Life Is... ARIGINAL TRENDSETTAS
Trendsettas emerge from the shadows
By Mike Osegueda / The Fresno Bee
At one time, they were the little brothers of Fresno hip-hop. Now, look at 'em; they're all grown up.
The five members of Ariginal Trendsettas were the second generation of Fresno emcees, coming after the Planet Asia-led Skhool Yard Massive.
The Trendsettas studied under Skhool Yard, learning the game from their elders. The two crews became intertwined at times. That was then. Now, the Trendsettas are out on their own.
"We're adults now," says Andre Williams, 26, known as Dab, one-fifth of the Trendsettas. "We can't ride coattails anymore."
With that, they've released "Life Is ..." a 15-track statement of an album saying, "We're here, too."
It's an impressive disc of California rap in the vein of Dilated Peoples and Defari, as opposed to the rowdy thug music that has oversaturated the state.
"We're not walking around with our heads in the sky thinking this album is gonna go platinum," Dab says. "It's just music. We just love doing music. Hopefully we can meet and shake hands with the right people and make it happen in a bigger way than it already is."
Lineup: Lyrics and raps by Spark, Dab, Tre 80, Washeyi, Dengee with production from Protest and Laz.
Style: "It's really street-savvy, hard-hitting, soulful hip-hop music," Dab says.
Sales pitch: "People who actually listen to music should pick it up," Dab says. "It's something original. It appeals to all genres. You can get your West Coast in it, your East Coast, your down South. It's a real well-rounded sound that everyone can relate to."
Influences: Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Nas, Notorious B.I.G., Cash Money Millionaires.
Trivia: "The songs on that album are really, really old," Dab says. This CD brings together songs from the Trendetta vault, not necessarily their latest recordings. Two newer projects are in the works, though, featuring newer tracks. A mixtape that should be out in December and the follow-up album is due in January or February.
It could be the soundtrack to: "Growing up in hip-hop, experiencing hip-hop," Dab says.
For sampling purposes: Your local hip-hop radio, including KFSR, FM 90.7, and KBOS, FM 94.9 (B-95) local hip-hop show at 10 p.m. Sundays.
Key tracks: "Life Is," "Miss Me" and "The Endustry."
Buy it at: Tower Records and J&C House of Records.
Cost: About $8.
Find out more: By e-mail email@example.com.
LIFE IS ...
Check out the artist's website:
1. Sun Up Sun Down
2. The Hustle
3. Hit'em Hard
4. Spark (skit)
5. Miss Me
6. Critical Situation
7. Life Is
8. Washeyi (skit)
9. We All We Got
10. Friday Night (yeah)
11. Saturday Night (steppin out)
12. Dab (skit)
13. Im Tired
14. The Endustry
15. Way Back