In the often egocentric world of entertainment, the quiet, unassuming personality of Ypsilanti-based rapper S.U.N. is a breath of fresh air. While not afraid to brag and boast on the microphone, he’s more concerned with dropping knowledge and staying true to himself. “Hip hop today is so saturated,” he explains, “that it all boils down to uniqueness. It’s like when you see water and oil mix, there’s so much water but I want to be that little bit of oil shining on the surface.”
Equally refreshing is S.U.N.’s disregard for material gain, saying the respect of fans and his peers is “worth a million dollars to me.” Too often underrated and overlooked, this 734 veteran is now receiving a steady income of his preferred currency. His second solo album, School of Thought, has received critical acclaim, and frequent live appearances with Ann Arbor band Prhyme Numberz reveal new dimensions to S.U.N.’s music with each performance.
Collaborating with a live band creates dynamic possibilities beyond two turntables and a mic, allowing Prhyme Numberz to re-create and reinterpret each beat, improvising and adding its own soulful rhythmic touch, punctuated by world-class turntablist DJ Virus. The result is a unique, live, hip-hop experience that S.U.N. describes as “spiritual.”
Refusing to rest on his laurels, S.U.N. has his sights set on expanding his national fan base. A recent trip to Los Angeles resulted in collaborations with underground heavyweights Discrete Merchants (producers for Planet Asia) and Jizzm High Definition, which should be released on an upcoming vinyl-only EP. He also has been selected as the MC for Funky Baldheads, a side project of Prince’s touring band, which led to a meeting with The Artist himself and a performance at the NBA’s All-Star Weekend. 2001 looks to be a bright year for S.U.N., and if all goes right he could receive both the respect he desires and the financial rewards he deserves.
S.U.N. performs Friday, March 9 at Lili’s 21, 2930 Jacob (313-875-6555).
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