Locals Only: New England artists showcased at Troop every Thursday

I recently caught up with local hip-hop legend Lord Gremithy of Dirty Durdie over brunch at Troop in Providence to talk about the “Locals Only” showcase that takes place at the restaurant every Thursday night. For the showcase, Gremithy put together playlists filled with hundreds of tracks from New England artists, and through these playlists, he connect artists with fans who may have never known how much talent exists in our own area.

Hakeem Kushimo (Motif): Could you tell me a little bit about Locals Only, what it’s about, and how it started?

Lord Gremithy: Locals Only is a homage to the local hip-hop and r&b scene. It really started during the pandemic, around July of 2020. I asked one of the co-owners of Troop, Christopher Simonelli, if he would be willing to let me do this idea where we basically put this playlist together on Spotify. So he helped me get it started and me and him selected a few people to feature on the playlist, and we just advertised it as a place where people can come, and while eating lunch they could also listen to, and discover local music. From there it became a segment on Real Rap Radio on 90.3FM with DJ Nook.

HK: What is your direct involvement with Locals Only?

LG: I make the playlist, which you can find on Spotify under “Locals Only Movement,” and that playlist is played during the night. I also gather special guest DJs, such as DJ Nook who play 100% New England hip-hop. We are working on potentially having live performances with an open mic where Local artists can come out and do their thing.

HK: Is this something that you want to build off of for bigger things to come?

LG: Absolutely, I think this is definitely something to build off of. Anywhere and everywhere in the country when referring to hip-hop, you think of the local scenes. For years the word local has had a bad taste to it. Now this is starting to turn around to where people are now encouraged and excited to support something local. The end goal is to be able to have a Locals Only in L.A, a Locals Only in Atlanta, a Locals Only in Chicago. The point is to take the brand, and be able to inspire people everywhere.

HK: What’s been in the works for Dirty Durdie as a group?

LG: Oh man, we have been collaborating with a lot of artists, my partner Demmene, and Unk11 and Supa just dropped a new song and video called “Melted Butter.” But right now we have just been collaborating with a few selected artists and we are expected to drop an EP by the end of this year, and again myself and my partner Demmene Syronn will be working on our
solo project and our solo ventures. Dirty Durdie isn’t going anywhere and we are always working together and are always connected.

HK: How about for yourself? Do you have any personal goals? Is there anything you are trying to do as Gremithy yourself?

LG: Absolutely, first and foremost being the best dad I can possibly be, finding a place where with or without the music I can live comfortably and somewhat develop generational wealth for my lineage. That’s kind of what the whole persona of Lord Gremithy is. It gives a feel of royalty, and I want people to know that we are kings and queens, I want us to live in that realm. But again, more music and tours, performances out of state, and overseas, more everything honestly.

HK: As a veteran artist in the city, what is the one thing you think the city needs to do to make it to the next level in terms of music?

LG: First of all thank you for considering me a veteran, I don’t really feel like I am yet because there is still so much I want to accomplish, but in some ways I kind of do feel like a veteran based on how long I’ve been doing this. But nonetheless I think for the scene the one thing we have always lacked was unity. There is a lot of isolation in the New England area
alone. Why aren’t more artists from Masscahusetts collaborating with Rhode Island artists? Why is everyone in their own separate pockets? If locally people could really and truly start supporting each other aside from the invisible pat on the back, things would really start to turn around.

Locals Only Movement takes place Mondays 3-6pm on 90.3fm WRIU (Kingstown, RI); Locals Only @ Troop takes place Thursday’s 5pm-1am;
Follow @LocalsOnlyMovement and @lord_gremithy. To submit instrumentals or music, please send clean, radio edited mp3 to
. For more info, go to www.lordgremithy.com.

Cry, Pt. 1: Sargeant Q takes on America’s biggest problem

America’s history with racism stems to its “discovery” in 1492 when a system was put in place to ensure a certain type of people remain in the driver’s seat. As years progressed, we’ve watched with the false hope that racial tensions would become a thing of the past, but today we continue to see news stories of unarmed Black men and women taken down by their neighbors, and even worse – police. Having had enough, Sargeant Q put his frustrations to song with his latest single “Cry, Pt. 1.” 

“I just wanna cry. I don’t wanna have to die.” 

That line alone speaks volumes about what Sargeant Q and many like him face on a day-to-day basis in America because of nothing more than the color of their skin. That line acts as a reminder throughout the song of the struggle certain people in this country face daily as news clips from recent tragedies are weaved in, further reminding us that no matter how far some may claim we’ve come – it surely isn’t far enough. 

To hear Sargeant Q’s latest single, “Cry, Pt. 1,”
visit open.spotify.com/track/5tmR8fmJm9sYBfxx9hIDyP?si=J7ABfdfNR4C8fUdxpcqaNw

For more information, Facebook: facebook.com/iamsgtq; Twitter: twitter.com/iamsgtq;
instagram.com/iamsgtq; Spotify: open.spotify.com/track/5tmR8fmJm9sYBfxx9hIDyP?si=LjMwelYVTeqP3lNZ71kmoA

Bigger Than a Group: Truth the Equalizer talks about music and society

Truth the Equalizer solidified his presence in the PVD music scene when he released the highly anticipated visual for his first major single “You Ain’t Heard Me.” Truth has since made several hit songs with his team, Aqua Society, such as “Little High” with Keeminthecut and JELEEL!, as well as “One of a Kind” with Keeminthecut, which the duo performed at PVDFest in 2019. Truth also has experience working in the film industry; he worked on the sets of “Nos4a2” and Free Guy starring Ryan Reynolds. I recently spoke to the talented Providence native about his upcoming plans.

Hakeem Kushimo (Motif): Where did you get the name of your group Aqua Society?

Truth the Equalizer: When we created our group, we wanted it to be affiliated with Rhode Island. We initially started out as Ocean Gang, but we felt like the name was too cliche, so instead we went with Aqua Society because we want people to know that when you rock with us, you’re part of something bigger than just a music a group.

HK: What inspired you to create music?

TE: I started officially rapping my senior year in high school. One of the reasons why I decided to start rapping was because of my passion for poetry. I have been into poetry since I was in middle school. I always enjoyed learning about different poets. I wouldn’t say that my style and flows come from poets, but I would say that I enjoy reading works from Gwendolyn Brooks and Emily Dickinson, and more modern poets like Josha Bennett and Prince EA.

HK: How would you describe your music style?

TE: I feel like I’m known as a lyrical rapper. My metaphors, punchlines and references are what I’m mainly known for, but I’ve been making hit-based records that would either get people hyped up or ready to dance.

HK: What artists are you inspired by?

TE: My inspirations are Andre 3000, Lil Wayne, Wale and J Cole.

HK: What’s your favorite song that you’ve released?

TE: It changes for me every day. When I’m in a good mood, I’ll play my single “23.” When I’m in a mood to vibe and party, I’ll listen to “One of a Kind” by myself and Keeminthecut, and when I’m ready to lock it in and focus, I’ll listen to a song like “A Little High” with Keeminthecut, myself and JELEEL!

HK: Who are some other local artists you work with?

TE: I mainly work with my team, which, as of right now, consists of me and Keeminthecut. I also work with DARO from Studio 302. Those two guys have helped me since I started taking music seriously. I’m also behind the scenes collaborating with artists all across the city. I have a lot of collaborations I plan on releasing when the pandemic is over.

HK: Are you working on anything else not music related?

TE: I have so many projects that I am engaged in outside of music. One of my main priorities right now is my gaming collective known as Aqua Society Gaming. We just launched our official page on Facebook, and we’re working on launching the website soon. When the pandemic ends, we will also be collaborating with a lot of local companies spreading awareness and hosting local tournaments. Aqua Society Gaming has been around for a few years, but with the whole stay-at-home initiative, we’ve been able to make a bunch happen. I also have plenty of film scripts that I’ve been working on.

HK: What is your goal as an artist?

TE: Music is a huge passion for me, but my end goal is way bigger than that. I want to be one of the lead representatives for creatives and the future. There are plenty of ways to make money as an artist, and I want other rappers, singers, producers and songwriters to realize their potential. I want to be an entertainment mogul, and I want Providence to play a major role in the creation of that.

SILICA Releases New Video

RI-based SILICA has finally released their long-awaited visual to the hit song “Wind-Up Doll” and it lived up to fans’ expectations. SILICA is known for their unique and creative approach to pop rock music, which has always helped them stand out as a band. The lead singer, Lauren Cloutier, has a deep role in band’s creative process as the main writer and director for SILICA’S pieces.

“Wind-Up Doll” is very easy to listen to, and has a soft vibe that makes it the perfect tune to listen to during long rides or nights where time feels like it has stopped. The lyrics will certainly touch home for many listeners; it describes being vulnerable to others’ mental abuse, which many of us can relate to. The visual is well put together and certainly helps show the true talent Cloutier has as an artist and how well SILICA works together as a unit.

For information: thisissilica.com. Check out the video for “Wind-Up Doll” here: youtube.com/watch?v=dLbSkRGJ5fo&feature=youtu.be