HARTFORD, CT – It was 2004, and rap pioneers G-Unit were at the forefront of the hip-hop community, when two cousins, DA KID VEGA and Tony, mused about their own passion for music. They thought about what it would look like for them to craft their own sound. Could they turn their love for music into a career? What was a mere daydream quickly became their life’s work. Over more than a decade, the group came together to form “Top Phive,” as DA KID VEGA recruited Nino Luck, Jigz Da Grim, and C-LZ Luvellz, the missing puzzle pieces to the up and coming hip-hop group. Sadly, one of the original “Phive,” Tony passed away in 2013. His death, however, is not in vain and continues to be a special motivator for the group. “At a certain point, we’d all gone our separate ways after high school. But, when Tony passed away, it encouraged us to get back together and take it seriously,” explains Luck of their departed friend and partner.
The group pulls influence from a variety of artists; from Ludacris to Cassidy, each member is pulled by a distinct sound. It’s this dynamic and vast taste in music that lends itself to the group’s versatility, and allows them to create a variety of sounds and dabble in many genres, from R&B to rap. Each member brings his own unique taste to the group, resulting in a sort of “hip-hop gumbo.” One common thread between each of the Phive, however, is a respect for lyricism. “I love lyrics. For a song to make me say ‘What did he just say?’ and really think about it,” C-LZ Luvellz says of his knack for lyrics. “What’s music without a story?” Of course, the point of music is to tell a story, and no one does that better than Top Phive. Reminiscent of a time when rap and hip-hop still really meant something – a notion that is lacking on the Top 40 list these days – the group creates important music, not just catchy music.
Their newest single, “What’s Her Name,” is an example of how catchy and relatable the group’s music is. Without giving away too much, the song chronicles a one night stand in a quick and clever way. The song’s music video comes out on April 21st, and will make fans eager to hear the rest of the group’s upcoming album, which is set to release this June.
One thing is certain: “Real rap still exists,” insist the group’s four members. And if you give them one listen, they’ll prove it to you.
Fans can listen to “What’s Her Name” on SoundCloud: