YO! HONESTLY I'VE BEEN BOOKING MORE LIVE PERFORMANCES, GETTING INTO SHAPE, AND TRYNNA EAT A LIL' HEALTHIER YOU FEEL ME? LOL. ANYWAYS I'M FEELIN' HELLA GOOD ABOUT THIS SPRING SEASON OF 2017.
FOR TODAY'S #WAVYWEDNESDAY SEGMENT, I UPLOADED A PROMO VIDEO FROM THE DOASC NIGHTS EVENT THAT I HAD THE PLEASURE TO BE PART OF TWO WEEKS AGO. ALSO, GOT ANOTHER GIG LINED FOR THIS SATURDAY NIGHT WITH THE RUDEBOYENTERTAINMENT CAMPS/SPONSORS, AND ANOTHER BIG SHOW ANNOUNCEMENT COMING SOON!
SHOT & EDITED BY ZUSE THE ARTIST.
MUSIC BY WILD.
Hip Hop & Rap has a prolific reputation for promoting drugs, violence, and gangs. Through the decades, those topics have remained recurring themes in many hip hop and rap songs; from old school rap artists like 2Pac and Mobb Deep, to modern rap artists like Kendrick Lamar and YG. This week’s Track Tuesday segment features “BLOODz & CRIPz,” a new song by GIM$ and OE. Produced by The ScreamMaker, GIM$ and OE bring a different perspective on gangs. GIM$, a former Blood member, has been studying various doctrine and researching on his own, which has developed into his new awakened outlook on the world. On the other hand, OE is a member of the Crips and expresses his own take on his experience in gang affiliation.
“BLOODz & CRIPz” has a dark sounding beat and strong lyrical content, but the message is much deeper. “Many folks don’t know but the Bloodz and Cripz were originally buddies back then. They saw the mistreatment of their communities at the hands of reckless police officers, politicians, and other government officials,” said GIM$. The state of Hawaii, although widely known as a “paradise,” is also home to gangs, violence, and oppression; which is sadly and largely targeted at the native Hawaiian population and other polynesian ethnic groups (Samoan, Tongan, Marshallese, etc). GIM$ feels strongly about this topic because he is part Hawaiian, and considers himself a leader in his community and seeks to “wake up” his brothers and sisters, starting with the ones already in gangs (or being influenced to join one). “I used to roll with the Bloodz, but not anymore. I still got love for them, but I can’t be fighting against my own blood. I see fellow Hawaiians reppin’ red, and fighting other Hawaiians who are repping blue. That pisses me off because I could be fighting and/or killing my family just because they rep’ a stupid color. I believe the government wants us to be like that, to see us fighting each other rather than uniting with one another,” said GIM$.
GIM$ and OE are both members in 808 Lava Squad Mafia, a team of talented Hip Hop artists based in the island of Maui. The two members collaborated on “BLOODz & CRIPz,” and OE is on his way to establishing himself as a serious artist as part of the group as well a solo artist. “Inspiration for the song came to us pretty naturally. We see how the people of today ‘claim sets’ but they are blind to even understand that the ‘set’ was originally created to protect the neighborhood; not from other gangs, but actually from the police and other people that try to harm the city,” said OE. Although OE is a proud Crip, he states that he has the sense to recognize the misunderstanding in his generation when it comes to gangs. “To me, my gang is my family and we protect each member and their families. It can get ugly at times, but my personal concern is protection rather than retaliation,” said OE.
In my opinion, “Bloodz & Cripz” is a dope track with a dope, deep message. GIM$, a former blood member, and OE, a current Crip, essentially band their flags together on this new track as a cry for peace amongst each other’s gang affiliations. I challenge anyone to take a listen to it. What’s most interesting, I believe, is to comprehend that the stories shared on this track are by young men in Hawaii. There are many similar issues that Hawaii’s low-income and Polynesian demographic face, much like stories from the “hoods” around the rest of the U.S. At its core, this new song challenges the next generation to “wake up” and become more aware of not just issues regarding gangs, but also the many other issues our society faces - poverty, homelessness, racism, classism, colorism, etc.
“BLOODz & CRIPz” is one of the track from GIM$’ upcoming solo mixtape, “Freedom Rhymer.” The project does not have a due date yet, but GIM$ continues to work on it every day. He has also openly stated that he is done rapping about parties and drugs and has instead chosen to put more deeper content into his music, as music is his way of spreading the truth. For more, follow GIM$ on SoundCloud.
808 Lava Squad Mafia, outside for their recent album release party in Lahaina, Maui.
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.
OTDHipHop is an independent music blog and network, curated by Rapper/Blogger Jehzan Exclusive.