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With time on their hands, Tucson rap trio releases debut album

What started out as a mixtape five years ago morphed into the debut album for Tucson’s Unrehearsed Music Group.

The rap trio — Daniel Grijalva (Dsmoke), Eduardo Zuniga (3DWon) and Luis Vasquez (OddBall AKA Yung OB) — dropped “Split” last week on all major downloading platforms two weeks after wrapping up recording and mixing with producer Mario Bolanos at his Zona Zero Recording Studio.

Six of the album’s 17 songs were penned last year as the COVID-19 pandemic led to stay-at-home orders that offered the perfect excuse to revisit the mixtape they had been working on years earlier, Grijalva said.

“As soon as COVID started and everything started closing down, we had more time,” he said. “Once we recorded ‘Pressure’ and ‘Squad,’ it took off from there. … It was like, all right, we have this done … let’s keep going. Everything just kind of aligned itself.”

Unrehearsed Music Group released “Pressure” and “Squad” last year, reflecting on the social unrest nationwide and in Tucson last summer as well as the political climate that pitted friends and foes alike along party lines. Not long into the new year, they released “Capitol Hill,” inspired by the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

Other songs on the album were in various states, from thoughts on a page to partially recorded or fully recorded, Grijalva said. The title song was inspired by the 2016 M. Night Shyamalan horror film. Grijalva said the idea was to conjure up the “happy voices in your head.”

The trio dedicated the album to their fans and “those who were lost in this pandemic. We pray life gets better for all of us.”

“Split” is available on Spotify, Pandora, Amazon, Tidal and all major streaming sites.

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