It is only right that the first local Grand Rapids MC that I post about here is Rick Chyme. I discovered his music about a year & 1/2 or so ago, first stumbling upon this acapella track on youtube. It is an amazing song , displaying a considerable measure of autobiographical vulnerability and at the same time remaining razor sharp in lyrical dexterity: “pressing the gas/could never stand for finishing last/anticipates hearing the crash/feeling the glass smash” Amazing. Really. You can download the whole album here.
Since then he has dropped two pretty great mixtapes and an album called The Field with Nixon and Coe Lacy:
Five It Till You Die Volume One: Vice City: Click here to download full album
There are some great songs but the stand out track is a song with a killer sick beat produced by Nixon (more to come on him); the song showcases more of that lyrical skill:
5iveit Til You Die Volume 2: The Verses: Click here to download full album
My favorite tack on that effort is one clever track called Calvin but really the whole project is stellar:
The Field (with Nixon and Coe Lacy): Click here to download full album
And below to listen to one more standout track from that album, a track called So Focused:
I am going to see him play at Billy’s on May 20. It sounds like it will be his last show for a month or two. If you would like to go with me give me a shout and let me know. His live show is pretty outstanding, usually culminating in a ‘throw any random objects up on stage and I’ll rap about them’ freestyle.
Keep an eye out for this guy and for the Grand Rapids hip hop scene to blow up.
p.s. all album downloads were uploaded by the artist. Download in good conscience
(A Childrens Crusade)
Last night I had the opportunity to see Muskegon based band A Childrens Crusade play at my favorite coffee shop. It was my second time seeing these guys in this venue. ACC have a really powerful guitar driven sound with with strong lead vocals and solid backing vocals/harmonies. There are moments where they remind me a lot of early Jimmy Eat World but in more places remind me a little of much lesser known Indie band Stavesacre. Either way they sound, to me at least, like they grew up on a musical diet of The Cure and Sabbath (if that makes any sense at all). I have no idea if these guys would appreciate being referenced along with any of the above named bands. But I am quite sure they wouldn’t mind my official kick ass live show endorsement. They have an EP Killing Conversation available for purchase on Amazon. I just downloaded it myself today and have been playing it to my neighbors all day. This is my favorite track from the album, A Myth, A Curse, A Lie:
And they will be playing June 19th in Muskegon at the WGRD sponsored Rockstock along with a plethora of other bands including AB & Coconut Brown and King Crabapple both of whom I saw last month at the Intersection for the Hip Hop is Living show. Good times. Meet me there?
Opening up for them last night was a band I had never seen play before called Lights at Sea. They are an instrumental band that I guess would be accurately described as “post rock.”* The only band I have heard that they reminded me of at all is Explosions in the Sky. But I am not that familiar with the instrumental/technical scene; I know there are other bands of which Explosions just happen to be one of the biggest. So that comparison may be as tired to them as the Eminem comparison is to white rappers. Someone more familiar with the genre and with instrumental rock bands may be able to provide a more precise comparison. I am really into lyrics so I do not listen to a lot of instrumental music. But these boys do put on a captivating live show. And I really do dig that kind of music for nature walks or star gazing so I think I will be picking up the EP they have available on Amazon soon as well.
Until next time make sure you support local music, keep on rocking in the free world and a million other well worn anthemic rock adages. And while you are doing so listen to some music that is not so tired and cliché as the crap they are trying to spoon feed us on the radio.
*While I love a good number of local and/or indie music acts I really tend to resist (maybe despise) such terms made up by undergound niche market mags and pitchfork-esque elitists because they are designed to make “in” and “out” groups that practice exclusivity just like the establishments rock & roll has always challenged. And I do not want to associate either one of these fine bands with that kind of indie snobbery.