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We Trippy party
Featuring Scru Face Jean, Ill Skills, Shannon Marie, Young D-Boy, Mean Swag, Ripa, Tezzy Savage, KB & Poota Man, D.B.E.
When: 8:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: Red 9, 322 S. 9th St. in Lincoln
Tickets: $5 at the door or $3 with a college ID
Information: red9live.com or 402-477-7339
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“Ain't none of you on my level,” Scru Face Jean sings on “Wings,” and it's difficult to argue with that.
At least locally, the Lincoln-based rapper is in a place that most rappers would be envious of.
He's a 22-year-old who spits rhymes quicker than you can think, and fills local venues with fans who know all the words to his songs. He's rapped with Dizzy Wright and opened for Tech N9ne, Machine Gun Kelly and Kendrick Lamar.
Lamar even pulled him aside after his set and told him how much he enjoyed it.
“It was surreal,” Scru told me.
Surreal for him, sure, but it shouldn't be surprising for any outside observer. Since graduating from high school, he's been pushing and promoting himself, saying that he's put not just blood, sweat and tears into his career, but also money and whole lot of promotion.
Born Darrel Ofodirinwa in Nigeria, Scru Face Jean has been rapping since he was a child. Scru and his older brother, Derek, would rap together, and Derek began performing regularly. He eventually gave it up, but Darrel picked up where his big bro left off.
After graduating, he really started taking things seriously.
“I made a conscious decision when I was young (to work hard). There was a lot of people in my age group that said they rapped, but they just said they were a rapper,” he told me. “Being a lawyer, you can't wake up one day and argue with someone and say, 'I'm a lawyer.' That's like saying, 'I put these words together, so I'm a rapper.' ”
It's a problem he sees in local rap scenes. There are a lot of talented people, but not enough rappers take it seriously. Local rock scenes are admirable, he said, because they're very organized and professional, and he wants to push the hip-hop scene in the same direction.
Scru Face Jean has yet to put out an album, opting instead to release a series of mixtapes. Always writing, always recording, he's built up a big archive of material. That's not to say mixtapes such as his latest, “W.I.N.G.S.,” are amateur productions.
Released through his website, sfjworld.com, “W.I.N.G.S.” is a solid 22-song release and features Scru Face Jean rapping with popular rapper Wright on the song “Red Cups,” about partying with red Solo cups.
His rap career is a full-time job, he told me, and he's working on dropping more songs on YouTube to get even more buzz going. His most recent song, where he raps to a sample of Miley Cyrus' “23,” has racked up almost 20,000 views on YouTube, and he said it will lead into another mixtape.
“I'm building the anticipation,” he said. “I'm not gonna drop (the mixtape) until the entire state is asking for it.”