One Movement flows within their art

When One Movement moves, they take the crowd right along with them. The Ashland hip hop group of growing prowess and popularity has, in just a few moths, all but pinned down the Rogue Valley venues with their raw sounds and uniquely optimistic lyrics.

"We teach the truth to the youth and slaughter the whack MC's," said Powell. "They ruined the youth's minds."

"In every song we've gotten more intricate. We're making a musical funhouse. And the same for the concepts," said Einstein.

Their work would never be construed as clean-cut, by any standard, yet at the same time it moves far beyond jabber about gun play and womanizing, ultimately embracing a much more positive message.

"I'd like to quote my friend (and co-artist) Serge Severe: 'Most listeners aren't gangsters or millionaires, but when that great album drops, I guess a million care," said Powell. "We're music lovers, just like most people. We want to share that; the rush. We live what we sing ... . We want people to come and see us and celebrate life with us."

So, how did Jason Foreshaw, J.J. Foreshaw, Allen Ayers and Ryan Cleveland become, respectively; Face, Julian Powell, Einstein and Ry-Guy, as well as the production/MC dynamo known as One Movement? "Too many weird, random coincidences just happened," said Einstein. "Yeah," concurred Face. "There were too many universal signs. We just listened to them."

"We became brothers from different mothers," said Powell. "I've been doing the rap thing for a long time. I was raised through New York City and moved to the West Coast when it was beginning to dominate. Hip hop just follows me around." Julius Powell got his handle from Portland's Powell Street, where he claims the rap found him again. It's a diverse crew, with Powell heralding from Jamaican roots, and a youth in the Big Apple, his younger brother right behind him, with Einstein from the South Carolina and Ry-Guy with origins in Palm Springs.

Each adopted handle, each fused style and each lyric has its own pool of origin. Hip Hop is a whole different animal when it comes to the string of rhythms which punctuate song.

"Hip hop has more words per song than any other form of popular music," said Powell. "(Artists) should be careful how they use them." "Not to downgrade rock music," said Face, "But there's a lot of repetition, in that, and most other styles." But not hop hop. Its mantra is the art of barrage; each syllable its own poem while part of a flowing whole.

"I see what's going on in the hip hop game. It's come to lack of substance. It's mind-numbing now, where they just hypnotize with a beat. It's got great production, but the essence of hip hop is also to make you think while you move," said Powell. "We're from all over the board and we're consciously elevated."

"We want to make food for the soul," said Face. "Where music has been in my life, it has taken me through highs and lows. If someone was to listen to our music and feel positive, I'd be happy."

The crew's brain-storming arena, Powell and collaborator Lillian Maxwell's living room is indicative of the philosophical vibe that flares its nostrils through their offerings. Halls decked with books on philosophy and theology, various and diverse; walls covered in Sanskrit, hieroglyph, Hindu paintings, Christian sayings and children's toys. Within that intellectually frenzied yet systematic place, minds and lyrics ride tandem on the same cycle hell bent upon broadening the muse.

"Music is the motivational tool I saw fit to be the inspiration I keep in my pocket," said Face, quoting lyrics penned by Einstein and echoing sentiments shared by the whole of One Movement; a group finding its destiny in its diversity and finding its flow and prolific popularity in its ability to create as one.

The dynamic is easy to pick up on. As they group, which take equal roles in lyric creation and music production play their music, they are incapable of remaining stagnant. One brother, Powell, paces and chainsmokes, gesticulating constantly and singing along. Face sits like the Buddha before the Bodhi tree. Einstein points out new break potential and potential visual apertures. It is like observing a well oiled machine, joyous of its potential. And there is also such pride in the musicians; excited to hear their own music. So many artists wash their hands of the finished, post production work, once the eagle screams, eager to begin new projects. But here are artists who live the enthusiasm their creation speaks to, relishing the same excitement and creativity championed by their final work.

Perhaps some of this zeal is based in the roots of the arena. "How can I express my love for Oregon? The life style and mentality here; this is my home," said Powell. "The people of the Northwest know how to coexist and it is peaceful and it is beautiful. It's the best part of the US.

"I couldn't get away with being a conscious white rapper (back home)," said Einstein. "I'd have had to become something ugly or mean."

"I know that the hip hop heads here are hungry," said Powell. "We've got something good for them."

One Movement, while recording their debut CD, has already dropped an 11-track EP to sooth the tide of requests. It is available at the Spot CD store and Glassworks. "We won't deny anyone the music," said Powell. "If people can't afford it, we'll give it to them." But certainly every sale helps this growing and unique outfit who have already performed at six local venues.

For more information, check out One Movement under MySpace music and catch the next act.

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