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Lifesavas, the Portland, OR-based duo of MC Vursatyl and producer/MC Jumbo the Garbageman, became one of the few non-affiliated artists to release a record through Quannum, the successor to underground rap phenom Solesides. The duo met while playing basketball and soon got hipped to each other's rapping talents; after a short-lived project, they formed Lifesavas and recorded a single, "Grand Larceny." After it was heard by Quannum-connected Chief Xcel, the pair began getting spins and did a show with Latyrx. Second single "Headexercise" was released on Quannum, and after steady touring with Blackalicious, Lifesavas released a debut full-length, Spirit in Stone, in 2003. For their next project the group decided, in order to give themselves more artistic freedom, to create a story about a never-completed blaxpoitation film whose director had shared his ideas with the rappers after moving to Portland, which then in turn inspired Lifesavas to make a record using that as their guideline. In fact, this was all invented, but Gutterfly, a kind of concept album about life in the ghetto, and influenced by blaxpoitation and other cult films, came out in 2007 and featured guest appearances from Fishbone, Dead Prez, and Smif-N-Wesson, among others.
© John Bush & Marisa Brown /TiVo
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