Sparrow Love Crew
Gig Seeker Pro

Sparrow Love Crew

Band Hip Hop EDM

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Aug
01
Sparrow Love Crew @ Detroit Bar

Costa Mesa, California, USA

Costa Mesa, California, USA

Jul
14
Sparrow Love Crew @ The Terrace

Pasadena, California, USA

Pasadena, California, USA

Jul
11
Sparrow Love Crew @ Starline

Fresno, California, USA

Fresno, California, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


Long Beach hip-hop dynamo Sparrow Love Crew radiate incredibly positive energy, lyrical choreography and witty verbiage. They own a stage like Donald Trump owns the Trump Tower. Backed by the not inaccurately dubbed “magic hands” of DJ Opi Styles, the four MCs (Devoux, Diggery, Sureflo and Mikey Brixx) diplomatically trade off verses and then chant in unison for rousing emphasis at the conclusion of nearly every bar. Beastie Boys took this steez to the bank, of course, but SLC do it with just as much infectious bonhomie and ludicrous braggadocio (it's somehow much more charming when nice, blue-collar dudes who look like E-Z Lube grease monkeys boast outrageously on the mic than some douche in a wifebeater and bandana).

Every SLC track is an ultra-hype party jam. There's no room for gloomy contemplation or dwelling on the world's problems at one of their gigs. You come to Sparrow Love Crew like you go to your cabinet for those prescription meds. You come to Sparrow Love Crew for hearing “Tabasco” rhymed with “Fidel Castro.” You come to Sparrow Love Crew to see a man of Brobdingnagian dimensions bounce onstage like a rabbit on meth... while rocking pink sunglasses.

On one cut with an Ed Banger-ish, distorted, filthy synth riff and punishing funk beats, SLC repeatedly shout “We get up/You get down,” and this is the most succinct and right-on self-evaluation I can imagine for this beefy bunch. - OC Weekly (2008)


I’d like to wager a decent amount of anything that it is next to impossible to not love a group as mercilessly entertaining as Sparrow Love Crew. Onto the group’s first hard release, Burgertime is the collected efforts of SLC’s past 2 years on the stage and in the studio. Those lucky enough to have known about these guys for the past few years have probably sinked their teeth into a few unofficial releases that have been circulating among friends & fans. But, this album is accomplishing two things–1) Giving the group’s almost religiously addicted fans a lost lusted over payoff of the tracks that weren’t even publicly downloadable until now, and 2) serving as an introduction to new fans and future followers of Sparrow’s uniquely amazing style of story telling and party hype. To say that these guys kill every stage they step on is an understatement. And although this album IS a lot of fun to listen to, it does not do their energy any bit of justice. If you like them on CD, you’ll love them on stage–It’s a rule of thumb that is almost always the opposite when comparing studio to live performances. Just look at Blink182. Burgertime is made up 7 tracks, all of which are suitable to bust your speakers at any given time. The jammiest of jams on the album a track called ‘Naidu’, which is about meeting an indian kid, named for the title, and taking him to a party. This insight was courtesy of rhyme sayer Mikey Brixx who manned the mic for the first verse on the track. I personally find automatic love for any hip-hop track with a flute that trills up and down a scale. With a deadly combination of electro influenced hip-hop instrumentals, catchy-as-fuck hooks, and squeaky clean scratches from the group’s DJ Opi Styles, the album proves to be infectious and entertaining. The beats are tightly compressed organizations of 80s-esque synth riffs worthy of an off-white Lamborghini cruisin’ down the coast at sunset or any Sega Genesis game having to do with Miami street crime. Cough cough Streets Of Rage cough cough. Technically, the only fault of the album as a whole is the mic quality. The vocals come off a bit flat & quiet. I’ve been assured that this is a characteristic only found on Sparrow’s older material due to the equipment available at the time. ‘Style Like This’ is the album’s fourth track, and undoubtely single-worthy. These neon-shoed orgy starters will be big, and you should get on board sooner rather than later. - dreambigdreamfree.com music blog (2008)


It was "Busy Work" night on Wednesday at the Detroit Bar as Sparrow Love Crew brought the jams to the masses of Costa Mesa for an energetic forty minute set.

As I mentioned before, I am not a huge fan of rap music. But there is something about the Sparrow Love Crew that is undeniable. I would almost qualify them as Indie Electro seasoned with old school rap. They would have perfectly fit on the "Beat Street" or "Breakin" soundtrack from the eighties. I think the secret is the programming done by DJ Opi Styles who kicks out some serious synth basslines combined with various bleeps and turntable scratches. One of the weapons DJ Opi Styles uses is his homebuilt Theremin that he attaches to his turntables for some serious noise. If you listen to the end of "Monster Boogie" on their Myspace page you will get a sample of the Theremin in action. The Crew rocked the Detroit Bar and their set was a remix mashup of their tunes such as "Monster Boogie", "Style like Us" and "Naidu". They are working on releasing an EP soon and gave away casette mixtapes at the show. Does anyone have a casette deck I can borrow? - Amateur Chemist (2007)


Sparrow Love Crew are a rap band, but they look more like Barenaked Ladies on laundry day—the Canadian band, not nude women. But compared to what most rap crews look like, either one would do. MCs Devoux and Diggery have ridiculous grad-student beards; Queens-bred MC Mikey Brixx wears nerd glasses not seen since the Fatboys; only MC Sureflo sports the de rigueur rapper court wear (basketball, not trial). DJ Opi Styles looks more like an Echo Park indie rocker than a cut-creator—and he's from San Clemente.

Compared to most of what rap sounds like today—you got yer T-Pain'ed R&B; yer crunky Dirty South whoop-whoop on the radio; your screw-faced, backpacker indie-hop, with its rhyme-a-dozen logorrhea and tight-lipped beats off the radio—SLC sound more like Barenaked Ladies, too. The beats (courtesy of Koolwalla, lately by Long Beach's Mashed Potatoes) are Hello Nasty-era Beasties updated with Shins/Modest Mouse indie-funk twists, which is to say they're not afraid of melody and hooks big enough to carry four overlapping rhymers who sound like everything that made you love late-'80s hip-hop when you first heard it. At their best, SLC sound like A Tribe Called Quest's "Scenario" redone by Anticon at the honky-rap collective's holiday party. At their worst . . . well, like pizza, sex, democracy and yoga, there is no such thing as bad SLC. Pretty much all their songs are end-of-the-night sing-alongs, hip-hop as it was first imagined—party-rockin' first, ask questions later.

It's also hip-hop that's earned them fans such as Cold War Kids and the Colour/We Barbarians, who've both played shows with SLC. (Cold War Kids even invite SLC to encore over one of their Tom Waits/DMX indie dirges.) They've done shows with hip-hop crews such as New York's Meter Maids, but SLC have found their niche as the indie-rocker's Jurassic 5. "People would show up to see the Colour and get us, but we're nonthreatening and there to have a good time, so it was always a pleasant surprise," says Devoux.

SLC's very existence is something of a fluke. MC Devoux was born in South Africa, grew up in Georgia, lived in Texas—and his accent would never get him confused with Paul Wall, even if he did shave. "I actually played guitar and sang in a country band in Texas," Devoux explains in a drawl that can border every 20 words or so between Australian and a slight speech impediment. Chuck D he ain't, but Flavor Flav he might be. "We're basically there to have a good time and rock the spot," he says of SLC's m.o., with "rock the spot" becoming, in his drawl, "rawhhck the spawhht."

"We're not too wordy or nerdy. We save that for our conversations," he jokes.

SLC's members met in Hawaii while working for a nonprofit, educational-outreach program that took the members to destinations such as Asia. "But we had a lot of free time between assignments," Devoux says. They were just some dudes who liked old hip-hop and would mess around in their hostel dorm rooms with video-game beats and straight-to-hard-drive rhymes.

After their Hawaii stints ended, they all wound up in Costa Mesa and Long Beach, working day jobs. (Devoux now saves the world one Garage Band tutorial and Leopard OS demo at a time as a Mac specialist at the Apple store in South Coast Plaza.)

They made a couple of demos, and their first show was a little more than a year ago at the Troubadour. The good response convinced them to give it a shot. "We decided to get serious in October '06," Devoux says, "but to this day, I'd say we're not 100 percent serious."

But it's exactly that anti-careerist vibe that's made SLC such a breath of fresh spit on the SoCal rap mic. And with their Monday-night residency at Detroit Bar this month and the new Westmonster EP dropping, SLC have the jump on '08 to find their place among the indie-rock parties and underground-hip-hop curious. Just don't call them rappers.

"I'm not even comfortable calling myself a rapper. To me, that means you have this personality offstage, as well," says Devoux. "I'm a white guy with a beard." - OC Weekly Music Feature (2008)


With various members of both bands, as well from opening hip-hop group Sparrow Love Crew, joining Cold War Kids on stage throughout the night to add some soulful harmonies, hand claps, and percussion, the show felt like a updated version of The Band's The Last Waltz all-star concert film, complete with a heap of contagious energy.

The five-member Sparrow Love Crew began the show with a set of old-school hip-hop, featuring plenty of party-starting tracks, rapid-fire lyrical exchanges, and adept turntablism. - MP3.com (2007)


The first time I came in contact with The Sparrow Love Crew was at a friends house party. They performed a stripped down set with no microphones in a smokey garage for about 70 people. Since then the Southern California based Hip Hop, party starters have added a new DJ, an arsenal of new songs, a pair of West Coast tours, and an ever increasing fan base to their colorful resume. What may surprise you is that I was standing in that smokey garage for the first time only six months ago. I recently caught up with two of the members ,Diggory and Sureflow, and had a chance to talk to them about mixtapes, rock fans, and why it's good idea to turn the beat all the way up.

NR - How was your show at The Echo last night with Delta Spirit? I heard it was really loud?

Dig - (laughs) Yeah, we love it when the beat is really loud because you know people are going to have a good time. It was a great show we always love playing with close friends. Everyone on the bill last night are friends of ours and I think all of us would agree that when we get the opportunity to play with friends those always end up being the best nights. A lot of people showed up to party. It was a lot of fun. We're lucky enough to be a part of a really talented community of friends.

SF- Yeah, I like it when its loud .its always fun when you can play a venue with a great sound system. Plus its fun to have a free ticket to watch your friends bands play.
 
NR - Along with Delta Spirit who are some of the bands that are a part of that community of friends?

Dig - Some of our closest friends are The Colour and Cold War Kids. It's really great to be part of a group of friends who are constantly inspiring you to push your own artistic boundaries and create something worth while.

SF- We also came across two DJs who do some fresh mashups called Mashed Potatoes. We have a very eclectic group of friends and that pushes us in our music.

NR - Last night you were the only Hip Hop group on the bill. How receptive do you find the audience to be in that situation?

SF- We never know what the outcome is going to be when we get on stage because we are playing for a group of people who probably came to see a rock show, however the response has been very positive...so far. Our motto is that we are ready to rock a crowd anywhere anytime.

Dig - So far we have been met with a very positive response. We have found that most people who come out to shows, regardless of what style of music it is, listen to a variety of music which includes Hip Hop. They are already familiar with it and are already fans of Hip Hop. So, I think more than anything people may be surprised to see a Hip Hop group playing at a rock show but in the end they are usually very receptive because it's nothing really foreign to them. Also, our aim is to make music that people understand and can be a part of regardless of what connotations come along with our technical "genre".

NR - It seems that people in general are embracing a wider variety of music than you might have seen in the past. Do you think that the gap between fans of different music genres is closing?

Dig - I think nowadays especially since the rise in digital music people are being exposed to a lot of different types of music than they have been in the past. I think that the gap is definitely closing. It is just so much easier for people to access and be exposed to a wider variety of music today. As technology and the sharing of information grows it seems that the gap will close naturally because there isn't much limiting a person to what they can be interested in.

SF- I agree. With everyone having access to the internet and the internet being a main distributor of music I think that the gap is closing. This pushes us to use our talents to the best of our ability to produce something that will make us stand out and put on a show that engages people.

NR - What is your favorite thing about playing a live show?

Dig - Free drinks. (laughs). Really the whole thing. Playing shows and going out to see shows is really the point of music to me. The relationship of the performer and the audience and viewing the artist first hand creating and performing the music in front of you is the whole point. It is a shame that the business of the music industry is based around record sales and radio play and it really becomes more about recorded music being a product rather than a product of live music. Consequently, it's a shame that a lot of artists these days, especially in the Hip Hop world, have lost the art of putting on a good show and in a lot of ways it has become about selling a product or an image and consequently the music suffers a lot of the times. For us we feel that it should be opposite of that. Our live show is our first priority.

SF- I love being able to witness the audience's response to what we create. At times I get caught in the moment and look around and see four of my closest friends doing what they love and that is a feeling that's unexplainable... And at one of our shows you never know whats going to happen. (laughs)

NR - Although, you are a Southern California group you seem to have more of an East Coast sound. What are some of your influences?

Dig - We are actually from all over. Mikey is from New York. Devoux went to High School in the South and is originally from South Africa. Sureflow, Opi and I are native Californians. So obviously our influences are from all over the map as far as Hip Hop goes. Within the five of us we pretty much like everything from Stones Throw to Big L and everything in between and of course there is always the incessant argument of Tupac or Biggie.

NR - So who wins?

Dig - That's a can of worms. You have know idea how heated this discussion actually gets.

SF - The West Coast is the best coast... but we all love "Juicy".

Dig - But don't tell Brixx... Seriously. Anyways, I think that the one element that affects our sound is that we listen to a lot of other types of music just as much as we listen to Hip Hop. We have a lot of really eccentric music tastes within our crew and I think that really translates in our sound. I think we have a lot of freedom and don't have to be bound by conventional ideas of Hip Hop such as loop and sample beats. Not to knock that style. One of the definitive aspects of our sound is that we don't hold ourselves to any preconceived formula of what Hip Hop should sound like. We don't want to be confined by the label of Hip Hop. We want our music to be able stand alone and have the freedom to explore and evolve as we see fit.

SF - We want our music to speak for itself, but in the end good music is good music no matter what the "genre" may be.

NR - What are you listening to right now?
 
SF - Blonde Redhead's new album and the A-Track album, and Mantronix.
 
Digg - I've really been into DR. Dog and the new Arcade Fire lately.

NR - So, I know you guys have a mixtape out but do you have any plans for an EP or full length in the near future?

Digg - Yeah, we do have a mixtape out but it's not really a mixtape in the conventional sense. It's more like a short demo that we recorded ourselves but we called it a mixtape because we have been distributing it in the form of an actual cassette tape. We've been in the process lately of figuring out how we want to record an EP. To be honest, we have just been really busy lately playing shows and recording has taken a back seat to our busy schedule. Putting out an EP is the next item on our agenda and we have already started the process. We would like to have it done before late summer. It took us a while to find the right people to record and produce our tracks. We didn't want quality to suffer for the sake of having something out right away.

SF - (laughs) That's funny. That has been the number one question we've been asked the past three months. Were gearing up right now to record a seven song EP. As for the mixtape, it was something we decided to put out as demos initially for our friends. We took them out with us on our west coast tour and ended up giving away more than we sold. When we got back we just put it up on the internet for free to download. I guess we didn't really do our research on how many people actually have cassette players anymore.

Dig - Should've asked Jeeves...

NR - Well, thanks for taking time out of your day and I am sure we will be seeing a lot more of Sparrow Love Crew in the near future.

Dig - Yeah, no problem. Thanks. - New Reform Magazine (2007)


Discography

Sparrow Love Crew - The MixTape (2007)
Produced, mixed and scratched live by DJ Opi Styles
Songs included:
1. Who's That
2. Naidu
3. Style Like This

Remixed Singles (2007)
Style Like This (Hot Lungs RMX)
Monsta Boogie (Clifford Lidell RMX)
Who's That (Mashed Potatos RMX)

Sparrow Love Crew - Burgertime EP (2008)
Produced by Mashed Potatos
1. The Return
2. Naidu
3. Full Speed
4. Style Like This
5. Drop The Dynamite
6. Feel This
7. Monsta Boogie

Photos

Bio

The Southern California Based Hip-Hop dynamo Sparrow Love Crew is renowned for their fresh beats and fiendishly fun lyrics. Oh, and for getting parties started, crowds riled and masses of lasses shakin' it on stage. Sparrow Love Crew radiate positive energy, lyrical choreography and witty verbiage. They also own a stage like Donald Trump owns the Trump Tower.

Backed by the not inaccurately dubbed “magic hands” of DJ Opi Styles, the four MCs (Devoux, Diggery, Kid Wizard and Mikey Brixx) diplomatically trade off verses. They're not afraid of melody and hooks big enough to carry four overlapping rhymers who sound like everything that made you love late-'80s hip-hop when you first heard it.

Drawing upon an eclectic array of influences SLC blends elements of dance, ghettotech, electronica, even freestyle with their own style of high energy, soulful hip hop. SLC seeks to blend the best of the past with the hope of a future. While they push forward conventional formulas, their songs are made for end-of-the-night sing-alongs, hip-hop as it was first imagined—party-rockin' first, ask questions later.