Subconscious Minds Emerge Out of the Hive

Listen to their newly released song ‘Cold Nights’ on Soundcloud

From Left to Right: UDIIs Akim Louis, Marcellus Blount, Emmanuel Knighton, Keire Stone

Brian Benedict

From Left to Right: UDIIs Akim Louis, Marcellus Blount, Emmanuel Knighton, Keire Stone

Dakota Gibbs, Staff Writer

“Subconscious Minds,” a rap group of Benedict’s students, unwrapped itself before the community during the Black History Month convocation. This was the group’s first performance as “Sub Minds.” The four members were both nervous and exhilarated, but after the well-received performance, one of the two rappers, UDII Keire Stone, said, “I felt free.”

“Sub Minds” members–rappers UDIIs Emmanuel Knighton and Keire Stone and producers Marcellus Blount and Akim Louis– first met as freshmen here. During the Appalachian Trail, the four were in the same company where they would have rap battles to pass the time.

Emmanuell proved himself to be a shining star when he chimed into one of the rap battles reciting his own “bars.”

“The [team] was astonished,” Emmanuel said.

After that event Keire, already known for his rapping, met with Emmanuel and they started rapping together during the rest of the trail.

The next year, Emmanuel approached Keire with the idea of “Subconscious Minds.” The name, “Subconscious Minds,” came from “the idea that you can do anything if you’re a master of your mind, and if you have an open mind,” Emmanuel said.

Originally the group planned to have ten people including rappers and producers. However, many of the students dropped out of the group.

“We were the ones taking it [a rapping group] seriously. So it became us, the strong four of ‘Sub Minds,’” Emmanuel said.

During spring phase, they took music teacher Jeremy Fletcher’s “The Physics of Sound” project together; they ended the five-week-term with three completed songs.

“Manny and I realized we were nice together,” Keire said. reflecting back on their first collaborations together.

During that summer, Emmanuel released “Massacre 2,” his first rap song, on Soundcloud and Kiere released “Welcome to America” soon after. “Massacre 2” blew up with around 3000 listens since its debut. “Massacre 2’s” success is due in part to popular East Orange rapper, Herbie, who is featured in the song.

Both Subconscious Minds and Herbie are a part of a larger rapper/artist collective named “COlture,” which includes rappers, rap groups, productors, visual and graphic artists from Newark and East Orange.

As a part of the collective, all the artists will usually collaborate, help record, feature on each other songs and even play shows together.

“[‘COlture’ is about] conscious rappers who talk about real issues,” Keire said.

Now, every weekend the group meets at Akim’s house to record. First Emmanuel stays the night Friday and write his lyrics. Saturday morning Keire arrives with his own lyrics and they go to record in Akim’s makeshift recording studio in his basement. After Akim makes the beats and backing tracks for the rappers, they record, and Akim sends the unmixed tracks to Marcellus who then finishes the songs with his music software.

When asked about where the four students see “Subconscious Minds” five years from now, they all agreed they wanted to be on tour with a strong fan base.