See More Perspective moved back to the Twin Cities after an eight-year stint in Chicago as a youth organizer, hip hop artist and all-around troublemaker in 2007. Since then, he’s played the shadows of the TC hip hop scene, emerging here and there to perform with label-mate Guante at the Soundset Festival, produce and record tracks for some of the scene’s top artists, release an indie-pop Halloween album as one half of Strange Perspective, beatbox for KRS-ONE and take part in countless other traditional and not-so-traditional events.
He also worked on his debut full-length, ARCHITEXTUAL DESIGN, a sprawling, ambitious concept album featuring Chicago’s broad-shouldered swagger, St. Paul’s down-home realness and Minneapolis’ forward-thinking drive. Three years plus in the making, that album is set to be released on November 30th, on rising label Tru Ruts/Speakeasy Records.
Armed with a raspy, Lyrics Born-style drawl capable of both rapping and singing, a quick-witted positivity that never comes off as sugar-coated or phony, and an unapologetic earnestness that’s so rare in indie hip hop today, See More has created an album that quite literally sounds like nothing else out there. The album flows from heartbreaking storytelling tracks with real lyrical depth to party songs that celebrate hip hop’s roots to Gnarls Barkley-esque pop songs to wildly funky instrumentals to much more. Featuring Chicago rappers and Twin Cities spoken word artists, ARCHITEXTUAL DESIGN is always anchored by See More’s voice—in both the literal and literary sense of the word.
And it’s that voice that makes the album so special. See More Perspective is attempting to bring sincerity back. This isn’t ironic dance pop, tongue-in-cheek underground rap or faux-European synth music; this is a statement about culture as communication—not just the background noise of our lives, but the real foundation and structure on which we stand.
released 30 November 2010
See More Perspective
2. Frank Lloyd Wright - beat by Nye
3. The Plan - feat. Guante
4. Self Taught - feat. Aquil
5. We are Monuments
6. Speak to you
7. Ellipses - beat by Nye
9. Papa - atmospheric keys by Dameun Strange
10. Pyramids revisited feat. Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria
11. Trains, planes and Autombiles - beat by Nye
12. Crumbs in my Butter feat. Sara B Sass, Wunder and Aquil
13. Summertime Hip Hop BBQ Jam for the World feat. itch13 and Sully
14. Love You Love - keys by Dameun Strange
15. Bottleneck beat by Withope
Recently I saw a series of photographs taken by Public Enemy’s media assassin Harry Allen. The well composed, black and white images depict the pre Public Enemy members in their college radio station. They tinker with reel to reels, cassette players, mixing boards; stretching the limits of these machines. I was immediately reminded of my first visit to the work space of See More Perspective.
I remember walking into his studio located in the back of the three bedroom apt he shared with a DJ and a Slam poet in the bucktown section of Chicago. He played beats from a cassette, which in 2002 was far from the norm. As I quickly surveyed the scattered cords, jerry rigged amps and consoles about the studio, it was clear to me that while his set up was nowhere near state of the art, here was a guy with a curious mind driven to express by any means necessary.
See More Perspective is the breed of hip hop artist who draws heavy from the limitless sights and sounds of his environment. He curates diverse sonic textures to create pastiches of tone and mood that overflow with personality. Each kick, snare, baseline, bell and voice he arranges serves as window into his vast frame of reference. In his work we hear the avant influence of the bay area, the tightly woven hungry prose of the rust belt, nods to his Mexican American heritage and something altogether unnamable – an otherworldy quality that scores of cookie-cutter musicians only pretend to possess.
While his tools have improved, his unique brand of songwriting has remained in tact. Architextual Design is easily his most focused work to date. It is both conceptually large, and intimately personal - a call-to-arms for us all to both create and consume lasting art that accurately reflects a community. Or perhaps, a statement that everything created with truth is art. References to fellow Midwesterner Frank Lloyd Wright, ancient pyramids, and PVC, make it clear that See More Perspective is interested in creating artifacts, big and small, that will tell future generations who the heck we were.
But that’s just the first half.
The second explores the “the architecture of interaction,” love, family, break up, freeloading partners, a summertime bbq for the whole world. How do we build and sustain a relationship that will last? With self admitted cheesy love ballads and super soakers, that’s how! It is these bouncy numbers that take us away from the big theoretical notions presented at the onset and celebrate the quirks, heartbreaks and victories of the daily trudge. This is one of the smartest choices See More Perspective makes, cross fading social commentary with bittersweet narrative.
Architextual Design accomplishes what good art should; it poses questions to the listener. What will we leave behind? From what matter do we build the foundations on which we stand? What are we made of as individuals? As a society? And most importantly, What’re we having at the BBQ?
-Idris Goodwin, Break Beat Poet, Playwright & Hip Hop head
Conceived, Written and Produced by
SEE MORE PERSPECTIVE
except where noted
Recorded and Engineered by
SEE MORE PERSPECTIVE
at Luv 'N' Dedication Studio
Executive Produced by
e.g. bailey and Sha Cage
Art Direction, Photography and Design by
Adam Gabriel Napoli-Rangel
Brought to you by Tru Ruts Endeavors:
Harvesting the Tree of Life
All Songs Copyright © 2010 Tru Ruts Endeavors, Inc. All songs published by Verbal Reparations Music (ASCAP). All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. International Copyright Secured.
© 2010 Tru Ruts | Speakeasy Records, P.O. Box 21305, Minneapolis, MN 55421. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.
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