The Pacifics: Keep It Universal

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"Even if we weren't doing music, we'd still be eating chicken." These are the words of KP (MC/producer) from The Pacifics, who cooks up a fresh batch of fried chicken for himself and his longtime crewmates, MC Strike3 and MC/DJ Norman Rockwell, to enjoy every Sunday. While each of these MCs holds down nine-to-fives (some working six days a week), as true friends they keep their schedules clear at least once a week to kick back, get their eat on, and create their thoroughly enjoyable hip-hop.

In celebration of their weekly tradition and kinship, this Chicago hip-hop trio aptly named their latest album Sunday's Chicken (All Natural Inc.). The follow-up to their self-released 2002 debut, The September First Project: Long Overdue (Propaganda Movement), Chicken is the upshot of eight-plus years of paying dues in the Chicago underground. With its party-ready beats, tag-team rhymes and intriguing concepts, the record simply showcases what can be accomplished when talented artists actually get along.

"By getting together all the time, it just keeps everything more tight-knit," explains Strike3. "We knock out a lot of ideas when we're together," adds Norman Rockwell. "A lot of times we'll just ask each other for help," adds KP. "So you can find a little bit of everybody in each of us. We play off each other a lot and I think it shows."

The Pacifics rap about more than just fried chicken–their rhymes have detailed everything from their shared love for their hometown ("Hold It Down") to their need to get tipsy after a hard day's work ("Nobody"). While they also all share a Filipino nationality, this trio chooses to not let their Asian background become a gimmick. "We don't use our race as a crutch," says KP. "It is important to know your heritage, but at the same time, once you get over-indulged in that, I think people would just get turned away."

Thus The Pacifics opt to deliver hip-hop universally, one song and one concept at a time. As Strike3 clarifies, "A lot of people like to label it Asian hip-hop (but) there's no label on it–it's just hip-hop."