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Music for the masses

July 26, 2012

Collective Language is a monthly showcase of local talent at the Wünüt Novi Youth Center on Diaz Lane in Bishop. Organizers are encouraging artists of all kinds, from musicians to painters, dancers and poets to join in and participate in the drug and alcohol free, youth-oriented event. Photo by Aime Banta


Collective Language, a youth-driven effort to promote artwork in the Owens Valley, will be returning to the Wünüt Novi Youth Center this Friday.

This month’s event will feature live music, poetry, Indian Tacos and a safe, sober environment for community members of all ages. 

Unlike previous events, this month’s Collective Language will feature visiting hip hop acts from the Los Angeles and Reno areas, in addition to local favorites Iron Subject, Kodyak Mauls and Smear Tactics, with a special guest appearance from Big Pine resident and famed cultural dancer Sage Romero. 

While this month’s event is more hip hop oriented, organizers said they would like to see it grow to include a monthly exhibit of all forms of artwork, from music and poetry, to painting, basket weaving and just about anything else that can be demonstrated in front of a live audience. 

“Art of any kind serves as an outlet for self-expression and communication,” event organizer and Smear Tactics member Scruples said. “By encouraging youth participation in Collective Language, we hope to give them a voice, and the tools necessary to express their thoughts, feelings and concerns, in a positive manner.”

Organizers said they want the event to be more than a showcase of talent and expression, and the older artists are hoping to set an example for the younger generation looking to share their thoughts with the world.

“It is paramount that we educate the entire community that this is a drug and alcohol free event,” Scruples said. “Families are encouraged to attend and support their local youth artists in any way possible. We hope to serve as an example, that ideas and thoughts can be communicated through art, instead of being unleashed through violence, or repressed through drugs and alcohol.”

New to Collective Language are Pawz One, an up-and-coming artist out of Los Angeles, and The Wild Things, one of Reno’s favorite local groups. Also, members from Smear Tactics and Iron Subject will be collaborating with Mauls and other local artists on featured songs. 



Pawz One says making a mark on the world is what most young, ambitious people set out to do, and he is on his way.

Rising through the ranks to become one of LA’s most talented and recognized artists, Pawz has created a reputation for witty flows, potent lyrics and his self-described “vicious rhyme schemes,” earning him the respect of his peers, as well as hip hop veterans. 

Having worked with seasoned producers and artists such as Agallah, DJ Rehtimatic, Ras Kas, rapper Big Pooh Termanology, Planet Asia, and more, Pawz One said he has developed an understanding of crafting songs and a more inept ear for production.

With hundreds of live performances under his belt, including SXSW, the Vans Warped Tour and recent Speak Your Mind Festival in Reno, Paws has built a stage presence that has earned him headlines in various college newspapers, magazines and on blog sites.




With a style clearly of their own, Wild Things has been making music since 2007, but only recently began releasing its work for public consumption.

“The name states its own; these guys are crazy and love to put on good shows and have as much crowd participation as possible,” a press release from The Wild Things stated.” 

Wild Things consists Of GK (Lynwood Slipp) and Goonie (Kyle Lysdal), two childhood friends who have had a passion for music since before they could remember. Last year the duo was joined by MORAL and Mk Ultra, combining their skills and imagination to create what has been labeled “ a breath of fresh air” for Reno hip hop.

Scruples said he was introduced to Wild Things at this year’s Speak Your Mind Festival, and was immediately blown away by the group’s ability to work the audience from the stage. 



Iron Subject is a Bishop based hip-hop group consisting of two emcees, Kwaz and Illest-Rated Abilitys and drummer/multi-intrumentalist Wyatt Gaunt. 

Formed in early 2012, they have performed at UC Davis, Whiskey Creek and are a part of the local push behind Collective Language, having performed at every event. 

Cousins Kwaz (Kris Hohag) and Illest-Rated Abilitys (Billy Barlow) grew up in Bishop and have been rhyming together since high school. 

In July of 2007, Illest-Rated Abilitys released his debut album “Six Years With Stupid,” which heavily featured his cousin. In 2009, he released album number two titled “The Poop.” 

Gaunt is a UC Riverside graduate with a bachelors in music. Relocating to Bishop in 2010, he immediately became part of the family and the trio formed Iron Subject. 

Kwaz has performed as a solo artist at the Speak Your Mind Festival, the largest hip-hop event in Nevada, and at the monthly Trevor Crow’s Hip-Hop Show in Reno.




Born and raised in Bishop, Kodyak Mauls began his music career in September of 2008 while living in Bakersfield. 

Before relocating back to his home town in early 2012, Mauls worked hard to promote and perform shows as often as he could, opening for Sapient of Sandpeople and Micky Avalone, among others.

After returning to the Owens Valley, he immediately began seeking local musicians to write and record with, ultimately becoming a founding member of Katchers in the Rye while continuing to write, mix and record solo tracks and collaborations with various local artists. 

Through the relationships he formed with local artists, Mauls has been an instrumental part of the organization and promotion of Collective Language. 

At this month’s event, Mauls will be releasing his new album, “I am Adage.”





Smear Tactics, one of Bishop’s favorite hip-hop collectives, has been performing live shows since 2010, when members Face and Launchpad branched out from their now-disbanded punk rock quartet Lights Out, to join Scruples on a unique mash-up of clever hip-hop rhymes mixed with a punk rock attitude. 

Since beginning their journey in Bishop two years ago, Smear Tactics has exploded locally, performing with renowned headliners such as Afroman, Agent Orange and Strung Out at local venues. 

The trio has also traveled as far as UC Davis, Reno and Tahoe to perform live shows for enthusiastic audiences as diverse as their unique style.


Collective Language will be held from 6-9 p.m. Friday at 2490 Diaz Ln. on the Bishop Paiute Reservation. 

In addition to the youth oriented concert Friday, the above-listed artists will also be performing 9 p.m.-midnight Saturday at McMurry’s Sports Bar on Main Street in Bishop. 

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