Posted by M. Savage
Upon arriving to Las Vegas in about 2007, there was really only one question that still awaited an answer in the city that was considered the Entertainment Capital of the World…..Where is the hip hop in Vegas?
Surely, it would be found on the strip!? Which it was. Acts like Talib Kweli, Common, Rakim, hit The Strip on any given night for a dress code get up, a $20 for guys cover charge, and $15 drink that could get dropped before it got sipped. But then, standing in line to see Mos Def(Yasin Bey) rock House of Blues on night, flyers were being handed out that read…”I <3 Hip Hop”. From there, it was the mission of an transplanted hip hop head from the Midwest was to find what Sin City had in store behind the Hennessy on Rocks and valet parking.
During this time, and up to about 2008-2009, the invitation to check out an open mic night at the Square Apple lead to the findings of Image Wone, Isaac Sawyer, and many others in this laid back jazz bar that seemed like it was more out of the golden days of Harlem rather than Modern day Las Vegas.
Fast forward to present day. The Square Apple is no more, the men and women who performed that night have grown in measured leaps and bounds. Today, we were able to break ground with 2 of the 6 members of that form Demolition Men – Isaac Sawyer & Post Scripted.
LVSC: So what was your introduction to hiphop like for you in Las Vegas? What type of grind did you need to put in in order to get your names out in the streets?
ISAAC SAWYER: I got started in Hiphop by my older brother and watching ridiculous amounts of Rap City (1997). One of the most notable acts that inspired me to emcee was the Wu tang Clan. Their raw sample based production intrigued me. I started writing raps in middle school. by high school I was recording my own 12 song album at Diamond cutter studios. I was also part of a 3 man rap group called “Lyrical Deluxe” (1999). We did numerous talent shows perfecting the art of stage presence the whole time.
I was exposed to the Open Mic and poetry scene in the Historical Westside (1999). by being a part of that scene it sharpened my craft. At one point I was hosting and organizing open mics/ full productions. These events included dancers, singers, emcees, musicians. Then a high school friend, Image Wone, told me about a place called The Cooler Lounge (2001-2006). They had events there every Sunday. That is where all the local hiphop artist that had something worth sharing shared their music. There was also a Thursday option called the Aloha Kitchen. which not only catered to the emcees, but also to the BBoys because of the hard wood floors. The Cooler Lounge is where I earned a name for myself.
During this time I worked on an Ep with an East coast producer Dj Ikhon titled “The Introduction” which sold a few hundred copies locally. I was able to open for notable acts such as KRS one and The Living Legends.
Then the Blackbook sessions came from The Chapter Crew (2005-2009) . It was a live band open mic. This was another platform for Vegas artist. I did a few performances there and I guess the crowd reacted in such a good way that The Chapter Crew felt compelled to include me into their band. I was somewhat of a hype man, even though I did some of my original stuff in the sets. Through being a member of The Chapter I was able to grace the stage at The House of Blues opening for acts like Ice Cube, Wu Tang clan (2007). I was also featured on the last Chapter release which got some coverage locally as well as in Germany. After the band decided to slow down.
Post Scripted: Well i’ve been making music for 8 years or so. I was introduced to hip hop at a young age through my father who was a deejay in the military and since then i’ve loved every aspect of the four elements of hip hop. lol originally i wanted to be a deejay and i would stash away my pops old records and make mixtapes on cassettes lol but it wasn’t til i went to college when i realized i wanted to make beats, it became sort of a dorm room obsession lol. My good friend whom is now signed to Fake Four and I would spend all day chopping records and crate digging for those dope samples and around this time i started to blossom my emcee skills. I didn’t record to much during college but i used this time to tone and master my style of beats that i make.
After college, I moved back to Las Vegas, and was introduced to Isaac from a mutual friend, and I was also introduced to Mr. Ebranes and Youthie(YouthinAsia). Isaac and I didn’t talk much at first, but Mr. Ebranes and Youthie stayed in touch with me. And 2 years ago, I was recruited into Campfire Music.
LVSC: So with all the hard work and dedication that you have put into perfecting your craft on individual levels locally, how did the “Demolition Men” project come about?
ISAAC SAWYER: I currently live in Brooklyn New York now. But before I left to New York, I worked on a group project with Post Scripted (The Beatsmith) and Snuph (The Verbal Beast).
I met Post Scripted through a mutual friend. Post Scripted has a sound that is unmistakably Hiphop music. As soon as he presses play you automatically start nodding no matter which one of his instrumentals he chooses. He has been providing sound for artist in the California, Washington, Colorado, Arizona area as well as Las Vegas artist. His sound is influenced by J Dilla and other sample scientist. He produced the entire Demolition Men project. This is saying a lot about his production because Snuph, as well as myself, have an arsenal of trunk rattling beats that we could have presented to the project. Snuph has been in the music industry for much longer than I have. He started when he was in Elementary school. Him and his older brother have a group called Dirty Earthlings. Snuph and I met when my older brother, friends with Snuphs brother introduced us.
Snuph is a problem when it comes to the MPC with his sampling skills. His lyrics have an advanced quality to them. not many in the scene can match his abilities. This is why we joined forces on a bonus track on my album “Q&A”. The song was touted as a fan favorite.
The musical chemistry between us was apparent. So months before I left to New York we decided to work diligently on a few songs and the Demolition Men project was born.
Post Scripted: I was kinda going through a rough patch in my life at the time and one day isaac had came through to hang out and we started just listening to a bunch of old instrumentals i had made and this was 3 years ago before i was in campfire. I had moved to california for 6 months but isaac kept in touch then the following year when i moved back to vegas we started working on the demolition men project.
Demolition Men was already established. I’m the new member, but its members includes: myself, Snuph, Isaac, Text One, Odie, and Johnny O – they were all childhood friends. Isaac, Snuph and i sat down and started working on the first Demolition Men which I look at it as a prelude to what’s to come from Demolition as a whole.
LVSC: So now that the Demolition Men project is finally here – ready for the ears of Vegas on 4/20/13. You guys have seen quite a bit as far as the growth of the hiphop artistry in Sin City. How do you feel about the hiphop culture from an emcee standpoint today?
Post Scripted: Ok! So, i’ve been in the vegas scene for, I’ll say 3 years now. A short period compared to Isaac and Snuph, and when i started – I didn’t really know too much about the scene, but there was a lot of talent in Vegas then and even now. Theres are so many artist in Vegas, that a lot of dope artist get overlooked. And I was in that boat until I was introduced to Isaac and was recruited into Campfire.
The Vegas scene is the most diverse scene i’ve been apart of. It has a vice for everyone. We got the commercial cats, if you listen to underground hip hop we got that. We got live bands trip hop etc…. The Vegas scene has very talented artist within every genre, and that one day we will be recognized on a national stage.
Sorry didn’t mean to go on and on, but i would like to thank you for the write up, and I’m very humbled and appreciate that you’re doing that for us.
LVSC: It was our pleasure. Looking forward to getting even more from Demolition Men, and thank you guys for your time, and for keeping Vegas hiphop and street culture on the map.
Get more details on Demolition Men by visiting them on Facebook at facebook.com/demolitionmen and download the new Demolition Men album at Demolition Men’s Bandcamp page.
Posted by M. Savage