Soundset Artist Spotlight: Rubberoom!!

02.17.22 1 Comment

BUY Your Soundset 2011 GA Tickets at the Fifth Element Retail Location now! VIP Is now SOLD OUT!!
-BUY RUBBEROOM's Classic "Architechnology" CD, LP Or Instrumental LP NOW!!

Rubberoom's rise into prominence began in the early 90s from out of the dark grimy basements of Chicago Hip Hop. It was at spots such as Culture Club and Lower Links, where the six-man crew, also known as the Savage Six, began to make their mark as having one of the best and most intense stage shows of the time.

However, stepping back a bit, it was actually in the South Suburbs, known as “The Woods” (IE Maywood, Bellwood) where the original five first formed; MCs Lumba and Metamo, Producers Fanum a.k.a Mr Echoes, Wititude a.k.a Fill Spector, and Isle Of Weight. The final piece to the puzzle was S.P.O, who was located on the opposite of the city, in the Far North Suburbs (fittingly in the Highwood area).

Although it may be their live show that was most significant in building their following and legend, it was the raw sound of the music that influenced and shaped the live show to begin with. The production was abrasive and aggressive, but with purpose and musicality. Each MC crafted a unique means of how to interact with the music. Metamo’s voice possessed a bit of growl, complimentary to his delivery of rugged elegance with a touch of mysteriousness. Lumba mixed abstract thought, hustlers mentality, and Old School swagger. S.P.O’s approach was purely B-Boy, switching from light-hearted to dark-minded, sometimes without a moments notice.

In ’92 they completed their first demo, compromised of three tracks that blew the minds of many, but that was only a glimpse of what was to come.

"Welcome To The Rubberom"
[audio:|titles=04 Welcome To The Rubberoom 1]

After a few years of shopping demos and recording more tracks, they were still unsigned so they decided to put their destiny in their own hands and formed their own label, Elastic Recordings. This resulted in the cassette only release “Gothic Achitecture”. This powerful tape began spread thru out the Midwest and beyond, alerting the rest the world of their relentless assault on mics and commanding presence on stages. Undoubtably, this increased their industry buzz as labels debated possibilities but ultimately slept. However, peer artists took notice and gave credit where it was due. I recall at NMS Seminar ’94, Kool Keith coming up to me after listening to the tape I had sent and all he could say was “Rubberoom!!” and Maddskillz bugging out while checking out my Walkman blasting “Beneath The Surface”…

"Beneath The Surface"
[audio:|titles=B2 - Beneath The Surface (Original Mix)]

Despite the increased fanbase, they still lacked the proper distribution to take them to the next level, so they forged on, completing at least another album worth of material over the next two years. This time period resulted in the perfecting of their sound, as well as taking the explosive stage show on the road more actively. It also yielded what is the arguably the best music they had created thus far, with key tracks like; “Nocturnal”, “Claiming Victims”, “Daily Operation”, “Shade”, “Seven”, etc…

[audio:|titles=09 Nocturnal]

"Claiming Victims"
[audio:|titles=08 Claiming Victims]

Unfortunately, much of that music would never be released. They finally returned with a new release in ’97 with a new label name, Indus Recordings, and the “Street Theme” 12”, as well as a few changes. One of the producers, Wititude, had left the group already and the B-Side track, “White Hot Razors”, would be the first to not feature S.P.O as one of the MCs.

"Street Theme"
[audio:|titles=02 Street Theme (Filthy)]

"White Hot Razors"
[audio:|titles=05 White Hot Razors (Filthy) 1]

In ’99 they were signed to the newly formed 3-2-1 Records for its brief existence. After releasing one 12” on 3-2-1 and then the label folded they were forced to release their official debut album “Architechnology” themselves on Indus Recordings. By then S.P.O was officially out of the group, although he’s featuring on one track, “Lockjaw”. Eventually, the project would get picked up by Sub Verse Music, which formed from the ashes of 3-2-1. “Architechnology” perfectly captured the raw essence of the Rubberoom vibe. Stand-Out tracks like “Operation Forever” and "Smoke" excellently capture the contrasting yet complimenting styles of Metamo and Lumba. There’s a sinisterly beautiful balance of street ruggedness and mystics with references such as “Vice Lord Of Illusion”, “(my) Rap is vivid, like gangster rap, make Ni**as wanna live it”, and the line that puts it all in perspective, “Operation Forever, remember the sharp style that sever, Ax (Lumba) and Torch (Metamo) go together like jewelry and leather”.

"Operation Forever"
[audio:|titles=15 Operation Forever _]

[audio:|titles=02 Smoke]

Through out all this time, Rubberoom was being managed by J-Bird via his Bird Cage Management Company. Around the same time of the “Street Theme” single, Kevin Beacham (Me) had come across the Rhymesayers sound in the Twin Cities. That discovery would eventually lead to me connecting them with J-Bird in an effort to build opportunities for both crews by swapping shows in their respective cities of Chicago and Minneapolis. The next logical step was a national tour with Atmosphere and Rubberoom, Tour Managed by J-Bird. It was on the tour that Rubberoom finally decided to disband and ended chapter one in their legacy. Meanwhile, Atmosphere still needed a manager and secured J-Bird for the position and only a few years later they would bring me on to the Rhymesayers team as well, but that my friends in a whole other story…

I believe the last released song from >Rubberoomwas on the B-side of the "Born" 12", a tracked titled "Black Box" which takes a look at their career:

[audio:|titles=Rubberoom-Black Box (radio version)]

Post "Black Box" for Rubberoom, the MCs went on to do a variety of solo projects, collaborations and things of the sort. The two remaining producers went on to become the International known production duo, The Opus, and have released several notably, mostly instrumentals projects to date.

The Opus-Live featuring Lumba Of Rubberoom:
[audio:|titles=06 Live feat Lumba (Rubberoom)]

The Opus-First Contact featuring Murs, I Self Devine, Lord 260:
[audio:|titles=First Contact (radio version) featuring Lord 360, I Self Devine, Murs]

In more recent news, Rubberoom have just reformed, started recording new music and once again tearing down shows. You can witness the early stages of the rebirth of the phoenix on the Fifth Element Stage at Soundset 2011!!! Plus The Opus will be representing in our Last Of The Record Buyers: Sample Challenge in the Essential Elements Tent!!

Rubberoom-It's On [Brand New Music!!!]
[audio:|titles=Rubberoom-It's On [2011]]

Rubberoom-White Hot Razors Remix 2011!!
[audio:|titles=Rubberom-White Hot Razors [Remix 2011]

-BUY RUBBEROOM's Classic "Architechnoloty" CD, LP Or Instrumental LP NOW!!

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1 Response

marianna voulgaris
marianna voulgaris


Thank you for the official, thorough breakdown…….Wasn't aware that they have been active since 92……Damn…..Didn't know J-Bird was behind Bird Cage either…….

Blackbox, Smoke, Nocturnal, Live, & White Hot Razors are straight bangers….Glad to see they reformed….

Good work-

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