Ground Up / Press

“If you caught Philadelphia Weekly‘s Concerts in the Park show with Ground Up backed by The Lawsuits last August, you know the unexpected pairing of a hip-hop duo and roots-informed rockers worked in a big way. Today, we have further evidence for those who could not attend the show...' 'The band recorded a HotBox Session at Sigma Sound Entertainment, playing the riffy and rollicking “Late Night Special,” which you can watch in the YouTube video below. Crank your headphones, check the video out and keep your fingers crossed that this pairing plays for the public again soon.”

“As one of the few local, independent acts from Philly to sell out the TLA, hip-hop collective Ground Up has quite a reputation to uphold. With eleven mixtapes under their belt, the crew is setting a high standard for DIY music production.”

“Ground Up's work ethic is relentless. In less than four years, they've released 10 free mixtapes -- most recently, the DJ Damage-hosted "The Get Up"-- and the eleventh, "Supernatural," drops in September. They've also self-produced dozens of videos, organized national and international tour dates and launched Ground Up Sounds LLC. They pride themselves on doing it all without support from a record label. "We figured it out as we went along," says Azar. "There's no manual for this, so we wrote our own. We've been self-sustaining for so long, and have proved that we're capable of doing all the things a label could do for us for ourselves. We're gonna remain independent for as long as it feels right." ”

“'Ground Up’s at its sharpest when Azar and McDowell swap the mic, carefully developing back-and-forth boasts and narratives about Philly, the 20-something life of interchangeable joy/ennui and the never-ending struggles faced by indie artists...'”

“They’re shooting and editing their own videos. They’re their own publicity firm. They’re booking their own shows. They’re working smarter and harder than ever before, and doing it independently. And perhaps no Philly hip-hop act exemplifies this DIY spirit more than young upstarts Ground Up. They’re their own insulated, independent music universe. The group’s two MCs, Alexander Azar and Malcolm McDowell, met during freshman orientation at Temple in the summer of ’08. Azar brought in producer Bijan Houshiarnejad, a friend since middle school, to make beats. Ground Up was born. At the house, Houshiarnejad makes beats on the top floor. Merch goes in the basement. They edit videos and test ideas for music everywhere in between. Ground Up’s sound is all over the spectrum, from the in-your-face, horn-stab bombast of “No Thanks” to the bluesy, soulful bliss of “Got Damn,” but it can generally be described as laid back—best enjoyed with bud.”

“A circle is defined as a round plane with no openings. There are no gaps and no holes. Its tight, close, and it is one. This circle, Ground Up, is made up of over thirty different pieces. However, when you look at this circle, you cannot see any of these individual pieces, you see a unified front, a music group, a family.”

“The Philly based hip-hop group, Ground Up, has been gainging some major exposure as of late. With a loyal fan base, feel good beats, and lyrics we can all relate to and have fun with, we see big things for Al, Malcom, and BijLincs.”

“'Not much go together better than Cannabis and video games. I know for a fact I play better and more on top of my game when I’m high, and am routinely pwnd when I’m not. In fact I make it a point to use both Cannabis and video games in combo to lessen distractions and stress in my life. 'Mix in great music to that and you have the perfect setting. Which brings us to this weeks tune by the group Ground Up with their soundtrack to video game life called “Gnarcade”.' 'The duo MC’s with a producer make up the group from Philadelphia, and their music proves they are no strangers to Cannabis either.' 'This group has huge potential and the mixtapes they have released especially ‘I get Higher’, are some of recent favorites to jam.' '...find more great stuff updated daily at http://groundupsounds.com.' ”