Sole (hip hop artist)
|Birth name||James Timothy Holland, Jr.|
|Also known as||Mansbestfriend
September 25, 1977 |
Portland, Maine, US
|Origin||New York City, New York, United States|
|Genres||Underground hip hop, conscious hip hop, political hip hop, alternative hip hop, experimental hip hop|
Fake Four Inc
|Associated acts||Sole and the Skyrider Band, Pedestrian, Deep Puddle Dynamics, So-Called Artists, DJ Pain 1, Waco Boyz, Live Poets, Northern Exposure, Da Babylonianz|
James Timothy "Tim" Holland, Jr. (born September 25, 1977), better known by his stage name Sole, is an American underground hip hop artist from Portland, Maine. He is one of eight co-founders of the record label Anticon. He has been a member of the groups Northern Exposure, Live Poets, Deep Puddle Dynamics, So-Called Artists, Da Babylonianz, Sole and the Skyrider Band and Waco Boyz.
Sole recorded his first demo in 1992. At age 15, he assembled 45 Below Records, which included rappers Alias, JD Walker, and producer DJ Moodswing9 (then known as Cuz the Highlander). Sole and Moodswing9 released the album Mad Skillz and Unpaid Billz together as Northern Exposure, selling more than 300 copies. In 1997, Sole released a 12" as Live Poets with JD Walker and Moodswing9. It garnered college radio play and sold a few thousand copies.
In early 1998, Sole and rapper Pedestrian coined the name Anticon and together started a collectively owned record label under the name. In the same year, Sole traveled to Minneapolis with Alias and Doseone. They recorded the album The Taste of Rain... Why Kneel? as Deep Puddle Dynamics with Slug of Atmosphere. Sole and Pedestrian moved Anticon to Oakland, California.
In 2000, Sole released the first official solo album Bottle of Humans on Anticon. As So-Called Artists, he released Paint by Number Songs with Alias and DJ Mayonnaise in 2001. Sole's second solo album Selling Live Water was released in 2003 and received positive reviews; Pitchfork Media gave it a 7.3, Metacritic gave it a score of 77 and a user score of 9.5 out of 10. Later that year, he moved to Barcelona. Two years later, he released the third solo album Live from Rome in 2005. Soon after, he moved back to the United States, relocating to Flagstaff, Arizona.
In 2007, Sole released Sole and the Skyrider Band as Sole and the Skyrider Band. Their second album Plastique was released in 2009. In 2010, Sole left Anticon, citing a desire to further experiment with his music, independently of the collective, and also due to his belief that the label has developed away from what he initially intended it to be. Sole and the Skyrider Band then released their third album Hello Cruel World was released in 2011 to generally positive reviews.
Aside from his official releases on Anticon, Sole has also released self-produced albums on his own imprint Black Canyon. These include various compilations of unreleased material, as well as the releases of his Man's Best Friend project. As he is no longer with Anticon, Sole currently self-releases his solo records.
Sole is currently based in Denver, Colorado. He is married to Yasamin Holland, whose name is referenced occasionally in his lyrics. Sole has also been active in the Denver outpost of the Occupy Wall Street political movement.
Sole is known for his dense and often dark stream-of-consciousness style of rapping. His verses are often filled with abstraction, metaphor and sarcasm while avoiding or deconstructing traditional hip hop topics and cliches.
- Bottle of Humans (Anticon, 2000)
- uck rt (2001)
- Mansbestfriend 1 (2002)
- Selling Live Water (Anticon, 2003)
- Mansbestfriend 2: No Thanks (2003)
- Songs That Went Tin (2005)
- Live from Rome (Anticon, 2005)
- Mansbestfriend 3: My Own Worst Enemy (2005)
- Mansbestfriend 4: Poly.Sci.187 (Anticon, 2007)
- Desert Eagle (2008)
- Mansbestfriend 5 (Black Canyon, 2011)
- A Ruthless Criticism of Everything Existing (Black Canyon, 2012)
- No Wising Up No Settling Down (Black Canyon, 2013)
- Crimes Against Totality (Black Canyon, 2013)
- Death Drive (Black Canyon, 2014) (with DJ Pain 1)
- Mansbestfriend 7 (Black Box Tapes, 2015)
Whitenoise (Sole with Yasamin Holland)
- No More Dystopias (Black Canyon, 2013)
- Ruins (Black Box Tapes, 2015)
- Rees, Thomas (February 11, 2010). "sole Ends His Time at anticon". XLR8R.
- Dahlen, Chris (March 26, 2003). "Sole: Selling Live Water". Pitchfork Media.
- "Selling Live Water". Metacritic.
- "Sole and the Skyrider Band". Madison House.
- Breihanon, Tom (February 9, 2010). "Sole Leaves Anticon". Pitchfork Media.
- Ferner, Matt (January 30, 2012). "Sole, Denver-Based Hip-Hop Artist And Member Of #OccupyDenver, Talks Music And Life As An Occupier". The Huffington Post.