Creed pulls ‘Vanishing Act’
As the current wave of Hawaii-based hip-hop artists continues to swell, one of the scene's more well-known faces is keeping track of what's going on from thousands of miles away.
Creed Chameleon has represented the Hawaiian Islands to the fullest for the better part of a decade, with three full-length releases ("Love Potion Cyanide," "Siq of Lazy" and "The Ultimatum") to his credit and one of the state's more formidable labels (Flip the Bird Entertainment) in his corner. But like so many others in search of better opportunities, he decided to make the move across the Pacific Ocean, ending up in Phoenix, Ariz.
"I am … trying to delve into my new career, family, and hopefully more music endeavors," he explained. "Living in Hawaii was great, but I needed a new change of pace and get myself to seek new plateaus. And I think moving to the mainland will help me spread my music further and gain more fans than just in the islands."
Despite the move, Creed still considers himself a Hawaii hip-hop artist, mainly due to the subject matter of his rhymes — you can take the man from the island, but you can't take the island from the man — and his self-professed desire to keep it local.
"Does the mainland take away the island mentality? Most instances, it doesn't. (And the sense of) aloha is much more stronger," he said. "I believe the homies Fortilive are perfect examples of MCs from the islands who have paid their dues and are now doing big things on the mainland."
And after being on his grind in Honolulu the last few years, he's more than willing to let the next generation of local hip-hop artists get their shot.
"The scene in Hawaii has definitely grown, but I believe it's the youth who make it all much bigger," said Creed. "From artists like Prie and the Broke Mokes to the Ill Hill Society and Pro — as long as these cats pave the way and enlighten the upcoming youth, I believe the scene will continue to blow up.
"At the same time, the scene has got to unite and support each other so that the whole thing can flourish. It's gotten better in some ways, but the scene as a whole still needs work."
With "The Vanishing Act," Creed said his goal was to reflect on his move to the mainland and the associated lifestyle changes to his personal life that came along with it. It was also an opportunity for him to work with some of his friends and peers from the hip-hop industry both in Hawaii and elsewhere — along with production by local names like Osna and Bad News, the mixtape features a track produced by DJ Babu of Dilated Peoples plus guest verses by mainland-based MCs Copywrite, Dirtbag Dan and Mic Phenom.
"For the fans who have listened to my music before, this mixtape will still be the same type Creed Chameleon material that I usually do," he said. "It will just have more emotional content that I haven't really expressed in my past projects."
"The Vanishing Act" will be available Tuesday, Aug. 16, via www.2dopeboyz.com; Creed will also have CD copies of his mixtape available a week earlier in Los Angeles, where he will perform during "L.A. Got Aloha" at Hollywood bar the Dragonfly on Aug. 9. He also plans to release at least one music video from the mixtape before settling into the recording studio to work on his next full-length album. Creed said his hope was to get the new album finished early next year in time for him to present it at the annual South by Southwest Music Festival.
Get a taste of what's to come — three tracks off the upcoming mixtape. Enjoy!
Jason Genegabus is Entertainment Editor/Online at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and has covered the local nightlife, music, bar and entertainment scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
'The Vanishing Act'
Creed Chameleon (Flip the Bird)
WARNING: Explicit lyrics