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Spittin Images brings urban soundtrack to Estacada

by: JENNA MACKOWIAK - The Spittin Images ( Cody 'Winkz' Van Winkle, Nick 'McLean' McLean and  Jared 'Jarry LoVae' Hopper)  will perform during the Estacada 2013 Summer Celebration.Eagle Creek may not be the most urban of places.

Nevertheless, Eagle Creek resident Cody Van Winkle, along with Portlanders Jared Hopper and Nick Mclean, is bringing his version of “urban alternative” hip-hop to Estacada’s summer festivities.

Van Winkle, Hopper and McLean make up the hip-hop trio, Spittin Images.

Spittin Images formed in 2012. Hopper and Mclean met through a musician Craigslist ad.

Hopper met Van Winkle when they performed as solo artists in the same lineup for a show.

The three hit it off and formed Spittin Images. Van Winkle became Winkz, Hopper became Jarry LoVae and McLean decided to go by McLean.

Barely a year old, if that, the Spittin Images recorded a five-song EP with Steve Fisk, the Seattle-based engineer and producer who has worked with Nirvana, Soundgarden and Harvey Danger. The group said Fisk has a “secret passion” for hip-hop.

Van Winkle, Hopper and McLean come from very different musical backgrounds. McLean also has a noise rock band and an indie band; Hopper leans toward hip-hop, rock and industrial music; and Van Winkle specializes in hip-hop.

But the three are quick to point out they work well together.

“Anyone who does music will tell you it’s hard to find one other person to write with, let alone two other people, so I think we have a really good thing going,” Hopper said.

In a video titled ‘Who is Spittin Images?’ on the band’s Youtube channel, Hopper points out the group has no leader and that they “all have a say.”

Hopper raps and writes songs.

McLean produces beats, is “in charge of live music” and plays drums.

Van Winkle also makes beats, produces, raps and writes lyrics.

The group has settled on the term “urban alternative” for the type of music it creates.

The three said they thought the term ‘”hip-hop” often locked people into a preconceived notion of the genre.

Van Winkle explained that the group raps, but they also sing and “play rock type music.”

“The thing I like about ‘urban alternative’ is I feel like I’m not boxed into a little box. I can sing on this track, then I can rap on this track,” Hopper said in the “Who is Spittin Images?” video.

They also emphasize that they rap about “things,” not just sterotypical rap subjects.

McLean warned that the band does use some “potty words.”

While the group’s new song and video “Portland Girls” is lighthearted and extols the virtues of attractive Portland ladies, Van Winkle points to songs that deal in weightier topics as well. “Change” is about growing up and leaving former versions of yourself behind, and “Have It All” expresses the pain of not getting what you want.

The band hinted that subjects such as these appeal to listeners of varied ages.

“Yes, my nieces love it,” Van Winkle said. “But it’s geared to young adults, male and female — people who want to have a good time regardless of age.”

The band describes its shows as lively and high energy.

“We like to grab people’s attention,” Van Winkle said.

Genre wise, “We’re trying to find where we fit in,” Hopper said.

As the group prepared for its performance at the 2013 Timber Festival, Van Winkle said the Spittin Images would be the first hip-hop group featured during the festival and that they were excited to bring variety to the lineup.

And they’ve got another Estacada performance in a few weeks. They’ll perform from 7:30- 8:15 p.m. Friday, July 26, on the Estacada Summer Celebration stage.

For more information on the Spittin Images and to hear their music, check out facebook.com/spittinimages, youtube.com/spittinimagestv or soundcloud.com/spittinimages. The band also is on Twitter at @SpittinMusic.




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