Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Hello all, I want to re-introduce all the new Blood Is One readers to Heathen Miller. When we first started this blog, Blood Is One produced several mixtape projects featuring the music of Carl Roe and Kenan Bell - with Heathen Miller's work as a bit of a backdrop. Heathen has been nice enough to stick with us and reach out to me once the website has rebounded and started operating again. Please check him and do what you can to support him.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


I'll be blunt - while the first installment of my interview with Seattle rapper JFK was fairly easy to write, writing up the profile on his group, Th3rdz, was much more difficult. It took a week longer than expected to even get started on it.

The crew that makes up Th3rdz are no strangers to one another. The group is comprised of the aforementioned JFK, Xperience and Candidt. All are members of the Seattle rap network known as Oldominion with Candidt calling his and Xperience's newer addition to the crew "Newdominion." What makes Th3rdz stand out is that the project breaks beyond what Oldominion is usually known for - albums under the Oldominion label tend to be dark, depressing and eclectic. As JFK told me in our interview, Th3rdz breaks away by being a "soulful" effort that he hopes could actually attract mainstream attention.

For a taste of what these guys usually sounded like while working together, JFK's other project - the hip-hop duo Grayskul - actually released an entire album with Th3rdz founding member Xperience. "Knowitall" is a great taste of that album, entitled Facefeeder:

Candidt made very healthy contributions to the Oldominion effort The Gigantics - "Biological Nothing" a standout track in which Candidt establishes storytelling skills in order to tell the story of a young hustler learning the sketchy and violent methods of hustling in the inner city:

In contrast, when all three are together on tracks like "Make a Way," an upbeat synth tap leads all three to an optimistic outlook that matches with video shots of Seattle residents making their own way in a messy and chaotic society:

In interview, Candidt said bluntly. "TH3RDZ isnt as abstract as Grayskul or [JFK's] solo efforts. TH3RDZ is barbershop, beautyshop, bbq, ride, dance vibe music. Its more colloquial for JFK, more straight-forward for the common listener by design."

With the success of Seattle acts like Macklemore, that new design may pay off.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


I want to thank everyone out there who has helped Blood Is One 2.0 rebound and bring us beyond over 70,000 views. I really appreciate it. I'm currently working on a follow up of my interview with JFK which will focus on his group Th3rdz.

Until then, I've taken in alot of contemporary hip-hop and some of it is pretty good. There's some hard, battle rap shit out there. I thought it would definitely attract some eyeballs to post some of the best tracks I've heard lately. Take care out there.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Blood Is One Spotlight Part One: JFK AKA Ninja Face

Note to Readers: This is the first part in a focus on rapper JFK and his projects. If you are interested in more about him, Blood Is One published an article about him back in 2011 which can still be rea
JFK is a man of two, dueling identities. JFK's two rap names come from when he first started rapping. It was the late 1990s, when gangsta rap was still dominant in hip-hop. His rap style tends to be free flowing and fluid and people told him that he sounds alot like Ghostface Killah, one of the most passionate members of the legendary rap group Wu-Tang Clan. While his rap name right now may be Jeff the Filipino Kid - it was originally Jeff the Filipino Killa.

JFK picked up his own version of Ghostface's other moniker when he was hanging out with the Saturday Knights, a rap/rock group led by fellow Oldominion (an over twenty person network of Northwest area rappers) members Barfly and Macklemore, who is currently one of hip-hop's most influential acts, at the Beer Garden section of the Northwest event Bumbershoot.
An older white woman working the event leaned towards Jeff and declared, "You've got just the sweetest little Ninja Face." Jeff was stunned. The comment was obviously racist as hell but the woman said it with almost no malicious intent at all, in fact almost being nice about it. Both Barfly and Macklemore laughed about it when they heard about this incident, with Barfly saying he might as well be "Viking Sleeve" while Macklemore would have to be "Irish Leg."
"What on earth does 'Ninja Face' even mean? Ninjas usually cover their faces," JFK said of the event.
The Killa name, which JFK drops every bit as much as his "real" rap name, is actually very fitting not just stylistically in hip-hop (Wu-Tang Clan is well known for pronouncing the personality of their group by taking on the images of stylistically aggressive kung fu warriors) but especially for his own rap delivery. JFK raps really fast. On one of the singles, a horrorcore outing called "Paranoid," for his solo album, Building Wings On The Way Down, JFK dropped the verse, "Lacerations and abbrassions, would you care for a little demonstration?" within only a few beats. A verse like that is fairly simple but would be challenging for quite a few people, even in the naturally verbose and articulate world of hip-hop.
JFK said in our interview that he doesn't actually consciously rap fast. He doesn't speak particularly fast or more precise than anyone else in person. "I don't think my style is really fast, it's more just fluid."

"Fluid" is an excellent term - illustrating that, if he doesn't simply fit the physical look of a "ninja" than perhaps he lyrically delivers like one. For most of his career, he has been working in groups and the most predominant group he worked with has been Grayskul, a duo with the equally versatile rapper Onry Ozzborn - also a member of Oldominion. Grayskul's next album Zenith took its name because "Zenith," according to JFK, means the "farrest depths of space" and Grayskul's strange, dark approach could often be measured against heavy metal bands. For the first time in his career, JFK is seeking to ditch his former approach and go instead towards what he calls a more "traditional" and "soulful" realm of hip-hop with Th3rdz, a project featuring fellow Northwest rappers Candidt and Xperience.