Timothy Parker, better known by his stage name Gift of Gab, is an American rapper best known for performing in the Bay Area hip hop duo Blackalicious along with DJ Chief Xcel. He is also a member of Quannum Projects, a Bay Area hip hop crew and record label, and has performed and recorded as a solo artist.
Gift of Gab is often praised by critics for his rapping skills Allmusic says he is “one of the very finest MCs to ever pick up a microphone”, “one of the best underground rappers in the business”, “his raps are jam-packed with internal rhymes, allusions, metaphors, ten-cent words, and amazing tongue-twisting feats of skill”, and he has been able to “redefine the art of lyrical technique”. Peter Shapiro describes him as “a walking encyclopedia of MCing styles”, Pitchfork Media refers to his “astonishing verbal dexterity and enunciation”, Popmatters says he has a “nearly impenetrable reputation for style and innovation”, and Stylus Magazine calls him “one of the top MCs in the game”.
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.