Jacob Battersby, 36, is better known in the hip-hop world as Celsius 7 and also performs as part of Psychokinetics; he recently released his second solo album, Life Well Spent. The album features Dirt Nasty, Baby Jaymes and Foreign Legion, among others. Battersby, who lives near Lake Merritt, was born and raised in Alameda, and early on grew to love the East Bay hip-hop scene.
He spent the spring touring the United States, including Hawaii, and elsewhere around the globe to promote the album. Battersby has taken his music through Europe, Japan and Australia, met by dedicated fans everywhere. “Music brings everyone together. No matter what country you’re touring in, the music itself bonds you with the crowd,” even if they can’t understand the lyrics, he says. “I pride myself on the lyricism and creating heartfelt music.”
Those are lyrics with style, speed and a deft touch. With light humor, self-deprecation, wordplay and a deep love of the craft, Battersby’s songs of love, politics and the world at large are “a complete reflection of who I am.” Lest that sound too sappy, be not afraid: Celsius 7 kicks ass onstage and on the stereo. Turn him up loud. Go on.
Battersby’s been performing since 1995 as Celsius 7, and though he’s met with prejudice and some tough breaks, he’s full of gratitude for what he’s learned along the way. Life Well Spent is “an ode to the culture of hip-hop and a thank you to everything it’s provided.”
“I like words,” says Battersby. “I love performing. I love hip-hop.” With an eye on making films and creating other types of music, Battersby looks forward to experimenting with other art forms and relating to the audience. “What I’m drawn to is really music that connects us in the human experience.”