The world of modern hip hop is one of extreme diversity. With no shortage of collaborations and multi-disc concept albums, it is hard for MCs and producers to stand out or be truly innovative. That is, unless the MCs in question are Eligh and The Grouch. In 2014 the duo released something unprecedented in the hip hop universe: a triple-disc album entitled The Tortoise and the Crow. It includes a collaborative disc of the two called 333, a solo disc by The Grouch called Lighthouses and a solo disc from Eligh called Nomads. The Tortoise and the Crow received widespread critical acclaim, even debuting at No.1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. The Grouch and Eligh, often referred to as G&E, have been touring extensively since this release, and on Friday, Dec. 4 they’ll be playing an all-ages show at the Velvet Jones in downtown Santa Barbara. Doors open at 8:00 p.m. and tickets are $20.
The Grouch and Eligh have a massive discography they’ll be playing from in addition to their already lengthy latest album. Even as solo artists outside G&E, the two have been extremely prolific.
The Grouch was born and raised in Oakland and was molded by the underground hip hop scene in the Bay Area. This inspired him to break into music himself, and he began what would be a life-long journey into the world of music in 1994. He released at least one solo album every year from 1995 until 2000. He still releases music as a solo artist but has slowed down considerably due to the amount of collaborating he does with Eligh and other rap collectives. To date, The Grouch has released 17 solo albums.
The Grouch met Eligh in the late 1990s when Eligh moved from Los Angeles to the Bay Area. They became fast friends, and it became obvious that they had chemistry in the studio. Since then the duo have released five albums, the most recent being 333, the collaborative disc from The Tortoise and the Crow.
In addition to his work with The Grouch, Eligh has a multitude of solo albums under his belt. Eligh began making music as a high schooler in the early 1990s in Los Angeles and since then hasn’t slowed down. He released his first solo album As They Pass in 1996. Since then Eligh has released 18 albums, sometimes as Eligh and sometimes under the alias Gandalf.
Something particularly notable about Eligh is the magnitude to which he lets his personal life permeate his music. In 2005 Eligh struggled with a heroin addiction so severe it almost took his life. He checked himself into a treatment center and since then has been strictly straight-edge, free from all drugs and alcohol for the last decade. Many of Eligh’s solo albums reflect this, and his music since 2005 has been especially personal and inspiring for many. The list of artists he’s worked with is also impressive, including names such as Company Flow, Pretty Lights and even John Cena.
Whether they play music from any of their combined 35 solo albums or from their five collaborative efforts, the show The Grouch and Eligh put on is sure to satisfy.