Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Double Life - Revolutions - 1997

12" - 1997 - Raw Elements Records

Hailing from the Bay Area, Double Life was a rap duo formed by L*Roneous and Gennessee. They started recording their first material in 1996. 

L*Roneous :" The group Double Life was actually Gennessee and the homie Shinobi One.. but when me and Gen connected something just clicked and we started writing/recording tracks on my old 4 track.. from there everything kinda fell into place as us 2 rhyming together.. Shinobi played the background hella supporting tho.. he is the guy who is directly responsible for most of the samples we used.. that was roughly 1996. I met Gennessee through a mutual friend, Dj Wisdom (back then he was Dj Winnie B) one day and we were pretty much inseparable for years to come.."

Gennessee : "I was introduced to L by DJ Wisdom. L taught me the ropes of starting our own labels and releasing our own music, performing, booking etc..."

L*Roneous & Gennessee - Photo courtesy of Gennessee

They released their first 12" on Raw Elements Records in 1997, a record label founded by Gennessee, L*Roneous and Aaron Gretzinger.
Gennessee : "We did everything ourselves. We handled all day to day operations, manufacturing, distribution... Super grass roots." 

Three tracks are available on this rare and dope 12-inches, all as good as each other. "Revolutions" produced by Animation and cuts done by Raw B. This track was put in rotation many times by Stretch & Bobbito on WKCR that year.  On the B-Side "No Limitations" and "Regiments", both produced by DJ Zeph. Zeph was originally from Santa Cruz and began to concentrate on his skills as a DJ after being under the wing of Kut Masta Kurt. 

L*Roneous : "Actually, I’m the only one from the bay... from the east bay originally, born in Oakland, raised in Alameda, but i truly grew up in San Francisco (my musical home), Gennessee is from Brooklyn, and Raw B is from Nevada. For the sake of argument tho, Double Life was born in Marin, CA via late night blunt and freestyle sessions at Gen’s crib... and brought to life in San Francisco where we made our name. 
Back in the day the bay was flooded with upstart everything: Djs, rappers, engineers, promoters, etc... being around other rappers irritated me, so i gravitated towards the Dj homies (via Dj Wisdom). Raw B did a radio show with Wisdom, Animation is the homie from Wisdom’s home town (Poughkeepsie, NY), and Zeph was the young cat that could do almost anything every other Dj could only hope to do... I figured the best Dj should mess with the best emcee (he and I worked together on my first solo album, Imaginarium)"

Gennessee : "Zeph and Raw B were my roommates. I met Zeph through L and Raw B through DJ Wisdom at Beatsause radio (KUSF). Paul Nice, who mentored me and taught me how to make beats, introduced me to Animation. Paul Nice and Animation followed DJ Wisdom to Cali." 

DJ Zeph : "L Ron and I were already working together, and did an album. Gennessee was tight with L and they would kick it and rhyme a lot. Freestyle, write, etc... Gen was a monster at freestyling. Like real freestyling off the top. And L had a more cerebral kind of vibe so they were a good contrasting complement, East / West as well.
Animation ... I only met him a few times. Cool kid... we were kids then ! He was dope but we never collabed. Raw B was my man though. We did so much cool shit together, gigs on 4 turntables, digging, DJ tracks, mixtapes, beats. We lived together in more than one place. Great DJ, and really cool. He was smart and got out of the Bay Area a few years ago. He did the legendary college radio show 'Beatsauce' on KUSF before that got sold."

L*Roneous & Gennessee - Photo courtesy of DJ Wisdom

One question is till remaining ... why is there no Double Life's album after the 12" ? 

Gennessee : "Good question. We have 2 full Double Life albums recorded in that era sitting on my hard drives. I started Street Reportas shortly after, and founded Noble House shortly after that. L was focusing on pushing his solo album, and I started making beats around that time too. 
We spent all our time performing and never put the energy it takes to mix, master, market and promote a full length album. I was doing my solo stuff with Paul Nice too and 'Definition Of Nice' was taking off. "

L*Roneous : "Solo interests outshined a group project... we had always had intentions of releasing an album... even have lots of songs recorded, just never pushed the ‘GO’ button on the project... but who knows what the future will hold ? "

Mad Props to Gennessee, L*Roneous and DJ Zeph 

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