Out of all the members of the North Carolina hip-hop collective known as the Justus League, Median is the one who keeps a relatively low profile.
He hasn’t released a full-length album since his 2011 sophomore effort “The Sender,” which features production work by 9th Wonder and guest verses by Phonte, both fellow Justus members. (His debut full length, “Median’s Relief,” dropped in 2007.) He has a Twitter account, but he’s not an avid tweeter. Heck, when this reporter contacted rapper/Justus co-founder Cesar Comanche to see if he had contact info for Median, Comanche responded, “I was gonna ask you the same thing.”
Fortunately, the Queens-born, Wilmington, N.C.-bred MC isn’t that hard to find. He’s currently based in Durham, not that far from Duke’s campus. “Just by nature, I’m kind of a private person,” says Median, 37, from his Durham home. “When I came up, none of these avenues even existed – you know, the Twitters and the Facebooks and all of that… I’ll promote something if I have something going on, but I usually don’t keep people updated on what my day-to-day is.”
Although he hasn’t released a new album in a while, he does show up on other people’s albums. Earlier this year, he did a guest spot on Durham jazz group Zoocru’s debut album, “Lucid.” He also appears on “The Cowardly Boy,” the latest from Triangle-based rapper SkyBlew. Median says he’s always open to collaborations – that is, if you can track down the dude. “Whenever someone reaches out to me,” he says, “it makes sense I always do some feature work.”
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He still does live gigs here and there. Friday night, Median will perform alongside SkyBlew at his record release party over in Carrboro. People who attend the show will see the new toys taking up much of his time lately. He’s been working on mastering two loop pedals, the Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler (a favorite of comedian and “Late Late Show” bandleader Reggie Watts) and the Boomerang III Phrase Sampler, which he uses during his live performances.
“I have a microphone that I run into loop pedals and create a live soundscape, and I create layered music on top of that,” he says. “So, I’m doing all the basslines and beatboxing for the drums – you know, just different things like that… It’s a new venture for me. It’s something that allows me to explore my creativity in different ways than just being an MC.”
As a divorced father of three girls, Median also has a life outside of music. “That’s really where my first and foremost focus is,” he says. “Even that’s what inspires me to make the music.”
While he says he’s “stockpiling” material, he also wouldn’t mind getting together with his Justus League brethren and doing a little somethin’ somethin’.
“I’m still in a good relationship space with all of them,” he says. “Everybody’s kind of pursuing their own thing right now, so it’s not something that we’re in the works with at the moment. But, even as far as work that’s recorded, it could potentially come up to where something that I’ve already recorded could be used for a project or something, because we definitely still have a vault of work as well.”
Who: SkyBlew, with Median, War in the Pocket and SublimeCloud
When: 9 p.m. Friday
Where: Cat’s Cradle, 300 E. Main St., Carrboro
Info: 919-967-9053 or catscradle.com