Though Sab the Artist played an integral part in the development of the Twin Cities' hip-hop scene, he chose to defect from Minneapolis to Sin City, where he has reportedly been getting his legal pimp game on for the past half decade. Pimp or not, Sab was in full-time rapper mode in 2010, dropping an ambitious 17-part "Leak Series," a self-titled EP, and embarking on "The Awful Truth" U.S. tour with Abstract Rude. Catch him at Propaganda providing some much-needed services (done with a mic) alongside Mayday's Wrekonize, recent West Palm transplant Mr. Chief, and Detroit producer Apollo Brown.
Prior to that, though, here is County Grind's conversation with the Horned Heart kingpin himself, Sab the Artist. It sorta makes sense that Willy Wonka inspires him, now that we think about it more.
New Times: Beyond Musab and Sab the Artist, can you give us a brief run down of your evolution as an artist in relationship to these names?
Sab: Beyond is a dark persona. The albums Comparison and Overcast are the only official releases with Beyond. Musab is my real name, but as an artist Musab was much more personal. The trilogy of albums under Musab are like a movie trilogy, The Godfather trilogy or something. Sab is short for Musab, everyone who knows me personally has always called me Sab. The Artist tag is representation of my growth from an emcee/rapper to an artist as a whole. I make music, there's no genre that can box me in. I've mastered many degrees on my way to becoming Sab the Artist. Like the movie Kung Fu Hustle when the guy is reborn into the master or whatever. When it comes to making music/songs I'm there now.
For those who haven't checked it yet, can you tell us about your new Sab the Artist EP?
The EP is a musical art gallery. Each song tells it's own story that you can get wrapped up in. Each song needs to be digested, it takes time. I believe that's why no one has ran up to me and said "'Laugh' is an amazing song!" because it's number five out of seven. People bring up the hits as they should, "Lookin at Girls" or "Right Here" but all those songs are hits in their own way. That's all I'm interested in making at this point.
The name changes, the move to Las Vegas and the label changes, was this you intentionally putting space between Minneapolis/Rhymesayers Ent and yourself, a natural progression or strictly business?
Not at all. I get around like a feather in the wind. I'm still Minnesota's finest and I'm still a Rhymesayer. Interesting how people treat record labels like gangs. I put an album out with my friends over at Heiro Imperium, so what. It's art, not cocaine.
Can you give some advice to artists from cities/places with underdeveloped hip-hop scenes who are trying to expand there operations? What do you think were the main contributors for you and Rhymesayers success with raising up the Minneapolis scene?
Make sure you're involving all the elements of hip-hop if you're trying to build a scene. And make sure you're policing the quality of art coming from your scene. Do that and you'll be fine.
Top five biggest musical influences?
Bob Marley, David Bowie, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix.
Top five non-musical influences?
My father, Benjamin Franklin, Malcolm X, Willy Wonka, Roger Federer
What can we expect from Sab the Artist in the next few weeks/months/years?
You can expect the unexpected. If they did it, then I won't. Being a gentleman of leisure you might out work me, but you'll never out think me. Check out my blog sabtheartist.com for all new updates of music, tours and much more.
Sab the Artist, with Mr. Chief, Apollo Brown, Wrekonize, DJ Dee Dubbs,
and Cadet Yo. 8 p.m. Friday, January 28, at Propaganda, 6 S. J St., Lake
Worth. Tickets cost $5 before 9 p.m., $8 after; 18 and up. Call