To preview a hip-hop showcase Saturday, the Grand Rapids artists played Local Spins on WYCE, which also debuted tracks by Super Future, Desmond Jones, Dead Eye Zack and more. Podcast, videos.
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With new songs such as “Black Super Hero,” Grand Rapids hip hop artist JRob aims to make statement about making a change to better the world while paying homage to those “fighting for the people.”
But the veteran rapper who’s eyeing release of a new album later this year also finds inspiration in “everyday life” and the “everyday struggles” that everyone faces.
“Family is a big thing. Of course, just the stuff that I see,” he says. “You might hear me talk about work or taking care of my son.
“It’s everything. Art is everything. … You just have to listen. No matter whether you’re making turn-up songs for the club or whatever. You get everything with hip hop.”
Another source of inspiration? Fellow West Michigan rappers such as Steven Malcolm, who’s scored hits and toured nationally as a fast-emerging star on the Christian hip hop scene.
“The perfect word is inspiration,” JRob, aka Jeff Robinson, said of Malcolm. “When you see him actually just from social media … on videos rocking arenas, (it shows that) it’s reachable.”
Both hip hop artists brought their unique and powerful music to the Dekkm Productions-sponsored Studio X at WYCE-FM for this week’s edition of Local Spins on WYCE. JRob performed the yet-to-be-released “Black Super Hero,” and Malcolm showed off rapidfire rapping on “44 More Remix.” Watch the video of JRob’s song here and Malcolm’s below, along with the full radio show podcast.
VIDEO: JRob, “Black Super Hero” (Local Spins on WYCE)
Video by David Specht
Both artists also will be performing Saturday night (March 23) at Billy’s Lounge in Grand Rapids as part of Lady Ace Boogie’s “Dope Ass Lineup,” featuring Malcolm, JRob, Chubbaleano, Senua, Raydale Shamaine and Shamar Alef, with DJ Dean Martian also spinning music and Lady Ace Boogie hosting. Doors open at 8 p.m. for this 21-and-older show. Admission is $12 at the door. Get details via Facebook.
“The name of the show is perfect,” JRob remarks. “Everybody on the bill is super dope. It’s a blessing to just be a part of it.”
For Malcolm, it’s a rare hometown show for a guy who’s regularly crisscrossed the country since releasing a hit single, “Party in the Hills,” in 2017. He’ll continue that this spring, next heading to Seattle in late March, and also plans a big headlining tour with DJ Mark Evans later this year.
He echoed JRob’s assessment of hip hop as an essential form of artistic expression.
“This hip hop thing is our life. It’s our culture, and us as artists, we’re supposed to paint the picture of our life and let our fans relate to that – let our fans relate to us and tell a story,” he says. “I just put my life on wax. That’s what I live, that’s what I breathe, so that’s what I talk about.”
JRob, who released a new single, “Shake Up the World,” on Friday, also hopes some touring is in his future for 2019.
“The goal is to tour,” he says. “Hopefully we get there and just killing shows around Michigan and the region.”
VIDEO: Steven Malcolm, “44 More Remix” (Local Spins on WYCE)
Video by David Specht
The March 22 edition of Local Spins on WYCE — which spotlights regional music at 11 a.m. Fridays on 88.1 FM – also boasted the on-air premiere of new tracks by Desmond Jones, Distant Stars, Super Future, Pretoria, Escaping Pavement and Dead Eye Zack, as well as music from Political Lizard, Ruth & Max Bloomquist, Alex Perez, The Gasoline Gypsies and EPCYA. Listen to the podcast below.
PODCAST: Local Spins on WYCE (3/22/19)