Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Pseudo Slang is Emcee Sick and touring compadres Dj Form and Dj LoPro... as well as contributing members: behind the scenes producer Tone Atlas, DJ Cutler, Gangsta D, DJ Tommee, Daringer, Mysterious L, A.L. Third and more. Based in Chicago by way of Buffalo NY, Pseudo Slang have been closely followed for almost a decade garnering international praise for creating a fresh sound that steps outside of contemporary rap’s confines. PS released the debut “Catalogue” October 2004 under the umbrella of Baby Steps Hip Hop which was then operating as a record label. The Catalogue was compilation of tracks recorded between 1999-2004, and due to the excitement it generated the group subsequently signed with Brooklyn-based indie-major Fat Beats Records in August 2005. Fat Beats then released Pseudo Slang “Broke & Copascetic” (12” Vinyl single) which sold over 2500 units worldwide, and then to hold fans over the Slangers released “Thank God It’s Not Another Mixtape” (2006, EP on CD) which has created yet more buzz. Pseudo Slang have completed FIVE 30+ City US Tours, and toured Canada and Europe TWICE each. The new album “We’ll Keep Looking” is essentially a debut release for Pseudo Slang on the international heavyweight status which Fat Beats commands, and the buzz is pinning meters across the globe. An exclusive version of “We’ll Keep Looking” was released in Japan April 2009.
Vinyl is dope. Where is that 7" available?
Now that you're back in The States, where are headed to now?
We are currently on our East-Coastin’ Tour with St Mic and Sinapse which has us performing throughout PA, VA, TN, CT, MA, VT, ME and many more spots up and down the right coast. After that it’s back to Chicago in August to get some recording done and get to working on our next European Tour for late fall.
New York City has housed so many major cultural focal points in our lifetime (such as Supreme and Fat Beats). What's it like knowing you are apart of something that helped form Hip Hop and independent music?
Your group's combination of talent isn't very common in most circles. We can imagine having two DJ's is dope, but how does it make you feel?
To be honest there are many DJs who PS has worked closely with, and it really stems from the fact that this music started with the DJ – it wouldn’t be hip hop if the DJ wasn’t an integral part of the art. When I hear a dope DJ dropping joints and throw on tunes I wasn’t expecting... that’s when I feel great. No place I would rather be. Goodlooks for the kind words, hard work may help you maintain.
far as musically? Is there a new CD you can't take out of your sound system right now?
“This is what would’ve happened if Digable Planets formed a super group with Slum Village.”
- okayplayer.com Jason Reynolds
“Pseudo Slang is the thinking fan’s kind of hip-hop”
- Chicago Sun Times
Monday, September 26, 2011
Special thanks to film extraordinaire Dominic Young and Loyal Brothers Films for allowing us an opportunity to clothe a major character in the upcoming independent film, "Life's A Gamble". Debuting at film festivals all over the country, including SXSW and Tribeca, this project will show the struggles of poverty through the eyes of a man trying to provide for his family.
Pictured are Anwan Glover, Tray Chaney (both from HBO's "The Wire") and upcoming actor Thomas Bartley (from "The House Of Malik"), who's rocking our Grape Blue Cluster T-Shirt, on set at the film shoot.
S/O to the people at www.DOPEMusicDMV.blogspot.com for linking us up with Loyal Brothers Films.
Follow the DopeMusicBlog on Twitter HERE and follow everyone mentioned in this post by clicking on their names above.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
This streetwear brand based out of Northern Virginia is taking the fashion game to a whole new level. With visuals created by RVA-bred Simon Kim, Goonz Gear is raising the bar for those wanting to start their own brand. We have known Simon since '99 and he's always been one to create buzz amongst those around him, and this is just a natural step in his entrepreneurial enterprising.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
We met Duck Down Records recording artist Skyzoo in front of legendary Baltimore streetwear boutique Ped-X on his way to perform at Ottobar.
Humble and talented, Skyzoo continuously blesses us with media emails giving Grape his most recent recorded material.
Below is Skyzoo shouting out Grape.
Following the video is his most recent addition to the Hip Hop world.
"For this week's Penny Freestyle Series, we conclude with "Wikipedia Rap" ("failure" freestyle). This is the final entry in the Penny Series, and below is a link for the entire collection, in case you missed any of the previous weeks. Thanx for the tremendous support throughout the series. ALSO, tonight, catch me live at Southpaw: 125 Fifth Ave, Brooklyn, along with Jesse Abraham, L.A., Final Outlaw, Premrock, and more..."
Friday, September 23, 2011
Don't get trampled over by your grind. Don't let it hurt the lives of those around you either. Be focused, but make time for the people and things you love. Sure, success seems fleeting and it would appear that every minute counts, but feeling energized by your loved ones is a reason to have drive. No relationship should be parasitic.
1: the quality or state of being able
2: mental, or legal power to perform, b): competence in doing, c): skill
3: natural aptitude or acquired proficiency
I've been busy. I know, you know, but no, you don't. Sometimes you have to stop and say, "what is it that I am not doing and why?" Then you have to stop and say,"you know, maybe I should give that a try", as ignorance is the enemy of the productive mind. I've applied, and am applying, my "abilities" in ways I have never before and the experience has been mind blowing! To you I say this: (Change + Growth) X Learning = Evolution. See you next mission.......
Monday, September 19, 2011
Just released is our first attempt, as a brand, to battle one of the ugliest diseases in existence.
Breast Cancer takes lives away from the world all too often, and with your help, we can help fund one of the greatest agencies to grace our planet.
ALL profits from the purchase of this shirt will be sent to the American Cancer Society of Richmond and their latest fund-raising event Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.
We have employed Texas-based ink specialists, McBee's, to custom-make a pink plastisol ink that matches the pantone number (237) most commonly related to the iconic Breast Cancer ribbon. We will hand-print these garments, replacing our branding on the sleeve with an image of the Breast Cancer ribbon so that purchasers can hopefully be approached and questioned by those around them.
The American Cancer Society strongly urges those to understand their purpose. They not only help fund research used to battle, and eventually eradicate, this destructive illness, but they also help victims through chemotherapy by purchasing and delivering medicines and groceries to those sufferers who do not have the strength to do so.
They help purchase wigs for those losing hair due to radiation treatment, they purchase breast prostheses for patients who undergo augmentation surgeries, and create and run support groups for survivors, current Cancer victims, and their family and friends.
Please help Grape in our efforts to bring an end to the tragedy that is Breast Cancer. We are offering our tees at the lowest price we have ever made available and will make sure your donations are given promptly to the American Cancer Society to ensure extra funding to one fo the greatest non-profit businesses of our generation.
$15 is all we ask to help fight Breast Cancer. Donations are also welcome, and can easily be made by visiting http://www.StridesRichmond.org
You can also join Grape's Team by clicking HERE and can order this Limited Edition t-shirt by clicking HERE !!!
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Joe Cool comes with a track a lot of people on the come up can relate
to. Here is "I wanna sell drugs", a leak off of his upcoming project Cooley Hi.
Download link: http://limelinx.com/files/
Being at both days of RVA Music Fest really allowed the locals to see what we have to offer, and among other products flying out of stock, our first SnapBacks are down to only one hat in Forest Green and one in Grey.
Response to these Grape additions have been great and we can't wait to get to work on the next batch.
Thank you, everyone!
The Grape Snapback modeled by Sarah Collins.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Quoddy Workshop - Lewiston, Maine from Oliver Wilkins on Vimeo.
Their craftsmanship is amazing.
This is what life should be about.
Quality over quantity.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
At one of my recent shows I was questioned about the crown I wear during performances. My Grand Inquisitor proceeded to go on a small rant where she categorized me as "trying too hard to be different". She ended her Sidewalk Soapbox performance by telling me I’d look nice in a Tee and Jordans, but that I should do away with the crown. Her advice, though completely unsolicited, made me think about how dull rap shows have become. It’s bad enough that most mainstream rap exists as trite outbursts of the subconscious. Should we acquiesce to poor showmanship as well?
Thanks to my parents, I grew up watching Parliament Funkadelic and Earth, Wind, and Fire shows. Images of a diaper-clad guitarist, Motherships, and bedazzled glasses come to mind upon reminiscing. These were people who had a philosophy behind their music. They took you on a journey and brought feelings to life. They were live music videos.
Even outside of the Funk, the King of Pop always arrived in costume. He had a vision for himself and and for the fans. He made the music feel greater on stage and created an atmosphere. That’s what live shows are about, atmosphere. Sadly, it seems rap lacks that type of creativity overall.
Many times you’re at a show and it’s just a guy in a Tee and Jordans. He’s saying some words and telling you to put your hands up. Nothing really relates. He may even have other people on the stage who aren’t really doing anything but standing there filling up the empty space. You don’t go on any journey, you stay in the same room. I have felt guilty of this myself.
So I developed a philosophy for my music, an image of who I see myself as. I want an empire of my own that spans music and business. I’ve combined my wit and intellect into a strategy for conquest. I am not a King. Kings have one country. Emperors have many. I have my sights set on the globe, hence the crown.
And as soon as I did it, guess what people said: “he’s trying to be Kanye.” You know what’s funny? It seems Kanye is the only artist willing to have fun with rap showmanship. Nicki Minaj does it as well, and everyone says she’s trying to be Gaga. But really, they’re just trying to add character to the music and give the people what they’re paying for.
That’s why Prada employed Rem Koolhaus to design their stores. They wanted to create an atmosphere that enhanced the stories behind their brands. As artists, we are required to give people a show.
The problem isn't people trying too hard, it's people not trying hard enough. Not trying at all. Being different has nothing to do with standing out. It's about becoming the best YOU, the best individual. You'll stand out naturally being the best you can be.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
We researched who was on the bill and started obtaining contact information on two particular artists. One was Purple Republic representer Michael Millions. His flow accents what we recognize as the" Fly Life". It's not the new version of what some Hip Hop culture has embraced: staying high and bragging about it. It's being cool in your own skin. Enjoying your passions and creating your own path. Expressing how proud you are of the unique gifts your Higher Power has bestowed upon you. Mike Millions let's the public feel his words
through clever rhymes and great beat selections - mainly through family members/producers NameBrand and HardWork. We blessed Millions with the shirt you see above and were hype to see him adorn it on stage the night of the show.
The other artist we reached out to was one-third of RVA pioneers Suburban District, emcee and VCU student Tim Porter. We saw his energy on YouTube, heard his explosive and truthful delivery on one of Suburban District's first albums, "Don't Mind Us, We're Just The Future", and instantly knew he was a perfect candidate to sport one of our first designs. Tim was very supportive and gave a great performance that evening.
Our fan base grew exponentially after that night due to not only showing the city that quality was our main focus, but because some of Richmond's most established artists recognized Grape as an official brand, one they could incorporate into their live show and wardrobe.
Receiving an "@ mention" on Twitter from Maybach Music Group recording artist Audra The Rapper and shaking hands with Richmond-legend and nationally-known emcee Skillz made this event change the way we viewed our presence.
In the dark confines of Broad St. restaurant The Camel, we met Audra for the first time, established a relationship that has grown into sponsorship, and met a myriad of other influential members of RVA's Hip Hop community. Sales were great and hundreds more stickers were handed out and eventually seen plastered in venues we hadn't even frequented yet.
As you all know, Grape linked with West Coast Kix to release a shirt where profits are being given to the American Red Cross. There were only 24 tees made, with only a few random sizes left over in the shop, so go visit them at 3016 West Cary Street, Richmond, VA 23221
From the compilation The Sun Still Rises In The East, released March 15, 2011, comes another piece of art to help our friends in Japan. This is one of the compilation's tracks released by Holland artist Benjamin Diggins & Fat Beats Records artists Pseudo Slang, featuring Dutch rapper/producer Joe Kickass.
This project gave 100% of their profits to Red Cross UK's Japan Tsunami Appeal.
Funds have already been dispersed, but please take a listen to this track, as Grape will indefinitely be working with Pseudo Slang in the future.
Shout outs to Emcee Sick, Chris Bonta & Fat Beats Records !!!
Monday, September 12, 2011
1. ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something.
2. to supply with electricity or other means of power:
3. great or marked ability to do or act; strength; might; force.
6 Days. 6 amazing days. It all started with Pastor Troy screaming "Fuck all yall up north niggaz!" This was followed by that pop that speakers only make when the electricity is gone.
Darkness then took me by my drunken hand and sat me at the table of deprivation. From there I got one more warm shower. Then came an innumerable amount on 40's, warm 40's, 5 more cold showers, smoke, and so much contemplation, sometimes within the embrace of one another.
Crazy right? We did this show that was so weird, but you can go to RVAMAG.com to hear about that. So now I'm sitting here, Lil Wayne's attempting to brainwash me, "Two Shots of Whateva," "Two Shots of Whateva," and I really can't tell you the difference, only that everything is different. You know how like when you sit in a room and its silent but you can still hear things? That's where I'm at.
Oh, and what's all this got to do with power? I never lost mine, my house just lost its electricity for a bit.
The lights flicker, the growling wind approaches, thunder claps - and light is no more.
Another flicker, this time from a butane lighter, and the room is lit up again.
Grape will continue to push on amidst the storm. Hurricane Irene brought thousands of people into darkness. This only made us stronger. She presented an opportunity to enrich our minds through reading; strengthen family through forced quality time; and grow artistically via the oldest night light in history: the candle.
Irene may have stopped our electricity, but it didn't stop the grind.
Grape will prevail, light or dark.
Friday, September 9, 2011
Its always about the money. Of course the love drives you to create, and the admiration of that which you create funnels extra fuel in the tank. At the end of it all, however, no one really desires to be a starving artist. La Vie Boheme may sound appealing in Rent, but will not suffice when your landlord seeks funds you can't provide.
ALL businesses must generate profits. If you're an aspiring musician, the consider yourself a startup company with a minimum of five years to reach your breakeven point (when you expect to pay off all debts). Master personal branding strategies to increase visibility and leverage a fanbase. Place as much of yourself, or rather the person/character you want people to see you as, into your overall music and performances. Know your target audience.
This doesn't differ much from a regular business strategy; but in an industry with no clear business model, it is imperative that you do what you can to hedge your bets. Thinking of ways to make your passion lucrative is not selling out, it's cashing in. It's ensuring that you always have a way to fund yourself and eat when your endeavors hit a rough patch or a natural disaster occurs. One of the first questions asked of entrepreneurs pitching startups in the non-profit sector is this: How is it going to be profitable? That question doesn't suggest how the business will pay salaries to its internal hierarchy, but rather begs the question of how the business will sustain itself.
So in reality, instead of asking yourself how you'll generate profits, the real question is this: How am I going to sustain myself? When you set this type of mandate on your art, it shifts from being a small desire to a necessity. Your survival instincts kick in and your brain reconfigures itself to accommodate your new goals.
The money has nothing to do with the acquisition of a Louvre piece or establishing a trust fund for your kids. It's not about amassing a fortune to flaunt a Bugatti in your video, or worse, exacerbate your debt. At the very crux of it all, the profits are about deepening your roots in rough soil so you can survive. Artists tend to toss money in the air in hopes of seeing returns. We usually haven't set a minimum for what our required return should be.
I'll say this until I die. Set goals. Profitability should always be one of your goals because it is what allows YOU as an individual to support yourself, even when others won't or can't. Goals should be S.M.A.R.T. ( Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely). For more on goal-setting go here:http://topachievement.
Just as I was about to rest my head, I came across this:
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Phil The Thrill - Flight Effect (Video)
Monday, September 5, 2011
Directors: Lord Slugg/Black Liq/BCMusic1st
Filmed on Broad St. in Richmond, VA
Friday, September 2, 2011
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Marc Cheatham of The Cheats Movement Blog & Grape Cloth captured an impromptu street cypher in front of RVA venue The Camel.
The New Juice Crew was represented that night by members BCMusic1st, Black Liquid & Emphasys The Prince.
These dudes spit off the top - this isn't your average mixtape "Freestyle"...
That's why Richmond & Grape rock with them so hard.