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"Bleed For Them Review (WYDU Blog)"

Rakim once said "It ain't where ya from, it's where your at". Hip hop is nation wide these days. You can become an instant MC/Producer with a few mouse clicks and a myspace page. This doesn't mean the music will be good, but anyone can be a "rap star". It would be foolish to judge the Lawrence, Kansas duo Archetype based on their locale. Consisting of I.D. (lyrics) and Nezbeats (beats/lyrics), the duo dropped their debut album, "Freehand Formula" in 2002. Each have done their own thing between that project and their "Bleed For Them" release. Nezbeat did production work for artists such as Murs and Mac Lethal and I.D. did some side projects as a solo artist. In 2005, the group released "Bleed For Them" on their own, hustling it on their own time and dime. Without much promotion and distribution, the album faded away into the sunset. In stepped in Connecticut based Dekagon records, who released a 12 inch single "Women Of Scribble Jam" by Mac Lethal and Murs that Nezbeat produced. Dekagon would pickup the album and rereleased this past August in preparation for Archetype's third album coming out in the near future. "Bleed For Them" is perfect example that some albums out there need to be heard for the simple fact that its just good music, lucky for the hip hop heads that this release didn't fall through the cracks.

From the first heavenly strings and short staccato horn stabs that laces the introduction, you know right away that the production is going to be something special on this album. Nezbeat is in that soulful production mode with beautiful horns and strings that might remind one of Pete Rock. What is beautiful about the production is that it just feels "full", you can feel the soul in the beats themselves, unlike some of the hurried, soulless beats that are found abounding through out hip hop these days. The albums first full length track, "Wait Or Break", reminds one of quality mid 90's hip hop, yet with a new and fresh twist to it. The track is a perfect introduction with an up tempo track and strong lyrical performance from I.D. It gives heads an idea what to expect, fly rhymes and dope beats, the way hip hop was made to be.

The third track, "I'll Be Honored", starts off with an ill piano loop then breaks into a nice, sleepy introduction from I.D. that is a guaranteed head nodder. Again, the lyrics and beats are both on point, starting a reoccurring theme that is present on the album from beginning to end, a sense of strong chemistrybetween the producer and the MC, that brings back memories of one producer and one MC that is found through out the whole album. This becomes obvious on the album's single(?) and my personal favorite, "Keep It Comin", which incorporates a familiar sample (that I can't place right now), a guitar loop, swirling chimes and dreamy bass line that sweeps the listener into a better place. Yeah, corny, but the song is anything but. Nezbeat also drops his first lyrics on the track. He is more than adequate on the mic, but his vocal tone might take some listeners a bit to get used to.

They switch things up both musically and lyrically on "Prey On The Weak". Nezbeats still infuses his style into the beat but it's more schizophrenic in nature. It conjures up old 60's rock in the feeling infused into the listeners ear. Both members grab the mic and come with rapid fire lyrics together and speaking on some social commentary.

The next track slows things up on "No Gods" with a muted horn sample and a smooth vocal sample over a nice drum track. Again, I.D. shows that he is no slouch on the mic. He drops though provoking lyrics and proves this album isn't all just about the beats. I'll admit, neither moved me on the mic at first, but after a few spins I.D. established himself as a talented wordsmith with a strong presence on the mic through out the album. He also drops deep and complex lyrics that take more than one listen to get the jest of their meaning. Nezbeats appears on several tracks, and while in he is not in the same league as I.D., he is a nice complement to I.D.'s complex rhymes with his simplistic yet effective observations, which he demostrates on tracks like "Freakin' Out" and "Utopia" (which he mentions wifey Salma Hayek, back up off her, boys).

I honestly can't knock the album much. If you are not a fan of Nez's production, then there won't be much of a reason to listen to the album, as its fairly cohesive effort that is full of that one producer flavor of yesteryear. I've mention past albums that try to be too much at once, this is not one of those albums, which for some of the short attention span listeners of today, this might be too much of a good thing. A couple tracks fail to live up to the others, "Unfolding", is one such track. While its not bad, it just doesn't grab me as the others would and seems somewhat unfocused than some of the other tracks.

As I've said many times, it does take a lot for an album to truly excite me in this day in age and I must say, I've been playing this album pretty much non stop for the past three weeks and would consider it in the running for album of the year. I don't hear many albums in the present that possess that cohesiveness without being boring and drawn out. This album keeps that flavor that makes it a quality album from track one to track sixteen, yet it makes each track different enough to keep the listener from growing bored. The beats have that golden age feel, but are still advanced enough to stand up on their own merit in the present day in age. I highly suggest this album, it is music like this that deserves that hard earned ducket. Skip the extra three happy hour beers this weekend and pick the album up, fans of this type of music will not be disappointed in the least. My hope in hip hop has been given a jump start.

Rating: 4.25/5 -

"Bleed For Them Review (Exclaim Magazine)"

One look at ID and Nezbeat and they might be dismissed as another hipster-hop group, but they actually bring a very traditional style of hip-hop on the boards, and something else entirely on the mic. Although the young Kansas duo doesn’t collaborate on every track (Nezbeat actually goes solo for about half the album), there’s a definite rapport in their soulful smoothness. ID’s soft tone and Nezbeat’s projected style on the fresh beats by the both members make for a new school Tribe Called Quest, but with more thought-provoking content. Government, religion, utopia and even childhood imaginary friends (or schizophrenia, depending on how much you read into it) make up just a slice of the substance here. In 2007, Bleed For Them was slept on and hardly appreciated, if recognized at all. Don’t let that happen in the New Year. This is a gem. (Dekagon) - Exclaim Magazine

"Bleed For Them Review ("

This CD was almost delagated to the "not bloody likely" pile but I'm very glad I popped it in. What was called "backpacker rap" for a long time has now devolved into embarassing schlock. It's either material so experimental it is unlistenable, or it's the other way around, and dudes think they're dropping knowledge but they're more lost than the bling set. And I hate to say it, but it's because too many white, suburban kids got involved. One morning everybody woke up and thought they could rap, and consequently the integrity of the genre as a whole slipped severely. But every few years the "Elvis syndrome" is responsible for something good. Grip Grand and Proe of Rec League Records are two names that immediately come to mind. Well, I think ID of Archetype is the latest addition to that finite list. He spits witty, unpredictable, fly shit as Wu-Tang might say. I'll even go as far as to quote a couple lines that stuck with me: "most of you rejects/ couldn't detect/ even what I mean, let alone notice events of active essence/ manifest in a rapper's presence," and this one that I wholeheartedly agree with, "I don't live by your whistle or a bell or a buzzer/ fuck an alarm clock, I'll wake up whenever/ I ain't a dog, I won't act like one either." ID's partner in Archetype, producer/emcee Nezbeats got dem layered, soulful productions that compliment their rhyme style like ketchup and fries. He's got some deeply dug for and well placed vocal samples and loops. My joints were the cut about the death of an imaginary friend called When We Were Kids, the very Beatles sounding "You See", the silk smooth "Freakin' Out", and the all around dope "Utopia" with Joe Good. On "Prey On the Weak" I gotta say this duo sound exactly like classic Styles of Beyond, and that's a big compliment from me. Hunt this CD down, don't let these fools bleed themselves dry. -

"Bleed For Them Review (Three Imaginary Girls)"

Archetype is hip-hop for the hippies and the hipsters, the dreamers and the down-trodden. Archetype's second album Bleed For Them is genre-leaping, inspiring, questioning, intelligent music. Bleed For Them doesn't resort to pimps, whores, and guns to catch the listener's ear but instead weaves soul, blues, and even Neil Sedaka into well-formed, connected songs that challenge the listener to define her/his own path in life.

Archetype is I.D. and Nezbeat, two guys from Kansas who have been creating music since 1997, both together and separately. The music demonstrates the confidence they have in themselves and in each other, as well as their love and appreciation of all music. The opening track, "Bleed For Them Intro," immediately sets the tone for the album, laying down an easy soul track, a little French, and intelligent lyrics. Blues piano opens "I'll Be Honored." "No Gods" contains one of the stronger messages on the album -- to challenge our leaders and think for ourselves -- lifted out of being heavy-handed by using a sample of Neil Sedaka's "Laughter in the Rain." Is that a Cee-lo sample on "Freakin Out"?

While the music dabbles in various genres, the lyrics for the most part stay on course in promoting self-confidence, offering inspiration, and challenging the listener to go after what they want. "You can't be afraid of your own decision/or to take credit for your own investion/.../everyone's got their own song to play."

Archetype have clearly heeded their own message. The record promotes the sense that I.D. and Nezbeat have risen above their own uncertainty and self-doubt, as well as the external pressures of conformity, to pursue the music they want to make. The listener reaps the rewards. -

"Interview with Archetype (Platform 8470, Jan 2008)"

Once growing up in Manhattan, Archetype’s Nezbeat and iD have been living in Lawrence, Kansas since their college years. Known for its notorious art scene, stimulated by the everpresent influence of people like Charles Parker, Gordon Parks and William S. Burroughs, both have dedicated their lives to make music. The actual release of their 2005 album ‘Bleed For Them’ was easily one of this year’s most overlooked underground album...

You've been making music since 1997, why hasn't the world heard of you yet?

Nez: Some of the best things in life go overlooked. And a lot of artists are too busy making art/ends meet to worry about how many people in the world have heard of them. We might fit into that category.

iD: Really, we just never had a label to put our records out. Or promote them.

The album 'Bleed For Them' was originally released in 2005, why the re-release?

iD: Actually the album was never properly released at all. It was available online only and never advertised or promoted.

Nez: Not too many people outside the area got a chance to hear it and Dekagon felt they should.

Is there something different from the original release?

iD: There's one new track, and new artwork.

Nez: Yeah, we added a sweet ass little audio morsel at the end and had it remastered, plus the new art is way cleaner and just kicks a lot of ass.

Do you think that the album still represents the sound of Archetype anno 2007?

Nez: For sure, we are always progressing as individuals but I don't think anything we ever release will sound dated. ‘Freehand Formula’ is still relevant today from what people tell us.

iD: As my boy Johnny Quest put it, 'Bleed for Them' sounds like one complete thought. it has its own atmosphere.

The first album 'Freehand Formula' was issued in 2002, did you listen to this album again before and/or during the making of this one?

Nez: No, not really. I revisit our old stuff every now and then for the nostalgic aspect, and because I never get sick of listening to Isaac spit, but when we are making an album that album is what we focus on. Forward, no looking back.

iD: That was a very important album for us. It was the first proper CD either of us had ever put out. Listening to it is an involving activity for me, and a little embarrassing, so I don't play it very often.

How would you compare the makings of 'Freehand Formula' with 'Bleed For Them'?

Nez: ‘Freehand Formula’; we lived together so we were around each other more. It was more experimental in the sense that it was our first album that we had ever recorded on semi-decent equipment. By the time we did ‘Bleed For Them’ both of us had a better idea of what we wanted and knew how to execute it more precisely.

iD: The writing was different too. 'Freehand' was kind of a collection of the best songs I'd written over the previous years. 'Bleed for Them' was written intentionally, with the thought of a second album in mind, and included Nez on several songs, where as on the first album he was only on one song.

'Bleed For Them', what's the meaning behind the title?

iD; It's a lyric from the song 'Unfolding', which might explain better, but it's not more than a little cryptic. It could be taken differently depending on the person though. I'm sure it means something different to me than anyone else who's heard the album, and that's as it should be.

Nezbeat, you rhyme a few times too on the album, you are the producer, so how long have you been writing?

Nez: I've been writing since I was in grade school. But I was always more drawn to drums and the instrumental side of music. I started writing more seriously in high school thanks to Isaac and his constant push to make more songs with more people. So I'd say about ten years seriously.

The French samples on it, was it to give the album an avant-garde twist or do you have a love for the French language?

Nez: Well, we both have a great love for film, and we take inspiration from everything. I was researching the title ‘Bleed For Them’ and found the movie ‘Blood Of A Poet’ which reminded me of our title and the idea behind it. It's a Jean Cocteau film, a very ahead-of-it's-time and very surreal visual poem loosely about the artistic process and the pain and self-reflecting doubt it causes. In fact some of the CD book imagery from the first release of ‘Bleed For Them’ came from stills from that movie. An intensely dark and trippy film even by today's standards, I highly recommend it.

There's also a sample of Neil Sedaka, are you fans?

Nez: No, not really. Good ear though. The ‘oooh I hear laughter in the rain’ was just a really cool line and the harmony worked with ‘No Gods’. Neil Sedaka has some cool ass lyrics but I don't bump him in my car or anything. One song of his that I really like though is ‘Bad Blood’, which I also looked into sampling for ‘You See’ but it never worked. Favorite line; ‘The only thing good about bad blood Is lettin' it slide.’

The beats contain a lot of 60s-70s rockpop samples, what are some of your fav artists from that era?

Nez: the 60's and 70's was a major experimentation period in music and from that came some of the most influential and mind blowing groups of all time. Too many to name, but a few that I listen to or like to sample: Terco, Paul Winter, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Malo, Deodato.

iD: I'm not really into jazz too much except to steal the sounds. I'm a big fan of early soul and the rock music it inspired. Mostly I pay attention to song writing; structure, style, etc..obviously I'm more drawn to the lyrics/voice and how that's working with everything else.

Have you ever been in a rock group?

Nez: Yes, it's called Blackout Gorgeous, our first album ‘Tragic Logic’ came out at the same time as the first release of ‘Bleed For Them’. Check it out. I do all the beats, it's a 6 piece-band, we are working on a new album slowly but surely. Hopefully we can finish it before our lead singer sells out and starts having kids.

iD: I am a rock group!

Nezbeat, you made the beat for Murs and Mac Lethal on 'Women Of Scribble Jam' how did you hook up and how was it like to record with them?

Nez: We have been making music with Mac and playing shows for a long time and he knew Murs through Scribble Jam. Archetype had played a couple of shows with him so it was all family. Those are two of the craziest people I know and it was an honour to work with them together, very efficient and professional.

What's the idea behind the song?

Nez: It's called ‘Women of Scribble Jam’, it's about this hip-hop battle festival they hold in Cincinnati every August and more specifically all the fine honey's that flock to it. The song is a dialogue between the 2 while Mac is trying to get Murs to battle him, and all Murs wants to do is fuck bitches.

The single was the first release on Dekagon, how exactly did you get with Dekagon?

Nez: Again, the scribble jam connection. A lot of politics go on there, sometimes it pays off.

So you both have projects besides Archetype, could you mention some/all?

Nez: Blackout Gorgeous, Homoaner (HomeOwner), my new solo project tentatively named Tantric Neuromantic or Cool Fire Controller.

iD: My other main project is iD & Sleeper. We released an album on Mush records called 'Displacement' in 2005. Our second album entitled 'With Fixed Hands' will be coming out on Mush in the spring. I also recently self-released a collection of odds and ends from the past few years called 'Avatar Hotel'. It's got production by Nez and other area artists and a couple songs produced by Ming & FS out of NYC.

You're both from Manhattan , how did you end up in Lawrence ?

Nez: We both wanted to move somewhere with a better music scene and Lawrence's is one of the best in the country. Plus I was going to the University of Kansas at the time.

Besides Mac Lethal and Approach, we're not that much familiar with the local Kansas scene can you tell us some more about it?

Nez: Well, there are a good amount of venues and a really good college radio station in Lawrence that allows artists to be heard. Not to mention a good responsive crowd that stems from all the 18-20 something’s coming from the University. So that attracts a lot of really good artists and allows the ones from here to shine, there are too many to list but to name a few of my faves in the Lawrence/KC hip-hop scene: Ces Cru, Joc Max, Stic Figa, Miles Bonny, Joe Good, Adru the Misphit, Johnny Quest, Deep Thinkers

iD: Several Lawrence/KC rock bands are world renowned. I'd recommend checking out for more on the subject.

As a matter of fact, Charlie Parker was also from Kansas , is there anything that reminds you of him?

Nez: Kansas City was a hotbed for swing music in the 20's and 30's, and since, Jazz has been heavily embedded in the culture and the vibe of the city. Lawrence, where we live, isn't so much influenced by jazz but we still have our fair share of other legendary artists, Langston Hughes, William S. Burroughs, etc. The music scene here today definitely resonates with the music history of the area, in other words, we still have our fair share of badass artists coming out of here.

iD: That’s for sure. (laughs)

Does Parker’s music still floats through the air over there?

Nez: A lot of jazz originators and pioneers came from or got known in Kansas city and the innovation will never be forgotten. Kansas City jazz legends Count Basie, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, the list goes on and these artists are still relevant 50, 60, 70 years later, and still heard sampled and ripped off in a lot of modern music to this day and I think for the rest of eternity it will be that way.

iD: What I feel in the air here these days is a sense of experimentation. There’s a lot of innovative and interesting artistic and musical collaboration coming out of this corner of the world right now.

Hopefully Gordon Parks ain't forgotten yet...?

Nez: No way, come on he directed ‘Shaft’! He's my favourite photographer and is where I lifted the name for my first album ‘From The Huge Silence’. He's a legend in his own right and legends are not to be forgotten. We happen to have a lot of them from the Kansas city Lawrence area. I think there is something in the water.

Does the Little House On The Prairie still stands there, and do you often get confronted with such foolish questions or Wizard of Oz jokes?

Nez: No Doubt, the Wizard of Oz is classic but the shit gets old. Not so much little house on the prairie, I think that is actually a first.

iD: The Wizard kicks ass!

Adru The Misphit is also from Manhattan right? You know him from there? He has his first full length out right?

Nez: Yeah, we met him in Manhattan i think up at the college radio station, all of us had mutual DJ friends and would go up there to get on air. His first official album just came out, it's called ‘Dying on my Feet’. I did like four beats on there and ID has a verse, it's a really dope album. Check it out here.

iD: Yeah, I had a song slated for my own album that was just me. Adru was really into the concept of my verse and wanted to add another aspect to the song. I thought it was a good idea so we re-recorded it and I let him use the song for his own album. The original version is on my album 'Avatar Hotel' which you can get online from

What was the first rap record you had/bought?

Nez: Mine was ‘Straight Outta Compton’.

iD: I don't know about rap records, but the first thing i ever had my own copy of was 'Appetite for Destruction' by G'N'R

What was the last rap record you bought?

Nez: Sadly, I can’t remember.

iD: 'Boyd City' by Boyd Pro fom KC's Symbol Heavy crew. It's mostly instrumental beats but my boy Nomad gets a verse in and the whole thing is sick. Check 'em out

What other music have you been listening to lately?

Nez: I listen to a lot of my own shit, and a lot of old jazz records. The last record I got was the Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz, anyone and everyone is on it. it's the shit. Also Radiohead’s new one and a lot of local stuff.

iD: Beats that I'm writing to.

There's a third album coming right? Could you tell us anything about it already?

iD: For the last year or so all of our live shows have included a live band. For this record we decided to incorporate that element into the studio tracks more. The third album should be done some time in the next year, but we're not really putting a time limit on it. We're working on it steadily, but were taking our time to make the record exactly what we want it to be. There’s a lot of potential to live up to and we're not trying to slump. Plus the deeper we go the more ideas we find 'and it just don't stop'

What other project are coming out by you and yours/extended famm/other projects? Shout-outs?

Nez: I have a couple of Nezbeat solo albums yet to be titled or labled. One is gonna be mostly instrumental and the other is me singing over banging rockin ass beats. I also have an album with Stic Figa in the works. Mainly more Archetype.

iD: There's the iD & Sleeper album coming out on Mush around March or April. A side project of mine with a producer called Natural Disasters entitled 'Lost Cats' will be coming out in February. And I just got started on my first proper solo album which is mostly produced by Stump1 from SIQ records out of Hawaii.

Nez: I have some beats on Dri's album that just came out, shout out to her and all of Range Life Records. Shout out to MixTape studios and all the KC/Lawrence musicians puttin it down.

iD: Much love to everyone who got the album. We'll talk at you soon.

Peace. -

"Bleed For Them Review ("

At first glance the title and artwork adorning "Bleed For Them" suggest anything but what's actually on the album - a multitude of soul-flooded beats and fluid, introspective couplets.

But there's a dual meaning behind the title of Archetype's sophomore release; the duo of Nezbeat and Id are so dedicated to the craft that they are figuratively (if not literally) bleeding for the fans and those random heads who desert the woodwork when this Lawrence pair's rockin a show.

Happiness lies at home though, and after checking out the collage of friend/family photos in the CD inlay, you begin to realize that they're also willing to bleed for those closest to them in any environment, not just atop a stage or in the studio. For an artist to give this much unabashedly is a rarity, but in the close-knit Lawrence/KC scene, the sentiment makes perfect sense.

Both producer/occasional MC Nez and mainstay spitter Id have been keeping themselves busy in the 3 years since their opening salvo, 2002's Freehand Formula. Nez served up some beats to Mac Lethal and formed a band in which he is the producto-maestro, Blackout Gorgeous. Id teamed up with Miles Bonny and Sleeper to release two of the most forward-thinking projects that the area has ever seen. It's obvious that they had this album on their minds the whole time, though; the chemistry between the two childhood friends is apparent from the first bars of "Wait Or Break," where Id utters "Hold your breath for your family or friends/'Cause ain't no telling how they're going to react to this mess/Perfect in its nastiness" over mournful horns from Nezbeat. The production here is nothing short of an aural cornucopia, with Nez putting it down in a true digger's delight style reminiscent of Pete Rock or PUTS's Thes One. On tracks like "Prey On The Weak" and "Unfolding," he seamlessly blends the guitar of Steve Hammond in with the rest of the programming and sampling, never letting the live overshadow the digital. The best tracks on the album are anchored by soul gold though; the plucked bass anchoring "Keep It Comin," the sureshot brass and improbable guitar loop of "Freakin' Out," and the jaunty piano-organ combo on "Think Of Me" should be destroying your headphones right now.

Id takes the opportunity to exercise some new rhyme patterns as well as clarify his existing style. "I'll Be Honored" finds him drowsily warbling the chorus, only to pause and begin his sharp, conversational flow. The frenetic stomp of "Prey On The Weak" finds him and Nez (courtesy of double-tracking) serving up social commentary and verbalizing in a furious '88 model. Although he's been rhyming a lot lately, it seems that Id has saved some of his most diverse writing for this album. Nezbeat's style is more generally observational, but peppered with playful humor (imagine traveling into the sunset in an "olive-oil fueled jet" or "sitting on an icecap/me and Selma Hayek" and you'll get the idea). Also worth noting is the auspicious debut of Adru The Misphit over an ascending steel drum loop on track 14; the kid is hungry as hell, and I guarantee that this appearance won't be his last.

Stunted growth means diminishing returns in the music world, but Id and Nezbeat prove that one can stay rooted and access everything they need through a powerful impulse to create - as Id notes on "Keep It Comin," "No outlets eventually/You found rhyme could set you free/Now it's just the madness of your pen and a beat/I love it." In this way, "bleeding for them" takes on an importance that is personal as well as public, the eternal artist's dichotomy. Here's to hoping that in Archetype's case, this is still only the beginning. -

"Bleed For Them In The Lucky 13 (XLR8R Magazine)"

WHy can't more hip-hop guys be real? I mean, if you grew up in a cow town in Montana, why on earth would you rap about Crips and whips? These Archetype cats are from Lawrence, Kansas, and I've never been there, but I'd wager their music is a good approximation of life in that town. It's smooth and warm and open (dare I say "tree-lined'?), sometimes loping along at a lazy place, but always with a lovely underlying sense of jazz and soul. "Keep It Comin'" and "Freakin' Out" are gems. - XLR8R Magazine

"Article on Nezbeat ("

Breaking the Huge Silence
From hip-hop to rock, Nezbeat collaborates with the prairie's pride on debut solo album
By Richard Gintowt
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Jeremy Nesbitt is Nezbeat

"The premise, the principle that will guide this exploration, is not nostalgic remembrance, but neither is it objective reporting. These are fragments. Moments remembered ... Wherever my feet have taken me, I have found both goodness and pain, and that's all I have to give."

So begins "From the Huge Silence," the solo debut by producer Jeremy Nesbitt, a.k.a. Nezbeat. The monologue, originally delivered by Kansas-born photojournalist and filmmaker Gordon Parks, serves as a mission statement for Nezbeat's three-year pet project, which features an all-star cast of local MCs, vocalists and musicians pouring their souls onto Nezbeat's dense hip-hop tracks.

"Basically I'm putting myself in Parks' shoes," Nezbeat said. "I'm presenting these fragments of Kansas lifestyle. Each song is a fragment like his pictures are."

The album title conveniently doubles as a judicious way to kill any jokes about Kansas hip-hop before they start. A native of Manhattan and five-year veteran of the Lawrence music scene, Nezbeat has done his share of defending the place he calls home.

"Everywhere we go it's like, 'You're not in Kansas anymore,'" he said. "We're just trying to break the silence, you know ... the idea that there's no hip-hop here.'"

"The whole Oz jokes and all - that's just gotta end."

Breaking the Archetype
Around town, Nezbeat is known best as the shaggy-haired, backwards-capped producer of Archetype, an introspective hip-hop duo featuring lyricist Isaac Diehl, a.k.a. "I.D."

While that group is still active (with a second album written and partially recorded), Nezbeat used some down time to collaborate with more than a dozen local MCs, producers and musicians.

The eclectic track selection highlights a who's-who of local rappers -- Mac Lethal, Approach, Joe Good, I.D., Brother of Moses, Johnny Quest, Adru the Misphit, members of Kansas City's Ces Cru, DJ Sku and Lawrence's beatbox artist A-Train -- as well as out-of-towners like Def Jux rapper MURS and New York-based singer Krystle Warren.

"It's just a good experience as a producer to be able to work with as many artists as you can," he said. "It's a huge learning experience because everyone has their own way of recording, and every MC has a different way of wanting to do their songs."

"All the artists really put a lot of heart and passion into it," he said, adding that the album would be subtitled "Love, Pleasure, Passion, Pain."

"I ended up with way too many songs ... Most of what I cut was my songs, which is fortunate because I can part with my own art. I feel bad about cutting other people, though, because they put their time and energy into it."

One of the album's most fruitful collaborations is a song with local space rock band The Capsules. While Nezbeat's hard-hitting hip-hop stylings and The Capsules' dreamy pop may seem an awkward fit, the pairing makes sense from the downbeat. A driving marching drum sets the foundation for singer Julie Shields' vocal lilt and Nezbeat's otherworldly manipulation of an angelic Bulgarian choir sample.

Capsules bassist Jason Shields said the band was intrigued by the prospect of collaborating with a hip-hop producer.

"He saw the potential for something like that to work, which most people wouldn't necessarily," Shields said. "The album in general is gonna be really cool ... I can't wait to hear it."

Another highlight is a collaboration between Mac Lethal and Murs titled "Women of Scribble Jam," a reference to the popular freestyle competition in Cincinnati that Mac won in 2002. The humorous and largely X-rated song serves as a bit of comic relief in an album that's mostly serious in tone.

"The premise of the song is that Mac and Murs are at Scribble Jam and Mac is trying to get Murs to battle him ... and Murs is just trying to mack on girls," Nezbeat explained. "They wrote and recorded it in about two hours."

Music Lessons
Nezbeat's music education can be traced back to his youth in Manhattan, where he grew up on a steady diet of Stevie Wonder and jazz. Though his first taste of rap was his brother's "super-raw gangster shit," including X-Clan and N.W.A, his tastes began broadening about the time he hit puberty.

"In seventh grade I was introduced to Souls of Mischief," he recalled. "That was my turning point. Hieroglyphics and Wu-Tang pretty much changed my life."

Drawing on his knowledge of percussion and piano, he began crafting beats in 10th grade with a drum machine and keyboard. Though he now incorporates computer programs like Pro Tools into his repertoire, piano remains his foundation, said Lawrence MC Johnny Quest.

"He's one of the few producers around that I know that's actually taken classes in music theory," said Quest, a friend and frequent collaborator who raps on two of the album's 17 tracks. "Sitting around a piano when you're seven years old doesn't seem like a whole hell of a lot of fun, but it sure paid off for him."

Though Nezbeat does the majority of his sample digging locally (he names Love Garden as a favorite spot), he also has an ace up his sleeve courtesy of his Dad's "super sick-ass" record collection, Quest said.

"Every once in a while (his Dad) will come down from Manhattan with a stack of records and be like, 'Here you go -- there should be some tight shit in here,'" Quest said. "And usually there is."

Surprisingly, Nezbeat said he doesn't even listen to much rap music these days on account of spending so much time working on his own material.

"I try to get my hands on some new hip-hop every now and then, but it's just hard to keep up these days," he said. "I listen to so much Radiohead it's stupid."

No More Yello bellies
In between working on his solo album and Archetype, Nezbeat has somehow found time to do drum and sample programming for the Kansas City-based band Ethereal. The band features a female vocalist and could be compared to Portishead or Radiohead, he said.

"I mostly stand on the side and push buttons," he said. "Me and the drummer have a lot of chats about how things are going to go."

After putting in a couple years of college and a four-year stint at Yello Sub, Nezbeat has been trying to make ends meet by playing shows and selling his beats to area artists -- a tricky endeavor since many of his prospective clients are friends.

"It's hard to separate business and friendships," he said. "Basically I try and find strangers that might be able to add to my music and are willing to pay for it ... If I make one sale I can live off it for like a month." -


Freehand Formula (Self, 2002)
Bleed For Them (Datura, 2005) (Dekagon, 2007)
Unfolding (Goontrax, 2008 Japan Only)



Archetype (I.D. and Nezbeat) started recording in 1997 on broken equipment in a dirty basement in Lawrence, Kansas. In the years since, they've turned that spark into the spotlight, performing live with Hip Hop favorites such as KRS-One, Pharcyde, Mobb Deep, Ugly Duckling, Murs, Brother Ali and on multiple high-energy nationwide tours with DJ P, Mac Lethal and Approach. Now performing as a full band, Archetype’s appeal keeps broadening, sharing the stage recently with indie-rock stars The Appleseed Cast and Minus Story. MC I.D. has been featured in XLR8R and Scratch magazines. His 2005 Mush Records debut “Displacement” (with producer Sleeper) reached number 8 on the CMJ Charts. Producer/ MC Nezbeat has done production for Murs, Mac Lethal, Slug, Approach and former Anniversary singer Dri.

Archetype's debut record, “Freehand Formula” was released in 2002 and has since become a cornerstone of the burgeoning Kansas City/Lawrence Hip Hop scene. The release of Archetype’s sophomore LP, “Bleed For Them” in 2005 on Datura Records and re-release in 2007 on Dekagon Records signifies the next chapter in the group’s development: pushing an ever-widening range of influences and creativity to produce unique and interesting music reminiscent of Hip Hop’s golden era, yet suggestive of a wide open future. Archetype is currently working on a third album expected to be completed summer 2008.