POSTED ON JULY 8, 2009:
Over the Top
Trip C returns to his in-your-face form with 8-Bit
That's a Rap. "Old school" isn't the term most people would use to describe Trip C's over the top rapping style. He's lewd and foul-mouthed and more extreme than any mainstream rap act, and that's the way he likes it.
When local rapper Trip C drops his new album, 8-Bit, this weekend it will be more than just another CD release party at The Marquee. Yes, it's a celebration of the new disc, but it also marks the next chapter in this young artist's career.
After more than four years in the music industry, Adam Hartzke's (aka Trip C) career was derailed by a spiral of "extreme personal problems" (both relational and drug related), and he not only quit caring, but also quit performing. When a call came in offering him the chance to open for Tech N9ne at Cain's Ballroom during the winter, Trip recalled thinking, "F-it, let's do this one last time..."
Fortunately, that "one last time" was the spark he needed, snapping him out of his stupor and getting his life and career back on track. Now he's back in the game, just as lewd and obnoxious as ever, and ready to move his act to the next level.
Granted, Trip C's brand of rap isn't for everyone. It doesn't cater to current trends or the mainstream hip-hop audience, but Trip C has found his niche and thrives in it. Brash, bold and over-the-top, he's got no problem sharing his opinions or running his mouth, and he'd have it no other way.
"Anything I listen to is from the mid 90s," Trip said. "I can't stand anything that's current because there's not a single original element to anything in current rap and hip-hop. Everything sounds the same and it's hard to listen to something that sounds like you just heard it 30 seconds ago."
As a result, Trip C admittedly mines his '90s influences and wears them on his sleeve--and never so openly as on his latest disc, 8-Bit, which is itself a tribute to the decade. About the title of the disc, Trip said, "I collect and have all of the old-school gaming systems, and one day I got to looking around at all of these old video consoles. I was playing Mario Brothers 3 and had always wanted to do a song sampling the game, but the main Mario Brother's theme has been sampled so many times, there's nothing original to that. So I'm on level 13 on Mario 3 and noticed the music in the background and thought 'That's it!' I called PDA (another local musician) and he built a beat off of it and once I had that, I filled a notebook with ideas for the song."
The resulting track is an ode to the '90s, filled with pop-culture references and features a guest slot by the beat-master himself, PDA, rapping "The 90s were bomb--the greatest generation, I f-ing miss it a ton..." Openly identifying himself as an artist with an old school look and vibe, it's no surprise that this made the most obvious choice to build the disc around, as it's indicative of where Trip C is in this juncture of his career.
Now, don't be mistaken. "Old school" isn't the term most people would use to describe Trip C's over-the-top rapping style. He's lewd and foul-mouthed and more extreme than any mainstream rap act, and that's the way he likes it.
"I had to get back to the realization that I didn't start this to get anywhere," said Trip. "I did it to run my mouth and say anything I wanted in the microphone. It doesn't really matter what other people think, though, so long as I'm having fun with it. I don't really give a rat's ass, but that's why people like me, because they know I don't take things too seriously.
"I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd play with bands I've idolized since I was 13 or 14 years old," he said. "I've been listening to ICP (Insane Clown Posse) since before I can drive and I go to tour with them."
That's not bad for a kid who never even set out to be a rapper. Hartzke actually started out as a guitarist and singer in metal bands as a teenager. After the fourth or fifth band failed and disintegrated, a friend asked him if he'd ever tried reading his lyrics to a rap beat and handed him a recording of beats to experiment with.
Depending on one's point of view, the experiment was wildly successful or devastatingly horrible. Either way, Trip C was born and started on his rollercoaster ride of a career. Within a dozen shows, Trip was introduced to promoter Max Baker and found himself opening for Tech N9ne at Cain's Ballroom in less than a year.
"Four years ago, I made a list of every major artist I wanted to play with," Trip said. "The last one left on that list was Hed P.E., and I got to open for them two months ago--that was huge for me. I've got to play with ICP, Twizted, Bone Thugs n' Harmony, Dead Celebrity Status, Tech N9ne, you name it..."
And even though his career had gone off course, his intended "final show" with Tech N9ne reminded him why he'd originally began performing. "People started asking me 'Where have you been? I haven't seen you--even out at shows,' and I realized I can't be done yet, I've got too much left to do.
"It's funny, because a bunch of people can be pricks and say I haven't done shit, that I'm just garbage, but garbage or not, I've gotten to tour and play outside of Oklahoma, and I can go back to those places and people know who I am. That pretty much proves them wrong."
This weekend, Trip C releases his latest disc, 8-Bit, with a CD release party at The Marquee. Tickets are $10 and the first 100 people through the door receive a free copy of the disc. It's a full night of music with Fist Inc label-mates: 28 Grams, local metal band (and one of Trip's favorites) 80 Proof, Morgue Rydas, Left of Center, Society Society and Trip's friends Infamous and PDA.
It is an all-ages show, but as Trip stated as his disclaimer: "Don't blame me if your kids come back cussing!" The music starts at 6pm.
Get your Rocks Off
Yes, it's that season again: time to break out your acid washed jeans, tease the mullet and polish the Camaro. Rocklahoma is back for you to relive the '80s at the festival grounds in Oklahoma. Tickets are $40 for a one day general admission pass and $120 for all four days of (hair) metal mayhem, so lift the "metal horns" and get ready to let out your best high pitched scream.
Thursday is the true metal night with Leather Wolf, Metal Church, Anvil, Overkill, and Saxon before Anthrax concludes the night as the evening's headliner.
Friday gets back to the hair metal roots with Helix, Danger Danger, Warrant, Night Ranger and Ratt, followed by a Saturday lineup featuring Keel, Kix, Jackyl and Stryper. Finally, Twisted Sister caps off Sunday night, but only after the metal parade has included Vixen, Bonfire, Nelson, Great White and Skid Row.
I can already see a hole forming in the ozone layer over Pryor from the massive quantities of AquaNet!
We're well into the summer and the temperature isn't the only thing heating up: the live music scene is starting to come to a boil as well. We have local and national acts coming through town, and Trip C isn't the only local CD release this weekend, so read on to find all the highlights.
Once again, Thursday night kicks the weekend off in style. This time around it's Rose's Pawn Shop bringing a folk/punk/bluegrass hybrid to Mercury Lounge on July 9, while BOK Center holds the biggest concert of the week with Academy Award and Grammy nominated actor/musician Jamie Foxx.
Friday night, July 10 sees another comedienne hit town as Kathy Griffin plays SpiritBank Event Center in South Tulsa. At the same time, Three Bad Jacks will rock Mercury, and downtown is busy with not only the Trip C show, but a rare, local Stephen Speaks show at Bob's with Western Heritage opening. And if you're looking for a party, then you'll want to head to Arnie's to hoist a pint with Tulsa's rapidly rising act Alex and the Anders.
The party continues Saturday when Sugar Free All-Stars rattles the rafters at Arnie's. If you venture across the tracks, however, you hit the real parties: CD releases for both Ex Nihilo and Wighead. Ex Nihilo unleashes its ferocity and local metal with a release party for its debut disc with openers Two Minutes Hate, Hospice, On Wings of Wax and For No Answer. Meanwhile, just down the street on July 11, Wighead hosts a CD release and costume party at Bob's. Guests include Sweet Baby Jaysus and indie-electro pop act Guardant.
Bob's remains busy for a third night in a row on Sunday, July 12 with The Fiascos, Social Genosyde, Colin + Scott Band and more with a 6pm show. Also on Sunday, jazz fans can take solace with Olivia Duhon Trio at the Jazz Hall of Fame, beginning at 5pm.
Once we roll into next week, The Keys play Soundpony on Monday, Latin funk/jazz ensemble Grupo Fantasma hits The Marquee with Sam and the Stylees, and Cain's wraps our calendar with Hurt and Sick Puppies co-headlining the ballroom.
Wherever you decide to make an appearance, make sure you get out and support live music. And don't forget to make your vote count in the ABoT Music Awards by voting online at www.abotmusicawards.com.
URL for this story: http://www.urbantulsa.comhttp://www.urbantulsa.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A27495