Mark Gonzalez of the SA collective Lotus Tribe spent four months living in Los Angeles earlier this year, and while he was there he fostered a valuable connection. He got together with Mestizo, a SoCal emcee who recently released his second CD, Blindfaith, for Galapagos 4. While talking with Mestizo, Gonzalez learned that the emcee planned to launch a tour spotlighting the label's roster of artists.
The Tuff Love Tour, which also features Denizen Kane, a Korean-American emcee from Oakland; Royce, a live hip-hop band from Chicago; and Mike Gao, Mestizo's producer extraordinaire, will be invading San Antonio this weekend, thanks to Gonzalez's input. He says that while his move to Los Angeles was always meant to be short-term, it grew out of a real frustration with the limitations of the local scene.
"Things seemed stagnant here," Gonzalez says. "I kept seeing the same things over and over, and I wanted to pick up some inspiration, some new ideas that I could bring back to San Antonio."
The Tuff Love show will also include a showcase for aspiring local songwriters, an unconventional companion for hip-hop, but part of a concept that Gonzalez and his crew have tried to nurture for some time.
Meanwhile, Lotus Tribe is doggedly applying the final brush strokes to its long-in-the making (as-yet untitled) new CD, and the group expects to celebrate its release with a late-September show at Sam's Burger Joint.
The Tuff Love Tour comes to Atomix (formerly Sin 13) on Sunday, July 31. Atomix is located at 1902 McCullough. The show runs from 7 p.m. to midnight.
Compiled by Gilbert Garcia