A rapper from Atlanta, GA
J-Ro had been rapping since the age of 13, and E-Swift and Tash (short for "Ca-TAS[H]-trophe) already had an established partnership for local gigs and house parties; after E-Swift and Tash moved to Los Angeles, they met LA native J-Ro and formed a group. The three friends took the name Alkaholiks on the suggestion of West Coast veteran King Tee, who for some time had been looking for a back-up band to mentor. Tha Alkaholiks first achieved recognition after appearing on Tee's Tha Triflin Album, and most importantly its successful single "I Got It Bad Y'All". Support slots on tour with KRS-One, Ice Cube and Too Short, which helped them develop their skills as well as a fanbase. Their debut album 21 & Over released in 1993 was a lean 10-track set that spawned the singles "Make Room", "Only When I'm Drunk" and "Likwit", as well as establishing them as one of the most distinctive artists on the West Coast at a time when the vast majority of Californian artists were subscribing to the G-funk gangsta rap sound popularized by Dr. Dre. 21 And Over remains highly regarded by critics.
The group's follow-up album Coast II Coast in 1995 attempted to develop their sound further while staying to their fun-loving roots, working with A Tribe Called Quest's Q-Tip and expanding their lyrical outlook with tracks such as "21 And Under" which warned of the dangers of underage and irresponsible drinking. Likwidation followed in 1997 and Tash's debut solo album Rap Life was released in 1999, both to mixed reviews. During this time they also formed the Likwit Crew, a close association of artists including Xibit, Defari, King Tee and Lootpack.
The early 21st century saw a slight increase in Tha Alkaholiks' profile due to the sudden Dr. Dre-powered rise to fame of the Likwit Crew's Xibit (whose platinum-album Restless they appeared on in 2001), and they sought to take advantage of this with 2001's X.O Experience which saw them working with hit-making producers of the time like The Neptunes and Rockwilder. They also changed their official name from Tha Alkaholiks to the shortened Tha Liks, the reason being that many mainstream radio stations refused to play tracks by a group called Tha Alkaholiks. A DVD XO - The Movie Experience was also released just after the album. Though the album sold reasonably well, it was not as much as expected.