TEQNiK G Learns From The Past
By Collin Estes
Some artists take time to develop the creativity and worldview that facilitates their art, while others seem to have a preternatural disposition for their musical endeavors. The latter case can certainly be argued for local emcee Joe Davis, better known as Teqnik G.
Davis, who is preparing to unveil his new LP, Not Just Entertainment, was introduced to hip-hop by his brother at a young age and instantly fell in love with it, writing his first rhyme in elementary school before developing his lyrical flow by writing, producing and recording his own songs in high school.
"What stands out most to me about a song is the lyrics," says Davis. "I love the way a lyricist can manipulate and rhyme words in such unique patterns, while telling a story and speaking about subject matters other genres don't."
While Davis was immediately enamored of the whole of hip-hop culture, citing the emcee, the DJ, graffiti, the B-Boy and knowledge as the genre's elements of voice, music, art, dance and consciousness, respectively, his burgeoning career suffered a derailment.
"Instead of staying focused on the music, I decided to make bad choices, which ended up leading me to prison," Davis says. "However, struggle and life experiences, along with plenty of time, can really help the creative mind."
Davis used the setback to improve his skills and, upon his release, set about building a career in hip-hop. While he acknowledges it took some time, he now enjoys a bounty of local support, has consistently performed live for roughly half a decade, and is now set to celebrate the release of his third album.
‘I’m out to keep the music I love alive.’
The CD release show, which will take place Feb. 3 at the Black Sheep, will find Teqnik G joined by an impressive cadre of local hip-hop talent, including D-Stylz, Hiatus, Rozin Barz, TMC, Reflecshaun, Evolve and Stoney Bertz. (Bertz, incidentally, will have a busy day, as she's also performing at the "Rewind to 99" benefit show at Sunshine Studios earlier in the day, where all proceeds go toward helping the local homeless community.)
"I had known for a while that it was time for a new album, but life was getting in the way of creating music, on several levels," explains Davis.
Eventually, however, Davis set to work culling the extensive back catalog of beats he'd produced, giving himself a strict deadline to complete the writing and production. His goal was to create a "hardcore hip-hop album from front to back," both an attempt to honor the sound and spirit of the raw hip-hop of the '90s and introduce listeners to the world as Teqnik G knows and sees it. Davis says listeners can expect accounts of his life as an emcee, thoughts on the country's political and social systems, some good old-fashioned partying and enjoying life, and dispatches from life on the streets. Above all, he hopes the album offers an opportunity to look back on the hallmarks of classic hip-hop from a new perspective with a modern message.
"Hip-hop has gone through many changes since its creation — a lot of fans recognize the 'golden era' of hip-hop to be the '90s, and I would tend to agree," says Davis. "It was a time when beats and lyrics were raw, people told you how they felt. I'm out to keep that alive, to keep the music I love alive."
Davis is optimistic about the local hip-hop scene's potential for growth, and hopes that his own music can serve as a source of inspiration for others.
"I want people to see that life is filled with choices, and you can change your direction in life through those choices," reflects Davis. "I produced all but one of the beats on Not Just Entertainment," recorded all the vocals, mixed and mastered the album, designed and made the artwork, and organized the featured artists and DJ for the project. Now I'm throwing an album release party to celebrate. I'm proof that you can basically do everything on your own."
TEQNiK G is back with another album and a very full schedule
By Collin Estes
Fans of local hip-hop will not have to wait nearly as long for what will be a definite highlight of the young year.
When we checked in with emcee Teqnik G in February 2017, he was releasing a new LP, Not Just Entertainment. Exactly one year to the day, he’s back with a brand new album, Apparition in the Shadows, which is being released Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Black Sheep.
The year has been a busy one for the rapper, one that found him, aside from working on the new LP, reissuing his back catalog — most notably in the handsome form of a limited-edition gold cassette tape, combining his previous three albums, dubbed Trillogy — as well as opening for artists such as Rakim, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Warren G and Jedi Mind Tricks’ Jus Allah.
“Other than that, I had another son this year,” added the emcee, when I asked him what he’d been up to. Nothing like keeping a full schedule.
The new record was a collaboration between Teqnik G and Michigan-based producer AATMA, whom the emcee met online following the release of Not Just Entertainment.
“It was originally supposed to be a short album, like an EP,” explains the emcee, who also enlisted the talents of local deejay Lord Damage. “But personal issues kept the album from happening. My son was born, and his mom and I split up. [But] AATMA just kept sending me beats, and that’s when I came up with the name Apparition in the Shadows. We’re kind of the unexpected image of what you might think or expect. That’s the ‘apparition,’ and [we’re] ‘in the shadows’ because we’re underground. Just waiting to be discovered, basically.”
For the Weed Pimps-hosted album release show, he’ll be performing Apparition in the Shadows in its entirety, joined by Evolve, whom Teqnik G describes as “an underground hip-hop legend,” Denver’s TMC and The FAMM, and locals Stoney Bertz, D-Stylz, ColorBlind, Hiatus and Milogic.