“But the rule seems to be that the bigger and more life-changing the decision, the less it will seem like a decision at all.” – Hugh Mackay
That phrase most definitely applies to Brince “Karmic Basis aka Uglee Troof” Washington. One phone call from his cousin Terry in 1992 took him from being a typical twelve-year-old, to being a multidimensional musician, lyricist, promoter, and all-around influence on hip-hop for generations to come.
Back then hip-hop was different, it could take you places and make you think. So when Terry called him that day and started spitting the lyrics to Chi Ali’s “Age Ain’t Nothin’ But A Number” (and claiming the lyrics as his own), KB was inspired to start spittin himself. He and his cousins began freestylin regularly, which led to him freestylin with his friends. Fast-forward to 1995, after the creation of his crew “Sand Souljahs”, KB realizes that his area is lacking when it comes to hip-hop influence. At the age of fifteen he decides, along with his crew, to throw the Coachella Valley’s first freestylin/b-boy events at their local parks. This would lead to a long career in event promotions that is still relevant to this date.
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are” – Theodore Roosevelt
Come 1997, music was clearly becoming his passion. He met a man by the name of Jim Burns, who recorded Sand Souljah’s first record “Power Loungin”. Burns told KB that he wanted to lend him an Ensoniq EPS sampler so that KB could learn to make beats. After his passing in 1998, Burns’ family explained to KB that they wanted him to keep the sampler because they felt Burns would have wanted him to have it. KB researched and practiced the art of production, and grew to be a diverse and talented producer with a long list of dynamic clients ranging from Capone to NgaFsh to Project Blowed.
“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed” – Michael Jordan
In the years that followed, Karmic Basis went on to produce and record multiple mixtapes and albums for his own benefit as well as for various artists. As a rapper, he opened for numerous artists including; Gregory Isaacs, Steel Pulse, Lupe Fiasco, Evidence, Abstract Rude, and Aceyalone. He linked up with high school acquaintances to form a band (“Burnt”), and toured the United States and Canada. His career was allowing him to get out of the sometimes stifling environment that he had grown up in, and he was able to reside in Los Angeles and San Diego to expand his creative talents. However, as his career seemed to be taking off, his personal life suffered in the background. His finances were dwindling, and the chaos of living show to show was closing in on him. In late 2006, he examined his life and realized that after performing and hosting hundreds of shows, he had nothing to show for it but an extensive resume. It was at this time that he made the decision to move back to the Coachella Valley. He had gained even more local popularity, and was being recognized by radio personnel, which led to opportunities to open for MIMS and Talib Kweli. He was being featured on multiple shows, including ones being headlined by Riddlore? and Wreccless (CVE), and was also headlining his own. In the midst of this he recorded what would be his last solo album “La Lumiere Bleu”, in just two weeks. Shortly after finishing the project, his relationship with his long-term girlfriend ended as a result of her conflicting thoughts regarding his music and traveling. With his morale at an all time low, he submersed himself in the whirlwind of parties and women that he had been surrounded with for years. He stopped pursuing a career as an artist, and instead focused on a career as a producer.
“A man is but the product of his thoughts, what he thinks, he becomes” – Mohandas Gandhi
The turning point came in 2009, as a result of being exposed to a new audience. After producing for Latin rap artist, “Capone E”, and having a song (“Let’s Go”) featured in the Latin and Independent award-winning motion picture, “I’m Not Like That No More”, KB became inspired as a producer to submit his music to bigger labels and artists. He joined on with XoundLyfe Promotional Partners to host events on a larger scale, and entered a relationship which would lead to his marriage. Always maintaining relevance in hip-hop has and always will be of the utmost importance to Karmic Basis, and in early 2011 he realized that people needed to be aware of his style of rap. The younger generation seemed to be so influenced by the mainstream “pop-hop”, that his style and the styles of those that had preceded and influenced him was being forgotten. He immediately pushed a few singles out, jumped on as a featured artist to numerous tracks, and did everything he could to polish his semi-retired flow. His words flowed quickly and efficiently into his music, being fueled by his experiences with life.
“Do not leave your reputation to chance or gossip; it is your life’s artwork, and you must craft it, hone it, and display it with the care of an artist.” – Robert Greene
With a vast catalog of music that he has produced and/or recorded, Karmic Basis keeps one goal in mind….CREATE GOOD MUSIC…. with his first solo album in three years set to be released in early 2012, he leaves us all in suspense with no clue of the content. We can only expect that it will be a true work of art created with the intent to educate our youth on what mainstream hip-hop has attempted to leave behind.