Archive for the ‘ Interviews ’ Category

Musab Interview

Shoutout to our peoples over at Audible Treats for the hook up. They conducted this interview with Musab from the Hiero Imperium label. He speaks on his latest project, “Slicks Box” and everything about the infamous Minnesota Slicks. Peep it! If you slept on Musab, Here’s a refresher from our original posting last month.

 

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Interview with LA’s own Lexicon


Lexicon
The Rap Stars E.P.
Buy at iTunes Music Store

After releasing two successful indy hiphop albums and becoming one of the bigger names in the LA underground hiphop scene, Lexicon was frustrated. They felt they weren’t expressing themselves creatively how they wanted to, so instead of building on the props they’d achieved in the underground scene, they tore it all down, to build it up again. And in the process, they committed an underground hiphop cardinal sin — they added live instruments to their music. Lexicon began to grow weary of the un-originality that is pervading hiphop, in both the mainstream and the underground . They wanted to seperate themselves from the muck and break through the ceiling they felt was put on top of the type of music they were making. And most importantly, they wanted to make the kind of music they always wanted to make! Risky decision yes, but what’s more gratifying than doing exactly what you want to do? They spanned their influences from dance- rock to modern rock to the raw drums and stabs of classic hiphop, until they found a perfect mesh. And the thread that ties them together are that Oak and Nick are better MC’s than ever, and C-Minus is still providing neck breaking beats for every song. With C-Minus manning the beats, Oak and Nick doing what they do best, and bassist Alex Pauley and guitarist Jason “Metal 24/7″ Zimmerman adding what Lexicon felt was always missing, this is truly like nothing you have ever seen or heard before. Will the risk pay off? We’ll begin to see as Lexicon now unveils what they’ve been working on locked away in the studio for the past 2 years. Ladies and gentlemen, Lexicon presents to you THE RAPSTARS E.P, available exclusively on iTunes through B.E.A.R/Alpha Pup. Interview with Lexicon, Coming soon!

Lexicon Throwbacks:
Rock (Remix feat. Louis Logic, Celph Titled, Ryu and J-Zone) Download
Makin’ Music (Remix feat. Apathy and Celph Titled) Download
Ordinary Download
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BrokeBBoys Interview with Lexicon

Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions with us.

Please introduce yourselves to the world:
Oak:
Hello world. How ya doin? I’m Gideon Black, aka Big Oak. Me and my lil brother are the rappers on this here Rapstars EP you’re hearin about. In fact, this interview will read much better if you go buy the EP from iTunes for only $3.99 and then listen it to while reading this.
Nick: Anything is better if you are listening to Lexicon at the same time! And oh, i’m his little brother, by the way.

How did you guys begin your career as Lexicon? Take us to the beginning of time and how ya got here.
Nick:
Well in the beginning, there was nothing. Then on the first day, i think it was light? On onwards down to us. Haha.. But like Oak said, we are brothers, and music was a big part of our upbringing. Our grandpa was a touring singer with Tommy Dorsey, Leena Horne is my mom’s god mother, and our parents were big music buffs themselves, so much of our Saturday mornings were spent singing along with Billy Joel and Quincy Jones, and The Police on the reel to reel. So music was just kinda in us from the get go. Then a friend of Oak’s gave him Kurtis Blow’s Basketball and it was over…we pretty much lived, ate, and breathed hiphop for the next decade or so, so it was impossible that we weren’t going to try to do it ourselves as immersed in the culture we were. So by about 1995 or so, Oak knew some people at the UCSB college radio station, and they put us on the air freestyling, which led to meeting some producers, some other rappers, helping start out a solid hiphop scene in the 805 (Lootpack, Subtitle, Oh-No, etc.). We just kept honing our craft and kept adding a little from all of our outside influences, and got our own thing going, and came down to LA in the late nineties and took some trips to Project Blow’d and opened for Dilated Peoples and Eminem and all the great underground hiphop stuff, and put out a couple of indie records on Spy Tech Records, and really just tried to make a name for ourselves in LA and in the world! Then we got mad at music in general, grabbed some guitars and some of our musician friends, locked the door to our studio, and popped out the Rapstars E.P. It’s 2006 now. And that’s pretty much it..

How do you feel about the new “RAPSTAR EP”?
Oak:
We feel great about it! It’s been way too long since our last official release. Our last full length called “Youth is Yours” came out in he last quarter of 03, so it’s been almost 3 years. Obviously you can hear the difference in our sound if you listen to both records, so this EP is extra special because it’s the introduction of what we’ve been working on for over 2 years to the public. And it’s a teaser/preview of what the full length record will sound like, so it’s also exciting to officially let people know what to expect from us from now on. We know this sound is kinda startling to our old fans, but we’re doing what we love so all we can do is hope everyone continues to love what we love. Does that make sense?
Nick:
It’s kind of our Frankenstein. We’ve been with it alone for the past three years, and no one heard a thing, so we feel like when we put it out, we kinda gave it that jolt and put it to life. It’s fun to watch it terrorize! ha!

Speaking of the new project, How did you guys start delving more into the indie/rock genre? The live instrumentation and rock aspect of the music.
Nick:
Our music taste is pretty broad, and has gotten much broader in the past 5 years or so since Hiphop really hasn’t been making anything that is exciting these days. To be honest, i hardly even consider myself a hiphop fan any more these days because i just don’t like what is coming out! So we’ve always dabbled with those other influences, we even have had a couple of side projects with full bands and even did a couple of Lexicon shows with a full band, but we always kept it seperate from “Lexicon.” But we realized that we were playing scared a little, so we just decided FUCK IT..who cares what the kids think, lets just make what we want to make!
Oak:
Everything Nick said, plus the fact that nobody has really done the rock/hiphop thing the right way. In the past the groups that tried it were mostly just straight rock groups with a frontman who could rap a little bit. But with us, we’re MC’s first and foremost. So our mission is to blend genres, but still keep it hiphop. I think our approach is more organic, and not so in your face aggresive with little bits of spit flying out of our mouths. As cliche as it sounds, we keep it real. Really. What we do is way more real than any stupid song you hear on the radio by a “real MC” talking about the same damn thing that every other song is talking about. Isn’t that “keeping it fake?” Does everyone reaaallly like their rims and chains that much, or do those type of songs simply guarantee a little radio play if done well enough? Remember when hiphop was all about being creative and orginal? You know, those little things that the entire foundation of hiphop was build upon? Remember when biting was truly considered a sin in hiphop? Now you gotta bite and copy to survive. How did this happen? There’s no way in hell we’ll ever make a song about something that isn’t totally true to us, or about a topic that we don’t truly feel strongly about, just to get some play. A lot of rappers out there really need to think about whether their integrity is worth a few months in regular rotation.

How they feel about other music scenes and their ties to hiphop.
Oak:
Every scene is represented pretty well in LA. If anything the hiphop is at it’s worst right now. It’s either way to commercial…and don’t get me wrong…i love me some commercial hiphop, but most of this shit just has no integrity. And if it’s not too commercial, it’s way too underground…boring beats, super abtract lyrics…not fun at all. My thing is that i don’t care what scene or genre it is…if the music is dope, it’s dope. I like dope music. Dope music makes me happy.
Nick:
Good music is good music and good people are good people. LA is like a million small scenes all in one city..and i’ve ended up at everything from Rock-a-billy bars to Goth Industrial clubs, and its really all the same, just a different way to dress! As long as people are making genuinely dope stuff, i’m into it.

Do you see yourselves ever dabbling with electronic driven genres or collaborations?
Nick:
Yes! There is so much good electro out there right now, and more and more creeping its way into my ipod, so i definately could see us doing remix’s off of the new album with some electro-producers. Daniel from Haujobb, a dope german group, is actually remixing Junk Food right now!

Any artists/producers you havent worked with that you’d love to work with?
Oak:
There’s so many producers that we love that we haven’t worked with. We really like keeping our music and projects within the fam, but we’d always love to work with our heros. Personally i’d love to be able to sit down with Timbaland and work on a few songs. Rick Rubin too. I feel like both of them would really get us and our sound. And even though it’s the trendy pick right now, but Dangermouse would be great to work with too. He understands how to blend genres the right way, so i think it would be a good fit.
Nick:
And a hot duet with John Tesh.
Oak:
I recorded a hot duet with John Tesh the other night while you were sleeping Nick. Ah ha.
Nick:
I know… I think your penis is gay for him.

What is your view on the current state of hip hop.
Nick:
Heh. I think we may have already vented about this enough! It’s terrible. The mainstream has gotten so uncreative that you seriously need to act, look, dress, and even have almost the same hook as the last number one single or you have no chance of making it. It’s a one-hot wonder era, completely. about three of these cats out there are career artists. And the underground is just non-existent. There is no scene like there was when we were coming up. Maybe in other cities it still exists, but its dead in LA. And i haven’t heard a good indie hiphop, that really made me, ya know, get goosebumps, in years.
Oak:
Yeah I’ve already said enough. I’m sick of complaining. I’ll tell you what i really like in hiphop right now: Lupe Fiasco’s record. Ludacris in general. Outkast. The Game’s new song “one blood.” Will I Am. Fergie’s “London Bridge” (honestly…tell me it’s not dope…i don’t believe you). Hot Dolla’s “2 Steppin.” The Roots new record “Game Theory” – that’s what hiphop should sound like in 2006.

Do you think social networks like MySpace have helped or hurt underground hip hop? Ive heard both arguments.
Oak:
Me too, and I think both arguements are accurate. I know first hand that it’s helpful, because the internet in general, and social networks more specifically, have really, truly helped us reach a wide range of people. The ease of networking on myspace and letting people hear new songs as soon as they’re finished and interacting with fans is amazing. I don’t know how we could be doing any of this without the internet. It’s hard to even remember how people heard about good new music without the internet! But of course problems come with it. Anyone can technically “release” music now, and so much of it sucks. And i don’t mean that in an asshole way…there’s just people out there who shouldn’t be making music…there’s something that they’re better at than that. But the internet and myspace makes people feel like “if so and so can release a record, i can to!” Underground hiphop specifically has been hit hard by this cause some kid in his room can write a little rap or freestyle and put it online and actually think he’s contributing something to music. Some kid can’t just pick up a guitar and think he knows how to play it. You actually have to know how to play it. But everyone thinks they know how to rap. And now everyone does rap. So a lot of rap music sucks. I never realized it was that simple!
Nick:
Haha! It realize is that simple. I think the internet as a whole has killed a lot of shit. It’s not a bad thing at all, but its just, now something that is “cool” or “edgy” is passed around the internet in a couple of hours and it loses its charm fast. The internet is a cool-killer, you don’t have to hunt for shit any more. And in terms of hiphop, or music as a whole, it has taken away the excitement. Part of loving hiphop so much was just finding the groups. Now you can just do a band search on myspace and read what other people think and read their history and maybe even exchange a couple of emails with them..way before you ever even buy the cd or see them live. it’s just not the same.

Funny story. A while back, My wife was watching “America’s Next Top Model” and all of the sudden, from the other room, I heard “Rock” coming from the TV and I ran and yelled “That’s fuckin’ Lexicon theyre playing right there!”… Does it trip you out to hear your music played on television and in movies?
Nick:
Haha! I love it! You don’t know many people blame hearing that on their wives and girlfriends though… Just admit it.. We all watch that shit!!! But its great to hear it in things like movies and TV. We write our music simply as a soundtrack to life, so to see it being used as just that is amazing.

Do you guys have any videos or tours in the works?
Oak:
Both are in the works. We’re in the process of finding a home for the full length record,and once that comes together, we’ll be able to finalize tour plans. If everything stays on course, which is much easier said than done, the album should be out by March 07 and we’ll be touring all over the place around that time. As for videos, we actually just linked up with this kid from Spain named Espaun. He’s an amazing artist and we’re gonna do a video with him for the lead single off of the EP called “Big Money.” Based on what we’ve seen of his, and what his vision is for this video, it’s gonna be something special.

Any advice to up & coming artists:
Nick:
As cheesy as it sounds, and as obvious as it sounds… Go with your gut. When we look back on this ride we’ve had so far, Our first instinct almost every time seemed to turn out right. I have no regrets, but there is nothing more frustrating then run so hard just to end up right back where you were. Do the music you want, Listen to the people you choose, and don’t let nobody tell ya otherwise!
Oak:
Three things… They sound easy, but they’re so tough to maintain, but they’re the key:
1.
Believe in yourself
2.
Appreciate every single little thing that happens along the way.
3.
Work as hard as you possibly can.

Any last comments… Anything on your mind?
Nick:
Buy the Rapstars E.P., email us on myspace and say hi, and Don’t eat spinach!
Oak:
Why, What’s wrong with spinach? I was just eating a bag of Ready-Pac like potato chips… So yummy! Wait… I think I have the flu. Nick, will you call mom?

Lexicon on Youtube

A conversation with DJ Butter

Just wanted to give props to my boy Conscious for lettin’ us post up his interview with DJ Butter. It’s got some great insight into Detroit hiphop culture. Enjoy.

-Audio1


A Conversation with DJ Butter
written by Conscious
Source Free HipHop Now Syndicate

On yet another night when I should’ve been at least attempting to get some rest or pretending to be sleep to convince myself that it’s actually possible to do so, I found myself on Myspace denying friend request and emptying out my inbox. There’s one request that I opted not to delete for some unknown reason and proceeded to do some further research. I take a look at the profile and it’s a kat from the D reaching out and quite simply trynah to get his hustle on like everyone else in this cyber world. I checked out what he was doing, shot him an email and asked him if he’d like to be interviewed. He said sure. What follows is a short conversation we had via AIM.

Conscious: Who are you and why should we be interviewing you in the first place?

Butter: I’m one of the main outlets to Detroit’s Hiphop scene.

Conscious: One of the main outlets huh. So without you, I assume a whole lot of kats wouldn’t get heard. What makes you different from the thousands of would be DJ’s throughout the nation. What defines your signature style?

Butter: Detroit has its own sound. Our artists rarely get played on the majority of DJ’s around the world mixtapes or mix circuits. Detroit is one of the birthplaces to music period. We are still the underdogs. From Stevie Wonder to Eminem, we make a difference on music as a whole.

Conscious: Okay but what about you. What makes you stand out amidst the large number of DJ’s putting out mixes. How does one identify your work?

Butter: I take artists to the studio. Make beats, Run my own label, Crazy Noise Productions. I dropped my own albums, Kill The DJ, Shithappens, Welcome To Shitsville on my imprint. These albums show my A & R skills, productions skills and how I bring unity with Detroit artists. I’m not trying to be the next best thing on the turntables or mixtapes. I’m just trying to show the world that Motown has rappers as well as R & B legends. I’m not trying to be the DJ in a rush to play a beef song.

Conscious: So with this grind what methods have you found to be the most successful to get the music in the hands of the listener?

Butter: Doing what the radio station here doesn’t do. Become a home for the rappers. Using the internet, just letting other DJ’s know worldwide that Detroit Hip-Hop exist. I’m working on some mixtapes with DJ’s from Atlanta to New York. I’m trying to beat our music into people’s heads. In every way!

Conscious: How far do you go back, as far as physical cassette tapes?

Butter: I’ve been putting out mixtapes for over 15 years. I was one of the first dudes to throw Eminem and D-12 on my shit. The late Proof used to help me sell my joints out the Hip-Hop Shop. There were only a few cats doing Hip-Hop mixes in Detroit with me, along with DJ Whip, DJ Tony Tone and DJ Dez (Slum Village DJ). My dude, Wesley Valentine was one of the first people to help me dubb my tapes.

Conscious: Aight so you take it back. A real OG. What are you fondest memories back in the days of the cassette?

Butter: Getting Slum Village’s debut album from J-Dilla on tape. That was huge for me. Other than my cousin from New Jersey bringing me DJ Clue’s earlier joints. Those days, we played the whole shit. No skip or fast forward.

Conscious: Yeah, Clue used to have that hustle out the trunk going strong in NY. I couldn’t imagine anywhere else in the country even understanding how crazy the mixtape game was early on. So, you produce. What are you working with?

Butter: I work on a Triton, Motif, MPC 2000. I watch movies for sounds, listen to breaks and samples on albums, and make the sounds hard to trace as much as I can.

Conscious: So with production how would you say you stand out?

Butter: I like to take the oldest sounding drums, and lace some up-tempo heavy bass lines. I may jack some old Steady B or Jungle Brothers drums and make it funky on some 2006 shit.

Conscious: Is it just me or do a lot of producers in the D straight sound like J Dilla clones?

Butter: Naw. You have people like Sick Notes, Whitemike, Nick Speed, Black Milk that make their name known, with their own style. J-Dilla did create a lot of babies under him, because he worked hand and hand with a lot of Detroit folks. (Kanye West took a page from J-Dilla’s book.)

Conscious: Similar to a Large Professor. That’s one dude that doesn’t get enough mention in terms of his contribution to Hiphop music and his coaching producers that grew into well known figures in the game.(Yeah Kayne admits jackin Dilla’s drums. I’m sure a lottah kats did that. Or are still doing that.)

Butter: J-Dilla was ahead of his time—He really put his soul into a drum machine

Conscious: And into the instruments as well. I don’t think folks really, really know that that man wasn’t just a beat maker he was a musician. I think he surpassed his peers on so many levels. He pushed that bar waaaaaaaay up.

Conscious: What’s going on in the D as far as live events? Do you spin anywhere?

Butter: I spin at a few spot dates, hired parties, but mainly the Hip-Hop shows. I’m working on a show now with our old school rappers. I mainly throw my own parties. You can catch me on college radio here sometimes also.

Conscious: I’ve been talking to a lot of folks about emcees and their live shows, and how for the most part a lot of guys just aren’t impressive. Stage shows these days even for some of our favorite artists’ just plain ol’ suck. Who would you say, from all the acts you’ve seen over the years has the most enjoyable on point stage show?

Butter: Gang Starr and Busta Rhymes are the illest.

Conscious: This is probably the worst question I’ve ever asked anyone because it’s so standard and predictable with most interviews, but what artist would you like to one day produce for outside the D?

Butter: Kool G. Rap and maybe Compton’s Most Wanted.

Conscious: Man G Rap is that dude. Are you doing any production that is not Hiphop these days?

Butter: I wanna do some jazz, laid back stuff. Maybe some soft rock stuff. One day!

Conscious: Aight man. It’s time to shut this one down. I just wanted to point some light in your direction. Hope we help you reach some new folks online and off through this interview. Anything you wanna toss out there for we wrap?

Butter: Be on the lookout for my new album, “Badussy” dropping in January of 2007. I’m currently in the studio producing my dude, Wesley Valentine. If you haven’t heard my stuff visit: www.mixtapedetroit.com and www.myspace.com/djbutter

Butter: Thank U

Conscious: No doubt, thanks for your time. Keep making music…

Q&A with Conscious / Conscious Mixtape


Concious

Neo Retro Spectro Grafiks Vol.1
Download (ZIP)

Tracklist
01. War Games
02. Hello: Co-Conspirators Intro
03. Type
04. Say Uncle
05. Dont Make Me Angry
06. Unorthodox
07. Getcha
08. Spinnin (feat. Thinker & L-Star)
09. Man Size Steps (feat. Thinker)
10. Audition
11. Scrub Handz (feat. Kaleal Crooks & Thinker)
12. Hotshots
13. King 45
14. Traffic NIggahs: The Title
15. Love 007 (feat. Tzo & Nixx P)
16. Yellow Cake, Yellow Cake

What we have here is an incredible mixtape compilation entitled “Neo Retro Spectro Grafiks Vol.1” from Free HipHop Now’s own Conscious. While he handles most of the verbal warfare, He got several hot underground MC’s involved in the project including Thinker, L-Star, Kaleal Crooks, Tzo and Nixx P.

I noticed that throughout the mixtape, Conscious refers himself as Travis Bickle. If you remember, Travis Bickle is the main character from Martin Scorsese’s film “Taxi Driver”. In the film, Travis was an depressed imsomniac war veteran who was horrified by the moral decay sorrounding him in NYC. Conscious steps into that mentality with a new millenium twist, via rhymes and beats. Conscious did alot of the production and invited some guest producers like Borgue on “Love 007”, I.R. Producer on “Traffic Niggahs: The Title” and Mark The 45 King on “45 King”. On 3 tracks, You got Conscious rhyming over MF Doom and De La Soul beats. Conscious’ production is reminiscent of Berdard Herrmann’s score for Taxi Driver. A variety of beats ranging from headnodders to lush, spooky grinding beats.

The CD officially has 16 cuts but upon listening, It technically has 22. I was digging alot of the songs on here. I like the way the tracks were segued from one to another via samples or a clever beat programming. “War Games” is an excellent mixtape starter with great beat shuffles. “Dont Make Me Angry” has a dope sample and Conscious name checks C Rayz Walz as a “Dope Bronx representative”. That’s word. “Unorthodox” has intricately chopped up beats… Madlib and Jaydee immediately come to mind on this cut. “Man Size Steps” speaks on the current state of the government and political affairs going on in America. What you will find on this mixtape and there is very few like this (for the exception of Dead Prez/Immortal Tech type stuff) is that you get a good grasp of social/political commentary immersed in the intricate rhymes from Conscious and his cohorts. Not all of the subject matter on this project is political but its a good balance to be seen in hiphop these days.

Back to the cuts… “Scrub Handz” has an interesting off beat production. It reminds me of Punish’s beat on “Headaches and Woes” by Aceyalone. “Hot Shots” has that ill filtered funk loop going on. This track has been getting alot of underground play in NY and CT, of all places. “Traffic Niggahs” is another dope banger with quality production from I.R. Producer. “Love 007” has a cleverly put Barrington Levy sample in the hook that ties it together with Conscious’ lyrics. Just when you think its over, Its not. Conscious delivers some words of wisdom and even Nixx P gives a quick shoutout to the listener before you are thrust into the hidden cuts of the project.

It’s a great compilation of Concious’ own music from the last 5-6 years, promoting the albums that are out and promoting the projects that are on the way. The homie is a rennaisance man, keeping busy on all angles of hiphop and life. Grab this mixtape. You will not be disapointed.
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Q&A with Conscious

Conscious was born in the LBC and spent his life living between the Bronx and Harlem. He currrently resides in the Bronx, near the Concourse in the 170’s. We caught up with him recently and chopped it up about his career, his views and other information. Check it out!

How long have you been Rhyming and Producing?
I’d say, on a professional level for about six years. Honestly though, I didn’t have much prep time before I started performing and getting paid to do so. The most I had was an open mic in Harlem, called the Suga Shack. When a lot of folks where getting there practice on at open mics I was hosting and performing at shows all over the tri state area.

How many projects have you released since you started?
Let’s see. My first record was Journal: An Eklektik Journey followed by Pagan: 1st Movement 1968. But even before then in like 2000 I had the priviledge of being on an album recorded live at the world reknown house of poetry, The Nuyorican poets Cafe. It was called “Urban Avant Garde: Live at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe”. I have another record called Vinyl Destination that I can’t for the life of me figure out why i have not released it. But I will. Matter of Fact look for it next month! there’s been a few mixtapes. I have a lot of projects that are near completion. Some outside the real of Hiphop.( Can I say that. Does a realm outside of Hiphop really exist.)

What motivated and/or inspired you to rhyme and produce?
I’d been doing poetry for a lil while but at the same time I was writing rhymes here and there. I found some real cheap software in like 98-99 that did nothing much but loop, it wasn’t very powerful, yet powerful enough for me to create and realize I enjoyed making new sounds. Ultimately, I stepped it up, did a bit of research on some programs that were a little more advanced and began to craft interesting and obscure sounding beats. Around that same time I was becoming acclimated with the current underground hiphop music of the time. There was the Black Star album back then and a lot of plays of De La’s, The Stakes Is High accompanied by Organized Konfusion and that first Lyricists Lounge tape. A few mixtapes from Fatbeats and listens to Stretch and Bobbito definitely inspired me to engage in this form of expression.

Name some of your favorite HipHop MC’s, Acts, DJ’s, Producers
I wish you’d have asked me about music in general. I love hiphop but I spend a lot of time getting aquainted with music from the past. But when it comes down to the question you asked, it goes a lil something like this… Mc’s on the line up… Common Sense, Sum Kid, Doom, Sadat X, Monch, but of course Ghostface, Redman ( you know the docs da name), De La Soul (All them kats). I’ve seen CL Smooth perform and murder a show. You got Wordsworth, C Rayz Walz (A bronx neighbor), J Live and D.V. Alias Khrist. Slick Rick is sick on stage! Kanye can do it up large on stage as well. DJ Spinna, DJ Babu, Q-Bert, D Spliff (Outtah NYC), Rich Medina, DJ Concept. Producers… Though he was much more then any ‘Producer’. Dilla, Jay Dee, Jay Dilla, Mr. James Yancey would have to be my favorite producer. Then we can talk about some of those dudes that these modern day listeners of hiphop don’t know, and even some oldschool heads forget to mention in blurbs about the creators of sound for dope emcees to rock to. Let’s talk about Large Professor and how he doesn’t get the mentions for not only being a dope producer but also that dope producer that spawned some of the great kats that people call their favorites.( I noticed i’m saying dope way too much) And the list begins with random names tossed out there like Diamond D, Dj Jazzy Jeff (who I should have mentioned as being a dope DJ as well because his technical skills on the 1 and 2’s are immaculate, whether on real wax or Serato.) I hear Kev Brown, I hear 9th Wonder at times. But I also hear RJD2, ?uest Love, EL-P, Belief. I am one of my favorite producers as well. There’s kats you don’t know and haven’t heard of like Adam Bomb. ( Dude is simply ridiculous.) Of course Pete Rock, DJ Shadow, Mathmatics. I would be a fool if I did not include RZA aka B-B-B-Bobby Digital. I have to stop now because there’s just far too many to name.

How did you come up with the name Concious? Is there a meaning behind the name?
Simple as it gets. In highschool I learned about stream of conscious writing or freewriting. I describe my so called ‘style’ as just that, freewritten rhymes, poetry, production and the visual work I do follows that ‘formula’. Let’s call it the ‘Unformula’. ( Wow, there goes a new album title.)

Anyway when I signed the open mic list, I signed as Stream of Conscious. And why not it was my writing style. But after a couple of years I decided to drop the stream of portion and just go with Conscious. And that’s not Konscious or Conscience either. I think that some people sturggle with coming up with a name for themselves. I didn’t have to. It should come to you easily or it should be given to you. It’s not all that deep.

What are your thoughts on the current state of hiphop?
Well Hiphop in some ways reflects the state of the world. Right now that state is confused, conflicted, volatile, erratic, angry, blind, stubborn, selfish… You know what it is. But also there’s quite a lot of great things happening. You just gottah look for’em. You can’t decide that things exist as they are presented to you in media. There’s more to what those controled oulets privide for your eyes. The responsibility is finding out more yourself or being one with information that shares it. I think I kinda answered your question. I don’t like when I get asked that question.

What is Free HipHop Now all about?
Well. Educate Entertain & Empower. Free Hiphop Now means Free Your Mind! The site is basically a portal to various forms of information, new music, art and culture. We intend on exposing those looking for new content to articles and such they will not see anywhere else. Syndication online is also great but we pride ourselves in at least making the attempt at giving folks a choice of something new. All we’d like to honestly do is give people access to more information that can benefit them even in the smallest way. If you’re tired of the same album reviews and interviewers asking the same predcitable questions to the same handful of artists over and over, you can check out FHHN for something fresh. We also encourage writers of vairious level of experience to submit content. We intend on reaching as many people as possible online and off. There will be future FHHN events in NYC. I specify now, They Will Be Awesome!

Where can people find out more about you and Free HipHop Now?
Hmmm. It shames me to say check out my personal website because I need to rework it. But check it out anyway. www.conscious.freehiphopnow.com, My blog www.consciousme.blogspot.com and of course the ever popular myspace page which I’ll be updating music on frequently. I have a lot of music. A whole lot of music. www.myspace.com/conscious. I have a blog called Growing Money Trees that I need to toss a new article up on. It’s basically a blog about making money online. Some hints and tips and an occassional million dollar idea tossed at anyone that is willing to work at it. There’s the whole www.consciousbootleggers.com online store that is functional but steadily being worked on to provide customers with better service. FHHN’s sydication blog is for anything you may have missed during each week on FHHN. And it’s also for the pieces or music that is not direct content from our site. Anything we may have covered for affiliates. www.freehiphopnow.blogspot.com (You asked so I’m telling and the list of links is a long one.) I’d be a crazy person not to mention some of my fam. Kats I build with and create music and at times perform with. You can check out www.bluecollarllc.com where you’ll find a few different artists, some of which I’ve done production for.. I’m all over the place doing my best to take advantage of the web. I have video up on Video Google, You Tube, Myspace, Live Digital, Vomeo, Revver, The Crave, Video Bomb.. the list is long. And then there’s the ringtones. Do a search for Conscious on www.zingy.com and you can get some more over at www.decentx.com. I’m rocking www.jaskclothing.com gear. You can see me in their store catalog and some flicks on my myspace page. Man if you wanna dig deep you can even find me in the IMDB for the flicks I’ve been in. But I’m not telling you my government name. Good Luck with that.

Haha! What advice would you give to cats coming up in the hiphop game?
Respect the art. Love the music. Enjoy the interaction with the people involved. Educate yourself on business and strive for not so much perfection but try and push the envelope with everything you do. Set standards for this thing that we do. Don’t get cuaght up in someone elses ideas either. Stick to your guns and do you. We don’t need anymore clones. We have enough!

Any last words:
Saturday May 27th. I’ll be performing at the Knitting Factory NY. Download that free mixtape and stay posted for Eklektic Gardens releases in the future and for those already in digital distribution channels,(iTunes and so forth…) Thank you Audio 1 for even thinking that I was worthy enough to be exposed to the world.