It’s always great to find artists close to home, Clear Soul Forces bring a four man emcee lineup that is backed by soulful/motown beats that are representative of their Detroit roots. Listen to their new album Detroit Revolution(s) below and get a better understanding of the band below, straight from their sites bio page.
Many unsigned artists build their discography and their confidence for years, while waiting to get discovered by a person of influence. But a Detroit rap legend discovered Clear Soul Forces—the group of Wimpy, J-Roc, E-Fav, and producer/emcee Ilajade—before they had even discovered themselves.
After limited time familiarizing themselves with each others’ music, the four of them had scraped together money to share a studio session. Upon learning that Motor City rap staple Royce Da 5’9” was recording at the same facility, they excitedly asked him to listen to their rhymes. What commenced was a rhyme session that lasted from 10 P.M. to 6 A.M., in which the four of them spit their hearts out for him.
“Royce was really flipping out, like, ‘Y’all niggas are ridiculous. Y’all need to be a group,’” Ilajade remembers. As half of the Eminem-assisted Bad Meets Evil and one fourth of the indie rap titan Slaughterhouse, Royce knew a thing or two about artist chemistry. “He started pointing out everybody’s individual strengths, and said, ‘Seeing the four of you’s energy on stage together would blow people away.’ Who would’ve thought that he was telling the truth?”
The crew took the O.G.’s advice and began writing and recording together. But while formulating their sound and looking to build an audience, they took their lumps. They trudged through low-quality shows at a venue that employed shady promoters, and they inked a contract with a slick-talking manager who exploited their talent while slowing other opportunities. But they found their first hope of a fan base after a breakthrough show at Detroit venue/store Bob’s Classic Kicks, and they finagled their way out of their situation with the manager.
“People think we’re newcomers in the scene, so they want to put us through this trial period,” Wimpy explains. “But those situations helped us grow up. We realized that we could just do it ourselves.”
In 2010, CSF released their debut mixtape, Clear Soul Radio. Over a mixture of industry beats and original productions, they showcased the same energetic chemistry that had impressed Royce Da 5’9” a year earlier. By balancing boastful and introspective rhymes with both energetic and subdued instrumentals, the group garnered a diverse group of followers. They become a fixture on college and Internet radio stations around the state, and won a “Battle of the Bands” contest against other Detroit acts. The group also drove to Atlanta, where they nabbed two interviews, completed a photo shoot, and met emcee/blogger Senor Kaos for brunch—all within a day. Their encounter with Kaos, along with a chance meeting of (place name here) at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit, secured a Clear Soul Forces performance at the storied A3C festival in Atlanta in 2010.
The group’s latest EP, Departure, is reflective of the takeoff for the next stage of their career. Tracks like “Gon Get Em” forge ahead with high-octane rhymes and backdrops, the Ilajade-laced “The Greatest” matter-of-factly shows their skills, and “Pick Up The Sticks” flawlessly executes a concept of video game-themed verses. But standouts like “Push It To The Max” are boastful, while pointing out that dedication and teamwork is the only way to get there.
“A lot of the bullshit we run across inspires the best songs,” Wimpy explains of the group’s come-up. “I remember the losses more than the wins, but when we win, it’s big.”