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Peace 586 – Generations – The Biography

24 November 2003 No Comment

After more than 15 years of creating a diverse and innovative collection of spiritual hip-hop tracks, Rene Vasquez (Peace 586) is literally a living legend on the Southern California indie scene.

As a husband and father of two children he has the maturity and wisdom that often lacks in younger counterparts. He has lived much and been there virtually since the beginning of what most people see as Christian hip-hop/rap. His marriage and kids have helped guide his perspectives and outlooks towards pleasing and serving his Creator in all the he does. From his job as a mail carrier to playing basketball with his 13 year old son Isaac.

On Generations, Peace 586 collaborates with some of the brightest stars in hip-hop including Pigeon John of LA Symphony, LPG, Raphi, Remnant. and Mass Reality. He also brings old-school emcees I.D.O.L. King and Noel Arthurton of the Dynamic Twins out of hiding and collaborates once again with longtime friends Sup the Chemist of SFC and R&B icon Jon Gibson. We are also treated to an introduction to several up and coming new artists including Propaganda, Dokument and Saturday Night Freestyle.

Gibson’s appearance on, Love’s Still There, is the album’s first single. It revisits the theme of their first collaborative effort This is Love from Freedom of Soul’s 1991 album Caught in a Land of Time. Peace 586 explains, “I said to Jon, ‘We did the This Is Love thing, let’s just piggy back on it and tell ‘em that the love is still there’. He said ‘cool, that’s a good idea’. I wrote the rap verses first and he figured out the structure of the song and it was done.” The song carries the same message as the original, one of simple appreciation for the Creator’s love. “It’s the only way that I can best describe our relationship,” Peace 586 says. “After everything I’ve done in my life, I’m still loved by God. All my faults, all the wrong things I’ve done – God still loves me. And if He can love me, He can love anybody else.”

The song Respect, with Noel Arthurton of the Dynamic Twins, is also very meaningful to Peace 586. “It was cool hooking up ‘cuz we got to touch base and talk because I haven’t seen him in 5 years. We got to talk about old times and reconnect about music.” While the two veterans were talking, they both noticed they were dealing with a disturbing trend: the new school was taking the old school for granted, and not thanking them for being trailblazers for hip-hop in their market. “Young kids are still treating us as if we’re nobodies and not giving us credit for them getting their record deals or them getting their props.” Peace 586 says. “I just don’t feel respected sometimes – and he felt the same way, so we just wrote some verses on how we feel.”

Mourning for the Art is another moving piece on the album, and features Sev Statik. “The idea for the song was pretty much Dax’s (of LPG/Tunnel Rats) idea,” Peace 586 says. “It’s about how me and Sev Statik were both originally from New York and how hip-hop started there and it’s just not the same,” says Peace 586. “Dax wanted to put us together and have something about how we long for the true art form to come back. We yearn for a return to the roots of the hip-hop culture.” Hip-hop has been corrupted with talk of money, sex, drugs and immorality today that runs rampant throughout. These two team up to speak life to a lost generation.

Everything I is a song that features the first-ever appearance of the Saturday Night Freestylers, a band formed by Zane of the Tunnel Rats. The song is sure to be a favorite for many, with a melodic, singsong chorus and carefree rhyming. The theme reflects how people often learn important lessons “the hard way” after rebelling against God’s will and seeing the results.

The album is capped with the anthem Here for Years, a song boldly proclaiming the dedication of Peace and the Tunnel Rats to hip-hop ministry over a processional trumpet sample. The song features Propaganda, Macho and Dokument of the Tunnel Rats. These artists have been touched by the music of Peace 586 and are the next generation of spiritual emcees.

Generations boasts an impressive array of music production – handled primarily by Dert of the Tunnel Rats. Although Peace 586 is well known for his boom-bap beats, Dert explains that both Peace and the Tunnel Rats felt it was best for him to concentrate more on his rhymes for Generations for the album to really make a mark. “He has been through a lot and has helped a lot of people and if I can help him out and our team by contributing to a good album… its all good,” Dert says. “I wanted to help bridge the gap from old to new with one of spiritual hip-hop’s most respected veteran emcees.”

Peace 586 says Generations more accurately portrays his abilities than his last release, “586”. He also says he is counting his blessings to have been able to accomplish all he has in hip-hop and in life. “I’m proud of this record because it shows me that I have favor with God and other industry people,” Peace 586 says, “I have never burned nobody and when everyone talks about me it is always positive. That shows in the record.”

Rene Vasquez has been blessed to touch lives and encourage people through his words and music over the years. Generations will be no different.

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