So, most of you probably know that us Seattlites are pretty proud of our hometown, hip-hop hero Macklemore and his recent success. Well, today, we have another reason to celebrate Mr. Ben Haggerty (Macklemore’s real name), it’s his 30th birthday today! I have a feeling that the 30s are going to be pretty kind to Macklemore. He’s certainly accomplished a lot for such a young man.
We’re proud of Macklemore’s DIY roots and love to see artists take their careers into their own hands as opposed to letting them be dictated by industry “experts” who are only interested in the bottom line. So, in honor of Macklemore and DIY hip hop everywhere, we decided to feature three independent hip-hop artists that are using Brown Paper Tickets for some of their upcoming shows and tours.
One, Oakland’s Del tha Funky Homosapien, is a bonafide legend in the independent hip-hop scene but let’s hope the other two can achieve the level of success Macklemore has, while still staying true to their DIY roots. Either way, it’s great to have hip-hop artists like these out there, challenging the mainstream and pushing the musical boundaries of the genre.
Del the Funky Homosapien
One of the first names that comes to mind when one mentions “independent hip hop” is Oak-town’s own Del the Funky Homosapien. Del is the cousin of Ice Cube and began his musical career writing for Ice Cube’s crew Da Lench Mob. In 1991, at the age of 18, he released his first solo album I Wish My Brother George Was Here with the help of his cousin, who was then at the peak of his musical career. The album was a commercial success but Del was disappointed with the limited musical range of the album and subsequently severed the producer/artist relationship with his famous cousin for his next album No Need For Alarm. This album also introduced the world to the Oakland clique Hieroglyphics and the Oakland sound.
It took Del five years to release his next release Future Development. As a result of the delay he was dropped by his label Elektra and, as a result, the album was only available via the Hieroglyphics website in tape form. Eventually the album was re-released in 2002 on the Hieroglyphics Imperium label. In 2004 Elektra released The Best of Del tha Funkee Homosapien: The Elektra Years without Del’s approval. Del advised his fans not to buy the record as he saw it as an attempt by Elektra to cash in on his newfound fame.
The 2000s would see Del form the super group Deltron 3030 with Dan the Automator and Kid Koala, collaborate with UK trip hop group Gorillaz (performing on their 2001 hit single “Clint Eastwood”) and release seven more albums, many of which he made available either for free via download or pay-what-you-can.
Del is doing two nights in Texas: this Friday, June 21 in Houston at Club Riddims and Saturday, June 22 in Austin at the Flamingo Cantina. Both nights are almost sold out so get your tickets now by clicking the dates above and witness a hip-hop pioneer in action.
According to his bio, Produktive is “a youth inspired by the angst of his grunge roots, the careless attitude of punk rock, [and] the mind of a manic depressive.” Torn between a ‘mainstream’ approach and the ‘conscious’ style that’s so popular in Seattle hip-hop, the 25 year old admits that he makes music for his own enjoyment and doesn’t feel the need to cater to Northwest hip-hop audiences.
He says: “They won’t like it at first, but I have faith in the 206. Good music has always come to be appreciated, even if it’s a little stranger!”
Tickets for the White Noise release are available right over here and I suggest you pick them up quick as they’re going fast! Who knows, this may be your chance to catch Seattle’s next big hip-hop star on his way up.
Playa Rae x Trey C
Also hailing from the Bay Area is Monstaville Music‘s Play Rae and Trey C.
Born and raised in San Jose, California Playa Rae began his hip-hop career in the early 2000s, starting with his classic Hustlin City 2 City Vol. 1 in 2001 and continuing with him releasing a project almost every year since then. These projects have included such notable group projects as the Koch released GameBreakerz which saw Rae teaming up with Latin legends Gemini and Fade Dogg as well as his classic group series with fellow Bay Area artist Trey C.
Besides his own releases, Playa Rae has had a executive hand in creating and releasing a number of other fellow Bay Area artist’s projects. He noticed a real lack of resources for up and coming independent artists and created 408inc.com which offers artists a number of services such as CD duplication, web and graphic design services, online distribution and more services designed around assisting independent hip-hop artists with their careers.
Trey C was born in San Francisco and raised in the small North Bay city of Sebastopol. Trey began recording and perfecting his flow on mixtape projects. His first release Indie 500 Mixtape Series Vol. 1 was released in 2005 and featured Southern hip-hop legend Lil Flip. In 2008 Trey released the now critically acclaimed and fan favorite Showboatin’ Remix. The single was followed by a slew of projects and appearances on other artist’s projects, including his collaborations and current tour with Playa Rae.
Playa Rae and Trey C are ticketing a number of dates on their West Coast tour with Brown Paper Tickets and we couldn’t be prouder to have them on board. You can get tickets to the Seattle, Denver, Vegas, Sacramento, Sebastapol, San Luis Obispo and San Jose shows here. The tour kicks of this Friday, June 21 in San Miguel, California. You can RSVP to this show right over here.
** WARNING! This video contains language that may be offensive to some viewers. **