Live by Code Green. What does it mean? Green represents nature. It represents growth. On a more superficial level, it represents money and weed. The combination of everything green equates to constant evolution and prosperity both in a symbolic and literal manner. The “trip-hop” trio, Code Green, from Providence, Rhode Island, stands to always maintain this growth; originally they claimed the green lifestyle from materialistic views but have since matured into adopting the deeper representation of the color.
The trio consists of Evo, ER (With the Dreads), and Nesi. The three met back in high school in the year 2008 through a mutual friend and soon after formed their crew to make music after immediately clicking on a substantial and organic level. Since then, they have been “doing cool shit, stickin’ together, getting money, running around partying, and constantly growing.”
Over time, Code Green gained a significant following within their city by sustaining their own style of music. They reiterated that they “are not trying to sound like anyone else,” and that they give their listeners “a meal served” of 100% Code Green. The self-proclaimed “alternative hip-hop” artists capture a sense of balance within their music. For one, the three MCs balance each other out, and beyond that, forgo their individuality to rep their group. A crew that understands the deeper tissues within the muscle masses of life, the trio has renovated their own sound through a symmetric compromise of substance and easy listening. Their selective and unique taste, while rare, is found in a few hip-hop crews that are dearly missed.
Code Green exhibits a sonic equilibrium that’s reminiscent of 90’s hip-hop groups, Fugees and Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony. Their ability to harmonize between singing melodies and spitting rhymes stems from their inherent relationship as an artistic union. Each member adds a core element to the puzzle that is Code Green; Evo retains as the harmonizer with his voice, ER has mad bars, and Nesi embraces initiative as the de facto leader. Altogether, the rappers amount to something much larger than themselves. It is this “lost” group element in hip-hop that the trio hopes to revive.
There’s nothing like creating your own sound from scratch.
The group approaches their music like most friends that work together do: “We usually start harmonizing and then words will kind of just come afterwards. We’ll be in a circle or something, playing 2K, just like vibin’.” Their environment has to be organic, as their music is an extension of themselves. As Nesi so eloquently stated about the process: “the important part is bleeding how you feel on to the record.”
When asked about their hit, “Too Silly” and its meaning, Code Green replied that “it’s about a lot of the bullshit that comes with being an artist. We’re here just trying to make music and have a good time…it’s just like, a funny game.” The song remains both a critique on the rap game at the time and an ode to acting light in life. Sometimes life is good, sometimes it sucks; the group takes these fluctuations with a grain of salt.
Likewise, the group explained that several, if not all of their songs, stand with universal meanings. They do not want to be direct and force feed a message to the listeners, but rather leave it up for interpretation. A fine example of this would be their song “D.W.U.D.” The song is an acronym for “do whatever you do,” and it means that literally. It is meant to elicit different ideas with different perspectives. The song was also stated as “a prequel to our journey [to the West Coast].”
The whole goal [of the move] was to really plant seeds, ya know. We’re just trying to plant seeds everywhere we can go. Whether it’s here, in New York, in Atlanta, in Chicago, wherever.
Code Green recently moved out to L.A. in order to further progress their career. They told me that the move has been challenging thus far, but a necessary step to take. Living in the entertainment capital of the world, they are now taking themselves a lot more seriously; they’ve recently set goals and pursued opportunities that were not previously obtainable before.
As an artist the world is your home. You can never commit to one place for too long. You gotta be here, there, branching off, getting the people on your side. So when it hits at the right time, we can all come through full circle.
The trio has recently played several shows, parties for friends, and even opened for the breakthrough R&B artist, Kehlani. When I asked about “The Code Green” experience of playing shows, they responded confidently: “It’s definitely a party. We have fun. Everyone’s turning up. Don’t come if you’re just gonna stand there, please. We’re here to have a great time. We gon’ party on stage.”
Their next step begins with their new upcoming album, Seven Day Trip. As of now, the album is done and they are finalizing the smaller details. In their own words, Seven Day Trip “is an audio journey. We’re trying to provide different color schemes in which every song (color) is a different part of this trip. This is more hits.” Look for its release sometime early in 2016.
The future appears promising for the trip-hop group. Talking to them, I could sense greatness in their passion for the craft. Despite their recent success with releases, videos, and shows, they’re not where they want to be at: “We’re not really comfortable. [We’re about] Being able to make timeless music and shit that sticks. We’re after greatness. We’re tryna be here forever.“
We’re never content at all, we’re never happy. We always wanna do better than we’ve done. It’s only gonna get better from here.
Shout-out to Drew Corria, Erin Wegner, Nesi, ER and Evo for this one.