The G to the L to the U Never Forgetting the E
I found god in my boom box, hiding in the high hats,
Everyone has at least one album in their collection of an artist who is so absolutely outstanding (and not just in a specific musical niche either) that you just can't believe that they're not getting more attention and respect. For me, that band is Glue.
Glue is a hip hop trio who come from decidedly non-hip-hop backgrounds. Representing Aurora, Illinois (party on, Wayne!), Keane, New Hampshire and Cincinnati, Ohio, these 3 have more credentials than you would think possible.
Emcee Adeem is the only person to win twice at the massive hip-hop festival, Scribble am . He took the crown in 1998 and in 2001, respectively. To put this into context, Eminem couldn't even make it past the semi-finals, and he was defeated more than once while trying.
DJDQ, the music behind the group is currently a part of the turntablist group The Animal Crackers, who took the 2006 title at the
Finally, the man behind the production, Maker. He's been producing for a variety of different labels, including NinjaTune, one of the most prestigious and well-known hip-hop labels out there.
It pays to be persistent, to be a story of success,
The first time I heard Glue, I was at an outdoor music festival in Denver, Colorado. I had just finished seeing some unknown college band perform and was on my way to purchase a $12 cup of warm beer, when I noticed a scrawny white kid come running out of the tent that housed the hip-hop and electronica acts. He flipped on the mic and launched into a massive 5 minute freestyle, causing the majority of the crowd to stop and just stare at the dorky Caucasian who was spitting rhymes so quickly that the speakers couldn't keep up. When he finished, he turned around and calmly walked back into the tent, followed by a few thousand new fans. I eventually got my flat Bud Light (why does concert beer always suck so much?) and made my way over to the tent to check out the action. I walked in right as DJDQ was working the turntables, producing some of the craziest scratches I had heard outside of a DMC
I spent the majority of their set just standing to the side of the stage, watching Adeem run back and forth while switching between album songs and freestyle sessions. And people were going NUTS. I had attended a Busta Rhymes concert the week before at the same venue and he couldn't get the crowd half as hyped up as they were now. The 'heads were up front, holding their hands in the air and hopping along to every song. The people at the fringes of the crowd were pushing forward, trying to get closer to the stage, and spontaneous b-boy sessions kept breaking out in the middle of everything. At one point, there were 3 large circles where people were popping, locking, head spinning and even moshing. Crowd surfers were getting picked off by security, and as soon as they were pulled down to the floor, another one took their place. The joints started sparking up, and soon there was a sweet-smelling haze hanging in the air. And through all of this, Glue kept ripping up the stage. They ended up performing for a short 45 minutes, but it was the best set of the day, hands down. And when they finished cleaning up after the set, all 3 of them hopped into the crowd and spent the rest of the afternoon milling about, watching the other acts with the crowd they had just performed in front of.
The other thing I really enjoy about Glue is the lyrical content. It's emotional, raw and yet still uplifting. There are no songs about drugs, bitches or violence. There's no need to skip tracks because you're sick of hearing the same message repeated again and again. Adeem delivers positivity and variety; from science fiction themed songs ( Vessel) to songs decrying the overly misogynistic lyrics that creep into 90% of mainstream hip-hop (Glupies).
I'm looking for dignity,
Take the tight beats, impeccable turntablism and heartfelt lyrics, mix them together, and you have Glue.
Glue's latest album, Catch As Catch Can, is now out on Fat Beat Records. Bonus for those who actually purchase the CD: It comes with an additional disc of pure instrumental tracks.
For those who like: Sage Francis, early Run DMC and Eyedea & Abilities.