Everybody loves Hawaii. Few know better than Blue Scholarsâ€™ MC Geologic, having grown up in Honolulu in the 1980â€™s and returning with the Scholarsâ€™ dj/ producer Sabzi last year to rock a sold-out homecoming show at Next Door. Love lingered in the air despite all the changes happening outside the sweaty, crackin’ club. “Development” has paved over lush lands and displaced longtime locals, the US military continues its stranglehold on the islands, and tourism runs tings (into the ground). By and by, the people maintain, and Blue Scholars bore witness to life beyond the beaches and resorts.
OOF! is the story about the Hawaii that you don’t see on TV: fish-fry BBQs in Waianae, native Hawaiians struggling for sovereignty, house parties on the Leeward side, uncles playing mah-jong on a lanai in Waipahu, a thriving independent hip-hop and fashion scene, on-air ciphers at KTUH, a room full of folks vibin’ to a mean reggae song, young poets spitting fire into mics, grubbing on poke in the Foodland parking lot, whole neighborhoods leveled by the ice epidemic.
Many “mainlanders” go to Hawaii to get away. Blue Scholars went to get it in. They returned again six months later with a New Yearâ€™s Eve show and a handful of new tracks inspired by the first visit, soon to be released in the form of their most collaborative multi-media project yet: OOF! available August 25th. Blue Scholars partnered with painter, vinyl toy & skate deck artist, Angry Woebots (www.armyofsnipers.com) who crafted a painting to go along with the lead song â€œHI-808â€ which will be turned into a limited edition print and t-shirt. The painting was created at the influential Hawaii based surf & skate boutique brand IN4MATION (www.in4mants.com). The cover for OOF! was designed by one of Hawaii’s premier photographers and historian of all things dope, Aaron Yoshino (Honozooloo / 5 to Life – www.honozooloo.com) whose photos have documented Hawaiiâ€™s subculture for several years. The video for Hi-808 was handled by The Island’s premiere video production crew, Kai Media, who shot in and around Oahu (edited by Zia Mohajerjasbi). All these groups have come together to create the OOF! project which will be sold as a complete package online using Topsin Media widgets at Blue Scholars’ and each project partners’ websites, with the EP being available separately at all digital retail outlets.
Anchoring the project is the OOF! EP, featuring five new Blue Scholars tracks and 5 instrumentals. The minimalism of the intro song “Bananas” yields to the familiar complex lyricism and production of “HI-808,” which documents the differences between the Hawaii Geo grew up in and the one he would later return to, laid over an 808-drum-dominated Sabzi masterpiece. â€œHelloâ€ is a playful take on the escapism while â€œNew Peopleâ€ is a truly original effort that almost treads dance music territory. “Cruz” is the duoâ€™s ode to island life over a Jawaiian-reggae influenced beat. In addition to these tracks, all five instrumental versions will also be included, encouraging other artists to make their own songs with these riddims.
Along with its digital release, the OOF! EP will also be pressed into a limited-edition run of physical CDs which will be available exclusively from the Blue Scholarsâ€™ and other project partnersâ€™ websites and at the IN4MATION Ward location in Honolulu, HI.
Everybody loves Hawaii. But does it love you back? It might if you get that OOF! EP.
Download â€œHI-808,â€ a free track from OOF! at: