Ces Cru is undoubtedly one of hip hops most talented duos. The group is signed to legendary mic controller Tech N9ne’s Kansas City based Strange Music. The group is comprised of Ubiquitous and Godemis who are talented emcees in their own right who actually became part of the group after it was formed. They had been on the underground scene in Kansas City for awhile and Tech N9ne clearly was impressed with the groups work ethic and signed them even though neither Godemis or Ubiquitous actually hail from Kansas City.
Ces Cru has a new album out called Catastrophic Event Specialist. This is an excellent alternative to the mumble rap era that dominates mainstream radio. The group is a bit mysterious which is understandable as a lot of jealousy exists because they are in an enviable position having been signed to an independent powerhouse such as Strange Music, if you aren’t familiar with Tech N9ne and Peter O’Guin, I suggest you read the Forbes article Tech N9ne: Hip Hop’s Secret Mogul.
I met them on tour in Salt Lake City for an interview. The group was super reserved and distrustful of media but I think they warmed up after a while. What I gathered from the encounter is that this is a group that doesn’t care about being famous, they care about making great music and the proof is in the product. The wordplay, cadences on choruses, and beat selection are on point, no doubt a benefit of having a group member such as Godemis who plays several instruments. Comparison wise, I regard them as an edgier Camp Lo.
They arguably have two certifiable classics with the aforementioned release and Codename Ego Stripper.
I also interviewed label mate Stevie Stone who came out in a Jason mask and questioned my sincerity, concerning behavior for a 35-year-old man. He ended the interview after claiming I was asking him questions that were explained in his press release which their publicist never sent and their manager told me they were ending the interview because they had another interview scheduled, even though I had overheard another Strange Music employee state “their was no other interviews scheduled and I was the only interviewer for the day”, ouch!!
As far as Stevie Stone’s music I think its solid and he is probably one of hip hops most distinctive voices since Mystikal. As far as his behavior I reasoned that it was either because he was distrustful of the media or that he has been possessed by demons, but after all the label is called Strange Music. I can definitely attest to the fact that out of the hundreds of interviews with musicians I have done over the years this was the strangest.
Nonetheless, I think both Ces Cru and Stevie Stone make great music. I think they may have some issues with the larger than life images that they portray in their music and who they truly are. Not to say that they aren’t authentic, I feel the alter egos they have created aren’t who they truly are but who they aspire to be. I feel this type of contradiction contradicts their obvious dislike of mumble rap music and makes me question if their brand of music is just a marketing gimmick. Either way I’m sure Ces Cru and Stevie Stone have some great music offerings in the future.
Ryan Glover is a contributing writer for http://www.audiofuzz.com. Follow him on Twitter @RyanDavisGlover, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your google network.