Since the Great Migration of the 1920s, millions of African-Americans have left the rural South for urbanized industrial cities in the North, Mid-West and the West. In search of better jobs, fewer racial tensions and the promise of upward social mobility, these migrants departed the backwoods and dirt roads of Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Texas for the fast-moving cities of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.
With them, they brought their distinct Southern culture, spicy soul food recipes and just as important, their music. Of these pilgrims who made the exodus from their rustic homes down South to the Promised Land of the North is Indianapolis-based rap duo Split Seed.
Absorbing musical influences from their Mississippi Delta breeding grounds and rough Mid-Western upbringing, they encompass the best of both regions to devise a hybrid sound unlike anything the world has ever witnessed.
Made up of identical twin brothers Cetric (Roc) and Demetric Mordica (Hood), they have been making major noise down in the dirty South as well as up North. Over the past three years alone, they have dropped a string of stellar mixtapes and video singles, a full-length album and now readying for the Fall release of their upcoming mixtape Lion’s Heart and straight-to-video motion picture of the same name.
“We spit real-life situations but in an up tempo way,” explains Hood. “Most real music is slow and sad but we give you that realness in a way to make you want to move.”
Roc agrees, “We got a story to tell that nobody has ever heard, nobody has seen. Nobody has walked in our shoes.”
Born in the sleepy small town of Anguila, Miss., young Cetric and Demetric came into this world with the odds stacked against them sky high. Their parents brought them home from the hospital to a one-bedroom trailer in the middle of nowhere. With four older siblings already in the home, the kids slept three to a bunk bed while their parents slept on the couch.
“It was a struggle,” Hood remembers.
One day, however, their father had realized that enough was enough. So he packed up the family in a 1973 Buick 225 and headed North to Flint, Mich. “He wanted a better life,” says Hood. “We drove all the way there with clothes on top of the car.”
There in Flint, however, they were faced with a new set of issues. Back home in Mississippi, kids were lucky if they had a good pair of shoes, clothes on their backs and food to eat. But in Flint, it was all about name brands.
“When you’re in the country, you might not have shoes,” Hood admits. “And you don’t really get shoes until its school time. We didn’t know any difference so they were picking on us and we had to fight.”
That was until their middle school years when they discovered that they could earn money in the streets.
“Flint was like the wild, wild West,” Roc admits. “We had to survive in our habitat like wolves.”
They started off selling weed and got so good at hustling that they were the only kids in middle school who had a car, even though they weren’t yet old enough for a driver’s license.
“We had to park at the store and walk to school,” says Hood.
Around the same time, they began cultivating their musical gifts. As younger kids back in Mississippi, they had fallen in love with the blues music that they heard in the home. Their mother had made a name for herself singing gospel at area churches. And since elementary, the boys had been known for natural rapping abilities, performing at school talent shows.
So by the time junior high had rolled around, they were recording their own music on a karaoke machine. Then, during their high school years, they were recording verses over hot rap instrumentals via a local DJ’s turntables and mixer.
Under the name the Rugrats, they completed a five-song demo, printed copies themselves and passed them out in school and through neighborhoods. Soon after, they graduated to the studio to record and distributed songs throughout the city.
While Hood was pulling himself out of the streets and making a commitment to music, Roc, on the other hand was sinking deeper and deeper into trouble. And the next years, he would spend in and out of the penitentiary.
Only three short years ago, Roc decided to leave the street life behind him to concentrate in music with his brother. “You got to grow in life and learn from your mistakes,” Roc admits. “After awhile, you get bored with doing the same things. I had to make a change.”
That change in his life consisted of their long-awaited mixtape Long Time Coming in December 2010. They followed with 2011 mixtape Double Trouble and NYC in 2012. Earlier this year, they came back with full-length album Slum Dog. And now, they are awaiting the release of their upcoming mixtape Lion’s Heart and straight-to-video movie of the same name.
And with a string of popular singles and music videos “Actin A Donkey,” “Money Bounce” featuring the GS Boys, WorldStarHipHop.com video “Something Wrong With Us” and their current single “Doing Me,” Split Seed is well on their way to musical dominance.
“We’re the same people but we got a different outlook of life,” says Hood. “I like punch lines and Roc is rough. It’s just good music and doesn’t have any classification to it.”