacia Plain to the Allston (the musicians Ghetto) section of Boston.
In September, Rippopotamus released Butter and received good reviews from many publications including The Boston Globe, New England Performer, Aquarian Magazine and even Modern Drummer Magazine. In October, Rippopotamus appeared at the Strawberries/Maxie-Waxie Record stores' convention and so impressed the attendees that Butter was picked up for the entire store chain.
Rippopotamus followed up on the initial success of Butter throughout 1995. The band and the album received a total of five nominations in the 1995 WFNX/Boston Phoenix Music Poll. Butter has been placed in heavy rotation on a number of college radio stations as well as receiving airplay on local commercial stations such as WFNX and WBCN and WAAF. The band also participated in that year's WBCN Rock-n-Roll Rumble
During the summer, Rippopotamus worked with BU Film and Video Graduate Student and producer Brenda McIsaac to produce a documentary about the band's life on the road, as well as a music video for the song Performer off of Butter. ALso, the band was again nominated for Outstanding Funk Band as well as Outstanding Independent Album for the 1995 Boston Music Awards. The band also premeired their music video for their fans in a special preview during a show at The Waterfront in Holyoke MA.
In 1996, success continued for Rippo (as they are known to their fans) as they continued to expand their fan base in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and behond. Rippopotamus also sold out many of it's Boston performances in 1996, including shows at large venues such as Mama Kin and The Middle East. Meanwhile, the video for "Performa" was picked up by Cablevision of Boston's Video Tango Commonwealth Network. The Video was also aired by Much Music TV (Canada's MTV) in conjunction with the band's appearance at LaBatt's Funk Fest '96 in Montreal. Rippopotamus also received honorable mention in Billboard Magazine's 1996 Musician Magazine Best Unsigned Band contest. The band was also named Outstanding Funk Band for 1996 by The Boston Music Awards . . .
Their success continues into 1997. . . catch the band locally and see for yourself!