Humboldt County's Potluck may have spent the last decade building a rap rep closely associated with their Northern California home county's best known export, but below the surface of this talented, hard-working, hip-hop duo is a lot more than blunts and weed smoke, insists member UnderRated.
"Our first message might appear to be the weed because we are from Humboldt and our name is Potluck," said the rapper/producer backstage at BB Kings in NYC recently as part of the North American End of Days tour with Twiztid, Boondox, and Prozak. "But what we really try to do is spread a message of peace and to show that everyone can get along for real." Proof lies, he says, in the fact that a comparatively small Jewish white guy born in the small town NorCal Humboldt area and his partner in rhyme, the SoCal born African American 1 Ton, who lives up to his name, can get along so well. "We are totally different people but we get along great. We have learned from each other, coming up from completely different backgrounds. He's not from Humboldt. He's from San Diego. So he came up north and learned a different way...a Humboldt way, which is laid back, cool, you know be cool to everybody. And then I learned from him like this world ain't all cool and easy."
Further proving that Potluck is a lot more than just stoner-anthem makers, are several fantastic songs on the new album Pipe Dreams like "Computer Love," a hilarious commentary about the perils of online romantic connections, and the serious, heartfelt "My Dad," which is an ode to the pair's respective fathers. "That's really a very personal song to both of us," said 1 Ton. "You see, my father is really sick right now, so that is why I start my verse with 'Some thoughts that you deserve to hear before you pass away,' because a lot of the reason why I am who I am is because of him. So it's like a tribute song but in the same way a celebration of the relationship we have. I just hope that now with my kids that I can have the same relationship."
The two members of Potluck, neither of whom were rappers to begin with, first met at a DJ audition. "We both started out as DJ's," recalled emcee 1 Ton, who, despite his intimidating Suge Knight-like presence, is nothing like the Death Row figure. "We met at a DJ trial for a club and we started DJ'ing [together], four turntables, ya know, rockin' underground house parties and all that stuff and we started making beats. And then reluctantly at the very end we started rhyming, you know just due to people flaking and not coming over to rap and stuff like that. So then it just kinda snowballed into what it is today. But we reluctantly got into rap." That was a decade ago. Since then, the pair have worked hard at honing their craft and equally as hard at building their careers, mostly through tireless networking wherever a door opened for them. All of their hard work has paid off.