LOCALS ONLY: An Album and a Show, Faimkills “Kills” It
By Zachariah Weaver
Contrary to what can be expected from the infamous “Friday the 13th” evenings, this last one began almost like any other night for The Glass House in Pomona. Except here, normal meant that a diverse spectrum of hip-hop artists took the stage one after the other as multiple members shared the limelight for the S.T.F.U event. Of course screaming fans in different sections let everybody else know who they were there for by shouting at ear-piercing levels and bringing out their hidden dance moves they saved to show off for dark, crowded nights like this one. But towards the end, Faimkills, a local hip-hop sensation from San Bernardino hit the stage—and things really started moving.
He came out big, and stayed that way during his entire 30 minute performance. According to the rapper, the beginning of each set should exert the same exact energy you would end a good one with. And that same philosophy Faimkills let me know about in a few words after he stepped off stage, is being used daily by the young man as he continuously carves out the shape of his musical career.
In August, he came out with an EP, titled Tasty Waves, and said he’s using it to make an outlet for his full length, expected to drop in the early months of 2014. The EP, especially right after you first listen to it, actually achieves that same “show-philosophy” he shared and even spices it up a little bit.
Right away, the EP starts out big with track one, “Total Babe,” a tune he released in July as his single. And by the time the first chorus rolls around, you notice a few minor differences compared to a lot of the hip-hop that is circulating today. In the chorus, he makes reference to the fact that he only messes with girls who listen to Beach House, the indie dream pop duo from Baltimore, MD.
I kept this in mind when I asked him about the messages he enjoys centering his music around. Interestingly, he looks to break open some of the expectations people hold onto about hip-hop. He tries to give his listeners an alternative take on the genre by pulling from his personal favorites: Morrissey, The Smiths and Brand New. And by the sparkle and groove of Tasty Waves, you can tell exactly where those indie references are placed. The best thing I see about the EP though, is the fact that this is just an outlet for his upcoming, more serious full length album.
During his set, Faimkills played one of the songs he’ll be putting out next year, called “Walley World,” which he based off the fictional amusement park in the 1983 film National Lampoon’s Vacation. He explained that it’s actually a way for him to take a pop culture reference no one would guess to be used in hip-hop, and exemplify the nostalgia he has for the film, something his parents helped create a love for at a very young age.
What Faimkills really did on Friday night though, was come out on stage saying something quite powerful; a simple message of having confidence in what you create and to presenting it in a manner that amplifies your most honest thoughts about—well for him—music. This kind of act is what sticks out among the many, and if anyone out there has a chance to catch this guy while he’s still making his rounds among the IE, don’t miss out (that goes for his EP—Tasty Waves as well).
Wig Wam Hotels in San Bernardino, Sept. 29;
Cypher Effect in Los Angeles, Oct. 5