Autobot of Flosstradamus: "There's Always Going to Be Haters, No Matter What You Do"

Categories: EDM, Q&A, hip-hop

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Courtesy of Biz3
J2K (left) and Autobot of Flosstradamus.
In the 2013 mini-documentary chronicling the rise of the Mad Decent Block Party, über-producer and festival founder Diplo has a bit of advice for anyone who performs at the event: "If you're an act, don't play after Flosstradamus," he says. "That's really hard."

It's a simple edict that illustrates not only the Chicago-based duo's prominence in Mad Decent land (and the realms of both dance music and trap they occupy), but also their abilities as party instigators and performers.

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Check Out the Massive, All-Local Lineup for the Arizona Hip Hop Festival

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JustUs Samuel, mastermind of Arizona Hip Hop Festival

On October 18 at Comerica Theatre, more than 80 Arizona MCs, DJs, and performers will get together for what must be the largest local hip-hop show ever thrown, Arizona Hip Hop Festival.

This staggering undertaking is the brainchild of JustUs Samuel, the rapper and founder of Respect the Underground, which hosts hip-hop nights a couple of times a month at Joe's Grotto.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online or via any of the artists directly.

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Miny, Phoenix Metal Drummer-Turned-Rapper, Is Addicted to Music

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K.C. Libman
Miny

Mindy DuPonte sees the big picture. No matter what aspect of her life is in question, she's prepped with an answer, a plan, or an approach, whether she's talking about songwriting, one-year plans, or mixtape rollouts. It's likely the best way to operate at the moment, as DuPonte's hip-hop career is looking to jump off. Rapping under the moniker Miny, she's dropped a cypher on the roof of HipHop DX's headquarters, has just released her mixtape Demon, and is about to leave to play the iTunes Music Festival in London this month.

This isn't the first time she's experienced musical success, however, even if the likes of which is more than noteworthy for a local artist. You also may know DuPonte from her days in Hellen, the death metal act that featured her on drums and vocals. Formed when she was just 13, with her older sister Desiree on guitar, Hellen made waves both near and far.

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The Red-Brown Border Politics of Phoenix Hip-Hop Duo Shining Soul

Categories: hip-hop

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Utreen White
Shining Soul

In May, Phoenix-based hip-hop duo Shining Soul -- Franco Habre, a.k.a. Bronze Candidate, and Alex Soto, a.k.a. Liason -- made a video for their track "No Mercy," off their album, released in September 2013. The video mostly is protest footage mixed with clips of the group performing in concert, but the simple video goes well with the song, and the group's simple message: Smash borders.

The video includes footage from Arizona demonstrations such as 2010's Diné, Tohono O'odham, Anarchist bloc (known as the DO@ bloc), which was a protest against Tent City, as well as an anti-fascist demonstration that took place in downtown Phoenix in 2009 known as The Inglourious Basterds Bloc, and footage from a lockdown at a Tucson border patrol station.

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Phoenix Rapper Trap House Pens Mike Brown Tribute, Needs Extras for Video Shoot Tonight

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Photo from Facebook event page
Trap House is looking for extras to recreate this photo for a music video.

Local rapper Trap House isn't afraid to tackle current events in his music. Three days ago, he penned a song called "Imagine (Mike Brown Tribute)," and now, the rapper is teaming up with a group of locals to shoot a video for the song.

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Moving at the Speed of Futuristic: Tempe Rapper Makes Moves to Go National

Categories: hip-hop

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Courtesy of Futuristic
Futuristic

Hip-hop moves at the lightning-fast pace of the Internet these days, and Futuristic, a Tempe rapper on the verge of making it big, knows that better than anyone.

In the past two years, the 23-year-old Bloomington, Illinois, native has written dozens of songs, released two albums, recorded enough tracks to fill another, shot at least a half-dozen music videos, two of which have more than one million views on Youtube, and was featured in RAW Cyphers and on the Sway in the Morning radio show.

Leaning back in a chair at a sports bar in Tempe, Futuristic, aka Zach Beck, doesn't seem to have any plans on stopping soon.

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5 Best Jurassic 5 Songs

Categories: Lists, hip-hop

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Jurassic 5 are alternative hip-hop pioneers. Their influence can be heard in the beats and verses of mainstream rap icons like OutKast all the way to local hip-hop groups like Phoenix's own Drunken Immortals. Though the band has never once gone platinum and have only once gone gold, their reunion was held at Coachella 2013, and as a follow up they played Glastonbury 2014.

Not all acts with such modest sales numbers are still widely regarded as classic hip-hop. Jurassic 5 will be playing a date at Tempe's Marquee Theater as part of their "Word of Mouth Tour" on July 19, and in preparation for their concert and their first trip to Phoenix in who knows how long, we will be pointing out Jurassic 5's top five songs.

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Local Rapper Futuristic's Video Viewed More Than 1 Million Times on YouTube

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Courtesy of the artist
Futuristic

Things are going well for Phoenix rapper Futuristic.

The video for the unsigned rapper's single, "I Guess I'll Smoke," from his released released album Traveling Local, has now surpassed one million views on YouTube. If you listen to him, it's clear he's bound for great things. And he's not the only one around.

See also: Futuristic's Chasing Down a Dream Expands the Phoenix Rapper's Broad Appeal

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Open Mike Eagle Brings Literary Raps to Lawn Gnome

Categories: hip-hop

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Andy J. Scott
Open Mike Eagle

The owner of >Lawn Gnome Publishing, Aaron Hopkins-Johnson, is one of the best slam poets in the country, and so it stands to reason that his store is a hub for those interested in the spoken word. Lawn Gnome once held one of Phoenix's most popular open mic nights, it runs the only official poetry slam in Phoenix every Thursday evening, and has also played host to legendary wordsmiths like slam poet Saul Williams and anarcho rapper Sole among others.

"Man I didn't know they used to do an open mic night there, people are going to get confused," joked L.A.-based "art rapper" Open Mike Eagle.

See also: Bacchus and the Demonsluts - Lawn Gnome Publishing - 5/25/2014

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Blunt Club Celebrates 12 Years of Hip-Hop Community

Categories: hip-hop

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Jeff Moses
Beetlejuice gets down at the Blunt Club last Halloween.


In the 12 years the Blunt Club has been around it has built a reputation as the Valley's premier weekly hip-hop show. Its founders, Dumper Foo, Aran "Catalyst" Kelly Emerge McVay, and Keith Nickels (among others) are local legends in their own right. And some of the acts they've managed to bring to Phoenix -- such as Public Enemy at Hollywood Alley, a secret Z-Trip show at Yucca Tap Room, and Afrika Bambaata and Digable Planets at Club Red -- are legends in everybody else's right as well.

"Loyalty" is the word that Blunt Club host Mouse Powell used to describe how the weekly underground hip-hop show has been able to maintain prominence for more than a decade.


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