Flipsyde – Tower of Hollywood
Flipsyde is one of those groups that has a niche for keeping their fans happy, while still gathering followers who have the opportunity to hear their music. I have immense respect for what it is that they say and how they say it. With two albums, five mixtapes, and the newly released EP Tower of Hollywood, their messages are heard loud and clear, with no bias, as they speak for the people of the world. Carefully composed songs range from profound happiness and feeling unstoppable while keeping in mind the struggles that people overcome, struggles many of us share but maybe don’t talk about so much.
Tower of Hollywood was released just before 2013, and is getting plays all over the world. The trio—consisting of rapper Piper (who’s flow seems to have been influenced by 2pac), vocalist Steve Knight, and guitarist Dave Lopez—have released six more songs in the new EP that fits beautifully into their discography.
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One thing that stands out in the group as a whole is their distinctive sound and their individual voices. Piper offers his intelligent social commentary in poetic raps, and personalized flow, Steve Knight brings a Blues-Rocks vibe into the mix, with lyrics sung in a naturally gritty but refreshing style, and Dave Lopez produces well coordinated guitar licks with unforgettable rhythms. The attention that the group is receiving is well deserved, and the attraction people have will only increase their fan base from where they are now.
The EP begins with “One More Trip”, which speaks with haunting honesty, about the affects of drugs and alcohol on their personal lives (without forgetting what they’ve witnessed for a large population of people). Yes, it’s a bit of a low note to kick off an EP with, but they speak with the power of lessons learned, and offer a healthy dose of hopefulness. The song fits all of its parts (the vocals and rap, to beautiful guitar riffs) in a perfect bind, like lock and key. A great opener that’s bound to get plenty of replay time while pressing one’s curiosity to play through the whole set list.
The second song, of the same title as the EP, “Tower of Hollywood” is one that simply needs to be heard. Everything about it has a striking quality with powerfully written lyrics of rising and fading in the public eye and all of the work that goes into living out their dreams. Building the Tower of Hollywood is a great metaphor that brings many strong points into the light.
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“They said rock by rock, we’ll build a tower that will have no top, we’ll get up right beneath the sun”. – Knight, Chorus. “That’s entertainment, live and die inside the public eye, it always was and will forever be a pretty lie” – Piper, 1st Verse.
The first three tracks, the third being “I’m Tired”, are very strong and only make up the first half of the release. Before the turn of the album, “I’m Tired” brings a pick up, a sort of peak with strong, motivating rhythms and words to fight injustice. This song has heavy groove, but above all speaks powerfully about the tediousness of social issues. “I’m tired of hearing motherf***ers blame white people, and I’m tired of white people blaming my people” – Piper says with painstaking honesty and a tone of voice that goes straight to your tender spot. The innovation of this song lies in the lyrics combined with a powerful beat that will get your heart racing will showing you the need for change. Not only is this a truly well composed song, but an important piece of musical activism that deserves recognition for anyone who’s seen and can sympathize with the cultural problems we face here in the U.S.
People from all walks of life know what it means to struggle, in one sense or another, a message thats portrayed perfectly in the song “Paradise”. We are all confronted by the overwhelming presence of the fact that all things come to an end. A song that speaks of living to fullest with a Bluesy tone and beautiful melodies, and will surely show you appreciation for what you have and what you can achieve.
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We never know what tomorrow will bring, but it’s that uncertainty that pushes us forward out of simple necessity to survive; “Tomorrow” is the fifth song on the EP and it shines with this blatant fact of life. Piper speaks of his family (his children specifically), in that he knows his role in raising them and the importance them having knowledge of the harsh realities of the world. This isn’t, however, a warning but rather a message to stay strong and true to who you are. Out of all the songs on this EP, “Tomorrow” tells us what many of us know for ourselves but still remains an important reminder that there are no guarantees, simply what we make of ourselves. This is a perfect follow up to the song “Paradise”, and a high point of the album that is likely to show you light in a dark place.
“Gave them the holy spirit, and they chose to fear it” states Piper in the final song, “Oh God”. A dark gospel that speaks on the contradictions of religion. We are only human, which is made painfully clear as the gifted MC speaks about mistakes made. “Oh God, Please have mercy on me, please have mercy on me…”, the haunting hook reigns in a pleading tone from Steve Knight. This song is a prime example of the fearless nature of this talented trio, with things said that no other artist has been able to capture in the way they have; A colorful show of their unique voice, and a powerful ending track that closes with a flowing guitar solo from the talented Dave Lopez.
It’s artists like Flipsyde that bring joy to my job, not only with the pride of being able to support such a group, but with the new discovery of a band that I’ll continue to follow for as long as they are (or I am) around. I have officially added this group to my list of “must-see” bands, as they stand out as a rare gem that shines with honesty and beauty. Overall, this EP has connected with me in ways that very few do, being one that deserves a full play through every time. I can say with absolute certainty that there was not a single song on this release that I didn’t play all the way through; I simply could not turn it off. I thank Flipsyde for their hard work and dedication that has benefited me as a listener and will continue to bring light to those who need it.