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Tropidelic - Interviewed

- Mitch West

Cleveland, Ohio's own Tropidelic continues making moves playing bigger stages to larger crowds growing more popular each time they hit the stage. This American reggae-rock group fuses multiple genres into their unique style blending reggae rock, hip-hop, high-energy funk, and even marching band cadences into an unforgettable stage show. Founded in 2005 by founding members Matthew Roads and Kyle "Chevontez" Cheuvront, Tropidelic has since released eight studio albums: 'All Heads Unite' in 2012, 'Police State' in 2015, 'Go Down with the Ship' in 2016, 'The Hard North' also in 2016, 'Heavy is the Head' in 2017, 'Here in The Heights' in 2019, 'Tropidelic Live at Sugarshack Sessions' in 2020, 'Of Illusion' in 2020 and their latest 'All The Colors' in 2022. They've toured extensively throughout the United States becoming quite the road warriors, and have shared the stage with such acts as 311, Slightly Stoopid, Dirty Heads, Michael Franti and the Spearhead, Pepper, Flobots, and Wookiefoot. Fresh off their sold-out show at Red Rocks the night before our interview we had the chance to sit down on the bus with lead vocalist and founding member mastermind Matt Roads along with Tropidelics fast spitting hard hitting trombone player James Begin before they hit the stage at Liberty First Credit Union Arena opening for Dirty Heads during their stop in Omaha, NE on July 1st, 2023 as a part of the 'Island Glow Tour 2023' (review here). Also on that bill was G Love and Special Sauce along with Alabama lyricist Yelawolf.

It was the early 2000s. YouTube was gaining popularity and instead of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, etc., you had Myspace which was all the rage for bands getting their sound out to the masses. It was during their time at Kent State University jamming out with friends that things began to mesh with Tropidelics founding members Matthew Roads and Kyle Cheuvront. "I mean, I had a band in High School and stuff. We were just gigging around and didn't take it seriously. It wasn't until we started touring maybe in 2015 or 2016 that we started taking it seriously, like touring the country. It's a long never-ending thing, and slowly you just make those moves" Roads said. "I said this in another interview recently but they say you have to write down your goals and all that stuff. I've never had them but I've always worked hard. Goal setting can be a good thing but at the same time you can just track".

Matthew Roads, Bobby Chronic, James Begin Photo Credit: @thatonemitchkid

Like most bands through the years members come and go but for the most part Tropidelic has remained much the same. "The band has had a few different members but for the most part, I think everybody knows the group we have now more or less which has been the same for eight or nine years. Some of these guys in the band now were fans of the band back in the day." said Roads. One of those fans was Tropidelics fast spitting lyricist and trombone player James Begin also from Ohio. "My band used to open for them." Begin said. Did it ever occur to James that he would one day be joining Tropidelic and be a part of their sound? "I don't know. I don't know if I thought about it at all you know? I was around them and available. Our kind of music isn't getting played around Ohio. It's a big metal town. They were just the only band that was similar to mine." Begin said and once he joined, the rest was history.

One thing you'll notice when vibing out to that sweet Tropidelic music is they have some pretty notable collaborations and features. "We never wrote a song with a feature in mind." Since Tropidelic’s last album, 'Of Illusion' debuted on Ineffable Records in 2020, the band has continued to see exponential growth, amassing over 40 million streams on Spotify. They continue to release a series of impressive singles featuring guest appearances from Nick Hexum of 311, Krazie Bone of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Prof, Dirty Heads, Matisyahu, Devin the Dude, Brother Ali, Surfer Girl, Geoff Weers of The Expendables, Little Stranger, Bumpin Uglies, Quasi Kings, RDGLDGRN, Shwayze and more. So who might be down the collaborative pipeline potentially? "Kid Cudi. He's a funky dude. He's kind of like an acid trip. Like at first, he's hard to understand but if you listen to his music everything works."

EVERWILD Festival Poster Photo Credit: Tropidelic

What's next for Tropidelic? To put it simply: shows, shows, and more shows! Tropidelic continues to hit the road in support of their 2022 album 'All The Colors'. August 3rd-5th Tropidelic headlines their festival EVERWILD featuring: Pepper, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Prof, Iya Terra, Bumpin Uglies, Little Stranger, Mike Pinto, Kyle Smith, Surfer Girl, Boostive, Tobyraps, Brendan Clemente, Big Blitz, Skuff Micksun, and Mr. Princess. "Kind of the goal with it, we want to just talk to people doing coo. l things coming through our area. From all different backgrounds, you know we have so many different types of music." Matt said. September Tropidelic goes on the 'To The Surface Tour' with Kyle Smith, Joey Harkum, Sundried Vibes & Palmer Squares then the Alta Music Festival stage on September 23rd in Avila Beach, CA featuring more good vibe heavy hitters such as Sublime With Rome, Tribal Seeds, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and Shwayze. Tropidelic is more then just a must-see band and we're beyond grateful to now call them friends.


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