It’s truly impressive to be in the presence of brilliant minds. I got my first introduction to the hip-hop scene from a selected group of individuals from the Midwest. I moved out East from the Sunny city of San Diego, CA, to a small Midwestern town of Evansville, IN. However, that’s where I found hip-hop. That’s where I found it’s smooth and connecting culture. I have often thought what it would have been like if I didn’t really know why there is such a love, specifically, for the underground culture of the hip-hop world collectively with it’s originality, in this case the Sovereign Soul.
On November 9th, 2012 at 2:45 AM PST in the LIE Show Laboratory here in North County San Diego, I had the privilege of meeting some legendary hip-hop contributors. After briefly chatting with Blest Brando and Ric Scales about the arrival some hip-hop greats, in walked those brilliant minds I referred to at the outset. Myka 9, Paranoid Castle aka Factor & Kirby Dominant, and Graves33. The group was in San Diego as they are on a tour of the Western block on the United States. The tour is called Sovereign Soul Tour 2012 based on the release of the album entitled Sovereign Soul produced by Factor with the music and lyrics written by Myka 9 himself. With 2 out of the 12 touring cities come and gone, which has stretched from the coast of Washington State to the desert of Arizona, tonight they head for Los Angeles to cause some more of the usual unequivocally intellectual fathoms.
I had an opportunity to talk to Myka 9 about the album name, which transcended down to the tour concept and name as well. Within that, blessed, conversation I asked him why the name of the album was Sovereign Soul. He responded with a very conscious answer, “I got my own things, Sovereign Soul. Like this album’s project. Be it the golden age of hip-hop but when we work together, Factor and I, the sovereignty of that collaboration is different than any other and flies in the face of all the clunky, trap, swamp stuff I like too, dubstep, whatever, electro shit, you know? It’s soul basis, more organic, more instrumentally speaking, acoustic. That’s why there’s the elephant on the cover of the Album, it’s made up of instruments. I remembered the music caliber of hip-hop. I remembered soul elements to hip-hop. Original music as well. There are no samples on this project. It’s the follow up to the last album, 1969 and I like how it has a Classic Rock feel to it.”
Our conversation took a turn towards how their tour was constructed, after I asked Myka 9 how each city was decided upon. Myka 9 said, “It was going to be a Regional run. I didn’t put that much thought into the decision. It was presented to me, and I signed off on it. Ceschi put together the tour I believe, practically booked it himself along with David and that was very helpful. Basically, when I do tour I like to tour Spring to Fall which we try to get to each city at least once a year, you know, not twice a year, that’s optimal. Since we choose the regions which we haven’t been to in awhile, like Carlsbad, I was like ‘Yeah I preformed there ten years ago.’ I thought to myself, ‘Damn, it’s been ten years.'”
After Myka 9 and I spoke, the group members got ready to make their way to Los Angeles, at the Airliner. They were organized and contemplative regarding their business, their way of life, and their show in LA tonight, November 10th. Jokes were thrown around. Great conversations were had.
Tonight, they’ll kill it.
11-11 Las Vegas, NV / Beauty Bar
11-12 Woodland, CA / The Stag
11-13 Eugene, OR / Luckey’s
11-14 Seattle, WA / Nectar Lounge
11-15 Boise, ID / The Shredder
11-16 Portland, OR / Kelly’s Olympian
To find out more information regarding where to purchase the album Sovereign Soul visit http://www.fakefourinc.com.
Information regarding each performer on the Sovereign Soul Tour 2012 is available below.
Myka 9. FREESTYLE FELLOWSHIP – As one of the founders of Freestyle Fellowship, Myka 9 shared rapping duties with Aceyalone, Self Jupiter, P.E.A.C.E., and DJ Kiilu held down the turntables. Myka’s melodic scat influenced rap style and improvisational lyrical talents were demonstrated on this group’s debut album ‘To Whom It May Concern’. Myka’s songs ‘7th Seal’ and ‘Five-o-clock follies’ were instant cla
Paranoid Castle. Bay Area emcee Kirby Dominant and Canadian producer Factor have both been at it for a decade plus, putting out consistent quality material on their respective fronts. In 2001 they found common ground, began recording together under the moniker Paranoid Castle and eventually released their debut collaboration One Way Ticket on Side Road Records in 2004. Kirby’s path to the fruits of the now was a bit bumpier than that of his contemporaries. By the age of 17 he had already been selling dope, locked up and shot. He was able to drastically shift gears and move forward at UC Berkeley, where he spent his financial aid checks on making an album. A string of successful releases on Rapitalism Records along with his Dominant Mammals collabo with Moka Only brought Kirby to the forefront of west coast indie rap and drew praise from the likes of URB Magazine and the (.. see more)
(Bio taken from Paranoid Castle’s Facebook page.)
Feature Video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTdE6J9RXo8
Factor. Starting out as a DJ in 1998, Factor has evolved into one of Western Canada’s busiest super producers. He is continuously working and touring with high caliber Canadian and American artists including: Awol One, Moka Only, Myka 9, Ceschi, Sole, Aesop Rock, Buck65, Gregory Pepper, Sunspot Jonz, Tha Liks, Xzibit, Kool Keith, Josh Martinez, Sadat X, and the Side Road Crew. He is known for continuously dropping top-notch product out of Saskatoon since the late… (…see more)
(Bio taken from website)
Graves33 grew up on drum breaks and record crates. Graves 33 hails from a background ofspinning turntables, deep raps, hard hitting beats, and has various musical influences from Classic Rock and Jazz to Hip Hop and Electronic. “If Frank Zappa and Bob Dylan merged their brains to create a Hip Hop frankenstein it would be named after Graves 33.”
(Bio taken from Graves33’s website.)
Written by Blake Byers