Reintroducing for the first time: Brother Reade

by Ryan Snyder

You can’t hold Brother Reade (www. responsible for parting with their hometown in favor of greener pastures. When hip-hop music is is your craft, picking Los Angeles over Winston-Salem is a no-brainer. The The duo of MC Jimmy Jamz and DJ Bobby Evans might prefer the glitzy working conditions of the City of Angels over the 336, but they surely didn’t leave their blue-collar influence behind.

“LA was just a natural place to work,” said Evans. “We have a large group of friends from the the Triad living in LA and it just seemed new and fresh for everyone.” Line them up against the best of the LA hip hop scene, however, and it’s doubtful that the the pair will pass the look test. As As unassuming as the skinny, spectacled spectacled Evans (b. (b. Erin Garcia) Garcia) and and the burly former Mount Tabor football player Jamz Jamz (b. James James Joliff) might might appear, their their beats and rhymes rhymes are are far far from ordinary. ordinary. Their first full-length album Rap Music hit in 2007 with monumental monumental buzz, garnering outstanding reviews from both LA press and national publications alike. It was a more formal follow-up to their debut EP The Illustrated Guide to: 9 to 5, which was thrown together in under three weeks. But unless you knew these two from their high school days, it’s unlikely most of the area in which they grew up has heard of Brother

Reade until now.Since their days dishing outcarbohydrates at the Bagel Station in highschool, Brother Reade has evolved fromtheir punk roots into a sort of ultramodernblueprint for rappers yet to come.Completely eschewing the bling- andbitchesmodus operandi thattarnishes much of therap game thesedays,Jamztakesthe plebeianapproach to rhymewriting. It’s possible that oneline from “Life Ain’t Easy For Ya’ll” offof Rap Music encapsulates his entire ethos.“The rap game is just that dog/get anotherincome you won’t get that far” says just whatneeds to be said to every starry-eyed rapperwith designs on getting rich, while Evans’sparse, hollow beats define an album that isso profoundly forward-thinking that some might accuse it of being a throwback. “I feel like a lot of people got a hold of Rap Music andreally misunderstood the idea behind it,” said Jamz. “They thought itwas a retrograde record and that we were trying to emulate Eric B andRakim. We had the same purpose as they did, but we just had itin 2007.” The goal according to Jamz, however, was to create the newclassic rap album. Not necessarily classic in the sense of the music itcontained, but even more audaciously in in the approach that itespoused. The duo took all of their influences into account, yet tookthe kind of discursive freedom that’s normally reserved for thedowntown New York City jazz scene. “I think rap music has agreat formula, but the way to to go about making it can never beperfected,” Evans said. “A great rap record has to be everything toeverybody.” With With that under under their their belt, thenext question is where exactly exactly Brother Reade goes from fromhere. here. With both Evans and Jamz being accomplished drummers, theexperimental experimental bent from from their previous effortprevailed with a little help from from a rather serendipitous source. Justas Jamz started to pick up his drumming more intensely, the pair begancomposing more instrumental material built around dual drum sets. Itwas around that time that a friend set them up with a project conceivedby Yamataka Eye, the enigmatic front manfor the highly experimental Japanese noise-rock band the Boredoms. Theproject, known as 88 Boadrum, was a massive drum collaborative that wasto take place at the La Brea Tar Pits. Jamz and Evans showed up alongwith 86 other drummers, all arranged in spiraled arms with the Boredomsat the center in a kiosk for what would be an unforgettable andinfluential experience.

“Sound was awesome and reallyentrancing,” Evans said. “It was the craziest minute of my life and itwasn’t a showy thing at all.” Spring 2009 is the current target datefor the album and as the duo is prepared to enter the studio as soon asthe details are finalized. Don’t call it a new direction, however. It’sjust another swath of color on thecanvas of Brother Reade as they seek to characterize Hip Hop music intheir own terms. It’s the new punk, if you will. “The easy way todistill it down is that it’s whatever we make it to be,” said Jamz.“We’re always going to keep challenging other and redefining each otherand redefining our project.”