Rain By Lyfestile
Con-scious [kon-shuhs] – adjective- having the mental faculties fully active and aware of one’s own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc.
Em-cee [em-see]-noun– master of ceremonies.
Saint Louis emcee Lyfestile is remarkably well-balanced. On one hand his style reminds me of an all-star linebacker, fiercely loyal to his territory and you can’t get nothin past him. On the flip side to that, he also resembles an MVP quarterback, surgically dissecting an issue with intellect or just relentlessly pounding out artistic yardage with one well crafted banger after another, either way he’s solid and capable.
After being heavily influenced by local musicians as a youngster, he felt he had something to say and started his own journey in 92-93. Lyfe would frequent local hot spots for hip-hop like the Hi-Point and “The Science” on Fridays at Blueberry Hill, loitering tryin to do his thing. In those days the sidewalk ciphers were his training grounds. Today he’s progressed far beyond that, wrecked many stages, recorded his own jams and keeps some heavy company, but still loves politicking in the streets. In his recent track “See How it Sounds” he boasts “Music makes us high, plus we make a little money/ fuck VIP I’m outside lookin bummy.” Whether you catch him inside or out, if there is a worthy event in his area if he’s not playin it, he’s there somewhere. Lyfe is well-known around the city, but even if you didn’t know him he’s easily recognizable, with 4 foot dreads and a calm demeanor, he’s polite and quiet untill you give a mic or put him in front of a camera ( It’s always the quite ones).
The role of a “conscious Emcee” is one he’s willing to take on and won’t shy away from. He does however think of it as a gift and a curse. Not wanting to be categorized, he keeps a wide array of topics in his music, but more simply while drawing from his own experiences, he doesn’t want to talk down to anybody, he just wants to do the right thing. “I have the same problems as everybody else” he states. When I asked him what else he’s into he replied that he’s a dedicated family man and said “My family is the coolest thing I’ve ever done,” outside of that, he admits that he’s consumed by hip-hop and heavily into art, always looking for new ways to expand on his foundation. His thirst for knowledge has recently led him to try to get in touch with his partial Cherokee heritage “It reminds me I have a lot to learn about myself” he says.
After years of building Lyfestile has paved some solid ground. An accomplished artist in his own right he also belongs to 2 groups, Altered St8’s of consciousness with his partner Amene, and Plan B with Nato Caliph, and DJing for both groups is Fly-DX of the infamous Wax Murderaz (remember when I said heavy company.) Formerly on the F5 label, Lyfesile and his partners are currently independent artist shaking the Saint Louis underground to its core, but also taking every chance to rep their city on the road as well. Recently returning from the SXSW festival in Texas, Lyfe says “It’s an amazing event with good people, food and weather, walking around politicking, plus we went so deep this time.” Family Affair, Black Spade, Corey Black, Tef Poe and Rockwell Knuckles joined the road trip to rep STL to the fullest. Here’s some footage of Lyfe and his partner from Plan B Nato Caliph, rockin some solo joints at SXSW. Nato kicks it off with “Prophecies” and Lyfestile brings it home with “Obsession” … powerful.
With his open-minded approach Lyfestile’s influences come from many directions, citing Soul, Jazz and Rock-n-Roll as inspiration, “I listen to KSHE95(STL classic rock station) all the time, the 70’s were so ill, my radio is all over the dial.” Listing Soundgarden, Black Sabbath, Three Dog Night and Credence Clearwater Revival as some of his favorite rock classics “I’ll put on some Credence right now!” he laughs. Being able to rock a party is a necessary skill that he defiantly possesses, but when it come to his personal preferences he says sad songs are his favorite.
One of his most admired artists from the Hip-Hop realm is Lupe Fiasco, as a big Lupe fan myself I asked Lyfe about one of my favorite Lupe Lines“And there ain’t no projects/Keeping it real is not an undersood concept” where Lupe speaks of a world where the youth don’t have to follow a certain path to be respected. “It’s an interesting quote” Lyfe says, “and I think keepin it real can be misconstrued, It’s annoying when artists say I’m really a drug dealer, I’m just rappin for the hell of it, I think it’s absurd because a lot of kids really buy into that, it just the wrong way to approach it” His sentiments can be felt in his track “Do’s and Dont’s” ft. Fly DX check it.
Last year in attempt to feed his never-ending hunger for expansion, Lyfe got together with friends John Harrington (Midwest Avengers) and Robert Raboo Ford (Hi-Point) amongst others and created the wildly successful Saint Louis Underground Music Festival A.K.A. S.L.U.M. Fest and everyone ate good last summer. “All the element of Hip-Hop are still alive Here” he explains ” I’m always happy to see someone new doing music here, that I don’t know of.” Seeing some divisions in the local scene these visionaries took matters into their own hands.“Todays scene seemed divided, we wanted to reinstate the sence of a Hip-Hop community and bridge the gaps between different crews, we book the best representations from each genre and bring them all together.” This years S.L.U.M. Fest is June 18th with over 70 artists booked, this event is quickly becoming the highlight of STL Summer’s it is held at Atomic Cowboy check out this link for more information. http://www.atomiccowboystl.com/wordpress/?p=510
The 2011 S.L.U.M.Fest promisses to be packed with plenty of culture and good times for all. It will be streamed live by RawCore radio and Locash Magazine is one of the many proud sponsors. Watch for the Official S.L.U.M Fest 2011 rap-up special edition of Locash Mag. (Print Version) available directly from this site shortly after we all recover from our hangover’s. Other than throwing the baddest party in the Lou, Lyfestile is putting together his solo album and says the long-awaited Plan-B album is also on its way. When speaking to such a dedicated artist, he sums up his experiences with simple rules like “Let your art speak for itself” and “Never compromise your integrity.” It’s refreshing to talk to someone who wants to see other artist succeed with no animosity, because he knows he’s good. ~ Sikboy