I recognize that my taste in hip-hop is steadily veering a little to the left, and the progressive duo Meanest Man Contest has been one of the acts to lead me in that direction.
So my curiosity is piqued by a new project from MMC’s Eric Steuer called Not the 1s, a collaboration between Steuer (aka Cuzzo) and Alex Christidis (aka Mawnstr), a Bay Area-based rapper by way of L.A. who was part of a group, The Connoisseurs, that included P.E.A.C.E. from Freestyle Fellowship.
Steuer and Christidis linked up for an eight-track debut, Why You Cryin?, that will be released in June on the great Gold Robot Records label. Steuer – accessible and friendly in addition to supremely talented – gave me the skinny: “We’ve known each other since back in the day and we’ve been looking for the right opportunity to work together on something for a long time. It’s a short album – eight tracks. We recorded a bunch more stuff but we shelved some of it because we wanted to make sure everything we put out sounded right.”
Judging from the first leak, You Dress Like an Asshole (which premiered at Altered Zones), he’s clearly onto something. This is where future-fresh beats meet an old-school hip-hop truism: Your wardrobe is wack, son.
Lunice worked the production, one of several notable guests on the album. Daedelus, Mexicans with Guns and Monster Rally are among the beatmakers, and Tucson’s own Isaiah Toothtaker drops in for cameo raps, returning the favor after Steuer produced a track, T.T.T., on Toothtaker’s 2010 album Yiggy.
To help fund pressing of colored vinyl, Not the 1s fired up a Kickstarter campaign, which at the time of my writing this had raised $1,470 of its stated $2,000 goal. Incentives (vinyl, T-shirts, shoutout in liner notes) are offered at the various contribution levels. Even $5 gets you a digital download of the album two weeks before its release, so get a move on it.
(Track courtesy of Altered Zones)