The Bad Tenants

Album: The Bad Tenants (2011)

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Song: Deep Roots

Bitrate: 128kbps

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You probably wouldn't expect hip-hop's most compelling new sounds to rise from a resume filled with blues music and college degrees. But Bellingham, Washington's The Bad Tenants, consisting of Casey Grant Gainor (C-Spot), Matthew Goodwin (Good Matters), Kristopher Dyche (Dutchman) and Gabriel Ghirardini (DJ Idlhnds), don't expect you to be ready for them either.

The foundation of the Tenants was laid in 2009 when Gainor and Goodwin decided to turn a long-standing friendly rivalry into collaboration. The two have been good friends since high school, but never skipped a chance to pick on the other through freestyles. The decision to form the group was simple and quick through a phone call when the duo was discussing a project that Goodwin and Dyche were currently working on named The Dishpit Donz. Gainor expressed an interest in starting something new and Goodwin merely replied, "Yup."

After a short time working together on the new project, the pair ran into DJ Idlhnds, formerly of the Educataz, who mentioned his own desire for working on something new and the recruitment was immediate. Dyche re-entered the picture a few months later while working on the group's song "A Wholelotta," which he was originally invited to be featured on. However, upon hearing the result of the collaboration of sound and styles that emerged from the track, Goodwin and Gainor knew they'd found the final piece, Dyche agreed and The Bad Tenants were officially whole.
The group draws from a wide variety of lyrical and instrumental backgrounds. C-Spot's musical beginnings were with the jazz trombone at the age of 11 and both he and Idlhnds, who has been one of Bellingham's premier DJ names over the past decade, have been highly active in the spoken word and slam poetry scene in the Pacific Northwest. Good Matters has been a blues guitarist and singer/songwriter for as long as he can remember and Dutch has been active as a studio artist since his early high school days.

The Bad Tenants are more than the typical rap cliché that saturates today's market. They are musicians as much as they are lyricists and their cooperative sound and experience has created a mutual, but critical respect that pushes the group into a mature, full and unique blend of grooves with no two sounding alike.

In front of a crowd the group is a charismatic tornado, whether it's singing, rapping, dancing, DJing, or just joking around, their sharp wit and welcoming demeanor shines through to grab hold of the audience's attention. Between them, the four men have been blessed enough to share stages with such names as GZA, Slug (of Atmosphere), Buddy Wakefield, IG88, Typical Cats and My Dad Bruce.

With influences coming from nearly every crevice of the musical spectrum, The Bad Tenants' aim is to relate to their listeners while giving them music they can move to and feel good about. With their first mixtape already available online and next EP currently in the works, look for big things from these four as they put their own personal stamp on music's property values.