I-45

Yeah, yeah, I should’ve put these guys up here long ago…oh, well — they’re up here now, alright? Anyway, the mysterious duo/trio known as I-45 (Tripp Von Slipp, Tech Ron B., aka Techronious, and either DJ Rudy Martinez 2000 in the early days or DJ Destro more recently) happen to be one of the few local (well, sorta-local; see below) rap bands I’ve actually seen/heard, and damn, they kick some phat lyrics. They call themselves “slip-hop,” but really, it’s pretty much just some silly-ass old school-style rhymes & shit — the easiest comparison, really, is prob’ly early B-Boys, just without the punk stuff, and with a little bit of a Southern flava to it…

My first introduction to the band was the Broken Note Records comp., Noncompliance (Broken Note head guy Crazy Tony Avita is one of the members of I-45, by the way, under the sneaky pseudonym Tech Ron B., I believe), with the classic “The Bike Song (Courier Tales),” and even now, it’s one of my absolute favorite songs on there. They’ve also contributed tracks to pretty much every one of Broken Note’s No Approval Needed comps, as well as Chicken Ranch Records’ Chicken Ranch Roundup Vol. 3 and the Noise. Kills Punk Dead comp on USSA Records. Broken Note put out 3 releases, including the debut 7″ (a split deal with PA’s Wolfpac) entitled The Outlaws of Rap, which is damn fucking cool, their first full-length, The Regal Beagle (which is also pretty darn neato), and the followup album, Lost Between The Lines.

After that, though, the guys moved out west to Cali and took a bit of a “break,” supposedly partly to server some jail time (not sure who/why). They also hooked up with Aboveground Records (sadly, it looks like Broken Note’s gone the way of the dodo) and recorded & put out 2006’s The Adventures of Buckwild and Skinny Foot. Haven’t heard much by ’em lately, but the newer tracks on the Myspace page sound pretty damn good; nice, harsh, almost grime-y sound.

Around the time that the third album was released, the band kinda had a homecoming here in H-town, splitting their time between Texas & CA. Sadly, back in May of 2007 Avitia/Techronious broke the news that he’d be leaving the band to focus on actual “life” stuff like getting a college degree & so on. No idea if that means I-45 is dead and gone or if Tripp and DJ Destro are gonna continue on their own, but I’ll leave the writeup up here for a while, just in case they keep moving…


Band writeup by . Band writeup posted Wednesday, February 4th, 2009. Filed under Bands.

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