imageDigable Planets were an alternative hip-hop trio from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that consisted of members Butterfly (born Ishmael Butler from Seattle, Washington), Ladybug Mecca (born Mary Ann Vieira from Silver Spring, Maryland) and Doodle Bug (born Craig Irving from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).

Butterfly and Doodle Bug met in Philadelphia in the late ’80s. Ladybug Mecca and Doodlebug had been couple while they were attending Howard University. Butterfly was an intern at Sleeping Bag Records in New York and he would visit his grandmother in Philadelphia where Doodle Bug was living & rapping with a music act called The Dread Poets Society.

The initial demos were recorded under the name “Digable Planets” which only featured Butterfly. After a brief stint with two other members, he began collaborating with Ladybug Mecca and Doodle Bug in 1989. In 1992, the trio signed a record deal with Pendulum Records and moved to New York where Butterfly and Doodle Bug became roommates.
imageIn February of 1993, Digable Planets released their debut album “Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space)” which peaked at #15 on the Billboard 200 and #5 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart. It was certified Gold by the RIAA.
imageThe trio’s debut single “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)” became a hit, peaking at #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topping Billboard’s Hot Rap Singles chart. The song also topped Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart, #20 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Club Play Singles chart, #12 on Billboard’s Rhythmic Top 40 chart and #6 on Billboard’s Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 20 weeks.

The single was certified Gold by the RIAA with sales of 500,000 copies and even won a Grammy Award for “Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.”
imageThe follow-up single from the album “Where I’m From” peaked at #106 on Billboard’s Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart, #7 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Singles chart, #41 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart and #60 on Billboard’s Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 12 weeks.
imageThe last single from Digable Planets’ debut album “Nickel Bags (Of Funk)” peaked at #12 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Singles chart and #93 on Billboard’s Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for only 2 weeks.
imageIn October of 1994, Digable Planets released their sophomore album “Blowout Comb” peaked at #32 on the Billboard 200 and #13 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart.
imageThe first single from the album “9th Wonder (Blackitolism)” peaked at #80 on the Billboard Hot 100, #8 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Singles chart, #10 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart and #37 on Billboard’s Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 12 weeks.
imageThe follow-up single “Dial 7 (Axiom Of Creamy Spies)” peaked at #32 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Singles chart, #45 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart and #88 on Billboard’s Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 5 weeks.

Due to creative differences, Digable Planets broke up in early 1995. Butterfly, Doodle Bug and Ladybug Mecca went on to pursue solo careers.
imageIn February of 2005, Digable Planets reunited and embarked on a reunion tour. In October of that same year, they released a compliation album “Beyond the Spectrum: The Creamy Spy Chronicles.”

During an interview with “The Houston Chronicle” in 2010, Doodle Bug announced that a new single “Fresh Out” and a new untitled album would be released in the summer of 2010, but it appears those plans never materialized.

From 2009 to 2011, Doodle Bug and Butterfly toured across the United States, Europe and Canada. In December of 2012, a reunion show that was supposed to take place in Seattle, Washington ended up being cancelled days before the performance even began.

When asked about the current status of Digable Planets in an interview, Butterfly said, “I think it’s the end,” meaning that Digable Planets has disbanded for good.

Butterfly went on to collaborate with multi-instrumentalist Tendai “Baba” Maraire under the name “Shabazz Palaces” and they released two EPS in 2009. They released their debut album in 2011. In 2014, they released their current album “Lese Majesty.”

These days, Doodle Bug (now Cee Knowledge) tours as Cee Knowledge & the Cosmic Funk and has released two albums.

Ladybug Mecca (now Lady Mecca) released a solo album in 2005 and has collaborated with various musicians. She continues to perform as DJ Lady Mecca and was also the voice of Tracey Triceratops on the “Dino-5” children’s music CD.

To see the music video for “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat),” go to:

To see the music video for “Where I’m From,” go to:

To see the music video for “Nickel Bags (Of Funk),” go to:

To see the music video for “9th Wonder,” go to:

To see a fan-made video for “Dial 7,” go to:

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