By Carl Sampson
You know how you grind for someone else’s dreams and money, getting very little in return? You’re always in sleep debt, credit card debt, and haven’t seen your kids in days? 3Bubble, Cleon Solomon III, experienced that, I’m guessing. He burned and churned at the “Studio,” crafting songs with musical partner J. Gray while also taking some time for himself and his family along the way. Well, as much as he can until he gets where he’s hit the mark.
J.Gray, Justin Andrew Gray, has a story that starts in Houston at the High School for Performing & Visual Arts and weaves through Brooklyn and Atlanta. He discovered that he could sing and rap as well as put his life into his work. He met up with fellow Houstonia 3Bubble and the rest, as they say, is history.
Their music embodies the realization that working for a corporation, a label, a master is pointless and counter-productive to creativity. You can just as hard for yourself and get results. You can also work in a way that doesn’t empty out your soul. But there will be long hours, as Live from the Pentagon, demonstrates.
The record is definitely a labor of love, life, and struggles. But it’s also a lot of fun. Political, stirring, and a call to get out into the streets, Live from the Pentagon also holds some straight up hip-hop hits, ready for your playlist. I particularly liked “Get Up ft. Young B.E.” There’s also soul and R&B. A lot to explore.
3 and J have worked hard to be here. They’ll work just as hard to stay here.
“Hands Up” (funny stuff in this video)
Dope Boyz, Mantra, AllArounda
Betrayal ft. Shawn
Turn It Down
What if I Told You ft. Lil KeKe