Born and raised in Portland, Gepetto was influenced early on by local veterans Mic Crenshaw and Sleep (Oldominion/Chicarones), and given an outlet for his creativity in the recording studio of the private arts-based high school he was privileged to attend. He taught himself to make beats because it was the easiest way to have something to rap over, and has been updating his formula as an artist who raps almost exclusively on his own production.
After a couple group efforts disintegrated, Gepetto decided to make a solo record. The freedom of solitude and the lack of perceived expectations and time constraints from others left him free to explore the introspection and social criticism missing from his previous party/battle rap efforts. The record evolved from a concept album about a man grappling with religion to an introspective dive into social criticism and self reflection. The title track, Hypocrite, is a scathing commentary on young progressive America's apparent belief that awareness of privilege is enough to change the system, followed by the unapologetic declaration that the author is no different and has no plans to change either.
Some years after releasing Hypocrite, Gepetto participated in “The Big Bang.” Thought of by many in Portland as a “crew,” in reality it was a months-long constant writing lab and social experiment that spontaneously combusted out of a group of artists that happened to be in the same studio at the same time. Hundreds of songs and skeletons from those sessions are still being cataloged and sifted through to this day. As the dust settled from this period, Gepetto and long time friend and collaborator Brady "Daps" Merrigan wrapped up their EP together as "The Early Bird Project." They combined the upbeat bangers of their earlier party-rocking days with the personal developments of their recent solo work to create a self-titled EP of underground bangers.
After The Early Bird Project released their EP in November of 2015, Gepetto is again on a solo tear, doing what he does best: communicating the struggle of being a human being. Gepetto is currently in Los Angeles interning under DIY music writer Ari Herstand of Ari's Take, learning everything he can about the music industry and helping to launch Ari's new book, How to Make It in the New Music Business. Upon returning to Portland in December, he will begin to roll out three music videos in collaboration with videographers Totem Ent, as well as operating his online beat-selling business, Gepetto Beats.
Photos by MC Photography
- Who: Gepetto
- What: Emcee/Producer
- Where: Portland Oregon
- When: Began releasing music in 2009
- Tagline: Hypocrite Since '86
- Genre: Underground Hiphop
- Sounds like: Atmosphere, Aesop Rock, Brother Ali, P.O.S., Sapient
- Discography: Hypocrite LP (2009), Mixtape Ish (2014), The Blend EP (2014), Covers Instrumental EP (2014)
shared stages with:
2 Live Crew, Macklemore, Busy Bee, Grouch & Zion I, Oldominion, Mic Crenshaw, Sandpeople
Hawthorne Theater, Ash Street Saloon, Berbati's Pan