Clear Soul Forces
Gig Seeker Pro

Clear Soul Forces

Detroit, Michigan, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | INDIE

Detroit, Michigan, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Hip Hop Soul




"Interview: Clear Soul Forces"

Fighting Obstacles Knowing Ultimate Success (F.O.K.U.S.) is an arts advocacy organization whose mission is to create a diverse community using the arts as a common medium. F.O.K.U.S. views the arts as a universal passion as well as a unifying vehicle for people to rise above the divides of society. We work to create a strong collection of artists, audiences and environments that yield many benefits to individuals who think artistically and creatively. F.O.K.U.S. provides the platform for people to freely express themselves, which in turn allows them to create an identity and meet their personal missions.

Vanguards is F.O.K.U.S.’s flagship event: an annual block party celebrating the University’s artistic community as well as the close of the academic year. By combining live musical performance with inter-active art projects and old-fashioned block party games, Vanguards creates a unique space for people of diverse backgrounds to celebrate art together. In past years F.O.K.U.S has introduced the University to artists such as The Macpodz, Belikos, and Slum Village, as well as some of U of M’s most talented dance groups and poets.

Scheduled for Saturday, April 17 on the Diag, this event will show that artistic expression has the power to bring diverse groups together on common grounds, one of the main priorities of F.O.K.U.S. Vanguards has an atmosphere similar to a traditional block party with the difference being that, instead of a culturally analogous neighborhood, Vanguards takes place at the center of a culturally diverse campus.

One of Vanguards’s headline performers is Clear Soul Forces (CSF), which is comprised of four talented big dreamers from Detroit with a knack for converting feeling and thought into sound via hip-hop music.

As a group, CSF aims to make music that average people can relate to, and bring light to the fun side of hip-hop. As a preview of Vanguards 2010, F.O.K.U.S. Vice President Bryan Davila interviewed CSF member Kortez Marion.

Bryan: Who is CSF? Where are you guys from and how did you all come together to start making music?

Kortez: CSF is a four-man hip-hop group with a dream to spread good music as far as we can. Wimpy is from Colorado Springs, J.RoC was born in Detroit and moved to Rochester at youth, E-Fav was born and raised in Detroit, and I was born in Pontiac, but mostly raised in Detroit.

We all started making music together in the summer of ‘09. We started out by just doing performances and that’s how we came together, then eventually we started going to performances together. Then one night we all put together all the money we had, which had to be all of $75, to go record in a studio around Detroit, and that’s when we ran into Royce Da 5’9. He was recording in a different room than us, but I remember I thought he was leaving so I jumped on the only opportunity I had and asked him to check out some of our music before he left. At the time we were all still solo artists. [...] He just kept telling us how dope we were individually and how much further we would get if we came together. Thus, Clear Soul Forces was born.

Bryan: Tell us about Clear Soul Radio? Is this the first project you’ve all recorded together?

Kortez: Clear Soul Radio was released on Feb. 27. It’s hosted by DJ Mo Beatz and features nothing but us and some production from none other than me. On the project you will find the perfect balance of strictly hard rhymes and beats, humorous skits, and chill and laid-back tracks that you just wanna roll out to. At that time we really realized how much mainstream radio sucked and how hip-hop artists never got a chance to debut on the radio so we said, let’s just hit ‘em with dope music that should be played on the radio. Like, if we had a chance to host our on radio station, this is how it would be.

Bryan: What’s your relationship with Ann Arbor like? Have you all ever performed here? What are you expecting from Vanguards?

Kortez: I think it’s safe to say none of us have ever performed in Ann Arbor before, but I have a connection with the people there simply because Ann Arbor holds the most amount of true hip-hop heads than any other city in Michigan, and for that I can’t wait for Vanguards. I don’t know what to expect just yet, but off top I can honestly say this will be the biggest performance from Clear Soul Forces yet.

Bryan: Where do you see CSF going in 2010? 2011? What are your plans for the future of the group?

Kortez: Honestly, I see CSF taking over the due time. But in 2010, we’re just trying to establish the most connections possible before we start on our next project. We’ve put our project in so many hands ranging from Royce Da 59, Kidz in the Hall, 88 Keys, Black Milk, Daru Jones, Pac Div, Brother Ali, 14KT, Fashawn, the list goes on. Just based on the reviews we’ve gotten from websites, I feel like once we get this project in the right set of hands, our next one will set the world - FELIX LOPEZ

"Clear Soul Forces & DJ Mobeatz – Clear Soul Radio"

There’s an infusion of talent amongst the Hip Hop scene in Michigan. Every time I’m ready to say that I give up on this next generation of kids and their adaptation, or lack thereof, of Hip Hop, another artist or dope group comes across my radar.

That’s where the Clear Soul Forces come in to play.

There’s a lesson that can be learned from this generation. This generation of new artists, for the most part, is on their grind. They have the digital game on LOCK. No one has to tell them where to put their music to be heard, and no one has to tell them how to properly tag their digital music. They have the creativity on lock. They can do their own photoshop work, they can shoot their own photo shoots, they can produce their own beats, and they can record their own music. PAY ATTENTION!

Ok, enough with my rant…

These guys here are pretty dope. I respect their grind and they can put it down. So often you come across a new artist these days and they have no appreciation for the game and those that have come before them. When I saw Ilajide of Clear Soul Forces step on stage, beat box AND rap, during the open mic portion of the WHUTUPODE.COM Launch Show last Saturday and not only get my attention but the attention of Invincible? I knew these dudes were on the right path.

They released their first mixtape at midnight. So, go cop it. It’s free. Do your part to support the next generation of acts to do this! - Dub

"Clear Soul Forces & DJ Mo Beatz, Clear Soul Radio"

Clear Soul Forces’ debut mixtape is best summarized by a song in their song “I’m The Shit School”: “I’m not in the in crowd. I’ve got my own crowd, you should join in now!” Even when this Detroit group of emcees is using familiar beats like Hi-Tek’s “Driving Down The Freeway” and Black Milk’s “Sound The Alarm” remix, their unique disposition—confidence without arrogance, genuine affability, and punchlines that catch attention without trying too hard—keeps the tape going. And when the group does use original production, group member Ilajede’s robust instrumentals show that CSF can hold their own as much as improving others. With a comprehensible identity and the music to back it up, Clear Soul Forces has a bright future ahead of them. - WE Ketchum


Clear Soul Forces :: Fab 5ive :: Fat Beats Records
as reviewed by Grant Jones
[Fab 5ive] Rappity rap. Not technically a sub-genre of Hip-Hop but one that when mentioned, fans will understand what you're talking about. The type of rap music that is overloaded with rhymes about spitting rhymes, rhymes about being superior to other rappers, and rhymes that are delivered at a relentless rate, slapping the listener over the head until they submit. Clear Soul Forces are very much a "rappity rap" group, but one that managed to make it both relate-able and soulful with 2013's "Gold PP7s".

Following a string of short EPs, the quartet return with 2015's "Fab 5ive", enlisting producer Nameless as the honorary fifth member. There has been some mixed feelings towards this decision, and it's understandable given the great job that Ilajide had done on previous albums. Initially, I was of a similar persuasion, feeling that the bounciness had gone from Clear Soul Forces' style, but with repeated listens it starts to make sense. This is why reviews tend to drop a few weeks after projects release, because we're absorbing the albums and feelings can change. The choppiness of Nameless' production is the perfect foil for the wild flows and stop-start nature of the microphone being passed around between the crew.

It's noticeable from the first song "Cheese in the Sky" that the guys have tightened their flows, and they have updated their video game references to include blockbusters like Grand Theft Auto V. "Tha Numbas" also showcases the growth, both in terms of technique and song-writing, that the crew have experienced over the last two years. Songs flow more naturally, rather than feeling like a well-polished collection of ciphers. The Ilajide sound is still here too on "Mars On Life" (via Nameless) and "Blow Your Mind" (via Ilajide himself), but the majority of "Fab 5ive" is a crunchy, gritty affair with an almost lo-fi feel. Single "Kaboom" is a perfect example of this organised chaos, with a production best described as psychotic Dilla:

I can't really recommend "Fab 5ive" over "Gold PP7s", as it feels slightly different and arrives without the same freshness. Nameless' presence is welcome and while the instrumentals lean in between "Gold PP7s" and their earlier work (2012's "Detroit Revolutions" particularly) – it's great company to keep. The idea of changing producers with each album is one I can get behind and something that may boost the longevity of Clear Soul Forces career; it lends each album a distinct style. "Fab 5ive" is thematically similar to the guys' previous work, but with Nameless' choppy instrumentals and the refined flows on display, you won't be disappointed.
Music Vibes: 8 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 8 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 8 of 10

Originally posted: June 9, 2015
source: - Rap Reviews

"Gold PP7's"

Clear Soul Forces is the new old-school. As the name suggests, this Detroit group brings soul to their rap game. It’s not all about nostalgia and boom bap hip-hop, but rather bringing a modern touch to classic, sample-based rap and having fun while rapping. E-Fav, L.A.Z., Noveliss, and Ilajide bounce off of each other over Ilajide’s soulful and upbeat production. The nostalgic theme is furthered by the references and samples of classic video games. Clear Soul Forces found that they can satisfy a niche audience of nerdy hip-hop heads who will love hearing the references to Goldeneye 007, Street Fighter, Final Fantasy, The Legend of Zelda, Strider, and many other games, movies, and comic books. Admirably, they’re able to weave these nostalgic gaming references into their lyrics without sounding the least bit forced.

If you’re familiar with these things, it makes listening to Gold PP7’s a real treat. However, don’t get the impression that this album is only for the gamers. Even if you don’t catch all the references, it shouldn’t hinder your listening experience at all. If you simply want to hear some good, new hip-hop, Clear Soul Forces is one of the best new groups on the scene. Rhymes like “Bringing maximum carnage, be your own Basquiat / Put yourself in your art and originality tarnished by / Fear, not belonging, that’s what you walk on your own two for / Welcome to the Clone War” and excellent beats make the group accessible to just about anyone.

The chemistry among the members is one of the intangible x-factors making Gold PP7’s such an easy listen. The way they reflect off of each other’s ideas with such fluidity gives the impression that this is four young dudes having a blast doing what they are passionate about. They’re influenced by the sources of entertainment they grew up on, and those elements give charisma to their music. Sometimes they may get too caught up in this, for example when creating the Arnold Schwarzenegger “get to the choppa” and Allen Iverson “practice” skits. These cliches are passable and don’t add much of anything to the product, though it’s easy to overlook.

Clear Soul Forces took what made their debut, Detroit’s Revolution(s), a success and built on it in just about every way imaginable. They’re beginning to develop their own sound to distinguish themselves as more than “just another rap group”. As they continue to grow as artists, it’s not absurd to predict that Clear Soul Forces could be one of the most important groups in hip-hop going forward. If Gold PP7’s is lacking one thing, it’s that there isn’t enough stand-out material to make this something you’re going to be coming back to time and time again. However, it is a uniquely soulful and upbeat album that will strongly appeal to all the nerds out there. Whether it’s hip-hop or video games that you geek out for, Gold PP7’s is worth checking out. - Pop Matters

"They Shootin"

Clear Soul Forces: “They Shootin” (prod. by Ilajide)
December 5, 2018
by Michael Stover

I can’t front I’ve been waiting for a minute but the legendary group from Detroit, Clear Soul Forces has made their return. Over the course of the last couple years, the group has stayed consistent and hardworking, from beat tapes to solo ventures, the group hasn’t missed a beat.

Yesterday the four man group made their return with brand new visuals for their single “They Shootin”. Clear Soul Forces has always brought incredible bars (with social commentary) combined with banging production, but what gets me most is the chemistry between all four guys. “They Shootin” shows them bouncing lyrics off each other and it never gets old. Noveliss, Ilajide, E-Fav & L.A.Z. bring the best out of each other and this video, their album “Still” is set to drop in February and I can’t wait.

You can check out the video for “They Shootin” above. Keep it locked on Dead End Hip Hop for news & details. - Dead End Hip-Hop

"Hit Me Now"

Clear Soul Forces' "Hit Me Now" starts off with a bang and once again shows why the Detroit raised rap group is one of the best lyricists in the game right now. Setting the pace with a classic ODB line from "Shimmy Shimmy Ya", the verbal assault just keeps pouring in like tropical rain. Lines like "Normally I come to the studio with a cannon but I pulled the master sword and I'm looking to slay Ganon..." help keep the link between their street cred and video game sensibilities locked down. The track is riddled with numerous references from Marvel superheroes to classic Nintendo games to good weed layered with metaphors and slick wordplay that could only come from the fantastic quartet. Once again the production goes to producer-rapper Ilajide who blends vocal samples (watch out for the Redman vocal on the hook), shuffles into a neck-snapping beat.

Give this heater a spin through any streaming platform and head over to the retail outlet of your choice to pre-order Still, which becomes available on Friday, Feb 22 through all major DSPs, as well as CD and a limited edition clear-or-gray marble vinyl configuration via Fat Beats Records! - Earmilk



Fab 5ive

Gold PP7's

Detroit Revolutions

Clear Soul Radio



A talented four man hip-hop group with a dream to spread good music globally can summarize CSF. The uniquely different members came across each other while performing in local shows at a bar in Metro Detroit. After rocking out at various shows together Jarrel (Wimpy), Emile (E-Fav), Jared (J Roc), and Kortez (Ilajide) decided to put their small change together to record in a studio around Detroit. To their surprise, Detroits own Royce Da 59 would be in the same studio. Royce was impressed by the vitality and talent of the young men and he posed the idea of becoming a group. Thus, Clear Soul Forces was born.

Wimpy: The lone member hailing from Colorado, Wimpy is a talented songwriter who possesses the ability to create catchy tracks without straying from the heart of the song's message. He is a concept genius responsible for the majority of the group's catchy hooks and he is also known as the networking master. He draws influence from The Clipse, Outkast, 3 6 Mafia, Incubus, and Wale.

J RoC: Although coming from Detroit, his sound isnt anything close to the norm for Detroit hip hop music. Already with a solo mixtape in his arsenal, he dropped the solo thing to chase the dream with his group members. J. RoC is known for his unique signature style of delivery and witty wordplay. He draws influence from Elzhi (Slum Village), Andre 3000 (Outkast), The Gym Class Heroes, Jay-Z, and Lupe Fiasco.

E-Fav; also from the city of Detroit is the most conscious member of the group, and is simply a wizard with his words. He is a leader and is probably the groups interior leader. E-Fav is a unique artist who can touch on real life issues and make it appeal to listeners everywhere. He draws influence from Biggie, Jay Dilla, Scarface, Eminem, and Blu.

Ilajide: Originally from Detroit, Ilajide's vast amount of creativity enables him to serve not only as an artist in CSF but he is also the groups producer. His production credits on "Clear Soul Radio" are: "On The Mic", "Drop & Go", "US vs THEM", "One Million Miles From The Ground" and all of the interludes. He is the most charismatic member of the group and has the ability to switch up his flow on any song. He draws influence from Little Brother, The Foreign Exchange, Black Milk, and Just Blaze.

Band Members