Butterfly Toungz
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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Distortion Music Magazine"

The Butterfly Toungz, comprised of DJ Germ and MC/Producer Sub-One, dropped their third album, Wide Open Spaces, on August 20th. It’s been a working project for the last two years, done completely without “professional” assistance.

I received my copy last week and the first thing that came to mind as I popped in the CD, was, this is something different. That doesn’t necessarily mean something bad. On the contrary, Butterfly Toungz come with something different than all the other commercial, and in my opinion crap, rap music out there right now. After listening to Butterfly Toungz and their fellow midwesterners, MaddWest, I realized that the midwest has more to offer than fast-spitting thugs (absolutely no disrespect to them).

Sub-One produced the entire album with the exception of the track “Bottom of the Bucket,” produced by DJ Germ, which he co-produced. The 28 tracks off the album include about a dozen interludes of which some, unlike most other albums, are actually worth a listen, including "Message 7" and “Shut Up Interlude.” Well enough about interludes already.

Sub-One shows a lot of versatility on the mic. Many of the songs integrate the “ancient art” of storytelling. Mixed with funny and smart rhymes, Sub keeps his stories interesting. On the laid back track “Pina Colada,” he tells the story of a guy getting sick of a bad drink.

"Now my drink came back but before I took a sip / I looked down at the bottom of the glass / I swear I'd seen an eye staring back / Good thing I couldn't see / what I had just poured inside of me / Cuz it tasted like anchovies going down (Ugh)"

The beat of the title track perfectly fits with the title of the album. I can’t describe it, but when I imagine “wide open spaces” the beat just seems natural. Besides the beat, Sub shows off great lyrical skills.

Judging from the track “Live @ Emerson,” Butterfly Toungz gives a great live show. I was pretty surprised when I looked at the track listing and saw "live." If you live in the midwest and Butterfly Toungz is performing there, don’t miss out.

What’s an animal that begins with the letter “D?” Nah, you guessed wrong, it’s not duck...but a dick (if you guessed it correctly, get help...now). On the track “Richard Nixon,” Sub tells us all about his dick, which he apparently calls Richard Nixon. A little TOO much detail, but a funny and tight track nonetheless.

The best track by far is “Here Come The...”, featuring Aceha of MaddWest on the hook. The beat is absolutely banging. Sub has his best flow and delivery and dope lyrics. I love that track!

These are just some of the track

as for the rest of the album, there are absolutely no bad tracks and Butterfly Toungz is well worth checking out, live or on record. If you’re tired of hearing the same old rappers on the radio and on TV, get Wide Open Spaces, you won’t be disappointed.

On a side-note, groups like Butterfly Toungz, MaddWest, and Blackalicious is what Hip Hop needs: a good old-fashioned DJ and MC duo, the likes of Eric B. and Rakim, people making their own beats and putting a damn effort in their raps instead of rhyming about their “Down Ass Bitch.”

We need more songs about former Presidents of the USA! Haha. - Chronic


"NUVO (Weekly Entertainment Magazine)"

When the rap duo Butterfly Toungz takes the stage at Birdy’s on Saturday as part of the seventh Indianapolismusic.net showcase, they’ll be a little more nervous than usual.

Not because they’ll be playing for a large audience or even an audience not accustomed to hip-hop, but because it’ll be their first show in more than two years.

Jonas O. Tuck of Butterfly Toungz “This show means a lot to us,” says leader Jonas O. Tuck, also known as Sub-One. “We’ve been practicing for more than a month to get ready. And we’re ready to go. We feel like it’s our time to shine.”

The group has been absent from the live scene for several reasons. They took a hiatus because of Tuck’s studying audio engineering in Arizona and interning at a top studio in Atlanta, although Tuck and his partner, DJ Germ, never stopped working on tracks.

During this time, the two collaborated on songs that would end up on Butterfly Toungz’s recently released third album, Wide Open Spaces. “We just wanted to take some time away and focus on the music and making a good product. We’ve spent the last two years just working on the album,” Tuck says.

The wait was worth it. Wide Open Spaces is an engaging and accomplished album that, in a loose way, traces Tuck’s life from a child to the present. The beats and rhymes are airy, positive and not unlike the music of their idols – the Native Tongues movement of the early 1990s, which included groups like De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest.

Their name is drawn from the Beatles and the Native Tongues crew. “The Beatles are a big influence on me and I kind of wanted to do a play on the whole insect thing. We listen to the Native Tongues albums and studied the samples they used, and the little tricks they pulled off. We listened to that and tried to be creative in our own way.”

They also draw inspiration from old-school R&B and hip-hop. “The old-school beats are a treasure,” Tuck says. “We try to stick to the old way of doing things and try to put a new twist on it, although we want to keep all of the original elements.”

Wide Open Spaces is arranged chronologically, representing different eras of Tuck’s life in rhyme. “It goes back from the time I was young until now,” he says. “It deals with things that people are afraid to talk about. We just didn’t want to say, ‘We’re a hip-hop group and this is all the things we hate.’ We wanted to cover topics. One of my favorite albums of all time is Sgt. Pepper and what I love about it is the Beatles were able to free themselves by becoming another band. They were able to address topics they normally wouldn’t touch. Our album’s layout was a way to free ourselves. We wanted to have a way to expand our spectrum.”

The group addresses issues such as teenage pregnancy and other social issues. “There’s not a lot of positive messages in hip-hop today,” he says. “They talk about all the money they have, or how they have a baby, but they don’t talk about turning a negative situation into a positive.”

The Butterfly Toungz song “Love Letter” starts off with a man being irresponsible about his personal life but then growing and evolving into dealing with adversity in a positive manner. “I thought it was a good idea to instill as many positive messages into the songs as we could,” says Tuck.

“I have kids myself and we wanted to make sure there was something positive that people could take away from the album,” Tuck notes. “There’s a lot of fun stuff, too, but we wanted to make sure people could get something positive out of hearing the album.”

Besides messages of empowerment and self-determination, Wide Open Spaces contains more than its share of whimsical interludes, such as “Peppermint Schnapps and Chocolate Milk” and the title cut, which features a guest appearance from EMI recording artists Maddwest.

The song “Richard Nixon” is a dis song directed at the former president in a humorous vein. “We put it on there for a laugh,” Tuck says.

The album also deals with personal tragedy in Tuck’s life. The song “Butterflies in My Stomach” discusses the death of his infant daughter in January of this year. While some artists might not want to use such an incident for a song, Tuck felt compelled to write about it.

“I wanted to deal with that subject in a track. It was in me and I had to get it out,” he says. “It’s been very difficult over the last year. But I know that God has a plan and there’s something bigger there I don’t see.”

He says, “While I was completing the album after losing her, I felt like she was telling me to get this thing done. She was looking over my shoulder. There were so many late nights where I couldn’t even figure out how I was doing this, but she was the angel on my shoulder helping me get it done.”

The group came together at IUPUI in early 2000. “I was playing a solo gig at the Emerson and DJ Germ happened to be in attendance that night. We were in a class together at IUPUI, although we’d never really met. He saw me on stage and asked his friends who I was. They said, ‘He’s that guy in your class.’ We hooked up from there and we’ve been making music ever since.”

They stuck together while Tuck received his master’s degree in audio engineering at the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences in Arizona, as well as interning at DARP Studios in Atlanta.

While the album has been positively received by press and radio, Butterfly Toungz is busy working on its next project, an album described by Tuck as “somewhat darker” in tone than Wide Open Spaces.

While doing that, the duo hopes to line up gigs with similarly-minded groups across the Midwest. Tuck especially looks up to the Mudkids. He and DJ Germ solicit their input as often as they can. “I’m a really big fan of theirs,” Tuck says. “While we’re not trying to copy anyone, I really like the way they approach their music and keep things positive. If we could have just a fraction of their success, I’d be happy.”

With an amazing new album, they’re on their way. Wide Open Spaces is available at Karma and several other local record stores, as well as through mp3.com.

- Steve Hammer


"Shotgun Reviews.com"

"Get Open"
Jan 31 , 2003

As the bling-bling/ball to you fall movement in hip-hop comes to an end..(fingers crossed), and the emphasis in hip-hop music is returned to substance, intricate lyricism, fun and originality--the Indianapolis based group known as Butterfly Toungz readies themselves for the end of a much artistically depraved era. With a style thats similar to the (mid 90's) Native Tounges collective, the Toungz hope their third full-length LP, "Wide Open Spaces" can revitalize the zombiezed-industry that stagnantly trains listeners with a 16 bars 4 bar hook song. Basically, The Toungz are here to get you open with some "creativity."

Though they're virtually the new kids on the block, DJ Germ, Gravity and Sub-One have accomplished much together in the still developing Indiana hip-hop scene. They're the proverbial medium-sized fish in a very small pond. Sub handles 99.9% of the rhyming, Germ handles the turntables and Gravity handles the production boards. With "Wide Open Spaces" you won't get out of this world concepts and you won't get played out anthems of women, drugs and ice. There's a smidgen of abstract lyricism, but nothing too over-the-top. There's typical locker-room shit talk, as Sub-One brags upon his favorite body part, on the aptly named "Richard Nixon." But the "dick jokes" are balanced out by universal themes of bad days gone worse, on "Monday!" & late-night tall-tales of having too much to drink, on "Pina Colada."

Throughout, "Wide Open Spaces," The Toungz utilize a diversified spectrum of eclectic samples, ranging from the deliciously remarkable to the supremely strange. An album that is seemingly made up of literate rhymes, old records and personal experiences. "Live@the Emerson" is an overly energetic tune that displays Sub-One's humorous ability to make fun of himself.

However, "Wide Open Spaces" is not all fun & games. Social issues such as teenage pregnancy are addressed on, "Love Letter." Inspired by Public Enemy's "Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos" and driven by an ill harmonica loop, "Love Letter" is built in the Maury Povich "are you my babies daddy" mold. Campiness aside, "Love Letter" actually tackles a would-be young fathers parental irresponsibility. The Toungz also discuss the harsh realities of day-to-day living, as well as death. Losing a loved one is never easy and on, "Butterflies In My Stomach." Sub-One spits rhymes from his soul, "I wonder why it gotta be this way/I asked the lord Jesus Christ, everyday I pray/but I never get an answer, tell me do you hear me/butterflies are in my stomach..look what happened to me!"

"Wide Open Spaces" sports the kind of beats that make you nod your head without thinking. And in classic hip-hop fashion the kind of rhymes that make you hit "rewind" in awe. Sub-One's fluid & storytelling style is instantly likable. The AceHa interludes (in Prince Paul-like fashion) help to add the right touch of obnoxious humor. This one is a long play for extensive listening pleasure. So, its advised to cop this one for any road trip with a distance over 300 miles. The Butterfly Toungz totally encompass what hip-hop should be: artistically sound, unabashedly conscious, raw/rough-around-the edges and cool. - Capt. Westside


"INtake Weekly"

According to the latest release from the local hip-hop duo Butterfly Toungz, we've "all got our morals out of place."

"Adversity," released May 16, touches on topics of teenage suicide and guns in schools -- not your typical rap radio fodder.

And that's how MC Sub-One, aka Jonas Tuck, 30, and his hip-hop other half DJ Germ, aka Patrick Shanholtzer, 26, want it.

"When someone asks me what do you do . . . as soon as I say I'm a rapper . . . they take everything they hear on the radio, bad or good," Tuck said.

"I get put into that category . . .. I have to immediately defend hip-hop."

Overcoming stereotypes

Butterfly Toungz started in 1999, and released its first album in 2002.

The second disc, which Tuck said was delayed so that the two could do it right, was recorded at Tuck's home in the evenings, after the musicians finished work at their day jobs.

For the pair, being hip-hop means understanding the music's origins.

"You can't understand hip-hop unless you understand the culture," Shanholtzer said.

"For me it's all the elements embracing the one. If you get that going, it's such a positive vibe."

Their love of hip-hop blossomed early, later becoming a means of release for the two teenagers.

Both started writing at a young age, and Shanholtzer saved his pennies to snag his first turntables at age 18.

They also learned the tools of the trade early -- from watching "Yo! MTV Raps" and listening to Eric B. and Rakim, Gang Starr and other early artists of hip-hop -- influences that now serve them on professional and personal levels.

"This is a means to communicate," Tuck said. "It's not just a way to get away from reality, but to discuss reality as well . . .. It's freedom."

Flow like a butterfly

As for the future of hip-hop in Indiana, the two believe things aren't so bad.

Their songs, even known to smalltown fans in places like Rushville, Ind., shout out to other Indy personalities, like the Mudkids and Fiti Futuristic.

And the fellows of Butterfly Toungz say they're willing to play with Indianapolis musicians of all genres.

The pair even hopes that, with the resurgence of conscious hip-hop in the vein of Kanye West and Common, the mainstream version of hip-hop culture might revert to its original roots.

"I hope that it causes a regeneration about hip-hop as it used to be," Shanholtzer said, "when it was fresh and new and (people) just didn't assume it was going to be a certain way."
- Jessica Halverson


"MidwestBands.com"

ip-hop is a genre in which change has been the most consistent feature. To be honest, I have gone in and out of phases when I enjoyed Hip-hop music. I’m not sure if my tastes have changed with age or what; of late, I haven’t really been much of a fan. To me, my favorite period in Hip-hop was the late 80’s and early 90’s, when a lot of groups were emerging. And, perhaps my choice in Hip-hop groups would be scoffed at today (Digital Underground, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Naughty By Nature), but I liked it! I listened to KRS-1 and Public Enemy, and I liked them. I liked the fact that they were driven to educate and to entertain; but, sometimes, they were just so serious! I am a fan of comedy, and I like hearing about causes, but I also want to hear something that makes me laugh, as well as nod my head! For me, these sorts of groups were the best! They were talented, intelligent, and funny!

I come to a project like The Butterfly Toungz, and it takes me back to those good old days! This is a group of individuals that enjoy themselves, write great tunes, and have intelligent and interesting lyrics! They are songs about situations; songs that tell a story!

The demo CD that we received had 3 songs on it. All of them are good, and all have their particular highlights!

The first song is “Pina Colada”; it is a song about a drink, much like Tone Loc’s “Funky Cold Medina”; however, that is where the similarity ends! It is a cautionary tale in some ways that warns you that what looks like it’s free isn’t always free! The sample for this tune is very interesting, and as I said, the story is interesting! Believe me, it will affect you, in one way or another!

The middle song is a song that all the working people of the world will hear and commiserate with. I would say that it is an “Anthem for the Working People”, but we all hope that days like this don’t happen! Again, the choice of sampling in this one is very cool; they choose to sample “Monday, Monday” by the Mamas and the Papas, and it works very well! (I did have a clever Mamas and the Papas “sampling” joke to insert here, but I chose not to. Email me if you want to know what it was!) The end of the song always grabs me; in reference to Monday, a small voice chants over and over “It isn’t very happy for me!”; and we all say, “Amen!”.

The last song is a song about a girl, called “Mo Mo Part II”; nothing really funny about it, but it is a good song about meeting “the one” and the things that you go through to get her attention!

This collection of rhymes is just a small segment of the songs available on The Butterfly Toungz’ Wide.Open.Spaces. I really enjoyed the Demo CD, and I would recommend this one! I would especially recommend it if you were a big fan of Yo! MTV Raps in the late 80’s and early 90’s! It wasn’t surprising to me to see that Mac da Madd’s likes included rap music between the years of 1988 and 1995! This is a great project! I hope to be able to catch The Butterfly Toungz live sometime in the near future!--Mark Lush, Midwestbands.com, 6/5/03 - Mark Lush


Discography

"Adversity" (2007) - Single, Live From Bloomington CD
At Da Bottom (2007) - Single, Music Video
Push Da Button (2006)- Single, Music Video
"Adversity" (2006) - LP
We're Here! (2004) 12' Vinyl Release
Life Goes By... (2004)- Feat. on Indy MP3 Project
Love Letter (2003)- Single
Wide. Open. Spaces. (2002)- LP
Pina Colada (2001) - Single
Monday! (2001) - Single
Below See Level (1999)- LP
Relaxation (2000)- Maxi-Single Release
Toil 'n' Trouble (2000)- Single
Livin' Specimens (1998)- EP
Hey Shortie (1998)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Butterfly Toungz have been critically acclaimed by The Indianapolis Star, NUVO Entertainment Weekly, Distortion Music Magazine and Shotgun Reviews for their third album, "Wide. Open. Spaces."

Butterfly Toungz have turned heads at various stage shows by beat boxing over break beats and combining elements of classic rock, jazz, funk, soul and old-school hip-hop into their music.

Butterfly Toungz were recently awarded as “Sixth Place Finalist” out of over 140,000 other artists for “Best Experimental Song” at the JPF Music Awards in Los Angeles, CA. In addition to their recent achievement, Butterfly Toungz’ new single “Life Goes By” is currently being featured on the Indy MP3 Project CD which has had over 18,000 copies distributed throughout the Midwest. “Life Goes By” has also been featured on Channel 26 in Cleveland, Ohio as part of its Proartist TV showcase each Tuesday Night.

Butterfly Toungz formed in Indianapolis, IN after DJ Germ was in attendance at Sub-One’s solo performance. The DJ and gifted graffiti artist from Indiana University’s Herron School of Art hit it off with MC/ Producer
Sub-One, and formed their current duo…Butterfly Toungz. DJ Germ has been featured in the Indianapolis Star and News promoting his “artist” lifestyle. Sub-One received his undergraduate degree from Indiana University with an emphasis in English and Music Studies. He is a graduate from the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences where he earned his Masters of Audio Recording and Engineering in Tempe, Arizona. He is certified in ProTools 135 and completed an internship at DARP Studios in Atlanta, GA.

During their years in college, the group worked on several independent projects for students and businesses around the Midwest. Last year, Butterfly Toungz’ music appeared in a BMX Documentary DVD entitled “Destination: Air,” which premiered before the start of the ESPN Gravity Games.

myspace.com/butterflytoungz