Fresh (Inc.) community-based hip hop

“Eugene has one of the most talented hip-hop scenes around,” says Kendrick Gilkey (aka Mac Nut), who is a founding member of local hip-hop group Fresh Inc. “There is everything for everyone here.” And on Feb. 8 at Luckey’s, Eugene is hosting two of the scene’s most vital up-and-coming acts: Fresh Inc. and The Architex.

Fresh Inc. are celebrating their second album, You’re Now Rocking With Tha’ Fresh!. “This project is a nod to the true school sound of the ’90s golden era of hip hop,” Gilkey says. “We paid attention to song structure and arrangements.” He says the group used more traditional songwriting arrangements to make it different from other hip hop.

The Fresh Inc. duo of Gilkey and James Cachero (Tzarkazm) has already built a following in Eugene, thanks in part to their live show. “Our live shows thrive on the energy level that people set,” Gilkey says. “When we do a show and someone expresses interest in the performance, we engage with and interact with them. We are disciples of the ‘old school’ vibe and like to do a lot of call and response and crowd participation antics,” he says. “To us hip hop in all its elements has always been community based.”

Joining Fresh Inc. is The Architex. Comprised of six emcees, The Architex are celebrating Let’s Build, their debut album released on Jan. 22. Similar to Fresh Inc., The Architex build a party atmosphere at their shows and have opened for such big names in the rap world as Rza (of Wu-Tang Clan), The Pharcyde and Kool Keith.

Fresh Inc. and The Architex play 10 pm Friday, Feb. 8, at Luckey’s; $5.