For those that don’t know yet, Polyester the Saint is a name as telling as Bishop Don Magic Juan or Fillmore Slim. A moniker that carries such a convincing, almost mythical quality that screams pimp. For others, more specifically southern Californians, the name immediately triggers images of a quintessential west coast scene; low rider’s , wood grain, palm trees, beautiful women, the perfunctory cookout, a bottle of old E, a bag of kush and, of course, creez, but we’ll get to that later. Albeit not a “street entrepreneur” by profession, the rapper/producers’ approach to industry headhunters is similar in independent nature.
Coincidentally, I was able to speak with Poly after Independence Day. Like most, Poly spent the 4th grilling out and spending time with family and friends. Fireworks were not the highlight of the evening. “I went and smoked something though” he sneers. We both laugh. Poly has a lot to be happy about at the moment. With the release of his fourth LP, P.O.P (an acronym for Passion, Obsession, Profession), he continues to set himself apart from many of his contemporaries, thus garnering a deserved attention one doesn't always seek but eventually finds him or herself in.
The Los Angeles native has been making music all of his life. "I don't know, I've kind of always been involved with it from a young age. [I] was just always playing pianos or drums. I got a drum set when I was real young" he explains. In fact, one year he was fortunate enough to receive a Christmas gift from a family friend and personal idol. As Galactus bestowed the power cosmic upon Norrin Radd, Stevie Wonder gave young Poly a keyboard.
His most recent effort is a 14 track head nodder, smothered and covered in G-funk and all of its’ glory, but don’t be fooled by the regionalized touch of P.O.P. His small but growing discography has a very distinctive range of influences that include r&b, new wave, rock, jazz fusion and of course, funk. “I think it just comes from a childhood of listening to different music. I grew up listening to…Stevie Wonder, Rick James, Steely Dan – or even The Isley Brothers, The Gap Band or The S.O.S Band, just listening to that – you know? I didn’t get into hip-hop until way later.” And yet, ironically, Poly’s production credits and features for a few of hip-hop’s most acclaimed up and comers outnumber his own projects. A list of collaborators comprised with the likes of Dom Kennedy, Sir Michael Rocks, and Pac Div. Some artist he has been working with for the better part of the last five years, like his friend and second half of production duo L.A.U.S.D., Lazy Lou. “I don't know if I’d call it [a] ‘tight knit’ [community] or anything, [but] everybody has known each other for a long time and most people don’t really know that. When they see it, they’re seeing it at a point where everybody is really doing their thing. L.A. is big and L.A. is small at the same time, so it’s like everybody knows everybody” he says in regard to the sprawling city’s hip-hop comradeship.
So how does one with these credentials; frequently sought out by not only his peers, but industry legends like Chaka Kahn, E-40 and Dam-Funk (music to come shortly), fly so low under the radar? Choice. Quite simply, the stigmas and restrictions associated with record deals that have been offered to Polyester don’t “make sense” and until one does, he plans on making moves and dollars his way. Remember when I was talking about pimp’s earlier? “My first passion is creating the music [form] as a producer. That’s like, my real… I really enjoy that. As far as rapping and all that, it’s mainly to uhm…push the culture. It’s for the culture. It’s for people in other states, other cities and other countries. You know? These are our traditional things that we do…that you may not know. This is the lingo we use. These are the cars we drive . You know? These are some the things that you may know a little bit about, but you don’t hear anybody talking about it no more. You don’t see anybody doing it no more. So I feel like…I’m an ambassador to that, you know? Instead of me trying to be the ‘best rapper,’ let me outrap these people – I do it for the culture.” That, ladies and gentlemen, is creez.