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Panes by LOOPRAT

Photo Courtesy of LOOPRAT

Photo Courtesy of LOOPRAT

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Again & Again by LOOPRAT, Mary Adcock: Hello, this is Mary Adcock, a reporter at St. Louis University. We are at Off Broadway today in South City, St. Louis. It’s February 15 and the band LOOPRAT is playing tonight. Their music is rooted in the styles of jazz, hip-hop, funk, soul and spoken word. As a collective, LOOPRAT and their featured artists span the St. Louis metropolitan area, making music that bridges divides of genre and culture and taking listeners through the lows and highs of life in St. Louis. Harsh racial realities and cathartic celebrations of blues and hip-hop music are the essential duality. This project is an amalgamation of difference, a trait the group strives to achieve in a country operating on fear and hatred. Some of the struggles in the area being covered in LOOPRAT’s music involve police brutality, vacant housing, potholes from lack of funding and the Workhouse, a debtor’s jail in North St. Louis that keeps high rates of black residents locked up for petty offenses, often because they can’t afford their bail.  

KDSK: The place where people go before trial is getting slapped with a lawsuit of its own. A local justice reform group is suing the City of St. Louis over conditions at the Workhouse. It’s the latest development at the jail that’s faced a lot of public scrutiny over the past few months.

Whose Streets?: Things have never been right for black folks in America. We’re trying to mourn and you came here with 300 cop cars, riot gear and K-9 units.

You gonna shoot me too?

But that ain’t the story that you hear about.

It is our duty to fight for our freedom! It is our duty to win.

We must love and support each other!

Put your hands up!

No justice, no peace!

 

Life’s Work, LOOPRAT

I’ve got enough bars for a 25 to life sentence, you don’t want to get locked in, you better keep a nice distance. Bars enough for a 25 to life sentence, you don’t want to get locked in you better keep a nice distance.

 

Michael Perry: I’m Michael Perry, I’m the drummer of LOOPRAT.

Nate King: I’m Nate King, NatKingFlo. I’m an emcee and producer.

David Bohlen: Davie Napalm. Producer, emcee.

Sam Katz: Sam Katz, I play a little keys, saxophone and write music.

Joey Ferber: I’m Joey Ferber, I play guitar with LOOPRAT.

Will-Be: I’m Will-Be, I’m an emcee and one of the founding members of the band.

(laughter)

Michael Perry: Oh shit. It’s funny ‘cause we just did an interview.

Mary Adcock: I feel like they’re very relatable to the current situation in St. Louis, like potholes and vacant housing.

Davie Napalm: I don’t even know what else to write about but the stuff I see on a regular basis. That’s what fuels my writing. When my pen is to the pad, I don’t even…I don’t be thinking of no made-up shit, you know? Just thinking of the music we make on a regular basis.

Joey Ferber: I feel like the music we make is just a reflection of everybody’s lives coming together for a moment when we all link up as the band.

(Sirens)

 

What’s the Word by LOOPRAT

I’m seeing everything in my vision from a bird’s eye view, someone said I can change the world with the words I choose so make the right decision, focus on the moves that I make, how many people impressions my footsteps make? Time will tell, as we learn our minds will swell. Learn the crime, I ain’t trying to spend no time in jail. For real, these police ain’t playing no games they shooting dogs, don’t mess around…

 

Sam Katz: I do think St. Louis is a jazz town, first of all, I do want to say that. But, yeah go ahead.

Joey Ferber: Yeah, we’re a jazz town, but we’re also a blues town. We’re also a funk town. We’re also a hip-hop town, you know.

(Yeah, yeah)

Joey Ferber: And I think coming out of the Loop, we have all those musical influences right here in the city. You know growing up listening to more poppy, like Nelly and stuff. I mean that was like all of our heroes back in the day. Except for maybe Davie Napalm.

Davie Napalm: Yeah I was about to say…

(Laughter)

Michael Perry: You were listening to Nelly too!

Joey Ferber: You know when we started growing up and we started really, for the instrumentalists, honing our crafts on our instruments, it was always coming up in the jazz scene, we were coming up in jazz band. Throughout middle school and high school, coming up in jazz band. Playing in jazz clubs around the city and various organizations of our group. And then the hip-hop stuff, that all probably came about into LOOPRAT’s vision before, way before LOOPRAT. But like through NatKingFlo. He always had a vision of taking the band from jazz band high school class and putting it behind some bars. We even recorded something way back in the day before LOOPRAT was a thing. But as LOOPRAT started then it was just the culmination of all the influences of stuff that we had grown up in. When Davie came in for example, a lot of the influences changed. Just because we had a whole new creative influence, a whole new background of someone

NatKingFlo: Producing, too

Sam Katz: Producing as well with such musical input so it’s really interesting to have that culmination of everybody’s musical taste and stuff, and how it is centered around all the music.

Michael Perry: LOOPRAT has always been a very organic group in that we never set out to say this is what type of music we’re gonna play, we just all got in a room as individual artists and made shit together. Oftentimes it’s a matter of just everybody trusting each other and trusting everyone to play their own part as an artist.

Joey Ferber: Especially in this city, it just kind of transcends one audience. Like we’ll go to shows and there’ll just be people who are like, 50 plus there, as well as people who are running around like eight or nine years old, you know that came with those parents. All of these different types of people that come up, and I feel like everyone has a different favorite song.

NatKingFlo: Hell yeah. I think that’s the dope things about it.

Joey Ferber: People are like, I love when you do this stuff, I love when you play with Toni (Tonina Saputo). I literally hear people say all the time, “My favorite rapper is somebody different.”

(Laughter)

NatKingFlo: That’s a good thing though. That means that nobody’s lacking.

Davie Napalm: He came on, he was like, “This dude is fucking dope!”

(Laughter)

Davie Napalm: Who is this guy? I’m like, he’s just another cat in the group man.

That’s Nate, that’s Nate.

Sam Katz: They’re like, “He’s going places, he’s going places!” But people will say that about everybody.

Davie Napalm: Yeah! It’s crazy. It’s just, cats always have one that clicks for them, and I think that’s definitely one of the beautiful things about this group, it’s just a really well-rounded group.

NatKingFlo: But I don’t think it’s just the emcees either though.

Davie Napalm: It’s not!…I’m like, “You listen to fucking LOOPRAT?” What?!

(Laughter)

Davie Napalm: What are you like…what songs are you listening to? You know, it always just blows my mind. It’s usually some real old folks, they’re just like, “Oh yeah, we love it.” I’m like, y’all can not be listening to what I saying, some of it would have to bother you a little bit.

Sam Katz: It’s a blessing to work with such talented people, everyone’s so talented.

Mary Adcock: To keep up with LOOPRAT, you can follow them on Band Camp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @looprat_music, YouTube, Soundcloud and Spotify. Their next show is on March 29 at the Ready Room in St. Louis. Another collaborator with the collective, Tonina Saputo will perform at KSLU Radio on April 27.

 

All the Way Live by LOOPRAT

 

Photos of LOOPRAT, all credits to the band

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Panes by LOOPRAT