The Jungle Brothers are an American hip hop group that pioneered the fusion of jazz and hip-hop and also became the first hip-hop group to use a house-music producer. The group began performing in the mid-1980s and released its first album, Straight Out the Jungle, in July 1988. With Afrocentric lyrics and innovative beats, the Jungle Brothers were critically acclaimed and soon joined the influential Native Tongues collective. The original trio comprised Michael Small (Mike Gee), Nathaniel Hall (Afrika Baby Bam, a homage to Afrika Bambaataa) and Sammy Burwell (DJ Sammy B). Sammy B left the group after the group released Raw Deluxe in May 1997.