Feb 3, 2009

Kooley High highlights local hip hop scene

My Friends are Literally breaking the bar instead of setting the bar "North Carolina Stand Please"


Photo courtesy Kooley High/m.e.c.c.a. records

Kooley High memebers from left: Foolery, Charlie Smarts, Rapsody, Tab-One, DJ Ill Digitz and Sinopsis

Hip Hop, along with mainstream music, has evolved over the years, guided by the music industry, which seeks to better capture the ears (and seemingly more importantly, wallets) of the masses. Each genre has its cookie-cutter track.

On the subject of Hip Hop's cookie-cutters, Charlie Smarts, an alumni who graduated in '06 in Marketing and one of the emcees from Kooley High, said, "Sometimes a lot of the songs on the radio gotta be super dancy. We've got a groove...I'm not hating, but I don't think they groove on the radio as much."

Ill Digitz, the DJ for Kooley High, added, "It's kind of like the artists you hear on the radio are doing it from a business standpoint. As soon as a business succeeds, people are going to emulate it. We're trying to make it our own way -- we don't want to follow."

The members of Kooley High came together through the student-run Hip Hop Organization (H2O) and is made up of three emcees (Charlie Smarts, Rapsody and Tab-One), two producers (Sinopsis and Foolery) and DJ Ill Digitz.

Smarts spoke about the groups mentality, saying, "You want people to like what you do. It hurts to flop, but it's about taking criticism. It's about coming together as Kooley High's sound. If you hear me rapping, you can bet somebody helped me on it."

Sinopsis then jeered, "He raps loud. You can tell how far the songs going to go by how fast he'll come with a hook. If Charlie gets a beat and it flops, that the end of the issue." He then elaborated on the shared work load.

"If you hate what I'm doing, you might like what Foolery does. It makes the work load a lot easier," Sinopsis said.

On Jan. 24, Kooley got the chance to show its groove with the debut of its new film, directed by fellow m.e.c.c.a. (Middle East Coast Carolina Always) member Napoleon Wright II at the Galaxy Cinema. The film, entitled One Day: Introducing Kooley High, gives spotlights to each of the members of the group, allowing them to open themselves up to the viewer. Spliced in between each close up are clips from the group's performance at The Pour House, which show the before, during and after of one of the band's sets.

The film will be put online Thursday on becauseus.org and Vimeo.org. The group hopes the viral nature of the Internet will help the band draw attention to the burgeoning Hip Hop scene in North Carolina.

"[The movie] was made with the idea of releasing it online. I don't think anyone has done something like this before, Wright said. "And I want the video to be claimed by the masses, for the people to say it's dope."

The debut sold out at the Galaxy, and Kooley has big hopes for what the online exposure will do.

Wright spoke about the points he wanted to get across in the movie.

"I wanted it to be where you are learning about everybody as people. I asked three questions: Why did you get into it, why do you keep doing it and what do you hope to happen with it. When I came to [the second question], everybody seemed to forget about the camera and started being real."

"Just from studying what's going on, nobody has really opened the door to their life. It's not us faking it till we make it," Foolery said.

Smarts added, "You see the struggle of coming up from the bottom. It's all about the music, love and camaraderie."

Make sure to hop online Thursday to check out the movie. Kooley High also has an E.P., The Summer Sessions E.P. available on Itunes and kooleyhigh.com. They also look to put out their debut album within the year, potentially this coming August.

Article via TechnicainOnline

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