Set amidst monstrous Redwood’s and an immense Pacific Ocean, Humboldt County is known not only for its notable marijuana industry, but more importantly its natural beauty, resources and, surprising to some, hip-hop culture. With stylistics as varied as the coastal weather, Humboldt has cultivated numerous acts of the past and present - none as calculated and cognizant as the Optimystic Populists.
Hardy production rife with beefed drums, a punctual stance and double-time delivery - form the base. Politicized lyrics and an upwardly mobile take on society make for their platform, as emcees Pendragn and J The Sarge are poised for an identity set apart from anything else. The duo are poised towards empowerment, exposing a filth of politics not only in the nation abound, but within the oft tense ganja-culture that effects countless behind the Redwood Curtain - their debut album Syntactical Assault is a study in critical thinking and critical beats.
Recently matched up with rising Humboldt County DJ Itchie Fingaz, a detailed and strong ‘Tablist behind the Tech’s,' the crew hit stages with the same force they take to the studio having shared bills with the likes of Mr. Lif, Del, Abstract Rude/ATU, , Mikah 9, C.V.E. (Project Blowed), Tajai (Souls Of Mischief), 3MG's, Z-Man, Qwel, Awol One, 2Mex, and Otherwize - to name a few.
“Send In The Klown”, a piercing attack on our country’s current presidency finds Pendragn perched and ready, “I refuse to accept the official truth and salute the violence,” in what he’s rightfully tagged “a Cliff Note presidency, installed by a split vote in the court of supremacy and now this motherfucker wants to supercede my civil liberties?”
The wry Pendragn testifies as to their credo. Oklahoma City bred and Humboldt bond, he and counterpart The Sarge (a San Jose native) speak with furrowed brows and clenched fists when they communicate - steeped in styles beyond the California exclusive - Opti Pop (as they’re more affectionately referred to) lock themselves within their Studio confines at least 5 hours a day, everyday harkening to the influential, neo-political concepts from the likes of Organized Konfusion to Project Blowed to Boogie Down Productions.
Never ones to back down, The Sarge makes it known on the group-defining cut, “O.P.,” “I’d rather struggle and live off my rhymes. My producing, my Djing, even my Bass playing will help out at times. Regardless I’m a live lawless, flawless maybe not, but imperfection over getting shot, oh come on, that’s an easy question - adversity and diversity fuels Opti Pop.”
On a consistent rise, throughout the local industry they reflect onto the national community they so attack from track to track, show to show, the Opti Pop credo is perserverance. Sarge settles it on the album closer, “When Our Time Is Up,” with, “When our time is up, at least we know we lived life to the fullest, on our own time and schedule...” When will you catch up, with Opti Pop?
Onewise Studios - (707) 441-1829
2107 Spring St. Eureka, CA 95501
High Art Records - (707) 839-4368
PO Box 2995 McKinleyville,CA 95519