The Beatnuts are a hip hop group from Queens, New York City. The members are Ju-Ju (Jerry Tineo), of Dominican descent, and Psycho Les (Lester Fernandez), of Colombian descent. Ju-Ju is from Jackson Heights and Psycho Les is from Corona, Queens. The only Latino members of the Native Tongues Family, they have had long-standing involvement with the crew's activities. Although only peripheral members, they are routinely acknowledged as valued by Q-Tip, who has shouted them out at least twice on record (once in 1991 and once in 1996).
Early in their career the Beatnuts produced one whole album for Chi-Ali. Their production is noted as some of the most accomplished, if unheralded, in all of hip-hop, often intricately detailed (as in their finely honed work for Mos Def on two tracks from Black on Both Sides) but more regularly barnstorming, club-friendly, flourish-laden party music.
The Beatnuts are noted for being unabashedly, bullishly ribald and in-your-face performers. Recent Beatnuts albums are characterised by more Latin influences.
Collaborations with guest artists are a fixture of late-period Beatnuts albums. In particular, they have frequently acted in tandem with Masta Ace, who has aligned himself with them in light of his career resurgence, and Greg Nice of Nice & Smooth, who has reignited his career by playing the excitable hype man for both.
They are mainstays in the Latino hip-hop community, maintaining connections with Triple Seis, Tony Touch, Cuban Link, Chino XL, Prince Whipper Whip, Magic Juan of Proyecto Uno, Sick Jacken, The Delinquents, N.O.R.E., and the late Big Pun.
Kool Fashion is the onetime third member of the group; he is now a devout Muslim pursuing a solo career under the name Al Tariq, and has collaborated with his former crew on occasion. The Beatnuts produced eight tracks on Al Tariq's solo album God Connections.
The Beatnuts have also worked with Cunninlynguists, Cormega, DJ Honda, Method Man, Non Phixion, Grand Puba, A.G., Freeway, Sonny from P.O.D., Tash from Tha Alkaholiks, Common, Akon, Jurassic 5, Dead Prez, The Madd Rapper, and Large Professor, among others. Eminem has acknowledged them as an influence and invited them to tour with him.
Outside of the world of Hip Hop, the Beatnuts laid a vocal track down on British Techno artists Apollo 440 single "Dude Descending a Staircase", from the album of the same name.
In June 2007, Psycho Les joined with Al Tariq and Problemz to release LP "The City Never Sleeps" under the artist title "Big City".