Hip-hop’s got soul!

By and

Tales of rags-to-riches stardom are a dime a dozen in the rap game, but that’s not always a good thing.

Instant success breeds instant whack-emcees, because it, by definition, forces a rapper to forgo the hard-earned lessons of the rags and jump straight into the easygoing excess of riches.

Anticon co-founder Sole knows all about the rags. Having wallowed in the proverbial dregs since the ’80s, Sole embraced every second of it. After landing a major deal with Entertainment Resources International (springboard for Da Brat, Kris Kross and Xscape) at the gumshoe age of 15, and expecting Dj Premier beats, Sole told the label to stick their second-hand Jumaine Dupree remixes where the sun don’t shine.

Setting out into the world of independent hip-hop, Sole quickly formed 45 Below Records with lyrical cohort Alias. Balancing jobs at McDonald’s with hardcore, street-level promotion, Sole did what any of today’s grassroots hip-hop hopefuls would: take over the Internet.

An online, homemade Web-zine and radio station led him into the company of scores of other aspiring indie-rappers and soon the groundwork for the Anticon collective was laid.

As Sole spit on the controversial Advanced Listener E.P., “I had worked too hard to water my s*** down just to gain acceptance by people who don’t share the same values.”

Thus, Anticon came to life. Sole left the East-Coast scene behind, and alongside early Anticon collaborator Pedestrian, he fled to the West Coast. Now, on the wings of his latest indie-hip-hop endeavor, Live from Rome, Sole’s humble, avant-garde flows will find their place inside Kilby Court’s humble, avant-garde atmosphere, beside none other original partner-in-crime Pedestrian.

For a taste of bling-less, ego-less, socially conscious hip-hop rags, give up your dance-club riches for just one night and take in Sole’s lecture on real rap music.

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