TruthBeTold (Chris Hooks) and Big Cats’ (Spencer Wirth-Davis) backgrounds couldn’t be more different. TruthBeTold grew up on the south side of Chicago, where his uncle made him start rapping at age 6; Big Cats grew up in the suburbs of St. Paul, where he studied classical music and played in garage bands. Hooks is the first in his family to graduate from college; Wirth-Davis’ father is a college professor. After a move from Chicago to the Twin Cities, and from classical to hip hop, TruthBeTold and Big Cats found themselves in similar situations, both trying to make a name in the Minneapolis rap scene. They linked up in 2008 at the Dinkytowner and immediately started working together as The Tribe & Big Cats (TTxBC).
They’ve spent the last three years defining their sound, carving out their niche in the rap-saturated Twin Cities. TTxBC operate on a simple philosophy: rap can be fun without being stupid. It can be intelligent without being gloomy and pretentious. TTxBC has crafted a sound that ties together all of these impulses, blending the tireless DIY work ethic of the underground, the confidence of the mainstream stars, and the kind of pure technical talent that defies easy categorization. It’s “real hip hop” without the elitism. It’s party rap that doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure. It’s gimmick-free music that will make your trunk knock and your neurons fire.
In 2011, The Tribe & Big Cats released two albums. The first, FTMS, featured guest appearances from Planet Asia, Phil Da Agony, Toki Wright, Abstract Rude, and more. City Pages called the album “…equal parts respect for hip hop’s traditional methods and efforts to progress, all couched in the desire to make you nod your head and shake your ass”. The second album, Make Good, was released on December 2nd, with a sold out release party at First Avenue’s 7th St. Entry. The album featured Smoke DZA, BJ The Chicago Kid, MaLLy and more. It was named one of City Pages Local Albums of the Year, and the Minnesota Daily called the release party the best live show of the year.
This year, The Tribe & Big Cats continue to work on new music, with a new album “Space” to be released in July 2012! Check them out on their website at http://www.callusthetribe.com/ and peep their videos/singles below.
The Tribe and Big Cats – Good Life
—————————————————————————————————————————————————— The Tribe and Big Cats – We Gone