Hip-hop group Live Radio, which features producers Mehrzad Sotoodeh and Borna Rangchi both of whom will be graduating from UC Irvine this spring, see their music as more than just beats and rhymes. They see it as something bigger.
‘When I write rhymes I like to spit a certain cadence, a certain style, but also drop some knowledge. I consider this whole group like modern day philosophers,’ said Live Radio emcee Laidlaw.
Producer Sotoodeh expands on his role in the making of Live Radio’s music, one that wouldn’t be assumed
‘We take samples from here and there and put them together, it’s like being a junkyard artist,’ Sotoodeh said.
Whatever you would like to call what these guys do, they are passionate about hip-hop music and serious about contributing to the genre. Sotoodeh and Rangchi, who have been key players in UCI’s Club Hip Hop Congress, took time away from the free concert thrown by the same club on June 3 to talk about how they came together, their approach to writing and the state of hip-hop in American popular music.
‘It all started when I went to Best Buy one day, and I was looking for music and computer programs and whatnot, and I saw this thing called ‘Acid DJ’. But, I was like I don’t want to buy this. So I just put it in my pocket and walked out. I gave it to [Sotoodeh] and then it was just like everyday. We basically just taught ourselves,’ Rangchi said.
Sotoodeh adds, ‘We just started fucking around, then we just got more serious about it because people heard our stuff and they really liked it, and then we got really serious when we met [Juggernaut, Laidlaw, and Dynamics],’ Sotoodeh said.
This was the origin of Sotoodeh and Rangchi’s roles as producers; DJs who came together to create the backbone of what would become Live Radio.
Meanwhile emcees Laidlaw and Juggernaut, as well as DJ Dynamics started writing together after meeting in a party in their hometown of Echo Park.
‘I started emceeing when I was younger,’ Jugga said. ‘Just influenced by hip-hop, you know. I would just go home and try to write a rhyme, because my other homies could spit rhymes, too, that were older than me, so that’s how I started.
Laidlaw said, ‘The first rhyme I ever wrote I was 11 years old. The reason why I wrote it