For the unini­ti­ated, Dirty Sci­ence is a LA-based record label headed up by pro­lif­ic pro­du­cer­/­beat- smith Exile. It boasts an impress­ive roster includ­ing Blu, Fashawn, Aloe Blacc and Dag Sav­age, as well as prom­ising up-and-comers Choosey and Pis­tol McFly

Dur­ing the month of Novem­ber the Dirty Sci­ence crew, includ­ing Exile, Blu, Choosey and Pis­tol McFly, were on a a month-long, 10-date European tour, cel­eb­rat­ing the half way mark with a per­form­ance at London’s XOYO on the 16th of Novem­ber. 

With all of the artists resid­ing in the sun­shine state of Cali­for­nia, they were find­ing the start of the European winter slightly unbear­able. 

“It’s been super cold, I wasn’t pre­pared”, said Exile

None the less, they were excited to be spread­ing the Dirty Sci­ence word and their music across the European con­tin­ent. 

Inter­est­ingly, the tour pro­moter chose smal­ler European cit­ies for the tour, with five cit­ies in Ger­many, and Lon­don and Ber­lin being the only European cap­it­al cit­ies on the roster. Des­pite this, the col­lect­ive were still see­ing strong attend­ance and sup­port of the shows. 

“Yeah they’ve all been sol­id shows”, Exile said. 

Each of the artists were rid­ing the wave of releases, each hav­ing found suc­cess in their own per­son­al way. 

Exile, as the label head and main label pro­du­cer, has been involved in the cre­ation and release of mul­tiple pro­jects. In 2019 alone Exile solely pro­duced the Tru & Liv­in’ EP with Blu and Black Beans album with Choosey, as well as the The Warn­ing Tape and Sal­va­tion with Dag Sav­age

On stay­ing focused and inspired, Exile said “I’m … mak­ing the soundtrack so they can tell their story. I try and draw from [them] the best way I can son­ic­ally … and how we talk with each oth­er and vibe with each oth­er”. 

Blu has also had a highly pro­duct­ive year, releas­ing 5 pro­jects in 2019, both with Exile and oth­er prom­in­ent pro­du­cers. Blu has con­tin­ued the Soul Amaz­ing Series, releas­ing Part Eight, a 35-track mix­tape in July. He also col­lab­or­ated with Damu the Fudgemunk on a 8‑track EP Ground & Water, fel­low LA pro­du­cer Oh No on A Long Red Hot Los Angeles Sum­mer Night anoth­er full length album pro­ject and with OG Fat Jack on the Under­ground Makes The World Go Round EP. Act­ive since 2007 with the crit­ic­ally acclaimed Below The Heav­ens, this may be Blu’s most cre­at­ive year yet. Each pro­ject was standout and unique but still had that Blu fin­esse. 

“[I] stay hungry, I eat up so many beats”, Blu laughs. 

“I’m stay­ing busy, I have a gang of unre­leased tracks I’m sit­ting on, I’m plan­ning on releas­ing a lot more mater­i­al, it’s com­ing,” Blu advised. 

Choosey is a rel­at­ively new­comer to the scene with only one pro­ject from 2014 under his belt pri­or to his sign­ing to Dirty Sci­ence. His debut album, which was released in March 2019, Black Beans was solely pro­duced by Exile and is a very per­son­al / intro­spect­ive release touch­ing on Choosey’s mix Black / His­pan­ic back­ground. 

“When I first met Ex[ile] we dis­cussed the idea mak­ing an album but we didn’t really have a dir­ec­tion. We star­ted a nor­mal con­ver­sa­tion, just talk­ing about my fam­ily, things like that. 

“And we landed on the idea of really telling my her­it­age. He always thought it was cool that I am mix and … we went down dif­fer­ent stor­ies”. 

Round­ing out the DS crew was Pis­tol McFly who was the only rap­per in the room who hadn’t yet worked with Exile des­pite being on his label. Though, Exile is eager to do some­thing. 

McFly also had a con­sist­ent year with the release of an EP Snack Run and a full length album Road Trip with renown pro­du­cer Power. The EP and album were themed around road trips and had received rave reviews includ­ing one from New York pro­du­cer Statik Selektah

“Road Trip is, you know, life is a trip, you start in one place and you end up in a dif­fer­ence place but you see a lot of things when you look out the win­dow, you see a lot of things you don’t see at home. 

“[The inspir­a­tion was] my life, just life in gen­er­al, life isn’t easy, life is hard, life isn’t happy all the time [but] it isn’t always sad. Just reflect­ing on life”. 

Fol­low­ing the fin­ish of the tour, the col­lect­ive were look­ing for­ward to being back home with their fam­il­ies. There was even talk of a Dirty Sci­ence album fea­tur­ing all three artists in the room, with of course Exile at the helm, “we want to do an album col­lect­ively”, Exile men­tioned. 

This show itself was an oppor­tun­ity for new­comers Pis­tol McFly and Choosey to con­nect with new fans and Blu & Exile to recon­nect with old ones. 

The open­ing act kept the crowd warmed up with his dynam­ic lyr­i­cism and enter­tain­ing anec­dotes. An accom­plished writ­ten word and poet artist, his show was much like a stage show, with his words and ges­tures charm­ing and humour­ing the crowd. 

Exile played DJ duties and manned the turntables for the entire night in sup­port of his Dirty Sci­ence crew. Each rap­per would pay homage and respect to Exile and he would do his live set. Exile wowed the crowd with his live MPC per­form­ances and intense scratch­ing. 

First to the stage was Pis­tol McFly and des­pite being a rel­at­ively unknown artist here in Lon­don, he held the stage and kept the vibe up. To make up for the unfa­mili­ar­ity of his songs with the crowd, he inter­ac­ted with the crowd and got the crowd involved in singing hooks. It must be incred­ibly dif­fi­cult to vibe with a crowd who don’t know your work, but Pis­tol McFly did a great job of work­ing with that and main­tain­ing the crowd’s atten­tion. 

Choosey took that energy and built on it. His music is son­ic­ally more fast-paced and has a great­er energy, so his set lif­ted the vibe of the room even high­er. Choosey’s most recent release Black Beans is a deeply per­son­al pro­ject and this came through in his story-telling and per­form­ance. Though sim­il­arly to Pis­tol McFly, there was a small famili­ar­ity in the crowd, Choosey kept the audi­ence engaged with his energy. There was also a friendly and lively dynam­ic between Choosey and Exile that kept the set inter­est­ing. 

This energy was all cul­min­at­ing in the head­line set of Blu’s, which it seemed many of the attendees were there to see. Des­pite two oth­er US Hip Hop head­line shows that same night, there was an encour­aging crowd at XOYO that night. 

Releas­ing music for 12 years now, Blu has an extens­ive back cata­logue to access for per­form­ances and fans were treated to a mix­ture of old and new tracks. He kicked off with some of the new­er tracks which garnered cheers from the crowd, but it was older tracks such as Dan­cing In The Rain and Oh Heav­en that had the crowd going off. 

Later on dur­ing the set, Choosey joined Blu on stage as an impromptu hype man. The energy between the two rap­pers splayed into the crowd and brought the hype of the per­form­ance up. Blu is a great rhymer and storyteller but he is not known for the most enga­ging or ener­get­ic per­form­ances. Choosey jump­ing on stage with Blu also showed they had developed a decent report dur­ing the tour. 

The com­bin­a­tion of Blu, Exile on the decks, Choosey work­ing as a hype man and Pis­tol McFly dan­cing on the side of stage showed a united Dirty Sci­ence crew. Tour­ing as a group for an exten­ded peri­od of time can bring out the best or the worst in rela­tion­ships, but it seems all is well in the DS camp. Can’t wait for that album.

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Kylie de vos

Kylie de vos

Self-pro­claimed Hip Hop nerd, Kylie dis­covered the genre through her older cous­ins in the mid-90s. Since then her interest in the genre has been on the psyche of artists: the how and why artists make the music that con­nects with so many people on so many dif­fer­ent levels.

About Kylie de vos

Kylie de vos
Self-proclaimed Hip Hop nerd, Kylie discovered the genre through her older cousins in the mid-90s. Since then her interest in the genre has been on the psyche of artists: the how and why artists make the music that connects with so many people on so many different levels.