By Roy Kasten
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If you see Wiley Edward Price IV in the student lounge at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park, do not challenge him to a game of pool. You will win twenty bucks off the first one, yes, but during the double-or-nothing rematch you will get spanked. Pool pays for his studio time, claims Price, a charismatic 22-year-old who goes by the emcee name Space. He hopes to release a solo album in October, but today he's frittering away the afternoon at his mother's Skinker-DeBaliviere house, watching old Mike Tyson fights with his older brother, William Jaime Price, also known as J-Biggs.
J-Biggs makes his money as a cook at Kayak's Coffee. Unfortunately, the 27-year-old, who is hugeand today wears a scruffy beard and a Nautica T-shirt with the sleeves cut off, is also broke from pouring all of his money into releasing singles.
It's paid off, to some extent. His song, "Catch a Girl," is in regular rotation at east-side strip club Pink Slip, and it's crunker than the music he usually makes with his group, Committee. Space is also a member of the group, which is rounded out by Jia Davis, Santone and Toyy. They recently released Committee Ties, a sort of greatest-hits compilation of their last five years of work. The disc comes with a DVD and can be purchased at Vintage Vinyl.
The brothers don't have any plans for an album of duets, but clearly feed off each other's energy. (They recently played the Loop Underground at the Pageant together.) In fact, family is obviously important to this bunch: They coined the name "Committee" when their mother, Leata Price, ran for 28th Ward Committeewoman a few years back. (She lost.)
Mike Tyson, meanwhile, is currently routing Trevor Berbick with his trademark uppercuts. That leads Space to apply boxing metaphors to his and his brother's career-management styles. J-Biggs is attempting to score a "knockout punch" (i.e., a big hit) with one of his singles, while Space himself prefers to slowly build his name through his albums. "I think if I keep punching, I'll eventually score," he says. Ben Westhoff