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MC Frosty: MC | MC Sketch: Beats, Electronics, Vocals | DJ Qoolee Kid: DJ | DJ KSwift: DJ

Genre: Hip-Hop & Rap

Sound description: Underground hip-hop.

RIYL: Orko Eloheim, Black Mikey, Vokab Kompany, Young Mass, Gaslamp Killer

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Synoposis

Inception: San Diego, 1996

Ex-Band Members: Demon, Beats, Electronics, Vocals DJ Syko, DJ DJ H.O.P., DJ

Background:

Icons was formed from a chance meeting of Frosty da Know-Matic and Ech-U-Sketch back in the early 1990s. Originally part of a bigger collective known as the Glasshouse, Frosty and Sketch broke away and started working together as a duo. Says Frosty, “No San Diego hip-hop group has been around as long as us.”

Their name was derived from a graphic they created that depicts four hip-hop icons (a microphone, a record needle, a spray-paint can, and a break dancer) in rounded boxes. Frosty and Sketch employed the services of two DJs, Syko and H.O.P., with DJ/producer Demon replacing Syco in their third year.

Their debut album What Legends Are Made Of... features beats by Sketch and San Diego producer Steve Vicious. A sophomore full-length, Capture the Flag, earned a San Diego Music Award and features 28 San Diego MCs on one track. Their third album Needlesmicscanslinoleum (referencing their band logo) was released as a double album, with the second disc serving as a launching pad for their collective of up-and-coming MCs know as the Armada.

The 2001 Icons song Eff U Pay Me mentions three record distributors that Frosty claims shorted the group on royalties. “I got every kind of runaround imaginable, from 'We'll get you a check' to 'We had personnel changes,'” says Frosty. He estimates Icons were stiffed for more than $8000, the cost of the 12-inch singles that were fronted to distributors.

Frosty says the group has never been about gangster rap. “Gangster is the dominant music genre in San Diego...but gangster rap keeps you out of the clubs.” The group's strategy is to sell a lot of records. “I need to sell 10,000 copies here. We want to stamp San Diego hard. Once you sell 5000 or 7000 in one city, it will take you to other places.”

Around the time of their fourth album The Prelude, H.O.P. left to pursue solo ventures and the group was temporarily a trio, with Demon as their lone DJ. After a period of inactivity, the revised Icons lineup became MC Frosty, MC Sketch, DJ Qoolee Kid, and DJ KSwift. In 2013, they released their Not a Scratch on Us EP, produced by the BatKave and Sketch. That summer, they launched a new website, HTTP://www.icons619.com, with an August 16 party at Sadaf downtown.

MC Frosty released a solo EP in late 2015, Audiograff.

Discography

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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