"Vinyl Lullabies and the Apostles of Rhyme"
Take a turn down Sixth Street and the scene is troubling. Drifters and crackheads in raucous exposition litter the sidewalk. You twist and turn out of their way and keep a steady pace until you hit the Showdown. You fuss with your wallet, produce an ID, and cross the threshold.
-By Alex May
Inside it's narrow and smells like any other dive bar in the world. The dank cloud of stale beer weighs the air and whisky stains the floor as you make your way through the swarm of bodies.
It's dark, like it should be.
She hands you a beer and you hand her the cash, because that's all they accept, and turn towards the music. The floor is the stage in this cramped rectangle. Other emcees spit rhymes into the microphone in front of the women's bathroom as the only elevated person in the room listens into headphones while the tables turn, the music mixes.
The motley three then take to the stage, level with the crowd.
Together, they're an imposing force. Together, they're BPos.
D-Wiz, Khafre, and GoodWord dictate the energy as patrons sip on cold drinks and nod their heads to the beat. The man who spins is Johnny Venetti, who owns the place. He is tall and lanky with a mop of unkempt hair and brown sunglasses. He looms from his perch, making the music for the masses. His body moves to the beat and his fingertips broadcast aggression and subtlety as he fades and scratches and manipulates the vinyl. Adding his flavor to the night.
The sound is reminiscent of the Old School. A time when the rhymes meant more than getting YouTube clicks. The vocals then were raw, unadulterated, untouched by autotune. You hear the past in their words and see it in the execution. Respect for the Elders is apparent, but confidence in their abilities is high.
Fingers point and hands gesticulate. The arm unattached to the mic is free to keep time with the beat as they go to war in front of the women's bathroom. What they give off in vitality and strength is infectious. Look around and you're the only turned head. All eyes are forward. All heads are moving.
They're a unit. But as individuals the unique qualities come to the forefront.
Khafre is the shortest. His voice though holds the top register. His long dreadlocks sway as he moves, hitting the mic with rhymes like machine gun fire. He sings too, giving soul to not all but some choruses. Beads of sweat roll from under the hat he always wears as he darts between the other two.
The mic gets lost in the beard of D-Wiz. He wears a hat too, or at the very least something to control the thick swath of dreads. He raps conscientiously, as if every line is a lesson he is telling to his children. His intonation is professorial and measured, pausing at the right moments to let the words sink into the soul.
GoodWord remembers first writing raps in the sixth grade. Now he stands tall above the other two, the veins in his neck swollen in the moment. Giving the good words to his listeners, preaching the Gospel of Rhyme. His tone is the deepest, mesquite smoked. He turns his hat backward and delivers the staccato melodies, thumping the ears and brains with meaning and purpose.
Speak to them afterward and their true personas radiate. They are humble and appreciative, eager and willing to talk about their music and message. But the knowing glint in the eye is sharp and adrenaline still surges through the body, ready to react to a microphone placed in hand and velvety beats on the stereo.
The motley crew knows what light lies at the end of the tunnel, and that it may take time to get there. But they vow they will one day get there.
Until then they do, battle in the cramped, dank rectangles. Fighting to keep the attention of the boozy crowd, warring their words through the sound system.
|Date / Venue||Location||Information|
|Tue. May 21st
Brothers Drake Meadery
Columbus, OH. Facebook Event
|26 E. 5th Avenue, Columbus, Oh. 43201||BPos and more!
|Thur. May 23rd
Covington, KY Facebook Event
|730 Madison Ave., Covington, Ky. 41011||BPos, Brady Glenn, Banducci and the Wheels
|Fri. May 24th
Juniors Sports Bar
Chicago, IL Facebook Event
|2058 W. Cermak Road, Chicago, Il. 60608||FOR THE LOVE OF CHICAGO HIP HOP IV
-BPOS (SAN FRANCISCO)
-BRADY GLENN (MINNESOTA)
HOSTED BY: KINGDOM ROCK (ILL-STATE ASSASSINS)
-ROB SMOOTH & JD
-SAM I AM
-NOTRYDO & PHEE (RESPECT THE MIC)
-DJ J-REAL THE DJ (X-MEN)
-DJ PHONZ (WHPK 88.5 FM)
$10 Dudes $5 Ladies; Ladies free before 10:30
Pos Tapes:Bay Area Hip Hop Group BPos Prepares New Release "Pos Tapes The Album"
Available-June 26th, 2012
"If there was an award for 'Bay Area Hip-Hop group with their business minds up to par with their emcee/DJ skills,' it would go to San Francisco trio BPos."
– Billy Jam
Pos Tapes The Album, by San Francisco based Hip Hop collective BPos (short for Be Positive), is a 17-track collection of the best songs selected from Pos Tapes Vol. 1-3, a trilogy of self-produced "mix tape" digital albums released by the group over the past two years. BPos is D-Wiz: MC/Lyricist, Producer, Goodword: MC/Lyricist, Khafre: MC/Lyricist and their DJ Johnny Venetti. Releasing on the groups' own label (One League Entertainment), this album marks the second full-length from the established Bay Area group and features appearances by other local artists including: Z-Man, Pep Love and Equipto, as well as a few other special guests.
After the group's debut album The Upside peaked at #4 on the CMJ Hip Hop chart in June of 2010, the group wanted to utilize a new trend in independent music that saw artists giving away music for free online as "Digital Albums." They created Pos Tapes Vol. 1-3 and released it digitally for free, exciting the current fan base as well as attracting new interest and gaining exposure.
When listening to Pos Tapes Vol. 1-3, one can hear the development of BPos' individual brand of Hip Hop music taking place. These "Pos Tapes" became something very special.It wasn't your usual free music, rushed and pushed out without much consideration for artistic integrity.These were full-length albums imbued with completely original material.Each "Pos Tapes" Volume features beats from one producer (Vol.1: Big Shawn, Vol. II: Tahaj the First, Volume Three: ghostNOTES), and the trilogy as a whole showcases a splendid exhibit of BPos' musical and lyrical versatility.
Why the name Pos Tapes? One day, BPos was sitting in their studio reminiscing about the crazy ways they used to have to go about making music, and they started talking about Pause Tapes, the name for a low budget style of making beats developed in the 80's, using cassettes and a tape recorder.They decided "Pos Tapes" was a perfect play on words that would spark nostalgia in the people who remember Pause Tapes, as well as enlighten the younger generation to the roots of Hip Hop music.
08/01/12: Pos Tapes The Album Review on OkayPlayer
08/01/12: Pos Tapes the Album Review in SLUG Mag
07/23/12: BPos #1 Single on College Radio charts
07/15/12: Live Ya Life Featured on HipHopDX
07/09/12: Pep Love/BPos interview -URB Mag
07/01/12: Dubcnn album review of "POS Tapes"
06/12/12: Official BPos Press release.