About the Minneseries: Each month, a different Minnesota act takes up a Thursday night residency at the Nomad World Pub, with different hand-picked openers each week (10 p.m., no cover, 501 Cedar Av. S., Mpls.).
His back story: A veteran beatbox-battler-turned-DJ at only 27, the Minneapolis South-Sider born James Logan is undoubtedly the only person who can brag of winning at Ohio’s influential Scribble Jam contest in 2006 (where Eyedea made a name for himself) and the very un-hip-hoppy Minnesota State Fair’s Amateur Talent Contest in 2005. “I beat this sweet little girl who played violin, and I thought I had no chance, she was so cute,” Gordon remembered of the latter feat.
Since then, he has toured with Brother Ali and performed countless local gigs as an opener, betweener or special guest, often threatening to steal the show.
His current goings-on: “Snugs,” as his friends call him, finally got serious about getting his beatmaking skills — both vocal and electronic — on record. He kicked off a series of EPs last fall titled “That Beat,” highlights from which have included the lightheaded single “Weight” with Sean Anonymous and the more high-wired “Drank” with Metasota, Manchita and Mike Mictlan. He’s also part of the weedy new group Black Spvce (“space”) with Rapper Hooks and 1990.
One thing he hasn’t changed up in all this time, though: “I don’t like using the [loop] pedal,” he said. “It’s not true beatboxing if it’s not just your breath.”
His plans: He’s issuing “That Beat, Vol. 3,” in conjunction with the Minneseries, and both ventures are a buildup to his as-yet-untitled full-length album this fall with Soul Tools Entertainment. “It’ll kind of be like a Timbaland thing, with a lot of singing and me playing piano and making the beats,” he said.
As for the Minneseries, he plans to switch it up in fun ways. This week kicks off with rappers Freez and Phillip Morris. Then there’s a video-game night June 11 (“bring your own controller”) and a classic beatbox competition June 18, plus a straight-ahead night with Freez, Tru Beats and TBA guests June 25.
Our impressions: His wide array of wins shows how well Snuggles can connect with audiences not well versed in hip-hop, yet all the noteworthy names that line up to work with him testifies to his strong reputation within the scene. He’s a perfect pick for the Minneseries, with many talented friends to bring out and broad interests to incorporate.