Band Spotlight #7: The Souls of Mischief

The Souls of Mischief have been honing their skills for nearly two decades in the Oakland area. They all hail from the same area in East Oakland and have attended school together since elementary; their lasting friendship strengthened by their mutual interest in music.

Battling hosts of MC’s from far and near, and gaining fame as stunning lyricists, these four young men; A-plus, Opio, Phesto and Tajai, along with their musical family, Hieroglyphics, have worked at their craft until it has become like a sharp-edged sword, cutting through boundaries of sound and style. “We started out trying to be definitely different, and most definitely better than the stuff that’s out there” remarks the energetic, mad scientist-like Phesto.

Atypical of what has been dubbed the “West Coast Sound,” the Souls’ music, lyrical structure and content challenge the listener to actually LISTEN to what is being said and pay attention to the subtle nuances of beat and scratch which accent their lyrics. According to the smoothflowing A-plus, “We’re trying to present a broad spectrum and redefine what it is to be West Coast, and more importantly- Hip Hop in it’s entirety.”

Straying from empty gangsterisms and other forms of negativity, these brothers try to constantly add to the quality and depth of Hip Hop. This is a very precarious position in a world where artists of a positive nature rarely reach critical acclaim, yet the Souls embrace the challenge. As a result, their work has been embraced by the Hip Hop community all over the globe.

They have been billed with the best and brightest of the industry, including tours with A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Common Sense, The Alkaholiks, Pharcyde, The Roots, KRS-ONE, Wu-Tang Clan and others. They also brought their Hieroglyphic show, which includes Del the Funky Homosapien, Casual and the Prose to fans throughout the North and South America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

This worldwide exposure has made their style one of the most loved and reproduced in Rap. Watch out for their new Album, “Montezuma’s Revenge” (Hieroglyphics Imperium Recordings, 2009) produced the legendary Prince Paul, coming this October.

Trilogy: Conflict, Climax,
Resolution (Hieroglyphics
Imperium Recordings, 2000)
Focus (Hieroglyphics
Imperium Recordings, 1998)
No Man’s Land (Jive, 1995)
93 ‘Til Infinity (Jive, 1993)

Band members:
A-Plus (MC), Opio (MC), Phesto (MC), Tajai (MC)

Hometown: Oakland, CA


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