This is the first installment of a tour diary written by Seattle's DJ Marc Sense, who's on the road with Portland luminaries Lifesavas--MCs Vursatyl and Jumbo and DJ Rev. Shines--for five weeks.
Six days into the tour ya boy is tired, but with plenty of stories to tell. You'l get an inside look at life on the road with Quannum recording artists Lifesavas, plus everything else associated with the tour. At the very least it should entertain and provide some distinct insight into four hiphop heads and their experiences.
Monday, May 14 - Minneapolis
Unquestionably, Rhymesayers runs the independent hiphop game in this era. To figure out why, you have to visit the crew's headquarters, which includes the record store Fifth Element, a basement warehouse, and offices upstairs. Economic efficiency at its best. But the real engine lies in the personnel that operate the grassroots company.
During Lifesavas' in-store performance, the likes of Slug of Atmosphere, Siddiq (Rhymesayers co-founder), Kevin Beacham (Scribble Jam organizer), and J-Bird (Rhymesayers vice president) all came down to check things out. That core group has worked together as crew for over seven years and as peers for much longer. Their loyalty to one another and the label's artists has pushed them to the top spot in the independent hiphop game.
Wednesday, May 16 - Chicago
J-Dilla's impact on hiphop music runs so deep. Lifesavas' good friend Ben took us out for a late dinner of tapas, which hit the spot. But as good as the food tasted, the guys lit up when we got back to his spot and they discovered his 500+ songs produced by Dilla, including many unreleased beat tapes. And when I say tapes, I mean literally cassettes with reels.
Shines mentioned that he had quite a few of them that had somehow gotten lost. So when Ben had some of those same beats it took Shines back to his brief stay in Connecticut in the late 1990s. One of the tracks sounded quite familiar to my ear, since One Be Lo had recorded a song over it. Even Vursatyl, whose main duty is rocking the mic, collects Dilla-produced vinyl.
Continue reading "Lifesavas Tour Diary: Evolution Happens" »