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Fresh Midwest Duo Dismisses Genre Boundaries
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN: They’re a party in your headphones, and everyone’s invited.▼ Article continues below ▼
GENRE: Alternative Hip-Hop
HOMETOWN: Milwaukee, WI
“In a land where everything is either hip-hop, rap, or rock, we knock down those walls.”
Something upbeat, something crazy, something you’ve never experienced before: The Cranberry Show. Fresh out of the Wisconsin music scene, hip-hop stars Young Focus and Arcane are here to do what they do best: be themselves. “At a time when hip-hop is almost easy listening, you know everybody’s kind of doing the same thing; I just want us to break out of that shell,” says Young Focus.
“The first thing that we did was perform shows in our own city. We pretty much put together our own college tour,” explains Focus. Starting out from the bottom and working their way up in the music scene, The Cranberry Show is an inspiration for independent artists everywhere. “Even though we couldn’t perform at a lot of [colleges], we still went and handed out so many flyers. We found different people who were influential in our city and we went and sold ourselves to them to get us even more shows.”
When asked to describe themselves in one word, overwhelming silence was the response. “In a land where everything is either hip-hop, rap, rock, and so forth, we actually knock down those walls,” says Focus. Their stylistically diverse new tracks may be the result of their broad spectrum of influences, ranging from gangster rap to Motown. “Motown was the staple of the black culture and it’s good to look back on that because at one point, these people were kings. That’s how we want people to look back on us: ‘At one point, these guys were doing it all,’” says Focus.
“We’re not saying we’re better than anybody but we just want to do ‘us’ to the fullest extent. Our music reflects who we are as people and you can tell that by listening to it,” says Arcane. “A lot of the time, you don’t know that you’ve come upon something new and cutting edge until it passes,” says Focus. The Cranberry Show is on the verge of big things and is not to be pushed aside as another alternative hip-hop group.
photos by Haz Solo