The male/female rhyme duo comprised of lyricists E.P Da Hellcat aka The White Lotis and Olskool Ice-Gre aka Da Gud Dr, collectively known as Abstract Mindstate, create authentic, spirit pleasing Hip Hop music that resonates with listeners the world over. After a sixteen-year hiatus, the group returned with a full-length album titled Dreams Still Inspire. This eleven-track opus was released on Yeezy Sound (YZY SND) in 2021 and received countless positive reviews including the coveted “AOTY” stamp by several well-respected music sites, blogs, and journalists.
“Who’s Abstract Mindstate?” was what a lot of rap fans were wondering after Kanye included their name on the proposed roster in the tweet, he used to announce Yeezy Sound. The answer is the greatest rap duo you’ve never heard of. Formed in Mississippi at the turn of the millennium, when Olskool (from Chicago’s South Side) and E.P (a West Sider) were students at Jackson State University. After college the duo returned home in time to join a blossoming conscious rap scene that included Common and Kanye, who started making beats for them on their 2001 debut LP We Paid Let Us In!
Some may wonder how a group formed decades ago remains so relevant in today’s rap climate. The answer can be found on the interlude titled “Voicemail” from Dreams Still Inspire where Emmy Nominated comedian Deon Cole states “a vibe ain’t got an age.” Everything about the Abstract Mindstate sound is a vibe. Their production is consistently soulful, the conversations and topics are brutally honest and real, and their live performance extremely energetic and connected.
Abstract Mindstate is golden era sensibilities meets a modern feel. They proudly label themselves Adult Contemporary Hip Hop or ACH, a term Olskool Ice-Gre coined and has been using to describe the group’s music for several years. Also known as The Wonder Twins, they are recognized as “the only” or “first” in a few regards. Abstract Mindstate is the only male/female rhyme duo in Hip Hop. They were the first rap group in their city comprised of a member from the Southside and one from the Westside, and they are the first and only group to officially release music on YZY SND. Although no longer affiliated with the label, they continue to evolve as part of the Slum Village family, a sibling like group who are internationally loved Hip Hop legends.
“Why Abstract Mindstate?” Maybe it’s the universe trying to balance a minor but meaningful cosmic injustice. Maybe it’s because hip-hop needs E.P and Olskool’s verbal dynamics to give the masses the complexity that today’s one-note rappers leave us hungry for, offering a return to Golden Age fundamentals for the grown rap fans who’ve been tuning out the noise. Or maybe it’s just that Abstract Mindstate’s supporters the first time around saw that Olskool and E.P possess a talent that time, bad luck and loss can’t keep down. They don’t sound as good as they did 20 years ago—they sound better! They’re still running parkour lines over the beat, deploying multi-dimensional wordplay like artillery, with messages deepened by hard-won wisdom. This is conscious rap on a new level of consciousness.
We Paid Let Us In! The Legend of Abstract Mindstate
The film chronicles the inspiring journey of Chicago’s hardest-working rhyme duo, Abstract Mindstate. A standout in Chicago’s hip hop scene during the late ’90s and early 2000s, Olskool Ice-Gre and E.P the Hellcat were known for their live show and gritty double entendre laced lyrics. As the only noted male/female duo in hip hop, Abstract Mindstate faced many highs and lows along the way that lead to a fifteen-year hiatus until one of the most decorated artists in music, Kanye West got a hold of some of their early work and was inspired to produce an entire album of new music for the group. Armed with a new body of work and a cosign from one of the biggest names in the world, Abstract Mindstate is here to tell the world that Dreams Still Inspire.