Pictured (left to right): Bottom-Randy Ravage, Q Mic Antics Top-KNZ the Mercenary, 80 Proof, Goose Rage, Emperor Timeline
Not Pictured: J-Danzo, Brahdrick, D-Wei, Nathan Original, V-Renee, Atiya, Fuego, Yang
Last Saturday I had the pleasure of getting up with a Columbia collective called 803 the Clique. Let me start this off with couple of tidbits:
1. This group is in my hometown (Columbia, SC) and I didn’t know it. Shame on me.
2. I heard them at a show in Charleston, SC I’ve been ready to write about them ever since.
I asked The Clique to meet me at my favorite coffee shop so I could ask them a couple of questions about their group and their music. They gave me the backstory on the formation of The Clique. They’ve all been seriously pursuing music since 2012. Mutual ties from high school and working together brought them closer. They formed in June 2014 to become, “a collective of individuals to create a super group.”
After we got a little sidetracked with Pokemon vs. Digimon conversation I dug deeper into their goals and inspirations. In 6 months they want to do lots of shows. In a year they want the people in the city and beyond to know their names. Their inspirations ranged from Queen Latifah to Fredo Santana to Nas to the Isley Brothers. It’s safe to say these boys know their music. I asked each of them to give me their favorite songs for the playlist:
Holdin’ On x Q Mic-This is the song that really caught my attention at the show in Charleston. The familiar sample drew me in and (even though I was a little tipsy) I made sure to listen to the lyrics as best as I could. I had to make sure I connected with him afterwards after damn near pulling him off stage. After giving it a bunch of plays I am enthralled with Q’s flow and lyrical content. One of Q’s influences is Queen Latifah and this track gives me a powerful, old school vibe from the beat to the way the song inspires me. His latest release can be found on Soundcloud.
The Scale and The Fish x Emperor Timeline-Emperor was very quiet when I talked to him Sunday but he’s the complete opposite in this song. My favorite thing about this song is that it feels like home. Different areas of Columbia, good and bad, are sprinkled among the beat and lyrics. Unintentionally this song makes proud to be Columbia native. It also allows me to see a glimpse of the world through his eyes and through the eyes of The Clique. Latest release here.
This Ain’t 2015 x Randy Ravage-Randy was the most energetic one in the bunch; a personality as big as his name. He was the first one to answer all my questions. He told me his biggest inspirations were his twin sons which touched my heart so much. Now on to the song. The chorus bangs. It’s clever and catchy. The beat tells a story as it molds the verses into a complete unit. I could imagine this as a summer anthem bumping in cars throughout the city. His most recent EP was released at the end of June.
Suicide x Goose Rage-Goose was so composed when I met him. He seemed so nice and warm. Looking through the titles of his songs I was thrown off because they are so raw. I chose this song because of how effortless he sounds as he executes his verses. Spitting verses is so natural to him and his confidence shines. His quick stop-and-go flow is easy to listen to and vibe with. Listen to a recent single on Soundcloud.
Rewards x KNZ the Mercenary-KNZ, an acronym for Knuckles, comes hard immediately questioning the motives of others in the rap. I love any song that challenges the status quo. The feel of this song is powerful. His rhymes fall in line the the repetitive tempo of the beat. The chorus is a chant. Everything about it feels like a battle song. His Nas and DMZ influences are evident while he retains his own interesting style.
I know this got a little lengthy but I had such a great time interviewing them. They were so fun to be around. Just by looking at them I can tell they have great chemistry and make it a point to uplift each other and make sure that each member is grinding. I hope to meet the rest of The Clique very soon. I love to see artists coming together to make great music. The amount of skill, talent, and potential in this group is immeasurable. Keep your eye on 803 the Clique because they’re going places and remember where you heard it first.
**Updated July 4, 2017