by Jeff Milo
Photo by: Carjack.
Doc Waffles says it doesn't really mean anything. It's a hash-tag or it's a rallying call or it's an allegory, it's a sanctifying inside-joke or a password or, actually, maybe it's bigger.
"...Co-Ownaz..." came cooing in a cartoonishly melodious drawl from EmCee J. Walker (of MidCoast Most) as he shuffled into "The Penthouse" (the recording/mixing/mastering HQ for his hip-hop collective with producer Eddie Logix). And as he was writing down lyrics, getting ready to lay them down on the latest track produced by Logix, Waffles turned his head, bent his ear, and caught upon the ring of that phrase. A twisty, but endearing take upon "co-ownership..."
Collaboration! Co-authorship! A Rap Co-op! The Penthouse is also where notables like Cold Men Young, Passalacqua and many more have come to record (as well as cameo some bars on fellow rappers latest tracks or remixes).
"It's a social thing," said Doc Waffles (a moniker mythologizing the rare book dealer based out of Eastern Market otherwise known as Ben Ness). "You don't really have to do anything to be apart of it except show up to our shows, climb the stairs to the Penthouse every once in a while, tune into the lifestyle."
There's lots of different irons in the local rap fire pit, all these different groups and solo Emcees stoking the flames higher and coagulating into one place, one piece or one co-owned movement. "It's not just the rappers either," said Waffles, who recently did a track with local electro-melding soul singer James Linck, charmingly titled "Coolest MFers" (streaming below). "You've got all these genres collapsing together like a saddle-shaped universe. The scene is just starting to get folded over a lot and that definitely IS ..."Co-Ownaz..."
But another rapper is going to have a different answer for you, in terms of what it is or what it means... Ask Horatio Clam and his folded/nuanced/fiery take on hip-hop and bossanova jazz. Clam's curated a night of "offbeat vocalists" this coming Saturday at the ADLT Contemporary: a revue "...penetrating electronic music from the past" of art-collective / electro-pop group Lord Scrummage and its various talented, weird satellite music makers.
Waffles, a former neighbor of Horation Clam (and an admirer of the latter's work with former Detroit outfit the Mannequins) says he's excited for the night, expecting it to be "...an interdisciplinary exercise in weirdness..."
Waffles, meanwhile, continues to work industriously with his ally, Logix. Expect an album by the end of the year (tentatively titled Mr. What-Practice-Makes ) as well as an early summer "retrospective" release via Checkers Record Collective titled The Doc Waffles reader.
More on all of that, soon. More on the Penthouse, more on Logix and Waffles opening up for Height With Friends next weekend. And more on some powerful talisman known as the "Big Money Candle."
More on #CoOwnaz? What more can be said? What more should be said? What is it?