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Thursday, May 28, 2015

K.I.T. Interview with the The Joose Boxx

JooseBoxx.com's Lori Ann spoke with K.I.T. at Tru Speech's Forgetting Tomorrow album release party at Katz Alley in Redlands, Ca. Hear what the animated emcee/producer/singer had to say about music, singing, and Super Smash Bros. in this exclusive interview. 



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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

JooseBoxx.com and The Danger Tapes Network Present: THE JOINT REVIEW PODCAST



Once or twice a month staff writer Tristan Douglas, Mr. Sham and RasJosh Beats of the West Coast Avengers come together and do a podcast about geek and stoner culture, I.E. hip-hop and more. The Joint Review is also at SoundCloud and Dev Danger's TheDangerTapes.com. In this extra long episode the guys discuss the new Star Wars trailer, Avengers: Age of Ultron and lots on local hip-hop artists like Ppaaccee,Wonders Trillions, Hephty and more. You can check out the West Coast Avengers, their music and more at westcoastavengers.com.


Friday, May 22, 2015

West Coast Avengers' The Inland Empire Strikes Back Album Release Party (05/20/2015 @ Cal State San Bernardino in San Bernardino, Ca)


From Left to Right Top: Aldo Manuel, Ras Josh, and Jordan "Calmfixup" Meneses
Bottom: Wiggy Woo Tanjint
 and Sham
The collective? Wait, no, the band? The rap group? It's hard trying to label these guys but what I do know about them is they are a talented and DIVERSE group of musicians that go by the name West Coast Avengers. West Coast Avengers (or WCA) had the release party for their newest album The Inland Empire Strikes Back on Wednesday and it was dope! Live performances from Zzay, Notiz Yong, Nat the Lioness and Nikki Harlin were the accompanying side dishes to a superset main course mixture of cuts from the first WCA project (W.C.A.) and their latest. The night featured emcees spitting flows, poetry, turntablism, and dope beat sets from WCA's Ras Josh, Jordan "Calmfixup" Meneses, and Aldo Manuel. Check out some pics from the event below.  More after the break...

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Last Days of Cesar Solorio (Part 2 of 2)

This is is a reverse chronological set of write-ups on Cesar’s discography, streaming at cesarsolorio.bandcamp.com

*This article was written immediately after the release of Solorio’s latest album ‘SOLORIO’ early in 2015*




















The Last Days of Cesar Solorio
By Tristan “Tanjint the Wiggy Woo” Douglas






SOLORIO EP (new release- 2015)
The Solorio EP is Solorio's latest reinvention and reiteration and it is impressive. The first track is a PPAACCE Productions classic that seems like it was made for Solorio. It’s such a classic hip-hop track and the melody is cracktacular. This album is worth buying for this song hands down before you even get to the rest. “Her Prisoner” is a creative and well-written experiment with voice effects and melodramatic love stories but I’m more impressed with “With Me Tonight” as far as the love songs on this album. I said earlier in this write-up that it’s amusing to see the persona in his work evolve and this song is a great example. Earlier songs reveal a persona obsessed with young love for the sake of it, whereas “with me tonight” has a detached cool to the suitor’s entreaties that you can tell it took all the previous album’s experiences to cultivate.  “Honestly” is so much more of a calm declaration of love than his previous works. We've heard this young man grow on tracks. The song with Notiz Yong is a classic that feels like the kind of sunny I.E. scene people like Solorio have helped cultivate.


 ***

CROWN ROYAL
A nice track on a trap beat; Solorio’s flow versatility is on display here. He can rap fast, slow, melodically and musically.
***








CHILL VIBES & SICK RHYMES
                This album is Solorio’s most confident LP yet.  The song opens with a smooth return to his classic topic of young love. “I Will Not Miss A Step” is one of my very favorite songs of his and shows his utter mastery of rhythm and flow. It’s catchy and lyrical at the same time; the production undergirding his aggressive but not overwrought rhymes with an industrial swing. It’s a hard choice between this and Fumes and More Fumes as far as Solorio’s best LP but I think this is it so far.



***





I’M STILL ALIVE
This EP is energetic and solid. “Letter to My Ex Girl” finds Solorio doing what he does best, lamenting young love proficiently. “Mid-December” is a nice song with some really nice poetry with strange lines like “black snow more precious than black gold” and others. “By Any Means” is an aggressive banger that will truly get your head bobbin’. Tracks like that and “Familiar Stage” show how talented the EP’s producer “Azael Beats” really is. The unified feel of one MC and one DJ here really stands out. Now that I’m deep into his discography it seems like every album since “FAMF” is a great leap forward for him. The Outro to this album has a standout verse, a dope beat and nice circle-backs to the themes of the record. By FAMF Solorio had mastered song craft, with ISA we start to get the picture that he is also mastering album-craft.
 ***


BOTH OF US
I admire Solorio’s willingness to mix in pop and R&B music with his raps to make appealing, melodic and modern music. Who is this Notebook guy? He is thoughtful with good enunciation like Solorio but has his own style; he’s actually Solorio’s most frequent vocal collaborator.

***




FUMES & MORE FUMES
Cesar Solorio can pick beats and this album marks his great leap forward as a spitter. The title track and “last night” are fantastic examples of not only good writing but great beat selection accentuating the song.  ‘HYFR’ highlights a dizzyingly fast flow and interesting verses about social life, the way people see you and how his persona deals with the prying from spectators.  The song works as an interview in itself; really entertaining standout track. Songs like Release again show a great knack for song construction; it’s impressive how polished basically all of his work is. It’s perhaps this more than his actual rapping skill (which is considerable) that makes one so surprised at how young he is. “Less Than Three” is a haunting mid-tempo rap about the awareness of a fleeting romantic situation; I find the writing cutting and insightful, so many can relate to lines like “but the makeup sex is so great”. Listening to his whole discography it’s amusing to hear the sexual escalation occurring between Solorio’s rap persona and his paramours. Early albums described hand holding and kisses while this record gets more vivid about sexual encounters. “Less Than Three” is another great production; Solorio has great mic control. His volume is on point and his enunciation is pristine, it makes it easier and more pleasant to listen to in my opinion.

***

ALWAYS YOU & I
Cool Valentine’s Day themed song; amazes me how many of these kinds of songs Solorio has in him. He does them all expertly.
***







SEVENTEEN CANDLES
On early works like “The Light”, with lines like “I've created real poems” he shows an appreciation of more culture yet. From street culture to literary culture, Glorious has zeal for the finer things in life.  Songs like “The Way You Do” dramatically depict the affairs of young lovers; the song’s pivot to death illustrates accurately the way we all felt when the objects of our teen affections were foolishly under the sway of an older abusive lover.  Solorio’s writing here is not what it will become on later works but his passion and knack for crafting songs are already quite apparent. The raps still often impress; his imagery is rich and his storytelling is smooth. Where some of the verses on these very early works lack the writer’s intricacy of his later work, his passion and raw energy make up for it ultimately resulting in entertaining, authentic and engaging music.

***



 NICOTINE AND LIQUOR
A cool song that gives an early example of Solorio’s tendency to adorn his love songs with images and details from his IE youngster life. That the underage speaker in his raps indulges in liquor and tobacco easily is in itself a commentary on the nature of the Inland Empire.






***

--Tristan Acker


Tristan “Tanjint the Wiggy Woo” Acker is a San Bernardino based writer, performer and musician; he holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from California State University at San Bernardino.

You can read his poetry at Squalorly, Inlandia, El Portal, Dead Flowers and other print and online magazines.

Listen to his work and his work with his band the West Coast Avengers at westcoastavengers.com.

Follow him on twitter @Wiggism or e-mail him at tristanacker@gmail.com.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Tru Speech's Forgetting Tomorrow Album Release Party and Interview (05/15/2015 @ Katz Alley in Redlands, Ca)




Over Everything's (aka O.E.) latest release is the album Forgetting Tomorrow by Tru Speech and of course JooseBoxx.com had to show up and check out the album release party. The lineup was AMAZING and there was a nice crowd there to support Tru and his latest effort. There where producers in the building like Audio King (who rocked a sick beat set)  and O.M.I.N.O.U.S. (who killed the stage and even sang!), energetic performers like O.E. (Cam Archer, CJ Westley, Kidd Dryden, and Jay Kasai) and the very talented K.I.T., and a hype set by singer Kyle Lynch. Check out the pics of the event below along with an interview by the man of the night himself, Tru Speech.

Click HERE to see the pics!


Thursday, May 14, 2015

JooseBoxx.com Presents Testimony- Cam Archer #Testimony #CamArcher #OE

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Cam Archer testifies in JooseBoxx.com's latest web series. if you like what you hear you can get more music here: 


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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Last Days of Cesar Solorio (Part 1 of 2)

Local hip-hop wunderkind Cesar Solorio just turned 20 and dropped a new album…so why is he leaving hip-hop?
Cesar Solorio at Back to the Grind, Riverside CA 1/10/2015

*This article was written immediately after the release of Solorio’s latest album ‘SOLORIO’ early in 2015*

The Last Days of Cesar Solorio
By Tristan “Tanjint the Wiggy Woo” Douglas


I love that Cesar Solorio knows his culture. But what makes him such a millennial is that it’s many cultures: he raps about hip-hop culture of both coasts, he raps about youth culture (“it’s not a date anyway…”), stoner culture (“ swisher sweets taste better than my exes lips”), hippie culture and IE Latino culture (“good wood I rock on my neck that I bought at the swap meet for six dollars and zero cents”). He is loyal to what he sees as valuable in these cultures: homies and hedonism. His persona is charmingly alternatively cynical about and smitten with women. This is probably the natural state of many a man which is perhaps why it’s such a timeless artistic stance.

It’s not that you can’t tell Solorio is rapping about a young life (you can) but it is surprising that he documents it so articulately in real time. I also wrote about my life as a 17 through 19 year old but I suspect it wouldn't be as impressive as Solorios’ consistent, full-bodied, hip-hop songs if you guys were to hear it all recited back right now. He raps with an impressive dexterity about his situation; to put it simply he raps like a 25 year old describing a teen’s life. It takes a special awareness and meta-cognition to recognize you’re in puppy love with someone while fully enjoying the experience and the flighty even humorous ephemerality of it all.

(Left to Right) Cesar Solorio and Notiz Yong
 at Back to the Grind, Riverside CA 1/10/2015
As a dude with a little sister about Solorio’s age, part of me thinks ‘what the FUCK?’ when I hear his song glorifying nitrous inhalation but another part of me just cracks a smile at the artistic commitment of making a whole well written song about such a crazy youthful indulgence. Who among us can’t say we were similarly reckless and indulgent while young? Solorio’s music gives a voice to an epicurean youth that is seldom phrased so neatly and elegantly.

With 3 EPs and two LPs under his belt, Solorio says he is going to quit rap this year to get other aspects of his life together. He says if he ever comes back to music what he does will be quite different. I believe the hell out of that. His latest EP reflects both a consistent style but an earned maturity that I think warrants a listen.

In mid 2011, Botnee of Feel the Real clothing and apparel began sponsoring the hip-hop activities of Cesar Solorio. He would hook Cesar up with FTR clothes and Solorio would rep the brand. Late in 2014 Botnee told me, “I have a lot of respect for Solorio because in a lot of ways he does it on his own. It’s hard coming up as a solo artist.” True that.

Botnee, founder of Feel the Real Clothing,
Back to the Grind, Riverside, CA 1/10/2015

I first met Solorio at a Sunny Days and Vibes concert thrown by MC Lyfe. When interviewing Solorio for this article, he was very quick to cite Lyfe as an important help to his music and performance endeavors. “Lyfe would always schedule me to rock a set at the Sunny Days and Vibes and that gave me a way to try to express all the work I was making.”

When my band the West Coast Avengers, filmed our first video in Claremont early in January Cesar Solorio rolled up in a dangerous-looking jalopy, down-as-fuck, following our asses all over the eastern outskirts of Los Angeles county. He didn’t ask for anything, did everything we asked of him and was a fun person to have at the shoot. I took note of how down he was to support the community around him.

It was around this time that other local notable artist the Problm Child reached out to me about Solorio’s new EP. He said he felt this album was a classic and I wanted to see for myself. I had already heard his SoundCloud in its entirety but I figured it was time to actually listen to all of his whole albums on Bandcamp where they’re all streaming free.

When I interviewed Solorio for this piece I told him that I suspected he would take a break from music, get the other aspects of his life straight and then as a result have a lot of growth and experience to vent about, perhaps through music. I told Solorio that my friend Sean said listening to his stuff reminded him of listening to Atmosphere in high school. Solorio lit up at this, “I mean that’s one of my biggest influences. I remember hearing Atmosphere when I was like 10 and thinking, I want to do this.”

“It’s not music. I’m not where I want to be in other aspects of my life…just personally.”

(Left to Right) MC Lyfe, Stanley Ipkis
 at Back to the Grind, Riverside, CA 1/10/2015
I have to admit I understand this perspective. He’s been doing this from ages 17 through 20, has dropped 4 EPs and 2 full length albums and still the habit of doing hip-hop is costly. Near the end of our conversation Solorio explained, “if I do ever come back to doing music….it’ll be different. Really different.”

Botnee explicated for me a bit, “Solorio has heart. I admired that he did his own stuff. He’s a solo artist and it’s hard to come up as a solo artist. He was one of the first like two people to actually come up and buy a shirt off of me. I was like ‘hell yeah’.

Botnee didn’t even know that much about Solorio’s sudden decision to “quit” rap. I told Botnee that Lyfe and himself were prominent parts of the personal narrative Solorio shared with me for this piece and Botnee said, “see that’s why I mess with him; he has heart.”

Since our interview I’ve heard that he is looking into studying and teaching English as a day job. I laughed when I found out, amused that the subject of my latest piece was quitting rap to study English while I had resolved to quit studying English after grad school ended for me this last summer, allowing me to focus more of my energy on writing and rapping. Amused that even in Cali, perhaps especially in Cali, the grass is always greener.
Cesar Solorio 
at Back to the Grind, Riverside CA 1/10/2015

Come back next week for my complete write-ups on Solorio’s discography! 



--Tristan Acker

Tristan “Tanjint the Wiggy Woo” Acker is a San Bernardino based writer, performer and musician; he holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from California State University at San Bernardino. 

You can read his poetry at Squalorly, Inlandia, El Portal, Dead Flowers and other print and online magazines. 

Listen to his work and his work with his band the West Coast Avengers at westcoastavengers.com. 

Follow him on twitter @Wiggism or e-mail him at tristanacker@gmail.com.