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.