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Band Hip Hop Funk


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"Bottle Full Of Bourbon chosen for CD Baby’s prestigious Editor’s Picks!"

"One of the best we've ever heard"

Hip hop with no filler. It's a concept that's been pushed to the wayside in the last decade, completely arresting the ability of many an album to rock a party from front to back. This St. Louis crew has the remedy: an hour-plus CD that grooves deep in the pocket of true school hip hop, keeping things fun while intelligent, party-ready but not hook-obsessed. Forgoing an intro, they jump right into it on "The Great Escape," a razor sharp cut that gets thick with the kick drum and heavy with the horns, exploding in a chorus that injects a bit of soul between the lyrically potent verses. Employing a variety of producers, the tracks mix it up a bit from song to song, but thematically, it's all cohesive. Throwing in well-placed scratches and group vocals that increase the urgency ..ed refrains, they're intent on finding a way to make you move without resorting to the ham-fisted goading that dominates so much generic party rap. Their mission is never futile: cuts like "Dang" and "Get Up!" bounce with a fervor that's guaranteed to spread quickly. It's what you've been looking for: no wastes of space, just good-time hip hop delivered courtesy of a wit and candor that's a pleasure to get with.

-Brad @ CD Baby - (Brad-writer)

"Earthworms Leave No Wiggle (Metromix Article)"

I had the pleasure to talk to Mathias, one of the three emcees and four members of Earthworms. Earthworms is a hip-hop group that consists of three emcee's, Kama, Mathias and Black Patrick and the hardest working DJ in St. Louis, DJ Mahf. The buzz swarming around this hip hop quartet is unreal. Like a mama bird looking for worms for her young in the morning, the Earthworms are always on the look out for what can get them closer to being number one... anything from a catchy hook or sample to the next big act rolling through St. Louis that they can meet and be the opening act. With trips to South By Southwest and L.A., the Earthworms have made the effort to take themselves to the national level. It's nice to have connections, but these perfectionists are not affraid to get their hands dirty. The Earthworms are slowly but surely inching their way to the top.

Check out the Earthworms performing at Play: STL Fest at Blueberry Hill's Elvis Room September 18th.

How long has the band been together?

Mathias: 4 years

How did you come up with the name 'Earthworms'?

Mathias: It rhymed with Smurf terms… really it's because earthworms live underground... and in hip-hop you are either underground or commercial. We are the former.

It seems like every person in a St. Louis band came from another band. Is that the case with your band? Where did you come from?

Mathias: Earthworms was born in the basement where Core Project used to live and rehearse. Kama was in Core Project for 6 years... I was also in Core Project, but before that made my name as a part of Jive Turkey, and later - Art Thugs. DJ Mahf got his start with Essence of Logic, and Black Patrick used to be the regular break dancer at Lojic shows. We all became free agents at the same time (except for Mahf - who pulled double duty for a couple of years).

Are you for or against the Guitar Hero and Rock Band craze?

Mathias: Personally, I am indifferent. It takes me a while to catch on to sh*t like that. I don't think anyone else in the group regularly plays or owns either of those games. I could be wrong… Kama could be a closet Guitar Hero fanatic… more likely if there are any Dropkick Murphys songs in the game.

What television show do you consecutively agree on? What do you think is the best show on the tube today?

Mathias: Family Guy. Best show ever. I am speaking for Kama, Mahf and myself of course... Black Patrick lurks in a secret woodland location amongst gnomes, tree creatures and Ninja. He follows the way of the Hawk, and has no use for something so trivial as a television.

If you had the opportunity to open for a national act that happens to be rolling through St. Louis, who would it be?

Mathias: Can't pick only one. Atmosphere, The Roots (done it), A Tribe Called Quest, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings... anyone who draws a huge crowd that likes to have a good time. We'd open for Motley Crue on a Casino tour if they wanted us to.

With varied musical styles and genres in today’s music, is there one artist or band out there that has impressed the hell out of you?

Mathias: WAY too many to say… I think we are all usually impressed by different things. Most recently, I would say that we all really like a band called "Lovers in Arms" from Chicago. Great live band and lots of fun to do shows with. Also "Approach" from KC, now in San Fransisco... He puts on one of the more energetic and on point hip-hop shows out of anyone touring right now. Earthworms are an energetic group, so artists with similar stage energy usually are the most impressive to us.

One thing that I think is great about the St. Louis music scene is the friendships that are made between bands. Who are your band buddies on the scene?

Mathias: Ready? Fresh Heir (our backing band), Midwest Avengers, Nato Caliph, Jonathan Toth From Hoth, Steddy P, Spark1duh, Royal Illete, The Bureau, The Perfect Strangers, DJ Crucial, Helias, Splitface, 40 Til 5, Black Spade, DJ Who, DJ Spec, Mount Up, Lyfestile, Space, Jia Davis, Rockwell Knuckles, Trackstar, Needles, Family Affair, Steve Ewing, The Feed, Gotta B Karim, 932, Dub Kitchen, Upright Animals, Nite Owl, Scripts n' Screws.. etc, etc.

What music venue do you like playing the most/do you want to play?

Mathias: We love playing at Atomic Cowboy... always a great time and great crowd when we play there. Gramophone too... Also Blueberry Hill (Duck Room). And obviously The Pageant.

Where do we want to play?

Mathias: Madison Square Garden. The Hollywood Bowl. Stonehenge. Red Rocks. The Playboy Mansion. The Hi-Pointe (RIP). House of Blues on the Sunset Strip (oh wait, we did that this summer..), the Rolling Stone party at SXSW, the Grammy Awards, Barack Obama's victory party in November... you know - modest goals.
- Meaghan Anselm

"Earthworms & DJ-MAHF '08 Riverfront Times Music Awards - Write Ups!"

Best Rap/Hip-Hop Artist

Earthworms has long been a leading light among the city's hip-hop scene, and the collective's recent work represents a pinnacle of sorts. This year's Bottle Full of Bourbon builds off the funk-heavy, catch-all vibe of the group's debut; Mathias, Kama and Black Patrick trade verses, while DJ Mahf cooks up a stew of smooth old-school soul and hard-edged beats. The Earthworms' live performances infuse a new energy into these tracks, as funky keyboards, skronking horns and a crack rhythm section back these rappers. (CS)

Best Local Release {on a label}

As hip-hop becomes increasingly faceless and homogeneous, the effervescent, personality-laden Earthworms are a breath of fresh air. Cartoonish and playful (but not reliant on shtick) Bourbon boasts Technicolor beats, breezy soul-jazz and sizzling vinyl scratches. A cameo from the Urge's Steve Ewing helps the horn-funk jam "Get Up" kill — although the title track, with its smooth lyrical flow and sinister beats, steals the show. (AZ)

Best Hip-Hop DJ

Dan Mahfood is best known as the DJ for the Earthworms, mixing old-school soul samples and propulsive beats for the hip-hop collective. His scratching technique is classy and masterful, and his scratches always serve the song and amplify the groove. When he's not holding down the ones and twos for the Earthworms, DJ Mahf can be found spinning weekly sets at places like the Atomic Cowboy and the Upstairs Lounge, setting the mood with '80s pop and arena rock alongside modern hip-hop and R&B. (CS)
- Christian Shaeffer (The Riverfront Times)


St. Louis hip-hop group Earthworms are back with their sophomore release Bottle of Bourbon. Hot on the heels of their first album No Arms, No Legs, Just a Head and a Body, Earthworms manage to successfully avoid the sophomore curse by keeping up the momentum and sticking to their real strength: smart lyrics delivered with a natural cadence.

As opposed to a mainstream-radio sound that embraces the easily memorized chant lyric, Earthworms' rhymes tell a story just obscure enough to allow any listener to relate, equal parts disassociated themes and sexual innuendo with more than enough local flow to keep even the most scatterbrained individual focused. "We're the writers and we're writing your songs," they scream on the opening track "The Great Escape."

But while the lyrics weave tales, it is the album's abundance of massive hooks that really speaks to audiences, inviting even the least rhythmic listener to throw up hands and follow the bouncing beat. Mathias, Kama, and Black Patrick spit hooks big enough to catch sharks and drop jaws. Add to that combination the pulse-modulated precision of DJ Mahf's scratches and producer Jonathan Toth From Hoth, shake vigorously, and serve in a Collins glass for the perfect mix.

The Earthworms take full advantage of DJ Crucial's lush and diverse background of beats for their follow-up release. Despite the album's staggering 67-minute run time, the 17 tracks flow seamlessly from one to the next. It is a perfect representation of F5 Records' sound, and a style that seems unique to St. Louis. Of course, a host of notable guests are featured on the album, including local favorite Steve Ewing on "Get Up!"

The final verdict: Come for the distinctive beats, stay for the free-flowing lyrics, get off on the infectious hooks. A- | Josh Vise
- Joshua Vise (Playback STL)

""Dig the Earthworms" article in (Get Out-St. Louis Post Dispatch)"

Soulful hip-hop group Earthworms is reaching back to what many consider the golden era of hip-hop on its second CD, the new "Bottle Full of Bourbon."

The hot disc, an old school-flavored bag of riches, is the follow-up to "No Arms, No Legs, Just a Head and a Body," released two years ago.

"There's definitely something for everyone with all the different sounds, but the golden era is definitely there," says group front man Mathias, who is joined by Kama, Black Patrick and DJ Mahf.

"A few of us came up in the golden era of hip-hop with A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul. DJ Crucial handled a good deal of the production, and everyone knows he's a big proponent of the '90s-era hip-hop that's real sample-based with the jazz and soul samples. He really knows how to conjure that spirit."

Mathias, a former member of eclectic rock and hip-hop St. Louis band Core Project, says "Bottle Full of Bourbon" is a more cohesive effort than the previous "No Arms."

"On the first album, we didn't know each other well," he says. "We were just getting to know each other as artists and as people. The songs were more experimental, more loosey-goosey."

The new album also has more crossover appeal, which Mathias says works because they often share bills with rock bands.

His biggest influence is late rapper Katt Davis of Bits N' Pieces.

"He was always spitting fire about something and always getting his point across, and that really resonated with me," he says. "That's the approach I took, getting my message across without being preachy."

Earthworms is a band that likes to talk about having a good time and rockin' the party, though it stays away from the "party rap" moniker.

The CD release party for "Bottle Full of Bourbon" will be at 9 p.m. Friday at Lucas School House with a full band including Dave Grelle on keyboards, Jeremy West on guitars, Gavin Duffy on bass, Grover Stewart on drums, and a horn section with Terry Grohman and Ben Reece.

Midwest Avengers, 40 Til' Five and Steddy P are also on the bill. Admission is $10. More information is available at or - Kevin Johnson

"Digging Your Scene article in Riverfront Times"

Some hip-hop acts sound dope on their records but fall flat on stage. Others complain about the St. Louis scene but do little to actually improve or support it. And then there's the rare hip-hop act that sounds great through headphones, puts on an amazing live show and fully embraces the (thriving) St. Louis scene. Earthworms is just such a group. The four members (Mathias, Black Patrick, Kama and DJ Mahf) live to make music, and while they play to packed houses in St. Louis, they're far from complacent. "We don't want to just be known as a 'local band,'" Mathias says. "Our sound works well out West," offers DJ Mahf. "There are underground hip-hop scenes emerging in Phoenix and all over California."

"We want to tour in Europe," adds Kama. "London. South of France. Toulouse would be nice."

The guys laugh, but they're also dead serious. Earthworms is in this for the long haul, and they've already put in a ton of work. They started on their newest album, Bottle Full of Bourbon, immediately after finishing their debut record, No Arms, No Legs, Just a Head and a Body. That debut sealed Earthworms' reputation as a seriously talented crew, but Bourbon is even better. Drawing on rap, rock and funk influences, these seventeen tracks showcase the group's range. And while such a high track number usually sends up some red flags — as in, oh great, another overly bloated hip-hop album — each song sounds fresh and essential. Earthworms collaborate with STL wunder-producers Crucial and Helias, and an impressive roster of performers (including Chicago emcee Hi-Fidel and the Urge's Steve Ewing) contribute their talents.

Earthworms has found many fans in St. Louis, and they give much of the credit to their label, the locally owned F5 Records. "Everyone respects the F5 label," says DJ Mahf. "They keep vinyl alive by constantly dropping wax."

F5 is taking over digital distribution of Bottle Full of Bourbon, while the Earthworms themselves are hitting the streets to make sure the album is available in record stores. F5 is also releasing Earthworms ringtones. (Thanks to such ringtones, says Mathias, F5 labelmate Nato Caliph "is blowing up in Norway!")

This week's CD-release party — which will truly be a party, complete with a live band and guest performances by Midwest Avengers, 40 'Til 5 and Steddy P, plus on-the-spot T-shirt screen-printing by artists Ben Shepard and Ben Goeke — isn't all the crew has planned. They're planning a fourteen- or fifteen-date Midwest tour and may make a series of music videos (with an LA filmmaker who works with DJ Mahf's brother, the comic artist Jim Mahfood).

The Earthworms are refreshingly humble, but the fact is: Their schedule wouldn't be so packed if their music wasn't so good. The tracks never sound dashed-off. The album is completely free of obnoxious skits. The songcraft is consistently excellent.

"We put a lot of work into our verses," says emcee/b-boy Black Patrick. "We work on them for months at a time."

On Bottle Full of Bourbon, the hard work pays off — and then some. Raise a glass to Earthworms, won't you?

— Brooke Foster
- Brooke Foster (Riverfront Times)

"Earthworms & DJ-MAHF '07 Riverfront Times Music Awards - Write Ups!"

Best Rap/Hip-Hop Artist

Earthworms. Earth...worms. Such a humble, unassuming, just-crawlin'-along-don't-mind-me name for such an incredibly vibrant group. Then again, maybe the guys in this whip-smart collective — Mathias, Black Patrick, Kama and DJ Mahf — are thinking about the earthworm's other characteristics. You know: Tough. Able to thrive in the underground. Always regenerating, nearly undefeatable. Yeah, we get it now. If you're not hip to the Earthworms yet, you're missing out on one of the city's most exciting crews. The live show is a raucous party, and the album — No Arms, No Legs, Just a Head and a Body — is a rap-funk amalgam of the highest order. These guys took top honors last year, and they're worthy contenders again. You owe it to yourself to check out Earthworms — but please don't send us the bill when your feet are sore from dancing. We gave you fair warning, after all. (BF)

Best Hip-Hop DJ

DJ Mahf
Damn, son: Mahf is nominated twice this year, when you stop to think about it. His prowess as a DJ — think tight, jubilant, uproariously fun sets featuring hot hip-hop, funk and jazz tracks — is evident both in his solo performances and when he mans the tables for the excellent hip-hop crew Earthworms. Not content to just be a kickass DJ, Mahf also performed with now-defunct rock band Essence of Logic and co-hosts a show on the buzz-worthy Internet station Riverfront Radio ( Check him out Wednesdays at the Upstairs Lounge night 84, or catch one of his frequent sets at the Atomic Cowboy. Just look for the guy who seems truly in love with his craft, the guy with the 200-watt smile. (BF)
- Brooke Foster (Riverfront Times)


-No Arms, No Legs, Just A Head And A Body (2006)
-Bottle Full of Bourbon (2008)
-Untitled (2009)



For over 4 years, Earthworms has been one of the hardest working and most acclaimed hip-hop groups out of St. Louis. Combining a fresh perspective on the sample based, 90's "golden era" sound, with an extremely energetic live performance - Earthworms has more than gained the attention of the national hip hop community.

Their sophomore release, 2008's "Bottle Full of Bourbon" (F5 Records), has recieved critical acclaim with production by the buzz-worthy DJ Crucial, as well as guest spots from the likes of Pigeon John, Steve Ewing (The Urge), and Hi-Fidel. A new album is already under way, featuring production by Crucial & Ben Bounce as well as guest appearances from legendary lyricists Percee P, Raashan Ahmad, and more!

The group was recently named "Best Emerging Musical Act" by St. Louis Magazine, has been nominated and won countless "Best Hip Hop Act" awards in the Riverfront Times, and was selected for CD Baby's coveted "Editor's Pick". Earthworms is ready to cement their spot in the international music scene.