One of my favorite things in the world about doing this rap thing is as I progress I’ve gotten to meet some of the people that I admire most. Sometimes you get to do a show with ‘em, maybe even a song…. But when you meet people that you knew only through music and were fans of and then begin a friendship that becomes something better. That is what it’s all about. Because really, being an artist isn’t about gaining exposure and making the money, its about connecting with other like-minded artists that do what they love just as much as you do and you do the same thing. Money just allows you to continue doing it. Sounds simple and cliche and maybe even a little childish, but if you are being honest- you probably agree.
This tour marks a big stepping stone for me because I knew of both of these artists before they knew me and I respected them and were enormous fans of their work before we ever spoke. So to be crafting a tour and going on this journey with them means a lot.
PEEP> GAME> (Continues below)
A brief history:
Around 2005, I began working on my first solo project, The Basics. I had become friends with this guy named Slouch through myspace who made some beats that I thought were pretty amazing. See Suave, Whisper Whisper and the entire Lights for the Dark Nights EP. As we began to work together on music, he was also working with this guy named Symmetry out of Rhode Island – Sym, in my opinion sounded like a white version of Black Thought from The Roots. But he could also sing! I was hooked, Slouch showed me a few of the songs they were working on which were mostly comedy songs, one about him being on a fantasy island, another about him being a cartoon but occasionally they would drift into the world of seriousness and his real talent would shine.
Long story short, My zeal for his talent inspired me to fly Symmetry out to Seattle for a show with myself, Macklemore and Grieves (Crazyness, I know). We got to hang out and do a show together. It was a brief but good visit. For him, it opened many doors – the big one being his album with Ryan Lewis which is a fantastic record and I feel blessed in having a hand in making that project possible. Over the years our communication has been spotty at best but we kept tabs on each other and one day as I was planning out this new tour I was listening to his album Dusty Pickup, which I consider one of the best hip hop records of the last 10 years, and realized that I want this guy to be a part of this. I called him up and his enthusiasm was palpable. On the edge of finishing his newest album, he told me he had refocused on music, as had I, and is more than excited to do his FIRST west coast tour. And I couldn’t be happier about providing him and the people of the west coast to see one of the hidden gems in underground hip hop – Symmetry.
JFK…. There aren’t really words to explain this guy. His flow is unlike anyone else in the game and he has a character to match – in and out of the booth, I was introduced to JFK way late. Although he has been a vet in the scene for some time now, one half of Grayskul, the legendary Seattle hip hop group that with Boom Bap Project, was the first Seattle group to get signed by Rhymesayers, I never knew who he was or took notice. That is until I heard Scarecrow, the first single off of there latest Rhymesayers release Bloody Radio. On that beat, he redefines flow. If you are an MC you will understand this – JFK is the type of MC that when you hear him rap, it inspires you to be better and makes you almost want to quit because you know you probably can’t ever be that dope. That’s how I felt after hearing his verse on Scarecrow – just ridiculously talented.
So when we (The Let Go) were able to do a song with him, I was all for it – see Stand My Ground off of our album Morning Comes. A few months after we did the song, JFK and I found ourselves drunkenly talking shit about our own verses on the song and complimenting the others. To this day, I have no idea if he was being serious or not but the exchange made me feel foolish enough to attempt the offer of asking him to tour with me. He was down and here we are.
I can’t tell you how excited I am. For myself and for you guys, If I was just a fan and not part of this show, I would not miss this line-up and if I’m not on stage, you can bet I will be front row watching these two perform every night.
JFK, Kublakai, Symmetry – West Coast Spring Tour – Break the Leg.