ConvoTronics: The industry of electronic conversation

Hip-hop fans, it's time to tattoo the name ConvoTronics to the inside of your eyelids.

"We're definitely representing the essence of hip-hop," ConvoTronics member Julius Hayes said. "When it first came around, people just did it to party and for love ... when we get onstage, we're not talking about degrading women. We're not talking about how much money we've got, because we're broke ... the focus is super-duper creativity. We never try to mimic anybody."

Earlier this year, ConvoTronics appeared on both the Detroit and Long Island stops of the Vans Warped Tour. They performed on the brand new "Bring It Back" stage — an experimental new platform for rap and hip-hop artists to showcase their music, which Hayes described as "euphoric."

"This entire year for ConvoTronics, we've been making history," Hayes said. "We whole-heartedly support what they're doing with Bring It Back. If you look on the website, I'm a member. It's a great cause with a positive energy that's bringing back all the elements of hip-hop. Everybody thinks hip-hop is just about graffiti and breakdancing, but it's so much more than that."

In addition to supporting the Bring It Back Movement, the members of ConvoTronics have also been attempting to jumpstart the engine of hip-hope here in West Michigan. They've already seen rapid fan growth thanks to primarily performing free shows and giving away as many albums as possible. In fact, sitting outside of Billy's Lounge in Eastown before a show, Hayes could barely go a few moments without a fan approaching to greet him.

"This is why we do it for free," Hayes said. "I'd love to get paid for this, but I'd rather have a million people at shows enjoying our music. You don't sit in your bedroom and write a hit song for the money. You do it for the love."

The band's double disc album, ConvoTronics: Industries will be available via iTunes in the future, but is currently only available "oldschool style" at shows or from the members themselves.