DJ Benzi, Cam Meekins, Paul Couture, Kidd Russell
2109 South State St
Chicago, IL, 60616
This event is 17 and over
This is not a sequel. This is what happens when the sun dips down, that swollen moon comes up, the sea water ripples and cools, and the Pacific Coast Highway still feels warm on your bare feet with a little of that leftover sunlight trapped in the blacktop. This is the last hiss of the last popped bottle cap, when the bubbling depths of a golden Corona swallow that last sliver of lime. This is where the story continues, with the top down, the wind spraying loose sand from your hair. This is what happens when you don't go home with the sun… and you follow the moon.
"We can't sit on the beach with an acoustic guitar forever!" proclaims Cisco Adler. "This is not a one-trick pony."
His other half, Aaron Smith (a.k.a. Shwayze), closes his eyes and nods and offers, "We've already got that beach-time summer vibe, chilling during the day. Now we want some stuff for the clubs that bangs your ears out and you can dance to it. This is definitely an evolution from the first one."
That first one, the self-titled Shwayze, ushered the unlikely duo to unlikely heights. A string of multiple hits ("Buzzin'," "Corona and Lime") fueled by millions of Internet plays carried them to top ten album sales, landed them a coveted slot on the Vans Warped Tour, and turned them into reality television stars on MTV. In a wound-up world, Shwayze was a life-lesson in laid back lassitude, a coast-to-coast call to make every day a lazy day. And if success always breeds a bit of contempt, Let It Beat comes out swinging.
"It's like, ‘All right, here it is!'" Shwayze says, laughing as he describes the challenge posed on the opening track, "Livin' It Up." "You guys said we couldn't make another one. You thought we were gonna make the same thing. You didn't think we were deep enough! Well here it is. And don't be mad when your girl leaves with us."
Featuring contributions from New Orleans hip-hop duo The Knux, Shwayze's lifelong hero Snoop Dogg, Ric Ocasek from the Cars, and Darryl Jenifer, bassist for legendary D.C. punk band Bad Brains, Let It Beat is a fearless experiment held together by the controlled yet casual guidance of Adler's production.
"I made a conscious effort to beef the drums up and make it thump," he says. "The last record had one pace, I wanted this one to have more dynamics and go up and down like a rollercoaster ride. It's about letting your heart beat and letting the blood pump through your body. It's about not stopping the flow. Let it all flow and it will all turn out right.
The first single, "Get U Home," is an unapologetic ode to lust satisfaction… before you leave the club: "Take me in the bathroom/Take my clothes off/Make love to me up against the dirty wall/'Cause I can't wait to get you home." Let It Beat is never shy, never afraid to extol its own brand of virtue, it never apologizes, and, of course, you're always welcome to join.
"I'm definitely endorsing that behavior!" announces Adler, referring to the whole "dirty wall" scenario in "Get U Home." "None of it is fantasy. We just live it and tell the story."
"Our music is our lifestyle," Shwayze says. "We're not faking it."
Shwayze was a juggernaut, an unexpected triumph from two beachcombing purveyors of pleasure and sunlight. It tapped into the hidden hedonist in us all, freeing indulgence from guilt for at least the length of a record. Let It Beat extends that day into night. It's nothing less than a celebration of life. For every sarcastic wink, there's that genuine gleaming grin at the thought of the next thrill. Let It Beat is not a fantasy; it's an invitation to a better reality.
"I've been a musician before I was anything else," Adler says. "I was screaming for people to just listen to the music. But then at some point, I had to look inside and tell myself to just keep doing it and it eventually it's gonna show people itself. That's when it started working, amazingly enough. When you just let everything flow, it's gonna flow in the right direction. When you start trying to control the flow, that's when you dam it up."
"It's all a dream come true," adds Shwayze. "We just want to keep on living the dream and keep on living it up."
"As a consummate artist, DJ Benzi is never willing to settle for second best. Blending the musical creations from the rock, rap and hip-hop worlds, he uses his own musical genius and takes an amazing work of art and makes it even better." - Spinner.com
With a flow as smooth as the pros, a shocking level of creative intelligence, maturity beyond his years and confident swag that will catch anyone's attention, Cam Meekins is the definition of there's more than meets the eye. Taking his nice and neat look for granted would be a mistake. Cam strings together lyrics that surpass his young adult peers and could challenge any of his superiors. More than just a hip hop artist, Cam is a learned musician, songwriter and visionary in control of his own destiny.
Born in Newton, Massachusetts and raised in Wellesley, Cam was touched with the music bug at a very young age. Raised in a family of music lovers and musicians, Cam's natural talent began to shine through at age 5 when he received a drum kit from his parents for Christmas. By the time he was 10 years old, Cam had taught himself how to play the guitar, piano and drums. In middle school, Cam used his talents to make beats, ultimately producing records for various local artists. "I made a lot of hip hop beats, but a lot of acoustic stuff back then too, like Dave Matthews Band, Sublime and Dispatch. And on the hip hop side, my influences were Kanye West, Jay-Z, Biggie– all the East Coast stuff."
As a 15-year-old high school student, Cam suffered a near death experience that would mark a life changing turning point. While vacationing on a Caribbean island with friends, Cam was involved in a jet-ski accident, almost bleeding to death before doctors could save him. During the next two months of recovery, Cam had a lot of time to figure out what was most important to him in life and music became a priority, a goal and a way of life.
Breathing renewed momentum into his music career, Cam began working with Matty Trump, a well-known producer in Boston who helped launch careers of other notable artists in the area. The duo wrote and recorded their first song together
Just Like You in about two hours during their initial meeting. Their working relationship grew and Cam released his first mixtape dubbed 1993 in the spring of 2011. The 13-song project took the underground hip hop scene by storm, prompting major record labels to take notice of this young, high school kid with a flow beyond his years. "Music was the only way for me to express myself in terms of girls, my experiences and relationships," noted Cam.
In 2012, Cam signed to Giant Records/Atlantic Records as their first hip hop artist, catapulting his career to the next level. With two new singles Cut Me Off and The Receipt off of his upcoming mixtape , produced by Cam and to be released in May, his creative videos have generated thousands of views on YouTube, increasing his devoted fan base every day. "If you build brick by brick, it's so much more powerful. My fans converting other fans is all I can ask for," said Cam.
Dedicated to staying true to himself, Cam takes his image very seriously, using his business knowledge to keep his product organic, creatively stimulating and available to his fans. With an ultimate wish of being known and respected as a musician, with a connected fan base that will allow him be as creative as he ever imagined, there's no stopping Cam Meekins. The world is at his fingertips– eagerly waiting for him to press play.
We make Alternative music influenced by hip hop simliar to Gnarls Barkley, Rehab or Shwayze!
Kidd Russell used to free style on roof tops with professional wrestler Colt Cabana (WWE, ROH, MTV) while in high school. Influenced by the greats Tupac, Common and 90's alternative music like sublime and 311. Kidd has created his own nitch. Genre jumping between laid-back party beach music, powerful inspirational hip hop and some make you want to fight rock/rap he is the true artists, artist. While most of his music is rooted in hip hop he sings or raps over alternative production by Matt Jenkins creating what he calls "IPOD MUSIC" or alternative Hip hop.