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Archive for June 4, 2010

Building the Lenzmen Lyricist by Lyricist

Building the Lenzmen Lyricist by Lyricist

In the early 90s’ I hosted a college radio show at WBAU Adelphi in Garden City. It was 90.1 and the birth place of Public Enemy and home of the Wild Man Steve show. It was called the M-Train with Drew Spence, Dawn Cee and DJ Makin Noize. One night Blu Warta (N-ntense of Raise the Levels of The Boom fame) brings down a few emcees and these cats were super nice with it. One in particular called himself Docktor Strange which immediately tapped into my triangle. It was one of those meetings where you try to out obscure reference someone, but they are too on-point. We had a lot in common and began building from there.

I eventually approached him about forming a music group but he was already part of at least three different rap cliques including The Invisible Men (N-Tense and Rallo included) and Blind Chemistry with future Lenzmen Centri. One night we’re watching the anime Lensman and he picked that as a name for us. Now it was two of us and a sick name for a crew. We listened to tapes of a rapper Eric (Earthadox) who was really…unorthodox…in how he did everything. His rhyme patterns were impossible to predict and his subject matter was all over the place. Doc Strange also recruited long time friend Beta-One who was a real laid back cat. Centri was tied up in military service so he was kind of a question mark for a while.

M-Train Radio show featuring Lenzmen Beta One Beta One on M-Train

M-Train radio show featuring Docktor Strange and Centri Centri on M-Train

Enter the Freestyle

We used to rhyme at my house every Friday night. At first we used to kick written raps and then whatever we wrote that week. Eventually we just ran out of material, but since I made beats every day, I always had more new music than we had rhymes for. And so we started free-styling or creating improvised raps about whatever was going on. Since we used to joke on each other so much, it always turned into light battle rhymes. Little did we know we were building ourselves into Cypher Warriors.

Enta Da Cryptic One

I met Atoms Fam producer and artist Cryptic One along with Jest One Art also at the M-Train radio show. They rhymed crazy too so we all began hanging out and rhyming together. Most of that took place at Cryptic’s house where we recorded just about everything. I used to build scenarios or stories for us to freestyle around. It was a whole lot of fun and of course lots of battles broke out. I’m sure you can imagine. That’s also when we made our first record “Viking Wars” on Moodswing 9 and we had other songs on the Cryptic compilation The Persecution of Hip Hop. Since then it’s been two Lenzmen albums, a few solo projects and great memories of a time when music meant everything. And everything revolved around music.

Lenz Linguistics

Each Lenzmen started showing tendencies over time. Doc Strange had the most even and pure flow. Earthadox was abstract with long chains of concepts strung together. Centri was the king of left-field references. I mostly was the cat that taps tricky wordplay and bends everything towards sci-fi. We began to see ourselves in everything and decided to choose elements, insects, shapes, natural elements, planets and even comic and movie characters that matched our personalities.

Lenzmen Album I: Bend and Blur Your Optics “Make Sure Your Vision Blur” (Docktor Strange, Dynamics Plus, Centri)

http://www.TheDynamicUniverse.com/blog/BlogYourVisionBlur.mp3 Make Sure Your Vision Blur

The sights came from my tendency to always dream about the future (foresight), Doc Strange was concerned with today and right now (insight) and Earthadox was always saying remember when (hindsight). Centri was always coming with some off-the-wall observation so we called him Outer-Sight and it stuck.

In the end, the story of the Lenzmen should be about a group of friends with an interest in rap music who chose to create it on their own terms and march to the beat of their own drum machine. I feel lucky to have been included in such an eclectic crew of emcees. Long live the Lenzmen! – Dynamics Plus

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