Hip hop is probably best known and categorized by strong rhythmic beats and revolutionary messages, and Flipsyde offers plenty of both in their recent release We The People. Members Piper, Steve Knight, Dave Lopez, and D-Sharp all have vast and unique backgrounds, but all had a common theme running through their previous works – political commentary. Together they have produced a CD that is rich with themes, not of unrest, but a plea to come together.
Piper, the MC and vocalist of the group, draws on his multi-cultural background and only intermittently present father as inspiration for his profound and edgy rhymes. His says about their style, "Our music is like water, it has no form but can cover you . . . or morph into anything." This statement is fairly accurate. Though it all falls under the umbrella of hip-hop each track is distinctive and complex. Some tracks even a blend of styles, but more on that later.
Steve Knight is also a vocalist for the group and plays acoustic guitar. He met Piper when they were working on separate individual projects for the same label. It was when these two went to Oakland's Soundwave Rehearsal Studios that they were introduced to Dave Lopez, who now plays both electric and Acoustic guitar in the group.
Knight describes the group's lyrics as a powerful catalyst for change,
It doesn't matter where you come from, how rich or poor you are or what your religion is. You can break down the walls and communicate. You can gain strength from these things and come together.
The first thing that struck me as different about Flipsyde and their CD is just how powerful and rich their beats were. As I said, a powerful rhythm is classic and conventional of hip hop, but there is nothing stereotypical or formulaic about what's contained herein. The beats infuse their way into body and make moving with the music nearly impossible.
The messages and lyrical rhymes also stand out. Though in theory, they are also formula hip-hop, Flipsyde go above and beyond the typical. The track "No More" is an example of this. Instead of being simple rhymes, it is a lyrical melody. The verses sing of all that is wrong: poverty, gang-mentality, and misguided political intentions as well as the frustration of the effects on today's society. I suppose at first glance this would seem typical as well, but you have to hear the clip to understand just how atypical it is.