TIMOTHY PARKER OPENS UP ON THE “COSMIC FUNKY HIP HOP” OF HIS SECOND SOLO ALBUM AS GIFT OF GAB.
GIFT OF GAB interviewed @ 14.00 AEST – Friday 28th May, 2010
For Street Press Australia & Rip2Shredz Press
Words by RIP NICHOLSON
A scheduled phone call with Timothy Parker is turned to an emailer, which in hindsight seems short-minded as the West Coast USA MC eats dictionaries and spits ‘Alphabet Aerobics’ under the moniker of Gift Of Gab. The interview was met by Parker, forever stargazing, already mapping ahead from his latest interstellar album drop with pen to paper. “I’m situated in the Bay Area, which has been home for the past 13 years,” he explains concisely. “You caught me on a writing day, working on future releases.”
Despite the name and his heavy word flow, Parker is brief and to the point with his responses, but with his most recent solo venture Escape 2 Mars, the original Solesides MC had all but blasted off into space after leaving behind another conceptually inter-planetary record.
Timothy Parker first met Chief Xcel in Sacramento at high school and a year later in 1988, worked their hip hop together. During a college hiatus, Xcel joined an eccentric hip hop collective called the Solesides and by ‘91 Blackalicious was formed in the Bay Area of Cali – and by 1994 the pair had promptly dropped their debut single, ‘Swan Lake’. By ‘99 they reshaped into Quannum and released the A2G EP. Gift Of Gab blossomed into one the most technically skilled lyricists to flourish from the West Coast.
Blackalicious furthered their catalogue with 2000’s NIA and 2002’s Blazing Arrow while Parker trekked on several guest appearances alongside DJ Vadim, New Flesh (from the UK) and Michael Franti from Spearhead. From here Gab recorded his solo debut with producers Vitamin D and Jake One from Seattle in 2004 for 4th Dimensional Rocketships Going Up – a return to a creative space, spent outside he and DJ Chief Xcel’s Blackalicious priorities. And most recently with producers DNAEBEATS and Mighty Underdog partner Headnotic, Gift Of Gab dropped his second solo effort Escape 2 Mars. It has been described as “funkadelic psychedelica”, “daisy-age hip hop, space-jazz experimentation and neo-soul” and from the gift horse’s mouth, “cosmic funky hip hop is the best way I could describe the album”.