(known in Europe as dc Basehead
) is a hip hop
group headed by Michael Ivey
, a native of Maryland
, United States
. Playing a cut-and-paste combination of rap, R&B, reggae, rock and funk, the Basehead sound has been loosely categorized as both "slacker rap" and "intelligent hip-hop".
The group chiefly comprises mainman Michael Ivey (b. 5 February 1968, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; vocals, guitar, writer, producer), who is joined (originally for touring purposes only) by DJ Unique (b. Paul Howard), guitarist Keith Lofton (b. 9 May 1967, Washington, USA), drummer Brian Hendrix (b. 29 July 1968, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA) and bass player Bill Conway (b. 29 November 1967, Washington, USA).
A student of film at Howard University, Ivey recorded Basehead's debut album, Play With Toys
, 1992 in music
), on his basic home set-up with minimal help from Hendrix and Howard. Originally released by the small independent concern Emigre in 1991, the album became a critical success, garnering attention in both the USA and Europe, and subsequently became a college radio hit.
Ivey assembled a band (primarily utilizing his touring band's abilities) and released the follow up album Not in Kansas Anymore
in 1993 to a mixed response.
The following year, Ivey released the debut album by his collective B.Y.O.B.
project on Rykodisc
, but by this time he had begun to fall foul of the critics. The Christian-influenced Faith
album followed in 1996, with In The Name Of Jesus
appearing in 1998. 2002 marked a partial return to form with dc
, which retained Ivey's religious slant but delivered a significantly more listener friendly experience.
After secretly recording an album while in college in DC, Basehead debuted in 1992 with the release of the critically well-reviewed “Play With Toys.” Written and produced by Michael Ivey, and released nationally and internationally by Imago/BMG, Play With Toys included the singles “2000 B.C.” and “Not Over You” in a mix of songs about relationships, drinking and the state of the world, which director Douglas Gayeton captured in a series of music videos which saw airplay on MTV. Categorized as alternative hip-hop, but actually a blend of rock, blues, and beats, Basehead toured the United States and Europe as a 5 piece band, opening for the Beastie Boys, Stone Temple Pilots, and Ween, as well as touring on its own.
Play With Toys was followed up by Not In Kansas, and after independently releasing the collaboratively self-titled BYOB, Basehead quietly released “faith” which reflected a turn to concerns about God. With the band members going different ways, and with the closure of Imago, Michael purposely pursued God, the domestic life, and studio co-ownership. Interests and activities included grassroots policy and politics, community organizing, and making organic music.
With Michael on guitar and vocals, longtime Basehead protégé Aaron Burroughs on drums, and Brendan Ciotta on bass, Basehead reformed as basehead 2.0 and recorded and performed “Rockalyptic Music” in 2007. With the return of control of all the Basehead albums, including Play With Toys, in 2008, the group looks forward to performing and producing music for the people (as well as for TV and film). (Taken from Baseheadmusic.com)
Discography (Main albums)