The great city of Chicago is many times associated only with the harsh realities of violence, poverty and other negative things. It is this reason that the beauty of what lives in the heavily-segregated city is overshadowed. Though the issues that plague that community are very real there is also much to be excited about in the natives of the city. Through any darkness can come light and when it comes to Chicago group S.O.U.L. D33P they shine brightly.
Looking to bring a message of positive vibes through their music, the trio of women are uplifting more and more people as their fan-base grows. Soul D33P’s members, Ty-E, Jay & Compton-born L.O.L.L.I.P.O.P., show a unique chemistry and a knack for blending sounds in a way that’s rarely done. Their latest single “Da Hustll” blends reggae, R&B, neo-soul and rap without coming off as forced which is an achievement to be applauded. The sound is only magnified by a growing reputation for their prowess as electrifying performers. In fact, S.O.U.L. D33P can claim a bevvy of artists in which they’ve performed with on a local and international scale. Some of the more notable acts include the likes of reggae legend Junior Reid and Veteran MC Yasiin Bey.
Being that they brought such a fresh sound and exciting presence it was a no-brainer to seek the opportunity to speak with the trio and discover more. I was intrigued to get the perspective of a group of ladies especially being that the “female group” is not as common as it may have been a decade or so ago. To learn all about how they got their start, how they move as a unit and get a peek into their music check out our Q&A session below.
You all have a great sound. How long have each of you all been doing music as individuals?
We have been doing music for quite some time actually. L.O.L.L.I.P.O.P has been rapping since the mid 80’s and Jay and myself (Ty-E) are blood sisters. We have been singing pretty much, since we could formulate words.
How and when was the group formed?
Jay & I (Ty-E) were going about our musical affairs as usual when in 2008, L.O.L.L.I.P.O.P moved from Compton, Ca. to Chicago. We met through a mutual acquaintance who prior to our meeting L.O.L.L.I let us know like, “L.O.L.L.I.P.O.P is pretty tight on the mic you know, you all should link with each other.” And as fate would have it here we are today.
Could you explain the idea behind your name?
Our name is an acronym which is significant for, “Sisters Overstanding Universal Law Dedicated Master Teachers Of the People.” Our name represents who we are, our purpose and our overstanding of our role as Musical Messengers and the responsibility that comes with it.
I really think your reggae elements set you all apart from most of what we hear currently. How are you all able to mix sounds and make it seem so easy?
As far as the music is concerned, being that Hip Hop is the offspring/child of Reggae music the fusing of the two was no challenge at all: they just naturally compliment one another. We have a cohesion because we are blessed to have a dynamic of individual forces in tune with one another from a spiritual aspect…and yes I am saying that we have a spiritual connection. In addition to this connection, we have respect for and confidence in each others abilities as well as in our own individual strengths to bring to the table and that is what makes it a unique and blessed situation.
What benefits and challenges do you think being in a group provides?
The benefit of being in a group is that it allows for a strong support system. Our success is contingent upon the contributions of each individual rather than just one person. When one/two individuals falter the other the third can pick up the slack. The challenges involve what we call, “death of the ego.” In many cases, when their are too many strong personalities in a group you get an adverse effect.; things may not turn out as well as expected. We know how important it is for us to not allow our egos to get in the way.
There is an age old stigma when it comes to groups in music, particularly with women. How do you all keep the comradery up?
First and foremost, we are family. No matter what our differences are or conflicts that may arise between us, we love and respect each other beyond the music and again, remain in check of our egos. So it is fine for us to disagree without being disagreeable of course. Secondly, we are well aware that the manner in which we deal with our disagreements must be carried out in a productive and mature manner to aid us in completing our objectives. We all at some point must take one for the team so to speak.
Who are some of your inspirations?
Our inspiration comes from various sources: Our parents, the people in our community, family, Peter Tosh, Chaka Khan, Marvin Gaye, Sizzla, Capleton, Jill Scott, Dr. Phil Valentine, Anita Baker, Marcus Garvey, Dr, John Henrik Clarke, Fantasia, Brandy, Whitney Houston…the list goes on.
What are your top 5 music groups of all time?
Earth, Wind & Fire, Stylistics, Temptations, Frankie Beverly and Maze and Parliament Funkadelic to name a few…
As a group how do you all typically create your music? Is it something you write as a unit or do you take one member’s idea on whatever record it may be and roll with it?
Pretty much, all of the above: we all make a collective decision on the music/sounds, each of us gives input regarding the lyrics and take part in the editing process. When we are confident in and comfortable with the message and its correlation to the music we roll with it.
You all are becoming well known for your live show, even performing with the likes of Yasiin Bey and Junior Reid. Could you elaborate on what that experience was like?
To describe both experiences in one word, it was Epic. Performing with talents of their caliber aided in increasing our confidence in our own presentation and in what we do.
Your single “Da Hustll” just dropped and I’m feeling it. You have a project of the same name dropping in the spring. What’s the direction in which we can expect from this?
The direction of the album is focused on empowering people of all nationalities (the disenfranchised in particular) and the redirection of Hip Hop back to its natural essence which was/is to uplift all falling humanity. It is a description of our experiences as women and the type of people and circumstances that we have encountered in our endeavors to be successful. The album is a culmination of hardcore beats and journalism for the streets. In short: the album is a S.O.U.Lful street soliloquy!!!
How long have you all been working on it? I ask because it seems you all put time into your craft.
We created the songs and the concept for the album 5 years ago but seriously started recording a year ago.
When is the expected drop date for that?
The next release will be a single titled, “Hood Treasure” that will be released April 25, 2016. The album, “Da Hustll” will follow on July 4th of this year.
Outside of the project what else is in your plans for the near future?
Making a serious and collective effort to get our brand and name to a larger audience, more community involvement and making significant alliances with like minded groups and individuals.
What would you all like the lasting legacy of your group to be?
First, we would like for our music to have a positive influence/impact on the lives of our listeners. We want our music to be something that people can use as an inspirational and motivational tool in which they can apply to their lives. Secondly, we want to be known for being unique: so when people hear us they will say, “that is S.O.U.L D33P.” And they will be able to distinguish our sound from everyone else because we sound like NO ONE ELSE but S.O.U.L D33P.
Is there anything else you want to share before we conclude?
We just want the world to know that we are here and have no plans of departing any time soon…So get ready cause in the words of Peter Tosh, “we comin in HOTT HOTT HOTT.”
How can people contact you?
Hit us up on Facebook, twitter & instagram @SOULD33P, http://www.sould33p.com or email us @email@example.com. PEACE, POWER, LOVE & LIGHT TO ALL HUMANITY!!!