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The Basiqs: Hip-hop's 'Lennon and McCartney'




Who are they? The duo of Mr. Sin and Gage formed their forward-thinking hip-hop-pop amalgamation, the Basiqs, in 2005, and have since recorded sing-along radio-ready tracks like Domino, Trouble and She Won’t. Their cross-country partnership stretches from Tampa to L.A., where Gage has worked with artists like Fergie.

The goods: Click here to check out the Basiqs' track Jet Pack, then check out their video below. Then click here to vote for them as Tampa Bay's 2009 Ultimate Local Band. And after the jump, get the full story on how Gage and Mr. Sin combine their signature styles into one unique vision...


The difficult task of choosing this year’s top 10 Ultimate Bands of Tampa Bay involved several criteria, including breaking new ground artistically, defying expectations and displaying a knack for cross-genre popularity.

Tampa’s Basiqs gives us all three — and then some.

The duo of Mr. Sin and Gage formed their forward-thinking hip-hop-pop amalgamation in 2005. In 2007, they released Your Life Is Calling on their own label, Legacy Music Group; the CD includes sing-along radio-ready songs like Domino, Trouble and She Won’t.

Nationally renowned visual-performance artist Phil Hansen, the creative mind behind the promotional poster for this year’s Grammy awards, chose the tunes for his time-lapsed “Goodbye Art” videos, which are big hits on YouTube.

Plans are also in the works for Hansen to produce a music video, and the upcoming single Jet Pack will be the official song for jet pack flight daredevil Eric Scott.

Such coups shoot out like machine gun fire from the enthusiastic Gage. He spent the better part of the past two years in Los Angeles, collaborating long distance with Mr. Sin, who remained in Tampa. During that time, he made industry connections and composed music for pop stars like Fergie.

He spent the second half of that time arranging, mixing and rearranging the new CD, This Lie (The Jet Pack Chronicles), which comes out next month on All Over Records, with national distribution. Local producer Matt Edwards and Felonious Monk assisted in the production.

“It’s a concept record about the trappings of fame and success,” Gage says. “Being in L.A., I was getting more involved in the indie rock scene and, as a result, we’re pushing the envelope even more.”

When asked how he and Mr. Sin work as a team, Gage compares the dynamic to Lennon-McCartney, giving his partner credit for being more like Sir Paul because he’s the showman and extrovert in the act. Gage skirts comparisons to John Lennon, but his cerebral machinations hint at him being the more conceptual and iconoclastic of the two.

Neither one nor the other dominates when it comes to their recordings or performances. Both contribute lyrics, instrumentation and production. During their live shows they hand off to one another, taking turns at the mike and dancing with smooth style. Mr. Sin does more of the singing; Gage, the rapping. Both connect with the audience and get the crowd moving.

Mr. Sin‚Äôs silky singing style contrasts Gage‚Äôs bold rhymes, making for a textured sound that appeals to rap enthusiasts and those not so hot on hip-hop. It‚Äôs a combo that makes for a timeless appeal. 

“Through it all,” Gage says, “the underlying element is that we put out real songs, with meaning, changes and intricacies.”

--Story by Julie Garisto, photo by Lance Aram Rothstein

[Last modified: Thursday, March 19, 2009 1:00am]


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