Soulcrate Music premiere "Burn Colder" video with DJ Abilities
South Dakota's favorite sons Soulcrate Music have been bringing their take on Midwest hip-hop across the country for over a decade. While they were largely the architects of the modern Sioux Falls hip-hop scene, they've been frequently embraced here in the Twin Cities as well, regularly selling out 7th Street Entry.
Gimme Noise is excited to premiere their new video "Burn Colder" featuring DJ Abilites from their new album Welcome Back From Wherever You've Been that also features Grieves, Ross Miller and production from Sapient of the Sandpeople. We spoke to member Attention Def about the essence of South Dakota in their music, especially in how it shaped their new video.
For those who aren't too familiar with the South Dakota scene, how did you guys come together and find yourselves one of the most visible presences in it?
About 12 years ago we got our start as a group. Prior to our group and the South Dakota rap scene, we were tied in with the punk rock scene and that culture of underground shows. It was my brother who got it all together. I was living in Portland, Oregon and going to culinary school. I was home when my brother and DJ Absolute were working on stuff, and I started working with them. I met a girl who later become my wife, never moved back to Portland and it all came from there. We leaned very heavy on what Minneapolis was doing, living three hours from them. We took what we were seeing there and wanted it for our city. We played coffee shops and venues and it kind of grew. After 12 years, it's getting better every time.
Do you find certain advantages to touring nationally as a Midwest hip-hop group, making, as you put, "rap music from the middle of nowhere?"
Yeah, we've always championed the whole "We're from South Dakota" thing. Whenever we're in places opening for people and [the audience] doesn't know who we are, I like to say "We're from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, you might never have heard of it." I like people being like "what? That's not supposed to happen." At this point, rap music has infiltrated every corner of the globe so it's not so much of a surprise now, but maybe ten years ago, people were a little more skeptical, and I liked to use that to our advantage to have them raise an eyebrow and then get on stage and do a good job.
You put out some of your recent releases on Mac Lethal's Black Clover Records, but this new album is self-released. What made you decide to go out on your own for this venture?
This one is completely independently released. It was just the right move for us at this time. Where Black Clover is at isn't where it was five years ago when we were heavily involved. It just made sense to put this one out on our own, to see the response and get a response knowing we just have nothing but our Facebook and Twitter and social media presence and that's just enough to hold on to our fans. It just made sense this time around. We have very little behind us, so that's kind of cool.
At a time when so many regional rap scenes end up cannibalizing themselves, why do you think the South Dakota scene you helped build has managed to sustain itself?
You know, I don't know. For the first ten years of us playing in Sioux Falls, we played constantly locally. It got to a point where we had to slow down and make them fewer and far between. We had this new wave of younger kids who grew up watching us do our thing. I'm really excited about the look of Sioux Falls and South Dakota in general right now because we have a new generation that sprung us, and us slowing down has allowed us to take that second five years and really spread it out to make it bigger. That hustling hard for the first five years and playing way too much has allowed us to sustain ourselves.
How did you first meet DJ Abilities?
Over the years we played with Eyedea and Abilites many times. I, personally, am just a huge fan of DJ Abilities. I reached out to him and he was down with it. It was really cool. It's kind of weird having a guest DJ when we have a DJ and producer, but we were all unanimously absolutely down. He was personally my number one choice if I could ever have a DJ on a song.
What's the story behind the video?
This video was shot on a complete whim in May of last year. We got two weeks of just blizzard and ice. It was so weird outside, it was kind of a disaster. We lost thousands of trees and the whole city looked like a bomb went off. We were stuck inside and I was like "Let's shoot a video today." We randomly picked a song called "Burn Colder" about hot and cold and how South Dakota is a climate that builds character in people because it's Hell here from November to March. It's a video I did entirely myself in this weird day that the whole city was shut down. We talked about it an hour before we were shooting it. I was conscious to sit on the footage for a year because people were so fed up with the weather, I didn't want to remind them. I think now is an appropriate time to release it.
Soulcrate Music return to the Twin Cities Saturday, December 7 at the Triple Rock.