Soul Slingers
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Soul Slingers

Rochester, New York, United States

Rochester, New York, United States
Band Hip Hop Soul


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"Soul Slingers:The Ric Rude Mix Review"

The Soul Slingers
The Ric Rude Mix
(N/A : 2009)
Posted on 06/23/2009
After several years of scarcity, real hip-hop is back—and the Soul Slingers are doing their part to keep it that way. The duo of Ric Rude and DJ Tim Tones come from Rochester, NY, and represent a new wave of artists dedicated to originality and skill. Mixed seamlessly by Tim Tones in true mixtape fashion, this Ric Rude retrospective showcases the scattered thoughts of a focused artist. Ric comes strapped with a nimble baritone and heavy demeanor. He clearly has the skills to back up occasional bouts of braggadocio, yet that’s not his mission on the mic. Instead, he treats hip-hop like it’s his diary. As a result, Soul Slingers: The Ric Rude Mix offers the frank thoughts of a man trying to make it on his own. Detailed stories like “Dear Dad,” about the life and death of his estranged father, and “Hidden Treasure,” about his adolescent discovery that he could rap his ass off, make it hard not to root for him on joints like “Overachive,” a triumphant vow to succeed in life.

A few of the beats sounded a bit dated for 2009, but Ric Rude ravishes them regardless. The production offers a bit of everything, but never strays too far from that classic boom bap sound. With 6 of the 23 tracks, Jon Woodring from The Goonies production crew got the big piece of chicken. Behind the boards (for the likes of Afu-Ra, Monsta Island Czars, PyInfamous, Reece Q, and Copywrite) The Goonies have collectively developed a growing reputation for atmospheric and jazzy head-nodders. Upholding this reputation, Woodring’s use of moody jazz chops and clunky drums proves to be the perfect backdrop for Ric Rudes’s most candid and introspective moments. With beats like “Reject” and “Overachive,” expect Woody to pop up more often. Pause.

Husky, DJ Ease’s codefendant in the Professional Bank Robbers, also flexed The Goonies’s jazzy sound on “Out Ta Get Tha Props,” one of the project’s strongest tracks thanks to his precise work on the wheels of steel. “Sun Shine Through” and the single “Native of the City” are two other stand-outs worthy of your bandwidth. Each comes courtesy of Optix, a cat I first heard on M Dot Coop’s—criminally slept on—In and Out of Time. I’m not surprised at how dope “Native of the City” is considering the whiplash I got from Coop’s “Think Twice.”

Speaking of M Dot Coop, he and Ric Rude tag team the Tim Tones produced “Soul Slinger Anthem.” This track sounds like an evil mix between RZA and Premier, so god only knows why this is the sole song to feature Tim’s production work. Even though both emcees have dropped stronger verses elsewhere, their chemistry on this track could fill the periodic table. But Ric Rude isn’t just hangin’ with Mr. Cooper: Emilio Rojas comes through to bless “Don’t Want It” with a tongue twisting display of showmanship.

The Soul Slingers even hint at their abilities on stage with the album’s closer, a swipe at William Bell’s “I Forgot to be Your Lover” played live by Filthy Funk. The way Filthy Funk burns the house down, they very well may put a kink in the hose of that other funk-band-turned-production-squad, The Fyre Dept. Despite the lo-fi recording, it made my day to hear Tim Tones mimic
DJ Babu

over that infamous guitar lick used by
Dilated Peoples

. It’s one of those rare moments where sampling comes full circle. And it is this touch of awareness—the acceptance that they are just a small part in the timeline of the music they love, that will make the Soul Slingers worthy of sitting in your collection next to the greats.

- M. Steve Hamme -

"Soul Slingers"

Local duo Soul Slingers refuse to be your run-of-the-mill Rochester hip-hop act. Just about every local rap artist has at least one anthem that reps Rochester to the fullest, with boasts about life in the "585" or "The Roc."

Yet, rapper Ric Rude (left) and DJ/producer Tim Tones (right), aka Soul Slingers, whose music is built around vintage soul samples and old-school hip-hop mixing, are intent on taking it back.

"Nobody's brought in the 716," says Tones (real name Timothy Everdyke, 26, of Rochester), referring to the duo's new single "Native of the City," which is bolstered by the tagline "I'm from the 585, original 716, " referencing Rochester's previous area code before it was changed in 2000.

"It's a catchphrase people can identify us by," says a relaxed Rude (real name Richard Baire, 25, of Rochester). Still, the anthematic "Native of the City" is one of the few times you'll ever find Soul Slingers - playing at High Fidelity on Friday, Nov. 7 - leaning toward a gimmick.

At the heart of the majority of their songs is Rude's old-school hip-hop style of putting together simple, yet enticing wordplay with relative ease ("Claim you righteous, but do the same shit the devil do/Type demonic, hidden behind knowledge/ [You] turned out to be a false prophet for more profit" like he spits on "Native of the City"). All the while, he's backed by classic style hip-hop production reminiscent of acts such as Gangstarr and Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth.

"This has been the niche from the beginning," says Tones, who met Rude while hosting an open-mic night at the Bug Jar in late 2005. "We tend to listen to and be influenced by what first got us into hip-hop."

Rude says he's been rapping since 1999, influenced by the work of hip-hop pioneers such as Rakim. "I went from freestyling on the porch to performing onstage," says Rude, who grew up in a rough area on the city's east side. And although he admits he's had his fair share of scrapes with the law, Rude's rhymes tend to reflect his personal struggles, rather than the violence that surrounded him growing up.

"That's not what I'm about," he says. "The music is just more or less me speaking from my heart and being honest about who we are." That's evident on tracks such as "Hidden Treasure," which chronicles his musical journey, and the emotionally driven "Dear Dad," a song about growing up with an absent father.

By the time Rude and Tones crossed paths in '05 at the Bug Jar's "Hip-Hop Haven" open-mic night, it was clear right from form the start that their styles would mesh. "I think he performed, like, three songs," recalls Tones. "I was like, ‘That's it, dude, you're sick. Let's perform together."

The two have been playing together as Soul Slingers ever since, performing alongside such well-established local acts as The Filthy Funk and rap artist Hassaan Mackey. Soul Slingers released their self-titled debut album in July, which Rude says represents the group's true roots, as it was mostly recorded in his bedroom.

"We got all the creative control we want," he says. "Listening to our record is what will give you the best idea of who we are and what we're influenced by." - Rochester Insider Newspaper


Soul Slingers:The Ric Rude Mix LP
"Back Like Never Before" Filthy Funk featuring The Soul Slingers
Native of the City Video-



Soul Slingers are Ric Rude and Tim Tones. They met in late 2005 at an open mic that Tim Tones hosted at the Bug Jar. After discussing ideas for shows, the two joined up and quickly found chemistry when performing live. Tones' live remixing, along with turntablist elements, added a unique element to Ric Rude's true school and confessional song writing and emceeing skills. Since the inception, the group has opened for local legends Filthy Funk, Black August, and Hassaan Mackey. They have also opened up for national acts Sean Price(of Heltah Skeltah), Afu -Ra and World Famous Turntablist and DMC champ Grandmaster Roc Raida. They have also hosted a slew of events such as the "Soul Slinger Showdown", an album release show for the recently released "Soul Slingers:The Ric Rude Mix" album. With the release of the Soul Slingers mix, people finally have some Ric Rude to bump in their headphones. Hosting a variety of producers, including Jon Woodring and Husky(of the locally famous Goonies crew), Optix, Tim Tones, Portland Oregon producer 5th Sequence, and California producer Pasadena, the beats are quality and head nodding throughout. From introspective tracks about family, friends, and self realization to hard edged tracks about getting through society's manmade pitfalls, Ric is truly a lyricist for the everyman, a lyricist that provokes people to listen and find something relatable inside them. Tones and Rude have both spent plenty of time in their respective MC and DJ circuits locally, with Tones djing a laundry list of residencies such as the Chasers weekly Wednesday on St.Paul St., which he shared with DJ Ewun(of international Drum n'Bass fame), DJ Code D, and DJ Percussion. Rude and Tones were also regular devotees of Discolobos' Full Circle sundays, where Tones scratched in front of a crowd for the first time, and where Rude garnered respect and renown as an up and coming emcee. Together, they look to expand the area they do shows in, looking to conquer Buffalo, Syracuse and Toronto(with any area in between) for their own self satisfaction and their quickly growing list of "been there, done that"........