Genre: HipHop/ Underground/ Rap Alternative
Label: Universal Language Entertainment
Management: Phil Sisneros / Eli Cordova
Group Members: Shane Steele (MC/ Main Producer), Eli Cordova (MC/ Producer), Jarrus Steele (DJ/ Producer)
Hometown: Denver Colorado
-“Proximity Minds” (Self Titled) 2005
-“When Push Comes to Shove” 2007
-“Lead By Example” 2014
-“The Shock Therapy EP” 2014
Venues Performed At
Arise Music Festival, Pennsylmania Music Festival, Scratching the Surface Tour 2016, The Fox Theatre, The Boulder Theatre, The Aggie Theatre, Marquis Theatre, Pepsi Center Pavilion, The Belly Up, Three20South, Agave, The Black Sheep, Herman’s Hideaway, The Dinkey Towner (MN), Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom, Cervantes Otherside, The Walnut Room, Rex Lounge, and many others.
Artists Performed With
Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Aesop Rock, Nas, DMX, Blackalicious, Jurassic 5, Ugly Duckling, RA The Rugged Man, Copywrite, Eligh (Living Legends), Slick Rick, Cunninlynguists, Louis Logic, Phife Dawg (A Tribe Called Quest), Tone Def, Swollen Members, Sweatshop Union, J Live, Souls of Mischief, Killa Preist (Wu Tang Clan), Unknown Profits, Macklemore, Heiroglyphics and many more!
Local Denver based hip-hop group, Proximity, have been making music for almost 15 years and their hard work is finally paying off. They’ve found a niche with their own independent record label called Universal Language and are riding a wave since their latest release, Shock Therapy EP, which released in 2014. Their latest achievement coming as an impressive win in Arise Music Festival’s 2017 Rock the Scene competition. Rock the Scene allows the local community to vote for their top three acts for the chance to perform year’s Arise Music Festival. While over 900 different artists competed, Proximity managed to get over 500 votes and came in first place, winning a chance to play on the StarWater Stage at 4 p.m. on Friday, August 4– even making it into our top performances for the festivals review. After their set, 303 Magazine had the chance to sit down with the guys of Proximity, who go by the names Grafik and Provoke, and talk about everything – from how it got started to winning the biggest completion of their career in 2017.
Though ARISE has an enormous assortment of activities and things to do, they deem themselves as “first, foremost and always, a music festival.” One of our favorite things about the festival is their ability to book national acts while still maintaining their roots here in Colorado – local bands played throughout the entire weekend. There was an incredible assortment of talent bridging all genres and worldly influences. Some of our favorite performances included Brasstracks, Brother Ali, TNERTLE, Dirtwire, Proximity, SunSquabi and Rising Appalachia. But it’s safe to say Tipper took the cake.
~ Josh Cowden
Read the whole interview here:
Early spring Proximity released an LP “Lead By Example” in conjunction with Universal Language Entertainment. Positive yet unforgiving and conscientious rhymes over classic samples and cuts woven through beats that wink to a new era in production have facilitated in creating a sound that appeals to old school heads and new crew fans alike. Later this fall they are already turning it over with an experimental more electronic EP Shock Therapy which should surly separate them as innovators in the scene. These guys have managed the achieve success with a clear message that has been well received in a genre that needed some light and thought provoking lyricism geared towards a broader fan base.
~ Mighty Miss Rachel
Eligh of Living Legends is on his first solo tour, so I decided to go show him & Amp Live of Zion I some love when they came to Denver. Usually when I go to shows, I’m super impatient when it comes to the opening performers.. BUT.. I’ve come to discover that Denver has some really dope local artists. One is Proximity League. They were on stage when I first walked in and being the Hip Hop Snob that I am… I wasn’t sure what I thought about them yet. After a couple of songs & really listening to their lyrics.. I decided they were dope! lol. They had the whole spot jammin and vibin to their message. Their DJ was mega dope. I’m not talking about a laptop Dj, but a DJ with some real skills. I was standing there reminding myself to go cop their mixtape for a review.. literally thinking.. “Don’t forget, don’t forget”.. 5 minutes later.. I saw a CD sleeve on the floor so I picked it up… It was their CD! Crazy! I even took a photo of it because I’m a dork like that, but you get it. I’ll have to find time to do an album review, but I will definitely get to that. But for now… check them out!
~ Mallisa Raj
Underground Hip-hop Community
“Real hip-hop” is a phrase that gets thrown around far too loosely these days by anyone associated with the hip-hop genre. But I would not hesitate to say that Proximity represents that phrase to the fullest. DJ J Steele sets the tone for this group while emcees Provoke and Grafik excel at presenting profound lyrics while also keeping the crowd enthused. I think that Proximity’s lyrics are what separate them from most hip-hop acts. They offer conscious lyrics touching on important social and political issues that are very relatable from the average citizen’s perspective. The group that Proximity reminds me of the most is the great underground crew “Sweatshop Union”. My favorite Proximity tracks: “This is Us”, “Lead by Example”, and “Self Imprisonment”.
~Underground Hip-hop Community (Facebook.com)
Proximity, the hip-hop conglomerate from Denver Colorado is a group driven from life experiences and a strong passion for music. This Colorado based collaborative movement consists of two innovative MC’s and a classic hip-hop DJ. Provoke and Grafik craft positive yet conscious lyrics that everyone can relate with while J Steele applies the backbone to their live performance implemented with classic vinyl samples, and the cuts with hand speed that wink to the old school era.
In 2003 Provoke and Grafik pulled their talents together to create “Proximity Minds” an 18 track self-titled album that sold over 500 copies locally in its 2005 release. It wasn’t long before this trio was added as main support for national acts such as Jurassic 5, Swollen Members, and Nas. In 2006 Proximity took their show on the road performing throughout Colorado and the Midwest region. After creating a buzz on tour Proximity moved forward with their sophomore album “When Push Comes to Shove” in 2007.
Shortly after the group took a hiatus from the road and studio to restructure their personal lives and focus on the future planning of the next album. This ground-breaking project declared the arrival of a significant new force in Colorado hip-hop. In March of 2014 Lead by Example took their loyal fans by storm and raised flags from national media outlets such as LyricallyFit.com. Bursting out of their scene Proximity signed the dotted line and joined forces with Universal Language. An independent record label with similar sounding artists such as world renowned Windchill and Nieve. This was a perfect fit and a building block for the group’s future success.
A few months later under the new regime of Universal Language, Proximity released “The Shock Therapy EP.” Electronically infused beats with a classic hard core hip-hop vibe, this masterpiece caught the attention of a whole new group of listeners and broke them onto the world wide scale. With all these exceptional accolades, Proximity has not only risen to the top of Colorado hip-hop, but has cemented themselves a place at the very forefront of the music industry.