Fresh Espresso
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Fresh Espresso

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Michigan natives Fresh Espresso is a Hip-Hop and Electronic dynamic duo. P Smoov provides the beats as well as raps and sings and Rik Rude raps. They met through MySpace and have been putting in work ever since.

Fresh Espresso has shared the stage with artists such as Lil B, Macklemore, Sir Mix-a-lot and Kid Cudi to name a few. Consistently selling out shows in Seattle, their music has also been featured in many films and television advertisements.

The duo is currently preparing their "Running With The Bulls Tour" of the USA in the hopes of taking it worldwide. They talked to Yo! Raps about their unique group name, the nurturing Hip-Hop scene in Seattle and their future plans.

Tell us where the very unique name Fresh Espresso comes from?

Rik Rude: Basically P Smoov and I never intended that to be our group name. When we released our first project it was "P Smoov and Rik Rude presents". The press just started calling us Fresh Espresso.

P Smoov: Yes, after the show promoters and the press start calling you something, it’s just something you can’t escape.

How did the two of you become a duo?

P Smoov: In 2005, I was working in a major studio as a runner and assistant engineer in California. I was working with some major celebrities, but at home, I was making beats. This was back when MySpace was still popular and I heard Rik Rude’s voice. He had a charismatic and textured voice that cut through the mix on anything he did. His style was something I gravitated towards. So I shot him a message on MySpace and told him who I was. He responded by saying send me some beats. We started communicating via e-mail and MySpace. A year later, I moved to Seattle and Fresh Espresso was born.

What makes your partnership work so well?

Rik Rude: We just vibe with one another, we have a good chemistry. When I am out cats would come up to me and say I heard that cut you and P Smoov did… I’m digging it. It goes from there!

P Smoov: It was like placing an ad on Craigslist and there is a 99% chance that you are going to get this wack job or person. Rik was hella cool and we vibe so well.

How has Seattle influenced your musical sound and how is the urban music scene there?

Rik Rude: We are among a wealth of talent from our region. We create music with a party vibe that offers a twist of introspect along the way. We both grew up in different parts of Michigan. Seattle gives you the ability to work off the radar and it allows you to be in a lane to just be as creative as you want without all those perimeters.

In what ways does Fresh Espresso add to Seattle’s Hip-Hop culture?

P Smoov: Seattle really cares about its artists on all levels! Everyone is more communal about sharing their art in Seattle. In California, it seemed as if everyone is your competition but here in Seattle, everyone is your peer, and your brother. This city appreciates its artists!

You guys have been known to sell out shows, tell us how it feels to have that type of support?

It feels incredible to share your art in front of thousands and to have the audience to know the lyrics to our tracks is amazing and very gratifying to us. We are incredibly humble and incredibly grateful, and we know our fans are holding us down. Honestly, it’s the greatest feeling ever… it lets us know that all of our hard work is paying off.

Tell us about the best performance you’ve had to date?

P Smoov: Sasquatch Music Festival.

Rik Rude: When we opened up for Kid Cudi. The fans were responsive. Then as we walked back to the greenroom, Kid Cudi nodded his head and said, “Yeah you guys are filthy.”

Where does your motivation stem from?

P Smoov: When we first started, we performed a real shitty show so, we decided that we needed to work on our live performances or give it up. We weren’t willing to get on stage and look like a fool. So, we really stepped our live game up and took a negative situation and made it positive.

If the two of you weren’t making music, what might you be doing?

Rik Rude: What I’m doing currently, working at Freemont Gardens Dispensary!

P Smoov: I would be doing my artwork and trying to figure out how to express myself in other ways.

What is the plan for Fresh Espresso in the near future?

Rik Rude: Our plan is to have our music reach as many people as possible. We want to be heard all around the country and the whole world!

Any projects you are currently working on?

P Smoov: Fresh Espresso is always in the studio working on new material. We are in the process of assembling another collection of music that inspires us and hopeful our fans. At the present time, we are preparing to go on our tour, "Running With The Bulls". We are also in the process of finding sponsors, venues and hopefully take it worldwide.

How has Hip-Hop made you a better man?

Rik Rude: I do not think that Hip-Hop has made me a better man but - Yo Raps


Michigan natives Fresh Espresso is a Hip-Hop and Electronic dynamic duo. P Smoov provides the beats as well as raps and sings and Rik Rude raps. They met through MySpace and have been putting in work ever since.

Fresh Espresso has shared the stage with artists such as Lil B, Macklemore, Sir Mix-a-lot and Kid Cudi to name a few. Consistently selling out shows in Seattle, their music has also been featured in many films and television advertisements.

The duo is currently preparing their "Running With The Bulls Tour" of the USA in the hopes of taking it worldwide. They talked to Yo! Raps about their unique group name, the nurturing Hip-Hop scene in Seattle and their future plans.

Tell us where the very unique name Fresh Espresso comes from?

Rik Rude: Basically P Smoov and I never intended that to be our group name. When we released our first project it was "P Smoov and Rik Rude presents". The press just started calling us Fresh Espresso.

P Smoov: Yes, after the show promoters and the press start calling you something, it’s just something you can’t escape.

How did the two of you become a duo?

P Smoov: In 2005, I was working in a major studio as a runner and assistant engineer in California. I was working with some major celebrities, but at home, I was making beats. This was back when MySpace was still popular and I heard Rik Rude’s voice. He had a charismatic and textured voice that cut through the mix on anything he did. His style was something I gravitated towards. So I shot him a message on MySpace and told him who I was. He responded by saying send me some beats. We started communicating via e-mail and MySpace. A year later, I moved to Seattle and Fresh Espresso was born.

What makes your partnership work so well?

Rik Rude: We just vibe with one another, we have a good chemistry. When I am out cats would come up to me and say I heard that cut you and P Smoov did… I’m digging it. It goes from there!

P Smoov: It was like placing an ad on Craigslist and there is a 99% chance that you are going to get this wack job or person. Rik was hella cool and we vibe so well.

How has Seattle influenced your musical sound and how is the urban music scene there?

Rik Rude: We are among a wealth of talent from our region. We create music with a party vibe that offers a twist of introspect along the way. We both grew up in different parts of Michigan. Seattle gives you the ability to work off the radar and it allows you to be in a lane to just be as creative as you want without all those perimeters.

In what ways does Fresh Espresso add to Seattle’s Hip-Hop culture?

P Smoov: Seattle really cares about its artists on all levels! Everyone is more communal about sharing their art in Seattle. In California, it seemed as if everyone is your competition but here in Seattle, everyone is your peer, and your brother. This city appreciates its artists!

You guys have been known to sell out shows, tell us how it feels to have that type of support?

It feels incredible to share your art in front of thousands and to have the audience to know the lyrics to our tracks is amazing and very gratifying to us. We are incredibly humble and incredibly grateful, and we know our fans are holding us down. Honestly, it’s the greatest feeling ever… it lets us know that all of our hard work is paying off.

Tell us about the best performance you’ve had to date?

P Smoov: Sasquatch Music Festival.

Rik Rude: When we opened up for Kid Cudi. The fans were responsive. Then as we walked back to the greenroom, Kid Cudi nodded his head and said, “Yeah you guys are filthy.”

Where does your motivation stem from?

P Smoov: When we first started, we performed a real shitty show so, we decided that we needed to work on our live performances or give it up. We weren’t willing to get on stage and look like a fool. So, we really stepped our live game up and took a negative situation and made it positive.

If the two of you weren’t making music, what might you be doing?

Rik Rude: What I’m doing currently, working at Freemont Gardens Dispensary!

P Smoov: I would be doing my artwork and trying to figure out how to express myself in other ways.

What is the plan for Fresh Espresso in the near future?

Rik Rude: Our plan is to have our music reach as many people as possible. We want to be heard all around the country and the whole world!

Any projects you are currently working on?

P Smoov: Fresh Espresso is always in the studio working on new material. We are in the process of assembling another collection of music that inspires us and hopeful our fans. At the present time, we are preparing to go on our tour, "Running With The Bulls". We are also in the process of finding sponsors, venues and hopefully take it worldwide.

How has Hip-Hop made you a better man?

Rik Rude: I do not think that Hip-Hop has made me a better man but - Yo Raps



Let’s start with a rhyme: “I’m homeless at the moment/Living off the fat of the land/Jumping from sofa to sofa/I ain’t got dirt, I got mold on my shoulders.” The rhyme, which is found on an unreleased track, “Something New,” by local duo Fresh Espresso (Rik Rude and P Smoov), reduces to an essence the state of hiphop after the decadent age of bling-bling. In the rhyme, the rapper (on this track P Smoov) not only references the leading symbol of hiphop capitalism, Jay-Z (“dirt on my shoulder”), but also mimics his style. And so we hear the phrasing of rap splendor, but the content is completely something else. When P Smoov says, “Living off the fat of the land,” it’s done with the smoothness and the sense of mack-daddy glamour of Jay-Z (“I check cheddar like a food inspector…/With the Lexus, fast-forward the jewels and the necklace”), but P’s content concerns real poverty. The glamorous style communicates a story of homelessness. The approach recalls a bankrupt aristocrat, a man who once had millions but now has nothing (the state of hiphop).

Fresh Espresso are all about the post-Jay-Z mood. The money is gone. No one can dream of selling millions of records and hiring a posse of hundreds to follow them to heavyweight fights in Vegas. Recently, Ice-T pointed out on CNN that he went to a fancy club and found it had 90 percent women. Why, he wondered? And then he realized it's because sisters can get in for free and expect booze from brothers who are bling-blinging. But the recession has hit hard, and brothers can't afford to go to "da club" and spend twenty at the door and fity for the Hennessy. The bling is out. The recession is in. And what are the brothers doing? They are in the studio, like Rik Rude, making beats and rhymes.

"I was just at the Lab, a studio at the OK Hotel. That's where to go if you want to see Specs One or Jace and Blak," said Rik, over drinks at All City Coffee in Pioneer Square. He was dressed like a fallen aristocrat—sports jacket, public-school tie, smooth shoes. "You know the Think Tank, OC Notes, Mind Movers, is across the street. Over there." He pointed to a nearby building. "It's the heart of city. We are in the center. Hiphop studios and art galleries."

Two years ago, Rik Rude released a local masterpiece, a mixtape of the music he was making with Lord Vintage, Boop Nice, and P Smoov called Cigar Rock Star. P and Rik first met on the internet in 2006 and began making music soon after P moved to Seattle in 2007, from Los Angeles—P, like Rik, is originally from Michigan. They recorded much of the mixtape in P's studio, the Robot Room (which at the time was on Queen Anne and is now in Wedgwood), and the energy of the work was something out of this world. Those who think they know who P Smoov is by way of Mad Rad must find and check out the beats he did on this compilation. Listen to them once, and your doubts will melt. And through the storm of alarms and dirty funk, Rik Rude does not miss a beat. He draws from a wide variety of rap styles: Jay-Z, CL Smooth, Big Daddy Kane, and even Butterfly of Digible Planets. Fresh Espresso, his new project with P Smoov, is, however, less volcanic and more focused than Cigar Rock Star.

"First of all, I never try to approach any project in the same light," says Rik. "What I did with Cigar Rock Star has to be different from what I'm doing with Fresh Espresso. If not, something is wrong. You know Miles Davis, he never did the same thing twice. He went electric, and Wynton Marsalis hated him for it. I'm like Davis. I want to push myself like that. Don't get me wrong, I will never do something I don't like. But I want to change. The next project will not sound like Fresh Espresso."

Fresh Espresso, a name Rik admits sounds "kind of corny" (but that is exactly the reason why he liked it), have completed an unreleased and untitled CD ("It's due summerish"), and it is extraordinary. It contains 14 tracks that are driven by a powerful sense of play and invention. "Lazerbeam" and "Right Here" bring all of the '80s and Jay-Z referencing, the retro-futurism, sick looping, and mastery of track ruptures (breaking the beat into sudden suspensions of silence) to perfection. Not since hearing Blue Scholars' eponymous debut in 2004 have I been so excited about a local work of hiphop art. It has the potential to complete what was started on Rik's Cigar Rock Star and continued on Mad Rad's White Gold.

"Me and P, that is one of the best things to happen to me," says Rik. "He is one of the illest talents I have come across on the boards. As a producer and an engineer, he knows how to make things pop. I will be working with that brother for a long time." As for Fresh Espresso, what is the future of that project? "Fresh Espresso is the new lemonade."

-Charles - Strange Brew



Let’s start with a rhyme: “I’m homeless at the moment/Living off the fat of the land/Jumping from sofa to sofa/I ain’t got dirt, I got mold on my shoulders.” The rhyme, which is found on an unreleased track, “Something New,” by local duo Fresh Espresso (Rik Rude and P Smoov), reduces to an essence the state of hiphop after the decadent age of bling-bling. In the rhyme, the rapper (on this track P Smoov) not only references the leading symbol of hiphop capitalism, Jay-Z (“dirt on my shoulder”), but also mimics his style. And so we hear the phrasing of rap splendor, but the content is completely something else. When P Smoov says, “Living off the fat of the land,” it’s done with the smoothness and the sense of mack-daddy glamour of Jay-Z (“I check cheddar like a food inspector…/With the Lexus, fast-forward the jewels and the necklace”), but P’s content concerns real poverty. The glamorous style communicates a story of homelessness. The approach recalls a bankrupt aristocrat, a man who once had millions but now has nothing (the state of hiphop).

Fresh Espresso are all about the post-Jay-Z mood. The money is gone. No one can dream of selling millions of records and hiring a posse of hundreds to follow them to heavyweight fights in Vegas. Recently, Ice-T pointed out on CNN that he went to a fancy club and found it had 90 percent women. Why, he wondered? And then he realized it's because sisters can get in for free and expect booze from brothers who are bling-blinging. But the recession has hit hard, and brothers can't afford to go to "da club" and spend twenty at the door and fity for the Hennessy. The bling is out. The recession is in. And what are the brothers doing? They are in the studio, like Rik Rude, making beats and rhymes.

"I was just at the Lab, a studio at the OK Hotel. That's where to go if you want to see Specs One or Jace and Blak," said Rik, over drinks at All City Coffee in Pioneer Square. He was dressed like a fallen aristocrat—sports jacket, public-school tie, smooth shoes. "You know the Think Tank, OC Notes, Mind Movers, is across the street. Over there." He pointed to a nearby building. "It's the heart of city. We are in the center. Hiphop studios and art galleries."

Two years ago, Rik Rude released a local masterpiece, a mixtape of the music he was making with Lord Vintage, Boop Nice, and P Smoov called Cigar Rock Star. P and Rik first met on the internet in 2006 and began making music soon after P moved to Seattle in 2007, from Los Angeles—P, like Rik, is originally from Michigan. They recorded much of the mixtape in P's studio, the Robot Room (which at the time was on Queen Anne and is now in Wedgwood), and the energy of the work was something out of this world. Those who think they know who P Smoov is by way of Mad Rad must find and check out the beats he did on this compilation. Listen to them once, and your doubts will melt. And through the storm of alarms and dirty funk, Rik Rude does not miss a beat. He draws from a wide variety of rap styles: Jay-Z, CL Smooth, Big Daddy Kane, and even Butterfly of Digible Planets. Fresh Espresso, his new project with P Smoov, is, however, less volcanic and more focused than Cigar Rock Star.

"First of all, I never try to approach any project in the same light," says Rik. "What I did with Cigar Rock Star has to be different from what I'm doing with Fresh Espresso. If not, something is wrong. You know Miles Davis, he never did the same thing twice. He went electric, and Wynton Marsalis hated him for it. I'm like Davis. I want to push myself like that. Don't get me wrong, I will never do something I don't like. But I want to change. The next project will not sound like Fresh Espresso."

Fresh Espresso, a name Rik admits sounds "kind of corny" (but that is exactly the reason why he liked it), have completed an unreleased and untitled CD ("It's due summerish"), and it is extraordinary. It contains 14 tracks that are driven by a powerful sense of play and invention. "Lazerbeam" and "Right Here" bring all of the '80s and Jay-Z referencing, the retro-futurism, sick looping, and mastery of track ruptures (breaking the beat into sudden suspensions of silence) to perfection. Not since hearing Blue Scholars' eponymous debut in 2004 have I been so excited about a local work of hiphop art. It has the potential to complete what was started on Rik's Cigar Rock Star and continued on Mad Rad's White Gold.

"Me and P, that is one of the best things to happen to me," says Rik. "He is one of the illest talents I have come across on the boards. As a producer and an engineer, he knows how to make things pop. I will be working with that brother for a long time." As for Fresh Espresso, what is the future of that project? "Fresh Espresso is the new lemonade."

-Charles - Strange Brew


Discography

Bossalona

1Green Windows
2.Hush
3.Lake Michigan
4.Bossalona
5.Benihana
6.Bedroom
7.Yommie
8.Sunglasses On
9.Goodnight Sinatra
10.You Can Have It
11.Red Carpet
12.Busy Going Nowhere
13.Air Brazil
14. Goodbye My Love

Glamour
1.Espresso
2.Diamond Pistols
3.Big or Small
4.Vader Rap
5.Something New
6.The Lazerbeams
7.Right Here
8.Girls and Fast Cars
9.Elegant
10.Gigantic
11.We Desire What's Real
12.All Around the World
13.Show Me How You Do
14.Coffee Talk

Jupiter

1.Hellen Keller
2.Let You Go
3.Jupiter
4.Pipedreams feat. Imprints and Trent Moorman
5.Toast

Photos

Bio

P Smoov - Vocals, Synthesizer
Rik Rude - Vocals