During a brief interview, we talked about their origins, their new album entitled James Kelley and the meaning behind that, and what it was like to work with Texas "all-stars" Paul Wall and Bun B. "Paul Wall said something that will always stick with me...be careful how you treat people...cause you never know who you'll run into again", said Yves, frontman of the group. We also chatted over the obstacles encountered while trying to expand and grow outside of the mold of what is classically known as "Houston rap". I asked how, in the face of a majority who consider hip-hop originating in Houston to have shallow lyrics and one dimensional songs, the group could push free of stereotypical barriers. If you've never listened to The Niceguys' library, you probably wouldn't deduce that they all met at U of H and claim the legends of the S.U.C. as their musical influences. This is because among their other influences, is everything from Avant-Garde jazz to alternative rock records. Yves answered again, and I paraphrase, that the most delicate challenge they've been confronted with is the technique of successfully expanding the perception of those that think their music isn't Houston hip-hop by connecting with them through paying respect to the founders of rap in Houston.
I experienced this first hand, at their show, following the interview. After performing a few songs from their latest project, Yves and Free took a break from the norm when Candlestick crossfaded in the "June 27th" instrumental. Yves called the opening act back on stage for an impromptu freestyle sesh, and the two proceeded to trade the mic until the rhymes just got so out of hand that the whole crowd was helpless in laughter. Between Free trying to carry a tune, oh, and shooting a "Harlem Shake" video, it was evident that The Niceguys genuinely love what they do.
I wish I had the audio recorded to share with ya'll, but my dumbass forgot to hit the red button before I left the crib to do the show. I will not fail you next time. However, I do have the opportunity to share a few pictures, courtesy of the man, Sama'an Ashrawi.
Yves talks about how the James Kelley album materialized.
Candlestick talks about being Drake's favorite DJ.
Free was checking out the vinyl collection in the KVRX library.
The Niceguys - James Kelley DOWNLOAD
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