Valley music fans have a pair of new club nights where they can get their hip-hop fix, without having to travel all the way over to the east side of town.
Rick Sanchez, A.K.A. Mav of Sol Camp, and Zig Zag of NB Ridaz are now hosting Turnt Up Thursdays and So Fly Fridays at 27th Ave Bar & Grill in West Phoenix. Promising cheap drink specials and live performances, Sanchez is hoping the new nights will continue pushing the Arizona hip-hop scene.
With another mixtape series in the works, we caught up with Sanchez to see what else is on the plate.
Up on the Sun: When did you guys start doing the new club nights?
Rick Sanchez: It's been about two weeks now and we've already doubled the amount of people that go there. Through my name and Zig Zag and NB Ridaz. You know the Latino community has a great reputation. A lot of people want to party with us and we want to party with them. Thursdays are free and Fridays are just $5 because we have performances. Zig Zag is the one who set all that up, and now we're partners.
What kind of vibe do you guys have going on those nights?
It's on the west side man, so it's the west side crowd. Not everyone wants to go to the east side to party so that's the place to be on the west side. It's a relaxed vibe where they play hip-hop.
And what about the mixtape?
The whole series is something I'm trying to give back to Phoenix to show some love to the artists that aren't necessarily getting the exposure that they need. That's also what I do with the website. I just try to focus on everybody. So I wanted to show as much love to the artists that aren't getting as much love as signed artists like Willy Northpole and MC Magic. Those guys are already famous and signed, I want to show love to the guys who are the underdogs and still make great music. I want to give a shot to people who need it. So we'll have volume two out in the next month and we're always looking for underground artists to submit to us. So that's another thing we're hoping to do with the release party on Friday, August 17.
How can artists get in touch with you to be considered for the mixtape series?
Just email one to two MP3s to email@example.com.
What is the criteria that you're looking at when you're going over these submissions?
Obviously it has to be a great song and it has to be mixed very well. We don't want to have to mix anything for anybody. These songs have to be completely done, polished and ready to go. I know there's a lot of talent that has some good songs; I know there's people out there that meet the criteria, so make sure you're recording at a quality place and mixed right.
It can be about anything. It can be rapping, rap/rock, underground hip-hop, or commercial hip-hop. Mainly, this focus is on Phoenix, so whatever you provide is fine with me, I just want to showcase the talent.
And this is something that's free. I'm not trying to make money off of it; I'm not trying to do anything but promote the scene. I know the rock scene gets a lot of love from magazines like the Phoenix New Times, and it seems like the hip-hop scene does get ignored sometimes ... I just love hip-hop and I try to do anything that I can to promote it.
What else are you working on?
I'm also working on my album that's coming out at the end of the year. The last time the New Times did a write up on me, I had just released my video for "Til the Sunrise," which was pretty much the beginning of my career right there. I did a lot of underground stuff before that. I was in Sol Camp from 2005 until about 2009 and in 2010 I dropped my album, Independent Hustlin and that was pretty much the take off point.
My newest album is untitled right now because I really believe that the album title says a lot about myself and the state of mind I'm in at the time. I have all of the songs ready and a lot of good people on it, but I just don't have the name of it yet. But it will be ready at the end of the year.
For this third album I'm focusing on making motivational hip-hop. Whether you go to college, whether you hustle, or whether you're in the church: everyone needs motivation and drive to go harder. I want to provide that in this album.
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I'm from Chicago, and it's like the murder capital right now, so I wanted to do something - I know I can't stop the violence but I can at least give my opinion on what's going on in society. My sister still lives in Chicago, so me and her came together for "Ring the Alarm." And that's the newest music video I've got out right now.
It also speaks about SB1070 and Sheriff Joe and Arizona problems. So I'm just voicing my opinion on things that I think are going wrong with our society right now.