Over 6 years after their signing to Strange Famous, SFR is proud to finally present JIVIN SCIENTISTS’ first album on our SFdigi imprint: CICADA!
Through a combination of hard work, talent, and respect, hip hop duo Jivin Scientists (Tucson, AZ) have spent the past 20 years carving out a unique, enduring, and humbly successful career – an impressive legacy in a genre driven by blink-and-you-miss-it trends. The duo of emcee James “Runt” Owens and producer Ryan “Phen” Troncoso have connected with listeners all over the world through the release of ten previous albums (including standout efforts like Monsters, Autumn and The Morning After), a catalog that showcases how Runt’s stellar storytelling and introspective lyrics synchronize beautifully with the heartfelt and rugged boom-bap stylings of Phen’s top tier production.
Check out “LAST STAND,” the first video from the album, directed by YungMacFilms!
“This will be the eleventh album we’ve made, but the first we’re releasing through a label. We’ve spent over 20 years in the underground scene, and we look at this as our first step towards being visible to a much wider audience. That’s one reason why ‘Cicada‘ is such an appropriate title for the record,” says Runt.
Cicadas are a species of insect that spend their juvenile years under the ground, emerging from below after a period of 17 years of growth. It was not lost on Runt and Phen that their initial deal with Strange Famous’ SFdigi imprint was signed as they approached their seventeenth year as a group.
“Like that time spent in the underground, this album is dark, but with spots of light and spots of hope. Those who have been with us for years will recognize our established sound, but they’ll also hear growth,” Runt continues.”We set out to showcase the full spectrum of styles that we’ve developed, to create something that allowed us to dig deep into what we’ve learned over the past twenty years. We came to spread a message of love and hope. We want to pump blood into a world that is so evil and decayed.”
Much like the cicadas that inspired the album’s title, JS never set forth with calculated intent, but rather were driven from within to forge a path to their future: “We never pursued any of this. We never felt that we had a choice, we wake up and create. We really just put the stuff out so that we don’t have to sit with it anymore,” Runt explains. “We both work jobs to make ends meet, but the music was always who we were, and will always be who we are. Some people make things for fun, and some create to keep from losing their minds. We’ve always been part of that second group.”
The crew has invited more members of that second group to help with the album, a collection of some of the favorite relationships that two decades in the rap trenches have wrought: they’re joined by Marley B on the first single/video “Last Stand,” and feature indie rap legend and longtime Strange Famous homie AWOL ONE (ShapeShifters, Fake Four) on “Infinite.” Rae.L makes scene-stealing appearances on “Make It Better” and “A Wolf,” while SFR O.G. Mopes (formerly known as Prolyphic) joins the posse cut “Load Up” with Def-i and DJ Bonus. These are just some of the collaborators that JS brought on board, bringing together friends from across the industry to mesh with fellow hometown heroes.
Jivin Scientists take deep pride in their native city of Tucson, and that home has been a major influence on all of their releases. Runt and Phen have shared stages with a long list of legends across North America, touring mostly through their own gumption and passion. They have also served as hosts to some of the Southwest’s greatest musical events, while giving a hand up to burgeoning talents that have risen around them along the way. Both Runt and Phen are highly respected members in the Tucson hip hop community, participating in and organizing events and venues designed to facilitate the development of upcoming artists of all kinds.
Always looking to push their creative threshold, Jivin Scientists are proud to release their highly anticipated album, Cicada, on Strange Famous Records. Years in the making, this project remains true to the core nature of Jivin Scientists that has served them for over two decades in the game: their story is their own, and they will continue to live it, write it, and tell it as only they can.
Cicada is available at TinyURL.com/JivinScientists & everywhere you listen to music.
“We would like to thank all of the people that have supported us on this long ride, you have always given us love and without you we would be nothing. Thank you to our family and friends: you know who you are. Thank you to all the artists that have provided their talent to this project, if you were asked to be a part of this, know that we look to you for inspiration and consider you to be a leader in our world of art. Thank you to uncle Sage, Storm and the whole Strange Famous family for giving us weirdos a home.” – JS
02. Infinite Ft. AWOL One
04. Last Stand Ft. Marley B
05. Make It Better Ft. Rae.L
06. Steppin’ Ft. Dewey Binns
07. Load Up Ft. Mopes, Def-i, Dj Bonus
08. A Wolf Ft. Rae.L
09. In the Wood
12. Dreams Ft. Jabee, Cash Lansky
All songs written by Runt, except features noted.
Produced by Phen.
Keys by Paul Jenkins.
Bass by Chris Pierce.
Additional drums by Steven Escalante.