To the joy of their fans, and the apparent dismay of their detractors, Da Korum has come out of hiding to release their latest and most ambitious Mormon Hip-Hop offering to date: What I$ Reality?: Da Concept Album. Instead of being discouraged by the Philistines who lack the high level of cognitive abstraction necessary to understand their work, Da Korum has stuck a metaphorical stick in those eyes and ears by creating a complex, deep concept album worthy to sit between your copies of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and its sister album Ringo the 4th.
Even more astonishing than the brilliant depths that this album has uncovered for the first time in all musical history is the fact that masterminds Valiant B and MC Hot Drankz were willing to sit down with me (for the second time) and talk about this momentous album and its inevitable future impact on the music industry.
(special note – the editor has kindly cleaned up the worst spelling and grammar errors found throughout this article) Continue Reading →
Garrett Gibbons describes himself as a visual storyteller. He’s actually an autodidact jack of all trades in the direction and production of film of all kinds. According to his bio, he has worked with clients from Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Island Def Jam Motown Music Group, and musicians from around the world. He has also worked with LDS musicians Colby Miller and Alma Sanjo. Garrett lent us some time to answer a few questions about Seattle-based Indie hip hop, the blending of dance, video, and music, and of course, Justin Bieber.
I finally loaded Da Korum’s latest EP into iTunes yesterday. Based on all the hype surrounding Worlds Without Numba, I was expecting a masterpiece.
It’s a piece alright. This was the longest 11.5 minutes of my life. I have had visits to the dentist that were less painful. I would rather see Betty White naked (and confess it to my bishop) than listen to this album again.
I will spare you the horror of listening to this album by describing this (I hesitate to call it “musical”) train wreck. So horrific, in fact, that I’m sure it will cause many “Nights without Slumba”.
A quick run-down of the tracks:
“Back (4 Tha Furst Time)”: My main recollection of this song was that they said “yo” an awful lot and mentioned R.L. Stine. Though the Goosebumps series would hardly qualify as high literature, I was pleasantly surprised to hear they read at all. A third grade reading level is apropos; that seems to be their emotional age.
“U Don’t Understand Me” feat. Grizelle: I had already assumed Da Korum were a couple of 20-somethings still living at home. This song confirmed my suspicions with the line, “when I turned 18, I ran away from home and worked at Arby’s for two weeks until I moved back home.” Is it even possible to run away from home once you’re 18? Though I can hardly stomach listening to a couple of spoiled adult children rap about how rough their lives are, I actually felt sorry for the dude who went to summer camp and didn’t earn a single merit badge. He breaks down and cries right in the midst of recording. Why didn’t they edit that part out? I’m guessing they spent all their allowance and had no money left to cover the costs of re-doing the vocals. Studio time IS expensive. Despite all of that, this song is probably the highlight of the CD. I am impressed with the female vocals. I am amazed that they even speak to girls, let alone convince them to appear on a record. She probably just works for the studio.
“Worldz Without Numba”: This is easily the worst astronomy lesson ever taught. If the members of Da Korum actually received high school diplomas, they should be taken away immediately and all their teachers should be fired. Do they even teach spelling in school anymore? They change “care” to “ker” so they can rhyme with “err” (which is their new version of “air”). Did you not realize “care” and “air” already rhymed?
Da Korum seem to be sadly ignorant of how sadly ignorant they are. They even attempt to dazzle us with their knowledge of the Theory of Relativity. I wouldn’t be surprised if Einstein starts to haunt them for this botch job.
Rap duo Da Korum are a paradox to most listeners. Since they began recording music together, people wondered how two white Latter-day Saints from Knoxville, Tennessee with very different perspectives in life could succeed in hip hop. However, they have both beat the odds in very interesting ways with creative local shows and an unashamed, honest attitude towards their religious beliefs and upbringing. MC Hot Drankz and Valiant B accepted an Internet chat interview (and allowed us to correct their spelling and grammar) to hopefully resolve some of the questions we had for the group, and have even allowed us an exclusive peek into one of their upcoming singles. A Linescratchers exclusive.
Da Korum has made their latest single, “Back (4 Tha First Time)” available to Linescratchers listeners at the end of this interview!
So just for the record, both of you are Mormons, right?
VB: Yeah we both Mormons.
HD: I am for the most part. LOL
How did you guys meet each other and decide to work together?
VB: Actually we both worked at Target when we were 19. Drankz used to bring a CD player to work when he was stocking shelves and it was always music I dug so finally I asked him if he raps.
HD: It was foreordained. It was only a matter of time before we were playing shows.
VB: Yeah, we just got together and would freestyle to each other while we were working, and we discovered that our thinking is like on the same wavelength sometimes. Continue Reading →
Linescratchers has a long history with Young Sim. He was one of our first interviews way back in 2008. A year later, I did a podcast interviewing him about his childhood, and I later wrote an in-depth account, from Sim’s own words, of his family’s escape from the murderous Samuel Doe, dictator of Liberia. You could say that Sim has been one of our strongest and most ardent supporters since the very beginning. Now, Sim’s Feel Good Music Coalition has been expanding by leaps and bounds; “Teach Me How To Jimmer,” a less-than-serious rap about Jimmer Fredette written by Sim and his colleagues, has a million views on YouTube; and Sim has just now released a new album called Audio Diary. In this interview, Sim talks about his recent successes, his inspirations, and his plans for a grand takeover of the future of music. Continue Reading →
Whenever religion, politics, and hip hop collide, the result is always something to look for. So it is with Phoenix-based rapper Arhythmatik, whose clever, creative beats and words never tip-toe around controversial or taboo topics, without resorting to the language or vulgarity of some other artists. A devout Mormon, producer, emcee, underground musician, and father of three, Arhythmatik is a satisfying blend of seemingly different influences and experiences.
Arhythmatik has been very involved in the LDS music community and is hoping to bring together LDS hip hop artists all over Utah and the West to create a monthly concert showcase, and is releasing one song a month for the next 12 months. For an interesting interview with an ambitious, principled rapper, read on. Continue Reading →
When I was 13, my best friend Travis and I stumbled onto an Isaac Hayes record, which set us on a path of searching out funk, soul and R&B artists of the ’70s. Needless to say, when Dr. Dre began sampling George Clinton songs in the early ’90s, we quickly became big fans. With that disclaimer of my biased love of ’70s funk, soul and R&B of the ’70s, it is no surprise that I knew I would enjoy the album My Life by Young Sim and Definit, the opening song sampled “Ain’t Nothing But The Real Thing” by Marvin Gaye; but when I heard the soul classic “Give Me Your Love” by Vermettya Royster, sampled, I knew these guys loved the same hip hop roots as I, and that I was going to REALLY love this album. Continue Reading →
Those of you interested in the growing LDS hip hop scene will no doubt find something to love in the music of Maurice Dew. Maurice is a witty, smart rapper originally from Colorado, who has been making a name for himself in Phoenix, Arizona. Maurice, a returned missionary who has started his own record label, Pioneer Productions, has an active online presence, and frequently blogs about politics, the music industry, and current events. He is currently promoting his second album, For the People, and has answered a few questions for Linescratchers.
I’ve known Young Sim for a few years. His songs reflect who he is- hardworking, optimistic, and uplifting. Sim has been pursuing his dreams in the Salt Lake Valley, introducing his own brand of positive “feel good” rap onto the scene. This interview definitely shows Sim’s character. He is an intelligent and political young man as well, and the thing I like best about him is that he’s truly trying to make a difference in the world around him. He mentions the beginnings of hip hop culture, the corporate structure in the Music Business, and being yourself. He talks about his life on his MySpace page, if you want to know more about that, and I definitely recommend two songs, “We Grindin” and “Respect Me.”