Local hip-hop artist releases new album


Big Oil and Terrance Amos just released their album, "Rich Mocha 2". Amos will be performing in the Battle of the Bands competition at the Bluebird Dec. 2. Ben Mikesell and Ben Mikesell Buy Photos

Local hip-hop artist Terrance Amos has been around music his entire life.

He said he grew up in a musical culture and has been a part of bands since fourth grade.

“It’s just something we did and eventually people start thinking you have talent and you start thinking you have talent,” Amos said.

Amos has been performing his music live since about 2001. He started his own music collective called Just Due and released his newest album last week.

“Rich Mocha 2” has only been available online for about two weeks, and without the help of a formal record label, Amos has been spreading the word through social media and networking.

“It’s definitely difficult,” he said. “We’re creating a small network of people who are pushing my music because I push their music.”

Just Due was created by Amos and a group of friends to help cross-promote each others’ music and share a common fan base.

Most of his friends, including Amos, attended IU and have roots in Indiana. Some still live in the state and others have moved to the west and east coasts.

“It’s starting to grow and get traction,” he said. “It’s a way for us to get gigs. It’s kind of like a group with a web presence.”

Not only does Amos work as part of Just Due, he is also featured on the “Rich Mocha 2” album with fellow artist Big Oil. They have been making music for more than a decade and said they think this is their best album yet.

“There’s not one message across the board,” Amos said. “I hope people see I’m an honest guy. Sometimes I want to party, sometimes I’m depressed, sometimes I’m happy. At this point it’s not up to me what people get out of it.”

On top of working with Just Due and recording albums, Amos runs a Bloomington hip-hop showcase called Fresh Fest.

It was named to honor the original Fresh Fest tour that took place in the streets of New York City in the ’80s, Amos said.

“It’s a way to spread the word,” he said. “Rap was way more open back then as to what was popular. There’s a lot of kids out there that are interested in it, but they’re separated into cliques of what they think is cool.”

Amos said in the ’80s, listeners could enjoy different artists and types of rap within the same genre. Now, there is a set mainstream sound that Fresh Fest and Just Due are trying to break away from.

“The idea behind that word is getting our just dues and giving good music a chance,” he said. “No one in the collective is doing poppy stuff. We try to appreciate good lyrics.”

Although most of the collective is hip-hop and rap, Amos said they are open-minded and interested in hearing whatever the community wants.

“It’s not just rap,” he said. “If somebody out there wants to reach out and share our fan base, we’d be open to it.”

Looking ahead, the group is continuing to make music and record new albums, as well as performing local venues around Bloomington. Amos will perform in the Battle of the Bands competition at the Bluebird Nightclub on Dec. 2.

“Music is not just about me,” he said. “It’s about the community, so I try to do as much live stuff as possible.”

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