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October 04, 2012 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2012-10-04

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r48 - Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

148 - Thursday, October 4, 2012 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Tree itygrows from
Hip-hop group aims while they were waiting for the
to make it big with "I was this weird pale dude
with long hair and a Russian
serious rhymes army jacket," Haywood said. "I
didn't look like Irapped at all.g
By JOEY STEINBERGER "So I showed this kid my bars
DailyArts Writer and the whole class was like,
'What the fuck is going on?' Mike
University students may know took me aside and said, 'Do yout
"Tree City" as an apt nickname want to join? Do you want to join
for their college town. But for The Fifth Element?'
-Jacoby Simmons, Kyle Hunter Haywood described how the
and LSA junior Evan Haywood, group would rap during lunch
it's a testament to their musical hour at Huron, in a stairwell they
beginnings in Ann Arbor. fondly dubbed "the rap cave."
In fact, accordingto Haywood, "We would freestyle overbeats
the hip-hop group's name also every day for a long, long time,"
evokes its approach to crafting he said.
their music. In June 2007, the band released
"It's like the mechanical and its first EP, The TreE.P. Shortly
organic put together," Haywood thereafter, Nunn left and Charles
said. "We try to make something Cheek - "Cheeks" - joined
that sounds like it came up from the band. Following Cheeks's The group started rapping together as students at Huron High, in
the swamps of hip hop. It's still entrance, the new line-up released
raw and hard, but at the same a mix tape, Black Trees, that incor- release new material or do a big Recently, Tree Ci
time, it's based in a technical porated production from Detroit show, they try to do so locally. er with some othe
understanding." producer Black Milk. After seven years, though, the acts to form Branc
Simmons, Hunter and Hay- The new release helped put band is ready to expand its influ- tive, which consist
wood - otherwise known as DJ Tree City on the map. "That got ence beyond Washtenaw County. and electronic. mus
Cataclysmic, General F. and Cla- us a lot of positive attention and "That's where the Internet was created to br
vius Crates - are three of four notoriety in the local rap world," comes into play and going on tour artists who shares
members of the Ann Arbor rap Hunter said. comes into play and getting dis- about how to makes
group Tree City. Tree City's influences are var- tribution," Haywood said. music from Ann Arb
The group met in 2005 at the ied. The members call themselves Hunter said Tree City thinks The band has
Neutral Zone, a downtown center "collectors" of music: Both Hay- about their musicianship on a making a new albu
for teens in Ann Arbor. Originally wood and Hunter work at Encore global level. unnamed, being r
called The Fifth Element, the Records on East Liberty Street, "Our competition isn't other Michael Dykehouse
group thenconsisted of Simmons, and they said their biggest influ- local acts. Our competition is and producer knowi
Mike Hyter, who went by Man in ences are jazz musicians like the best that ever did it, because in electronic musi
Charge, and Justin Nunn, who Miles Davis, not other rappers. that's who we listen to the most," album will have ai
went by DJ Verse-a-Tile. Sim- Thus Far, the group's first full Hunter said. "That's whom we sound and will be re
mons is the only original mem- album, was released in 2010. draw a lot of inspiration from. Lance, a recording
ber who still performs with the After the album's release, Hyter You're trying to make the best wood built in his ba:
group. left the band, creating Tree City's shit you could ever make ... if you "This project is a1
It wasn't until 2006, when most recent line-up. Today, when try to make music that is as good sciously constructec
Haywood and Hunter were added the band performs, the lineup as the stuff coming out of your said. "We're being v
to the group, that The Fifth Ele- typically consists of Simmons, scene that might be a backhanded make themes and ide
anent officially changed its name Hunter and Haywood. Cheeks way oflimitingyourself." to flow through thev
to Tree City, a profession of love currently resides in Seattle. But even with their global per- The band wants
for their hometown. "Cheeks will come back peri- spective, the band hasn't snubbed from lyrics about thi
Haywood said he joined the odically and perform with us," its Ann Arbor roots. rapping to more tht
group after meeting Hyter and Haywood said. "We also went out "Ann Arbor is full of love," ing, accessible mus
Nunn in his health class at Huron to Seattle last year and did some Simmons said. "People are always the commonly-held
High School in Ann Arbor. A fel- shows with him." down to hear different music that underground rap c:
low student had heard he liked to Tree City likes to show Ann makes them think and that's what able.
rap and challenged him to do so Arbor a lot of love. When they I really like about this area." "A lot of people th

A2 roots

From Page 3B
marvelous as ever, if not more so
in today's age of pragmatism and
The best moments are the
ones that build tension: Raj
watching Simran walk away,
hoping she will look back just
once to prove her love; Simran
running to him in that field of
unforgettable yellow flowers;
Raj reaching out from a mov-
ing train and Simran running as
fast as she can toward his out-
stretched hand.
And as with all classic Bol-
lywood romances, what keeps
this film alive so fondly in view-
ers' hearts is the predisposition
to adore and believe in it. DDLJ
dares us to imagine that dreams
come true if you only want them
badly enough, that there is
someone out there for everyone
and true love can triumph over
the most impossible circum-
stances. Sometimes, things work
out for the best, and the result is
Khosla is considering a
unibrow. To talk her out of it,
e-mail pkhosla@umich.edu.

a stairwell they dubbed the "rap cave."

ty got togeth-
r Ann Arbor
h Out Collec-
s of hip-hop
sic artists. It
ing together
similar views
and distribute
also started
sm, currently
produced by
, a musician
nfor his work
ic. The new
more mature
ecorded in the
studio Hay-
lot more con-
d," Haywood
ery diligent to
as and motifs
whole thing."
to graduate
eir prowess at
sic, shunning
d belief that
an't be relat-
hink you have

to sacrifice artistic integrity for
(accessibility) andthat'sbullshit,"
Hunter said.
Though the members of Tree
City are older and wiser than
when they began, they still
have plenty to learn and many
new challenges to face. Work-
ing collaboratively is a difficult,
but rewarding process, they
"Sharing is tough sometimes,
sharing ideas and spotlight.
Everyone wants to be a star,
including myself," Simmons said.
"But I think it says alot if you can
harness all that and be comfort-
able with beinginthe background
for a while."
A key trait of the band is resil-
ience. After performing for seven
years with several different line-
ups, group members are still
honing their craft and working
"There are various cats
who've been closely associated
with us over the years who have
fallen off the map musically,"
Haywood said. "You've got to
be really solid in yourself to go
down this path."

From Page 3B


tive memory - a beacon of hon-
esty in this world of cynicism
and irony. He's pathetic. He's
sincere. He wants to do the right
thing, yet is repeatedly thwarted
by circumstance, a Chaplin-
esque figure seemingly lost in
the pitfalls of the '90s.
If I could rewrite the movie as
a Dewey character study, believe
me, I would. Unfortunately, I've
resigned myself to simply voice
my beliefs from the back of
the room whenever my house-
mates feel compelled to host a
"Scream" marathon. "What I
like about it is that even though
it's a commentary on horror, it's
still pretty scary," I heard one of
them say. And so it goes.






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