Tomorrow, Friday, Jan 18th @ 6PM at Amoeba Music, San Francisco -- the promising new Bay Area hip-hop trio 40Love, who recently dropped their strong & well-rounded debut album Advantage, will be performing as part of Amoeba's Homegrown in-store series.
I recently caught up with emcee G-off from the group, who also works at Amoeba Music on Haight Street in addition to putting in time across town at the A&R department of San Francisco's OM Records, to ask help introduce the uninitiated to 40Love.
AMOEBLOG: Can you give a brief history of your group for those who don't know?
G-OFF: 40Love is a hip hop group from San Francisco which features emcee/vocalist Haze, producer & emcee MIkos, and myself, an emcee, G-off. Our first album Advantage features Jern Eye of Lunar Heights, The Genie, plus Malik of Aquarius and HBO Def Jam Poetry. In early 2007 we were signed to a two year deal with DJ Qbert's manager and even had a track with DJ Qbert on the album. However, because we are 19 and new to the industry, they wanted us to hold back on the release of the album to a later date. This resulted in us opting out of our contract to follow the infamous Bay Area tradition of being completely independent artists.
AMOEBLOG: Can you tell me about the other two members and describe them as artists?
G-OFF: Mikos is the best producer in they Bay, period. His drums, the way he chops his samples and layers his own compositions is far beyond any ability of producers out here in the city, or anywhere else. A perfect matrimony between Pete and Rick Rock, if you will. And you only come across an artist like Haze every twenty years. She finds certain melodies in choruses that are insanely beautiful, and her writing style is so creative. The girl delivers 16's harder than anyone I ever heard, male or female. I just try my best to play catch up.
AMOEBLOG: What type of topics do you guys cover on the album?
G-OFF: Basically everything...from expressing how beautiful the sunset was to how beautiful the smoke looks after opening the doors after hot boxing, from hollering on MySpace to ripping draft cards in half.
AMOEBLOG: Where do you see 40Love's place in the spectrum of hip-hop?
G-OFF: What we are truly trying to accomplish with this album or anything we come out with in the future is to create a new sound for San Francisco hip-hop. However, innovative styles derive from a spin off opposite from its originator. Tribe's Midnight Marauders was created from their inspiration from Dre's first Chronic. 40Love's sound is our own attempt to depict the current energy of the Hyphy Movement in the East Bay. Now, don't think for a second that I would ever condone such blasphemy by comparing us to Tribe (the greatest group of all time!), but the idea of "artistic reincarnation" I feel is prevalent with the music we make.
AMOEBLOG: So where do you see yourself within the unique & diverse Bay Area hip-hop scene?
G-OFF: I feel that since the Bay Area is such an opinion-driven society that everyone has to choose sides; it goes the same for hip hop. You are either a hyphy-hustling philistine or a pretentious revolutionary know-it-all (laughs). After listening to either one for too long it all gets bland. As 40Love we try to dismiss any and all labels, and let our own views speak for themselves.
AMOEBLOG: What can folks expect at your Amoeba in-store performance?
G-OFF: We try to make our shows as high energy as possible, which means a lot of beat change ups and freestyles. Our live DJ is Whooligan from the Sole Vibe so you know its going to be fiah!
Note that the Amoeba Music (1855 Haight St. San Francisco) instore is secheduled to start at 6PM where copies of their CD Advantage will be available for sale. Meantime, check out 40Love's MySpace for samples of their music (including the song "Hot Box") and more information. G-off added that 40Love is currently working on a Bunkbedless EP called Bangerang that is due out this Fall.
Thanks to Brady (Bay Area Crew) for turning me on to this group initially.
To check out a video of the group's Amoeba instore, click here.