OR V A L F S
U N O BINTERVIELWISCSHA!UF ENG
OF THE ROOTS
ORIGINALITY NEEDS SPACE
NAUGHTY BOY HAS A STORY TO TELL
ON ANOTHER FREQUENCY
KING OF KULT RAP
DINCO D & SHINOBI NINJAZ
+ PLUS ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ BIZZY BONE - B-BOY JUNIOR JIGGZ - FLAVOR IN THE CLUBS & MORE
Jarren BentoN ORIGINALITY NEEDS SPACE
So it’s been a minute since we last spoke Jarred. Heard you‘re working on a new EP? “So I’m about to put this EP out its called slow motion volume one. Its dedicated to my homie who passed away and he was like my brother and also my manager. When he passed away it put me in a kind of fucked up place because it was hard for me to make music. He was heavy into making the music with me , apart of my process. Now Im just getting back to doing that , create music. I took the time out. Its going to be volume 1 and 2. This new work, its not the typical in your face Jarren but its a lot of heart felt stuff on there. I feel like I’m really saying some shit on this one. Its little different for me and my normal outlandish stuff.” You just did the Bet cypher and I feel like you should done that some time ago. You seem to have a non stop work ethic, where do you draw your motivation from besides the tragic situation you mentioned? “Its the love for the art man that keeps me in it , not just love for the rap. I just cant wait to get to a point where I have all my tools in place. I want to be in a place where I’m not considered just a rap artist. Sometimes I get disappointed in the balance in Rap. Its like past 2004 in southern music everyone seems to be following each others sound. No variety. I listen to a lot of indie rock, classic rock, electronic trip hop.. Thats the music that at the moment that inspires me. I use to see more excitement in the art form . When I listen to a new radio head album it gives me the excitement and feeling I use to get of southern rap ; but not anymore.”
Do you think its the simplicity of lyric of is it , Just what the radio plays? “I think its a combination of things. You have new cats coming out , but im not hating this a critique ok? Before you come out and call yourself a legend and crown yourself you should have large body of work to support the claim. The trend now is all about popular. It use to be about finding the dopest artist weather they sold a million or not. These days with the rap its more of a popularity contest. My city thing is I want more balance. Every nigga can’t sound like the same nigga.. Everyone is chasing the same thing style wise. The people I was influenced by like Rass kass , Like Nas it felt original. It felt like holy shit as student. I felt like you needed great skills tone an MC. When I listen to Krs- 1 and they way they put together the lines it was like damn thats not some overnight shit. I chased being original and when you get to a certain level you see things aren‘t based on your skill level. I studied this craft . Sometimes it all feels like the twilight zone. lol I understand the change with times but damn..lol” “Ive feel like Love dumbed down my stuff in the past a bit to the point where you listen and laugh at it all. Thats all. I use to get frustrated as
an artist early in career but then I realized this comes from me being a fan of the music. Lets push, all types of hip hop lets push all types of rap , I would like to see more variety at least from where I am in the south. Its so hard not to care.” There are a lot of tools out here to use now to pop a record. What are some of things you will put in motion; as you mentioned your “tools earlier”? “I think the main thing is not to focus on anything but the fans.. all of us. The fans we connected that started organically. We are all built from the fans. As an independent I get surprised with the size of the venues we do and we are indie. I think above all thats my main strategy to focus on the fans. Im going to keep building one fan after another.” Any Plugs as we wrap up? “Look forward for the ep slow motion vol 1 most of the stuff i make is brash.. on this one i took a step back and spoke from my heart. Its still aggressive but its saying something and sonically different. Look out for me . Im just progressing and changing. I have to say thanks to everyone that digs me.” Interview: Swabie Crocket
Bennasi Here we stand in the digital age of everything . Hardware and software alike seem to roll out at a blurring pace. What currently in hardware are you using to create your performance sets? “Very simple – I use cdj’s and flash drives and Pioneer mixers.” Thinking back what was the first sampler you purchased and how many seconds of sample time did it have? “I have always produced with my cousin, Alle, who already had one! It must have been one of those Akai’s.” Being that sound banks are so packaged up with programs like komplete 9 (native Instruments) etc. Would you say it takes away from some of the imagination when in the creative process in shaping sounds? “Ha ha, let’s say that a lot of records sound the same these days.” How important was the group Kraftwerk to the progression of electronic music? If you feel they were at all. “They were hugely influential in terms of what you could do with synths and computers back in the day and in terms of their aesthetic. The whole robot, cyber thing.” The sounds from “urban music“ have merged greatly with the sounds we only heard typically in house and electronic music. What would you say has contributed to the trend. “Hip-hop and club music have always been experimental. They’re always looking for new sounds and new ideas, so it was inevitable that sooner or later they would find each other.”
Do you use any still use analog hardware in your creation process?
I’m sure some fans want to know, how did you and Chris brown hook up for “Beautiful People” great vibe.
“In our studio (that’s Alle’s and mine) we have some outboard stuff, yes.”
“It was a series of coincidences, really. Alle (my cousin and studio partner) and I sent a beat to Jean Baptiste Kouame, a lyric writer we love... who lives in Los Angeles. After several months he sent us his idea for the song which was already most of ‚Beautiful People‘ as it is today. We just loved it and then J B played it to Chris Brown who liked it and just sang it. We really felt the lift Chris gave to the track and the cool vibe the song has. It just felt right.”
Everyone seems as if they want to have a festival of sort these days .. what makes a venue truly special? “I guess every festival has its own special vibe. If you play at Red Rock in Colorado or Coachella, the natural setting is breathtaking, for example.” You have played tons of venues. One that stick out is when some friends of mine saw you at Electric Daisy in “09” it was an amazing scene. Out of all, whats your favorite location to play? “That‘s impossible to say! I have a few favorite places though... most festivals, Pacha in New York, Ruby Skye in San Francisco and Ministry of Sound in London.” Many dj’s tend to stick to trend when they play live, or lean toward popular tunes. How important is it to break new records and take a risk with new music. Do you do it as well? “I do that a lot with new singles, it‘s always good to play a new track and see how fans react.”
What do you currently listen to that intrigues you an artist? “I’m influenced by the kids, I love their energy. Congorock is someone I really like at the moment.” So you know we love your tunes. Anything we can look out for in 2015 that you‘re working on? “New music for the next album together with Alle, my cousin and producer. Exciting.” Interview: Swabie Crocket Fotos: IML Photographer
NAUGHTY HAS A STORY TO TELL
his months Cover artist “Naughty Boy” tells a remarkable tale of success, a story that is an inspiration to us all. It’s a story of belief, faith and an unwilling passion to create great music and bring that new music to the masses. This is a story of hope, a journey of parents moving their families to another land, longing for their children achieve success, which escaped them in their own homeland. Shahid “Naughty Boy” Kahn has experienced this exact story and he is now a positive role model for those coming up behind him. The British born Pakistani production aficionado has produced the “Who’s Who” of mainstream British Music that has exploded on the airwaves globally. Wiley, James Arthur, Lily Allen, Britney Spears, Rihanna, Labrinth Emeli Sandé and Wiz Khalifa have rode on his infectious waves of sound. With his multiple Grammy awards year of 2014 just behind him he‘s reflecting and simultaneously telegraphing his next roll out. Millions of units sold later we sat with our first UK cover artist “Naughty Boy”.
After the Awards this year in the UK and the Grammys in the states what’s the feeling? Any reflection? Your really had a heck of year with Sam Smith and all. “In my opinion the creative talent here in the UK is making an important musical statement of worldwide proportions. The creative scene here in the UK is exploding and I’m happy to say that I am part of this fantastic movement, it seems both UK and American artists have both made contributions and together the world took notice.” “We all worked hard and after all the work is finished, the awards and the recognition is a blessing. The awards are at the end of marathon. I remember Sam when he was a
waiter in a bar and cleaning toilets and to watch him come out on the other side of this is just Amazing.” Your story is a fairytale somewhat. You actually kicked off your production Company with money you won from a television game show “deal or no deal” in London. “The reason I appeared on the game show was I needed money and the reason I needed the money was to build a studio. I didn’t think I would win; the game show was an option. I never had won anything before that. I just went on the show and won 44,000. I guess you don’t know you can do something until you try it. Winning the money is the moment my journey began to fulfill my musical
dreams. I did not release any music prior to the show or did I have any success. In my heart I knew these winnings were a blessing from God and I made a promise to myself to live in gratitude and use this money to build a recording studio to accomplish something extraordinary.” At the beginning of your career did you ever predict the success that you now have? “No way, my crew started from ground zero and we worked our way up. For example I’m working with a new Artist “Arrow Benjamin” and he is force to be reckoned with. Part of my job is to introduce new Artists to world. I feel the music industry does not discover new artists, as they should. The current commercial wave is not necessarily promoting or discovering new acts. Obviously, these new artists are talented but I think with my skills and reputation I can help them find an audience, while introducing new music to the world. I think when people hear the tunes I just did with Arrow they will understand that our combined talents have created something special. It sounds like a “Naughty Boy“ production but with something extra. It is important to me let the artist add their creativity and together we give this music into the world.” When you are in the studio producing is there any tools you create with, that you cannot go without? “Reason is what I use. It’s everything. I purchase everything from them. I don’t take anything from them. I pay for everything I get because I’m thankful for the tools they have created. People should not get caught up in the hardware or particular software. I actually made the first parts of my album on a dell computer. Don’t worry about equipment and the studio too much because the real studio is in your head, the hardware is in your brain and the melody is in your heart.” When you are producing would you rather work with big names or new artists? “To work with a great Artist like Beyoncé or other big names is always a great opportunity. That being said, I love to work with new artists and I feel very strongly it is my responsibility to introduce these new artists to world. My goal is help new artists create great music and make sure the world gets to hear and experience our work.” Anything new records you are working on coming out in the near future? “Well I’ve been doing some work with this artist named
The real studio is in your head. “Arrow Benjamin’ I bumped into him in the kitchen where my studio is located. You never know who someone is when you just meet him or her. One day he played some songs and I was blown away. , I couldn’t believe that guy exists like this and the world does not know about him. I think my audio is only going to create awareness to his sound and his message. Out of instinct I knew I wanted to create with him. In my mind he is a Star already and I am sure sometime in the near future the listening public will agree with me. Remember, I told you first! The song we have on the album I feel I’m proud of and is one of my best under the “Naughty Boy” Moniker. I also did a song on his album as well which is almost completed, so I’m exited for Arrow and soon a new audience will to join him on his journey. I can’t wait for people to hear it all.” Where do you draw your current inspiration? “There are so many great Artists pass and present, but recently I have found inspiration from the great singersongwriter “Carol King”. Her story is an inspiration. I identify with her journey, as I did not know about her story until recently. It is a great story of singers and songwriters, I love an honest story and her story touched me deeply.” How important your success to your community now that you have emerged as a global ambassador with your music, considering you are a Muslim born in Britain with a Pakistani background. “It’s terribly important. I think there is so much to be said. I don’t think its just being Pakistani but being Muslim. I think its time for me to promote positive awareness for the greater good of what it means to be Muslim in the modern world. This is about the greater good of being Pakistani, Muslim and British, as this is my true identity. I am painfully aware of the negative stereotypes and would like to promote a better understanding; after all we all are humans. I think every community has a positive and negative side as does every religion, but the music I make is my way to showcase and promote the positive side. I have many friends that are Muslim, British born Pakistani
and when we speak, it is obvious to me that we are all just trying to get by and create good music. So its important for me to get the message out and show the positive side of who and what we are.” Is it true you appeared in movies from Bollywood as a kid? If so do you make any music for Bollywood? “I was aware of the Bollywood scene but never participated as an actor, I do believe that those films are wonderful. I applied some of it to my western music. I think it has inspired me in terms of the building of music with instruments. The films have dramatic build ups that are so theatrical, it’s wonderful art. I definitely draw from that. Maybe in the future I will do some music for a Bollywood movie. I would love that.” Do You Still DJ? “Yeah I still do. I do a club in Ibiza called Space, it’s got an upstairs and downstairs its awesome, also I am appearing in Dubai next month. I also do dates at a club called Crystals from time to time. The money is great but I feel like I need to spend more time in studio creating music rather than playing at clubs. I do love the music and the instant reaction from the people.” So, looking back at your success, where do we go from here? “To be honest, to the moon”, I say that poetically. Before I was under pressure to compete with what was ever going on the charts, but now I feel I have established a sound and style with any artist I’m working with. I’m happy with that, you know La, La; La was a #1 in 43 countries, so I am competing against myself, always trying to out do what I did last time. I found the best way to deal with all of this is always start a new production as if I am just starting out fresh, always staying hungry for ideas and knowledge. I don’t want to feel like success has created a false comfort zone, I will continue to search and grow, finding new ways to express myself and my productions will hopefully show my progress.” Throw some plugs and shout outs, any last words to the world? “Yeah sure, if you believe in something, please keep doing it. A shout out to Blazing beats, Jonny Coffer who worked with me on the Arrow song “Mack and Phil”. Thank you.” Interview: Swabie Crocket
The hardware is in your brain and the melody is in your heart.
Photo: BB & Ray
BizzY Bone „BONE THUGZ PT 3“ (Reunion and World Tour)
Ok. I’ve sat with Layzie Bone , Krayzie Bone , Mr. Lobel and Now is my moment with you. Each one of you have your own individual vibe in this group. You have been the most spiritual with your aura to me. Peace Bizzy and whats “shaking” ? Whats new in world of Bizzy Bone? “Me ? I’m getting into that “ spoken word”. Ive always done arenas and stuff like that before with my crew. I’m the one they always threw in the front. I’m always keeping my solo efforts going but we’re coming out with that live Bone record. I’ve been really focused on that record as far as the flow the chorus and all on that. Krayzie and I have been spending some time working and its coming out to be one hell of a project. As time will tell it will be one of our best projects and that has been my focus. I’ve been on the road listening to new artist , living that clean life . Its a lot more musical now. I’m going toward that musical side that beautiful sound. The project is turning out real well.” Ive asked the others this question . How big is this tour to you with all the guys on the road? “Ah man its going to be huge. All 5 members on the road doing their thing as one. It’s going to be monumental. So far its South American dates and thats going to kick off with Brazil. We are just going to get things together from that point in the tour. We will run over to London and then so on and so forth .. I mean the offers are in and the possibilities are crazy.”
You’ve always been a real spiritual dude man. How do you balance that with the life of the industry? “Well the way I balance it is by understanding where everyone “stands”. Know how they think when you go to their office but there are stereo types. In general people love good musicians the society respects artist that stay on their feet. There is a point where you decide what you will do and what you will no longer do , and thats what I can say about mine personally within the balance of what the industry is like.” Looking back to the days when Eazy-E first discovered you guys in Cleveland , Is this the vision of the group you had from the beginning? “Well, my vision wasn’t the groups vision. I think thats why we went into having our own minds. When you’re dealing with a band you’re not alone. In a group there are so many different mindsets brother. We all think different ways. I wanted to make sure we had our “masters “I wanted the masters at a certain time but my brothers mindset was that we are more durable, long lasting and lets have fun. I don’t want to live like that , I don’t want to negotiate like that. Its nice at the time but later in life you want that. You know I aint mad at it all, cause we have our masters now. We have “Crossroads” we have the opportunity to use songs like thuggish Bone, or “First Of The Month” . I just wanted that for everyone damn near ten years ago thats all. Right after EZ past away I felt we should let some time go by then we should own our masters and that was always my conversation with them at the office. I was young
a rock and roller having fun but I had to get it.” That being said what thing in that has kept Bone together all these years? “Honestly the music it‘s the purpose and the accomplishment thats what keeps it going. it‘s so organic , it the spirituality. We have so much to be thankful for. Its that commonality and that human aspect we bring to each other it‘s a powerful thing. We had friends that come with nothing , so that story in itself . We were young but serious enough to make a wonderful inner city tale of 5 men still in this industry working … its been really cool man , really cool lol all this hit man. You have to realize we see Flesh Bone and he’s on stage man. You have to realize he was in jail for ten years bro. Just seeing him on stage is like the fountain of youth right there. He‘s taking it as serious as it is , he looking from the outside in now. It‘s a beautiful thing.” Any advice from you the veteran of this Music game?
Interview: Swabie Crocket
Photo: Jeff Pliskin
“To the musicians out their, don’t worry about the Internet too much and record sales. Stick to building good music , and to others we look forward to being in a city , province , state , country or continent near you.”
Deniro Farrar THE KING OF „CULT RAP“
For some time the thought of southern Rap meant one or two places only in the south. Mainly the city of “new Orleans” or Atlanta come to mind first. A void need to filled. North Carolinas relevance in this case comes into play. As in any geographic region of the USA there is variation in urban culture. In our case we view Cult rap and its King Creator. He goes by name of Deniro Farrar and he has an Honest Story To Tell. So Deniro give us a brief fill in on you. To most you may not be name folks have heard. “I hail from Charlotte north Carolina Im the leader of cult rap.. music based off substance supported by 808s beats
but I‘m the actual creator of the Genre cult rap.” First influences into music for you, what or who intrigued you?
Whats the big wish for 2015? “I would like to my numbers increase . I would to see myself on a bigger scale. Its all about continuing to lay footwork and ground work this year. Is all about bigger numbers for me overall.” Lets back up for a second to October last fall you released your most current project. Fill us in. “Yeah, my latest project is called “The Rebirth” . Named it exactly that because it is the rebirth of career my focus in life , I know my direction now. Its kind of like airing out all my dirty laundry. I felt opening up would expose me to a larger audience and I wanted everyone to be on a personal level. I make person music. Whats better than giving your fans a piece of your actual life in songs?” You’ve done a lot of collaborations with artist but not of the group most would consider to break a new name like yourself. You seem to be in the pool of names on the come up. Was that in your design seek the features that most would consider must haves?
“My earliest influences was the group Kriss Kross , yeah man. My love for music started by collecting assets. All I would is play that tape with Jump On it. I use to sit there and memorize all the words. When the song came on radio I was the kid that knew all the words. Being that I had an older brother I would listen to artist like Master from his collection. From groups like 3Six Mafia down to Luther Vandross I pretty much got a good feel for music from that stuff. Jadakiss , and many of the other music influences I had were from up north because at the time the south did not have as big as a scene.” So can we call you an emerging somewhat , but you have joint venture with both Vice Records of (vice magazine) and Warner Brothers. Explain the coming together on that .It seems no one way to cut a deal these days. “Oh yeah. Well first I was broken through a write up in Vice and folks at Warner got with it . I think That combined with stuff I did with Dante Ross all seemed to come together to make it happen.”
“Nah that route with the big feat game is not for me. I try to keep things with my music organic as possible. Ding a feature with Kanye West just wouldn‘t be the real thing for me right now. I want things to be real. Doing a record with a Drake just would not fit for me at the moment . Whats is funny is that later when its that time to do that , some people will actually just think I came out of no where. Some folks are gonna think I just came up overnight regardless. I look at artist sometimes like “who’s this guy” then you look back at his cattle and his been dropping shit since 2002 ..lol Thats how it is. Im not one that wants to build my career off features. Some have built their careers off other rappers tunes. Its not organic and that’s just not my particular vibe at this point. I hope if I get the chance on a “Wayne Song” people will say I put the work in to be there.” If I haven‘t heard the “Rebirth” project yet, could you describe it to me? “Yeah. I think Lyrically I’m where I have always been. My lyrics are really honest and think that separates me from a lot of the other rappers. I took the same approach . It was another opportunity for me to be honest and get real with my fan base. i say some things that people would like to say and maybe they won‘t say.”
Touring lately? “I been on the road for a min and just really came back , me and Dell Curry. It was not an official “Rebirth” tour and since it was rolling we didn‘t stop and take the full marketing approach. Thats just how it is . I am dropping again very soon and still in the works of having my label get excited to have me on board. You know I need the full support from them. Being new on Warner and with Vice I want them to be fully exited when I drop this next one. The next project is produced by “ Blue Sky / Black Death“. Its called Cliff Of Death 2 .. I’m going to just keep hitting the folks with the music to be quite honest. I want the full support of my machine. I thought just being signed would be enough. I then got on the label and realized this. Its time for me to build up the momentum like when I was independent.” For those getting their first taste of your style of Cult Rap , what tunes would they be.
“Thats hard for me you would not be able to do that in two or three songs . I feel you have to really y to dig in an feel me. Id be doing you an injustice by giving you a few tunes and all. I could say “Cliff Of Death and “The Patriarch 1” and “The Patriarch 2 “ I feel like those would be body’s of work that I would suggest for me.” Which tune would say broke you through from local to buzz-worthy? “I don’t think it was an one song or a single . Single to me is a song that gets you recognized another level. A single would be foe “Me” I would say a tune like Bow Down. I have not done that yet. I really don’t make singles , I make body’s of work and collages really got me popping not really a single. I did not strategically place out a single yet.” The organic approach. Any shout outs as we rap this up? “Yeah my brother Antonio and to the whole Cult Rap family and thats it..” Interview: Swabie Crocket Fotos: Scott Lutchionii
TRUCK NORTH THE TRUCK WITH NO BREAKS
hilly Native “Truck North” is at the wheel with carrier. After spending numerous years in the roots crew mainly in a support role it seems he may be rolling out to his own music as well very soon. Initially. His organic slot in the crew is a tale very familiar in the genetic tree of hip hop families. We sat down with him to find out what in store for the long haul. Truck seems he is on a non stop mission on the road of success.
So You‘re the cousin of Black thought? “Whats crazy is I’m of no blood relation to the world renown entertainer( Black Thought) of “The Roots”.I initially was introduced through the brother of Kamal from the roots. Thats how we met. Kamals brother ; but these things get twisted sometimes.. but yeah to clear that up.”
How did you begin working with the roots initially with the music? “I think they were doing Jam sessions for the tipping point, and I was just around rapping. I kind of got asked to stay around the group and write lyrics and write. Thats when I started taking it seriously. I think it was sometime right after the tipping point when things began to come into a different focus.”
Foto: Mel d. Cole Are you on a label situation with your music at this time?
What’s currently on your work desk with projects?
“Ugh I’m always kind of been work for hire. With the roots they had a label situation at times. The roots were artist on a major and I was kind of just in the background in the think tank. I was just a writer and collaborator in the think tank. So to answer not really right now.”
“Currently I‘m working on a project with a good friend DJ Bam 1 .. I‘m working on a project called the black Daniels. Its gonna be some dope production by him and all, we are looking to release something in and around June this year. Other than that I’m just writing getting prepared for the next roots album.”
Speak on the work ethic it has taken to be where you are currently. “I kind of gathered my work ethic from being told NO. You have to know how to go back to the drawing board and come up with something better. Being in the same rap space as black thought .. is so crazy he‘s so precise every line he makes is murder if its subtle murder or in your face. With lyrics and words he‘s so sharp. Being in the camp you pick up that kind of work ethic.”
What would you like next year to be like being that this year you‘re emerging and rolling into a new phase? “Next year I’m hoping the things I do this year give me greater access. Just trying to get to out the country and rock people that are away from here. Just grow what I’m working on.”
Foto: Kelly Connell Did you and will be on tour live so folks can come out to see you?
What would you suggest folks check out currently to get into your vibe.
“Initially I was on the road with the guys often and all. I toured with them quite a bit , however that was pre “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon”. They were on the road a lot ,but right now not as much. I suspect we will in the future.”
“I would say of course the dope stuff I’ve had the pleasure to work on with The roots and the most current on my particular sound right now would be “Murder by Mourning” and check “Our American Cousin” all my other stuff and videos i have on my site at TruckNorthMusic.com. Those two projects are really the closest to where I’m at right now lyrically.”
Advice for aspiring artist out there with their music. “Hone in on what you really know. Try creating your own. Try creating to the point where no one is alike. Getting to the state of originality is important. Make sure you find your audience and dedicate your work work to them. The ones that support you are best. I would also say one thing , never give up to be honest.”
Any Shout outs? Shout out to however reading this and listing to my Music man and shout to the roots crew and shout out to ya’ll. Interview: Swabie Crocket
DINCO D & SHINOBI NINJAZ
ho can forget the 90’s .Doc martin boots, Jordan throwbacks , Jerseys with block letters , Girls in their hugged out knitty (like Alia ) moments we love in music. Great iconic images none of us could ever forget. We also will never forget the sound of the 90’s with the lyrical wonders it produced. A time when what you said meant as much as the music you rapped over. Its clear that the Mc’s of the 90’s were pretty original in their capacity. The impact left behind by these individuals and groups gave the feeling that aliens came and landed on planet Earth. The groups that left the “Roswell effect “ like leaders of new school. From “Leaders” spawned a new call and response style of rap that would catch on and later become the infectious formula for what you still in Busta Rhymes songs and Lyric. The Roosevelt Long Island Trio Of Dinco D , Busta Rhymes and Charlie Brown mesmerized audiences with “Just another case of the PTA amongst others ”. The unforgettable collaboration with “ Tribe Called Quest” on scenario cemented the sound of the generation. Hard hitting drums with lyrics that were fun yet worthy of appreciation in any formal circle of literature. We had the pleasure to sit down with Dinco D of Leaders to discuss the renaissance of what is occurring and the re-emergence of some of the finest music and style they are a part of to this day.
Peace Dinco last time we met was at your Part flavors event in NYC . Fill us in on whats cooking? “Well right now we are just in the studio doing some new production with my man El-Es Dee . I’m working with a group out of Long Island called the big east. Working with Jarobi from Tibe on a few songs that are coming out well. I just see who vibes with me and a new tune called MeUWe with a band out Brooklyn called Shinobi Ninjaz.” Well it seems you stay busy. “Yeah, pretty much. I put out a few Mixtapes .. I put out some golden era mixtape for the Leaders of the new school with my man Rob Flow. I’m trying to keep the legacy going and work the dh’s and get organic with all. I’m keeping the Native Tounge movement alive as we do.”
You guys experienced a special time in music with Leaders that folks miss looking back any reflections on that era? “We were really hot at that time .. it seems it took a while because about 85 we started as leaders and it took until 91 to really break through. We had to come up in the shadow of Public Enemy at that time because they were from the same area of long Island. It was the road to where we went with it all and I’m proud of it.” How did the scenario come about? Who set that off? “Well we just really got into a collaboration with Tribe because we kept seeing them out and around at the same time we were making our rounds in the business. We would perform and see them perform at the same venues. The song itself? Well we just kept going
in the booth one after another and when the next dude came out when knew we were building fire. By the end of the song we knew we had a smasher.” Scenario (remix) had a guy named Kid Hood and he was dope. What happened that was not able to continue with the success of the record? “He was homeless at the time when Tip found him. He was staying uptown like 125th street I believe. He was so radical with his energy and his flow was so powerful. When we heard him we were like ”wow this is going to be something for sure” It’s sad because he was killed a week or two before the song came out. He never actually got to see the song drop.” What keep the groups from continuing on like yours and Tribe? “The pioneers and teachers were never put in positions high enough to make
the right decisions for the culture. it seemed like then there were no real guys with power to do the hiring and firing. I think that the culture has been misrepresented by some of the folks in charge of the decision making , and thats why I feel some the culture has not been preserved.”
90’s groups the music is in demand still its real. The majors now need us again to validate their future. We need a bit more what is done in rock and such where you can hear old rock stations , new rock stations, hard rock.. all but whats most important is they represent their legends from their culture.”
Whats the most important thing now for the legacy of it all?
Any dates coming up?
“I’ve been on a definite mission to connect with the cats from my era and beyond to set this culture on a better way. It feels like the a baby was feed bad food for years and has been poisoned somewhat. It’s time to clean out the garden man. A lot of the groups were separated and messed around by people outside the art , and they divided us somewhat but now is more important. Its about making good music and bringing everyone together. We’re taking our time with it all. I just want carry on the legacy of what has been done that was great. You see the resurgence of the
“Im on my way right now to the Winter Music conference in Miami and I was recently in Canada , but I‘m doing little spot dates here and there right now. \ and make sure you check that joint with shinbone Ninjaz is moving.” Throw me some shout outs my friend… “Yeah sure. L.O.N.S The New School Society, all the upcoming artist out of Long Island Money B, Mellow Man Ace so many people the whole community everyone on the come up just trying to be original.” Interview: Swabie Crocket
AN AMERICAN B-BOY STORY
orn and raised as a Corona - Queens native Jiggz Star is the founder of one of the most well know modern era bboy crews internationally . In the early part of 2000 he formed the “Supreme Beingz” a group of kids from the local neighborhood in the surrounding Queens area of NYC. Through heart and skill Jigzz carved out a story admirable and respectable. Jig has created not only a story of building self but the community around him. He is the Iconic image of iPods bboy silhouette, and is currently one the Kings of dance that reside in the Borough of Queens. Get your footwork together because we are sitting down with BBoy Jiggz and his American B-Boy Story.
I mean we have a lot of Boys around the world , dancers and all however I have to say you have one of the coolest modern day era HipHop stories a Classic. Kick it off by filling us in on travels in Afghanistan?
“It felt like we were watching the news with desert storm , well thats just how it was. Hundreds and hundreds of tanks , hummers and people. We saw prisoners walking through the airport with in shackles, it was the real Taliban. It was crazy. Just the visuals of the desert alone were different than the deserts here.”
Wait a minute back up for us. Were you there as a soldier? “Nah .. I was on a tour put together by the one and only Curtis Blow. He did a tour for the soldiers when the war kicked off after September 11th. That was one of the first places we performed out of 9 countries. This is in 2002 when it was hot. We did Oman, kurdistan , Pakistan , Uzbekistan, Kuwait , Qatar .. it was dope the culture was real. It was a moment to give ourselves to the troops and all. It was special for us. Once in a lifetime shit. You cant even go most of these places anymore at all. It was good just bring the culture of what we do all around and the locals saw some of us also so it was all good.”
So Jigzz You would be what most would describe as NY original on the scene. Give some of the background of how you came to be and all . Whats the path like to dance for you? “I use to participate when I was ten ager at a community center in Queens and we had activities and such in a classroom. One of those things became dance. It got so live that we had to get space and the center gave us the gym for 1 day a week to jam. The next thing we knew that one day turned into two days and even more kids from all over the city started coming. I’ve been there overall 16yrs and working there for them half of that time now. A lot of kids come now from overseas & they hit me up , like “ is it on in queens on weds?” Its crazy that it has really turned
into a global boy practice. Its jumping now and its free. Some legendary boys have touched that floor and I’m proud of that.” Describe the scene at the time when you started in the late 90’s / early 2000’s? “It was hard to find people that even knew how to dance when we started. There were just dance classes starting in dance studious. When it all kicked in we had no youtube to see it. You had to know a person that had dance footage of other cats to learn or really go out on the scene. I came up with Step Fenz , Breaks Krew and all the others around the time.. Wild child from Step Fen put me on to the scene and then it all grew from there. Each one teach one was the way it kind of started.” “Last year we just celebrated our 15yrs anniversary as a crew word its been good we will be cooking up some new events so look out for the posts online.” In this era where there is so much film and video with boys and a lot of tv as well . I wanted to ask ask how you personally separate yourself from the pack…? “Well you have to be you. You have to stick with something and call it your style thats how. I mean nowadays they like the athletic types of boys but my main influence was crews like Step Fenz, and Rocksteady .. I sticked with the dance flow in my game and thats what keeps me separate. Athletic boys are cool but I‘m more traditional with how this came up.” What would be the ultimate in the artistic dream world of Junior Jiggz.
“Well it would be to use my talents. I would like to be able to use all my talents , making music , dancing and all. Music and dance are my loves and I would like to create an all around lab here for myself. Its a bit more difficult in a big city because this is a big money town but it can be done. We are practitioners of this art it never stops. We do what we do daily like washing our hands with creating hiphop and we just live the culture.” What would you say has been your most legendary moments in battle or completion on the floor? “Well I have had a few or many but.. tim not into really saying saying names to put cats out there like that. I will tell you some details and you can fill it in though . You know?” Hey, thats cool with me. You know the code. “2000-2001 at bragging rites , and I won some cash , another time battling some dude in cypher . A very well known bboy and I was going at until the the lights came on and the bouncer kicked us out of the club cause it was over no one was left in the spot. The Dj was out packing up and all.. no music going at it. At one pint one of the legends came to my hood at my practice to get at me and it was one of many battles I had with him. who ever wants it can bring it ya know?” Thanks Jigz any shout outs? “Yeah, my crew supreme beings, Step Fenz you , flavormag and everyone keeping it real 100%.” Interview: Swabie Crocket Fotos: Ali Riojas Photography
URBAN MUSIC & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE
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