Artists Over Industry
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Artists Over Industry


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The best kept secret in music


"Leaps & Bounds Review"

This is one of those albums I would have reviewed in depth if I wasn't crazy busy right now. It contains a lot of topics for discussion, including songs touching on diverse subjects ranging from life, hip-hop, history, struggle, politics, current events, materialism, overcoming obstacles, and calming down in the face of anger. Lyrically one of the stronger underground releases of the year.

However, while researching my review for "Leaps & Bounds," I came across just one album review, which was quite unfavorable, from some ignorant cat at (go figure). The kid felt that this album "consists of just two reoccuring (correctly spelled recurring) themes: the dissing of imaginary rappers, and the whole idea that these guys are pretty much the best thing shy of Jesus Christ (cite)." This angered me, because the review made it clear that the reviewer had either not listened to the album at all, or gave it a horrible review based on his mood that day, which was obviously not favorable.

Sure, Artists Over Industry threw a few cracks at wack mainstream rap, but underground artists have the right to talk a little shit. And yeah, the production was pretty basic and the turntablism a little rough at times, but what do you honestly expect from unsigned artists? It's not like they have the money to buy the high end equipment that produces the quality sounds you hear with signed artists. But most of all, I was astounded by the reviewer's claims, because only a fraction of the subject matter revolved around dissing other rappers, and I could find no lyrics from anyone in Artists Over Industry claiming to be the best.

In reality, what Artist Over Industry's "Leaps & Bounds" accomplished was proving, yet again, the serious amount of quality and depth that exists in the underground, and demonstrating what type of hip-hop is possible with a little intelligence and positive effort. These cats have some lyrical skill and direction, which puts them ahead of the current hip-hop curve. I highly recommend checking out their album, as well as future release from Sky's the Limit Productions.

And for, I mean no disrespect, because I like that website. But they should think about having an editor go over some of the reviews college kids or other nobodies submit to their website. If not, they'll run into a lot of angry young guys who feel the need to diss hip-hop albums simply for the fact that they can and someone might actually take them seriously. It's a power trip, really. That's why I write all my own shit yo ... and run spellcheck. In the case of their Artists Over Industry review, a second listen to the album by someone who knows something about hip-hop would be a great idea. -

"Review of The Chosen Few & Timeline"

After reviewing the politically charged Soul Rebel by Blitz, I decided to stay in the same anti-Bush realm and review “The Chosen Few” by Artists Over Industry. This is the lead single from the upcoming A.O.I. album Research & Development, a story of sorts, which some of you will understand and others just won't care. In an era when the political reign of George Bush has lead so many innocent people to die under the pretense of fighting for “freedom and country," Artists Over Industry say "fuck that" and drop some knowledge. The lyrics are incisive and insightful: the lines "the fate of America now lies in the balance/ and you're crazy if you think we can accept every challenge/ every country, religion, and creed, has different beliefs/ but there is one thing in common/ victory is sweet", directly reflect the philosophy Bush is trying to get reelected on. A.O.I. also have a take on suicide bombers in the line "there's a vanilla sky promise/ to suicide bombers/ they just don't die/ they die with honors. / this shit is deep man, because any middle east man/ will blow himself up/ for a spot on CSPAN." Not sure if that's quite the message you want to get from A.O.I. but it's deep and it's your single. Just don't expect a Christmas card from any "I love America" cab drivers. You might just be riding with a Manchurian cabbie out to kill political hip-hop heads. For heads who like slow-tempo songs that may have you looking at the state of the world through the eyes of someone else, this single might just be for you. If not, Artists Over Industry have a debut album, entitled The Timeline, with tracks more to hip-hop heads’ liking. Check out "Power of Three” and "Business Cards,” 2 tracks off The Timeline that are definitely dope tracks, and more my flavor. I'm anxious to see these guys live when DeepThinka recording artists Rime Royal, Catastrophic Minds, and Agent O do a show with A.O.I. next week (August 13th) at Remy's Nightclub in Harrisburg, PA. As for this single, I give it 2.5 tomatoes just because I'm not sure you would dig it. But I do give 3 tomatoes to Timeline, which I'm disappointed I didn't hear about sooner. Hey, what do you know…2 reviews at once! I'm moving up in the world. Now if only my mom could see that.

-Ketchup Samurai, Buffalo Beast
- Buffalo Beast

"Artists Over Industry Steps up for a big hip-hop takeover"

-If you think central Pennsylvania is the last place you’d find hard-hitting, head thumping hip-hop movement, then you need to put an ear to the underground for a trio of lyrical and rhythmic masterminds known as Artists Over Industry (A.O.I.). With a style smoother than the softest silk and grooves so crunchy they stay crispy in milk, these three artists and their record label, Sky’s the Limit Productions, have set the stage for a fresh local scene that’s less about the bling bling and more about making you think think.
“We consider ourselves a conscious hip-hop collaboration, focusing on philosophy and love for the music,” says Anthony Beaston a.k.a. Inkwell the Biologic, emcee and head of Sky’s the Limit Productions. “The name itself is a message that we believe more in artist more than the corporate influence. We want to keep independent artists independent. Simple as that.”
Ever true to the underground sound, A.O.I. is an act like no other in the area. Some performers on the local level are just pretentious without the skills to back up their hype, but these two emcees and one DJ lay down techniques that would make their influences proud.
“We have definatley been inspired by artists like KRS-ONE and Talib Kweli, you know, musicians who rap about life, which is what we’re about,” says emcee and producer Matt Groce, a.k.a. Windchill, adding that the group’s eclectic range of influences stretches to performers outside the genre, like Tom Petty and Coldplay. “Even music from the 80's has an effect on what we do. It’s such and underrated decade.”
Beginning in 2002 as separate acts, the members of A.O.I. decided to unite for a common purpose. Since then, they’ve released two hypnotic albums; created and effectively used their label to promote themselves and other artists and producers; and hosted the sickest indie hiphop show Central Pa has ever seen, the first annual PorAmor Festival this June featuring AOI, Vega, Shipwreck, Repeat Offenders and national act Louis Logic.
“Pa has a scene that’s set to blow up in a big way, thanks to all the hard work A.O.I., STLP and the artists under the label have put forth” says New York hip-hopster Vega, an artist under the STLP umbrella. “It’s about time that this place is known for something other than cover bands and alt-rock acts.”
Perhaps the strength of A.O.I. comes from the fact that each member has something completely unique to offer the group. Inkwell and Windchill have gone to East Pennsboro High together, but they ran with completely different crowds. As such their separate paths led to different synergetic personalities, personalities that now contribute equally to the group. Inkwell has an amazing mind for business, and a B.A. in philosophy certainly adds to the depth and meaning of his lyrics. Windchill, on the other hand, has a knack for promotion and sound production, and his sly, wry sense of verse nicely balances out the musical mix. Last, but never least, silent mastermind of beats and professional sound engineer, John Luckenbaugh, a.k.a. DJ Q-Sak, joined the group through a want ad in the paper. Armed with keyboards, records, deft turntable skills and other tech tools, this shy communications grab brilliantly conveys mesmerising rhythms that can only be described as what Akira Kurosawa’s film soundtracks would have sounded like had he known about hip-hop. Although all three have plans and the ability to release solo works in the near future, there is something to be said about how well their individual styles meld when they work together.
A.O.I.’s two albums, The Timeline and Research and Development, have both been independent triumphs in their own right. Released in October of 2002, The Timeline sucks you in from the beginning to the end with chill, nod-your-head beats and rhymes. Each entrancing track flows from one to the next almost seamlessly and its more accessible than a majority of freshmen efforts released by locals acts of all genres.
“Each of the songs on that recording are in the chronological order in which they were written,” explains Inkwell. “It is like a map of the group’s progression at that time.”
Research and Development, the group’s most recent album, delivers exactly what the title suggests by showcasing and evolved and engrossing sound that takes A.O.I.’s foundation and blends it with an entirely new flavor. It’s different from The Timeline in a couple of respects, namely, in tightness of each individual track and in the way each track separates from the others. Whereas almost 100% of the lyrics on Timeline focus on philosophy, art and the blessing curse that comes from inspiration, R&D contain notable movie quotes that tend to coincide with the songs which they are paired, (the Lawrence Fishburn sample from “Matrix Reloaded: on A.O.I.’s blazing “Satirical Poem” is a very nice touch). Overall, R&D, is the type of album that possesses the savvy to cross genre boundaries and tap new hip-ho - Fly Magazine


Time Line EP 2003
Research and Development LP 2004
Sunlight Single 2005
Leaps & Bounds LP 2006


Feeling a bit camera shy


Artists Over Industry represents more than just a group, its represents state of consciousness and respect. As lofty as that may sound, it is a thesis based in humility. Originally calling themselves "The C.O.R.E." (creatively ostracizing ridiculous entertainment), a name they shed due to conflict with copyrighting, Artists Over Industry has always maintained one frame of mind, do you. As cliche as it sounds, many people in today's society fail to adhere to that simple phrase.

Artists Over Industry is comprised of three unique individuals:

- Inkwell the Biologic: Emcee/Producer.
Heavily influenced by his bachelor's degree in philosophy Inkwell takes a unique approach at emceeing. Despite the complexity of topics, Inkwell manages to effectively solidify the abstract.

- Windchill: Emcee/Producer. With a passion rarely seen in humanity, let alone emcees, Windchill's love for hip hop has excelled him to a level self expression few can say they have achieved.

- Gard: Guitar Player. DJ. Engineer. Avid Record Collector. Gard embodies a plethora of abilities and adds a layer of trained musicianship to the overall sound and feel of the music.

All 3 members are originally from Enola, Pennsylvania, a city not known for its music scene. Due to the disparity of venues willing to accept hip hop, Artists Over Industry hosted their first 15 shows by themselves. From the first show they ever performed at and hosted, New Years Eve 2003 at a local fire hall, to their most recent trips to Manhattan, Florida and New Hampshire, AOI has continued to gain momentum and maintain their passion. They offer a refined sound not common to hip hop. A sound that offers the fullness and crispness of a digital recording with the warmth and emotion of analog. All three members of AOI are students of classic rock, as well as classic hip hop, so their sound is somewhere between The Grassroots and Gang Starr. With each subsequent release and performance AOI sharpens their skills and continues to win the audiences over.