Quannum Leap

Growing out of Oakland's Solesides label, the rappers and producers of Quannum Projects look to expand even further

Quannum's desire to stay independent is firmly rooted in a belief that hip hop is about experimentation -- collages of sound based on funk rhythms and poetry that can go in any direction. "The thing about hip hop, more than any other genre of music," says Xcel, "is that it has the capacity to reinvent itself at any given moment. That's what keeps the art form propelling forward. People can't be afraid to experiment and take the music to different places." As examples, he recalls De La Soul's Three Feet High and Rising and Pharcyde's Bizarre Ride to the Pharcyde as two albums that changed listeners' perceptions of the genre.

"I wish people would try new things on both sides of the record -- on the making side and on the listening side," says Lyrics Born. "At the end of the day, hopefully we've broadened what people's definitions are of hip hop.

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