Pac Div Talk Free Album, West Coast Hip Hop

posted October 09, 2009 05:15:00 PM CDT | 21 comments

With the myriad of blows dealt to California Hip Hop over the past decade, few ever expected the states music scene to bounce back with as much force as it did over the past two years. One of the groups ushering this new and sonically diverse rebirth of left coast Hip-Hop is the three-piece outfit and DXnext alumni Pac Div [click to read]. Comprised of brothers Mibbs and Like and long-time friend BeYoung, Pac Div are hard at work recording their studio debut Grown Kid Syndrome, slated for a release at the top of next year on Universal Motown. This past summer, the trio dropped their critically acclaimed project Church League Champions [click to listen]. They described to DX their mentality during Church League's recording process. 

After we dropped [Church League Champions], we went on tourand everybodys been showing us love, said Mibbs. A lot of people who doubted us before are listening to our music now like, 'Man, these dudes are really serious about this shit. Its been an overwhelming feeling.

BeYoung
added, Going into it, it was all about really just showcasing that ambition of having big dreams but having the smallest and humblest of beginnings, like even when youre at that state of being on the come-up, you still have those dreamslike using the metaphor of basketball, you had those dreams of playing with Kobe [Bryant]and LeBron James, but youre starting at the church league. Youre working your way up. Youre starting from the smallest beginnings, but you know youve got the biggest dreams. We really just wanted to get that whole underdog theme across because we feel like weve got a lot to prove.

A popular 2009 trend, Pac Div released Church League Champions as a free album. The three emcees explained that while they wanted to give fans top-tier quality music, they didnt want to over saturate the industry with music. They intend to keep the number of free releases at market equilibrium so that listeners are more fully able to digest and appreciate the music.

We just wanted to give people a real quality segment of music rather than just your standard mixtape,
said BeYoung. "Were very savvy about the trends and all of that going on in music, but what weve found is that over the years, our situation is a very unique one and we really just figured out how to really work our situation because the way we do things isnt standardwe dont over saturate the market with music. Were usual pretty selective of what we put out, so we make sure to take time to craft out sound thats really fittingits like Polo or Ralph Lauren or Calvin Klein or Louis Vuitton that quality over quantity and we make sure that when we do put something out, its a really big deal.

The group also discussed their unique blend of Hip Hop. They discussed how they draw influence from Californias extensive variety of Hip Hop acts. Yet at the end of the day, what matters to them as artists is their own unique perspective, something they refuse to compromise.

The sounds always been there, said Like. Los Angeles has always been a progressive place[the mainstream] only really gave you one side of [California Hip Hop]. They only gave you the gangsta side. We had groups like the Pharcyde, the Alkaholiks, I mean, Xzibit was killing, Ras Kass, [Hieroglyphics], Souls of Mischief, Freestyle Fellowship we could go on and on. These groups [existed]on the west at the time of Snoop [Dogg], [Dr.] Dre, Dogg Pound and Death Row were poppingits really a diverse place. Not everybodys a murderer or a backpacker or no everybodys conscious. Its a big mixture [of sounds]we just try to represent who we are as people.

He added, Honesty breeds integrity, so we feel like the [more] that you can be honest to yourself [and] to the people, the better off youre going to do for yourself in the long run.

Another new musical style coming out of the west coast is the youth-oriented jerk dance movement. Although the members of Pac Div are not pining to jump on the recent dance craze, they do say that they understand it and appreciate it as a positive and safe outlet in which kids can get involved.

The whole jerk thing definitely has its place right now and it definitely has its crowd, but what we do is like sliced bread: its never going to play out, said Mibbs. Its [like] a service thats not going out of style. What we do is totally unique and is always going to be relevantso while [jerk dancing] exists, we pay respects to that. We don't do it, but we understand it. Usually, it's like the young kid movement, so as long as nobody's really doing nothing bad and nobody's getting hurt and people ain't shooting each other, I'd rather have them doing that."



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