It's always interesting to hear people say the good hip hop doesn't exist in Orange County. It's a rather defeatist attitude. Don't you know all you have to do is turn over the right rock to find what you need? In this case, the Lake Forest emcees of Rock Bottom are just one example of the goodness you can find underground.
This saliva slanging set of artists (emcees pictured left to right: Bumps the GooseGot, Elephant Pelican and Innate) are always on the move, so you're not going to to see too many OC shows on their calendar but it seems that Malone's in Santa Ana has become their central stomping ground in these parts. Currently recording on San Diego-based hip hop label Raw Poetix, the group recently released a new album, "Expanding the Cage", pregnant with down to earth observations, raucous delivery, and a bit of sample-happy east coast swagger.
Check out the song "Morning Breath" below, an interview with the group. As far as their skills and sense of humor, these guys are far from "rock bottom". But go ahead and decide for yourself. Don't forget to read the interview after the JUMP.
Rock Bottom: Rock Bottom consists of 3 emcees.Elephant Pelican,Innate,and Bumps the GooseGot. Everyone shares duties as emcees and writers in the spirit of incorporating a group atmosphere as opposed to 3 individual emcees. Innate produced,along with his brother Dan Diggable (for Goldigger's production), many of the beats used for Rock Bottom's new LP out now entitled "expanding the cage" on Raw Poetix Records.
OCW: What motivated you to start the group?
RB: The motivation to make music was already there before the idea of forming a group was even conceived. We came up with a name for the group in 2006,but we had already been rapping together for several years. Simply put, we are friends that dig making music, and will remain making music,regardless of any label/industry/success or B.S. that may come our way.
OCW: Who are some of your biggest influences and why?
RB: Influences span too great to ever be able to pinpoint to a dot,moods and mindstates can sway the answer to this question at any given time. But with that said,most of the major influence is derived from each other and watching progression come to life. As far as what is playing in our CD players, it usually includes a heavy diet of Taylor Swift and Kelly Clarkson.
OCW: What is the best thing to ever happen to your group? What is the worst?
RB: The best thing to happen to us was the realization that we are homies first,and the music is a bi-product. This, in the long run, has entailed a more productive mind state because trust is involved in every decision that the group makes.
The worst thing, is probably coming up in a time that is very over saturated. Music has become cheapened by what seems to be a pinnacle of greed and politics, thus restricting avenues for up and coming independent artists. Artists are now being forced into either feeding the machine,or feeding the machine. Those who don't understand that, well, chances are your wack ass is part of the problem.
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OCW: There are millions of artists out there making music right now, why should people listen to you?
(editor's note: Yep, that was his entire answer.)
Rock Bottom performs at:
604 E Dyer Rd
Santa Ana,(714) 979-6000
Oct. 17 9 p.m.
Listen to the band here