Dustin “Dust9” Guinee is a Los Angeles, CA based singer, guitarists, beatboxer, song writer and producer with the reggae rock stylings of Sublime, the thoughtful, heartfelt song writing of Jack Johnson and the experimental blues, rock, hip hop mashup sound of G. Love and Special Sauce. Dust9 has performed as a solo act and in a variety of groups and bands since 2005, playing throughout the east and west coast of the U.S.. Dust9 is preparing to release his debut album “What Color is Your Love?” due in late 2015, with 12 original tracks that Dust9 wrote, performed and recorded completely on his own. According to Dust9 “This album is DIY at it’s finest”.

However, for live shows, DIY is replaced with a full band featuring virtuoso bass player Zach Slater and versatile drummer Perry Ostrin. A typical Dust9 show can transition from blues heavy Hendrix inspired electric guitars to laid back Cali reggae rock to singing R&B over acoustic guitars to mixing beatboxing, guitar and vocals on a looping station, creating a rich sonic tapestry of funk and hip hop. The style is Cali eclectic, the message is enlightening and the vibes are positive.

But Dust9 wasn’t always a solo act. From 2011 to 2013, Dust9 was a vocalist, emcee and guitarist, in the hip hop, funk, rock band Focho. With an Ozomatli meets Red Hot Chilli Peppers sound, Focho was a collective of artist’s based out of the Bay Area with a focus on “conscious” hip hop performed over live instrumentation. Dust9 was the lead vocalist accompanied by front man and emcee L to the and backed up by Austin Geiger, guitarist/ producer, Casey Estorga on bass and Daniel Fellows on drums. In addition to the primary band, the Focho collective included a variety of emcees: Cyph4, Paiser 1er, UniverSal and Influenza. Focho shows were high energy rap showcases with true lyricism, freestyle sessions and soulful, funky beats. As the only vocalist in the group, Dust9 wrote and performed original hooks that were catchy and danceable but still touched on thought provoking themes in the lyrics. However, with Dust9 located in LA and the rest of the group in the Bay Area and New York, it made performing regularly difficult and the group mutually disbanded in the summer of 2013. Check out some of Focho’s tracks on soundcloud.

Focho crew

Focho crew: Front row from left to right, Ale Rodriguez, Casey Estorga, Dust9, L to the, Austin Geiger, Universal. Back row from left to right, Paiser 1er, Daniel Fellows, Cyph4 and Influenza

Dust9 wouldn’t have even been in Focho, if it wasn’t for the hip hop group he formed with fellow emcee Cyph4 and DJ Maddhatter in the San Francisco based, Construct Existence Crew. From 2005 to 2008, the trio performed all over Northern California along side a wide variety of hip hop groups including, Kalil from Jurassic 5, One Below from Binary Star, Percee P and more. Construct Existence Crew’s approach to hip hop music can be understood in their 2008 debut album, ‘Epic Knowledge’ where conscious, thought provoking lyrics intertwine with classic tributes to the four elements of hip hop with a backpacker’s aesthetic. The album touched on the political ills of the day and made commentary on the social and political climate under the Bush regime in America. After several years of building a respectful, following in the Bay Area underground hip hop scene, Construct Existence Crew broke up in 2008 to focus on individual projects. Listen to Construct Existence Crew’s ‘Epic Knowledge’ on soundcloud.

Construct Existence Crew from left to right: DJ Maddhatter, Dust9 and Cyph4

Construct Existence Crew from left to right: DJ Maddhatter, Dust9 and Cyph4

Literally since the age of nine, Dust9 has been involved in music and the arts. From winning awards in high school for painting and drawing, to dancing and performing in youth groups, to playing guitar and writing songs, Dust9 has used the arts to promote a positive message of love, peace and justice. He began learning how to play guitar and wrote his first song at the age of 13, while in middle school. That same melody he wrote at 13, was the melody that inspired the love song “Sunshine“, in which he wrote to propose to his wife, 12 years later. It was during Dust9’s early teens that he was also a founding member of the Sacramento Baha’i Youth Workshop, a youth dance and performance group that taught messages of racial unity, the equality of men and women and other social justice themes, all through the arts. The Baha’i Faith, a religion focused around the unity of mankind, was also the inspiration for the nine in Dust9’s name. Growing up Baha’i in the suburbs of Sacramento CA, gave Dust9 a more worldly perspective at a young age, surrounded by friends of many different ethnicities and nationalities. It is from these early childhood experiences of being raised in cultural diversity and creating art with soul and substance, that still animates Dust9’s creative endeavors today.

The Sacramento Baha'i Youth Workshop performing the "Racism Dance" in which two kids of different ethnicities are playing while their parents prepare to tear them apart. I'm the "white" parent on the far right.

The Sacramento Baha’i Youth Workshop performing the “Racism Dance” in which two kids of different ethnicities
are playing while their parents prepare to tear them apart. Front row from left to right: Mondana Paymanian Tang and Laura Savage. Back row from left to right: Jason Moore, Jenny Moore, Kim Schneider and Dustin ‘Dust9’ Guinee.