Wide Eyes was established in 2004 by emcee Filth Phantom and producer Dimitry Killstorm. The two were later joined by emcee Sean Anonymous in 2005, and Dj Name in 2008. With the release of their first full-length album “Hands Tied”, the group defined their distinctive sound of intricate, heart-felt flows over hard hitting beats, setting the bar for things to come. Wide Eyes has grown from humble beginnings, to become a staple in the Minneapolis hip-hop scene.
Wide Eyes has performed everywhere from house parties and record stores to sold out venues and outdoor music festivals. They continue to build their fan base throughout the Midwest, and are steadily spreading their roots throughout the country. Members of the group have performed everywhere from Los Angeles to New York and from Seattle to Austin. Wide Eyes has had the fortune to share the stage with acts such as: Del, The Artifacts, Juice, One Be Lo, Blueprint, Qwel, I Self Devine, and more.
Q. Describe your sound in 3 words.
“You tell me.”
Q. How & why did you start the group Wide Eyes?
“Wide Eyes started in early 2004. It was originally 2 members, Tony Phantom & Dimitry Killstorm. I (Sean Anonymous) met those dudes in late 2004. At the time, they were the only people I knew that produced their own beats. They also had the ability to record. Being a young (17 year old) rapper, and just getting into the scene, I was very impressed. We started meeting up regularly… about a week or two later, dimitry & tony asked me to be a part of the group…. A couple years, and a couple DJ’s later, we ended up bringing DJ Name into the group. He was a lot more professional than the dj’s we had tried to work with… Also, he makes crazy beats and has the drive to get stuff done. We’ve been rocking as a four piece ever since.”
Q. Favorite venue to perform in the Twin Cities.
“As of right now, our favorite shows that we’ve done have been at the Cabooze and the 7th st. entry… But we’ve played and have had fun at lots of venues… From outdoor festivals, to little punk shows… Church basements & strip clubs…. We also hang out at the Nomad & Cause pretty regularly… I (Sean Anonymous) recently had the chance to get on stage at the Main Room of first ave, that was pretty cool. I’m definitely looking forward to getting the whole group up on that stage soon.”
Q.Do you see it as an advantage or disadvantage being a hip hop group in the Midwest?
“Every location has its advantages and disadvantages when it comes to making music. I’d say that living in the midwest (Specifically Minneapolis) is a good look. We’ve got a lot of amazing artists in the city. We also have a good amount of people that are willing to support good music in this city. So it makes for a real healthy music scene… I think that more and more people from outside the midwest will be looking here for new music in the near future.”
Q. If you could play a show ANYWHERE with ANYONE, who would it be/where would it be and why?
“That’s a tough question… We’d prolly play a show with Rick James….. in outer space.”
Q. How do you feel about the underground rap scene in the Twin Cities? Do you see it still progressing the way it has in the past?
“Like any music scene, Minneapolis has its share of good and bad, but our scene is very supportive which makes it stronger than most. I’d say the good outweighs the bad… I’d like to think that Minneapolis is very progressive musically. We’re seperated from most other big cities (geographically), its pushed the musicians of Minneapolis to do their own thing. Lots of music from here has a new sound.. It’s a good thing.”
Q. What’s most important to you about staying in the underground scene?
“We were never necessarily trying to stay in the underground scene, but we have put a lot of emphasis on being independent. It is very important to be connected with what’s happening in your city, whether or not a band or artist has sold out shows at huge venues, or millions of plays on youtube. Good music is good music, and whether it’s underground or not, we try to support it.”
Q. Any new projects or shows in the works?
We are currently working on a project with our good friend, and Chicago rapper extraordinaire, Phillip Morris. That’s due out later this year… Also, Sean Anonymous will be releasing his first solo project in July at the 7th st. entry. (It’s called “Anonymo”)…
“We’ve got lots of group and solo projects that we’re working on for the future, but the details and dates are unclear, so we’ll have to get back to ya on that.”
Q. Favorite place to kick it here in the Twin Cities?
“A varied assortment of bars, venues, restaurants, alleys, basements… You name it.
Prolly spend most of our time at our respective houses/studios.”
Q. Any shout outs?
“Please see Name Droppin video”.