We mentioned a while back that we were going to take these small events and make something major and memorable out of them. We're extremely happy and proud to annouce that the moment is here.
Come one, come all to the ultimate end of summer party in the hills of West Virginia: CLUSTER 2016. The three-day event will take place in the heart of the Mountain State, right off I-79, and feature more than 20 of the region's hottest electronic, hip-hop, and rock acts. What started in a basement has grown to a full-fledged music festival.
Start at 1pm friday, end at 5 am
Saturday start at 1pm go till 5 am
Sunday start at 1pm go till 6:30 pm
TICKETS: Click HERE (Ticket purchase includes free camping for the weekend)
$40 Early Bird tickets, plus a $10 parking fee per vehicle.
$100 for RV/Camper spot with utility hookups! (Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve)
Want to be a vendor at the event? Message GXXKS on Facebook or email email@example.com to inquire, or fill out and submit this Vendor Application
ABOUT THE VENUE:
Holly Gray Park is a 15-acre multipurpose recreational area home to the Braxton County Fair, multiple sporting events, one of the state's largest annual 4-H camps, and wonderful recreational space. The park features a 15,000 capacity outdoor ampitheater with hillside seating, on-site bathrooms for campers, and gorgeous views of the West Vriginia foothills. There are RV spots available with utility hookups and camping will be allowed next to your vehicles!
FOOD, BEVERAGE, AND OTHER VENDORS:
Local West Virginia food trucks and well-known restaurants will serve concert-goers throughout the weekend, as well as local businesses & artisans showcasing their products. Additionally, a tent with affordable ($2) ice cold bottled water during the event.
We have vendor slots open, keep 100% of your sales, fee includes one free ticket!
Outdoor 10 x 18 space ($100) (limited Electrical)
Indoor 10 x 18 space ($150) (Electrical Access)
Fill out the form and message GXXKS on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Application Form: Click HERE
We have vendor slots open, keep 100% of your sales, fee includes one free ticket!
Outdoor 10 x 18 space (WEEKEND) - $80 (limited electric, first come first serve)
Indoor 10 x 18 space (WEEKEND) - $100 (full power)
Outdoor 10 x 18 space (DAY) - $30
Indoor 10 x 18 space (DAY) - $45
When we put this song out a while ago it was one of people's (and my) favorites. We always wanted to do it justice with a video but that was the time that things kind of fell apart and we didn't know if we were even going to keep doing this shit. This was one of the most fun experiences we've had putting this together. This one was needed.
I had an amazing childhood because of my family and the people around me, which ended up becoming family. Some of us had more than others, but now I can look back and see that none of us had much. Ignorance is bliss, as the saying goes. In rural West Virginia, especially in the 90s before the technology boom, it could be said that isolation was bliss. The summer was an adventure. The girls were strong and beautiful. Nothing was too serious and we had it all.
When I'm gone for long periods, I get homesick. I get deeply, jarringly homesick. When I finally do come back to the hills, I encounter a reoccuring feeling of disatisfaction. This disatisfaction turns to contempt and I'm ready to leave again after only a couple of days. After talking with others, its become apparent that this is not something that only I feel. What I miss is not so much a place, but rather a feeling that is tied to me being in a place, and that feeling has gone away. There is a whole generation that feels it. It's nostalgia, but its also more than that. Its a feeling that we've been robbed of what was ours, and the subconscious acceptance that we may never get it back.
This is how it used to be.
Thanks for watching, we'll do this again soon.
Tomorrow is an event we're extremely excited and proud to take part in: Manifest 2016 at West Edge Factory.
To our knowledge, this is the first event of its kind in a venue of its kind in our state. The festival runs all day from noon until 3 a.m. Sunday, with wall-to-wall music, art exhibits, and networking for entrepaneurs and activists in the area. Thanks to Underground Industries for putting this together and letting us help with the nuts and bolts.
See you all tomorrow.
Last night was a beatufiul thing, thank you everybody.
It all started from nothing. Spac had a vision, almost six months ago, of what our presence should be in our state and our region. If we really want to raise the state up and pave the way for those who think young, we needed to bring people together. Not in spirit or in blog comments, but really, physically bring people together on a regular basis. That never happens anymore, even though its what everyone preaches. We wanted to create a reoccuring environment for those who are yearning for new experiences in the region to meet, enjoy themselves, and grow. Fuck it, lets have a house party.
So, the GXXK$ Cluster was born. The first installment was modest, with local producers and DJs that have came through the studio or that we've known for years coming over, doing a set, and mingling. BYOB. The second one was bigger, in every sense. Electronic producers, DJs, artists, and the like came through, but they also brought all their friends. Beverages were consumed, steps were broken, kitchens were destroyed, and substances were enjoyed. Then came last night, round three, in all its glory.
It was necessary to scale it back a bit (fixing ovens is expensive), but last night showed us two things that I'm ecstatic about. First, I believe that our goal is getting through slowly but surely. Trying to do what we do in the environment in which we inhabit, a rural, politically conservative, resourcefully poor state, was considered a complete waste of time by almost everyone I know. Together, we're proving them wrong. Second, we are ready to take this thing bigger. Its time to take the party out of the house and on to the masses. We've kept things low key so far, as a means to not only test the waters but also to develop an outlook of what this event should look like on a bigger scale.
These things just aren't out there for us unless we create them ourselves. There aren't music venues open to expand the grassroots here. There isn't a solid networking base here. There aren't creative outlets or entertaining escapes here. There aren't role models here. It's all up to us; it's up to all of us.
Major thanks to everyone that has attended GXXK$ Clusters 1, 2, and 3. Number 4 is going to be on a whole 'nother level, we're ready. Let's keep moving this thing forward together.
I've done a lot of things in life up to this point that are head-scratchers. I can't really explain why or how I've dabbled in non-hip-hop things in which I've dabbled. There was a fitness app, a high school football website, mineral rights broker, government job, and high school football coaching that have been recent employment ventures. Add a teaching degree, journalist, and athlete to the list of things I've tried and failed at, and it starts to get pretty weird. Since I graduated high school I've picked lanes,
meandered through them half-assedly while always thinking about doing something else committed to them, and then I'd reach an epiphany in which I'd ask myself the same question over and over again.
Why am I doing this?
Up until now I never had an answer for that question. Life direction was never my strong suit. Now I feel like I have it, finally. Perhaps, though, I still don't, but countless failures and rejection has built up such high levels of don'tgiveafuckness that I'm ok with purusing this and this only until I succeed or fail. If that is the case, then that's fine. Failing with purpose will let me sleep soundly. Constant wavering and wondering what if will keep me awake with regret.
Now everything that I do has a distinct purpose. Now, I hope that my purpose is as clear to you as it is to me. If it is, then I've already won.
I was not proud of me. Sometimes other people would say it and commend things that I had done, but it all just bounced off me because I was so unsatisfied with what I was doing day-to-day. I was so numb to praise. Hell, I was even numb to rejection.
I dropped out of college for a year, thinking that was what was weighing me down. I told myself I was doing it to take music seriously, but that was a lie I repeated far too often. Now I’m taking it seriously; then I was working a miserable job in the Morgantown Mall and putting on a shit ton of weight out of stress. It was pretty pathetic. I spent money I made on lots of jewelry, designer clothes, and liquor, all in an attempt to escape who I was. The music we were making was so angry. I was so angry, but I didn’t know where my anger was directed.
Thank God that’s over.
It took almost a full two years to figure myself out, but I finally have. I am so content with the person I have become to this point. I’m not content with where we’re at creatively, where we’re at financially, or with the life I’m living yet, but I am very content with myself and my direction. I’m very happy about it. I occasionally smirked for years. Now I laugh.
That’s what this is, a declaration of who I am and a culmination of what I’ve become over the years. No more empty material desires; I’m back to keeping it cozy. I’m back to running shit ‘round here. Keeping it cozy is keeping it true to myself. Sweats and Minnetonkas out in these streets bitch swag swag swag what you know about it.
I’m sorry we went anywhere, but now I’m back motherfucker. The return of The Cozy One.
Deazil's newest mix, along with the homies DJ Blustar, DJ Breezy, & DJ Fat Mack. Click the artwork to stream & download.
I’ve wasted so much time for literally no reason.
I’m freshly (sort of) 25 and ping-ponged back and forth between life ambitions and dedications more times than I can count. Like any other problem in life, it’s easier to suppress an existential crisis with material satisfaction than to admit, face, and solve it.
Mom had several different jobs when I was a kid. I don’t really remember them all, but I recall bank teller, clerk, cook, and school bus driver, which she started when I was in middle school and has done ever since. As with many adults in my state, Dad had a long commute to work every day. He’d have about 120 miles round trip to and from his job. Their work schedules meant I would spend a huge chunk of my childhood at Nan & Pap’s.
My paternal grandparents lived right across the lawn, so it was simple. My childhood was full of light. I’d go there to start and end my days, waiting on my parents to get home from work, or for the weekends. For one reason or another, I started writing things at a pretty young age when I was sitting around at Nan & Pap’s. The mini-stories were far from prophetic (“Try this food,” Steve said. “Wow this food is good,” Amy said) but I enjoyed it and Nan told me she liked them, so I kept doing it. The writing was all over the place. There were sports articles about fictional teams and a weird Pocahontas-Johnny Appleseed mashup. Then there was my best Stephen King impression, a story of a group of friends who get lost in the Everglades, which I think I stopped about one chapter into. To this day, Nan will half-quip “are you ever going to get those kids out of the Everglades?”
If my life were a timeline, around the end of my time in high school is where I can mark as the point where a vague darkness surrounded me. Its hard to explain, but at some time everything sort of lost it’s luster. There wasn’t a lot of genuine joy. There was a time or two where I know I laughed so hard I cried, but I can’t place where it was, or with whom, or what it was about. It all runs together.
Toward the end of my senior year of high school, a woman that gets paid far too much to do so little came and met with the top 20 or so students in my class. We all sat around a large conference table, and she went around the room asking each kid what they wanted to do in college, what they wanted to be, how they were going to achieve it, etc. I don’t really recall anyone’s answers verbatim, but its safe to say they were all “doctor” or “lawyer”.
Everyone was taking this exercise far too seriously, according to eighteen year-old me. The torch was finally passed to me. With a mixture of mood-lightening, passive-aggression, and blunt honesty I created a cocktail of “I don’t know”. The flame went out. She spent probably triple the amount of time she had with each other kid talking to me, in what I recall being a pretty condescending fashion, about how I needed to fix this. I can’t remember the details, but at some point I said something along the lines of “Ma’am, I don’t know right now, but I’ll figure it out.”
College was turmoil. I enjoyed it, but it was turmoil. I had less than zero direction. I changed majors three times. I dropped out for a year. I gained a lot of weight. I lost a lot of weight. Drugs were cool. At eighteen I walked into a tattoo parlor, looking for directions. Something in the air made me feel nauseous. I sat in the tattoo artist’s chair. He asked me what I wanted. I told him I didn’t know. He took his needle to my skin, into all the softest tissues. It hurt like hell, but there was something I enjoyed about the pain, so I stayed in the chair. It was gratifying, that pain. I drank, I smoked, and I used in that chair to the point that I couldn’t feel the needle. Eventually I passed out. Five years later I woke up in that chair, and for the life of me I couldn’t remember why I was sitting there in the first place. “That’s it, we’re all done,” the tattoo artist said. “This is what you needed, this is going to change your life.” I looked down at my skin.
There was no tattoo.
I came across an article from my friend Jaime about about how our generation was depressed as a whole, because our families have told us all we’re so special our whole lives and raised our expectations too high. As I read, I identified with all the criteria on the list. Had I been prodded up by my friends and family for so long, convincing me that I could do anything I wanted, that I realized I actually couldn’t and was thrown into depression? Yes, I thought at the time. I looked around, and I could notice the darkness. I knew it should be brighter.
Here is where that’s wrong. Our generation might actually be somewhat depressed, but not because of a late realization that we’re all losers. There have been studies showing that the more time spent on social media leads to lower self-esteem. Our problem isn’t so much that we have been told we can do anything when actually we can’t. Rather, we actually can do anything, but our failures are amplified in our minds. We become infatuated with glamorized personas and hold ourselves to false standards. We are far too material and live on the surface. We aspire to be what we see on the surface. We have lost a certain depth in life, and without it, we become sad when we fail on the surface. We become crushed when we discover that what we aspire to be doesn’t even exist at all.
Since I told that woman “I don’t know”, I had been chasing things on the surface in every direction.
I called Mom pretty recently in a deep rut. I told her what I ultimately wanted to do with myself, and what I wanted to leave behind. It just came out. For some reason that was so difficult to say for the longest time, perhaps because it seemed foolish and people wouldn't take it seriously. It was so difficult to say because you can’t see it on the surface. I told her I wanted to turn West Virginia around. I told her I wanted to help kids that have no role models, that only see on the surface. I told her I wanted to drastically improve the quality of life for people where I’m from. She told me what she thinks I’ve always been best at and said as long as you support yourself, that’s what you should do. Thank God for her. When I pressed the red button to end the call, the darkness faded. The light was back.
The kids are getting out of the Everglades.
This feels right. For the first time in a long time, I believe that this is what we’re supposed to be doing. I believe this is where we’re supposed to be.
Guys Everyone Expects to Kill Shit started in 09, when I met Spac by pure chance in a music class at WVU. What started as the kid in front of me turning around asking for notes has developed into something that I’m pretty proud of: a team of talented people, who have in one way or another been counted out their entire lives, coming together for a higher purpose. I’ve never been more proud than I am now.
In the coming months I would meet Aaron Deininger while working for the university, who has been and will continue to be essential for the growth and polishing of what we produce. Later on, I met a kid that worked across the hall from me at the local mall. We developed a bond over how shitty our jobs were. That kid was Deazil, the missing piece of the puzzle, who has helped mold our evolving sound with classic hip-hop elements and help lay the groundwork for the direction we’re trying to go.
GXXK$ are the forgotten ones. The ones that never had any help. We’re self-sufficient, not out of choice, but of necessity. I’m from the hills of central West Virginia, where nobody hands you shit. There are no doors to knock on, no local influences that were in my lane. We had to take this thing from scratch and learn as we go. We had to do it our way because there was no other way. I’ve made some moves I regret and went through growing pains with this, but I’m very proud of where it has gotten us. It has gotten us to this point.
I’m proud that since 09 we’ve done this on our own. I’m proud that we’ve stayed ourselves. I’m proud that we’ve all became better. I’m proud that we’ve done it in West Virginia. I’m proud to represent the fight of people from nowhere, with no advantages, and no support to achieve great things.