Grayskul's Rhymesayers Debut Deadlivers Turns 10

Categories: Rhymesayers
Rhymesayers Entertainment
This was, for many, the first time you saw Grayskul

This month marks 10 years since Rhymesayers ventured outside of Minneapolis for a full-length album from the also-vibrant Seattle hip-hop scene. Grayskul, a sub-division of Seatlle hip-hop super-collective Oldominion, had carved out their own dark niche of the Rhymesayers catalog.

With an ominous, foreboding and often-cryptic collection of stories and soliloquies, Deadlivers slapped an unsuspecting 2005 indie rap soundscape in the face and has since become a cult classic. Boasting guest appearances from Canibus, Mr. Lif and Abstract Rude, it's one of the most eclectic albums in the Rhymesayers catalog.

We spoke to members Onry and JFK about Deadlivers' legacy, what it was like joining a white-hot Rhymesayers touring roster in the mid-2000s, and how Deadlivers sits with them today.

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Five Aesop Rock Rarities You Might Have Missed

Categories: Rhymesayers
Photo by Chrissy Piper
Aesop Rock stabs your rap conventions with his cutlery.

Aesop Rock | First Avenue | Wednesday, February 4
An icon of the independent hip-hop world, Aesop Rock's eclectic vocabulary has intrigued fans for so long that it's perhaps easy to overlook how prolific his output has been for over 15 years. For newer fans, starting at any one particular place in the Aesop Rock discography is daunting enough.

With the here-today-gone-today nature of the early 2000s CD-R and 2010s internet-abyss methods of music sharing, a handful of great Aesop Rock cameos and one-offs that rank among his best work have gone under-appreciated for far too long.

Here are five of our favorite Aesop Rock rarities.

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MF Doom Rice Bowl Debuts at World Street Kitchen

Categories: Rhymesayers
Mmmmm... World Street Kitchen!
Few individuals can call themselves as enigmatic, prolific, and esoteric as rapper MF Doom. During one of his most-celebrated creative periods, the metal-faced master aligned with local rap label Rhymesayers to release the 2004 classic MM.. Food, and Gimme Noise recently celebrated a decade since its release.

For February, Lyndale eatery World Street Kitchen and Rhymesayers have taken Doom's album title one step further with a signature rice bowl.

See also:
MF Doom's MM.. Food: 10 Years Later

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MF Doom's MM.. Food: 10 Years Later

Categories: Rhymesayers

Jason J├Ągel
MF Doom, Part of a Complete Breakfast

It's easy to forget that at one point, the MC known as MF Doom/Doom/Zev Love X was an artist pumping out critically heralded and commercially successful weird hip-hop projects to an ever-increasingly growing cult following. Today his audience is bigger than ever, but there's a big difference between the prolific masked man of old and the masked recluse who only blesses us with new verses once in a blue moon.

The last time we heard from the former was on November 15, 2004 when Rhymesayers Entertainment released MM...Food, the last album of the hyper-productive Doom era. Ten years and a Monster Island of controversies later, it remains one of the strongest statements of who Doom was/is. Here's the story of what happened with previously unknown details from some of Doom's trusted cohorts.

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Prof Runs Himself Through Soapy Joe's Car Wash in "Farout"

Screengrab via YouTube

After signing with Rhymesayers nearly a year ago, Prof is finally showing off more of the character of his next album, now slated for next spring. Compared to the combative feel of his debut single for the label, "The Reply," the brash rapper "made of piss and vinegar" has sugar on the brain in "Farout," produced by Minneapolis-based 84 Caprice.

The mid-tempo, sax-laden beat and his all-sung delivery creates a fiesta atmosphere on par with "Moron," and boasts another local landmark in St. Paul-based Soapy Joe's Car Wash

See also:
Prof and John Stamos just duked it out on Twitter

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Prof and John Stamos just duked it out on Twitter

Photos via Flickr/hyku; Flickr/sachab; CP/Erik Hess
You can't make this stuff up, can you? Minneapolis troublemaker rapper Prof and John Stamos recently had it out on Twitter, apparently. It seems they've had a love/hate relationship for a while now. Really, what other type of relationship can you have with Prof? (Remember his ribald Valentine's Day cards?)

Uncle Jesse from Full House took issue with the cesspool of come-ons and braggadoccio that is the @ProfGampo Twitter feed when the rapper reportedly called him a pedophile a few months back. The Rhymesayers signee told the Star Tribune that he was probably drunk and doesn't remember the tweet, but Thursday he was hit with a barrage from @JohnStamos.

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Prof Valentine's Day cards: Send the very best

Categories: Rhymesayers
Via Stophouse
Fed up with Hallmark Cards that can't possibly tell your beloved how you really feel? Leave this to Prof. Many underrepresented sides of February 14 come out with the new Rhymesayers signee's series of Valentine's Day e-cards.

With seven designs, ranging from passive-aggressive all the way up to the full-on creep, you can be sure that your message will be heard loud and clear. (We can't guarantee that it won't be used against you in a court of law, though.)

See Also: Prof just signed with Rhymesayers!

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Twitter wants OutKast to perform at Soundset 2014

Photo by Denis Jeong Plaster
Big Boi at Soundset 2011
The reunited OutKast have just unveiled non-specific plans to make everyone else in 2014 move to the back of the bus. Last week, Andre 3000 and Big Boi committed to headlining slots at Coachella and Governor's Ball, but a 2014 festival tour is now in the works to commemorate their 20th anniversary.

According to the duo's website, the tour would feature "over 40" festivals following the Coachella weekends (with the Replacements) in April. Even before, and especially after that announcement, social media started connecting the dots. Since 50 percent of OutKast hit the stage in 2011 via Big Boi, it would seem that the mighty Rhymesayers would take great interest in getting these two dope boys out for a player's ball in Shakopee.

See Also: Review: Soundset 2011 at Canterbury Park, 5/29/11

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Prof: I have the start to the greatest album I have ever made

Photo by Erik Hess
Triumph at Cabooze Outdoor Plaza.

Last year was definitely the year of Prof. Just ask Prof. We kid, of course. It was Gimme Noise's undeniable pleasure getting to follow the Minneapolis rapper's never-boring ride throughout 2013. After posting up on our cover, he put on some gargantuan live events at First Avenue and the Cabooze, and was in the right place at the right time to pinch-hit and knock one out at Soundset. And then Rhymesayers scooped him up.

All of the hoopla of the year didn't pass unnoticed for Mr. Gampo himself. In an open letter penned on New Year's Eve that shows the full range of his emotions, he runs through everything with a pat on the back to his fans, and a few shout-outs to... Prof! Aside from the accolades, 2013 was the year that he set some out-of-pocket maximum records via his myriad hospital visits. This, he points out, includes the surgery Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo just had, and "Unlike his pussy ass, I PLAYED THROUGH THE FUCKING SEASON."

See Also: Prof just signed with Rhymesayers!

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Atmosphere release Welcome to MN song, "Color in the Snow"

Categories: Rhymesayers
Artwork by Tatiana Craine; courtesy of Creative Commons/B Fresh/A Prairie Home Companion

Mental Picture of the Year props to Toki Wright for his line in the new Rhymesayers collaboration, "Color in the Snow." The rapper announces his Twin Cities prominence in the following amusing fashion, "Now it's me and Garrison Keillor on the four-wheeler sippin' tequila." And once we heard that timely reminder of Wright's appearance on Keillor's 2004 "Rhubarb" show, it was essential to make this visual a reality.

Compared to the tone of last year's "It Ain't the Prettiest," the yearly tradition that features Atmosphere's Welcome to Minnesota tourmates, this one's a tad sunnier with its piano-based beat.

See Also: Atmosphere's 2014 Welcome to MN Tour dates announced

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