I’ll admit right off the bat that my knowledge of rap/hip-hop is pretty much limited to Public Enemy, RUN DMC and the Beastie Boys. Sure I’ve been schooled by shows like Hip-Hop Evolution on HBO, and Baz Luhrmann’s The Get Down and every once in a while I hear something coming from my teenage son’s room that catches my attention; Run The Jewels and Odd Future, for example. But we write about a lot of underground music, and I am always willing to expand my horizons. When you really look at it, rap and punk have traveled similar paths.
So when Bill Tucker from 1980 Records sent me a stream of Fall Colors, a new tape from a rapper named Alleyes Manifest out of Oakland I asked my son to give it a listen. With a thumbs up from the boy I sat down to check it out.
Alleyes Manifest or Michael Bridgmon if you like, was born and raised in Chicago, moved to St. Louis where he started his music career with Crew932. He then to went to the Columbus College of Art & Design for his college years.
He used to be part of a crew called Alleyes Path in Columbus, OH where they opened up for acts like Kool Keith. The crew gained some notoriety from local newspapers as well as Creative Loafing and NPR streams. Bridgmon has been making music since 2003 and has at least 6 releases online and been featured on 3-4 albums for other artists.
His influences are on display on Fall Colors: Smokey Robinson, J Dilla, Jimi Hendrix, Oddisee, and Herbie Hancock. There is a funky soul vibe running through the six tracks that make up the record. It has a 1970s Bronx feel to it, it’s not over produced and recaptures the days when rap was underground and raw.
We did a little Q&A with Alleyes Manifest.
You can buy Fall Colors HERE!
Tell us about your hometown scene…
The Oakland music scene is alive and well with true artist creating sounds unheard of. From the intimate DIY venues to the Night Clubs each show I attend inspires me to create and hone my craft. Needless to say I lucked out relocating to the Bay Area.
The new record is called “Fall Colors”, tell us about the inspiration behind that song and how it was chosen for the name of the album.
“Fall Colors” the title is a metaphor a take on the seasons winter, spring, summer and fall and how they share a similarity to phases of life the old passing and new beginnings.
What influences your lyrics?
The main influence in my lyrics are the people, places and things I see in everyday life.
Tell us about writing Power To The People….
“People To The People” is a protest song a take on the old punk rock hip hop call and response style of writing. I created the instrumental with minimal layers purposely to send a clear message to listeners about Socioeconomic issues that we face in the United States.
Describe your sound as a cocktail – what would it be called and what would be in it?
The Haze Islander. In it would be Fresh Squeezed Cara Cara Navel, Mint and Mezcal, shaken not stirred…
What songs do you remember most from your childhood?
Any song by The Winans, Stomp Kirk Franklin, Beat It by Michael Jackson, any song by DEVO, Bad Bad Leroy Brown by Jim Croce
If you could pick any time and place to travel back to for music, where would you go and what year would it be….?
I would go to any Jazz Club in Harlem New York Year 1930
If you could tour with any band/artist right now who would that be and why?
Who? Aesop Rock Why? I have been a fan of his work since Float
Give us your 10 song playlist for the tour van/bus/plane?
1. Oddisee -Strength & Weakness
2. NxWorries – (Anderson .Paak & Knxwledge) – Link Up
3. J Dilla – E=MC² (feat Common)
4. Mount Kimbie – Sullen Ground
5. Thundercat – Them Changes
6. Blu & Exile – Dancing In The Rain
7. El-P ft. Aesop Rock & Ill Bill – Delorean
8. Deltron 3030 – Virus
9. Hiatus Kaiyote – Shaolin Monk Motherfunk
10. J. Cole and Wale – Winter Schemes
When you’re not playing and have some time off, where could we find you…
You can find me at the Skate Park grinding Grubin at a local eatery or at avenue nodding my head.
What’s up for the rest of 2016 and 2017?
Going to continue performing and collaborating with artists. I have already started working on my next release so be on the look out for something groovy Spring 2017!
Also I would like to give a shout out to Bill Tucker at 1980 Records for believing in this release!