This past Friday I checked out the hip hop show over at The Urban Lounge featuring acts from TML. One of the best hip hop and rap shows I've seen in a while on the local circuit, drawing
in a crowd that even the staff said was more than they expected,
five acts spung their rhymes and proved that the local hip hop scene is
alive and thriving. While also proving that there is an audience in Utah craving something more in their music than talk about who has the best bling.
--- I took pictures, and after eachDone was done entertaining the crowd I grabbed them for a quick interview about their thoughts on the local scene and the industry in general.
Gavin:%uFFFD What do you think of the local scene?
Marcus:%uFFFD Man, I think the local scene, I think there’s some really hot artists out here, and they’re not really getting the recognition they deserve.%uFFFD But I think if they’re given the opportunity to shine and convey their talent, I mean, we could really take over this Hip Hop.
Gavin: %uFFFDAnybody you recommend?
Marcus:%uFFFD Besides myself?%uFFFD (laughs)%uFFFD I’d have to say my crew, Demise One, Roots Rawka.%uFFFD You know, people like that who just get up there and do their thing and keep it real.
Gavin: While you were up on stage you said rap was in a rough scene, and the audience didn’t show you much love.%uFFFD You wanna elaborate more on that?
Marcus:%uFFFD Well I think rap is more about materialistic things, it’s not really about talent or really making you feel good, it’s about a bunch of corporate people just trying to come up with a formula to sell records, it’s not about the music anymore.%uFFFD
Gavin: %uFFFDSo you feel more like it’s become about the “bling” than anything else.
Gavin: You working on an album or have one out?
Marcus:%uFFFD I’m putting the finishing touches on an album right now so keep a look out for it, it’s called Sanctity.
Roots Rawka & DJ Che
Gavin: What do you guys think of the local scene right now?
Rawka:%uFFFD I think it’s really growing.%uFFFD I think there’s a lot of good talent on the local scene that’s just growing and I think that’s a lot of good exposure and people are really starting to support it now.%uFFFD It's bubbling slowly but surely.%uFFFD
Gavin:%uFFFD Besides yourself, any acts you recommend?
Rawka:%uFFFD George, definitely.%uFFFD BabylonDown.com, picking up the reggae scene.%uFFFD Natural Roots, The Verse.
Che:%uFFFD Demise One.
Che:%uFFFD Ebay Jamiel.
Rawka:%uFFFD It’s kind of hard to pick right off the top of my head.%uFFFD I say check out everyone and find out who you like.
Gavin:%uFFFD What do you think of the business in general?%uFFFD
Che:%uFFFD It’s all about how you bring yourself to the stage.%uFFFD If you’re out there vibing, they’re gonna be vibing.%uFFFD If you’re all shy and timid, they’re gonna know.%uFFFD Like a pack of wolves.%uFFFD
Gavin:%uFFFD You working on anything or got an album coming out?
Rawka:%uFFFD We got a mix tape coming out right now because I also do the Friday Night Fallout show on KRCL.%uFFFD And we’re going to release a local mix tape just with all local hip hop, DJ Che here is mixing it.%uFFFD And it’s going to be called “The Greatest Flow On Earth:%uFFFD Volume One.”%uFFFD Should be out in two weeks, we’re shooting for January 16th.
D. Strong (With MC Eneeone)
Gavin:%uFFFD What do you think of the local scene?
D:%uFFFD It’s actually pretty dope, man.%uFFFD I moved out here five years ago from Los Angeles, was in a group out there, still in the same group.%uFFFD I came out here and I realized they had a cool hip hop scene that shows a lot of love.%uFFFD So yeah, I’m feeling it out here, big time.
Gavin:%uFFFD What do you think of the state of the business right now?
D:%uFFFD Well there’s rap and then there’s hip hop music.%uFFFD It’s different you know.%uFFFD Hip hop is a culture, it’s a way of life.%uFFFD Rap music is just rap music.%uFFFD There’s certain rap that follows that hip hop culture, and then there’s certain rap music that the industry controls.%uFFFD There isn’t much we can do about it.
Gavin:%uFFFD Any artists you recommend?
D:%uFFFD I still listen to a lot of old stuff.%uFFFD I still listen to Gang Starr.%uFFFD Little Brotha’s always good.%uFFFD You can always go pick up an Wu-Tang album and it’s still good.%uFFFD Stuff that ain’t on the radio is what I say.%uFFFD I mean, you like what you like, I’m not pointing the finger and anyone on the radio or anyone who likes that.%uFFFD It’s just that other people aren’t getting a chance to hear other types of music that deserves just as much a chance.%uFFFD So listen to what you like, but also keep your eye open.%uFFFD Get on the net and check out some of the stuff overseas.%uFFFD See who’s touring outside the states, because those people are doing real hip hop.
Gavin:%uFFFD You got an album on the way?
D:%uFFFD I got one on the way, it should be done by the beginning of this year.%uFFFD I’m going back to California in March and try to finalize it out there and it should be out.%uFFFD But I’m doing strictly internet though, I’m not messing with any labels.%uFFFD
Soulshakers Music%uFFFD (Rhagenetix, JSun, Lacy, Spitsofrantic)
Gavin:%uFFFD What do you guys think of the scene here in Utah?
Spits:%uFFFD Definitely growing, we got a lot of people down looking to make this music thing crack.%uFFFD
JSun:%uFFFD The scene down here is a lot more alive than some of the bigger cities we’ve been too.%uFFFD We went to Vegas recently, and actually the scene here is a lot better than it was down there.
Rhag:%uFFFD The sound is vibing, the scene is vibing, a lot of people are showing love.%uFFFD They’re not fickle, they’re definitely hype.%uFFFD So big up to Salt Lake.
Gavin:%uFFFD What’s your take on the industry right now?
JSun:%uFFFD I think (Marcus) hit on it, really.%uFFFD I think it’s really in a dire state as far as originality.%uFFFD People are hearing the good music and there’s a lot of good music out there, but I don’t think it’s getting to the masses because marketing is pushed towards more of the negative stuff.%uFFFD The positive stuff is out there though.
Spits:%uFFFD I feel that commercial hip hop is on life support, but the underground revolution is up and coming and hasn’t even been born yet.
Gavin:%uFFFD Any artists you guys recommend?
Jsun:%uFFFD LumpSum, Demise One, any cats from TML.
Rhag:%uFFFD Madmax, Smash Bros.%uFFFD
Gavin:%uFFFD You guys got an album out, or working on anything right now?
Lacy:%uFFFD Actually, Spitso’s album is out.
Spits:%uFFFD Yeah, we got two albums out right now.%uFFFD One is by the whole Soulshakers, it’s called “The Controversy”.%uFFFD My solo album is called “Hood Vibrations”.
Demise The First
Gavin:%uFFFD What do you think of the local scene here?
Demise:%uFFFD The local scene here in Salt Lake is something that really can’t be compared.%uFFFD We have artists from every spectrum, from the west coast to the east coast, and it’s really an untapped source out here.%uFFFD
Gavin: %uFFFDOne of the earlier artists said the rap industry was in a dire state, what’s your take on that?
Demise: %uFFFDMy take on that is that people need to come out and see these shows.%uFFFD The local scene is something innovative and it can’t really be compared to mainstream hip hop that’s on the radio.%uFFFD I think a change is needed and it’s right here.
Gavin: Any artists you recommend?
Demise: %uFFFDI recommend Adverse, Concise Kilgore, MC Eneeone, Roots Rawka, Spitsofrantic.%uFFFD I recommend anyone you can see at an independent hip hop show and doing what they’re good at.%uFFFD
Gavin: %uFFFDYou got an album out or anything you’re working on right now?
Demise: %uFFFDI’m plugging “The Rocky Mountain Standard” right now.%uFFFD It’s set to drop in the first quarter of 2008.%uFFFD And I have an album that’s already out, it’s called “Party ‘Til You’re Broke."