The Germantown-based hip hop group, Lost Cause, is set to release an album that they hope will begin to move hip hop music away from the negative stereotypes seen in much of today’s hip-hop music and videos.
Lost Cause is Germantown resident Keith S. Mitchell, Sr., aka 10th Power, who is a DJ, beat maker, producer, mixer, arranger, and studio engineer, and Kahlil Thompson, aka Rare Form. Together they are Lost Cause. The group’s new album “Paradise Depression” is produced by 10th Power and will be released independently through Mitchell’s production company, M3 Music.
The duo wants to change the way society looks at hip-hop, and the way hip-hop looks at society. “We consider ourselves true hip hop artists in that we do not make up stories to make us look tough, and we don't try to be something that we are not,” said Mitchell/10th Power. “But we are sick and tired of seeing the things that we see with our own eyes and on the TV.”
Mitchell said that often topics of Lost Cause’s songs are the total opposite of what is popular in today's hip hop music. “Music channels show all that is wrong with hip-hop. The macho-man stance, degrading women, calling them all types of names, strip clubs, pants sagging — we weren’t raised like that. That's not the image of what hip-hop is all about. We got sick of the negative stereotypes, so-called reality TV shows.”
The first single from the new album is a song called “Decoys” which is layered with references to pretend friends smiling while preparing to derail success. The song and the video encourages its listeners to be an individual, to create their destiny without depending on fake friends and hangers-on. It features portions of a sermon from Reverend Adrian Boxley, which hammers home the point.
Even though the video features Rev. Boxley, Mitchell said Lost Cause, does not consider themselves a “Christian” group, “but we do realize that all good things and blessings do come from the Lord.”
Mitchell grew up in Long Island, NY, and landed in Germantown after a few stints in the Army. He runs M3 Music Group from the studio in Germantown. “In 1995, I chose to move to Germantown because I was expecting twins, and Germantown was a nice, safe, quiet city to raise them. I fell in love instantly.”
Mitchell met 23-year-old Kahlil Thompson/Rare Form, who is the primary rapper in Lost Cause, through Thompson’s aunt when he was 16 years old. Mitchell would eventually marry Thompson’s aunt.
“Kahlil was in his second year of college was showing interest in producing beats and rapping again. He asked me to record a mixtape that he was working on at the time. A lot of his beats were the same tempo and very depressing, so I offered to help produce the mixtape as well. After hearing him rap and hearing the noticeable improvement in his rapping, the cadence, and vocal tone, I knew I wanted to work with him as a group,” said Mitchell.
“Everything influences us,” said Mitchell. “We talk often and through those conversations, come up with our song ideas. The things we discuss and what is actually happening in our lives is what makes it into our music and lyrics. I use what I go through and observe every day of my life in Germantown and Kahlil uses his experiences in the York area, as our way of creating.”
Lost Cause’s new album “Paradise Depression” features 11 new tracks including “Decoys” is available directly from the Store tab M3 Music Group website beginning today, March 18, and will be available on iTunes and other music sites in about two weeks.
Photo courtesy M3 Music Group.