Evolution of Rap

"I don't think it's ever happened that any San Diego rap group has had music on a major movie soundtrack," says Joseph Hendrick, a.k.a. J Savage. His seven-month-old group Mercenary Click recorded "Bring Your Body" for the soundtrack to Illegal Tender, a John Singleton movie scheduled for release this summer.

"Our song is in the movie for almost 60 seconds," says Hendrick. "It's in an important nightclub scene."

Mercenary Click included Savage and homegrown rappers Evolution, Propheci, and Stash Skrilla; then they added R&B vocalist Tex.

"We found him by chance in El Cajon walking on the street," says Hendrick. "It's a crossover/international sound.... It's definitely time for something new; the market has shown that it's tired of recycled music."

The group's addition of a bona fide vocalist may help them over the dip in rap's popularity: rap-music sales declined 21 percent from 2005 to 2006, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. It was the first time in 12 years that a hip-hop album was not one of the top-ten sellers of the year.

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