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Gavin's Underground

Urban Lounge Hip-Hop Show

by Gavin Sheehan
- Posted // 2008-01-06 -

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.

Marcus Alexander

Gavin: What do you think of the local scene?

Marcus: 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. 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: Anybody you recommend?

Marcus: Besides myself? (laughs) I’d have to say my crew, Demise One, Roots Rawka. 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. You wanna elaborate more on that?

Marcus: 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.

Gavin: So you feel more like it’s become about the “bling” than anything else.

Marcus: Absolutely.

Gavin: You working on an album or have one out?

Marcus: 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

What do you guys think of the local scene right now?

Rawka: I think it’s really growing. 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. It's bubbling slowly but surely.

Gavin: Besides yourself, any acts you recommend?

Rawka: Mindstate.

Che: George.

Rawka: George, definitely., picking up the reggae scene. Natural Roots, The Verse.

Che: Demise One.

Rawka: Spitsofrentic.

Che: Ebay Jamiel.

Rawka: It’s kind of hard to pick right off the top of my head. I say check out everyone and find out who you like.

Gavin: What do you think of the business in general?

Che: It’s all about how you bring yourself to the stage. If you’re out there vibing, they’re gonna be vibing. If you’re all shy and timid, they’re gonna know. Like a pack of wolves.

Gavin: You working on anything or got an album coming out?

Rawka: We got a mix tape coming out right now because I also do the Friday Night Fallout show on KRCL. And we’re going to release a local mix tape just with all local hip hop, DJ Che here is mixing it. And it’s going to be called “The Greatest Flow On Earth: Volume One.” Should be out in two weeks, we’re shooting for January 16th.

D. Strong (With MC Eneeone)

Gavin: What do you think of the local scene?

D: It’s actually pretty dope, man. I moved out here five years ago from Los Angeles, was in a group out there, still in the same group. I came out here and I realized they had a cool hip hop scene that shows a lot of love. So yeah, I’m feeling it out here, big time.

Gavin: What do you think of the state of the business right now?

D: Well there’s rap and then there’s hip hop music. It’s different you know. Hip hop is a culture, it’s a way of life. Rap music is just rap music. There’s certain rap that follows that hip hop culture, and then there’s certain rap music that the industry controls. There isn’t much we can do about it.

Gavin: Any artists you recommend?

D: I still listen to a lot of old stuff. I still listen to Gang Starr. Little Brotha’s always good. You can always go pick up an Wu-Tang album and it’s still good. Stuff that ain’t on the radio is what I say. I mean, you like what you like, I’m not pointing the finger and anyone on the radio or anyone who likes that. It’s just that other people aren’t getting a chance to hear other types of music that deserves just as much a chance. So listen to what you like, but also keep your eye open. Get on the net and check out some of the stuff overseas. See who’s touring outside the states, because those people are doing real hip hop.

Gavin: You got an album on the way?

D: I got one on the way, it should be done by the beginning of this year. I’m going back to California in March and try to finalize it out there and it should be out. But I’m doing strictly internet though, I’m not messing with any labels.

Soulshakers Music (Rhagenetix, JSun, Lacy, Spitsofrantic)

What do you guys think of the scene here in Utah?

Spits: Definitely growing, we got a lot of people down looking to make this music thing crack.

JSun: The scene down here is a lot more alive than some of the bigger cities we’ve been too. We went to Vegas recently, and actually the scene here is a lot better than it was down there.

Rhag: The sound is vibing, the scene is vibing, a lot of people are showing love. They’re not fickle, they’re definitely hype. So big up to Salt Lake.

Gavin: What’s your take on the industry right now?

JSun: I think (Marcus) hit on it, really. I think it’s really in a dire state as far as originality. 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. The positive stuff is out there though.

Spits: 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: Any artists you guys recommend?

Jsun: LumpSum, Demise One, any cats from TML.

Rhag: Madmax, Smash Bros.

Gavin: You guys got an album out, or working on anything right now?

Lacy: Actually, Spitso’s album is out.

Spits: Yeah, we got two albums out right now. One is by the whole Soulshakers, it’s called “The Controversy”. My solo album is called “Hood Vibrations”.

Demise The First

What do you think of the local scene here?

Demise: The local scene here in Salt Lake is something that really can’t be compared. We have artists from every spectrum, from the west coast to the east coast, and it’s really an untapped source out here.

Gavin: One of the earlier artists said the rap industry was in a dire state, what’s your take on that?

Demise: My take on that is that people need to come out and see these shows. The local scene is something innovative and it can’t really be compared to mainstream hip hop that’s on the radio. I think a change is needed and it’s right here.

Gavin: Any artists you recommend?

Demise: I recommend Adverse, Concise Kilgore, MC Eneeone, Roots Rawka, Spitsofrantic. I recommend anyone you can see at an independent hip hop show and doing what they’re good at.

Gavin: You got an album out or anything you’re working on right now?

Demise: I’m plugging “The Rocky Mountain Standard” right now. It’s set to drop in the first quarter of 2008. And I have an album that’s already out, it’s called “Party ‘Til You’re Broke."

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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