When Souls of Mischief released their debut album 93 ‘til Infinity, they essentially predicted their future in hip-hop’s evolution. That album is a living classic, and the Souls of Mischief Bay-Area sound has continued to develop and grow with great influence.
On a mini-Canadian West Coast Tour, A-Plus, Tajai, Phesto and Opio will be returning to Vancouver for what’s sure to be another incredible show; previous appearances had the group performing 93 ‘til Infinity in its entirety with a live band, so we know the crew doesn’t disappoint. The high-energy, accessible and wildly lyrical group has been together since children, and that history is evident in the chemistry of their stage performance and the seamless delivery of their wordy rhymes.
As part of the larger Hieroglyphics crew, including Casual, Pep Love and Del, among others, Souls of Mischief have developed the Bay Area sound to perfection: girls, deep thoughts, weed, jazzy beats and trading rapidfire bars within the track. In the midst of gangsta rap and the G Funk era, Souls of Mischief brought a personal depth to their music, speaking openly of philosophy, emotional reactions and creating an inter-group dialogue in each track. Their sound’s emergence in hip-hop was monumental because of its newness, arguably introducing an entire subculture to hip-hop as surfers and skaters picked up the laid-back style.
Through the nineties and into 2015, Souls of Mischief have remained relevant to a genre that has exploded into almost every facet of pop culture, with more subgenres than could have ever been expected. Their most recent release, There Is Only Now, was released last year to critical acclaim. Produced by the prolific Adrian Younge, the album is a complex concept project with support from Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Busta Rhymes. There is Only Now hearkens to back to the time of 93 ‘Til Infinity in both Younge’s composition and the feel of the album, building on what Souls have always done best: be true to their artistic style.
From the third eye of Heiroglyphics’ iconic logo to the deep reflective search of their lyrics, it’s clear they are a collective of artists with a strong vision. That vision is reflected in the quality of their music, the thoughtfulness of their lyrics and the sheer electricity of their live show.
Souls of Mischief perform at Venue on February 12 as part of the CO:LAB hip-hop showcase series.
By Amalia Judith Nickel
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