The Crocodile, ReignCity & Eckō Unltd. present
Souls Of Mischief (A-Plus, Opio, Phesto & Tajai)
Shorte, Jewels Hunter, DJ Zac Hendrix
2200 2nd Ave
Seattle, WA, 98121
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
Souls Of Mischief (A-Plus, Opio, Phesto & Tajai)
With very few exceptions, Hip Hop anthems have their popularity, and perhaps
resurgence among a new generation of fans - then they go on to the next anthem. Not
so for Souls of Mischief's seminal classic '93 'til Infinity, which has remained popular for
a 20-year run and counting. 50-somethings all the way down to tweens know every
word to the song, which was born when A-Plus bought a dollar record by Billy Cobham
(Heather) and began to sample it, adding his now-signature rhythms, drum patterns,
Souls of Mischief began to come together when the members were just children in
elementary school. Oakland native Tajai began rhyming with future band mate A-Plus at
age 8, while both were in elementary school. "My dream and goal since I was 8, was to
come out with a dope hip hop album and be in the same peer group as all of the
rappers I looked up to at the time. To be a part of that exclusive club of hip hop artists
recognized and respected for their work," A-Plus reminisces.
Tajai and Phesto met later in junior high school, A-Plus introduced Tajai to Opio (who
met him from Hiero member Casual) and the group informally formed in high school
before making their major-label debut on Jive Records with their well-received album 93
‘til Infinity, in 1993.While most recording artists are still honing their craft in high school,
Souls of Mischief were ready to realize their dreams. Phesto Dee explains it best "My
dream was to be a famous, dope ass multi-talented rapper and producer and garner
respect from my peers and colleagues. We have been fortunate enough to attain
longevity which was something I thought about, but never imagined would come true.
20 years is a blip in time really but that is considered a long career in this industry. So to
still be living my dream twenty years later is incredible."
93 ’til Infinity is the group’s highest charting album to date (#17 Top R&B/Hip Hop
Albums; #85 Billboard 200), and in January, 1998, was named one of the Top 100 Rap
albums by The Source magazine. The group stayed with Jive for one more album,
1995’s No Man’s Land, before being released from the label during that same year. In
1995, following the release of the group from its major-label contract with Jive the group
officially formed the hip-hop collective Hieroglyphics (Del the Funkee Homosapien, APlus, Tajai, Opio, Phesto Dee, Domino, Casual, Pep Love and DJ Toure). Souls of
Mischief participated as full members in Hieroglyphics’ studio albums: "3rd Eye Vision",
"Full Circle" and "The Kitchen".
Popular artists from Kanye West to Just Blaze to Vampire Weekend to John Mayer and
so many more have given props and kudos to Souls of Mischief in person and in public
for being a huge influence musically, style-wise, lyrically, and for the impact of their
produced music. Kanye West was impressed by the group's fashion sense and style as
well. "They was like the first fresh to death group, they had the rugby's it wasn't about
being a backpacker...they was like...the '93 me!" From J-Cole to Big K.R.I.T. and from
Vampire Weekend to P-Diddy, other producers and artists have also paid their homage by sampling the group's music or interpolating it into their own sound.
Kanye West Lauds Souls of Mischief (video)
Beyond influencing popular music, Souls of Mischief was one of the first groups to have
a major impact on the skate, surf & snowboard culture as well. According to Tajai, it all
started when the group "got in on the 411 Video Magazine and [Plan B’s] Second Hand
Smoke skate videos. That catapulted us to a whole different level. Fortunately, skaters
have followed us throughout the years. We’ve got snowboarder fans and surfer fans
through videos. There’s this action sports crossover. At first it seemed kind of random.
But when we got on those skate videos, they were these seminal skate videos, just like
our record is a seminal record for California underground hip-hop. These skate videos
had guys like Jovontae Turner or Mike Carroll and they were skating in a style that was
brand new." Still making an impact to this day, the NBA is even getting in on the action.
"They played “'93 'Til Infinity” at a Warriors game recently, and that felt good, because
you’ve got 20 million people watching the playoffs on TV," explained Tajai.
All of this influence stems from five full-length albums together as Souls of Mischief,
three of which were released on their crew's self-owned indie label, Hieroglyphics
Imperium - "Focus", "Trilogy: Conflict, Climax, Resolution" and "Montezuma's
Revenge" produced By Prince Paul. In an era when most rap albums are accomplished
by emailing beats and verses back and forth, Montezuma’s Revenge was created the
old-fashioned way, with Phesto, Tajai, Opio, A-Plus, Domino, and Prince Paul in the
studio together from the beginning to the end of the recording process honing and
perfecting each song to create a magnum opus. Souls spent months in the lab working
& living with Prince Paul (De La Soul, Gravediggaz, Handsome Boy Modeling School) to
craft the masterpiece LP, Montezuma’s Revenge, which was later released in 2009 to
critical acclaim, rave reviews, and a European tour in conjunction with Carhartt brand
clothing. Since 2009, Souls members have remained busy on solo projects including APlus's "My Last Good Deed" & "Pepper Spray", Tajai's "Power Movement" & "Machine
Language", Opio's "Vulture's Wisdom" series and his collaborative album with Pep Love
as First Light "Fallacy Fantasy", and Phesto Dee's "Background Check". In 2013, the
group is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the classic hip-hop album 93 ‘til Infinity,
performing the album in its entirety with a live band on the Still Infinity Tour - hitting over
50 cities. If that wasn't enough, Souls are preparing for the 2nd Annual Hiero Day music
and culture festival in Oakland (9/2013), conducting interviews for the first-ever book on
SOM, and anticipating the release of a Souls of Mischief documentary film.
A fitting name for the young rising Seattle artist who has already been recognized by local newspapers and radio plays. SHORTE has opened up shows for numerous mainstream acts such as Dorrough, Ying Yang Twins, Glassess Malone, Bone Thugs n Harmoney, Krizz Kaliko, & Lil Flip just to name a few. He was also the only nomiated Hip Hop act to perform at the Vans WARPED TOUR 2011 (Seattle) on the Ernieball stage. SHORTE credits his love for writing lyrics and making feel good music for people of all demographics; to his humble beginnings. You could say that grinding so long has made SHORTE into a sharp independent artist and businessman with goals of building a successful empire as a singer, songwriter, MC, producer and performer.
DJ Zac Hendrix
Zac Hendrix is a dj, producer, and all around funky cat, as it turns out. He was born in the city of Seattle and grew up in nearby South King County. After early years as a bedroom dj, and subsequent years performing locally, Zac officially entered the independent hip-hop game on a full-time basis in 1999. He has traveled extensively as the DJ for Del the Funky Homosapien (since '02), Bukue One (since '99), and Insult2Injury (since '96). He is also a member of The Handsome Skeletons, Hendrix Jones, All Flags Burn, and several other noteworthy groups that you not have heard of yet. Whether he's rocking a large festival or a small club filled with the most discerning funk aficionados, he's guaranteed to turn some heads. This is definitely not "dj so and so".
The message is positive, the beats hit hard, and the vibe is earthy and honest...and did we mention funky?