MIXING IT UP Grem and Dirty Ice. [Photo by Corey Grayhorse]
Attention any and all seasoned hip-hop artists from around the region: have your spontaneous rhyme skills at the ready just in case Grem and Dirty Ice come calling, as the PVD (via New Bedford) duo known as DirtyDurdie have been enlisting local lyricists for what they refer to as “throw-ups” or “throwies,” parlance for the art of graffiti. The concept has culminated in a handful of quality tracks thus far, and there will be more on the way.
Graffiti is considered one of the five basic elements of hip-hop culture, and DD’s guerilla-style marketing plan pays homage accordingly, as referenced by Ice and Grem: “The artists are the MCs, the wall is the beat, the words are the paint colors, and the style nuances reflect the skills of the individual artists.” A graffiti glossary on Wikipedia states: “A throw-up or ‘throwie’ sits between a tag and a bomb in terms of complexity and time investment. . . A throw-up is designed for quick execution, to avoid attracting attention to the writer.”
With no set time or download limit attached to each song (and following the principles of graffiti), Ice and Grem reserve the right to permanently yank it from the clutches of the interweb whenever they damn well please, so act fast and start downloading the limited run tracks (free!) at soundcloud.com/dirtydurdie-music.
I caught up with Dirty Ice earlier this week.
“The idea was inspired by the rebellious purity of graffiti’s art form, and a desire to collaborate efficiently with other emcees,” he said.
Artists are given seven days to prepare for recording, and utilizing an “industry beat” is not mandatory but highly encouraged (which represents the wall artists illegally spray on).
And don’t think the more challenging expedited deadline for participating rappers leads to inferior product — Ice continues to seek out top-shelf peers.
“Emcees are chosen based on my perception of their professionalism, reputation for execution, skill level, and overall commitment to the art form,” he told me, with priority given to “seasoned veterans.”
The initial throw-up, titled “Effervescence,” went live a few months back and features Siah Law, Dirty Ice, and local legend Swann Notty (Rhody rap’s GOAT right here) flowing over a DJ Premier beat. Ice and Chachi Carvalho glide over a Madlib instrumental on “Fly.” Ice fires off this trademark baritone gem: “I personify the eyes of evolution, guided by the movement of the ocean when the moon’s lit/My human cell is just a vessel for my music/I’m glad my mind’s connected cuz if not I’d probably lose it.” DD’s Gremlyn also gets in on the action alongside Grinch Rockwell on “Let It Breathe,” and Grem holds court between razor-sharp female lyricists CitaLight and 5th Elament over (Madvillain’s “Figaro”) on “Hey You.”
ESH the Monolith is another all-pro veteran from the PVD area (now residing in Allston, MA) and hops aboard Special Ed’s “I Got It Made” with Dirty Ice on “Special Bus.” ESH shipped his bars and the song was pieced together in the studio. From the very first line — “You’re on my balls like the Spalding logo” — he’s off and running. Although he is currently working on three solo projects (all due out by year’s end), ESH jumped at the chance to collaborate with Ice for the first time.