Mynding his business

Rapper Empty Mynd’s single spins in Northstate

MYND OVER MATTER <br>Empty Mynd plans a release party in Chico early next year. With his new CD set to come out this spring, he is already working on fresh projects.

Empty Mynd plans a release party in Chico early next year. With his new CD set to come out this spring, he is already working on fresh projects.

Photo By Tom Angel

Empty Mynd has quit his day job. The Northstate’s most widely known rap artist is dedicating himself full-time to pushing a new single and whetting hip-hop appetites for his upcoming CD.

A Day in the Life, in stores Dec. 30, is already being played on radio stations from Sacramento to Medford, including Club 96.7 and Colors 92.7 in Chico.

“The original plan was to be big in the big city. [Now] the main thing is to get the love and support from the home crowd,” Empty Mynd said of his publicity strategy. Once he locks that market, “eventually I’ll conquer L.A. and the Bay Area.”

While the CD’s club track, “Rock Ya Body,” has the reggae flavor popular in hip-hop today, the title song spotlights Empty Mynd’s mellower side with a clever keyboard presence and a beat he described as real but “very commercial.”

Executive-produced by partner Steve “LowLow” Thomas, the CD was made without any help from the major label to which Empty Mynd is signed. His investors in West World Entertainment hope that by the time the complete album is released on April 28, they will have sold 250,000 copies of the $5 single, which is also available in vinyl and comes with a professionally designed poster.

“My main goal is to let people know I’m coming,” he said. His last album, released in April 2001, flopped after the label, an EMI subsidiary, failed to promote it. It’s taken Empty Mynd years to get past the bitterness and back to the ciphers he loves.

“I feel refreshed and I’m back,” said the 31-year-old, Panama-born artist, who moved from Chico to Redding a few years ago to clear his head.

“This time around, I blocked everybody out,” he said. “I just focused and said, ‘This time I have no one to blame but myself.’ This time I wanted to make sure when I hit them I hit them right.”

Boomer Davis, DJ at Club 96.7, said A Day in the Life is Empty Mynd’s coming of age. “I’ve always said if anyone from Northern California is gonna blow up, it’d be him,” he said. “I’m excited to see what’s going to happen next.”

Empty Mynd and his partners are pushing to see the West World name expand to a widely recognized multimedia group and brand in the coming years. “The rap game is all about promotion,” he said. “It’s a very rough sport. You gotta fight your way to the top.”

If Empty Mynd, whose given name is David Ward, had any fears that his fans had forgotten him after three years without a new CD, they were put to rest after a September concert at the Brick Works in which he joined a bill with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. “I knew I still had the support,” he said. “It was like a family reunion all over again.”

His self-esteem is doing well, too. "I’ve pretty much got an album full of singles," he said. "I think in all honesty this is going to take me somewhere."