Twin Cities rap duo hope to inspire others to dream big

 

(l-r) TwistBeTheName and Lyrical Calage
(l-r) TwistBeTheName and Lyrical Calage

 

The future looks bright for Twin Cities-based duo Genesis. The duo will release their self-entitled mixtape Genesis early next year. Also, in March the two will head down to Austin, Texas, where they will perform their new single “Everyday” at the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival.

The MSR got an opportunity to chat with the duo, comprised of Lashon Hampton, whose stage name is Lyrical Calage, and Darnell Overton, who goes by the stage name of TwistBeTheName.

Lyrical Calage
Lyrical Calage

The name Genesis references a new beginning and a new chapter for Calage and Twist to take control of their destiny. “This is the beginning of us. We [are] taking over our careers, taking over our lives [and] being what we want to be…you know, being the people we want to be,” said Calage.

The MSR learned that Lyrical Calage is not only a reference to skills with a pen and a pad, but also breaks down into an acronym. “Lyrical is Life Yields Rewards Insight Community and Love,” said Calage. “And Calage — a lot of people are like, ‘you spelled it wrong’ — but it breaks down to Create a Legacy and Give Everywhere.”

The two emcees have known each other for sometime; however, they brought their creative minds together roughly five years ago thanks to a mutual friend who saw potential in how they could build off of each other’s talents.

TwistBeTheName
TwistBeTheName

Twist acknowledges that he was originally against the idea due to previously being in groups. “I was just in groups and I was ready to do my solo [career],” he said.  Calage told the MSR that he had similar feelings, but for different reasons. The two, at the time,were not looking to work with anyone and were seeking to control their own destiny and creativity.

But through a few writing sessions in a Honda, the two realized what their friend had noticed: together their verses complemented and thrived off of each other. “It went from us making like, two or three tracks together, to us making like, 10 [tracks]. Then we realized that we had a sound together… When we wrote together it just clicked,” Twist recalled.

Following the conception of Genesis, the two went to work, developing and perfecting their chemistry and craft and creating their plan of attack. Once they were ready, the group began performing, starting in 2015 at Juneteenth, then Arnellia’s, and down to the Coast 2 Coast Convention for indie artists in Miami.

While the rap duo was thrilled to have the opportunity to perform for industry names like Jimi Kendrix, Layzie Bone, Steve Labelle and Wendy Day at the convention, they were more enthused to meet and learn from them. “Being able to sit down in [the] panels and get that information directly from the source, it was just invaluable,” said Calage.

The two said that they really connected with Kendrix, who has produced hit records for Jay-Z and 2Pac and has expressed an interest in working with the group in the near future. The duo also said they’d like to continue to network and would like to learn from industry veterans like Talib Kweli.

With the release of their new mixtape, the duo said they would like to continue to perform and they hope to motivate others. “We [are] from the hood and [although] we are not, per se, hood artists [or] trap artists, we’re products of our environment, [and] we also know how to overcome the struggle in the hood,” said Twist.

Following the release of the mixtape, the two will look to kick off their “Follow Your Dreams” campaign, where they will visit local high schools to perform and encourage students to pursue their dreams, just as they have. Calage said they will spread the message of “whatever your dream is, don’t let no one tell you [that] you can’t do it.”

If you would like to keep up with Genesis, sign up for their newsletter on their website: www.genesisxusic.net.

Khymyle Mims welcomes reader comments to khymylewrites@gmail.com or Twitter at @kdmims.