WEST COAST GRAMMY-NOMINATED LYRICIST, LATEEF THE TRUTH SPEAKER TEAMS UP WITH LYRICISTS, GIFT OF GAB AND LYRICS BORN, ON NEW SINGLE “CLASS WAR”
Quannum and Solesides co-founder, and Grammy-nominated MC, Lateef the Truth Speaker has joined forces with acclaimed Bay Area DJ and producer Jah Yzer and the multi-talented musician and reggae artist Winstrong, to showcase the crossroads of reggae and hip-hop on their newest project Roots & Tings. The new music draws deeply and respectfully from the history of both genres while pushing a new vibe to create powerful and provocative tracks. January kicks off with the dubby track “Class War” and “Oh” on the B-side. Both tracks are stellar with cutting bars as Lateef the Truth Speaker and featured artists Lyrics Born and Gift of Gab spit about the 1% on “Class War”, On the B-side featured artist Gift of Gab joins Lateef on “Oh,” Lateef recalls, “We all know someone like the person described in the song. If you don’t, you might be the person in the song.”
“They want more. The rich get richer. The rest of us are poor. It’s a Class War” ~ Lateef The Truth Speaker
Lateef was born and raised in Oakland, CA by politically active and former Black Panther parents. Growing up in a politically charged household set the stage for an MC, who has gone on to be as politically outspoken as he is creative. Writing rhymes as early as 13, Lateef honed his craft from his early years in high school all the way through his attendance at UC Davis – where he met his Quannum cohorts.
Lateef the Truth Speaker is most well-known for his role in the Bay Area rap collective Quannum Projects alongside DJ Shadow, The Gift of Gab, Chief Xcel and Lyrics Born. Together they helped usher in the underground era of hip-hop in the ’90s. His 20+ year career in the industry is highlighted with a Grammy nomination for his collaboration with Fat Boy Slim on “Wonderful Night.” And his duo Latyrx with Lyrics Born, who spawned the popular Bay Area anthem “Lady Don’t Tek No.”
The prolific solo artist, who’s writing is woke and witty, joins up with DJ and Producer Jah Yzer who is well known in the Bay Area for dropping reggae and sound system riddims. The talented DJ first gained acclaim as a radio personality for Miami’s 94.1 Beach Radio and moved to the Bay Area where he established himself as a high profile DJ and has collaborated with the likes of J Boog, Too Short, Sister Nancy, Fiji and more. Winstrong first hit the scene alongside the legendary Don Carlos as an Urban Dancehall artists. His voice is soulful and boldly couples strong melodies with conscious messages. He is able to elegantly combine world music, hip-hop with R&B and Soul, alongside his foundation as a roots reggae and dancehall vocalist. His talent is vast and creative and has much to offer to the Roots & Tings project.
WHO ARE THE ARTISTS BEHIND THE ‘ROOTS AND TINGS’ PROJECT?
Until embarking on the Roots & Tings project, the Bay Area-based artists, Lateef, Jah Yzer and Winstrong have known each other separately for more than 10 years. Coming together for this project collaboration was immediately born as they clicked effortlessly over a relatively unstructured creative process on the new project. Lateef comments, “Roots & Tings came about as an organic evolution of an idea to do remixes for a mixtape, that led to more conversations and original ideas, which led to more songs.” He continues, “The name Roots & Tings came from the idea that the music should reflect the source, the soul- or the ‘Root’- of the music we were making, and all of the ways that we added on to those original ideas with new ideas and interpretations would be the ‘Tings’.” The new record was recorded primarily at Zoo Labs in Oakland, CA, and by the first session, they had 9 songs laid down. Having now worked together for 2 years on this project and with almost 50 songs recorded, the trio is excited that they are finally putting forth their new project.
Hitting the theme of the social economic injustices, “Class War” will be released with limited edition original artwork by incarcerated artist Raul Fernandez. The artwork will be available with special, limited vinyl 45’s and the music will also be released digitally and available everywhere you can stream. Roots & Tings will roll out deep cuts monthly and will be available digitally and on vinyl limited edition 45’s.
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