Identical twin brothers Taharqa Aleem and Tunde Ra Aleem began their career as Ghetto Fighters with covers of Jimi Hendrix's "Cry Of Love" and "Rain Bow Bridge" (they also shared the same apartment with Jimi). They formed Aleem with Leroy Burges as a vocalist during the early '80s and originally released dance songs on their own label, NIA Records ("Hooked On Your Love", "Get Down Friday Night", "Release Yourself". 1985's "Confusion", resulted in a deal with Atlantic where they released two albums.
They worked as producers on acts including Fonda Rae, Caprice, Captain Rock and Process and the Doo Rags. The NIA label also became home to such notable rappers as Marley Marl and MC Shan and helped develop the careers of MCs such as Sparky D. After NIA Records folded, the twins opened up their own recording studio in the late '80s.