“This music is different and it’s going to be huge! It’s like the Eurythmics if they were black…like Iggy Pop and Debbie Harry from Blondie got together and made great music every day.” This is what he told me. Who is he? Well… he is Rockwell Knuckles leader of the Bullet Train Army and founder of Mech Industries, where they build robots. To the uninitiated hip hop head he is perhaps one of the most prolific hip hop artists in the nation to hail from St. Louis. For the initiated we actively wait for his music to drop on popular blog sites such as 2DopeBoyz, The Smoking Section, and others. He is no stranger to Meka or Gotti. This time in the creative process of audible awesome Rock is not alone. If it were even possible one who is as beautiful as she is talented has stepped aboard the Bullet Train as a co-conductor taking it to more destinations and even higher heights is none other than Aloha Mi’sho. First known for performing on American Idol in 2005 the same year Carrie Underwood took the prize. Aloha has been a highly sought after vocalist recording several records and releasing her own project in 2010. Though still young in her career she possesses the intellect and poise of a veteran performer. Her fan base among men and women is very strong. Proudly representing Girl Nation she lends strength to the cause of independent women being sure and confident in her own ability and striving to reach the top.
It was after seeing several Instagram posts with the hashtag #TheKnuckles that I became curious of what was going on with the two artists. Whether there were videos of the two in the lab or great photos from popular photog Amy Harris the two were slowly making an impression and I became restless. I asked Rock, how the concept came about in a phone interview I had with both artists. “We knew each other since we were kids, “Rock explains. “While working on a TV pilot (Krayzie Bone‘s Backstage TV Series) together we decided we would give it a whirl. We hopped in the studio in December and one song, turned into three songs, turned into 5 songs…now we have like 50 songs. She and I decided that we are band and we are called #TheKnuckles.” I told Rock that I was aware that Daniel ‘Skid’ Mitchell former A&R at Bad Boy Records was blown away by the records he heard from the duo and I wondered when we might get a chance to listen. With Rocky there is no rush. He is more than content to let the creative process have its way. I asked them both to describe the sound they are creating a little more. “It’s a cornucopia of soundscapes. It’s not just Hip Hop stuff or R&B stuff, it’s just heavy. It is actual music,” says Rocky. Aloha adds, that there are no words to describe working alongside with Rocky and together they bring elements out of one another. “I’ve never done anything like this before and it is kind of overwhelming and uncontrollable and it feels like it is supposed to happen.”
There is an awesome energy surrounding the two accompanied with a high degree of respect for one another. I was able to get a dose of the back in forth between them that I am sure leaves everyone who witnesses them in stitches. In describing how the lane was wide open for this type of offering to show St. Louis in another light, Rock instantly chimes in and busts Aloha for her almost cliché statement, “of putting St. Louis on the Map.” They go back and forth for a moment each asserting how “Northside” each one of them are ending with Aloha demanding that I quote it exactly as she said it. Speaking for them both Rock says in his humble opinion what they are accomplishing what has never been done before. Music lovers are certainly in for a treat with #TheKnuckles project which should be making its way in the universe in late spring or early summer. I would stake my reputation that it is going to be one of the greatest albums ever. You can follow them both on Instagram at @alohamisho and @rockwellknuckles #TheKnuckles