The last year has been a very interesting one for the Blue Scholars. Armed with a growing and burgeoning following, the group walked away from numerous record label offers, which they deemed as “archaic” and “one-sided,” to form a very unique partnership with their own hometown investor, Seattle’s Caffe Vita Coffee Co., to release several upcoming projects through a groundbreaking deal with perennial Indy powerhouse Duck Down Records.
Instead of signing a standard artist/record label deal, Blue Scholars hired the label Duck Down to run point on marketing for all of their upcoming releases. As a major player in the current and ever-changing record label industry, Duck Down Records saw this deal as an opportunity to get creative and experiment with strategies for record labels to continue evolving as viable businesses. The sales and distribution model developed by the group for their upcoming releases will allow them to maintain complete ownership of their music and total control over how it is marketed, sold, and even given away.
Today, things will have come full circle for Blue Scholars, as the group will re-release Bayani (with a new title Bayani Redux and exclusive tracks); the project that really set forth their movement. There was no mistaking that Bayani marked a creative and emotional leap forward for Blue Scholars. The four years that had transpired since recording and releasing their debut album had been marked by four years of war and turmoil. People everywhere were looking for answers, growing tired of the banality and repetitiveness of the music and culture that currently dominates the airwaves. Similar to the wave of protest music that emerged during the Vietnam War, Bayani was and is a statement record stamped with the anger, depression and the slowly emerging hope of these uncertain times.
Initially released by Rawkus Records on 6-12-2007, Bayani has sold over 20K units, with very minimal promotion and circulated via word of mouth and due to the Scholars’ roaring live shows. Less sloganeering and more storytelling, Bayani showcased a more focused Geologic and a polished Sabzi coming into their own as a premier DJ-emcee duo. The album’s title is also a nod to Geologic and Sabzi’s communities, as the word Bayani can be found in both the Tagalog (Filipino) and Farsi (Persian) languages. In Tagalog (Filipino), the word translates to “heroes (of the people)” and in Farsi, “the divine word.” Geologic even offers up a little known fact about Bayani “our last full-length album Bayani (2007 Massline/Rawkus release) is actually, officially, out of print. The 25K copies out there are now collectors items. However, we were fortunate enough to liberate the masters for the album AND get Duck Down to re-release it for folks who may have missed it the first time.”
The partnership with Duck Down has already proven to be a successful one, as their recent conceptually driven OOF! EP (available at all digital outlets since August 25th) immediately skyrocketed up the iTunes charts to become the #2 top selling Urban release.
With their innovative music, concepts and ideas, Blue Scholars are becoming one of the bigger Indy Hip-hop stories of the year.
Tracklisting and credits for Blue Scholars Bayani Redux:
“Baha’i Healing Prayer”
2.) “Second Chapter”
3.) “Opening Salvo”
4.) “North By Northwest”
5.) “Ordinary Guys”
6.) “Still Got Love”
9.) “Fire For The People”
11.) “The Distance”
12.) “Back Home”
13.) “50 Thousand Deep”
14.) “Morning Of America”
15.) “Joe Metro”
18.) Dawn Song f/Shad **