by Jeff Milo
Friday, August 9th, 2013
Doors - 9pm ($5)
Metro Times sat in on a pre-production meeting for a music video shoot, held in studio half-satirically named “The Viper Room,” Eddie Logix’ loftspace studio in Eastern Market, listening to cameraman/director J. Walker go through a script drafted by rapper Doc Waffles, listing various props needed:
“...disco lights, old Playboys, scorched Twizzlers and some old timey dance-step instructions for the lindy-hop.”
“CoOwnaz” is spray-painted in jittery black font on the wall above table holding a sampler, drum-machine, a laptop and a humming desktop; its Logix’ veritable command center, where he’s produced an array of different projects and collaborated with numerous artists (primarily those of the newer class of hip-hop Emcees, including Waffles, Passalacqua, Benjamin Miles and more.) The video is for "In The Meantime," a song featured on this weeks' anti-rap compilation, duet of earnest, autobiographical raps between Miles and Bryan Lackner (a.k.a. Mister), deployed with sleek cadences over a fervent, electro-pop tempo of beats sampled from the songs of Swedish pop star Lykke Li. Eddie Logix Plays Lykke Li grew from his desire to stretch out of his rap comfort zone and shift his style, applying his production ear towards more of a pop-style, or at least a danceable format.
The eclectic Lykke Li, a young Swedish songstress inclined towards twisting a bit of a hip-hop spice (at least in the cool, punchy clatter of her beat arrangements) onto her country’s characteristic disco-beat-friendly, glossily-produced style of indie-rock-feeling synth-pop, felt like the right mixture of musical elements for Logix to start experimenting.
“CoOwnaz,” meanwhile, is the catch-phrase or code word (or unofficial title) of the collective of young, up-and-coming local rappers and beat-makers, (it’s membership is inherently loose, but what’s becoming evident is that it’s camaraderie actually coagulated around the drawn-out production of this very album). Doc Waffles, Miles, Lackner, and others like Charles Beans and SelfSays organically coalesced around Logix’ recording space: Logix says he invited each contributor to their respective tracks because they fit the vibe of the album.
Each were aspiring beyond stereotypical rap tropes and yearned for more nuanced rap shows by means of genre-splicing, while also advocating for a more communal vibe between hip-hop creators. There was no Viper Room, nor “CoOwnaz” two years ago when Logix started this production, yet it’s now, as they reflect on its completion and celebrate its release, this week, that each rapper, R&B-tweaker, electro-loving producer, or whoever among them, can fully appreciate what they call the “CoOwnaz” aesthetic.
So what you’ll hear: Locally-brewed rap wrung out upon remixed beats from a quirky Swedish anti-disco diva. But its distinguished by how each has their heart on their sleeves, unconcerned of perceived requisite braggadocio most rappers reel off with swaggering egos, as though they’ve already proven themselves before the track starts. But Logix sees each contributor as out to prove something, out to share serious beat-flared sonnets exorcising disenchantment and re-molding their resolve to continue. “Keep going
” is the hook Mister reels off in the jogging, jumbling beats for the bridge of the song for which their shooting this music video.
If rappers need an attitude adjustment or a forehead-slapping moment to recommit to their craft, what a refreshing way, then, to do it: post-millennial Detroit rap and re-worked R&B-pop styles over a montage of intricate and arty Scandinavian synth pop from across the pond.
Added to the video’s prop list, just as we head out the Viper Room’s doors: “Maybe a motorcycle? Definitely wigs, or mustaches, some real theatre-shit!”
Eddie Logix Plays Lykke Li – Self Release – Album Party – August 9th