A few weeks ago, a high school kid named $eth Balai hit me up on Twitter, and was interested in some collab work and I told him I could get him on my blog as well. My honest first impression was that he was probably just a youngin’ frontin’ like a serious rapper, but I stand corrected y'all. Check out this week’s “Track Tuesday” segment featuring onb$eth Balai’s latest track - “Birthday” (Prod. By Lowkey).
“Birthday” is a recent single that $eth Balai got inspired to write in the spirit of celebration and of course his own birthday. I personally describe the song’s vibe as Eazy-E’s “My 64” meets Trey Songz..and honestly I mean all of that in a good way. The best is dope, lyrics are chill and easy to follow, and it has steez. $eth Balai is an an up and coming underground Hip Hop Artist/Rapper and Castle High School junior (℅ 2018) from Kaneohe, HI.
With other artistically prolific Kaneohe role models like Koins, I would say that $eth will be an artist to watch in the coming years as he continues to develop his sound. “Pretty much after high school graduation, I plan to move in with some friends in LA and start building my career from there. I want to tour and I want to make it big. This is plan A,” said $eth. Check out $eth Balai’s “Birthday” track, and hear more of his music via Soundcloud.
Back in January, I interviewed Acid Droppin’ N.M.C, a Hip Hop artist from White Center, WA. Acid and his crew, Troublesome ENT, have been pushing out various content this past year. With that said, this week’s Track Tuesday segment features another Troublesome member, Joey Chambers, and his latest track, “Started in the Basement.”
Produced by Milo Waves, “Started in the Basement” is the first single off of Joey Chamber’s upcoming mixtape. The 19 year old Hip Hop artist/rapper is the younger brother of Acid Droppin’ N.M.C. The two brothers run Troublesome, a collective of artists based in their hometown, White Center. Joey’s newest track stays true to his 90s classic Hip Hop style mixed with aggressive lyricism and storytelling. The song speaks on his personal struggles and challenges, and how he uses music as a means of expression, with hopes to make it big. “People like Joey Badass that keep the real hip hop alive don't get much recognition. It’s all about the beat and flow now, let's take it back to the lyrics. That's what I really want to accomplish with my music but also spread my message and just keep it real,” said Joey Chambers.
Joey Chambers and Troublesome ENT continues to record music in Acid Droppin’ N.M.C’s room/home studio, but these young men are making it work. Both brothers have competed in Team Backpack’s Mission Underground event (online and live auditions) for the past two years. The event was most recently held in Brooklyn in May 2016. Although neither made it passed the preliminary rounds, they were able to be part of more cyphers and networked heavily. “I straight freestyled my performance (haha) but I think we did pretty good. People know who we are, we hit up a few cyphers, and networked the whole time,” said Joey Chambers. Stay tuned for more of Joey Chambers and Troublesome ENT by subscribing to on YouTube, and following Joey’s SoundCloud.
Acid Droppin' N.M.C (White Center, WA)
The use of psychedelic drugs and their unique effects on the human psyche has been popularly debated. Some of the world’s most innovative icons have been said to have taken LSD, and even credit their “acid trip” to their success. The list includes people like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Ray Charles, and Eminem. Hip Hop’s “Acid Rapper,” Chance, made huge buzz off of his “Acid Rap” mixtape; which shares a lot of his creative experiences while on LSD. Similarly, a young man from Seattle, known as Acid Droppin’ N.M.C, openly uses LSD as a way to deal with personal challenges and expand his lyricism. While I personally don’t promote illegal drug use, I can’t deny that Acid Droppin’ N.M.C. is a talented and driven young man whose nonconforming ideals has allowed him to create a growing buzz in the underground Hip Hop scene, holding a cosign from one of the biggest underground Hip Hop platforms- Team Backpack.
Acid (for short), might look like your typical northwestern white boy, but his music shows that there is more than meets the eye. From a small town in southern Seattle called “White Center,” Nicholas Micah Chambers (which is what the acronym in his moniker stand for) was born to teenage parents in the early 90s. Naturally, he was exposed to old school Hip Hop like Notorious B.I.G even as a toddler. By age 9, he was writing his own raps and kept doing it throughout the rest of his schooling. His family experienced a devastating loss due to the death of his brother. During that dark period of life, Acid was numb and depressed; so along with some friends, he tried LSD for the first time. “One drop of LSD turned me into a compassionate, understanding, peace-loving human being. To be honest, I don’t think I could have changed without it. Of course, LSD has a shock value when mentioned in conversation, but I can’t discredit the profound effect it had on me,” said Acid.
A bit of a rebellious misfit, “Ive always been kind of a bad boy, always challenging authority and quick to be mischievous,” said Acid. But, music provided him an outlet to share his frustrations or to simply forget them. Although he still occasionally takes LSD, his mindset has grown and matured. He is the cofounder of Troublesome Entertainment, a small Hip Hop collective of him, two of his brothers, and their friends. Together, they create songs and set up gigs in local studios. Most notably, Acid seemingly became an overnight quest when Team Backpack shared a video of some dope “white rapper kid” free styling at their 2015 Mission Underground event in Los Angeles. The clip has since earned more than 10,000 views on social media, and Acid’s track “High Tolerance” was shared by Team Backpack’s SoundCloud account.
Acid and his Troublesome partners plan to drop a number of mix tapes within the next year and plan to audition and participate in Mission Underground 2016, which will be held in New York this June. Like most independent artists, Acid is still growing his fan base and works to fund his dreams. However, he has upgraded to his own home studio, which acts as a hub for creativity and a central spot for the rest of his Troublesome partners to record and discuss music. Acid’s personal favorite track of his own is off his latest mixtape High Tolerance. “Who I’m Supposed 2Be” is the mixtape’s final track, and shares the Hip Hop artist’s perspective on his lifestyle and aspirations for his community. Acid stated, “Instead of putting a hook, I added a clip from the movie “The World’s End,” because the scene’s quote fueled my inspiration to continue harnessing my creativity and drive to be successful in Hip Hop.”
Be sure to check out Acid Droppin’ N.M.C. on all of his social media outlets and music via Soundcloud and YouTube.
OTDHipHop is an independent music blog and network, curated by Rapper/Blogger Jehzan Exclusive.