One Time @ Bandcamp With… Empyrean

If you caught Monday’s review you might be a little confused. While the album I reviewed was credited to Lysergic, here I am presenting you an interview with Empyrean. They are one in the same and more will be explained as you read. In my exploring the bandcamp universe I encounter a lot of music readily available from many talents of all walks of life. It’s a really amazing thing to think about as a music fan. You can seriously listen to things that might never have been heard before. In the case of Empyrean, he was so fresh into making his music that after putting a few tracks out he found himself reanalyzing his name he wanted to release music as. The internet truly is an open market for anyone to explore their passions, regardless of anything. Use it. Empyrean is. Listen and learn more.

Diggin around the internet you appear to be an unfamiliar name. Can you introduce yourself to the people?
Greets, yeah my name’s Al Plail, I’m a first year student at Salford uni doing audio tech, living in Manchester, standard stuff.

How old are you? Where did you grow up? Is this where you reside today?
18, grew up in the badlands that is Cheshire (possibly the most white middle class county in England), but the town I’m from is the armpit of Cheshire. I live in Manchester now for uni, but it’s always been my local city so it feels like home.

Your name is the acid in many drugs including LSD, are you a recreational fan? What prompted this name?
Yeah got it from the non-abbreviated name for LSD but it’s not why I chose it, I just quite liked the sound of it. I’ve since changed my name to Empyrean since I didn’t want the immediate association with the drug – Empyrean means the highest heaven and while I wish it had some sort of significant meaning I basically decided on it after trawling through until I found a word I liked… coming up with names isn’t exactly my niche as you can see.

Have you ever released music under a different name or as part of a group?
Nah, nothing released to date, wouldn’t really count Black Coaches as a release I just wanted to get my music out there.

Were your parents musical? What did they play around your house growing up?
No actually they didn’t play any instruments or anything but they did play a broad range of stuff around the house while I was growing up. I’ve been introduced to a lot of 60s/70s psychedelic shit and some jazz through them but on the whole our music tastes are pretty dissimilar. Jazz is something I enjoy but I’ve barely scraped the surface of.. guess it comes with something that is so old as a genre. Its modern manifestations can be excellent though, been listening to the Portico Quartet a lot recently, then there’s the whole ‘nu jazz’ thing which adds a housey spin.. but now I’m divulging.

Has electronic influenced music always been where your ears went? Are you a collector of records?
No not at all, if I had to name my absolute favourite artist/producer I’d probably say Omar Rodriguez Lopez. He pretty much writes everything The Mars Volta do, and then there’s the slightly more leftfield solo project he has actualised through his quartet. The Mars Volta’s album ‘Frances the Mute’ is my most long-loved album after buying the CD when I was 12/13, I now know every minute detail of the album by heart despite its sheer intricacy.. but it’s the intricacy of his work that appeals so much to me about him as a producer. I tend to find this quality definitely prolongs the shelf life of music, when you can find some new little detail in each listen – it’s something I try to work towards. Like quite often the Mars Volta can just sound like a wall of sound on first listen, but on re-listening it starts to become familiar and you can start to appreciate the many layers of sound individually.

I’m also into a lot of new age ‘hippy bullshit’ if you like.. Stuff like Tame Impala and Portugal The Man. I’ve been through other phases earlier in life as well, some more short lived than others, but electronic music has definitely dominated my more recent years.

And no I don’t collect records as much as I wish I did, perhaps one day.

What are you making your tunes with?
Nothing fancy at all. Ableton rewired with Reason, ultimate minimal setup of laptop and midi keyboard. Although living with musicians there are a few things around the house that I can borrow from time to time – been working in some guitar using a DI box recently. I’m also intending to use the studios in Uni to record some stuff when I get round to it – vocals, and sax since one of my housemates owns one. The equipment at Uni is good to take advantage of while I still can really, I rented out a mic to do some field recordings recently since I use them quite a lot to add texture – it feels like you’re actually doing something more towards writing music if you record it yourself rather than just finding a sample on freesound or whatever.

What’s a typical day in your life look like?
Go to uni in the week, go out at the weekend, get stoned in between…

Do you pay attention to modern music? What’s in your ears at this moment in time?
Yeah it’s definitely where I pay most of my attention really. Sounds and genres are constantly evolving so you can never get bored. At the moment I’m really interested to see what a new Danish record label ‘Farver’ has in store. They’ve just had their first release and I’ve recently been filled in on the back catalogues of the artists involved and there is a lot of talent there, so that’s what’s in my ears quite a lot currently. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Shackleton ever since I saw his live set at Bloc Weekend a couple of weeks ago after taking some acid, it was without a doubt the best, most awe-inspiring hour of my life, I’ve never been genuinely speechless before and you could tell the feeling was mutual for all involved. The guy is a genius.

Do you play any instruments?
I learnt keyboard up to grade 3 when I was in primary school, and taught myself to play guitar to a certain standard but I wouldn’t really consider my self to play any instruments since I never practice or anything. I’m not sure why but I just never got into playing guitar particularly, though learning keyboard when I was about 8 did give me fundamental grounding in music theory so I’m grateful for that. While I’ve never taken up an instrument properly I’d say I’ve always been heavily involved in music, even if it’s just listening and appreciating. I think producing and playing an instrument are fairly removed from each other, a lot of artists I like have said they have no technical musical backing whatsoever, they just try things until it sounds good. In a way it seems not having a musical background would encourage originality as it would induce less conventional tecniques (certainly the case with Shackleton), but that said I definitely think some sort of natural musical ability needs to be there.

Are their musicians out you view as peers in style?
Well I have been invited to a sort of collective of producers as curated by a guy that is really passionate about his music, so I guess I would say these – the Farver lot being a part of this. But having peers in style is something I try and get away from really in the quest for originality. That doesn’t mean to say I don’t have influences though, most of the things I listen to influence/inspire me in some way, but obviously these influences are realised through your own ideas and techniques. I imagine I’d definitely be grouped in with others in terms of style but it’s just not a conscious thought when making music.

Are their cats around your home that you collaborate with or play tunes for, is their a “scene” you are a part of?
A couple of my housemates also produce and are active musically so it’s a good environment to be in for writing music. I think Manchester has a really good music scene, lots of good nights and talents emerging. I wouldn’t consider myself a part of it now, more an observer, but it’s something I definitely would like to get involved in in the future when I’m more confident as a DJ.

Do you play out live? DJ? Live production?
Not at the moment. Need to invest in some equipment and get practicing as I wouldn’t want to rely too heavily on my laptop to DJ.

How long was “Black Coaches” in the works?
I wrote the songs during last semester, so between October and December. But they were never intended for a release, I just wanted to get some tracks out there so bundled them together as an EP and uploaded them to bandcamp.

Are you handling the release all on your own?
Yeah but it was just a means of getting noticed really, and the reception it’s received really pleasantly surprised me. I’ve since been in talks with a label and am currently writing an album for them.

What’s your goal for 2011?
Finish this album and be happy with it.

Last words?

One Time @ Bandcamp With… Carolina West

On Monday I dropped some thoughts on dudes most recent project. While my review may have hinted at not wanting to keep listening, I’m certainly still interested in what Carolina West has brewing and will probably replay both his projects for years to come. Press play and read up!

Who is Carolina West?
Carolina West is a 23 year old young man, goin thru the same things young men go thru. Living and learning from my mistakes everyday. I got this deep passion for music and no matter how ugly things look in this industry and how much i see ppl around conforming or just settle for the life they never wanted I’m still pursuing this lofty goal of just sharing my music with the world. I’m truly my biggest fan so I could never make music that doesn’t sit well with me, or sounds like the next man.

Where are you located? Is this where you grew up?
Inland Empire, CA. I was born in Hollywood, moved to Charlotte, North Carolina at two and moved back to Cali at about 11. I love Cali, I’m a Cali boy to the death. I lived everywhere, bounced around alot. but I left a piece of my heart in Carolina for real. I plan on retiring back out there

Is Hard City Ent. your label? Any other acts associated with it?
Ho its HyphZ. And it’s not so much a label but a coalition of great artist that are actually great individuals apart from the music. HyphZ is family away from family. Eat together starve together.

How long have you been rapping?
11 years now since I recorded my first song on the lil cassette that I had to put pieces of paper in the top.

Is Acquired Taste your first project?
My first solo project yes.

Who is responsible for the production on the album?
I got a good amount of original compositions from Talen Ted from Toronto, and Slim Capone out of Diego.

What is in the works next for Carolina West?
i just released my second solo project entitled Fucking Impossible and Bohemian Billionaire should be out by summer. In the mean time I’m boycottin the booth. I’m really a studio rat and if I allow it can be detrimental to gettin out there doing foot work. So I’m workin on overcoming that.

Who is in your ears these days?
Man just to throw some names out: School Boy, Jhene, Curren$y, Dom, Gnarls, Devin, Nipsey, Venomus P and I’m listening to Big K.R.I.T. as we speak.

What did your parents play in the house while you were growing up?
Michael Franks, Sade, Earth Wind & Fire, Bobby Caldwel, Mint Condition, the Tony’s, New Birth and a gang of hiphop. Pops was a radio DJ.

To someone who has never heard your music, what’s your live show like?
It’s like watchin football tryouts. I’m nervous, I’m sweatin, I’m givin it my all trying to impress everyone watchin.

How does your local scene respond to your music? Are you guys it? Are you hated? Loved? Ignored?
To be honest my local scene dosnt know who I am yet. All my buzz is online man, and although thats a blessing in itself it’s also a problem I’m working on fixing this summer, I got alot of hands to shake and babies to kiss. I like introducing my music to ppl for the first time. I love to see their reactions and most of the time it’s like “why haven’t I heard of you sooner.”

Are their any tour plans in the future?
I’m doin a chitlin circuit through Cali this summer. Loading up the volkswagen camper and performing for anyone who’ll have me.

How does the internet influence your marketing and release of music?
I’m still learning the tricks of the trade. I’m a student of the game so I see how these cats are able to do the independent grind online and compete with the majors through so many outlets. It’s all about taking advantage of all that.

I’m in Seattle, are you familiar with any Northwest hiphop?
Not too much to be honest. You gotta shoot me some links. Give me a crash course on Northwest movers forreal.

Shout outs? Last words? Rants? Words of wisdom?
Yea all my Hyph’s no wassup. Lyfted Labor Coalition, yourself and everyone that takes a listen to what I have to offer after reading this. Appreciated!

One Time @ Bandcamp With… Long Arm

If you read my review on The Branches, the debut long player from Russian reared Long Arm you know he makes complex, jazz infused hiphop beats with enough of his own flavor to rival any instrumentalist out. Like we do about this time, press play and read up!

What was that first DJ performance that hooked you?
It was DJ Lethel from Limp Bizkit

How did Russia influence your ear for music?
I don’t look for a long time already musical channels and I do not listen to radio. Therefore Russia doesn’t influence my ear for music.

What music did your parents play around you growing up?
Anything special! It was usual Soviet pop-music! But in the childhood my mom included every day to me fairy tales written down on vinyl and I long sat one in a room and listened to them. I think subsequently it became a principal cause of my love to magic and fairy tale sounds.

Were you a jazz fan or hiphop fan first?
The love to jazz and hip-hop has come simultaneously! In at one time with love to lounge music.

What instruments do you play? Whats your studio comprised of?
I have finished music school on a piano class, I play on keyboard and not bad I own scratch technics. My studio consists from: AKAI MPC500, AKAI MPK49, STANTON SA3, ABLETON LIVE, M-AUDIO FASTTRACK Pro, M-AUDIO BX5a and NUMARK TT1610 (is dead x).

Is vinyl an important component of your sound?
Yes! At me own collection of the digitized records which I use for creation of the tracks!

Do you collect vinyl?
Yes. But while at me not so it is a lot of plates. In collection basically old jazz records and some modern albums.

What is your live show experience like?
In my live show I play the only own tracks (and remixes). I use Ableton Live and I build compositions so that it was possible to change their structure, to improvise or create remixes in real time.

Are you aspiring to work with emcees or singers on your tracks? Or are you more interested in being your own artist, sticking solo?
Various teamwork with MC and vocalists is very interesting to me. As well as solo work. I would like to hear in a new album of more voices, but in a basis always there will be solo tracks.

Are their other players on The Branches album?
No, The Branches is absolute solo album.

Who are you listening to currently?
Bonobo, Andreya Triana, Dimlite, Jaga Jazzist, Flying Lotus, The Long Lost and Amon Tobin (old tracks).

Last words? Shout outs? Rants? Words of wisdom?
I want to thank my parents, the wife, the son, my friends, the nature and the higher forces for all that now occurs to me. Many thanks to all who come on my concerts and support me on the Internet and in others media. And certainly thanks Project: Mooncircle for this chance and thanks for release my music!

One Time @ Bandcamp With… KeithCharles Spacebar

Yesterday, instead of the usual Monday routine, I spoke on BeforeCommonEra and how damn filthy it is. I have no plans of stopping my listening of it. You should fux with it. And read up on it’s creator below.

What should people know about KeithCharles?
I’m KeithCharles Spacebar, or more affectionately known as The AudioBuddha, Young Mufasa, the Undead Ghost of the Rza, Rapper/ Producer from Tampa transplanted to the A.

How old were you when you left Flordia for ATL?
I was 15

Was music on your mind before coming to Atlanta?
It was but it wasn’t my priority, I was more into writing wasn’t really into recording it, just to cypher wit the homies before school and stuff.

Do you remember what music you listened to on the journey? What did your parents play around the house?
Like the ride to Atlanta? haha I had a mixed cd with like some Wu, some Snoop, like “No Vaseline” just some really raw shit. And let’s just say my pop’s is not a fan of hiphop haha , so I had College Dropout on hand as well if he was to ask to hear something . I was raised by so many people . My mom was a DJ and she spun funk heavy alot of Earth, Wind and Fire, the Funkadelics, MJ that stuff. A lot of Reggae and my grandparents were soul heads .

When did you first start writing? When did you first flow?
9th grade on the regular, but I guess I started flowing when I made BCE Ive always been nice at it this was me channeling and focusing energy and effort.

Do you write in any other style?
I think my writing style can only be written by me, I have a spectrum of styles within that so yes but no.

I read that one song on the album was written in 10th grade? What song? How did it evolve over the years? What inspired the keeping it around?
It was the verses on “blowinO’s” some pieces were replaced some words or how I say them were alered and I made the hook when i got the beat from Introspective Minds, everything just falls into place.

How did you connect with Introspective Minds?
Introspective is family mayne. In house producers for Thumbs Up. Will was recording StonedOnMarta when we all linked and as the Team came together Winston and Steve (@TheLordMSelf + @SteveJonesBeats) were down and handed me a plethora of sounds and we went from there.

I’ve found a few other members of your crew, JustWill and Ethereal, who else is down? What is y’alls mission as a collective?
It’s Will, Ethereal, Introspective Minds, Dexter, Kit, Micah Freeman, Supreme I.N.K, Coop and Myself, and that just our artists, we have people behind just the audio machinery.

Our mission, Crank the Jam

What is in your ears today?
We are, I’m always working on the next release. E (@ObiEthereal) working on Abstractica, which will be released under the Slumerican name. Will’s (@Been_Ill) working on his follow up StonedinaStang. Supreme I.N.K ( @KosherBeets + @LazyMane) released an absolute classic Howdothishappen??.

QUOTE ME ON ALL OF THIS, besides us, haha, some of the things I’ve always bumped though: Krit jams, Yela jams I like alot.

What are you doing currently for a day job?
I sanitize shit at a hospital.

Given what the country hears from Atlanta, what’s the local reception like to your performance and music?
Mannn people are showin love. I keep hearing “Breathe of Fresh Air” stuff like that. There’s some resistance from the wack but it’s all love.

Have you been recording since the release of BeforeCommonEra?
Yes, Im working on the next official release Its Called The Nu.

Why the aversion to spaces?
It’s actually the opposite mayne, Spacebar is the separator of words, Unwritten math. It’s alot, people tend to want to think hiphop is this 1 dimensional flat plane where only one can be great, I’m here to create my own space maybe change the way its viewed.

Do you have an issue w/ Common’s music or are you attempting to make a statement about your era of music?
NO!! Common is def a powerful influence on my music, it was a play on words with the time period and being before your time.

What does music need in 2012?
KeithCharles Spacebar, TheNu.

Last words? Shout outs? Rants? Words of wisdom?
SUPREME I.N.K!!!! #StonedInAStang, Abstractica, Rants??? DONT TALK SHIT ABOUT TOTAL!!!! Words of wisdom??? Thank you.
Its the S-P-A-C-E-B-A-R

One Time @ Bandcamp With… King Zigg Zag

On Monday I spent some time devouring King Zigg Zag’s releases. With several albums under his belt it’s obvious the kid has a knack for knocking out tracks, he also has an ear for dusty samples and tight drums. His music takes you back into time but still reminds you the future has hope. Let him be the soundtrack to your Friday afternoon, life might just feel like a movie.

Who is King Zigg Zag?
King Zigg Zag is the alter-ego I use to release hiphop instrumentals. It’s the silliest damn idea I ever had, but it’s serving its purpose quite well.

Does your name come for an affinity for the papers?
Haha.. yeah.. I came up with the name as a joke actually. I had this idea for an album, I was gonna come out with this g-funk group called King Zigg Zag & The 187 Dopemen… we were gonna be the most stereotypical westcoast hiphop group ever… every track would be about 40 oz’s, low riders and shit. It never really came together though, for obvious reasons. I was gonna play it off like it was some old album from 1995 that I dug up, too… and then somewhere along the way, I decided to stick with the name King Zigg Zag since it grew on me… haha… lots of my albums are straight inside jokes. Far as the papers go, I use zig zags from time to time but I’d prefer a garcia vega. I guess I wouldn’t make much of a spokesperson.. haha.

Where do you reside? Is this where you grew up?
I was born and raised in Long Island, New York.

How old are you?
I just turned 22 last month. I feel like I’m getting old.. haha. (Ed. Note: Interview was conducted in April)

How long have you been cooking up beats?
I made my first official beat in the beginning of 2009… but it started with me getting a turntable in like 08, trying to do my little scratching thing, blending records. I released a few tapes like that, and then that kind of gave me a small background for beats. I started to understand how beats were composed, real simple aspects like tempo, how a beat builds and transitions from intro to outro. It made it a little easier to understand for me.

What was your first piece of equipment?
Haha… I remember my first piece of equipment was actually a DJ mixer… it sounds silly as hell… I was just so gully about getting a turntable, but I knew I needed a mixer.. so I had the money for the mixer but the money for the turntable wasn’t there yet. I copped the mixer, went home and plugged it in and shit, and realized there was basically nothing else to do with it. Then I got the turntable a day or so later and yes, only one turntable. I was never able to get the second. My first turntable was this ghetto ass joint, belt drive bullshit, haha. Later on I got a Technic 1200 for cheap and sold the old shit. That thing was dope. I regretted not taking the plunge and getting it in the first place. When it was all said and done I was no DJ, but it helped me understand sampling a lot better. I was able to do a few joints with scratches on em too. I eventually sold my 1200 ’cause I had little use for it but it was fun while it lasted and again it definitely helped me develop the concept of making beats..

What does your studio look like today?
My studio is my bedroom. Shits dirty as hell too, not gonna front, haha. I don’t really have much anymore equipment wise. I got my laptop, some speakers, and I got a pad controller stashed somewhere which I hadn’t broke out in a long time until yesterday. I use to have a keyboard, but I sold that for the pads. I could go on and on about equipment I had but sold cause I don’t even need half of it, it’s just fun to mess with sometimes. The only studio I need is FL Studio 9 and a hard drive. I’ve been comfortable with it and it’s nice to be able to take everything with me wherever I go.

Are you a collector of vinyl?
I use to dabble in it. I went to this record store for a while and would collect whatever they had when I first got my turntable but I eventually got banned from there after the dude caught my friend stealing shit. I copped a few classic records, most of ‘em were hiphop, one of the non hiphop ones that stood out though was Innervisions by Stevie Wonder. Think I got a few Isaac Hayes and Curtis Mayfield. So yeah, I could say I dabbled in it but I never got to be a major collector or anything. When I started all this I was really broke so it was hard to really jump in like that and invest in a big collection.

In your opinion, does diggin in the crates hold significance today with the abundance of things available on the internet?
I don’t know if I would say it’s significant anymore, but I definitely have a lot of respect for producers who dig in the crates (literally) for samples but we gotta be real and accept technology has made it way easier for us to do it now. I take advantage of it, personally. I know lots of the old heads don’t like it but if it works, and the final product is good, I don’t see a problem. But like I said I have a lot of respect for any producer who does it the old fashion way.

What music is in your ears today?
I’ve always been a big Wu-Tang fan, I got that new Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang and been bumping that hard. I liked the new Saigon.. I liked Hunger For More 2. Shit, the new 50 Cent has been pretty dope. Not his last album but all the singles he dropped since the start of the year… what else… oh, I LOVE Niggaz With Lattitude the Deacon the Villian & Sheisty Khrist album. That was the illest album that dropped last year to me. It’s probably no surprise.. production is most important to me, and that record was like perfect in that area. Death is Silent by Kno was cool, too… other than that it’s all old 90s shit.

Most of what I found of yours online is strictly instrumental, are you shopping beats to emcees? Do you have a crew you are working with on a regular basis?
I use to be all about getting rappers to be on this track and that track but it’s a bitch. To this day I never met anyone who I really mesh with like that. It’s either A) they don’t work at the same pace as me B) they don’t really have passion for it like that and they just rapping cause they feel like it’s the thing to do at the time or C) they aren’t looking for the style of beats I do… and I was never the type to take requests… so that never works. Honestly, I like doing instrumentals and not having to wait for anyone but myself. If it came together where I had dependable people who were ready to put it down, and the energy was there, I’d be down… but I haven’t gone looking for it too much the past year or so.

What is your goal with your music? Is it a hobby? A stress reliever? Break from the monotony of normal life?
All of the above. It’s definitely a stress reliever. I take out a lot of anger in a beat… haha. That’s why a lot of them sound the way they do. And it’s definitely a hobby first and foremost, but it sure would be cool to do it for a living. I’ve made some money off beats, but nothing to pay the bills.. but if it got to that point, I couldn’t be happier. As of right now, my goal is to get started on the next album, and just try and get better at the craft. When I hear a sample I like I get pumped up… that feeling right there is what I love most..

Do you have a day job?
I’ve been unemployed for a few months, haha. I’ve been looking but nobodies calling. Just trying to get by on what I can until I find something. My last job was pushing carts at a super market and getting chewed out by senior citizens because we don’t carry there preferred brand of peanut butter. I never regret quitting.

Did you grow up in a musical household?
Hell no. Matter a fact I don’t think my parents or any of my siblings know I make beats! My dad knew when I got a turntable and shit, so he thought I wanted to be a DJ or whatever. Then he saw me get the keyboard, so I guess he knew I was into that but he never really asked what exactly I was doing with it. I don’t really bring it up either, I don’t think they would care much. My one sister though, she probably had a hand in why I like 90s shit. I remember being little and her always playing Biggie, Jay-Z, and shit but yeah, other than that I got into this on my own. Started out digging for hiphop albums, based solely on what sounded good to me until I decided I wanted to know how the beats were made. I don’t even tell all my friends about the beats unless they listen to the same music as me. I’ll be picking up friends, playing It Was Written, and they just sit there wondering if “Black & Yellow” is on the radio right now. So I don’t think I should bother to see if they like any of my beats. Don’t get it twisted, I’m confident as hell in them, but I understand the style isn’t for just any ear.

Who was the first producer to inspire you to get behind the boards?
The answer to that is absolutely Erick Sermon. I’m a huge fan of the Hit Squad/Def Squad stuff that came out from like 1991-1997. Redman is my favorite rapper ever. Erick had that funky ass boom bap. I wanted to just be able to make beats like Dare Iz A Darkside or The Most Beautifullest Thing In This World. I still can’t do it. Erick was just a genius in ways I can’t even explain. I also gotta mention Pete Rock. that Main Ingredient album is like my heart. For a while, all I wanted to do was be just like Pete Rock.

What producers today do you view yourself as peers with?
There’s one that I’ve worked with for a few years now, and I for the most part give him credit for getting me started. Known simply as Troy. He heard everything I ever did. I use to rap on his beats actually. He was usually rolling his eyes when he heard the tracks… haha… but after a while I started taking an interest in beats, asking him certain questions. Then for a while I was sending him my early beats, and he was still rolling his eyes… but as of right now I knew I got his respect when he started asking me the questions… we were talking about doing an album together recently… and if it comes together how we hope, it’s going to be incredible… we actually gotta talk about that soon but yeah, Troy, when you read this, THANK YOU for everything. I wouldn’t be doing any of this shit without you. Peep him on Twitter @TroySoul or download his beats over at

If you ain’t working or making beats, what’s a day in the king’s life like?
“Smokin’ blunts, smokin’ blunts, erryday I’m smokin’ blunts.” quoted from the late great Benedict Loc Dogg of The 187 Dopemen. Haha… sorry. Yeah though, I’m a big smoker. I bum around a lot, to be honest… which is to be expected I guess. I have lots of sessions with friends were we just listen to dope ass music and zone out… love making beats with that extra “inspiration” too. It’s actually a problem though, some of these people never want to leave my house.

Is hiphop dead in 2011?
Absolutely not. Not for me anyway. Plenty of great music has come out since that whole movement started, plenty enough to convince me shit is good the way it is now. Even mainstream radio got a lot better. People tend to forget we were listening to “Chicken Noodle Soup” and “Crank Dat” a few years back. Now the worst we have to deal with is Drake, who makes great music if you ask me, but the radio has been replaying his songs to death. All I would really ask for is more variety in the radio, but I don’t listen to that shit either ways so hiphop is alive and well for me.

How do you feel about the influx of electro sounds into a lot of hiphop production today?
I mean, if that’s what people like, cool I guess. But I hate it. It sounds alright when Lady Gaga or Rihanna are doing it, but not when Jay-Z or whoever is. There’s way too much of it though. It’s got no soul, and I get really irritated when people tell me I shouldn’t be doing such old school stuff, because there’s a serious lack of it right now and I happen to think I’m good at it, so why try and do something I don’t like, and I don’t think I would be good at? The main thing with producers now is they don’t play there position. Hearing those legendary 90s producers doing pop shit is like watching Michael Jordon play baseball, nobody wants to see or hear that shit. For those who enjoy that electronic bullshit, more power to the producers supplying it, there’s definitely a surplus. To the minority who like my shit, I’m more than happy to be serving you, and I’ll be serving you exclusively for as long as I do this.

Do you classify yourself as a hiphop beat maker?
Yeah, I’ve been trying to refer to myself as that rather than producer through this interview, just for the sake of those anal ass people out there who are real specific about there definitions. Some people get offended when you call yourself a producer if all you do is make beats. I don’t try and argue, ’cause I don’t give a fuck. I like to think I’m a producer though because I don’t make single beats, I make albums and those albums always start as a vision and end with a full-fledged theme and sound. I don’t think a simple beatmaker can do that. But it’s whatever to me.

Last words? Shout outs? Rants? Words of wisdom?
Yes… shout outs to everyone on Long Island, shout outs to Troy, Urban Block, Boom Box Union, Danny from Musical Schizophrenia. Everyone following on twitter (@KingZiggZag), everyone who supported and copped the albums… shouts to Perry Porter and CARLisDEAD of Sleep Steady. Peep there video on youtube for “My Walk, Man” it’s produced by yours truely and most importantly it’s HOT… and we got more tracks coming this summer. Be sure to look out for the next album, I got no real info about it yet since it’s in the earliest stages but if you liked the shit I’ve dropped the past 2 years, theres no reason you won’t like where I’m going next… it’s most likely coming in the summer. I got a few silly ass titles in my head… one being “Dare Iz A Brite Side” and another being “It’s Good To Be The King”… but we’ll see what happens with that shit.. haha. Thanks for the interview, much respect to Will, Members Only, and The Musik Lounge.. I was honored y’all thought I was interesting enough for an interview… haha. Peace and one love.

One Time @ Bandcamp With… Kosher Kris

Jump back in time to Monday if you want to read up on how dope Kosher Kris is. Or you can press play on the bandcamp player and read his answers to my inquires. If you are digging rap from teenagers in LA you should probably be listening to Kris.

Introduce yourself…
Hi. I’m Kosher Kris… A sex feine/rapper from Los Angeles .

How long have you been rhyming?
I’ve been rapping for about 12 years, ever since i was about 8. It wasn’t till last year that i started actually putting my music out.

When did you, Name & LaVish connect?
LaVish, Name and I met right before I started recording Swisher Sweets. We met at Name’s studio in Long Beach and started working together ever since.

I hear some FlyLo and MF Doom beats on Swisher Sweets, how did you get exposed to their music?
Man!!! I’m a MAJOR MF DOOM fan. I first got into his music my sophomore year in high school, it literally changed my life. I started listening to FLYlo a while after that, nobody is touching his style.

You are in LA, do you frequent Brainfeeder events or Low End Theory? Is there the possibility that FlyLo has heard you rock over his tracks?
I’m an anti-social muhhfucker most of the time so I really don’t go out much, never caught a show before. It’s a strong possibility that Lo has heard my shit, I met him before… Dude is real cool.

Is the LA “beat” scene a place you look to for inspiration?
Ehh, the LA production scene is decent. A lot cats are on their sample game like always, can’t knock the hustle. For my own shit I play everything from scratch, never been much of a sampler. People look at my previous work and think that’s what my style is but to me, it’s just mixtape work. My album doesn’t have not one sample in it .

Who is responsible for the original production on your project?
I put a couple of local producers I know on Swisher Sweets, Drive-Thru Deli, Nabeyin and JM3. They did a great job capturing the old school essence i wanted for that tape .

Why are you still a blunt supporter?
Haha I will ALWAYS be an OG blunt supporter. I hate how everyone has turned over to papers and all that other bullshit, a lot has to with Wiz and his movement… Different strokes for different folks I guess. Lol

What’s your preferred chronic strain?
Damn, this is one of the best interviews I’ve done. Lol props… But yeah, I love all kush. I just like to stay high G. I have to say I’ve really been feeling this Skywalker stuff. Beautiful.

How long was Swisher Sweets in the works?
Believe it or not, 90% of the mixtape was created in one day. The time consuming part was the actual recording process.

What are you working on now?
AudioSeX… Nuff said.

Are you performing many shows?
I try to do a couple of shows a month. I’m not into the club scene so it’s hard to find venues I want to perform at. I’d rather do house parties to tell you the truth.

Is there a sense of community among the new generation of young west coast (LA specifically) rappers that are emerging?
I see the music community in LA building more and more, people are starting to figure out that upcoming artist like me will only go as far as they take us. It’s a relationship.

What do your parents think of your music? Do they hear it or listen to it voluntarily?
I don’t really fuck with my parents like that, my dad likes my shit and my mom just gives “mom” type answers about it. I could careless what they think. Really.

What kind of music did they play around your house growing up?
I grew up to the Golden Age of hiphop, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Naughty By Nature, etc… That really formed my style of music, I guess I can thank my parents for that… Thanks .

Are you in school? If so, where?
Fuck school.

Do you got a day job?
I just fucking lost my day job actually. I was working with recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. Go figure haha.

Do you see yourself following in the footsteps of anyone who’s come before you in this culture and music? Are you attempting to continue a tradition?
I’m just trying to make the best music i can possibly make while doing me to the fullest , whatever comes from that will be fine with me .

Are you familiar with any hiphop coming out the northwest?
Not really.

Last words? Shout outs? Rants? Words of wisdom?
Shout out to all the people who actually fuck with my music and my nigga Pat. Everyone else can eat a dick out a hotdog bun. Peace.

One Time @ Bandcamp With… Tight Mike

I know 4/20 was 2 days ago and Monday is probably a haze by now, but the internet is easily searchable – check my words on Tight Mike’s debut here. Then press play and read up on the mans story.

Introduce yourself? How long have you been making beats?
My name is Tight Michael. Some people call me Grimes… Been making music electronically for about 4 or 5 years all together… Playing music since i was just a little baby boy.

Where do you reside? Is this where you grew up?
I am currently living in Vancouver, BC… I was born in the states… lived all around the U.S. before I settled in Van in ’07, My mom lives in Dallas, Texas , my pops in Tulsa, Oklahoma… I was a professional couch surfer at one point in my life haha.

How old are you?
23 and three quarters.

What do you do when you aren’t making music?
Listen to Rick Ross and drive around the city really, really slow.

Is Bobbin&Weavin your first project? How long was it in the making?
I did a couple small projects around 2004-2005, but I took a long break from making music when I started travelling… To hard to hold on to equipment and what not… but this is my most focused effort… yet.

Are you happy just making instrumental jams or do you envision emcees and or singers on your tunes?
To be honest this tape was kind of a way for me to chop the 100 or so loose sketches i had kicking around and just get the best ones out so I could move on and get more focused. A lot of these are just microwave beats and random blunted missions from ’09 and ’10. Its kinda like my journey back into making electronic music since i haven’t touched it for 5 years.

I already have some more in depth projects under way… I am definitely interested in working with some vocalists… especially some spaced out r&b type of shit… so if theres any inspired young ladies out there with a good voice HOLLER!

Do you have any vocalists you are working with now?
Right now I have a top-secret collaborative project in the works with a good friend of mine from Oakland, California (shouts to the bay!)… Its definitely more vocal… its sort of a free-form rap/r&b experiment at this point. You might even hear me touch the mic from time to time, but i wont call myself a rapper just yet… i just listen to beats over and over all day so i tend to start spouting out funny hooks and weird quasi thugged-out raps and shit haha…. I guess thats not so top secret anymore. woops

What vocalists do you have on your dream list?
Man I only caught the tail end of the early 90′s hip-hop thing. For me the singers that still get me are like TLC, Brandi & Monica, early Destiny’s Child, of course Aaliyah… That late 90′s swag you know, fisheye-lens, choker collar necklace all that shit haha…. As cheesy as it is right now, it all comes full circle and I think people are gonna start appreciating that flavour again in the next little bit.

As far as MCs… Shit man I’m real picky with that type of thing… I don’t want to fall to hard into that backpack leftover thing… not to say that there isn’t dope rappers in that scene, but I’m more interested in the dudes who talk about real things… real life shit… funny shit… a lot of southern rappers are ill to me, that new K.R.I.T. mixtape/album thing is apples&bananas. Uh bay rappers always had a special place in my heart, i love ridiculous slang and mc’s that don’t take themselves to serious and shit. basically things that make you go “hmmmm”. Also being a producer… the delivery is HUGE. I spend a solid amount of time tapping out drums to get them right, so the rhythm has to be on point.

What role has Flying Lotus and the whole Low End Theory/LA “beat” scene played in inspiring your music?
Not to jock anyone, but i probably wouldn’t be doing it at all if it wasn’t for that whole thing. Around 2003 I started expanding my tastes beyond just urban music, and slowly began checking out labels like Warp and Planet-mu and what not… But at that time there wasn’t as many hip-hop influenced electronic cats out there… I was making electronic inspired hip-hop music then… so to see Lotus come out on Warp a few years later doing exactly what I wanted to see 2003-2005 era, and be killing it like he is… it wasn’t even a question to me.

Are you playing out? If so, is it more traditional DJ set or are you doing a more live production set?
I try to keep a minimal set-up at the moment because I may or may not be living in Canada in the next few years with my Work Visa… So As of now I am loyal to the AKAI APC40… You can live sequence your own music as well as DJ with it… and the FX controls are buckwild… “Possibilities endless” type of equipment. If you use Ableton live for any aspect of your production… get it. I also play keys and enjoy beating on shit so I am trying to incorporate more live instrumentation into it all.

What’s your studio consist of?
Well my music consists of a mix of samples and keys… So I have a few keyboards… various midi equipment… I use some of my friend’s mpc’s and sp-4′s etc. from time to time, but like i said i keep a minimal set-up, so the APC is the root of my studio right now.

What’s in your ears today?
First thing I listened to this morning was “MNDSGN – Yeau” off his joint EP with Devonwho, its one of those tracks I crave to hear first thing in the morning with my coffee. Those Klipmode dudes and dudettes are murking it. After that I had a puff to some Kon and Amir – On Track vol. 1 mixtape, its nice to work to funk and soul and non-beat stuff when i do my day job, cause if i don’t, i just end up getting to hyped up and wanting to make beats instead of money… the eternal struggle. After that I listened to Low Limit’s mix for brainfeeder… that dude is definitely on some wizard shit. Right now I am listening to the sounds of downtown Vancouver and my dog snoring.

What did you parents play around the house as you grew up? Are they at all musically inclined? Do they listen to your music?
Its funny that you say that because when I first started sampling and messing around with records, my mom was behind it 100%… she was like awesome im gonna give you all my records out of the garage to make more room. She was really into Prince, The Gap Band (who are from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where I was living at the time), Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire, so on and so forth.

My mom is down for the cause man, sometimes I think she is more into electronic music than me. She put me on to Prodigy’s Fat of the Land album when I was just a youngin… That probably opened mad doors into electronic shit to this day. When I went home to Dallas for christmas she was jamming Flying Lotus in her car cause I had left a mix cd with Massage Situation on it, and she used her iphone to figure out who it was haha. Techno-mom.

My pops is a good ol boy. He mostly likes Old Southern Blues music, classic shit. I love that stuff too man. Its in my blood. He plays a lot of different instruments, and co-owns a small acoustic guitar company in Oklahoma… He also is a retired Radio Disc jockey, (so was my grandpa)… I thought I would be the first to break the music tradition, but it caught up to me.

My mom is down for my music for sure… she’s into instrumental stuff way more and likes groovy shit… My pops thinks it cool, but not really his bag.

What was the first music you really latched onto as a fan?
Haha mannnnn… The first tape I can remember that i HAD TO HAVE was the Dangerous Minds soundtrack… Coolio’s song was real cool, but it was the Big Mike “Havin’ Thangs” track that got me… Something about that Pimp C hook, and Mike’s delivery and his name being big mike, and me being a southern kid… I dunno it was like magic haha.

Do you see your tunes more hiphop or electronically inspired? Does it really matter?
I really don’t think “genre” exists anymore after all the hipster mash-up shit blew up and then settled down… and i think art imitates life… and it seems like all lines are getting blurry in this day and age.

Whats in the works for next?

Is making music something you are pursuing with a career in mind? Or is it more just something you do for fun?
It would be amazing to live off this shit… but in this day and age it takes a lot of work to get ahead in the music game. I got a pretty dope crew behind me… more than just music, we have all bases covered for media… Animators, film dudes, illustrators, graphic design, audio engineering, dancers, firefighters etc…. So I feel like if we play our cards right and stay unified we can do something with it… in due time.

Day job?
Graphic Designer

You familiar w/ any NW hiphop?
A few cats in Van, not so much in the rest of the Northwest unfortunately… I have barely had the chance to come down to Seattle, and never Portland but I hear great things, and hopefully I will get the chance soon. In general though I find that the Northwest has some of the dopest taste in hip-hop, and style in general… Its something about that “hibernate for 8 months, then party for 4″ lifestyle haha.

Last words? Shout outs? Rants? Words of wisdom?
Man big shout to my crew(s) SPACECAMP, 97, CRIMEWAVE… all the homies in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas City, Van, My boy Killa Kayle in Oakland, Hakai in New York. I appreciate the support guys for real!

Shouts to my dude J. Todd for his ill photos.

This is another Van cat in SPACECAMP named Geewuht… Definitely check his first beat tape… rugged shit.

Everybody stop polluting shit and start creating!

Shouts for the interview, and to you guys in general for grinding and shedding positive light on your scene!

One Time @ Bandcamp With… Beedie

As we do about this time! I hit y’all with Beedie’s Sleeping In on Monday, on it you saw a young emcee spitting his heart out over an assortment of original and jacked beats. The later ones proved to kill much replay value in the tape but a listen or two will show you that Beedie isn’t to be ignored and he might just stun you. Keep your eyes on the ‘Burgh, press play and read on to learn more about this up and comer.

Introduce yourself? How did you become Beedie, the emcee?
Each life experience since January 19th 1988, my day of birth, has influenced my growth & evolution as an artist and human being… But I was born to do this.

Did you grow up in Pittsburgh?
I moved to Pittsburgh in 2001. Moved around a lot when I was younger but my extended family all lives & grew up here, so like they say home is where your heart is.

Who were some local heads you were introduced to that paved the way for the scene?
Strict Flow have paved the way in a major way. In later years, Wiz Khalifa and The GOV (Boaz, S. Money, etc) were making impact enough to inspire a whole new generation of Pittsburgh artists to step forth, including myself.

Is Ill Spoken done? Are you and Mac still cool?
I consider Mac like a brother to me. Our families go way back to when our parents were kids. I’m really proud of his success & he’s got a bright future ahead of him. It’s nothing but love

Did you go to Taylor Allderdice high school?
I went there for senior year.

Wiz has put your city on the map, but it seems the scene is vast. I was introduced to you via the site Stilltown are you aware of that site? Is their a strong sense of community among the artists there?
Yeah I know Rory from Stilltown, that’s my man. Another good perspective for you might be at There’s a ridiculous amount of hardworking & developed talent here, it’s actually far from vast.

You say on the Ruff Draft project that the first time you heard Dilla was pretty much the first time you heard hiphop, was Dilla in fact your introduction to hiphop?
That was actually a quote from DJ House Shoes when being interviewed about Dilla, and he said the first time he heard Dilla was “pretty much like” the first time he heard hiphop… I’ve been heavy into hiphop since the mid-nineties, but when I first heard Dilla later in life it changed the way I listened to music.

What prompted the choice to rock over an album’s worth of Dilla beats? Did you think it would piss people off?
Dilla has been a very influential artist to me, and Ruff Draft is my favorite album of his. A few months ago I realized it was almost 5 years since he passed, so I decided to release it on that day in honor of his legacy. There are a lot of newer & younger fans of hip-hop music, and I think it’s important to teach them about the culture & who helped to create the blueprint for today’s generation of artists.

To your knowledge has Ma Dukes, or anyone from his camp/fam heard the project?
I think House Shoes might have heard it. That’s my man. But who knows.

What are you working on right now?
I’m in a group called Varsity Squad along with another emcee Jon Quest, and we’re working on our debut album. I would like to say we’re about halfway through. Aside from tearing up shows all over Pittsburgh, touring in Atlanta, Detroit, Philly, we’ve really taken the music to a whole new level in the booth as well… We also just won a Pittsburgh hiphop Award for Best New Artist/Group which was an honor. That album is looking for a possible fall release, but I also have a solo mixtape/album already finished & ready to drop this spring called The Beat Bully and it’s going to give a taste of what we’ve been cooking up.

Who are you listening to these days?
Whew… Lots and lots of Pittsburgh music. Showbiz & AG. Random west coat shit. Big Krit. Royce. Busta. That last Lloyd Banks album was dope. Jimi Hendrix. Some classical music. I like everything.

If one found themselves in Pittsburgh what are spots they could hit to learn about your music and others doing it?
Time Bomb is a local clothing/music store that is heavily involved with the scene. The owner Brick has done a lot for Pittsburgh hiphop & continues to put on for dope artists out here. Also the local blogs, like I mentioned before is probably the most trafficked. Shadow Lounge, a local venue here, has done a lot for the hiphop scene also since I entered it. They’re constant supporters & have been a hub for all events in the area.

Y’all secretly have some fire chronic out there? I always hear the east struggles on that front.
Haha, we’re smoking just as good as ya’ll, trust me. It just ain’t as cheap

You still on the blunts?
I cut back on them cause they slow me down a little bit. I would usually rather twirl a red tape or a joint. But I still smoke swishers often.
I smoke a lot of bowls too.

Is the city/scene enjoying the limelight getting shed on it thanks to Wiz and to a lesser extent Mac? Or is it still business as usual for the majority of artists?
It’s nice because there’s been a sparked interest in Pittsburgh hiphop. Even a couple years ago we didn’t get that love, although there has been a huge musical renaissance movement growing here. I talk to my fans all the time on twitter/facebook, and I’ve definitely seen a continued growth of people who are excited to see such an interesting & unique scene of artists.

You familiar w/ any hiphop coming out of the NW?
You’ll have to put me down with some shit. I’m familiar with which is another Seattle based blog, but I’m not sure how much locals are posted on it.

What do you listen for in original production?
Emotion, of all kinds… if something can make you feel, then it’s powerful.

What was the reception like for Sleeping In? Do you view it as your debut?
I got great responses from Sleeping In, which was actually the sequel to a mixtape called Most Slept On, one that came out a few months before it. Both of them had themes & a concept, but were more or less a collection of songs. I feel like The Beat Bully is a much more balanced & solid project, and the Varsity Squad album is completely on some next level shit.

Last words? Shout outs? Rants? Words of wisdom?
Thanks to all my fans & supporters, I could never do this shit without y’all. And to everybody, keep your eyes and your ears on us because we’re going to be making as much noise as possible and continue our growth. There really is a whole lot of hard work that is put into this every moment of every day. Shout to, all my fellow artists in Pittsburgh, and everybody paying attention. And big shouts to

Follow me on twitter @Beedie412 for all updates & check out my
music videos at

One Time @ Bandcamp With… Sir Froderick

It’s been a month since I’ve spotlighted some finds from Bandcamp. March was filled with journeys and new discoveries of all varieties. Falling back into the routine of life in the Sea has been a steady progression since my return. This Afrikan Diva project was in my ears for the duration of the trek and it only seemed right that Sir Froderick be the first I reach out to to kick One Time @ Bandcamp back off. One day I will break into the Klipmode crew but until then take these words from a friend of their team. Pardon the caps, Sir Froderick wanted to make sure you heard what he had to say!

Press play, and if you didn’t check my review you can do so here.

How did the Afrikan Diva’s project come about?

How long have you been producing?

What do you call your music stylistically?

Where did you grow up? Is this where you live now?

How old are you?

Do you perform out? If so, is it a live production kind of set or a DJ set?

What’s your studio consist of?

Are you a digger of records?

What inspires you to make music?

Who are you listening to today?

What did your parents play in the house while you grew up?

How did you connect w/ Knxwledge?

What was the process of collaboration like between you two?

Do you have some solo projects in the works or already out?


I’m in Seattle, are you familiar w/ any hiphop from the Northwest?

What’s your day job?

Rants? Advice? Words of Wisdom? Shout outs?


Word is that Sir Froderick will be in town Monday and is coming through Jet Set to rock the people! Don’t miss it.

One Time @ Bandcamp With… Illecism

Illecism is a young Cali emcee with a lot of passion and many styles. I reviewed his 4DB project on Monday and his Bandcamp site is home to many projects. He stays busy. Read up and learn something new.

After traveling around as a kid, what was your first impression of Sacramento upon moving there? Did you know it would become home?
I didn’t really like the people here but the weather was wayyyyyyyyyyyyy better than anywhere I had ever lived and I loved the Asian girls so I got used to it. Had no clue it would become home to me but after meeting the people who I’ll probably be around for the rest of my life I had to put my East Coast pride to the side and just accept it. I’m still a Carolina, Texas at heart but it’s Sacramento on mines.

What was your introduction to rap?
Black Entertainment Television

When did you discover hiphop from Sac? What influence did that have on you?
My first time ever discovering hiphop in Sac I was at Sac State watching 5th Ave of DLRN performing, incredible energy. That was the moment I realized I needed to be where he was at, rocking crowds and just going dumb on stage. A few weeks later I was getting it in at a coffeeshop in the cuts dropping my first mixtape, Have a Refreshment Vol.1.

The footage is on youtube still I think. Search, “Illecism Cypher”, I think…

Is the H.A.V.O.K crew still active?
I mean it’s the crew and it’s tatted on me so it’s forever but technically na, that was just on some high school shit. Fly High is like HAVOK on steroids though so it’s g.

What’s the story behind the Fly High site?
Well, started off as actually. When I assembled the FH crew I wanted to make a blog for them to showcase their talent since most bloggers were being dicks and wouldn’t post their tracks when we would email ‘em unless I was on it. Truth be told I felt like every Sacramento artist was having a hard time getting their music around so I used my popularity to help out my fellow aspiring artists. So WAFH is almost like an orphanage for nice emcees, haha. But na, we post funny videos, fashion, culture etc. as well.

You should visit us.

Heard about a track you did with Sean Price, how did that come about? When should we expect for it to drop?
P was out in Cali for a show about a month ago, he literally hit my phone and was just like “I’m tryna do a feature” so my manager and I drove out to SF and got it in. Came out pretty clean too, it’ll drop when the time is right though. Shouts to Lee Bannon for the beat, Pete Rodriguez and So Crates at Soundcap Audio for the mixdown and peace to the God, Sean Price.

Who is responsible for the beats on Molotov?
MF DOOM, the beats are from his Special Herbs series. I suggest you buy the series if you enjoy listening to Dilla or Madlib albums.

What’s your favorite chronic strain? Preferred method of smoking?
I’m a kush lover but Purple Cream is my favorite dro. My preferred way of smoking is Bob Marley papers or a bamboo bong. Mr. Miyagi to be exact. By the way, free my nigga Kabomb, he made my bong from scratch.

Did you play sports in high school?
Hell yea, I love sports man, I’d be an athlete if I wasn’t rapping. I got cut from the hoop squad twice because my coach was a dumbass, I was a starting forward the year prior… My main asset was speed and hops so my junior year I became a track star. I was ranked 6th in California my senior year, got some looks from Chico State after competing in some of the State competions but nothing panned out. College wasn’t on my mind so I got on my music grind instead.

Now I do Muay Thai to stay active.

Whats the modern hiphop scene looking like in Sac?
It’s looking a bunch of good rappers with nowhere to go.

In you bio you mention borrowing the Marshall Mathers LP from your mom, what other rap was she listening to? Are you still listenting to Em today? Does your mom listen to your projects?
Haha, as a kid my mama had all the slaps, everything from Jay-Z to 504 Boyz. CD’s are cheaper on the military base so she would come home every other Friday with like 6-10 random albums. She still has a dope music collection actually.

Last full Em album I heard was Relapse. I heard Relapse 2 was tighter, but the other night one of the homies was playing some stuff from Recovery that was sounding epic so now that I’m done with my LP I’ll probably spend my break listening to all the tracks I’ve missed this year.

And yes, my mama loves my music surprisingly. I didn’t think she would like it because she never really acknowledged my creativity as a kid, but yea, she buys my music and the whole shit. It’s ironic because I’ve never rapped in her presence. I hadn’t spoken to her for 3 years after an argument we had and then one day, she called my phone and was like, “I didn’t know you rapped, you’re music is amazing.”. That was one of the most memorable days of my life.

What’s up next for you?
I don’t know yet, I might be dead tomorrow…

Last words? Shout outs? Rants? Words of wisdom?
He’ll probably never see this interview but the first thing I wanna say is blessings be to G Dep. Be strong black man…

Make sure you guys cop all the tapes I dropped this year alone, Cloud Strife, The Alpha State, Molotov, Tenga Un Refresco Vol.2 and The Sun Don’t Chill. All available at

Support my blog we been around for years and we don’t post Trey Songs freestyles, so if you looking for quality music, get familiar. Watch all FH music videos, download all FH music.

Follow me on twitter @Illecism and follow @FlyHighOrDie, after that find me on Facebook and show me some love.

Shout outs to everyone in the legendary Fly High, Sacramento, Liberia, Japan, Arivul (cop our tees at, Nicatyne, Trade Voorhees, AbJo, Raleigh Moncrief, Rufio and Lee Bannon.

Fuck everyone who ever slept on me. Fly High Or Die 1000 Deaths. Slowly.