There are moments, artists, beats and verses in Hip Hop that cover your spirit or mood in a blanket of nostalgia. It is an indescribable joy often marked by a head nod and a smile. We connect that feeling of nostalgia to memories we have acquired or things we have learned in our personal lives. Who can't connect their favorite song or favorite album to a life memory! In a word, we call that connection THE TRUTH. The genuine and organic nature of the truth makes the truth so much more valuable as it is juxtaposed against the routine and monotony of everyday life. Its amazing how the truth just simply happens out the blue.
While Hip Hop has given me many truths of my own, I'd like to share with you one that recently covered me in its nostalgia.
I was having a Hip Hop discussion in a Hip Hop forum last Saturday. The forum is filled with mostly late 30 to early 40 year old guys who can relate to you those pioneering Hip Hop experiences of DJing in the park, working with Afrika Bambata and The Zulu Nation and other early Hip Hop comings and goings. I naturally stick out like flashing lights in a rear view mirror. I'm the youngest guy in the group, the only country boy from The South and, lets be honest, the only guy in there that listens to and acknowledges the new generation of Hip Hop music. I stick up for the artistic integrity and dopeness of our 90s-baby brothers and sisters. The culture may be commercialized more than ever now but that doesn't mean the 90 babies don't create fire.
Obviously among those old school former 1980s teenagers, I got bombarded by nay-saying and borderline hostility for my stance.
"These kids don't make anything worth listening to these days"
"Lil Wayne couldn't hold KRS-1's jock strap"
"You think Wacka Flacka and Soulja Girl are real MCs"
"They don't make real hip hop anymore"
Then out the blue one of the commenters threw me a life-line of mutual agreement. He acknowledged that there are a few new guys out here who still carry the torch of Hip Hop creativity and artistry. Lupe, J.Cole, Big KRIT, Kendrick Lamar, B.O.B, Nipsey Hussle, Vado---there are plenty young MCs capable of mastering the ceremony. I'm glad he came along and agreed with me because I was just about to cuss a few niggas out online (and we all know that's some lame shit). THEN IT HAPPENED!!!
The dude posted a link and asked me to check out the young spittas in the Youtube clip. By the time I finished the video, I was floored! I must have rewound it 10 times and of course I had my head nodding. I couldn't believe how raw and witty the four young guys were. Next thing I know I was listening to every Youtube video they had, checking out their website, following them on Twitter and texting my homies like "Yoooooooooo you niggas gotta hear this new shit I just heard. I'm bout to put you on." ...you know the usual online Hip Hop groupie shit LOL #NoHomo...
The experience was so organic! I didn't need 106 and Park to come and tell me that I need to check their song out and vote for it. I didn't need DatPiff.com to plaster banners all over their website for me to check it out. I didn't need Funk Master Flex to retweet them. I found their music the original way in which THE TRUTH is usually passed---word of mouth.
The group is called Clear Soul Forces. They are four young guys out of Detroit. They dig deep in the crates. They twist the wittiest lines into ferocious bars. They possess everything Hip Hop purist say this generation doesn't---skills! There music feels like a marriage of that hardcore street Detroit battle rap and soulful A Tribe Called Quest recording sessions. They are young and original and stay true to the principles of integrity and ability Hip Hop was born from. They have perfect balance. Raw and Smooth. Hardcore and Soulful. Tradition and Futuristic. Youth and wisdom.
The four members, E-Fav, L.A.Z., Noveliss, and Ilajide, were once separate artists following their own individual aspirations. They had come together to pay for studio time that they couldn't afford individually. That studio time would unite them in a 9 hour freestyle session for the ages. That fateful night in 2009 also gave them the opportunity to meet renown Detroit rhymer, Royce 5'9, who sat in on the freestyle session. It was Nickle Nine who suggested they combine their creative energy. And thus Clear Soul Forces was born. Since that day they have released a mixtape, an EP and a debut album. The four are self-proclaimed studio rats and rest assured more is on the way. Inside their studio dubbed "The Complex" they weave socially conscious content, poetic energy and Golden Era Hip Hop soundscapes into innovative blends of new school ambition and old school nostalgia. In a word, Clear Soul Forces is the TRUTH!
Somebody put me on and now I'm putting you on. Check out Clear Soul Forces.
CHECK OUT THE CLEAR SOUL FORCES WEBSITE HERE FOR MORE INFO AND MUSIC
FOLLOW THEM ON TWITTER @CLEARSOULFORCES