Alleyes Manifest – Mission Statement
932 Crew is sicker than your average. Always coming slicker and more precise than the myriad of groups battling for music fans attention these days. Made up mostly of DJs and producers the production value on their projects is locked in professionalism and loaded with style. This multifaceted crew can often methodically spark your brain with an approach that you weren’t aware that you liked, but now you know. Some of the current 932 soldiers are Splitface, Alleyes Manifest, DJ Self Help, Hearz Kra-Z, Jonathan Jinx, DJ Sonryze and the Solkon Familia among others.
This uncommon crew had a very common and humble beginning I asked Co-founder Splitface how it started to which he replied “932 was founded in 2002 when we hosted a weekly emcee battle in a basement in Belleville, IL. Eventually people were driving from St. Louis to come and hang out and let loose on the turntables and microphone every week. I think it worked because we accepted any and all, let them party and kept it free. That’s how all of the original members met including where I met Michael Bridgmon a.k.a. Alleyes Manifest.”
932 has since moved out of the basement, some of them out of the midwest and they have definitely moved into other artistic areas. A strong visual presence has emerged, from live lighting presentation to video directing and graphic design. They have also always maintained a strong graffiti art presence to keep the word literally on the streets. When I asked Splitface “What’s up with today’s 932?”
He replied “I was talking to a friend and frequent music collaborator from St.Louis, Jus Time last winter when the idea came up to make the crew into a record label. It felt like the natural next step for 932. I brought the idea to Michael (Alleyes) and he was immediately onboard. He became the label’s aesthetic administrator. In 2011, Crew 932 began functioning as a small record label. Since 932’s roots are in hip hop, electronic, punk, hardcore and so forth that helps keep us diverse and open-minded. The vision is to focus on releasing great music from a variety of genre’s while putting an emphasis on mirroring regional spirit and becoming a resource for fans and artists.”
The latest release from the Crew is the joint effort Bloody Blvd. From Alleyes Manifest and Splitface. The duo flow through the 8 track EP like the ocean, with even melodic flows and also exciting violent crashes. Moving through verses and breaks symbiotically, it’s quite obvious these tracks and rhymes were constructed for each other and fit like a well-tailored suit. Split’s sonic mastery resonates from a million directions as Alleyes explores both the raucous and righteous sides of a revolutionary mind as he raps and sings his way through this project. When I asked Alleyes how he balances those sides of his persona he said “I see what goes on around tv, people, and capture that emotion. I love God so that will always shine in” righteous indeed. Alleyes also handled the slick contemporary graphic design for the hard copies that comes with a couple stickers inside (at least mine did).
Here’s the break down, Track 1 Mission Statement is just that, split brings it back to that old boom bap with a rebel rock flair and Alleyes rocks it with aggression and solid lyrics standing strong with the confidence of a Chuck D or Nato Caliph. No.2 Lost and All Alone is a modern-day hip-hop blues song haunting piano lines and harmonica (I think) with Alleyes crooning about losing his soul he seems to channel Howling Wolf himself. I envision this record crackling through a phonograph while Alleyes drinks whisky on a rickety bayou porch, debating with Beelzebub over his mortal soul.
No.3 Wicked and Witty is a bragadocious track about St. Louis. Alleyes and special Guest Mathias of Indyground both come off, you know the steez on this one, can’t fuck with STL. No.4 Reading Life Split is sounding like late era Gravedigga’s on this one, Alleyes keeps the art of story telling alive taking you through the strife of existence. No. 5 Life on the Road this ones for the artists as well as the fans if you have ever been on any kind of tour, this ones for you. The freedoms and the restrictions of road life are told from a first hand view, with verses from STL alumni J-Toth and Jus Time. This should be on every touring crews road trip mixtape.
No.6 is called Bloody Blvd and is also on the EP, not my favorite one, judge for yourself. No.0 7 Fly Away is straight up beautiful, whether you’re a thug or not or a Thugernaut (yes I make up words) if you don’t think this is a cool track you should broaden your horizons. No. 8 time for some classic Splitface shine this instrumental makes me want to cop a bag of shrooms and drive through the desert in a stolen Camaro Firebird, check out the promo video by Jonathan Jinx.
Cop this twice, limited edition hard copies and itunes version are available from the 932 site, check out the vast array of 932 ruckus while your there, peace out ~ Sikboy