The Cranberry Show
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The Cranberry Show

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States | SELF

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Hip Hop




"2DOPEBOYZ mixtape review"

see url - 2DOPEBOYZ

"Performer magazine SPOTLIGHT"

see url - Performer magazine

"XXL Magazine "The Break' presents The Cranberry Show"

See url - XXL magazine


SEE URL - The Source magazine

"CD Reviews: Fantasia, Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan, Jon Langford & Skull Orchard, Marty Stuart, Kelis, BARB, The Cranberry Show"

The Cranberry Show
Sex and Pencil Shavings (S.A.P.S.)
The Cranberry Show LLC

Sarcastic and suggestive rhymes over fast-paced, high-pitched beats is what you'll get from the Cranberry Show, Milwaukee's answer to the pop and hip-hop fusion that's found everywhere from the radio to house parties these days.

Definitely aimed at a younger crowd, the 10-track debut EP is packed with tracks that bounce between tales of conquest with the opposite sex ("I'm Horny," "Get That") to raps about their attire and rebellion against authority ("Perks," "That Muzik").

Though it's consistent and catchy, the album's heavily electric beats and light, party-focused rhymes won't please all ardent hip-hop fans. But their alternative style will attract a larger, more diverse, pop-loving niche.

- Steven Potter, Special to the Journal Sentinel - Steven Potter for The Journal Sentinel

"The Cranberry Show Rap About Sex and Pencil Shavings"

“We feel that rappers take themselves too seriously,” says Arcane, one half of the Milwaukee rap duo The Cranberry Show. “They feel they have to be hardcore, or that if they’re too silly, they’re not hip-hop; or if they make a funny video, they’re not hip-hop. We don’t believe that. We’re both very funny and super creative and goofy, and really proud of it.”

This Tuesday, after years of local gigging, Arcane and his cohort Young Focus will release The Cranberry Show’s first album, Sex and Pencil Shavings, an unrelentingly odd party record that suggests a livelier, hornier The Cool Kids (most of its songs are about girls, primarily those of the freaky persuasion). Too often these kinds of slacker-rap albums are hampered by aimless, after-thought production, but the beats on Sex and Pencil Shavings bang loudly, mixing the booming breaks of old-school hip-hop with ’80s boogie throwback grooves and the curtness of modern club music.

“We have a couple songs on there you could definitely play at the club, though we don’t go to the club, or make club records,” Arcane says. “Our scene is colleges. We like going to college parties and hanging out. The kids are more wild and crazy.”

Shades of N.E.R.D. run through the record, though the duo has toned down some of the allusions to skateboarding culture that marked their early work.

“I skateboard pretty hard—Young Fresh used to a bit, but he kept hurting himself—but I really can’t talk about it too much because people want to box us in as that kind of group,” says Arcane. “That’s the exact opposite of what we want. We don’t want to be boxed in as any style.”

Without mentioning names, Arcane says there are two or three other Milwaukee hip-hop acts with a similar style as The Cranberry Show, but they haven’t shown much interest in collaborating.

“Milwaukee has what a lot of people would say is a crab in the bucket mentality,” he says. “Everybody wants to be the first to get to the top. So you think these other groups would say, ‘Cool, we do the same type of music, we should do shows together,’ but they’d rather look out for themselves than work together.

“So we do shows with Prophetic a lot, because he has the same mentality as us, where people try to beat him but he just brushes it off and says, ‘I’m going to do me,’” Arcane continues. “We also do a lot of shows with Blizz McFly. We’re good friends with Streetz and Young Deuces, too, though we don’t do much stuff with them, since our styles are so different.”

Sex and Pencil Shavings will be available through The Cranberry Show’s website, iTunes and The group is hosting an album signing party on Saturday, Sept. 4 at Flow Clothing Company, 720 N. Milwaukee St., and will perform at Washington Park’s sixth annual Put Down The Guns festival on Sunday, Sept. 5 with Prophetic, Blizz McFly and Adi Mack. - Evan Rytlewski for

"The Cranberry Show is fresh for fall with debut album "Sex and Pencil Shavings""

Although it sounds strikingly similar to annual The Cranberry Festival in Warren, Wis. -- the largest cranberry festival in the world, allegedly -- Milwaukee's The Cranberry Show isn't quite as wholesome.

Skate-punk indie rappers Arcane and Young Focus are the voices that make up the hip-hop duo known as The Cranberry Show (we'll get to the name's explanation later) and they are creating some of the freshest music in Milwaukee at the moment.

If you ask them, they'll boast that their act -- full of zany stage antics, silly rhymes and addictive beats -- is "the dopest show in the world." But the good news is, these guys don't take themselves quite that seriously. They are the kind of guys who would name their debut album "Sex and Pencil Shavings" -- a couple of goofballs who know their way around a catchy hook.

They compare their particular brand of hip-hop to an open relationship with a woman. "We get to roam and play the field but she's the gal you come home to at the end of the day," says Young Focus.

It's actually quite a fitting analogy. Their savvy sense of experimentation and innate ability to mashup sounds has landed them a spot opening for Def Jux darling Aesop Rock.

"Sex and Pencil Shavings" drops Aug. 31 and The Cranberry Show is scheduled to perform Sept. 5 at Washington Park. The Put Down the Guns Festival, now on its sixth year, also features performances by local artists Prophetic and Blizz McFly. caught up with Arcane and Young Focus to chat about life as The Cranberry Show. How long have the two of you been making music together (or individually?) How did the collaboration begin?

Arcane: We have been doing music for about two years together now, but we've been friends since middle school.

Young Focus: Yeah, I actually started off as a solo act and Arcane was my hype man. But one day a local producer by the name of 40Mil gave me an upbeat hip-hop instrumental to do a song to and I asked Arcane to lay a verse on it. His verse didn't suck ... it was actually pretty ill so we formed a life partnership, but not in a two-guys-marrying-each-other type way; a rap type of way.

OMC: You describe your music as "alternative hip-hop." Why does that label mean to you?

A: To me, it gives us the opportunity to play around with all types of sounds, hooks, themes and vibes to the music without having to be this or that. It's just different. It's alternative.

YF: Yeah, it's like dating a girl named "Hip-Hop" with no strings attached. We get to roam and play the field but she's the gal you come home to at the end of the day.

OMC: You are currently unsigned -- do you hope to change that? If so, are you looking to work with a local label or is the plan to go national with "Sex and Pencil Shavings?"

A: If the right deals comes then we'll take it, but we are far from looking for a deal.

YF: I agree, I think record deals are overrated, unless we're getting a hardy number.

OMC: What is your opinion on Milwaukee's hip-hop scene? Is it thriving? Supportive?

A: I personally like a lot of Milwaukee's music. I think it's thriving on a national level. It's a lot of Milwaukee artist taking the right steps and getting noticed.

YF: It seems to be getting better, although we are still very behind the major markets. So I'd say it's thriving but its still in the beginning stages. I don't know about the support, though. It seems like everybody wants to be the first act to "blow up" but we can blow up as a city if we actually came together.

OMC: Tell me about your name choice, The Cranberry Show.

YF: Well, we knew we wanted "show" in our name because we live our lives like a funny reality show -- and we knew we wanted to be known for our shows, meaning our live performances. The "Cranberry" part came in because cranberries clean out your system and we think of hip-hop as a system that we're trying to clean out with good music.

OMC: Speaking of good music, your debut album, "Sex and Pencil Shavings" drops Aug. 31. Where can we find it?

YF: Well the lead single off our album is a song entitled "Gurlz Like." That can be found on iTunes,, Zune and pretty much where ever else you can download music. As for our album, it will drop on all those places I previously named, and we will have hard copies in the form of drop cards.

OMC: What's next for The Cranberry Show? Tour? More records?

A: We are actually planning a very important tour right now. Can't let the cat out the bag just yet but it will be major. Also, we will be releasing our second official video in late September and dropping a mixtape Nov. 25. But currently the focus is on this project. "Sex And Pencil Shaving" Aug. 31. Make sure everyone buys 31 copies.

OMC: We'll do our best. - Julie Lawrence for


• Sex And Pencil Shavings LP - August 31, 2010
• R.A.N LP - January 1st, 2011
• Paranormal Karaoke LP - February 1st, 2012



The Cranberry Show is a Midwest based alternative hip-hop duo, and saying they have a unique style and sound would be kind of an understatement. These kids will expand your musical horizon to oblivion. Comprised of two MC's, Arcane (23) and Young Focus (24). They were once asked to describe their sound in five words and Arcane shouted "The sound of unicorns masturbating", Confused? Well let me catch you up to speed. For any other group this might have posed a problem; but, for The Cranberry Show it was just another impetuous response that sums up every aspect of their brand.

Their mostly known for their stage rattling, fatigue inducing, crowd jerking, live performance. Their stage presence and raw energy is equivalent to that of an illegitimate child of The Beastie Boys and N.E.R.D. They have shared the stage with such acts as Lupe Fiasco, Big Sean, J.Cole, Nelly, Diggy Simmons, Asher Roth and many more. As well as rocking a gigantic amount of college campuses across the Midwest and east coast, which seems to be their niche (colleges). And to add to the appeal, The Cranberry Show has a very solid international following. Gracing radio station in Japan, London, The Netherlands, France and South Africa with the upbeat stylings of their first project "Sex and Pencil Shavings"(2010).

Some of their musical influences include Lupe Fiasco, The Beatles, Jimmy Hendrix, Johnny Cash, Rakim, Michael Jackson and Marilyn Manson which is why their new LP entitled "Paranormal Karaoke" is being called as cutting-edge and innovative as Kanye West's MBDTF. Its full of hard beats, unholy concepts & ear jarring lyrics and has gotten the group on the biggest Hip-Hop websites and in the largest music magazines like The Source, XXL, and Performer magazine

The Cranberry Show is on a mission to prove that you can gain respect by just being yourself. Equipped with their DOPElife slogan, ‘TCS’ is the biggest advocate of individualism which shines like a badge of honor through their songs. So with no further adieu, welcome to the dopest show in the world….THE CRANBERRY SHOW!

Come live the DOPElife!