Today we present ?uestlove’s favorite group to watch for in 2009, H.I.S.D.
MCs – Savvi, Scottie Spitten, Equality, L Da Voice
Producers: King Midas, E. Classic, Soul One (Collectively known as GoldenSoulClassics)
I first became aware of H.I.S.D. a few years ago thanks to Soul One, who’s 1/3 of the GoldenSoulClassics triumvirate that shapes the sounds of the collective. I’d known as a DJ, and he was telling me about this new crew that he was a part of:
“It’s called H.I.S.D.”
“Like – like, the school district?”
“Well, yeah – but it obviously stands for something else. ‘Hueston Independent Spit District.’ Or you can switch out ‘Spit’ with ‘Slang’ or substitute with something else.”
“Don’t get it twisted – the crew goes hard. We got team of producers, some emcees and DJs, and it’s all coming together pretty nicely.”
Despite my initial confusion with the name, I trusted Soul One’s endorsement. Weeks later, I attended a show to see D Rose, and HISD was on the bill. (Unfortunately, I caught the last song of their set.) But looking at the collective, I recognized Savvi because he’d been on the scene for a while, and we’d talked in passing a few times about doing some work together. While I didn’t know the rest of the group at the time, I did notice that they had a respectable crowd that had come out to see them. Mental note made. I needed to see what was up with this “HISD”.
When D Rose was in the pre-production stage of Taster’s Choice, he sent over a track that was in consideration for the album, and he wanted Big Mon and me to jump on it. It was tentatively titled “The Caper”:
D Rose featuring KO – “The Caper” (Demo)
I could tell that it wasn’t a DJ Cozmos track, and I initially thought that he was producing the entire project. He said that some young cat named King Midas produced it. I was like:
“Who is King Midas?”
“He produces for HISD.”
“I keep hearing about this damn HISD thing! I really need to see what’s going on.”
So I start to check out their myspace page and website, and lo and behold – they lived up to the hype. The first thing I noticed was that they had an energy and freshness that some of us more… seasoned artists may have allowed to slip away. At the risk of sounding cliché, they made me realize that making music could be fun again.
I caught up with E. Classic through a message board and set up a rendezvous to purchase their debut, “The District”. I think it was the last physical CD that I’ve purchased. If it ends up being the last CD that I ever buy, then it was worth it.
I expected an album with a “throwback” sound to it, which would have worked for me. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that while the sound of the album was very much in the now, the feel of it recalls late 80s / early 90s hip hop, when artists seemed to genuinely enjoy making music.
I think I’ve told them this before, but I can honestly say that they’ve renewed my vigor for making enjoyable music. I went through my phase of taking everything too seriously and being too analytical with what I created. As I began to infiltrate their camp and impose myself on tracks that may have been designated for the core members (just kidding… maybe) I started to understand why so many people were drawn to them so quickly – it’s just fun. They do it because they have an absolute passion for it. If you sit in a room with them for an hour, they’ll spend 55 minutes laughing, philosophizing, and arguing about music, and the final 5 minutes creating classics born out of those discussions.
In the coming months you’ll get to learn a lot more about them, as I go behind the scenes to document the making of their new album, along with a host of other things that I can’t really talk about just yet. Yes – ?uestlove endorsed them. There’s a reason why, and you’re going to find out sooner than you think.
H.I.S.D. – “Never Die”
H.I.S.D. – “Bang Out Music”