Chops, Peril-L and Styles met on campus at Penn State University and came together in 1992 to form the Mountain Brothers. What began as a recreation or hobby, hip-hop suddenly became something that the group wanted to pursue as a career, which found them up many nights honing their craft. After putting several songs together, the group started to perform around the Philly area and soon found themselves doing shows nationwide from Miami, FL, to Portland, OR. In 1996, the group independently released an EP, while at the same time won a Rhymes From the Mind contest hosted by Sprite. The Mountain Brothers recorded a Sprite commercial for a radio ad campaign which was played nationwide on urban radio. After the successful campaign, the Mountain Brothers secured a record deal with Ruffhouse/Columbia Records and released the 12" "Paperchase" b/w "5 Elements" in 1997. The single garnered much underground praise and broke into the CMJ Top 40 rap charts, but the relationship between the group and their label soured and ended in 1998.