Tonight (September 2nd) is LA’s longest music cutting edge weekly club, Low End Theory at The Airliner. This week’s guest is our very own Dj Babu, the Dilated Junkie, making his debut at the Low End Theory, along with the homie Frank Nitt, Sahtyre, & Ill Camille. Plus Low End Theory’s residents: Daddy Kev, Dj Nobody, & our very own D-Styles….hosted by Nocando. Shoutout to the Gaslamp Killer who’s on tour right now! You want hear some 808’s & Slaps, this is the place to be! 18 +
This past weekend, was the second annual Low End Theory Festival and it was phenomenal. To catch you up to speed, I’ll start with what LET is.
Low End Theory is a magical place where deejays, producers, emcees, vocalists, musicians and beat junkies of all walks unite on a weekly basis. It’s an institution in Los Angeles, and some follow it religiously enough to call it their church.
Whether it’s the fact that the place is 18 and up, or maybe the booming Pure Filth Soundsystem being tuned to make your bones rattle and ovaries twerk, perhaps it’s the countless who’s who that randomly show up (such as Thom Yorke, Prince, and Erykah Badu to name a few).
October marks 9 Years of Low End Theory which is brought to you by Daddy Kev ( founder of Alpha Pup Records ) DJ D-Styles, DJ Nobody, Gaslamp Killer, and Hosted by Nocando. All adding their own special sauce to the mix, you can catch a wide-variety of performers on 1 of 2 stages any given Wednesday in Boyle Heights at The Airliner.
The reason I titled this entry “Lock Yourself In A Room Doing 5 Beats A Day For 3 Summers” wasn’t because I think that this such sound advice from Mr. West, but rather just a reminder of someone being dedicated to a craft, regardless of how many shapes it takes. The majority of this lineup I’ve been following for years and have really witnessed the growth in their sound through various releases and I as well as many others have been lucky enough to interact with many of them through Low End Theory, Beat Cinema, and other platforms that focus on this genre of music. It’s really cool to see guys who started in their basement play center stage in front of thousands before the likes of people like Flying Lotus & Thundercat. A lot of these guys used to actually go to events with boxes of cd’s and just hand them out freely with hand-drawn/cut/photographed packaging, just cd-r’s and cassettes hoping they’d somehow reach someone who somewhat cared enough to follow up and actually purchase or support them further in their journey… It used to be a very DIY effort, coming from a genuine and pure place that was much deeper than youtube views and soundcloud plays. I think the process really created some very humble and modest artists because of the patience involved in really getting heard by “the right people”. That same mentality was getting people shine on stages like Low End Theory along with many others, and in-turn picked up for mini tours and festival opening slots, as well as traveling opportunities.
To me, this festival was like a holiday for all the people who’ve waited in line week after week only to hit the door and the place being at capacity while their favorite artist performed inside. It was a special treat that was mutually beneficial for the performing acts, the attendees and supporters, as well as the format/genre/sound as a whole. It brought together a ton of amazing people, visuals and sounds that I don’t think you’d catch anywhere else in the city, and best of all is it was an organic showcase. All of these acts have performed prior on the weekly Low End stage and never for a moment did it feel like some corporate backed function where they slap stickers all over the Lamborghini, thus maintaining the integrity of the event. From Jhené Aiko, Dom Kennedy, Earl Sweatshirt, Childish Gambino, and even Shia Labeouf there was no lack of star power in the house and I feel like people left satisfied with a longing for more… That being said, check out http://www.alphapuprecords.com/ explore some of the acts that were on the lineup further through Soundcloud & Bandcamp. Support what you love and drop by Low End on a Wednesday to see what it’s all about. Shout out to Kev and everyone who made the event happen, all the performers who got to express themselves – I truly can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year. Below is a full recap, end of the show clip with FlyLo and a photo from Nocando from the indoor stage.
Low End Theory 9 Year Anniversary
The 2nd annual Low End Theory Festival, occurred August 8, 2015 at the Shrine Expo Hall and Grounds, Los Angeles, CA. Performers included Flying Lotus, Earl Sweatshirt, Thundercat, Nosaj Thing, Daedelus, Teebs, Jonwayne, Ras G, Mono/Poly, Samiyam, Dibiase, Alix Perez & EPROM, Milo, Open Mike Eagle, Mndsgn, Free the Robots, Great Dane, House Shoes, Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals, Astronautica, Sister Crayon, Cazal Organism and Elusive. LET residents Daddy Kev, Nobody, the Gaslamp Killer, D-Styles and Nocando also performed. Low End Theory Festival 2015 was presented by Goldenvoice, and sponsored by Roland in conjunction with 808 Day.
5 Artists You Should Know, will be turning the spotlight on five select artists that you should probably check out and support, if you don’t already. While the internet has definitely bridged the gap for aspiring talent to reach new heights and larger audiences faster than ever before. It’s also created a bit of a great divide and surplus problem in regards to the quantity of projects not matching the quality expectations that we were once accustomed to. While I won’t say that it’s all bad, It’s definitely thrown the music industry into a whirlwind and really requires more finesse and strategy than ever to really push your way to the top. That being said, the goal of this section isn’t necessarily to give you deep interviews that talk about your favorite rappers prior charges, drug habits, or executive producers who squandered away their royalties. Rather the focus and goal here is to provide a platform of discovery, exploration, and hopefully put you up on some talented individuals you’ve missed in the streets and on the web.
( Artist )
I remember years ago when I was producing functions for the Downtown Los Angeles Artwalk and I came across this amazing woman’s work. I spent a few hours in a gallery that showed her stuff in hopes of the opportunity to physically meet her and personally thank her, exchange contacts and keep it moving… Unfortunately, It never happened and I found myself drunk from the open bar watching others also admiring her work in a similar manner. So when I got home, I decided to look her up and see if I could find out more about her process, how long she’s been doing it, and where I can catch more of her work. While she’s got an online store located here: http://mimiyoon.bigcartel.com/products you can see a lot of her work, and progress shots at https://instagram.com/mimiyoon/
Nocando / Jimmy The Lock / Burnout
( Emcee )
Nocando is a diverse and versatile Los Angeles veteran who’s carried the torch for emcees of all walks. Between hosting the institution that is Low End Theory, and having countless ciphers outside of the blowed/kaos, his accomplishments span far and wide in the Battle Rap Circuit, to also being an independent artist producing original material. He even started his own label ( Hellfyre Club ) on Daddy Kev’s Alpha Pup Records. Countless times has he risen to the occasion to really showcase what it means to be a powerhouse musician that withstands the test of time. He’s really learned how to adapt with the market/landscape of music and remain relevant all while also being a father, and modest leader to many. Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine the rapper I met years ago in NY during Jumpoff, then again out on the Slauson line to reach the levels he has… It’s really been great to witness his growth, and I look forward to seeing/hearing what’s next. Below is a sampling of some of my favorites of his discog – You can also support him on social media, soundcloud, bandcamp and itunes, or catch him at Low End Theory every Wed.
Dumbfoundead / DFD / Parker
( Emcee )
Dumbfoundead is another inspirational story who I’ve had the pleasure of working / rapping with in the past and seeing rise from the bottom to reach new heights and surpass expectations against all odds. From the Rap Battle world to the Music side of things, to even having his own channel that’d spotlight budding talent and give them another platform to be heard (Knocksteady). Dumb has really gone through a great transformation and an amazing amount of growth as an artist, selling out shows all over and really throwing down for Korean Artists everywhere. He’s another shining example of hard work paying off in a big way. It’s funny because I remember years ago at this graffiti shop called 33third when I was in town for a short trip, I was in a mc battle with him that was hosted / judged by Pharaohe Monch & Percee P… Even at this time, you could tell he had a great amount of support from his peers (project blowed) and a passion for the game. With witty wordplay, funny punchlines, and a solid delivery he took home the prize. Since then he’s made huge leaps working with a lot of your favorite artists, producers, dj’s and more in shows worldwide, and created ample collaborations and efforts to bring up other artists. Anyways, I’ve posted a few tracks below for you to familiarize yourself with this talented individual that you should know about if you don’t already. Again, you can support him on social media, soundcloud, bandcamp and itunes, or catch him at his Spam & Eggs events in KTOWN.
Open Mike Eagle
( Emcee )
Open Mike Eagle is a unique subject to analyze. His work varies from satirical dark humor to subtle subliminal honesty, smoothly delivered over interesting production choices and sometimes accompanied by his friends that range from Aesop Rock to Blockhead to Hannibal Buress. From being a teacher, to a father, to a radio/podcast host and most importantly a class act. Mike has managed to really mess around with a variety of sounds in his process and progress, and now I think has really kind of carved out a lane of his own. From the same school of rap that Nocando & Dumbfoundead came from (Project Blowed) he’s definitely proven his worth reaching audiences of all types in several different mediums and platforms, alongside continues to break boundaries and reinvent himself through his output. I remember this guy coming to the blowed with a cardbox box of cd’s to sell that he pressed him himself and each time the content, production, and overall product just got better and better. You could tell he was appreciative of every single person who believed in him enough to support his art. These days with the disconnect of digital purchasing, I feel like it’s should be a necessity for artists to continue to create physical copies and connect with their fans in this grass-root approach. Mike is definitely a phenomenal artist and making moves faster then we can keep up. So catch him if you can via Social Media, check out some of his podcasts, live shows, music and more.
( DJ / Producer )
Always with an open mind, Ele has been influenced by a multitude of sounds. Even though she goes back and forth between mixing platforms, she spent her first 10 years DJing strictly vinyl – seamlessly blending mostly deep house, hip hop and drum n bass. In 2009, Ele started dabbling in production and within a couple years released various singles like her Down 4 U remix, which earned her the spotlight as a producer. In 2013, she released her first official EP “Noir”, which got her featured on several known music blogs such as URB Magazine and Giant Step. Her EP also featured artist such as, Abjo (Soulection) & M31RK (RMG). She currently holds a residency at “Culture” every 3rd Wednesdays along with Abjo (Soulection) & JR Jarris, at North Park’s AC Lounge. You can also find her every 1st Thursdays at her 2nd residency along with Andre Power (Soulection) & Sufficient Sounds at the popular Art in the Park monthly – which fuses music and art. Ele continues to spend most of her time in production and has also teamed up with Half Bad Society, a Brooklyn based music collective. Keep an eye out for more of her work and collaborations! Be sure to dig her up on social media and check out her individual projects, I really cosign this woman and I’m happy to share her production any chance I get.