"Your Favorite Group"
“Your Favorite Group, Street Justice”, sounds like an announcement for the lucky winner at an awards show, right? Although nominated in two categories for the upcoming 2010 Detroit Hip Hop Awards for “Best Group” and “Best Live Performance”, Street Justice’s tagline has been a long running campaign to rally their fans and incite the masses to gain new ones. Call them arrogant if you must but they explain, “Our honest brutal opinion: So many artists…all ain’t good, not meant to do it. The person that you think might pop, may not pop. That’s just how the industry is. We’re confidently arrogant—as good as or better than everybody else.”
Performing tonight in Pontiac, MI at the Crofoot with lyricists [Talib Kweli + Hi-Tek]= Reflection Eternal shouldn’t surprise most if you’ve been following this union of friends since 2003. Street Justice, comprised of Redd, KetchPhraze, Jypsy and 4mulaOne are a dynamic collaboration of artists that could easily carry their own individual torches as soloists, yet seem to feed off each other’s skills which is apparent both in the studio and on the stage. When you go see a SJ performance, you can expect to see a dope 16 bars, an interactive chemistry that goes with the flow of their audience and “Energy, great lyrics, and an overall stage presence to entertain the crowd.”
SJ continues, “We get the same reaction from the crowds [when we perform], ‘Damn, they were funny…entertaining’. We always get a positive reaction from Black, White, suburban, rich, poor—we have a universal appeal.”
They’ve paid their dues along the way since the night they took a chance on a song at an open mic. Initially they assumed the open mic’s resident DJ, 4mulaOne, was “taken”, thinking his skills already landed him in the midst of some other artist as their exclusive DJ. To Ketch P’s and Redd’s surprise, 4mulaOne accepted the invite to collaborate after they finally approached him. “Freestyling led to writing songs. We literally wrote the song that day then performed it that night. The chemistry. We knew we had something.” From that night on, 4mulaOne adds, “We knew we had to flood the Detroit hip hop market and gain respect from our peers. They embraced us. That was a good look on our behalf. We have our own style that separates us from others. We understand how it’s supposed to be done.”
Besides 4mulaOne on the tracks, the award-winning producer Peace of Mind also contributes to “Your Favorite Group’s” sound. SJ describes their sound as “hip hop, smoothed out…”. When they’re making a song or coming up with concepts, one group member will “start and then it becomes a snowball effect. We’re meticulous with the hook and will usually collab to the finish.”
In an industry chock-full of solo artists, it is refreshing to be entertained by a group of MC’s that translate their love for what they do on the mic to their audience. “If u feel like u have talent, it takes one of your peers to make you believe it. From growing up we got each other’s backs. Like ‘man, you can do that shit’. Everything happens for a reason and we clicked.”
When was the last time you were entertained by a hip hop act that was innovative without being too peculiar, funny without coming across as too goofy, and lyrical without being too preachy? They go H.A.M. (hard as a muthaf**ka) without the risk of being accused as backpack rappers who are searching for street cred.
And for those reasons Street Justice is your favorite group.
For more info: The 2010 Hip Hop Awards presented by www.detroitrap.com will take place Sunday, May 30, 2010 at Blondie's in Detroit, MI. Visit www.detroitrap.com to vote for your favorite Detroit area artists in categories such as Best DJ, Best Graphic Designer, Best Female Performer and more! Hosted by Lilmissdottie and Hot 102.7's Ike Love.