Today’s Friday Feature is local rapping sensation and clothing designer Tassho Pearce, also known as EMIRC (pronounced immerse). For those unfamiliar with the Hawaii hip hop scene, Pearce, who is half Japanese, is one of the first Hawaii rap artists to find mainland recognition and continues to be the preeminent force behind the Island genre. He’s opened up for virtually every major rap artist who has ventured to Hawaii – including Kanye West, 50 Cent and the Wu Tang Clan – and most recently played the Pemberton Music Festival in Canada, an event with 120 artists such as Jay-Z and Coldplay and 40,000 attendees.
Oh, and his clothing label, Flip The Bird, is one of the most successful local lines, with a sneaker collaboration with hip hop guru Russell Simmons on its resume. For those unfamiliar with his designs, you’ve probably seen Pearce’s work around and didn’t even know it – check out the iconic logo on his hat, below.
Pearce just released his latest album, The Opening Act, which features nationally-known guest artists like DJ Q-bert and DJ-Babu, as well as Evidence and Rakaa Iriscience from Dilated Peoples. Expectations are high for the new album as Pearce is trying to breakthrough on a national level so be sure to keep a look out for him.
Here he is on our cover last year:
And here is the video for the song “Honolulu” off his debut release, “Rhyme & Punishment”: