Hang around Dallas' music scene long enough and you'll soon be familiar with the regular players. Lately though, a formally clad, masked rap duo by the name of Whyte Noyze has been popping up just about everywhere. And they're not just showing up — they've managed to join forces with some of DFW's biggest creative heavy-hitters for their projects. So, just who are these guys? And what's up with those masks?
As the Whyte Noyze guys put it, both members grew up in very stereotypical, suburban households; Multi/ID in Carrollton and Melvin Gulley in Euless. Their parents weren't very accepting of their love for hip-hop. Multi/ID reminisces about his love for Cypress Hill's Black Sunday — and also its tragic end in his childhood home. “I had very evangelical parents — they found that album and broke it,” he says. Adds Gulley, “I think the album I got caught with was N.W.A. You know, growing up in a white household, they loved that.”
But the pushback they received from their parents wasn't enough to deter them from following their creative dreams. Multi/ID's brother had a studio set up in their parents' garage when they were kids, which allowed the now-anonymous artist to hone his skills. As for Gulley, he remembers a time before song recognition apps and entire websites dedicated to song lyrics, which forced him to put more effort into learning about his favorite music genre.
“I’ve always loved hip-hop. So, I eventually started writing down all the lyrics and that’s how I started memorizing the songs," Gulley says. "I started making music in high school. I played the drums. I was always messing around with beats. It just evolved from there." That evolution led the young beat-maker to Dallas Sound Labs (now MediaTech Institute). There he was able to dabble in audio engineering so that he wouldn't be "totally in the dark about that side (of the music business) either."
The years in between for both artists were spent working on multiple artistic endeavors — some together, some not. Gulley began a production company with his cousin and claims to be the first person to bring Eminem to Texas. Shortly thereafter, he found his way out to Los Angeles, performing under another name, while Multi/ID continued to pursue his passion here in Dallas.
Somewhere along the way, the pair decided to link up and work on a new project together, and Whyte Noyze was born. It's an anonymous, full-fledged hip-hop project that focuses entirely on their talents, although they make a habit of highlighting some of the best of what Dallas has to offer. And they're yet to disappoint. Last year, for example, they dropped their debut EP Assassination City, which features -topic, Paris Pershun (formerly of A.Dd+) and Buffalo Black, to name a few.
With their new five-track EP Whyte Rhodes, Multi/ID and Gulley have branched out further still with Whyte Noyze by featuring even more locals (KoolQuise, Alsace Carcione, Bobby Sessions and IQmuzic), plus platinum level rap star Layzie Bone of Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony and Billboard Award-winning producer J. Rhodes.
To Whyte Noyze, though, their music is more than just their art; it's a way for them to give back to their community by helping to highlight the amazing talent Dallas has to offer. “We want to be a part of that movement so bad. We’re trying to incorporate everybody in Dallas," Gulley says. "We’re trying to put quality artists on quality projects."
To DDFW Master of the Mic winner Alsace Carcione, who can be heard on the track "War" from the upcoming Whyte Rhodes, Whyte Noyze is something totally different from the rest of what's happening in North Texas — and that's a good thing. "Their voices are two of the most unorthodox voices I’ve heard, but they’re right on-point. And it’s because they don’t rhyme in the traditional metronome sense. They’re rhyming to fit what the song is telling them to do." As far as working together, Carcione says that it "just came together as a mind of lyrical MCs just doing what we do — which is murder beats."
As for Whyte Rhodes' producer, J. Rhodes, he's inspired by the professionalism and passion for community outreach that he's witnessed from Whyte Noyze. "I think if more artists had that mindset of, ‘Hey, we’re all in this together,’ I think that would actually go a long way with strengthening the Dallas culture," he says.
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Rhodes adds that while Whyte Noyze's "Beastie Boys vibe" isn't his usual forte, working with the duo has allowed him to push his own boundaries. “It’s not something that I usually work with, but it’s always cool to have a challenge. And to do something different," he says. "They tested my range and I’ve become a better producer because of it."
Now, for the masks. If you ask Multi/ID why he wears a mask, he'll tell you that wearing a mask is a way to lose your personal identity and be free to become a part of something bigger. "You can lose your inhibitions and we encourage that," he says. "That’s kind of the central theme, along with fun stuff in our music — just being a part of something that’s not the norm.”
That appears to be the rap team's underlying agenda. No matter who you are, no matter where you come from or what music you're into, you can come together, enjoy some good music and help promote your scene. As an artist, you have a unique opportunity to do that and stay true to yourself. Or, as Gulley says, “Don’t be afraid yourself. You’ve got to love your art before other people love your art. And if you try to copy somebody that’s gaining momentum and you stray away from what you want to do, you’re not going to appreciate it as much as if you stick to your guns.”
WHYTE NOYZE play an album release show with Mickey Avalon, Dirt Nasty and more at 7 p.m. Sunday, March 6, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., $21.