Jrunk Unklz
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Jrunk Unklz

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Group, label the double mission for men from Unklz"

BY DAVID JAKUBIAK
Rapper Vice Verse is clear. You won't catch the Jrunk Unklz stumbling over any empty 40-ounce bottles, slurring their words and collapsing like Dennis Hopper's Shooter from "Hoosiers."
"We ain't drunk," he says. "Our sound is an intoxicating blend of music."
The South Side trio of Verse, Tony Baines and Lid Law first teamed up in 2003, but they aren't newcomers to the stage or the Chicago scene.
When he was just 9 years old, Law's uncle, a reverend, asked him to compose a rhyme about the Ten Commandments. In the early 1990s, when the Elbo Room was a center of the hip-hop scene, Verse and Baines could be found analyzing the latest beats and lyrics, discussing potential samples and overused drum loops. Years later, Law and his cousin Kurt Hudson II became part of the party scene, shooting photographs for promoters and tastemakers.
JRUNK UNKLZ, VERB, PHATAL, JAMISS
• 8 tonight
• Bar Vertigo, 853 N. Western
• Tickets, $5 (21-over show)
• (773) 395-3002
It was that business, in fact, that gave Hudson and Law the seed money they would need to start Ill Regards Records, the label that's now home to the Unklz.
At the time, Law had just finished college, where he studied broadcast journalism.
"You know college students don't know what to do with money," he recalls. "We were just a real small upstart. So we started contracting producers like crazy."
It was through one of these producers that Law was introduced to Baines.
"As soon as we met, we started joking, like we'd known each other for years," he says. "We exchanged numbers and eventually we got up at the studio. That five-minute conversation turned into two weeks. He never left. Well, he did go to get some clothes, but that was it."
That meeting also fulfilled plans being made by Verse and Baines.
"For 10 years, we'd been talking about getting a group started, and finally we just did it," Verse says.
The union immediately made Jrunk Unklz the main thrust of Ill Regards, but the label also continued its growth, now serving as the home for nine artists, Law says.
While the balance between his responsibilities to the group and to the label has been hard to maintain, he says, it's worth it.
"You need to learn how to crawl before you walk and how to walk before you run," Law says. "I think we are running now. And we will fly."
Baines says the fact that each member of the group has such extensive experience has been a huge benefit to the Unklz. "We run ourselves. Each one of us knows what the other one does, and we do it. We don't step on each other."
Verse describes the Unklz' sound as "gumbo." Baines calls it soul music, honest music that deals with real life issues.
With a sound that seems to blend Jay-Z with Goodie Mob, the Unklz are what you'd get if you dropped a teaspoon of file powder in your favorite Roc-a-fella product. It's clear, unfiltered lyricism, over tracks with Just Blaze energy. It's Chicago -- urban with a touch of country that doesn't quit.
In early 2005, the Unklz will release their first CD, "Cobbs." But they are just warming up.
"It starts with us," Baines says. "It doesn't end with us."
- BY DAVID JAKUBIAK ( Sun Times )


Discography

"Cobbs" - due for release 2nd quarter of 2006

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Jrunk Unklz
…giving you something cool to sip on

Take three young brothas with the knowledge of generations past, mix with two parts White Port, and top with a splash of some of the illest beats this side of Madison St., and you’ve got the recipe for the Jrunk Unklz. Known to their fans as Unkl Willie P, Unkl T-Bird, and, Unkl Kold Kan Kev, West Sider Tony Baines and South Siders Lid Law, and Vice Verse are blending their skills under the ILL Regards Records label to produce a hip-hop cocktail with a flavor like no other.

The group consists of three well-seasoned rappers bringing their own special ingredients to the table to create a smooth, innovative hip-hop infusion. Super-producer Tony Baines has been on the scene for ten years and is known for his creative aptitude and versatility. Lid Law, the poetic politician, provides an insightful influence to the group. Vice Verse’s journeys through many aspects of the hip-hip game make him a true MC. Individually, they have worked for and performed with some of the biggest names in rap. Collaborating under Ill Regards for the past year, the group is introducing the world to an unprecedented hip-hop force.

Currently, the Unklz are awaiting the release of their new album, Cobbs, which is expected to be in stores in late July. The album reflects their ambitious attitude and conveys the realities of life for everyday urbanites. Clever lyrics relay stories of the fast life and all the turmoil, excitement, and lessons that accompany it. The album is not simply ear candy, it’s a lesson in the real deal.

In the meantime, the group – possessors of seemingly magnetic stage presence – is performing both locally and nationally, moving packed houses at Subterranean nightclub, and recently opening for Method Man on the East Coast. Based on crowd reaction at these shows, the Unklz have what it takes to capture the attention of the hip-hop world. Their explosive energy and irresistible beats are luring fans across all racial and socioeconomic divides.

The Jrunk Unklz are leaders among the Ill Regards crew and are setting the tempo for a notable presence in the Chicago rap game. So next time you come home from a hard day of the street hustle, kick back, take a swig of their intoxicating rhymes, and get your buzz on.