K.L.U.B. Monsta
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K.L.U.B. Monsta

Birmingham, Alabama, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | SELF

Birmingham, Alabama, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Hip Hop Indie




"Underground Report: 7 More Indie Hip Hop Songs You Need To Hear"

Alabama’s Hip Hop scene has been slept-on for decades. G-Side‘s slow fade to the background and Doe B’s death certainly didn’t help the state’s wider recognition, leaving Yelawolf as the one big name to represent Bama rap. New artists like OMB Peezy and YBN Nahmir could change the tide (pun intended) on a mainstream level, but the underground has been holding it down for years.

Birmingham’s K.L.U.B. Monsta are a fine example of the unsung talent in Bama, releasing a series of excellent projects during the 2010s. The trio recently made their return by dropping a new single titled “Pre Season.” J-Dotta, Kel-Ricks and Joshua’s first release since 2013’s Canvas is a triumphant comeback, unleashing a furious array of bars over Rafeal “Anthem” Brown’s hard-pounding drums. The song is just a teaser of what’s to come as the group preps their next album, the aptly-named When Gawd Ready. - HipHop DX

"Music, New Music, Videos K.L.U.B. Monsta Shares Music Video for “Vacant Thrones”"

Birmingham natives K.L.U.B. Monsta continues their quest to push southern rap forward by releasing a new single and visual for their latest cut “Vacant Thrones.” The video is directed by Tig Knight and takes us into the everyday life of living in Birmingham. The music video is outstanding and shows off their intense bars, sharp lyricism, and hypnotic production.

The acronym for this unique hip-hop trio is made up of J. Dotta, Joshua, and Kee Ricks. The lyricists are three close friends who initially turned heads with their Wally Sparks hosted project Canvas. The mixtape stood as a testament to the sounds and philosophies of the Birmingham natives.Once you get into the sounds of K.L.U.B. Monsta you’ll find yourself studying and rewinding each and every track. - RESPECT Magazine

""Vacant Thrones" K.L.U.B. Monsta"

Alabama isn't recognized as a hotbed for new music, but a group that seems to be deeply embedded there is K.L.U.B. Monsta, and they've stolen our attention with "Vacant Thrones", a fiery new single that could really put them on the map. "Vacant Thrones" exhibits each member's lyrical proficiency and dynamic flow, and hectic production from Luke S. Crowder soundtracks it all. The single might resonate with lovers of conventional hip-hop more than this new wave, yet, it should not be ignored. - Hillydilly

"When Gawd Ready // K.L.U.B. Monsta's Properly Packaged Production"

Birmingham hip-hop

trio K.L.U.B. Monsta

have been

teasing this LP

all year long and it's

finally here:

When Gawd Ready.

Their twelve song

album is raw

and thumping,

it's a lyrically

dense assembly

of hypnotic tracks.

Front to back,

this is pre-meditated

and tactful,

leaving no open

ends. Because of

this, every song

has its own original

artwork. Because of

this, the art is compiled

into a zine. Because

of this, multiple videos

come along

for the ride.

Can we talk about

the song “Mugshots?”

What a bar-heavy

slapper of a track.

When Gawd Ready,

the whole album,

damn. - neonpajamas

"Secret Stages picks: 4 must-see acts at Birmingham music festival"

If you think that hip-hop is all “bling-bling” and braggadocio, Birmingham-based K.L.U.B. Monsta should quickly open your eyes to another side of the genre. Consisting of Kel Ricks, Joshua, Air Talley and J. Dotta, K.L.U.B. (an acronym for Knowledge. Learned. Under. Birmingham.) Monsta harkens back to the days of Southern rap groups such as Outkast and Goodie Mob, spreading positive, thought-provoking lyrics backed by soulful beats. Their latest mixtape “Separate But Sequel” (which can be downloaded for free) hasn’t left my musical rotation. It’s about time Birmingham put its own stamp on Southern hip-hop. - The Birmingham News

"Who to see at Secret Stages: Birmingham's K.L.U.B. Monsta"

In its second year, Secret Stages can still be an overwhelming festival. With over 80 bands and comedians performing in Birmingham's Historic Loft District over two days in May, people sometimes have a difficult time choosing which emerging acts to see.
The easy answer is "all of them," but it's not practical. The festival has a lineup with enough diversity to satisfy every taste: rock, country and hip-hop acts from every corner of America invade bars and clubs like Matthew's Bar & Grill, Pale Eddie's Pour House, Metro Bar, Das House, Rogue Tavern, Steel Urban Lounge, and the Wine Loft. VIP weekend passes are $60, while a general admission weekend pass is $25. Day passes are $15. All passes allow admittance to all bars that are part of the festival. Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.secretstages.net.
I have chosen a few artists from different parts of the musical spectrum to highlight. I'll not be able to touch all of the terrific music that will soundtrack the Magic City on May 11 - 12, but perhaps these pieces can offer some direction.
Birmingham hip-hop collective K.L.U.B. Monsta is Joshua, K-Ricks, J-Dotta and Air Talley. The four-piece has cut its teeth as part of Birmingham's Lobotomix scene. The acronym name checks the Magic City (Knowledge Learned Under Birmingham). They'll take the stage at Matthew's Bar on Saturday, May 12, at 6:45 p.m. I spoke to Joshua Bailey about Southern hip-hop, the community created by Lobotomix and the recent death of rap pioneer, Adam Yauch, of the Beastie Boys. - AL.com

"DJ Wally Sparks Presents K.L.U.B. Monsta – CANVAS"

Being realistic and honest, K.L.U.B. Monsta’s CANVAS may not make anyone’s year-end list. Hell, a year from now, no one may even remember the tape at all. But those who listen will remember and probably call it one of the biggest stepping stones of KM’s career.

Out of Alabama rap trio of J-Dotta, Joshua, and Kel-Ricks, I’ve known Joshua for a good minute before I ever realized he was a performer. Usually, I’d see him and either one of the other group members at shows and festivals as faces in the crowd. But not the throw-your-hands-in-the-air type. Nah, they were also focused and studying the sights and sounds around them. And in the year and change since their last project, Separate But Sequel, they’ve gone through a growth spurt that can be heard on CANVAS. Their time spent studying shows in the early singles “Chauvinist Clap” and “Sail On.”

Knowing these guys is why I say that the next project after this we’ll be talking about how CANVAS set them up nicely for the next move. Knowing that success doesn’t come without effort spent being good students doesn’t faze these guys one bit. And their strength shows through in their music. - The Smoking Section


It takes confidence and certainty to open your album with a track called “Monstrous Beginning.” The southern hip-hop trio K.L.U.B. Monsta handle the assignment with ease on their newest project, CANVAS. Originally titled Monsters, Inc, the Birmingham group have evolved over the years, yet forever staying loyal to their hometown. The KLUB acronym, after all, is Knowledge Learned Under Birmingham. The KLUB lets you know where they are from, the Monsta lets you know that they are crafting their beast into effective, structured madness. Something to turn on and scream through down the highway. Something to help mute the barks coming from your neighbor's poodle. “My purpose was to do it on purpose, fuck an apology.” Don't let the KLUB acronym assume that the music will fall into the category of Lil' Jon on some LMFAO shit. Instead, this sounds like the progressive direction southern rap has been paving. G-Side and Starlito and even Big Boi's Sir Lucious Left Foot. Rap lines talking about the struggle, the tough times and the hardship realities surrounding Alabama, but also the enjoyment of the world: lighting up in the whip, bouncing in the studio, pushing your game further beyond the boundaries of yesterday. DJ Wally Sparks hosts the CANVAS. - MISHKA

""In an industry where it appears “self” is more important than anything – understandable, too – hearing natural chemistry from a collective will never run its course""

So you need reasons to take time out of your day and dedicate a portion of your hard drive to Klub Monsta, a group we’ve been co-signing for a minute now? Fine, that’s not a problem whatsoever. Pull up a chair.

1. Big Rube is on the intro. I repeat, Big Rube, THE Big Rube, is the first voice heard once play is pressed. That alone should put the disclaimer what you’re about to hear is anything but generic.

2. Kellz, J. Dotta and Air Talley are the furthest connotation from shallow, proven on 2010's Southern Theory. Messages in their music can only be found by, and I know this may be too much to ask some people, actually listening to their lyrics. As the big homie Maurice Garland noted, “If you’ve been thirsting from some Hip Hop with production that feeds the soul lyrics that massage the brain, then this is something you need to download and share with your folks.” And not to totally jock what Mo’ said, hearing a group in today’s climate is something that should be given credit. In an industry where it appears “self” is more important than anything – understandable, too – hearing natural chemistry from a collective will never run its course.

“Playing To Our Strengths” has been on repeat. But then again, “Routine” and “Sam’s Street Child” has too. There’s something here for everybody as long as you have the courage to press play.

3. It’s DJ Burn One approved, which leads to the following question. Has Burn One become the gatekeeper for any and everything dope that relates with “country rap tunes”? Seriously, at this point, is there any doubt? - J. Tinsley - The Smoking Section (smokingsection.uproxx.com)


Two singles an entire album does not make. No matter how strong "Chauvinist Clap" or "Sail On" were, K.L.U.B. Monsta will judge themselves by how cohesive their previous project Separate But Sequel sounded and will hold up CANVAS in the same regard. By definition, the newest project should feel leaps and bounds over what has already been laid forth and on CANVAS, the Bama trio of Joshua, J. Dotta, Kel Ricks brush off any idea of a sophomore jinx by aligning themselves with DJ Wally Sparks and displaying a higher sense of rhythmic gymnastics from the opening keys of "Monstrous Beginning" all the way through the seven minute caper & closer "Heist". There's small hints of classic hip-hop (Mountain's "Long Red" makes an appearance for "Illumination") that the trio gets to run over but it's mostly a heavy drum and bombast affair with plenty of white knuckle punchlines and flair. "Clouds" with B-Flat & Jazzmine stretches in part due to the want and yearning of something better while the trio make it an all Tide party on "Barons & Stars" featuring ST 2 Lettaz, a Bama hero in his own right from his work with Block Beattaz and G-Side. Stream the LP below via the group's Bandcamp page and dig into another slice of Southern musical comfort food. - Day and A Dream


Every now and then you come across a group like K.L.U.B. Monsta that goes out of their way to represent their hometown to the fullest. In this interview, they tell us why it’s important to maintain hometown love and how they have evolved. - deadendhiphop.com

""It’s always a rarity when each and every track of a project deserves an equal amount of attention. The new ‘Separate But Sequel’ tape from Birmingham’s K.L.U.B. Monsta fits in this category of the elite where each record is worthy of praise and heavy rot"

It’s always a rarity when each and every track of a project deserves an equal amount of attention. The new ‘Separate But Sequel’ tape from Birmingham’s K.L.U.B. Monsta fits in this category of the elite where each record is worthy of praise and heavy rotation. Of course not everyone will love every artists, nor will a typical fan love every track from their favorite artist but if you’re looking for some good rap with strong southern influence then you’re at the right place. The 17-track mixtape, which i’ll consider a free album, includes features from KD, Jazzmine, Isaac, Byron The Aquarius and Groove with production from DJ Burn One, Skip, G South, B-Flat, John and Inkpress Anthem. With that said, K.L.U.B. Monsta have put together a great “package” of talented producers along with some very respectable artists. Take a moment from your chaotic day and give this project you undivided attention. You’ll thank me later.

Personal favorites: “Freedom Ft. Jazzmine” “Routine” “Sam’s Street Child”

If you haven’t yet, make sure to watch the visuals for “(+ One) Back and Forth)“ - Rob - Break on a Cloud (breakonacloud.com)

"“If you’ve been thirsting for some Hip Hop with production That feeds the soul, Lyrics that message the brain, then this is something you need to download and share with your folks. Ya’ll will not be disappointed”"

I'm Encouraging you to check out this project from Birmingham-based rap group Klub Monsta.

This shit is ridin ', jammin', dope and all of the above. Straight up Southern Hip Hop. Hell, They just have Big Rube on the intro.

They named it Separate But Sequel because its somewhat of a continuation of Their last project Southern Theory All which was pretty good too.

If you've been thirsting from some Hip Hop with production That feeds the soul lyrics That massage the brain, then this is something you need to download and share with your folks. Ya'll will not be disappointed.

Not to place any crowns on the young cats, but Their Sounds reminds me of a combination of early-2000's Dungeon Family When they were still Using that "organic" sound but beginning to experiments with more keyboard / synth Influenced production. Heard some things that Reminded me of Young Bleed's best stuff too. I know I'm saying a lot, but have to Their Credit They Do Their Own Thing going on. Plus its dope to hear other group actually doing Their thing these days.

Off the first couple of listens I think my favorite tracks are "Freedom," "Playing To Our Strengths," "Routine," "Office Space," "Wrong Choices," "Speech Impediment" ... yeah, that's a lot of songs. But trust me, this album is pretty dope. Check out Their video for "(+ One) Back & Forth" after the jump. - Maurice Garland (mauricegarland.com)


The place that inspired it all. It’s a funny experience driving into the unknown. Perhaps it’s because it’s been so long since I’ve traveled to somewhere I’d never been but the newness of it all is exciting. And then of course there is the music.

You probably already saw what I arrived in the state too. Then there was Charlemagne Records, an upstairs space that felt cozy and how a record shop should feel… lived in. It was here I met up with Josh from K.L.U.B. Monsta and from there we rode down to the Birmingham Art Museum where an Andy Worhol exhibit is featured right now.

The collection of his later works was interesting and marked my first time seeing anything of his not on a screen of some sort. Lots of images of cars, and a video of him painting a BMW race car. It was a random and cool side journey. And to top it off, the museum sponsored some local writers to do pieces on an outside wall. Legals walls are the greatest.

The thermometer read 105 degrees, bringing back memories of the first day in the A. Josh told me they rarely see temperatures below 80 degrees, something baffeling and slightly comforting to me after a life in the dreary Northwest.

We left downtown and drove out to B-Flat studio, a home studio, but not your typical one. A self taught individual, you can hear his beats all over an array of Birmingham work including the stellar KD album from last year G-Fluid and chunk of things off the most recent K.L.U.B. Monsta album Separate But Sequel. You should probably listen to “Routine” right now. And then the rest of the album.

After they laid down some verses and friendly roasting myself and the Monsta’s rolled out to Jim N Nicks BBQ where we interviewed each other about our respective cities while munching on some BBQ that could only compete with Blacks in Texas.

After parting ways I got lost for a bit in the confusion of too many intersecting highways but I made it back to the hotel and am plotting for my journey to New Orleans. I’m debating if I take the longer route, explore a bit more of the South and see the Gulf Coast or if I make a mad dash for the funky city and Currensy? - Will of membersonly206.com

""I don’t put ratings on reviews, but I will say this: If this CD wasn’t free, I’d pay for it. Without hesitation. And I would guard it with my life to make sure no one stole it. That is some high praise""

I guess I should have seen it coming from the initial spoken word that began the mixtape. Big Rube sets the table perfectly, speaking on the treasures and measure of a man. The love of family and friends, not money. How you impact the lives of people around you. Knowledge.

This CD isn’t like many others that I had ever heard.

Separate but Sequel is the highly anticipated mixtape from K.L.U.B. Monsta, hosted by DJ Burn One. Each song speaks of growth, from the brilliant opening song, Freedom, where they recount how music had saved them from their surroundings, against a beautiful backdrop of rising violins and Jasmine’s beautiful breathy alto gracing the chorus, to Playing to Our Strengths, where the blistering lyrics shatter any illusions of these gentlemen’s confidence in themselves. Destined is one of the purest songs I’ve ever heard. The honesty is staggering. Listen to the second verse. Then re-listen. And do it again.

I’ve never written a record review, but at the same time, I think I’m the perfect vessel to talk about this record, because it is so much more than music. K.L.U.B. Monsta has a distinct connection with history, with the knowledge of self, and they want to share that with you, the listener by any means necessary.

They rap about education, not bitches. About MLK, not drugs. I can listen to this CD and feel growth. Growth in me as well as in the group and the awesome thing is that it all seems so effortless.

I don’t have too many Hip-Hop or Rap CD’s in my daily playlist. I know that there are 6 or 7 groups that I listen to monthly, 3 or 4 that I hear weekly and 1 that I check out daily.

K.L.U.B. Monsta just reached the weekly section. This CD is that good, that diverse, and that necessary. It is a splendid sophomore effort that should be applauded and lauded by every one.

Well done, gentlemen.

I don’t put ratings on reviews, but I will say this: If this CD wasn’t free, I’d pay for it. Without hesitation. And I would guard it with my life to make sure no one stole it. That is some high praise.

Favorite tracks: Freedom, Playing to Our Strengths, Sam’s Street Child, Destined - Rashanii - single simulcast

"Respect. Interview: K.L.U.B. Monsta"

Birmingham’s K.L.U.B. Monsta has been making a lot of noise and they are collectively looking to push southern rap. They recently dropped the single and visual for their latest cut “Vacant Thrones” which is performing very well on Youtube. The unique hip-hop trio is made up of J. Dotta, Joshua, and Kel Ricks and they are turning heads with their Wally Sparks hosted project Canvas. I recently hopped on a call with them to discuss their new music video and latest project. Check out the interview below!

RESPECT.: What is KLUB Monsta, who does it consist of and what does it stand for?
K.L.U.B. Monsta is a talented group of young men from Birmingham, Alabama. The members consist of J. Dotta, Joshua, and Kel Ricks. The K.L.U.B. is a acronym that stands for Knowledge. Learned. Under. Birmingham. We were are all raised in the city of Birmingham and the city has directly affected our views on life. We feel like the Knowledge that we learned here created a brand of Monsta’s. A Monsta that wants to aggressively attacked Rap music, Videos production, Merch creation, and overall Artistic branding. We feel like what we have learned in this city created a powerful Monsta.

RESPECT.: Please explain the impact the state of Alabama has on your music?
The impact the state has for us is there is so much cultural history here in Alabama, with the common knowledge of the civil rights movement being formed and protested on the streets that we walk on still today. We don’t overlook that at all we accept it and allow that to shape who we are as men. To us Alabama has so much musical history as well and we want to be able to carve our names alongside the musical greats that have came from this state.

RESPECT.: Tell us about the making of the “Vacant Thrones” music video.
From the cover art to the videos our approach has been to write our own stories and created our own narratives. So apart of that notion we took on the challenge of writing and creating treatments for videos and visual ideas. Vacant thrones was one of the first visual treatments we created. We want to shoot something that was weird to look at and had the viewer wonder what the hell is going on. Joshua came up with the idea to create is wardrobe as a ode to Rap legend Master P. The visual starts out as a picture and if you notice in each verse the artist is moving but everything around him remains still. Just a idea that we came up with and it was no other person we could think of that could help us with that concept but our long time friend and collaborator director Tig Knight.

RESPECT.: Give us the background of your latest project. What made it come together and what was it like putting it together?
The When Gawd Ready album has been a 3-4 year labor of love. It has had so many up and downs in the creating process. From J. Dotta battling with a deep writers block to Joshua questioning was music really the right direction to focus in on. What made it all come together was the stellar production from the likes of Rafeal “Anthem” Brown, SWAT Team, A.P. Suaze, Skoolie Escobar, and FTN-Hghts Skip. These guys had some production that we all enjoyed creating to. Every new beat that came in to our email, one of us was booking a session with Brian “B Flat” Cook our long time engineer to lay vocal ideas. The production really revived our sense of artistic purpose and we cant thank these producers enough for helping us create a distinctive sound.

RESPECT.: What else would you want the people to know?
Our simple pitch to people is give this “When Gawd Ready” album 49 mins of your time, we live in a musical space where there is new music dropping everyday the landscape is a bit saturated with rap that sounds awfully familiar. We asked for your 49 mins and want you to gauge the question whether a unknown group from Birmingham Alabama is in the conversation of one of the best hip hop albums in the past 5 years? - Respect. Magazine


K.L.U.B. Monsta - When Gawd Ready - http://smarturl.it/zbj53l



Knowledge Learned Under Birmingham. The acronym embodies the hip hop trio made up of J. Dotta, Joshua, and Kel Ricks. The three close friends initially turned heads with their Wally Sparks hosted project Canvas. Properly defining and pushing southern rap forward with a concocted blend of sharp lyricism and hypnotic production, the mixtape stood as a testament to the sounds and philosophies of the Birmingham natives. Now the three MCs are back in true form, enhancing the voyage with their debut album, When Gawd Ready, as well as a batch of visuals, an illustrative art gallery, and enough bars to have you studying and rewinding each and every track. Grab some headphones or some oversized speakers and stick around for the world of K.L.U.B. Monsta.

Band Members