For those of you who’ve met Chali, you know he’s as tall as he is lovable. I’m ecstatic that he’s got this project cooking, it seems extremely avant garde, taking the whole artist experience and delivering it to the fan in multiple ways. I can’t do a better job of describing it than his team already has, so here’s what they say about what’s up:
A series of 5 EPs that run the genre spectrum, combined with a book-of-art that helps bring the music to life.
Get involved on a personal level by making a pledge toward the production of Chali 2na’s first-ever visual art offering. A coffee table book depicting the evolution of 2na’s career through original artwork and photography crafted by the man himself.
Before I had the pleasure of meeting Moe Green, I could only make guesses about his personality based off of his first release, I Just Want You To Hear My Voice (which you should download here. Yet from that project, I could get the sense that Moe wasn’t your average up and comer in the entertainment industry, who is just waiting to get a name and some bread so that he can shit all over the nonbelievers and the unsuccessful. Instead his music seemed to paint a picture of a friendly, down to earth man, with a genuine understanding of the hood, yet who also had a complete lack of interest in perpetuating it’s negative and damaging qualities, without demonizing them either. Luckily upon meeting Moe The Dreamer, my inferences seemed to be close to reality. Within seconds of introducing ourselves, his personable demeanor immediately led us in off camera discussions about his crazy evening the night before, Bay Area music of our generation, and the age old argument about the preference between beer or hard liquor.
Yet apart from being a welcoming person, Moe is a dope MC with a quality ear for beats, that often expand into many of hip-hop’s various sub-genres. I Just Want You To Hear My Voice was a ill introduction to the kind of guy that Moe is, and as result he was recently voted onto KMEL’s (the most popular Bay Area hip-hop radio station) list of the Bay Area’s Freshman 10 (which I plan on writing more about in the near future). In the following interview I got to chop it up with Moe about how it feels to be included in the above list, his upcoming album entitled, Rocky Maivia, his life long friendship with Droop-E, E-40’s son and one of the most in demand producers in The Bay, and a lot more.
For me there’s none better. And he says a lot in this interview, so if you don’t know about SK, click here and start the education. Keeping this post minamilist for the purposes of clarifying your mind, much like a pallette cleanser prior to a fine Bordeaux. I present to you, the #1 ranked rapper in the ZIF paradigm: Singapore Kane.
Providence, Rhode Island emcee, Reason, from the rap collective, Poorly Drawn People has an LP coming out April 6th titled Landlords & Lullabies. The homey Falside made sure I knew what the deal was as far as marketing plans, I told him to give me an interview. Here it is, another talented cat from Providence, proving that just because Boondocks Saints 2 sucked, doesn’t mean we should give up on white boys from New England.
1. Reason eh? You’re the reason for something? What is it?
Ha. Not much. At this point I’m probably just another “reason” to piss off the other 500 rap kids who go by the same name. I like to think the people over at the Reason software company are just waiting for me to get famous so they can sue me for everything I don’t have…or the good folks at Reason magazine…or Reason clothing.
2. How long have you been rapping/wanted to be a rapper?
Much to my dismay I’ve been rapping for half of my life…maybe more. That’s not including my formative years in which I spent most of my time jacking other peoples rhymes and passing them off as my own. Although I still do that to this day, I’ve just gotten better at hiding it. I can’t recall the moment within that decade plus where I actually convinced myself that I wanted “to be a rapper” but it’s probably been about two years since I haven’t wanted to be one.
3. Talk to me about Poorly Drawn People, the name, the concept, the mission.
Poorly Drawn People is the family. Always has been always will be. For those who don’t but should know the crew consists of Storm Davis, Dox, Falside, Educated Consumers(Seez Mics and T.E.C.K) and myself…all of which fall under the umbrella of Poorly Drawn Recordings. Hey look, another indie rap label!!! The mission is to basically make music that we’re not really sure is good but at least have some fun while killing ourselves doing it. I think I speak for everyone when I say we just want to make some art, get really drunk in the process, maybe break a few hearts and possibly sell a few records in order to pay for the next one. As far as the name goes its more or less the best we could come up with when someone said “I guess we should make this thing legitimate”…
4. How important is it have like minded people like Falside around when you live in a some what parochial place like Providence?
No matter where you’re from you’re always going to gravitate towards people you can relate to, I just got lucky that all of those I have shit in common with are talented bastards and it’s refreshing to be around cats who do this for no other reason than the fact that its all they know and the goal is to simply create.
There is only a small handful of people around here who’s opinion and input I give a shit about and Falside happens to be one of them. All the heads I work with I consider my best friends, there’s no business arrangements here. They’ve all either slept on my couch, borrowed money from me or gave me advice about driving by an ex-girlfriends house at 4 am. The way I see it is if you can’t do this music shit with friends then you’re better off dead because it just won’t work. With that being said, Falside go fuck yourself.
5. Speaking of Falside, talk to us about production on the upcoming LP, all Fal, or a mix of cats?
I initially intended to spread out the production as much as possible but since Falside is the homey, a work horse and lives down the street from me he ended up producing half of the record. I also reached out to my mellow Phillip Drummond on the left coast to help me out with a few joints, dude is a beast. My man DRUMAT!C from Philly got down, of course Dox of Poorly Drawn contributed while Esh The Monolith and Justin Catoni both did their part in making me sound much cooler than I really am. I was a little worried at first about working with so many different producers but it worked out perfectly and they’re all probably happy to not have to hear from me as much.
6. Dream Cut? 3 emcees you NEED to be on a track with.
All the artists I can dream of doing tracks with would make me look stupid and I would probably have to quit so I’m gonna play it safe and say Bob Barker, Bill Cosby and Kid Cudi.
7. Landlords and Lullabies, an alliterative title. Is there some depth meaning-wise to the title?
Who has time for depth? Paying rent and making music have been the most consistent aspects of my life for the past few years so it just seemed appropriate. Making landlords richer and putting people to sleep with my music is what I do best.
8. Ok, one political question. Where do you stand on universal healthcare?
If Canada was the most powerful country in the world I wouldn’t be as scared to get out of bed every morning. Next question.
9. Where do you see indie rappers fitting in the rap game right now? Money making potential?
To be honest with you, I don’t pay much attention to the rap game or to the current state of Hip Hop but what I gather from others and from cars passing by my house is that it sucks. I listen to the same 5 or 6 rap albums all year round so I can’t lose. To put it simply, I don’t think there is anymore room left for an artist, especially indie, to fit into the rap game. The fans are rappers, the coaches are rappers, the mascots are rappers, the ball boys are rappers, the guys selling over priced merchandise are rappers. Hopefully the theory that everything is cyclical reigns true and the kids who decided to pick up another hobby fade away and provide a little more breathing room for some of the passionate and more devoted artists. As far as making money it all depends on what type of lifestyle an artist wants to live. There is definitely some potential for an independent musician to at least make his rent and maybe go to Whole Foods once a month if they’re smart. Shit, that’s my motivation. But if you’re looking to quit your job, cop an iphone and get a hair cut every 3 days then you should probably just stick to playing the lottery.
10. Finally, where do you see yourself in 3 years? Label? Indie? Major? Still making music?
I’ll be making music no matter what happens, it’s all I know and a few people have told me that I’m decent at it so why would I stop? Plus I’m still having fun doing it. As far as labels go, if somebody wants to offer me their money to continue doing what I’m doing I would probably stop to think about considering it but who knows. All that’s ever held us back is time and money so if we could somehow accumulate those aspects of this shitty business then hopefully a few more people will start to notice what we’re doing.
Talked to Hopie this week, we’ll be interviewing her when she comes down to L.A. this week. Stay tuned for that video interview. For those of you out of this loop, get a taste of the female Filipina emcee from The Bay, she’s yummy cuz.
If you’re an early 80′s baby like myself, then the words “The Last Emperor” should draw two distinct social phenomena to mind. One memory should be the movie “The Last Emperor” starring a vibrant Joan Chen and youthful Peter O’Toole. Another recollection should be the rise of one of the illest emcee’s ever, Philly born and bred, The Last Emperor.
We caught up with Emp over the holidays in Philly, hear him speak on his upcoming album, his tenure with Aftermath and who he would love to collaborate with in the future. Mind all the cheery holiday banter in the background, it’s America, what can you do?
In a year full of resurgence from some of Hip-Hop’s past leaders, a lot of rap fans have somehow slept on OC and AG’s November release, Oasis. Despite my time constantly scouring the clearance racks, as well as knocking the new releases of 09, over the past two weeks I have found myself consistently turning to this album. While both MC’s have been working together for a long time as members of the groundbreaking Diggin’ In The Crates crew, this was their first opportunity to work on a project as just the two of them, and the result is what most D.I.T.C. fans have come to expect: intelligent wordplay paired with serious production, which creates an overall tone that is both reminiscent of New York’s Boom Bap era as well as embracing of modern times.
Last week I had the opportunity to speak with both O and A about the new album, their taste in music, E Blaze, the newest member of the D.I.T.C. crew, and a lot more. They’re both real cool guys, with an incredible amount of experience under their belts, that has developed into quality insight about the game. Yet don’t get it twisted, by no means are they living in the past. These two are true hip-hop artists, and as such they plan on continuing to develop with the times. Peep the interview to hear it in their own words.
ZIF: 2009’s been a big year for groups from new combinations like Slaughterhouse, KRS and Buckshot, to favorites like Method Man and Redman doing another album together, De La Soul with a new project, Souls of Mischief with a new project. So what do you think makes Oasis stand out?
O.C.: I mean, I never looked at it that way as far as it standing out, we just went in with the notion of just having fun. You know, just putting down our pain, our sorrow, our happiness, joy, you know, whatever the song tells me to do. You know what I’m saying? And, we really didn’t think about what nobody else, you know, was doing as far as other albums. We just went in and had fun man. Like, it’s been a long time coming as far as like anything Diggin’, as far as like the Diggin’ compilation. You know what I’m saying? I mean this is really an amazing product for me and A. This was maybe, Big L and Show was putting in the work before he passed away, so me and Big L was about to do a record together. And you know, unfortunately it didn’t happen. We put in a couple of songs and you know, we moved on after that. A was busy doing a few projects, you know, and I was busy doing a few projects out in Cali with Souls, you know Hiero. We finally came together, me, him, Show, and Finesse and we just sat down and was like, “Yo man, what’s up? What y’all wanna do?”
ZIF: How would you describe the overall feel of the project?
O.C.: I mean, it’s just. Overall this a feel good project, at least from my perspective, because you know, with everything that’s been coming out, in the past few years man, it’s just like for me. Like I’m a fan of Hip-Hop. So, when I pick up people’s albums, you know what I’m saying, all you really getting is like compilation records. Like, you got soloists coming out, but they got 11 features. You know what I’m saying? I mean, not trying to sound like an old school cat or anything like that, but I know for me if you pick up a Rakim album, you pick up a KRS album, you pick up a Slick Rick album. You know what I’m saying? You know it just made me feel like damn, like, they, they put their work in, and they didn’t need, it didn’t take 7 or 8 features to make people notice they record. They did it on their own, you know, with the helps of their peoples or whatever, but for the most part man, I enjoy an album that’s, you know, solely put in work by the person who’s recording it. Not, no 20 features on it, and you know, 17 producers you know, going all over the place. So we just kept it real in-house, and you know, we didn’t do the feature thing or nothing like that. We just wanted to make a good record.
ZIF: Yeah, I mean, I feel like that’s something that has always been a trademark of anything with the Diggin’ In The Crates. It’s mainly the MC involved, and when there is a feature, rather than having it be, you know, a verse sent through the mail or internet, or anything like that, you can tell that you guys are really vibeing off each other, and that it’s kinda like a family affair.
O.C.: Yeah I mean if you look at, not to cut you off, but if you look at any previous albums from any of us like, it was always in-house. You know what I’m saying? You know with the exception of maybe a Premier. You know what I’m saying? Somebody like that, which is family. You know what I’m saying? But you know, we always really kept it in-house man. I always kept Buck for the most part on my records or, you know, Finesse would contribute, Show would contribute, O.Gee. You know what I’m saying? The only person I probably really didn’t dig into was Diamond, you know what I’m saying, and that’s just something that didn’t happen, but it’s gonna happen in the future.
ZIF: Speaking on that a little more, after all these years, what is it about the relationship between yourself and the rest of the Diggin’ In The Crates crew, that’s allowed you to continue enjoying making music together?
O.C.: I think we’re not the traditional group that came together first and recorded an album together, and tried to do solo records. We all came in as a duo or as a solo, and we turned around and did the, you know, the Diggin’ project, you know, after L passed away. I think for me man, it’s just, it’s something that we bring. You know we, it keeps us grounded, in a sense, that we didn’t have overall crazy success as far as name records and stuff like that. I think that shakes up a family. When you got money that, you know when money plays a part, you start having to divide and conquer. You know, people have other managers in their ear. You know what I’m saying? For us man, it’s really a brother thing man. It’s really brothers. We just brothers from different mothers, but we all blood, like we brothers. No matter what, if we get upset, if we juggle, whatever the case is, we brothers.
ZIF: So moving on to the production end of the album, one of the things about all of your projects is that you’ve worked with a who’s who list of some of the most renowned producers in general. You know from everybody in Diggin’ In the Crates: Lord Finesse, Showbiz, Buckwild, Diamond D to like you mentioned earlier, DJ Premier, you were on that Pete Rock, Soul Survivor, A.G. had DIlla on his last solo, you worked with Da Beatminerz, you know etc… How do you go about beat selection for an album? Because you always know when you’re going to buy a Diggin’ In The Crates album, that on top of the lyrics, that beat wise, the music is going to be equally satisfying.
O.C.: Well, I mean, like all the, all the producers you mentioned you know, as far as Beatminerz, Premier, you know what I’m saying, we was all recording in D&D. You know what I’m saying? So this is where everybody, everybody you mentioned is basically like extended family and stuff like that. So you got Mr. Walt, he walking out of they room into our room, Prem walking into the room while we recording. So you know what I’m saying, they add-on when they listen to things that you know me or A or whoever’s recording, you know. I guess it’s just a natural selection like, “Yo I got something to add to that”. That’s Prem. On Prem’s part, he’ll listen to a joint and be like “Yeah, yeah, I got something to add to that” or, “I got a scratch” or, “Yo, this beat I just did last night, would fit perfect with the album”. So, it was just more of a flow through the studio, you know what I’m saying, with everybody being in there at the same time. And actually, it’s like, it’s an accident. You know what I’m saying? It’s sorta like an accident. Cus everybody was in doing their own records, but everybody contributed to each other and helped each other out.
ZIF: In terms of working as a duo for this album, how was the beat selection process? Was there ever a time that you were liking a beat that he [AG] wasn’t feeling, or vice versa? Is that how the solo tracks came about? How does that work, having to choose beats that both of you are excited to rhyme over?
O.C.: Well you hit it right on the head. I mean some things I didn’t like. Vice versa somethings A didn’t like. If you listen to a few of the solo joints on the album, with the exception of probably “God’s Gift” and “Everyday Life”, certain things on the album, A probably came in late, or I came in late, so we just didn’t make the record. Or, it was just something that, you know, maybe he wasn’t vibing and I was. You know there’s really no problem with that. Then you got Show, you know coming in, he’s the executive producer on it, so it’s like, you know, we all grown men, he really didn’t have to watch over us or nothing like that. You know what I’m saying? Because we all do this, this is what we do. But like I said in the previous answer, like it’s more or less a joint that Prem or Show hears, or somebody hears, and he like “Yo, I got a perfect joint within the whole spectrum of what y’all recording already”. So it’s really not a hard process man. Like, we’ll probably do a lot of songs and just pick. You know what I’m saying? That’s basically it.
ZIF: On this album, in addition to the regular beat producers that’ve been hooking you guys up for years, you got a relative newcomer handling a lot of the production: E Blaze. And he did a really good job of standing up with the vets, and showed a lot of range from triumphant in “Keep It Going”, to cool and laid back with “Supreme Squad” and “Everyday Life”, to real gritty with “The Pain”. Tell us how you guys got together and started working with each other.
Keep It Going
O.C.: First of all, E Blaze is from Paris, and I think he lives in Canada now. He’s a French producer, and he was up here beat shopping in a store somewhere, and to make a long story short, him and Show bumped heads, and I guess he introduced himself, told Show what he does, and Show took him under the wing and started bringing him to the studio. And when he played his stuff, it was just like a natural fit. And if you know, everybody brought somebody in to Diggin’. You know what I’m saying? Buck brought me in, Finesse brought Show and A together, Diamond brought in Fat Joe. You know what I’m saying? So, I think the whole premise of Diggin’, what a lot of people really miss is that, you know, we always try to add-on and not just keep it closed and “Yo, this our crew, we got a circle and we ain’t trying to let nobody in”. If you got some tight shit, we gon fuck with you. That kid definitely got a future right there. E Blaze is part of Diggin’, he’s a Diggin’ In The Crates member now. You know what I’m saying? It only made sense man, like he’s hungry, it’s just all crazy, and it just made natural sense for us to keep messing with him.
Singapore Kane is the internet’s equivalent of an Amazonian jaguar, a rarity to come across, but catch a glimpse and you’re hooked for life. SK put me on this interview he just completed with Beantown hip hop blog Bostonianz617. The interview isn’t exactly Walter Kronkite inspired stuff, but the footage of Singapore killing it in a small Boston venue, pure fiyah. Check part 2 of the video after the jump.
Networking with Falside has to this point been a fruitful endeavour. The cat has laced ZIF with some ill exclusive drops and even graced us with his rugged grill in an in-person interview in Boston. But, introducing me to a few artists in his locale flying under national radar may be his biggest contribution to date. That brings us to the man of the hour, Providence, Rhode Island MC and town hooligan, Dirty Hank! I sent Dirty Hank 10 questions, and told him to hit me back with some witty answers. I was not disappointed, as you shall not be if Dirty Hank infects your personal music catalog. I put up a couple of my favorite tracks off the Dirty Hank: The Class Act Mixtape after the jump.
10 Questions for Dirty Hank
Lowdown on your name. What’s so dirty about Hank? Ha. I’m a germaphobic OCD hypochondriac whos not that dirty. I shower atleast three times a day and wash my hands about ten times an hour. I have been known to drink heavily and havent exercised since 1998. If any ladies would like to have unprotected sex, they’re going to have to email me because my phone is off at the moment. Oh yeah, I’ve also been vomiting randomly a lot lately.Violently.I just threw up all over a pair of shoes Falside gave me about 12 hours ago.
What’s up with you and Falside? Is he your exclusive producer? History with that? That’s my main man right there. He does a lot for me. I mean I don’t trust him around my women, but he makes good music and its free for me.He’s also a good drinking partner. Kid definitely works hard, and I love that about him. In a couple years he’s going to be on top of this shit. I just hope he saves some seats on the plane.
So you say on Myspace, you’re not from “paradise”. Where are you from, tell me your side of Rhode Island. I live in Providence, on the West End. A couple of days ago my door got kicked in by Providence Police who had thought I robbed the principal of the Elementary school next door to me at gunpoint. It was about 1 in the afternoon and I was passed out from some early morning drinks. These guys just rushed into the apartment and woke me up. After some initial questioning they realized it wasn’t me. This one asshole cops starts screaming at me because the back door was left unlocked. This motherfucker turns to me and screams “In my 27 years on the force, I have never seen something so UN-FUCKING-REAL!” and begins to give me step by step instructions on how to lock a door like hes Linus Yale. At the same time there was an Asian rub and tug spa being operated out of the bottom floor apartment. Needless to say, I fit in around here.
Where do you see yourself fitting into the contemporary rap scene? Labels that appeal to you? I don’t fit in. I don’t really want or need to. It would be nice to have someone pay for all my shit to be put out though.
Patriots or Celtics? Neither. I’m a Red Sox fan to def, son. I went to Fenway on Fourth of July this year to see them play the Seattle Mariners. I had an incident with Ken Griffey Jr, for real. That motherfucker skipped over me 15 years ago for an autograph at the same ballpark. I was heartbroken. This cat was my idol, you know? When I finally got the opportunity to meet him, he served me a nice shit sandwich. So this year at the game we had these ill season tickets right behind the Mariners dugout, about three rows back. I had tied one on pretty quickly at the game. It was only the third inning and I had the double vision going. Griffey begins to warm up in the on deck circle and I felt like I needed to say something. So I walk over to the bottom of the row and I’m about 10 feet away from him. I start screaming at him about how he didnt give me the autograph 15 years earlier and began demanding an apology and a freshly signed authentic major league baseball. Now, I know he hears me but this coward is just choosing to ignore me. So he steps up the plate and hits a hard fly ball to deep right field. Caught. He trots back to the dugout and walks past me. I yell “Looks like you aint got that swing anymore boy!” He walks back out of the dugout and points his bat at me and says “Kid, I’ll always have it,” and walks away. He decided to serve me a bigger side of shit when he walks back over and hands his batting gloves to the girl sitting next to me. Prick. I hope he runs into the wall again and shatters his wrist. He needs a nice career ending injury.
What’s in your ipod/mp3 player right now? I don’t own an iPod or any of those things, never will. I’ve been listening to the Blackrok album a lot though. Thats just good music right there. That joint with Jim Jones and Billy Danze is ill. I’ve always been an M.O.P fan and I’m glad Dame decided to put him on there. Looptroops “Modern Day City Symphony” from a couple years back has been in rotation. I’ve always loved there shit. I can’t stop listening to that Jake One album that dropped last year. That was a pretty amazing album.
Dream cut? Name 3 artists you would want on a track. Dead or alive. I would love to do a track with Sean Price, W.C. and former Yankee outfielder Bernie Williams. You ever heard his band?
What specifically turned you on about being an MC? I’ve just always loved rapping. Growing up I was the only person in my school to listen to hip hop music. I was made fun of and laughed at because of it. But fast forward 15 years later and all these cats who would laugh at me are listening to the same shit that I did. Some are even fans of what I do. That’s funny to me. I used to write weird rap shit on the school bus and stand up and start rhyming. I would make fun of all the kids who were on the bus that I hated (which was pretty much everyone.) I really didn’t start recording or taking it seriously until I was older.
Black girls or white girls? Man I don’t give a shit. Ill fuck around with any chick born with a nose. As long as they’re drunk and there clothes tear easily. I’ve been on a huge porno tip recently. That site 40ozbounce.com has some huge asses on it that I’m in love with. Plus they drink 40′s. I’m tempted to break out the fucking charge card everytime I view the trailers on that site. Pussy and alcohol, it doesnt get better than that. But honestly, you cant trust these fucking girls. Whether they’re porn stars or some broad you just met at a church gathering. Don’t trust them. Any of them. Ive been seeing this girl for a little bit, but i cant trust her, you know?You just can’t. But she knows if she ever cheats on me they’ll find her head in a box like this was Seven or some shit. Just kidding. Sort of.
What’s on the horizon for you right now? Mixtapes, LP? I’ve been pretty busy lately. I am currently working on two different projects. I have an EP called “The Guide To Giving Up” that should be out around February. It features production by Dox (Poorly Drawn People), Falside and Mad Plaid. Mad Plaid is another young cat whos style I’ve been digging for a bit. Storm Davis and Reason of Poorly Drawn People make guest appearances on this shit as well. There’s a couple other surprises on it . Myself and Reason are working on a project called “The Monty Brogan EP” which is produced by Falside top to bottom. I am having a lot of fun recording these joints. I’m featured on Reason’s new full-length ‘Landlords and Lullabies” as well. We have a joint on there called “Clingers” produced by PhllipDrummond from Cali. I got plans to release a bunch of digital downloads as well in the near future so keep those eyes peeled for that shit. 2010 should be a pretty productive year. Hopefully theres a day where I wake up and am happy to be alive.
A conversation with reggae legend Chuck Fenda. Paraphrased to our greatest ability from a grainy cell phone call to Chuck in Jamaica. Big Up to Joe Wiggins at VP Records for hooking up the interview.
How has growing up in between Jamaica and the US influenced your music?
Well, I was born in Brooklyn, NYC but moved to Jamaica at 6 weeks old. I went to school in Jamaica and the US. Reggae music is the rock of Jamaica and to really bust out in the music business I wanted to establish myself in Jamaica first. So I moved there to do music in 1998.
ZIF readers have heard a bit of conscious reggae; could you please tell us the difference between conscious reggae and more commercial reggae music like Sean Paul.
Conscious reggae is the same type of music that Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer were making. I consider myself part of the new generation that is carrying on Bob Marley’s work. His influence lives on and will never die. Bob laid the foundation, and now reggae music is known across the world. It’s huge right now in Europe, Canada and Africa.
What music are you listening to right now?
Besides (the artists listed above), I also listen to Burning Spear quite a bit. But really, I listen to everybody! It is about the message of the song. I listen to music that does not perpetuate or create illusions. The music I make and the music I listen to is about the message. I want to listen and learn from my music. Music has the power to change your life, elevate and inspire. There is music out there now that makes no sense and its creating false realities (violent music, gun this, bling bling that etc.) making people stray from what’s right.
So, if you are trying to bring a positive message about focusing on the right things and educating people, why was your music banned from the radio? Particularly “Gash dem and light dem” which was banned in Jamaica based on the government’s recommendation.
That song was inspired by a gruesome news story I saw on TV. A 6-year-old girl was kidnapped on her way to school and brutally assaulted, stabbed and murdered, her body dumped. This gruesome act highlighted the abuse that children suffer around the world and I wanted to bring this issue to light. There are many children missing and abused and the song is built around this topic. Unfortunately the government took it the wrong way and suggested it be banned. It was misunderstood, but I’m happy that the whole country was upset about it not being played, because they understood the positive message of empowerment I was attempting to convey. The government and media did not understand the concept.
This is a big issue in the US too, with all these kids being kidnapped. It’s time for the authorities to recognize that not all children are fortunate enough to be chauffeured to school. There are parents that can’t make ends meet, are poor and suffering and that is affecting the children. I wanted to highlight their plight, but the authorities are not interested in improving the situation for them.
It does not make sense to me because other songs about gun violence are allowed to be played. The rules are being applied arbitrarily. I’m actually talking about eradicating gun violence and not encouraging it.
Maybe it’s the fact that the public wants to be shielded from the brutality of such acts, and wants to protect itself by keeping it out of the public eye?
It was banned, but I’m speaking the truth. I’m not a racist. I am talking about unity and love. About the Almighty and how he will bring out the light to those who suffer and who are in the darkness.
My song may not play on the radio but it is serving the people of Jamaica because they are speaking and discussing the issues of the poor. In fact it is serving everyone, because the track is presenting relevant topics. I’m not against anyone, everyone should be free to do what they want, and I’m inspiring people to do what is right. I’m not against gays, etc. I want to do music, not bash other people. I want to elevate, highlight and speak the truth, and eradicate guns and violence.
Sounds like a true Rasta. The message in your music is closely linked to Rastafari culture. We’ll take any excuse to smoke a joint, but what is the role of marijuana in Rastafari culture?
It’s a natural herb of inspiration and meditation, which is like praying. It helps you meditate. Natural vibes. Authorities can say what they want about it but it’s not going to change the fact that it is a natural plant.
In the US, the justice system is not set up with rehabilitation in mind. The three strikes rule could have you spending life in jail for marijuana related offenses. What is the law like in Jamaica regarding weed?
They mostly go after people shipping it overseas in containers. They are only tough on the big dealers. As an individual, you could get away with a night in jail for about ½ pound. No matter how they make the rules, herb is good and natural. Bob spoke very highly of it and its abilities.
Sunday mornings in Boston are special. The bustling streetcars rudely wake up the thousands of college faithful who dare to call Beantown their home for half a decade or so. The apartments above century old streets are filled with a diverse group of tenants, everything from ancient Irish fireman to fresh off the boat ‘Ricans. Boston PD patrols the streets of Alston looking for the drunks too drunk to wake or the addicts too high to sleep. This is Boston on a Sunday. Last Sunday in Boston, we sat down with Falside, and prodded him with 10 questions. Enjoy the witty banter, mind the accents.
Last week the LA Times had a feature on Portable Payback and called them a “Jurassic 5 spin off”. I’ll tell you one thing the big boys over at the Times didn’t do, hit up the Portable Payback Release party @ The Mint this past Thursday night. Hence their take was unsubstantiated. ZIF put their money where their favorite acts are and went to the party and thoroughly enjoyed our introduction to Marc 7 & Soup’s new entity. Afterwards we chatted it up outside, enjoy an authenticated POV on Portable Payback.
Portable Payback Speak On It!
Portable Payback’s formation, creative constraints within Jurassic 5, production on the upcoming album, and family support
No communication within Jurassic 5, reasons for Jurassic 5 breaking up, why you should check out the LP, upcoming plans
I guess I get to call this the “Random Throwback Deutsche Edition”. Having lived in Germany at two separate points in my life I have a soft spot for German culture. No, it’s not the legacy of ethnic cleansing or greed for living space that piques my interest, it’s the little unique nuggets of micro-culture that Germany has to offer that I take pleasure in. For example, they do not subtitle English programming on German television, they simply dub over it in German. This is contrasted by the fact that they love English music and movies, but for the most part prefer Germans to sing and perform them. This leads to a campy phenomenon whereby terrible English speaking Germans emulate and propagate their equivalent of U.S pop and hip hop music.
Another thing to appreciate about Germans is their randomness and passion for it. Whether it be a strong preference for walking to places rather than driving, or, drinking 1 L mugs of beer rather than 300ml bottles, Germans don’t mess around. They’re also huge sports fans and though most of that fervor is directed towards the German Bundesliga or the national soccer team, they’re also pretty big basketball and hockey fans. Actually they’re much bigger hockey fans than Americans, though that says little I suppose, somewhat like being better at swimming than a Samoan. Either way, the German national hockey team is usually a player in world tournaments as well as a source of NHL talent. Jochen Hecht who’s 1996 national hockey jersey we feature here was/is an NHL player, though somewhat irrelevant and more attributed to being a bruiser than a flashy euro slasher type player. The jersey is sick though and you can find more hockey jersey gems like it over at Third String Goalie, a very solid micro-topic specific blog about NHL jerseys and more.
Sometimes the stars align and Germans simply get it. They fully appreciate what the States is all about culture wise and they draw inspiration accordingly. When the Germans are able to maintain the strengths that their culture has to offer and appreciate what ne0-movements matter in the U.S., that leads to a successful global product. One such product is German hip hop production outfit Snowgoons. Bringing an orchestra of grimey anthems to the table, Snowgoons 2008 project entitled Black Snow was hot fire. Snowgoons have a great eye for MC’s and choose accordingly, whether it’s Philly underground sensation Reef Da Lost Cauze or Boston’s Singapore Kane, Snowgoons have that “American” thing down pat. Look out for an exclusive Zebreezy interview in both German and English with DJ Illegal of Snowgoons soon.