Eleva8UP Magazine June 2014 - Page 9

Yolanda Adams. If that wasn't talent enough for one person, Ri also plays the piano and clarinet.

One of their early songs, Phat Lady, is, according to Q, “dedicated to all those people who have been told, NO, all their lives”. The song emphasizes that even when the proverbial Fat Lady sings, you still have to go on trying and believing in yourself and your goals.

Life, the latest song written earlier this year by Ri after the birth of the couple's son, is an introspective piece which asks the question that we all deal with at some point in our lives: What is our purpose? Where is our life taking us?

Another one of their songs is titled, Close Your Mouth, which is about not letting other people put you into a box, put a label on you. Listening to the song, you soon realize that the artists put a nice spin on the true sentiments they sought to express in the work. As Q and Ri acknowledged when asked about this, they did agree that the hook for the song can be expressed more colloquially as “Shut Your #!@$#%$?&*@% Mouth”.

It was a 'Letter to the Editor' in the Sacramento News & Review, written by Q, reflecting the sentiments in Close Your Mouth, which first brought the duo to my attention. He was commenting about a short editorial blurb the previous week in the SN&R which bemoaned the lack of opportunity for hip-hop artists in Sacramento, both in local clubs and in the Concert in the Park series. Q wrote that this was due to the perception by most club owners and bookers that rap/hip-hop groups automatically draw a violent element. “This perception has forced many talented local rap and hip-hop artists to surround themselves with a regular band in order to have any chance of being booked for gigs here in the Sacramento area,” both Q and Ri said. “Even doing so, these performers still have a hard time finding opportunities.”

“It has less to do with what you know (your talent and ability),” Ri said, “and more WHO you know.”

The duo acknowledges that even for themselves, they find more work and recognition in the Bay Area than they do here in the Sacramento. Like the response Jesus received when he entered his hometown of Nazareth, they and other local groups don't receive the response and respect they should.

Q and Ri are busy in the studio currently recording a new EP and working on new videos. Their next scheduled performance is set for July 10th in San Francisco. Q also mentioned that they are working on putting together a show here in Sacramento, though no date or location is set yet.

If you want more information on the duo and their music, check out their website and their instagram page.

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H.I.S. He Is Strong

Jeff Cassidy

ELEVA8UP / JUNE 2014

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