Deadly Duo: New album out

by Mike Roe

Hip-hop means many things to many people. For true hip-hop fans, it’s a way of life and a subculture that speaks the truth in a world full of liars and fakers. Music is a way of life for Deadly D and hip-hop is their guiding light.
Deadly D is a local duo consisting of emcees Michael Pianki (Pancake) and Steve Borden (Stevey B). “We meet when I was a senior in High School (in Bellingham). I caught him writing rhymes on the bus.” explained Stevey B. “We’ve been making music together since 2003, but really got serious about it in 2011.”
He added, “We’ve met lots of really talented people through the local music scene. It’s really great to be a part of such a strong hip-hop community here in town,” says Pancake. “You gain an appreciation for what everyone is doing.”
Deadly D’s new album Psychology Volume 1 is a 13-song concept album that was in the works for over nine months. The first thing that this writer noticed about the album was that all the song titles were named after various drugs, followed by an additional description in parenthesis. Deadly D explained that the album is a three-tiered concept album: 1) the drug name, 2) how that ties into the particular beat, 3) how the message ties into the song.
With song titles like “Mushrooms” (Bad Trip) and “Ritalin” (Scatterbrain Revolution), Deadly D dives deep into social and cultural issues, emotions and human behavior, without referencing drugs much at all. The song titles refer more to the feel and content of the song, rather than just another stoner anthem praising chemical mind alteration. Stevey B explains, “We didn’t really talk about drugs on the album and we did that on purpose.” The song “Devil’s Breath (Third World War)” details the problems faced by those living in third-world developing nations and how our petty first world inconveniences pale in comparison to them. “We want to influence people positively and make them look at life in a new light,” says Pancake.
Deadly D performs locally and they utilize a full band when playing on stage. “We perform with a band, DJ backtracking, a drummer, and a guitar player.” explains Pancake. “We wanted to give the production a little more electronic feel so it combines well with the live instruments.”
The production on Psychology Volume 1 is a bit more experimental than most traditional hip-hop albums, as Deadly D brings together various elements from other electronic music genres, such as trance and down-tempo. “We looked to something like Foster the People, where they’re a little more experimental, and put a message behind the music.” says Stevey B. “We’ve put out a handful of mix-tapes before but this is our first real album; our flagship.”
So what does the future hold for the Bellingham hip-hop duo Deadly D? Stevey B answers, “We just finished our fundraising campaign for our new music video for the song Cocaine (Artificial Bliss) and we are going to shoot that this weekend. We funded it on and had a great response.”