Local music: Luxury League

  • Photo by Jeffry Konczal
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From the April 26, 2012 edition

As Three 6 Mafia famously informed the movie-going public, it’s hard out there for a pimp. It’s even harder for an independent rap group, but having a lot of allies helps.

That’s one of the reasons C10, Fresh and Selah joined forces as Luxury League, recording an album called “Luxury Season” together and uniting each performer’s label (Omnibreed, Young Trend Setterz and Young World Muzik) under one banner.

“Strength is in the numbers, and right now we’re looking like a classic Wu-Tang lineup,” Selah said.

The partnership sprouted after last year’s Summer Jam 614, when Selah approached Fresh with the beat for a song called “Ohio.” When they got together last fall to record, they were enthused with the results but wanted to get one more rapper to push the track over the top. The obvious choice was C10, their co-worker at Chase and a fellow frequenter of local rap shows. The connection was instant.

“One record ended up turning into 15-20, and then before you know it, we had a full album,” C10 said.

In terms of pomp and circumstance, “Luxury Season” is not exactly “Watch the Throne.” But what the alliance lacks in flash, they make up for in craft. The album is a trunk-rattling trip through styles, navigating stops in party rap, conscious rap and straight-up skill-flexing wordplay but staying in the same vehicle throughout. It’s a solid hour of gruff but thoughtful Midwest rap, meat-and-potatoes in many modes.

“I’m diversifying my rap portfolio,” Fresh said.

The trio’s outpouring of creative energy hasn’t let up; with Saturday’s release party for “Luxury Season” looming, they’ve already started work on a new mixtape. But for the moment, it’s all about marshaling their resources to push “Luxury Season” inside and outside I-270.

“We’re going to ride it until the wheels fall off,” Selah said.