An artist/traveling gnome that goes by the name Graves 33.
The beautiful Emerald City: Seattle, Washington.
I bleed music, breathe fine art, sleep never, give birth to beats, and leave the planet every once in a while and visit the cosmos. I evolve, transcend expectations, find love in audiences and wear my heart with an abnormal heartbeat on my sleeve. I like skateboarding, scratching, collecting records, table tennis and painting my name on things that aren’t exactly 100 percent mine (or even 1 percent mine). I prefer brunettes over blondes, snakes over spiders, and I do magic whenever possible.
I started skateboarding and painting when I was 13 years old. Then, we moved, and I had to get rid of the drums I’d been playing since I was 5, so I got a set of turntables and started learning to scratch and juggle. That was around 1997; I was 15. I had friends who wrote rhymes and it seemed like a good creative outlet, so I tried it on for size and was immediately into it. At the time it was just fun to mess around. We use to spend our days partying and sneaking into hip-hop shows, b-boying and doing crazy shit. One day, after a tutorial session with a friend and Pacific Northwest hip-hop pioneer King Khazm (MADK/206 Zulu), I got my hands on a MPC2000XL and started collecting vinyl. This was before computers were the standard for producing beats, or even recording, for that matter. As things started to take shape, I was linking with my crew on the daily to make cuts. DJs 507, Cheo Lopez, Jose III, Rife, Biz, Luke Meigan (RIP), Snot Nose and Arrest were constantly knocking on my window to wake me up so we could write rhymes. We called ourselves the Mixed Mediums Krew, and I was mainly the producer/DJ, but ended rapping a lot more than I had expected myself to. Then, one day, we started doing shows with our homies from town.
My father, Randy Hansen, is a guitarist by profession, and I grew up playing drums as a child. I would sometimes sit in on my Dad’s sets. In this sense, I developed a thick skin for performing in front of an audience. But once I started doing hip-hop shows, it was like shedding my skin ‘cause there were all types of variables that could affect my performance. I reiterate that these were the times before every DJ had a computer, and we were at the mercy of a CD player for beats to be played. That being said, what I can remember of my first performance is somewhat gruesome… First of all, my beats were sloppy and un-mastered, my CD skipped a ganga times, and I forgot some of my lyrics. But, honestly, I remember having hella fun. We were all underage and playing in bars that usually didn’t have any hip-hop. We were starting our own scene: And from that first show, it was on.
I want to be heard, felt and understood by as many people as possible on this planet. I want to make real friends and not attract vultures. I want to be able to sustain my lifestyle and raise my family on the earnings of my income as an artist (both visual and recording). I want to create music with other artists that I’ve listened to (past, present and future). I want to continue making music for the rest of my life: No matter what the financial outcome of my endeavors may be. I want to open minds and convert listeners to the idea that all music doesn’t have to be uniform. I want to keep myself versatile and maintain a broad range of styles from my perspective. Overall, I seek longevity and evolution in art and music—and to burst into a ball of light and create new constellations.
I hope they gain an understanding of borderless hip-hop and regain their interest in the underground. I hope they gain some insight on the kind of person I am. I hope my music makes them feel bigger and better than they felt before they pressed play. I hope they feel the need to share my music with their friends and their friends, friends. I hope they get that feeling you’d get if you found water in the desert, or a diamond in a coal mine. You know, like they found that shit and they just gotta tell somebody.
Well, that could be a very long list, but I’ll try my best to describe them. When I first started listening to rap I was 12, and my first tape was Swass by Sir Mix-A lot. Then I got some N.W.A, Spice 1 and a Paris The Devil Made Me Do It tape given to me by a friend whose parents wouldn’t let him listen to rap because they thought it was negatively affecting his school performance. In middle school, I listened to Bone, Notorious B.I.G., Wu-Tang Clan, Brotha Lynch Hung, Do Or Die, Naughty By Nature, Onyx, 2Pac, Redman, EPMD, A Tribe Called Quest, O.C., E.C. Illa and all the good shit that was out in those days. Right around the time when I started taking my own music seriously, I was listening to a lot of Anticon, Freestyle Fellowship, Artifacts, Jeru The Damaja, Mystik Journeymen, Aesop Rock, Sage Francis, Typical Cats, Mars ILL, Mr. Lif, Company Flow, Oldominion, Source of Labor, Blood of Abraham, Edan, Virtuoso, Necro—pretty much any underground shit I could get my hands on. As I grew and the scene started to progress, my best inspiration came from cats I rolled with and heads I cyphered with such as 206 Zulu, MADK, MMK, Josiah, King Khazm, Jerm, Asun, Jewels Hunter, Charms Won, DJs 507, Able, Shobot, E-Fade, Dice, Swammi, DVOne, Kamakazee, Scene and HNS. Nowadays, I get inspired when I see crews like Galapagos4, Project Blowed, Machina Muerte, Black Lab and Alpha Pup doing stuff. When I see Pacific Northwest heads like Sarx, Momentum-X, Jewels Hunter, Phreewil, Nathan Wolfe, Daxotronic, Xperience, Onry Ozzborn, JFK, Greg and Jerome, Julie C, Type, The GNU Deal, Trashy Trash DJs, AudioDose, Black Magic Noize and many more: I get a surge of creative energy pumping through my veins. Other than hip-hop, I listen to and collect a lot of classic psychedelic rock like Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, The Electric Flag, The Moody Blues, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, MC5, Janis Joplin, Santana, El Chicano, Cream and a lot of stuff most of you in the virtual world might not have even heard of.
Thinking about all the trains that are probably just sitting alone in their lay-ups waiting to be painted. I also lose sleep thinking of all the uncertainty in the world today. I think about the fact that December 21, 2012, is creeping closer and closer. I lose sleep knowing that people who don’t want us to become powerful are withholding knowledge of our true ancestry from us. I lose sleep over knowing that the artist or musician with the best message might not be seen or heard if he or she doesn’t have a team of people manipulating the public’s senses, or making them seem like a giant. Finally, I lose sleep when I think about how small this planet is amongst the vastness of the universe.
Up next I have a LP entitled Banner For Boxed In dropping on Fated Empire. I have an EP called Wings And Wounds with a friend of mine by the name of Sarx that I’m really excited for. I have a project that I’ve recently finished with a gentlemen by the name of Barfly (Candy’s .22/Oldominion), that’s really going to catch people off guard. I have a North American tour I’m in the process of organizing, as well as an overseas tour that’ll be a breath of fresh air. I want to travel more, create more and build. I’m going to continue DJing for Sarx, Sadistik, The GNU Deal and Mixed Mediums whenever humanly possible. On a real note, though, I look forward to spending time with my girl, Melissa, and my son, Izaiah. Love’s the protein of life: you gotta have it.