Tag Archives: zuluzuluu

Greg Grease On Eschewing Escapism on “Down So Long”

Greg Grease

The working title for rapper Greg Grease’s third album was So What—as in, that’s how he imagined people might react to music that didn’t serve as an escape from these dark times. But for Grease, “escape” is not the solution. Inspired by artists like Common, Goodie Mob, and even Curtis Mayfield, the forthcoming album, now titled Down So Long is a challenge to Grease himself—and to hip-hop at large—to keep sight of why they might seek that escapism in the first place. It’s also a reminder of why Grease has been a reliable voice in Minneapolis music over the past five years. He continues to embody the underdog perspective, similar to scene king Atmosphere, for whom he will open on tour later this year. Down So Long also features Grease’s bandmates in futuristic funk outfit ZULUZULUU; the end result, which Grease is still tweaking, is ambitious in both its lyrics and instrumentation, another potent salvo from an enlightened artist.

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Eight Artists At the Forefront of the Twin Cities Hip-Hop Charge

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Finding Novyon

The leading lights of the Twin Cities hip-hop scene haven’t had a lot of time to worry about chart status or mainstream fame—even when it arrives. Instead, their DIY work ethic, community-minded focus, and everybody-knows-everybody support system has resulted in one of the most distinct and tight-knit indie rap scenes in all of North America. A haven for the nonconformists, Afropunks, backpackers, and cross-cultural iconoclasts that keep the indie-rap fires stoked, Minneapolis and St. Paul have nurtured the venerable label Rhymesayers, their affiliated record store/rap-nerd Valhalla Fifth Element, the long-running destination festival Soundset, and a number of renowned artists from Atmosphere to Brother Ali to Doomtree.

And while there’s been no shortage of recent success stories—pretty much all of Minnesota is pulling for Lizzo to blow all the way up—there are still a crucial number of artists who have set up shop in the Twin Cities and made their names by staying there to find a career-sustaining niche. A few of these artists go way back, and some are just establishing themselves, but they’re all contributing to—and advancing—one of the most eclectic, loyal, and adventurous indie scenes going.

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The Best Albums of 2016: #60 – 41

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If there’s one thing we learned since we launched Bandcamp Daily this past June, it’s that the world of Bandcamp is enormous—encompassing everything from emo in China to cumbia punk in Tucson, Arizona to just about everything in between. So narrowing our Best Albums of the Year down to 100 choices was a daunting task. This week, we’ll be sharing our picks, 20 at a time, until we arrive at the top spot on Friday.

More “Best of 2016”:
The Best Albums of 2016: #100 – 81
The Best Albums of 2016: #80 – 61
The Best Albums of 2016: #40 – 21
The Best Albums of 2016: #20-1

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Breaking Down the Kinetic Funk of ZuluZuluu

ZuluZuluu

The six multi-instrumentalists that comprise the Minneapolis band ZuluZuluu–rapper Greg Grease, Proper-T, Myk, Trelly Mo, DJ Just 9, and ΔRT PΔRTE–are well-known in a city famous for its soul, funk and hip-hop scenes. Since forming in 2013, they’ve performed concerts with Femi Kuti, Busdriver, Dam-Funk and other touring artists, and have earned a reputation as an exuberant live act. The collective’s debut, What’s the Price?, fulfills that promise with a startling and imaginative suite of fuzzy synth-funk, from the impassioned title track’s indictment of police brutality—which seems particularly timely in light of the recent shooting of Philando Castile by St. Anthony, MN law enforcement on July 6—to sensuous electro-love crushes like “On Our Way” and “Bicycle Seat.” It’s a sign that the group may be destined to become more than local heroes, while reflecting their Afrofuturistic ideals and lineage as the latest manifestation of the Minneapolis sound.

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