Local urban artist Jules Demetrius has never seemed to want when it comes to the friend department. Amongst his multitude of acquaintances and comrades, the 43-year-old painter and graphic designer are a horde of local creative types from both the music and art world, as well as some famous names like the members of Jurassic 5 and De La Soul.
And many of 'em are helping out Demetrius during his greatest time of need, including such cats as Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark, as he's in the midst of a life and death battle with colon cancer.
Over the past few months, Demetrius has been undergoing multiple treatments and surgeries at St. Luke's Hospital in Tempe to rid his body of cancer, which has racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bulls that are artist is unable to afford.
Enter his nearest and dearest, like Blunt Club promoter and longtime art cohort Adam "Dumperfoo" Dumper. He's been busy moving heaven and earth the last few weeks gearing up for a "Save Jules" benefit at a special edition of the hip-hop weekly tomorrow night at Yucca Tap Room in Tempe, including pulling together plenty of art and donations to raffle off during the event in order to generate some serious scrilla on Demetrius.
The treasure trove includes a rare Shepard Fairey-created poster for Doug Pray's renowned turntablist documentary Scratch that was ponied up by Dumper and Jess Jordan, owner of bygone Tempe art supply joint Wet Paint, both of whom are close friends with Demetrius.
He's been a part of the Blunt Club since its early days more than a decade ago, when he would emcee, create live art, and spit poetry during the night's stint at now-defunct Tempe bar Priceless Inn and elsewhere.
"We've done raffles at Blunt Club before and people have gotten pretty huge chunks of money. It all depends on what I get for donations and how many people buy raffle tickets," Dumper told our sister blog Jackalope Ranch. "We're hoping to raise a total more in the thousands, like a few thousand [dollars] maybe."
No one had to do much begging to get donations from Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark, who eagerly offered up various t-shirts, autographed Jurassic 5 albums, and CDs of some of their solo and side projects, owing to their friendship with Demetrius. According to the Blunt Club's Facebook, the haul includes a USB drive that resembles a phonograph needle and is "stacked [with] rare shit," as well as white wax pressings, Jurassic 5 singles and EPs and an LP version of Power in Numbers.
In an equally magnanimous move in support of Demetrius, four different local DJs and friends of the artist offered to spin throughout the evening at the benefit. Besides current Blunt Club resident Organic, vinyl field Djentrification will drop the needle on platters in Yucca's main room along with special guest DJ Wise from L.A.
Meanwhile, the adjacent craft beer bar, which will be decorated with art work up for raffle, will feature the combination of Goonie, Dash Eye, and O.G. local selector Jimmy the Mantis Claw on the decks all evening long.
The Blunt Club's "Save Jules" Benefit takes place at 9 p.m. on Thursday at Yucca Tap Room in Tempe. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted.