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Chief is ready to branch out from his struggling ways, though. "I'm almost 30 years old; being broke is not something that's cool anymore." As he said that, the personable artist is approached and congratulated for his raucous set — by a six-foot-five effeminate black man and an expectant mother. Chief leans over and says, "You see, pregnant ladies and gay black dudes dig me. I've got what they call mass appeal."
Chief's debut EP via FW4S is set for an early 2011 release. Joining him at Friday's "Stackin' tha Roster" event at Propaganda, as well as anticipating his own EP through the label next year, is Serum, a self-proclaimed "graffer" or graffiti artist, who is spray-painting a bulbous, alien-like caricature in jailhouse garbs on a large board at Kevro's.
The MC from Kendall in Miami-Dade doesn't seem to think his partnership with the FW4S dudes from Palm Beach County is so unusual. "In reality, it's not so far-fetched," says Serum, AKA Andre Brevil, in his deep baritone delivery. "The b-boys, graffiti artists, and DJs all know each other in South Florida; there is much more tricounty camaraderie than you would expect."
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Serum, who also puts out records on his own label, Tyranno Serum Records, says he appreciates that FW4S is booking so many out-of-state shows because he is eager to show the rest of the country that South Florida has legitimate "tru-skoolers" in its midst.
"Rap these days has lost touch with its audience," interjects Kolquist, citing the Rhymesayers label as an exception. "Those guys started by jumping vans and rocking shows for 50 people at a time until it spread like wildfire."
After befriending Rhymesayers' Toki Wright by attending small shows in the Twin Cities eight years ago, Kolquist was able to arrange a few shows in Minneapolis for his crew, a dream come true. "When I got into this, I said to myself, 'I got to rock a show in uptown Minneapolis.' "
Kolquist is not modest about his ambitions and believes that if the label stays true to its vision and keeps "busting ass," it will soon take the public by storm. "They say it takes a small business five years to get up and running," he says. "We have been in business for ten months and are accomplishing more than bigger companies with hundreds of thousands of dollars backing them."