Prodigious and prolific emcee James Sobers, known professionally as BluRum13, has had an iconic career as a solo artist and a collaborative artist. He’s released two solo albums, done over 1,000 shows, and worked with such luminaries as Us3, One Self, Reverse Engineering, Bullfrog, the Russian Percussion, Resin Dogs, Ez3kiel, Groundworks, True Ingredients, and The Funginears. His legacy is celebrated in St. Petersburg in the form of a mural immortalizing the members of One Self.
It’s been a dazzling and dizzying career trajectory heightened in the last 6 years by fan demand for a new solo album. Behind the scenes, BluRum13 took time off to creatively recharge. In this time he experimented with drum and bass and electronica, and sought inspiration in the revolutionary evolutionary philosophies in Zecharia Sitchin’s The 12th Planet and in the writings and teachings of Lloyd Pye. The lesson learned: Art that truly connects with the outside world comes from within, free from any expectations or music biz demands. Fittingly, BluRum13’s latest, Inverted, is a masterwork of kaleidoscopic creativity.
BluRum13/James Sobers was born in New York, but grew up in Maryland where he established his distinct aesthetic, a mélange of acrobatic rhymes, poetic profundities, and silken, sensually sung melodies. His texts are empowering and enlightening, encompassing physics, metaphysics, astronomy, astrology, existentialism, social commentary, and uplifting introspection.
Sobers chose the moniker “BluRum13” because of its vague and mystical qualities. It’s a name that cannot be tied down artistically, it can apply to a band, a solo artist, a rock group, a hip-hop posse—it perfectly suits his fluid, multi-genre artistry. But pressed for a definition of the title, he breaks it down thusly: “Blue, from the primary color, a foundation that can’t be created; Rum, representing intoxicating fluidity; and 13, the proven numerical link to the cosmos.”
BluRum13’s music has been featured in Cirque du Soleil, CSI, The Family Biz (Canada), and Skins (UK). As each of his creative identities, he’s shared the stage with such diverse and respected artists as Maceo Parker, Herbie Hancock, Phish, KRS1, Public Enemy, De la Soul, Diggable Planets, the Fugees, Prince Paul, Cool Herc, and Jeru the Dama. He’s recorded at Abbey Road Studios and performed as a guest artist on behalf of UK tastemaker Gilles Peterson. He also founded the group WaterPower (featuring Keyez, Primo the Cinematic and, Resyte Theez), and he’s worked with esteemed producers and DJs such as DJ Vadim, Luke Vibert, DJ Grandtheft aka GT, Kid Koala, Ben Mono, Miss Ill and PM.