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    2010 Bay Area Freshmen 10 Recap: TRUTHLiVE

    With the ANNOUNCEMENT of The 2011 Bay Area Freshman 10 coming oh so soon, I thought now would be an appropriate time to look back at our 2010 Freshman and acknowledge the grind that they put in since being included in the inaugural list. So for the next few days we’ll look at one MC at a time and highlight their careers up to this point, as well as what they have done since becoming a Bay Area Freshman. Every artist’s career plan and philosophy is unique, but no matter who you are, taking advantage of legitimate buzz can never be wrong. Because in this fickle, over saturated world that we like to call hip-hop, the second you stop releasing content and doing shows, unfortunately seems to be the second many forget that you ever existed. So let’s see how the first Freshman class performed since they were named some of The Bay’s top prospects.


    Although there has been a fair amount of hate and beefs throughout the years, I would say that The Bay is still one of the most tight knit and supportive music communities in the country. Practically every album is chalk full of local features, and most likely will include a gigantic posse cut as well. While on the one hand this creates a truly supportive atmosphere for artists, and a strong sense of local pride for fans, it does little to grab people's attention who do not reside in our region. With this in mind, a very surprising few Bay Area MC's have and/or utilize connections with rappers and producers from outside of Northern California. This is despite the fact that it is a proven way to get your music listened to, and possibly purchased by a larger and more geographically diverse audience. One of the only Bay Area Freshman 10 members who has these relationships and has been willing to take advantage of them has been TRUTHLiVE. 
    Not only is TRUTHLiVE an MC, a producer and a DJ, he is also a co-founder and CEO of Interdependent Media Inc, which has been involved in the marketing of artists such as K'Naan, Tanya Morgan (and their offshoot solo albums), Canibus, JDavey and more. Therefore it comes as no wonder that a man such as he has an ear for quality music, an ability to link up with acclaimed artists from across the country, and a willingness to put in the legwork to make sure that his product is noticed on all ends of the map. Yet for someone who is as deeply involved in the business end of the industry as TRUTHLiVE, it's a pleasant surprise to hear that he takes enough time away from the desk to make sure that his bars stay on point as well. If one thing stands out the most about his content, it's probably TRUTH's desire for change. Change in the type of lyricism that receives praise and financial backing, change in the way that people treat each other, change in the way the government works, and whether intended or not, TRUTH's music has signified a change in the perception of what an album from The Bay can be.  
    Starting in March of last year, TRUTH dropped The Unlearning EP. Marketed as a free warm up project for his upcoming full album, The Unlearning was without question dope enough to stand on it's own. It featured one hundred percent original production from the likes of Tha Bizness, The ARE, Vitamin D, TRUTH himself and a few more, who all stayed grounded in hip-hop's sample based roots, but had enough knock to satisfy those listeners who had no interest in living in the past. Then came 2010's main event: Patience, an album produced entirely by Jake One (which is a really big deal), and that sported features from Ras Kass, Von Pea, Don Will, and Moe Green. While unfortunately Patience was a little overshadowed by Jake One's collaborative album with Freeway, which happened to drop right around the same time, those who copped it were undoubtedly pleased with the product they received. The combination of Jake One's instrumentals and TRUTHLiVE's bars created a cohesive project that maintained the same high quality of content from start to finish. If you like the style of their music, then Patience was one of the rare albums released in 2010 that was consistent enough to not need the skip button. It was also one of the rare Bay Area releases that received coverage on many of the nation's most respected blogs, and also landed air play on some of the MTV networks. He also took advantage of arguably one of the Bay's most exciting live bands, The Park, and had them back him at successful shows both in California, but also at major showcases like SXSW. 
    Although most of the above took place prior to being named a member of 2010's Freshman 10, and he was pretty quiet after the announcement, TRUTHLiVE's year proves that if artists dedicate themselves to making high quality music that they strongly believe in, in addition to establishing and taking advantage of artistic and business connections outside of The Bay, it is possible for local MC's to transcend the identity of being simply a "Bay Area rapper" and to get some love on a national level. While I haven't heard what his plans are for 2011, whenever his next project comes out, I'm sure fans can expect the same dedication to meaningful lyrics, and a list of collaborators not frequently found on a Bay Area project. 

    Free Projects:

    Albums For Pay:

    Patience (2010)


    Ready Set Go ft. Moe Green (Produced by Jake One):
    Catalyst For Change ft. Ras Kass and Finale (ESPN Dirt Biking Video) (Produced by Jake One):


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