Nocturnal is the debut studio album by American hip hop duo Heltah Skeltah. It was released on June 18, 1996 via Duck Down/Priority Records. Recording sessions took place at Chung King Studios, at Dollar Cab, at D&D Studios, and at Unique Recording Studios in New York City. Production was handled by Da Beatminerz, Buckshot, Shaleek, Shawn J. Period, Supreme, E-Swift, Lord Jamar and Sean Price. It features guest appearances from Originoo Gunn Clappaz, Illa Noyz, Representativz and Vinia Mojica. The album peaked at number 35 on the Billboard 200 and number 5 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.
The two made their debut on Smif-N-Wessun‘s 1995 album Dah Shinin’. Same year the duo teamed up with O.G.C. to form The Fab 5, and released the single “Blah” b/w “Leflaur Leflah Eshkoshka“. “Leflah”, which is included in the album, peaked at number 75 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became the biggest hit from the Boot Camp family to date. “Leflah” was re-released as an A-Side single in early 1996, featuring the first sole Heltah Skeltah track, “Letha Brainz Blo”, as its B-Side. The first official single released from the album was “Operation Lock Down”, produced by Tha Alkaholiks‘ E-Swift. Other singles released from the album were “Therapy” and “Da Wiggy”.
The “Twin Towers” of the Boot Camp Clik gained much recognition and respect in the Hip Hop world with the release of their debut, now hailed as a 90’s Hip Hop classic. Led by Rock’s rough, booming voice and Ruck’s strong lyrical ability, and backed by dark, grimy beats by Da Beatminerz, Shaleek, and others, the release received wide acclaim in the Hip Hop world, but didn’t reach much further, selling around 250,000 copies in the US.