There are so many artists in Muncie, it’s almost unfair to even try to mention them all. Most of my knowledge of the city comes from experiences that I have had with the MCs, Producers and DJs. In the previous installment, I mentioned a number of artists who had released either Tape or CD albums and mixtapes over that last 20 years. Being that so many Muncie artists put in work, I had to divide it up into eras. Keep in mind, there is no official timeline to these events or releases. With that being said, let’s try to pick up where we left off…
I established 765 Recordings with High Society’s Release in 03. Around 2004, I put together my studio in my house(5 Points), and began working on music with some friends. My cousin T-Mase(Mr. Blue Flame) started managing me, and I started a group I simply called The Otherz, with D.A, Unjus, Mel-Cap, DNA, and singer Jeralyn Scaife. We were later joined by Crosstown Slim, and we recorded The Hood Friendly CD. We also released a mixtape, Heatwave Vol. I, which also featured A Man Called Relik of Mystery School, and TJ Hooks(Mel-One) among others. After those projects I released my first solo album Thinking Out Loud in 2007. High Society became Small Wonders in 2008 and a few years later we dropped our debut Playability.
Rah, Dub and Mc/Producer Jig formed the Drunk Bunch, they would go on to put a number of CDs on the street. They created a buzz throughout the city, and Da Bunch became a movement and gained respect as MCs. Mr Prez, Black and Ya Boy Rilla were known as Da Blunted. They dropped a couple of mixtapes on their label CottonMouff Records, including Capture The City, where they were joined by TC, who had broken onto the scene with his Dolla Bill produced song Pedal to the Medal. Ya Boy Rilla would go on to form Street Corner Entertainment with Mel Cap and DNA and release 2 projects, Blunts and Beats Volumes I and II. he would also start producing, with credits on Juan the God’s Guilty Until Proven Innocent, and Nell Kayo5’s new album.
U-Kamp Records is a Muncie based label which features Nell Kayo5, who just released his long-awaited album K05/KOI(King of Indiana). Long time 765 Mc, J-Lee dropped his solo projects, Unanimous Decision, DodgeZilla, Infected: No Vaccine and I.L.L. on U-Kamp with producer Whitehead, who has also dropped several solo albums like Born Loser, and also released projects like Siah Soze’s Man on Fire and Juan the God’s Back Like I Never Left. Other U-Kamp projects include Natural’s mixtape Natural Disaster, and AK’s Black on Black Everything mixtape, which features tracks with Allstones and 2 tracks with late local rapper Bill Blast. U-Kamp in conjunction with Travis Records also released Paleface Picasso’s debut album The Truth.
Merc Versus stayed busy, dropping his solo album The Word, and building the super-group Iron Workers Guild which featured various MCs from around the state. They would drop 2 CDs, Behind the Iron Curtain, and March of the Martyrs. These albums were on Merc’s label Invisible Ink, along with Stone Messiah’s Amerikan Idol, my album Donta’s Inferno, A Man Called Relik’s spoken word album NPR, and Merc Versus- Rise of The Sleeping Giant. Invisible Ink also released music from other artists in the state, including Merc’s group Bedlam Brethren with NYC native Hollow Christ.Their album Black Feather Messengers was an underground classic.
People were starting to take local rap serious. You started to frequently hear names like Bay Bay Holiday, Chad B, Taye the Great, BC Bronson, Whitely Cartel, Reek White, Boney Boss, T-Time, S.O.S. Bosman, Grimey Goonz,and Indiana Slick.You would see CDs like B.I.G. FAM and FAB Volume 1 in the streets. The fact that I can name so many artists and still leave some out is only a testament to the pipeline of music that is Muncie Indiana.
The scene was coming together and everyone was having their voice heard in the streets in some form or another. With no true hip hop club or venue dedicated to the music, we were fortunate to have Doc’s Music Hall. Several weekend shows and weekly open mics on Wednesday nights kept the momentum going, as people were starting to come out and support their favorite acts. After that, CenterStage(Columbia Theater) was the best place to see hip hop in the city. Despite not having the support of a radio station, and DJ, the local community of rap artists and producers continued to network and grow.
While I take pride in my memory, and my place in the Muncie Music scene, this is not an official record, some people may be left out, as I may have forgotten a few due to their being so many to remember. In the last installment of this series I will talk about today’s local scene, which is stronger than ever, thanks to the ground work laid by the aforementioned. I will tell you about MCs like Gary Carmike, Hii Def, Grandaddy Purp, PacMan, F.A.M.E., Muncie House of Music, Infinity, Bob Markie, Paleface Picasso and many more. Also where to buy local music and see local shows…
I encourage everyone to Google these artists and visit their respective sites.
Support Local Hip Hop…