The group was formed in 1988 and Onyx released its first 12" single, "Ah, And We Do It Like This", in 1990. The song revealed a strong jazz influence, noticeably more than in their later work. In 1991, Onyx was going to present a demo to Jam Master Jay at Def Jam, but Big DS and Sonee Seeza (then only known as Suavé) were in Connecticut at the time, so Fredro Starr called up his cousin Sticky Fingaz (who lived in Brooklyn). Once Sticky Fingaz joined the group, the group released Throw Ya Gunz in 1992.
After the track Onyx signed a recording contract with Def Jam and were promised an album which became 1993's Bacdafucup LP. The album met with great commercial success, including heavy airplay on radio and MTV for the single "Slam". Onyx also performed with Biohazard on the tune "Judgment Night", taken from the soundtrack album of the same name. Onyx also received critical acclaim, winning Soul Train's album of the year.
Big DS left the group after the release of the first album in order to pursue an ultimately unsuccessful solo career. He died on May 22, 2003 from complications from cancer. In 1995, Onyx released their second album All We Got Iz Us. While the album was much less successful commercially, it proved to be a critical success. In the August 2008 issue of VIBE, All We Got Iz Us was listed as the best produced rap album of 1995 & one of twenty albums every fan of hip-hop must own.
The release was followed by another gap in albums, but the members remained in the public eye by appearing in several movies, including Clockers, Sunset Park (1996), and Dead Presidents (1995). Both rappers continue to appear in movies and television, appearing on the FX Network on The Shield and on CBS's CSI: Miami.
In 1995, Onyx toured with Das EFX and the Insane Clown Posse.
Onyx returned in 1998 with their third album Shut 'Em Down, which featured appearances from DMX, Lost Boyz, Raekwon, Method Man, Big Pun, Noreaga and a then-unknown 50 Cent. This album found critical as well as commercial success. The album produced two singles "React" and "Shut 'Em Down", the latter featuring DMX. After leaving Def Jam, the group returned in 2002 with Bacdafucup Part II released on Koch Records, Followed by the 2003 release Triggernometry on D3 Entertainment.
In 2014, Onyx released their first album in over a decade. Wakedafucup released March 18, 2014.
A new Onyx album, titled The Black Rock, was rumored for a 2006/2007 release but was not released, the album is now rescheduled for a release in 2014, with a new title 100% Mad. In June 2008, Onyx released their debut DVD: "Onyx: 15 Years of Videos, History and Violence". The DVD contains every Onyx video digitally remastered with optional commentary, all solo videos, and over an hour of rare footage all the way back from 1992.
Onyx performed in 2009 at the 10th annual Gathering of the Juggalos. Onyx also performed in August 2012 at the 13th annual Gathering of the Juggalos in Cave-in-Rock, Illinois. In August 2012, Onyx also released their second compilation album, titled Cold Case Files Vol. 2. The album is unique in that it is only available from OnyxDomain.com; as the purchase is digital, all proceeds go to the group. On October 31, 2012 fresh from touring overseas, Onyx released the Official Video on YouTube from their first single off of the new album CUZO entitled, "Belly Of The Beast", the video was directed by Kevin KJ Johnson.
In 2013, they were featured on fellow American rapper ASAP Ferg's debut studio album, Trap Lord.
It was announced that Onyx collaboration album Wakedafucup with hip-hop/producing group Snowgoons would be released March 18, 2014. Sonny Seeza does not appear on the album. The album received favorable reviews from The Source and XXL Magazine. In 2014, XXL Magazine named it was one of the best hip-hop albums of 2014.
On April 21 the group announced the "Against All Authorities" EP with producer Scopic would be released on May 5 and would mainly be aimed at the current situation in America.
ONYX is very popular in Russian Federation. They make collaborations with Russian rappers, start own clothing line and music record company. Sticky Fingaz decided to take a second stage name in Russia called "Nigga Russkiy". Since 2006 ONYX have performed in more than 100 cities in Russia.
Onyx was a surprise secret guest at the 17th Annual Gathering Of The Juggalos in 2016 at Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio.