In 2007, Swarthmore native Kuf Knotz toured the country with the BurnDown All-Stars, playing packed venues and converting thousands of fans along the way. It was all due to being featured on the Fuse TV reality series, “Bodog Music Battle of the Bands.”
But the bright lights of Hollywood didn’t do much to cultivate the band. In fact, it broke them up.
“We were eight MCs and five band members, so their big thing was, ‘You guys will never make it, because you’re too big of a band,’” explains Knotz. “Then they started telling us certain members needed to go in order to get a record deal. When we got back, we had a lot interest from labels, but it was the same thing: We’re too big.”
Apparently, the powers that be never heard of the Roots.
These days, Knotz is promoting his first solo album, “BoomBox Logic,” in as many local venues as he can find, from coffee shops to outdoor festivals. On Saturday, he’s scheduled for double duty: By day he’s playing the Jam at the Grove Festival in Ottsville Pa., and by night he headlines an enormous bill of hip-hop acts at the Fire.
He’s even made inroads at WXPN — a station that’s not exactly a hip-hop destination.
“I don’t intentionally try to crossover, but I’m just open. I listen to everything,” says Knotz. “When I play XPN events, a lot of times their core fan base will approach me and say something like, ‘I’m not really into that hip-hop, rap stuff, but I enjoy your music,’ so I guess there’s something about it that’s easier for them to swallow.”