Sweeps in Sav City
The Slumplordz were formed in Oakland, CA in 1997 with no preconceived notion or expectation. The only idea the Lordz ever had was to make the type of bumping ass hip-hop not seen since the early 1990's. Like most long-term hip-hop heads, the Slumplordz had grown to a point where the music they had loved since it's inception (hip-hop), no longer appealed to them. It was not that their love of the music had diminished, but rather that the quality of it had reached an unbearable level. Whether considering the production and lyrical content of contemporary hip-hop on the radio, in music videos, or on the shelves of record stores, it was clear that the only way to bring back innovative hip-hop was to make it. With the help of friends who started the label Knock Factor, and it's earlier incarnation Math Sound Workshop, a plan forged to market the group's music to the public at large. So who are these Slumplordz? Well simply put, they are a collective of MCs and Producers who live and love hip-hop. The groups members include: Ogre, Irahktherigor, Hard Rard, Gravy, Dave Doses, & The Littest. Within the Lordz camp, we find not only individual artists and producers, but also a number of groups including SunnMoonSekt (featuring Rard & Irahktherigor), The Yakuza (featuring Ogre & Rard), & The Original Raw Elements (featuring T, Gravy, & Ogre) among others. Having grown up in Oakland California during the socially charged 1980s, each Slumplord was influenced by a wide range of music and sociopolitical thought. Life long fans of hip-hop, it was natural to express themselves through the medium and not surprisingly, each member had been involved in a group prior to 97'. The trio of Ogre, Gravy, and The Littest were all members of 1993's Elements. Ogre and Gravy were each respectively involved in Longevity (93/94) and Fall Out Shelter (96). Dave Doses had been a member of the L.A. based group Metamorphosis (96), while Rard and Irahktherigor respectivelybelonged to the East Coast based Devious Dysfunctional (96) and Oakland's own Young & The Restless (93). The Lordz' first offering as a crew, was a 1999 self-titled LP by SunnMoonSekt. Although always recognized as some of the Bay Area's best underground MC's, it took the raw and experimental SunnMoonSekt release, for critics and writers to take notice of the Lordz unique sound. Fans tuned on to the group via the Internet, record pools, college radio, and small retail outlets. Though Rard and Moon were the first to be introduced to the public, tracks like 'Twisted Metal' and 'Eight Fold' (which featured Ogre and Gravy) had fans asking about the other Lordz. The underground buzz around The Slumplordz was made official with the release of 2000's 'Yakuza' LP, along with the re-release of the group's seminal 'SunnMookSekt' album (both of which were distributed by WEA--Warner Elektra Atlantic). Following the success of 2000's releases, the Lordz took a self-imposed hiatus. Fueled in part by the vicissitudes of every day living, and more heavily by litigation brought on by a breach of contract by a one time Bay Area based label, the group appeared to be reaching it's end. The Lordz were more concerned with the day-to-day living than with beat making or word crafting. "I wasn't really feeling the whole music scene after everything went down with Stray (former Indie label)", says Moon. "I was always making beats and working on flows, but it took a minute to reset after that shit!" This sentiment held true for each of The Slumplordz, until 2004, when Gravy began to condense his individual tracks into one cohesive album, the yet to be released 'Searching' LP. As work on Gravy's album increased, the entire Slumplordz camp began to rekindle the flames of their musical ambitions. Numerous projects began at once. With a growing catalogue of new music, the group, now reinvigorated, decided to release two LPs in 2006, starting with 'The Sweeps' (a group featuring Dave Doses and Hard Rard) and then 'Searching' (Gravy's solo release). The Sweeps' album, like that of The SunnMookSekt's before it, features all the members of the Slumplordz, although starring Dave and Rard. The work was the culmination of the tumultuous years following their releases of 2000. It is a reflective album, which holds true to Lordz's roots, while demonstrating the groups maturity. Tracks like "Use Your Mind", featuring poet Danny Harris, break the mold, by encouraging listeners to use their minds, while revealing the fact that they are blinded sheeple, consuming without pause to satisfy their insatiable appetites. On the track "Folx", Hard Rard laments a friend run amuck, when he sings, "I wish you'd wake up and stop f***ing up. I know it's time to move on, but a nigga just feels stuck. I know you're running out of time, and used your last ounce of luck. And now them thoughts in your mind, got you falling!" For fans of the Slumplordz, their latest effort will be a much-welcomed return. The Sweeps release has been described as sonically falling somewhere between the SunnMoonSekt and Yakuza albums. As one fan from the East Coast said, "I'm feeling that SunnMoon album. My home boy is on that Yakuza shit...but right now, we both agree, the Sweeps album is the hardest!" Whether you are a fan of the Lordz or just a casual listener, the upcoming releases promise to be thought provoking if nothing more. Rest assured! The Lordz are back! ---but then again...they never went anywhere.