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June 21, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
Tripl3 Crown hadn’t performed together in seven years. When the hip-hop group began in 1998, it was energized by the collegiate fire of friends Jeff Blumer, Patrick Fielder and Brandt McCarville. That fire was rekindled on Oct. 1, 2011. It was then, with each member in his 30s, that the trio decided to pick up the mics again and perform a benefit show for their friend Jesse, who died of cancer earlier that year. It was supposed to be a one-time performance.
However, after getting another taste of playing together, the men reclaimed their stage names of Dirty Deedz, Fetti and B-Smooth and restarted Tripl3 Crown. They returned with new shows, new songs and a new outlook, all in honor of Jesse’s memory. According to the group, Jesse was a dedicated fan of hip-hop and an ardent supporter of Tripl3 Crown. His passion for both inspired the show and the group’s reformation.
After the show successfully raised $1,400 for the Jimmy V Foundation, a charity to find a cure for cancer, the trio kicked off 2012 with two opening slots at Mojo’s. This month the group is fulfilling two dreams by playing at The Blue Note with their idols Nappy Roots.
Tripl3 Crown splits time between writing new songs, promoting its music and meeting the demands of full-time jobs and families. Fielder and McCarville work for the Red Cross, and Blumer works in MU’s department of computer science. The three have also become fathers. Blumer says nap times make perfect windows for hammering out song details.
These lifestyle changes shifted the group’s song writing methods and the songs themselves. The trio has moved from the anger of its youth to feel-good themes of having fun with laid-back beats and breezy party jams. According to manager Luke Gorham, this is exactly what the group aims to bring to every show: a party.
Fielder says: “When I was writing 10 years ago, I was mad at the world, kind of following that whole gangsta rap trend. But now, I’m not mad at anything.”
“Yeah, I mean you shouldn’t be,” McCarville says. “Well, maybe mad at your taxes?”
Looking toward the future, Tripl3 Crown is focusing on playing more shows and starting parties across the Columbia music scene.
“I don’t consider the beginning as the prime anymore,” Blumer says.
“Yeah, that was just the warm-up,” Fielder says.