Named after the South Euclid neighborhood that Rodney Mynatt and Tommy Sheridan grew up in, From the Yard serves as the collaborators’ shared goodbye letter to Cleveland.
Together as Smoke Screen — and separately as Mooke da God (Mynatt) and Broken Keys (Sheridan) — the hip-hop artists are set to relocate to Los Angeles this spring.
“We’re looking to expand,” Mynatt says. “We want to tap into what’s currently going on over there. Given what we do, that’s where it’s at. I also happen to have a sibling there.”
“It’s something we’ve talked about for a long time,” Sheridan adds.
Before they go, the musicians will perform at the Grog Shop on Friday, March 25, as both Smoke Screen and in their individual projects. Tickets, $12, are available at the Grog Shop’s website.
At the show, Smoke Screen will perform its batch of new tunes, showcasing songs that center on Cleveland-related topics and locations. “Smooth Radio Jazz” features a music video shot inside Coventry’s Record Revolution, on the last day the famed shop was open. The song also features an interpolation of the 107.3-FM The Wave’s jingle, says Sheridan.
Crafted over the course of two months, From the Yard marks Smoke Screen’s fourth full-length record — and it's also the fastest one that Sheridan and Mynatt have made together.
“Looking at the perspective of leaving Cleveland was a different approach to this album,” Sheridan says. “I guess in a way it was our love letter to Cleveland, where we’re from, as we leave.”
The city placed an indelible impact that the two musicians will carry with them to Los Angeles, says Mynatt.
“As we were growing up in The Yard, we were always pretty musical. It’s always been a part of our lives, and venues like the Grog Shop and the Symposium and the Phantasy — all of those afforded us a lot of opportunities and got us to where we are today. We owe everything to The Yard and to Cleveland, honestly.”
Find more information about Smoke Screen at facebook.com/smokescreen216.
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