Kingdom Crumbs construct ascendant architecture out of beats. Their lyrical assemblages climb into and see out from edifice cakes of eyes. Levitated, ambient Brian Eno crossbeams connect sky to street, Funkadelic, and b-boy individuation. Tay Sean, Mikey Nice, Jarv Dee, and Jerm D are Seattle-based versifiers and musicians. The strength and face of their music lies in the notes and spaces they're not playing. These Crumbs live in the offbeat, in the spot hidden between girders. On their self-titled, Cloud Nice–released full-length, they rap from the unconscious, maintaining intent. Live, they wile out while provoking contemplation. Kingdom Crumbs also give the listener different levels they can get in on. There's the undeniable fun and sweat of dance grooves—or deeper, the hesitating, vacillated, human-made beats where reflection and a message take place. For this interview, we met at the International District's Panama Hotel Tea House. A fine coconut oolong was poured.
Tay: I vividly remember making that beat. I'd been listening to some Tyler, the Creator and hearing this drastic juxtaposition of atonal sounds paired with melody. Tyler's "Yonkers" cut had just come out. It starts off with a dissonant pulse, and then he comes in with pretty chords later in the song and layers them together at points. When I started making the beat for "Both Sides," I had the bass sounds at the interval of a sixth—six half-steps from where the root key on the chord starts. That interval has this atonal tension to it, like the lines aren't in the same key.
Tay: Tones that don't fall in our normal Western diatonic scale.