Under Big Bang, NBS has already managed to grab a whole lot of headlines, starting in 2009 with "Cambridge Police Department," their fearless response to the Henry Louis Gates Jr. incident. In 2010, they made national waves with their Boston hoops anthem, "Who Are We?" The Celtics lost their fight against Los Angeles, but NBS emerged a winner, with Yahoo! Sports among other outlets declaring them the victor over Ice Cube's criminally corny Lakers jam.

In his turn, Virt dropped the long-awaited The Final Conflict in March, rounding off his Word War trilogy with a brilliant tsunami of lingual feats and monster beats from hip-hop's brightest producers. Up next for the imprint, in July NBS drop a full-length called The Smokefest, which will be followed by a collaboration album with the European beat team the Snowgoons. From there, they'll head out on their first tour overseas, still kicking street wisdom, but with a twist in perspective. "People can say what they want about what we've done so far," says Knuckles, "but we defied the odds, basically. We're lucky to still be here — a lot of people who listen to our shit are in jail."

"With all this there's a whole new NBS, a whole new Virtuoso, and a whole new sound," says Flash. "This is more of a team effort, and we're more organized than we ever were before."

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