Anticon is an independent hip-hop record label, initially based in the Bay Area and founded in the late ‘90s. Similar to other hip-hop “crews,” they’ve released records as individual bands or performers, but other artists make guest appearances on nearly every release (of which there are MANY. Every artists is wildly prolific). Founding members of Anticon include Doseone, Jel, Sole, Alias, Pedestrian, Odd Nosdam, Telephone Jim Jesus, and Why?. Combined project acts of these individual artists include Themselves, Subtle, cLOUDDEAD, Greenthink, and Deep Puddle Dynamics. The combinations continue: Themselves + German indie band The Notwist = 13 & God, and Sole’s solo project that is now post-Anticon is Sole and the Skyrider Band.
Anticon is not gangster rap, nor is it minority self-empowerment hip-hop. It is surreal, experimental, and by far the most exciting music to emerge from any genre in the past ten years. Someartists that began with hip-hop have moved on to sounds more electronic or pop, like Alias’ Muted or Why?’s Elephant Eyelash. Doseone’s apocalyptic, rapid-fire poetics have been placed against both drum machine and electric cello. cLOUDDEAD created a singeable melody out of the lyrics “It's hard to stand the sight of two dogs dead under a sky so blue/You have to stop the blood to your head/to fit the breath in front of you.” If anything, the maturity and spread of Anticon’s artists geographically and genre-wise has only enhanced their accessibility and confirmed their initial manifesto of Music for the Advancement of Hip-Hop.