ARTS

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March 31, 2006

Flipsyde distinguish themselves from uninspired masses with mix of rap, rock

Let’s play the game “How many times can 50 Cent swear in one song?” Or maybe we can see which new R-and-B crooner is on the radio moaning to yet another overproduced mess of a song. And let’s not forget the incessant grating of Fall Out Boy. Why not transfer some of the time wasted on the aforementioned artists to sample the up-and-coming quartet Flipsyde?

Not only does the group put their own spin on the spelling of “flipside,” but they also redefine it by fusing hip hop, rock, and Latin music and creating a trademark sound all their own. Each member of Flipsyde is like a special ingredient in a stew that’s still brewing. Frontman/MC Piper uses his sharp tongue to drop some cutthroat rhymes, while Steve Knight calms the scene with his soothing yet uncompromising vocal performance. Dave Lopez handles both the acoustic and electronic guitars with ease reminiscent of legendary Carlos Santana, and D-Sharp mixes and blends all their sounds together and adds his own urban flair.

All of this incredible talent didn’t appear out of thin air. It took years of hard work and dedication. It all started one sunny morning in May…actually, the story was told better by Piper via a recent phone interview. “I met Steve maybe five or six years ago,” he said. “The first time we kicked it, we made some music—the type of music neither one of us had ever made before…shortly after that we met Danny Lopez and jammed for four or five months.”

One of those jams they worked on was their current single “Someday.” Not only is the song topping charts overseas, but it was also the theme song to the Winter Olympics. Piper explains that the song “was written from desperation and darkness. We didn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.” Yet with its encouraging lyrics “Someday we’re gonna rise up,” it’s plain to see why it has been chosen as a source for Olympian inspiration. Another addition to Flipsyde’s list of successes is the completion of their many tours with artists ranging from Snoop Dogg to the Black Eyed Peas, venturing through countries including Japan, Portugal, Germany, and India. They will stop in Chicago to open for the Black Eyed Peas at the Aragon Ballroom on May 6.

Somewhere along the way, Flipsyde found time to complete their debut album, For the People. From the first to the last track, Flipsyde showcase their signature sound. On songs such as “Spun,” “Angel,” and “U.S. History,” Lopez shines with his crafty use of acoustic and electric guitars, manipulating the songs enough to allow his Latin style to shine. Piper’s lyrical raps are scattered throughout the CD, providing a switch of gears in each track, while Knight’s beckoning vocals urge listeners to heed Flipsyde’s every word. Though “Someday” seems to be a fan favorite, another track outrivals the rest, “Happy Birthday.” It may not be anywhere near the quality of the Stevie Wonder rendition, but the combination of Flipsyde’s trademark groove and t.A.T.u.’s song “Gomenansai” create one astonishing album-closer.

“Someday I’m gonna rise up with those lions,” sings Knight in their hit “Someday.” It seems the day has come for Flipsyde to show the world what they have to offer. The only question remaining is whether the world is ready for a group Piper describes as “the first thing that can truly be labeled as original in a while.”