Glue, the trio comprised of vocalist Adeem, producer Maker and DJ DQ, has an impressively unified sound that most hip-hop crews can only fantasize about. Musically, they fail to fall into the traps that have snared so many acts before them. Throwing an international-level scratch master like DQ into the mix, for example, almost invariably results in an overproduced sound that crowds out and kills every other element on an album—hip-hop heads are by now familiar with the frenetic, masturbatory scree of turntable wizards eager to show off their skills. On the contrary, the minimalist, elegant compositions of Maker and DQ are welcome refreshments from this monotony, and Adeem’s vocal delivery provides the icing to a very tasty hip-hop layer cake—a dish best served on their recently released album, Sunset Lodge.
Adeem acknowledges that a major part of Glue’s sound is derived from their group cohesion.
“Every song Glue makes is a three-part effort—we all pull our own weight to get the machine moving,” he says. “We agreed to stop making music together if that chemistry ever disappears, but we don’t show any signs of slowing down any time soon. I also think we take the same approach for our live show. We have to be honest with each other. We’re each other’s biggest critics and supporters. There are no superstars in Glue, at least not yet.”
Lyrically, Adeem runs the gamut from playful rhyming to hard-core political diatribe. There is a considerable amount of anger directed toward corrupt governance to be found in Glue’s repertoire, and Adeem makes no apologies for his views.
“We have a democratic foundation and I refuse to believe that we will always be under the thumb of tyranny,” he explains. “Our TVs have always been on a mission to make us bipolar. They want you either scared or comatose. It’s almost impossible to force change under those conditions. Whether we choose to accept it or not, we can make a difference.”
With their confident sound and pointed lyrics, the members of Glue have seen a steady increase in success since their 2003 debut, Seconds Away, and their early days of borrowed money and small audiences.
“The shows are getting bigger and the music is selling well and that’s all we can ask for right now,” Adeem says. “You get out of this lifestyle what you put into it. Right now we are putting in 100 percent so we figure things can only get better.”
Glue performs with Mike Realm at The Other Side Tuesday, Oct. 25, at 10 PM. $8, or $10 for under 21.