Punchy, funky reggae rock-hip hop group Tropidelic hosted their self-created and produced festival, Everwild, this past weekend on August 12th and 13th in Legend Valley outside of Cleveland, Ohio. On the heels of Tropidelic’s seventh studio album, All The Colors, released via Ineffable Records on August 5th, the camping festival lineup included headliner Dirty Heads, as well as Artikal Sound System, HIRIE, Bumpin’ Uglies, Little Stranger and Joe Samba, among others. Sporting a new, larger venue and doubling attendance between this year and 2021, Everwild stands as a symbol of Tropidelic’s rampant success and fan devotion.
All The Colors is a diverse full-length album that boasts a complex breadth of deep, rich lyrics, evident in the single “People Talk”, featuring hip hop godfather Brother Ali. “I just want the chance to face myself before I pass away // If my creator smiles at me on the last of days // It won’t matter what creation had to say.”
Sonically, ‘All The Colors’ takes a worm and shoves it right into your ear.
Take a listen to “For You”, featuring California reggae rock royalty Geoff Weers (of The Expendables), and try not to hum that melodic little guitar lick in the chorus all day long. Top Shelf sat down with James Begin, Trop vocalist and trombone player, to chat about the new album and festival.
Okay, so talk to me about ‘All The Colors’…
- JB: We work ahead of ourselves and our release schedule… as far as I’m concerned, this album is already done and over with. We’re already halfway through making the next album right now. Sometimes, I’m even surprised — like, I’ll think about our [new songs] and I have to remind myself that those songs aren’t even out! I haven’t touched a microphone in regards to All The Colors since like March. February probably, more realistically.
- This was our second of two quarantine albums. Of Illusion (2020) we did completely during quarantine and wrote in the studio. Before that was even out, we were working on All The Colors and we were still in lockdown.
What was the recording process like?
- Things were slowly opening back up, but the unique thing about that was we wrote the whole thing in the studio. Some people would come up with ideas and bring them to the studio, but for the most part, we’d be sitting there and someone would just be like ,“I had this idea for a hook” and we’d be like, “great let’s make a song out of it”.
How did you deal with lockdown?
- Personally, it was just like waiting for things to reopen and get poppin’ again. Things slowly but surely were and it was finding time to be creative amongst all the normal craziness of life.
Legit. So, where did you record the album?
- In Cleveland at Signal Flow Studios with Chris Decola.
The album is great! What was at the forefront of your mind when you recorded and wrote this?
- Mac Miller kinda permanently lives there… definitely a big part. I don’t think we sound like him and I guess everyone I’m about to mention, I don’t think we sound like them or that the album sounds like them —
Nah, what do you enjoy pleasure listening to?
- Mac Miller, for sure. Coast Modern. I don’t know if you’re familiar with them; they have a song called “Guru” that was really big. [James begins to sing] “I want you to know that I’m still trying”… a little more indie pop reggae. And also Glass Animals — whatever album “Heatwave” is on.
“Gooey” will forever live rent-free in my mind.
- I didn’t know anything about them until the most recent album came out and I’m like, all my friends suck for not telling me to listen to this before!
Their new stuff is good, but their older stuff is magic.
- Big fan, everyone in the band is.
Okay, so — Everwild. This is your festival. Talk to me about it.
- Yeah, it’s our festival. We’ve had it since 2016 and we used to call it Freakstomp, which is the name of one of our songs and we’ve headlined every year. During the pandemic, obviously we couldn’t do it. So, the following year we came back with the changed name and now it’s called Everwild.
- Last year was the first Everwild. It was a great time. It was awesome. This is the first year we have someone else headlining Saturday night; it was the Dirty Heads and we were insanely excited for that. It’s cool because there isn’t a lot of stuff that happens like that in the midwest for obvious reasons. A lot of reggae bands skip Cleveland and Columbus just because the market isn’t as big there. So, it’s really cool to be able to bring all of that to the midwest.
- It’s awesome too because it’s just basically a big party and we get to curate anything that we think is sick, and all the bands are there because we picked them and wanted them to be there. We make the vibe.
Yes, Tropidelic, you do. Follow Everwild on Instagram and listen to All The Colors on all digital streaming platforms listed below.
Purchase or stream ‘All The Colors’ album:
- Falling Down, feat. Nick Hexum of 311
- People Talk, feat. Brother Ali
- The Wind
- Neighborhood, feat. Krayzie Bone & Prof
- need a sail
- Free Your Mind, feat. Surfer Girl
- For You, feat. Geoff Weers of The Expendables
- the Carnival
- basement floor
- Stolen Art, feat. Little Stranger
Cover photo by Hunter Saillen