Let us introduce you to one of the most promising up and coming hip-hop artists. The Cowboys, the Grassy Knoll, J.R. Ewing, the Stanky Leg… Dallas, Texas, is known for lots of things. Progressive, forward-thinking hip-hop has, until now, not been one of them. Quirky yet streetwise, fun-loving yet dead serious, A.Dd+, the duo of Paris Pershun and Slim Gravy, may just be leading the city towards a rap renaissance. With a recipe that falls somewhere between UGK’s downhome Southern cooking and the abstract vibes of the Native Tongues movement, Paris (a.k.a. 23-year-old Arrias Walls) and Slim (Dionte Rembert, 23) move easily between slang anthems (“Likeamug”), skirt-chasing tales (“Satellites”) and weighty raps about father figures and Black male incarceration (“Momma’s Brother”). Locally, they have even been labeled the “OutKast of Dallas.” As Paris states on “The Rapper & The Poet,” the lead track from A.Dd+‘s debut LP, When Pigs Fly, the group strives to offer listeners “a double dose of reality mixed with tragedy mixed with immortality.”
in 2000 when Memphis-born Paris moved into the same North Dallas apartment complex as Slim. After years of rhyming together, the pair decided to make their partnership official in 2007, dubbing themselves A.Dd+ (Spoken “Aye-dee-dee,” with the plus sign silent) after attention deficit disorder, the most ubiquitous of youth behavioral problems. “A.Dd+ is whatever you want it to be,” explains Slim, who is also known as “D.D.” “It has many meanings like A Dynamic Duo, Analog and Digital. The plus sign symbolizes us being beyond what others are on, always adding to the craft never subtracting. It’s all about imagination and creativity.”
In 2008, Paris and Slim met manager/then sound engineer Rosalinda Ruiz and, after a year holed up in her studio, they emerged with their debut mixtape, Power of the Tongue. While the 2009 release earned them local acclaim and a “Best Rap Act” nomination from the Dallas Observer, it just as importantly led to their partnership with producer PicnicTyme (of Erykah Badu’s Cannabinoids crew), who has become the group’s sonic sensei and unofficial third member. “He felt our creativity and really liked the setup of our first mixtape, and that was enough to get him interested in helping us develop a better sound for ourselves,” Paris explains. PicnicTyme has worked with artists like Kid Cudi, Erykah Badu, Rick Ross, Devin the Dude, and Scarface. His first solo LP, Sea Monsters, is scheduled for release later this summer.
Paris and Slim are at the center of a vibrant clique of Dallas MCs striving to do for their region what the Dungeon Family once did for Atlanta. “Basically, everybody we roll with are lyricists,” Paris says. “Everybody we roll with is more creative than what is seen on a national scale from Dallas artists.”
Coming off of the biggest performance of their career, opening for the Wu-Tang Clan at Dallas’ Granada Theater, A.Dd+ dropped When Pigs Fly in March of this year. Produced entirely by Picnic Tyme, the LP takes listeners on a ride through the streets of Dallas and a journey through Paris and Slim’s own offbeat imagination.
“When Pigs Fly represents the impossible,” Slim says. “We are doing what people are scared to do in this Dallas music scene. We’re making the impossible, possible.”
They have already been featured in Spin Magazine’s 5 Best New Artists For May 2012. They have performed at the A3C hip-hop festival, SXSW, as well as also providing opening support for Black Milk, Schoolboy Q, Main Attrakionz, and Talib Kweli. This July they will also be part of the Gorilla Vs. Bear Fest. They have an upcoming record which will be called Divehiflylo.