When people discuss Bay Area rap, they normally talk about the Hyphy era, Mob music, and heavy bass. While the Bay has always maintained a thriving independent rap scene, there has always been a pocket of Bay rap that has produced music built around eerie, low-fi sounds, and clever lyrical content. Acts such as Souls of Mischief and Zion I come to mind when I try and think of artists that fit this description. More recently, rap group Down 2 Earth (D2E) released their debut project Fair Share which has generated a lot of buzz for the three man group consisting of: Clyde Shankle, Dayvid Michael, and Azure. I had some time to talk with Clyde Shankle to discuss the creative process for D2E, the inspiration for the skits on the projects, and how he plans to grow as an artist over the next year.
“What I’m bad at, they’re good at. Sometimes I have a hard time with hooks, and Dave is a fucking mastermind. I don’t really make beats, but Azure does. I can find a sample, and Azure can flip it to a sound I would go for on some solo shit. So it’s like now I have other people that can help put pieces together, and I think they feel the same way. “
What do you think each member of D2E brings to the group?
“We all bring a different kind of energy. We’re all on different ends of the spectrum. Azure is more serious, I’m more fun and chill, and David is somewhere in the middle. We always end up balancing each other out. When I’m not focused and cattin’ off, they’re telling me to bring it back.”
One of the things I appreciated about this album was that you all had great skits on the project, I’m a big fan of skits, and I think it’s a lost art. Was that you all trying to recreate an album element that used to be a mainstay?
“We were debating on if we should use skits, we wanted to pay homage. Since most of the albums we like had skits in it, we decided to put skits in ours. If we did skits, we felt they would have to be funny because our verses are hella serious. We felt we had to have some sort of mediator to even it out.“
What do you as an individual artist hope to accomplish by the end of the year?
“I want to do more videos, and drop more songs. Shorten the length of my projects. But I think I’m going to drop more visuals. D2E is thinking about doing little Youtube skits this year too, so I want to have more of a visual representation. Getting the branding on point to be honest. I feel like there’s a lot of opportunity with being an indie artist and if the branding is high quality it will create opportunities”
Take a listen to Fair Share below, tap into the rap trio using their social links, and let us know your favorite D2E song.