Ohio hip-hop duo Partners in Irony got their start in 2012 after enrolling as Honors students at Kent State University. A chance encounter with then-college radio show host Michael "Big Stove" Stover gave way to a partnership that eventually led to the release of their first mixtape, "40 Hours," in the summer of 2013. Their demonstration of skill, versatility and lyrical dexterity was refreshing, setting them apart from their local contemporaries. Since 2012, Partners in Irony has performed over 40 shows in the Central and Northern Ohio regions; an opening set for the Ying Yang Twins as well as a closing performance for a pre-show during Kent State's Kendrick Lamar-headlined Flash Fest event being notable appearances.
Everything about Partners in Irony, from their writing and delivery styles to the name of the duo itself is reflective of their relationship as friends. Zach Nickels' (aka Oliver, pictured left) energetic, competitive nature is complemented by the calm, collected aura that Justin Martin (aka JCM, pictured right) carries with him. This unique pairing makes for an even more unique musical output. Citing influences from the likes of Kanye West, Eminem, Lupe Fiasco and, of course, the legendary duo Outkast, Partners in Irony aims to create music that is not only lyrically proficient from the view of hip-hop purists, but music that also accurately captures the myriad, nuanced feelings that come with being human. This results in a diverse catalog comprised of "straight bars" as well as beautiful soundscapes that can be felt as well as they are heard.
With their latest single "Control," Partners in Irony has shown their ability to fuse together popular sounds with artistry; the single has already been picked up on multiple FM Stations, including WNJR in Pennsylvania, The Source 95 in Indiana and WHEI 88.9 FM in Tiffin, OH. They were also featured on The Early Registration for having a top submission the week "Control" dropped. In both intent and execution, "Control" is a single that captures the experience of living and signals the rise of hip-hop's latest group.