Common Market - Tobacco Road Panacea - A Mind On A Ship Through Time People Under the Stairs - The Next Step People Under the Stairs - Fun DMC Jean Grae & BSBD- The Evil Jeanius Q-Tip - The Renaissance Surreal - Pardon My Dust Foreign Exchange - Leave It All Behind Qwel & Kip - The New Wine
Short Reviews Short Album reviews Single Reviews
Interviews Mr. J Medeiros Pete Philly Praverb Nicolay Kirpy Ghostpatrol
Hip Hop: The Renaissance Recommendations Of The Month Personal Classic The Message
Mr. J Medeiros
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Foreign Exchange Page 22
Issue Two Welcome back to The Find everyone! After our two previous releases, I am proud to introduce this new issue! We are really satisfied with the results of Issue One: more than 1.200 downloads, mainly positive feedback and lots of recognition. A little bit cliché, but I want to start this issue with a word of thanks to some people. First of all, thanks to everyone who participated on Issue One – couldn’t do it without you! Secondly, thanks to all of you who support this project and who gave us some exposure on your blog or website; it’s highly appreciated! And last but not least I want to thank you, the reader. Thanks so much for still following us after two releases and for still showing your love. You’re the reason we keep doing this and we are glad people actually like our magazine and the music we highlight. Big up! It took us some time to release this new issue but hopefully you think the long wait was worth it. We did spend lots of time to improve the magazine and to make it better than our previous releases. We upgraded our design; we have more (and better) content, more pages, bigger interviews and even a custom-made cover (thanks to Matty for that one!). Also, for those of you who don’t like to download the PDF-file, we made sure you could read this issue online without having to download something! Personally we are proud of the result and hopefully you feel the same way. Enough talking, time to scroll down (or to skip the page if you enjoy the online version) to read more about good music! Stay Thirsty, Danny V. // Heaps Chief Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Some editorial mistakes from Issue One I’d like to correct: - We had an interview with ELK in our previous issue but he isn’t from Italy like mentoined, but he’s from Britain. - Credits for the photography on the same pages go to RedFash: www.Redfashphotography.com
Editorial Danny V. Westgoogle
Alex Andrew Lonczak Anton Wårdell CrimzonFear Debo7 Danny V. Mookie Williams Nofrillz Optimus Prime Preach Shamrock Pollock Steven Logas Westgoogle Will Verity
Design Will Verity
Matty - WTA www.myspace.com/ mattandres
Blue Sky Black Death Common Market Giant Panda Foreign Exchange Jean Grae Mr. J Medeiros Nicolay Panacea Pete Philly People Under The Stairs Praverb Surreal Q-Tip Qwel & Kip ... and more
Art Interviews Ghostpatrol Kirpy
Black Milk Tronic
Dr. Dooom Dr. Dooom 2
The overall sound is alien, which makes sense considering that’s probably what Keith himself is. One of the years best. 9.0/10
The High Decibels
The High Decibels Filling in the void J Dilla left behind is a daunting proposition, but if anyone is up to the task it’s Black Milk. His sound is remarkably fresh, Black Milk’s greatest talent is that despite his style being heavily involved it’s always crisp. Every instrument he uses is filled with life, greatly elevating the overall feel of the music. Another feat that Black Milk seems to easily excel at is creating a mood that is completely in sync with the content, rarely do these key aspects fall out of touch with each other. Unfortunately, what holds him back at times is the emceeing side of things. That’s not to say he doesn’t have the chops, but at times his writing is lifeless compared to his production; and when guests Pharoah Monche and Royce da 5’9” make appearances he looks downright amateur. 7.0/10
The High Decibels
Kool Keith’s talent is mind bending; so much that the regular rules just don’t apply to him. He’s never resided within the traditional realms of rap in his 21 year career, and his latest effort propels him even further from what most listeners regard as normal. He proves he’s still among the most versatile to put it down, from his imagery laden track depicting the murder of Dr. Octagon to his complete mastery of non-sequitors, Dooom can do it all. And the production is some of Keith’s finest, it’s not a separate entity from the words that spill out of his mouth -- instead, the two function as one brain and body moving through the uncharted realms of hip-hop. Keith’s biggest asset is his perfect vision of what tracks should sound like, and unlike many producers today, he knows exactly how to execute on his ideas.
half a century of music into one concise album; but the words themselves don’t have the range to be interesting enough to hold up to obsessive listening. Regardless, it’s a group who’ll no doubt be onto bigger and better things in the future. 7.5/10
Peace of Mind
It’s difficult to describe an album that is rooted in music so old that it sounds unbelievably new. This is a group that is undeterred by the traditional limitations that rap artists face, instead of shying from the challenge they fearlessly mix genres together creating an experimental sound that is a throwback to John Lee Hooker, Aerosmith, Run-DMC, the Beastie Boys and Sly Stone amongst a multitude of other legends. It’s rare to find the chemistry displayed throughout this album, whether it’s between Duke Johnson and Chief or the band and the writing; this is an album that has a vast amount of components that all click. The one let down is the content, despite all of their progressions through music itself, the High Decibels stray away from switching things up thematically; this means that the vibes vary little from their ebullient standard. The sound of the album is highly accomplished, funneling over
Kondor’s Peace of Mind is an album filled with beautiful instrumentation. His style is reminiscent of Nujabes, but overall his sound is far less involved and layered. That’s not to say that his work is brittle; his brooding cellos, sparingly used violins and dominant piano make sure that it isn’t; but at times the music is so simple it risks becoming trivial. However, Kondor’s steady hand tends to steer things in the right direction before the music becomes too lost in the mundane. Kondor’s sense of rhythm is near impeccable and his concepts almost always perfectly executed, stylistically it’s both fluid and appealing but what it isn’t is distinctive. Final analysis: light and pleasant. 7.5/10
Murs for President
quality cuts to override the negative aspects; just don’t be surprised if you find yourself hitting the stop button a couple of tracks early. 8.0/10
The Balancing Act The title is indicative of his lofty ambition, and for the majority of the album it seems like he delivers a winning campaign. In his latest effort Murs continues pushing his brand of honesty and polishing his writing; the results are peak points throughout the album that are more thought provoking than he’s ever been. The producers backing Murs are consistent, but rarely move past the rank of competency, thereby consistently pushing the album sonically to the brink of the next level, but never quite there. Unfortunately, the albums starts to lose its focus towards the end and Murs succumbs to old habits, running over tired love themes in a weary manner. But its detractions are few and Murs delivers enough
and uninspired, however it does have one shining quality: it flows seamlessly, but that’s most likely due to it all sounding the same. Sadistik establishes himself as a rapper with potential who’s complete lack of commitment to developing versatility results in a lackluster debut. Stick to your Atmosphere records. 5.5/10
The Album A trip into the mind of a rapper who is neither interesting nor particularly profound. The production is static, that’s not to say that it isn’t good, but since every track is the same stylistically it gets tiresome. Initially the sound is a beautiful blend of symphonies and basslines developing a dark air, but as the album goes on it becomes all too familiar and boring. At times he offers glimpses of what the album could have been with rare poetic quotables, but these moments exist with regrettable paucity. The overall feel of the work is dull
This is an album that travels so far outside of the realm of classical hip-hop that hardly anyone’s even attempted to follow. One of the most unorthodox acts to emerge out of the genre; Latyrx is composed of Lateef the Truthspeaker, whose writing is smart and aggressive, and Lyrics Born, whose lyricism is layered with both wisdom and wordplay. Together they form a work which is unrepeatable. Each sound articulated seems to be a product of their immense love of language, whether they’re simply bragging or being staggeringly profound, their phrasing and word choice continuously pushes their music to new heights. The production, which is for the most part handled by Lyrics Born, is a perfect
match; every beat is textured and new age, tossing aside any preconceptions of traditional hip-hop. Eleven years down the road the Album is still an unparalleled masterpiece on a level of innovation that no one has even come close to approaching. 10/10 Words by Westgoogle
Mr. J Medeiros Words by Danny V.
Mr. J Medeiros, one third of The Procussions, dropped his first soloalbum Of Gods and Girls in 2007 and he announced that his second solo-release will be out soon. Reason enough for us to talk with him about his music, the future of The Procussions and his upcoming release Friends,
For the readers who don’t know you yet, can you introduce yourself and tell them something about your music? II’m Mr. J. Medeiros and I rap. Oh, I make beats too. Your new solo album Friends Enemies Apples Apples will release early in 2009; what can we expect of your new release? I’m not sure, I’m never sure what someone will get from it, if its what I get from it then expect a serious album in tone and content with a lot of soulful singing, it’s a little darker, a little west coast sounding (so I’ve been told). Lots of bass, strings, piano, and spacey noises. Lots of stories, mostly rooted in something the Portuguese call “saudade”, a great word to look up! Can people who liked your debutalbum expect something similiar or will Friends Enemies Apples Apples be completely different? I have tried to rap about different things but maybe its in my blood, I think my content, the words that I choice to say end up coming out of mycenter, maybe its “Fado” maybe its “Saudade” but its in me and im not ready to escape it, there is a feeling in the song “Constance” that is spread throughout this album, that’s the only thing that bares resemblance. As far as sound I think this album sonically is a 100 times better then “of gods and girls” and overall I would say that “friends enemies apples apples” is a much
more grown up version of “Of Gods And Girls”.Personally, I am really curious about the meaning of the title of the album; what is it? I think there are a couple of songs that touch on the meaning of the title, it’s basically the theme of what I usually rap about, I’d rather not give it away.
“I don’t see why anyone who’s paying to create something that someone can appreciate would be OK with people stealing their music” The official tracklist says there’s only one guest on your album: Tara Ellis. Can you tell us more about your collaboration and the reason why you picked her to be on the album? I love working with Tara Ellis, our first track we did together was on The Procussions album “5 Sparrows for 2 Cents” on a song called “Ill Fly”, she is really able to take something and make it her own, she did wonderful, incredible, beautiful things for this album and I knew she would. Her voice is so versatile without loosing her identity, she sings like she wrote the song and that’s what I was looking for. And why did you choose to only have one guest on your album instead of multiple guests as on Of Gods And Girls? I’m really not big on rapper collaborations, I
think its because I end up trying to write stories and a lot of personal things I just don’t think I could share on a track with someone else. Plus, the rappers I would really like to have on this album probably don’t like what I do. As far as singers and musicians? I am ALWAYS looking for a good collab! I have just noticed that people either want money I don’t have or they really are not up to working with a rapper. I try to get folk singers that I look up too all the time, most of the people I have contacted do not listen to hip-hop at all, and the little stuff they have heard…they hate. So….yeah its not easy to convince people that hiphop is worth it sometimes, but it is. I’d read several bulletins on Myspace of you and apparently you’re really against downloading music. Can you tell us what you think of people who download your album? I don’t see why anyone in my position whos paying out of pocket for absolutely everything in order to create something that someone can appreciate, to help enhance anothers life, (including my own) WOULD be ok with people stealing their music.
There is no dignity in that and it truly takes down the value of a musician’s work and the personal transaction in offering a “good” or “service”. If I want to give you a free CD (which I do 9 times out of 10) it should be on my terms, it’s my product, it’s what I have to offer you, it’s my contribution. We have socially conditioned ourselves to use the word download instead of stealing to help with the guilt. And what will you do to fight it, or are you just gonna accept it as the harsh reality nowadays? I fight by not doing it, by buying all my music and by sticking up for myself and not “accepting the hard reality,” even if just in thought, and by not being afraid to piss people off who believe otherwise. At least in this way, I have created a value for myself. And what do you think about the industry nowadays? How do you feel about that? To keep it short: it sucks. This question is very cliché but I still want to ask you this. What do you think of Hip Hop nowadays and the way it’s evolving? Im just trying to keep my eyes on what im able to offer. Can you name some new music/Hip Hop that you like a lot? I like Lupe Fiasco, Elzhi, Black Milk, Pigeon John, Hocus Pocus Flying Lotus, ….lots of stuff. And what about music you listened to back in the days, what artists inspired you the most? RUN DMC, A Tribe Called Quest, The Roots, L.L. Cool J., Souls Of Mischief, Pharcyde, De La Soul, Public Enemy, WU-Tang, Ice Cube… Lots of stuff.
And how do you think Hip Hop and its culture will be in 10 years from now? I definitely do not know. And what can we expect from Mr. J Medeiros in the (near) future? Hopefully people will enjoy, like, and love “Friends Enemies Apples Apples” in 2009! Im working with a band right now, I really cant say anything about it yet, but they are some monster musicians. Im also
“I don’t think there will be another Procussions album: I’m officially off on a solo career”
working with a producer that is just amazing!!!, (In my opinion) we are called Thousand Pound Gorilla (1KLBG) and hopefully that will be out soon! On another note, I want to ask you something about The Procussions. On Myspace you said the following: Can’t do it anymore y’all. The Procussions have officially been destroyed by the system, the industry, and those kids who just don’t understand you “can’t burn independent albums. You will kill their career”. But I also remember you said that their will be a next album by The Procussions (you and Stro). What can we expect? Will there be another release? I don’t think there will be another Procussions album, I’m officially off on a solo career and Stro is doing the same. Stro however DID produce this whole album “Friends Enemies Apples Apples” and, wow, dude is just incredible! His solo album should be out soon! If you want to tell the readers of The Find Magazine something, if you want to make an announcement or if you want to give some shout-outs or something, then this is the time: I love you!
Common Market Tobacco Road
It has been said that English is the hardest language to learn. Being a native speaker and having to learn grammar in schooling past, I can absolutely see why. It is riddled with contradictions, exceptions, and funny-sounding words. When you take all of this crazy-sounding language and make it rhyme, you have something special. Common Market’s newest release Tobacco Road is the second full-length album from the group consisting of emcee R.A. Scion and producer Sabzi. Sabzi also produces for group Blue Scholars, and his chemistry with Scion is what makes the project successful. The album starts off a little slow, but the pace quickly rises. “Gol’ Dust” is laced with triumphant horns, and the production mastery only continues as the album goes on. Soul samples (“Winter Takes All”), crisp drums (“Back Home”), and even an occasional synth (“Certitude”) are scattered throughout the album, and all utilized effectively. Sabzi is very gifted musically, as he even plays a piano solo on the album’s closer and title track.
R.A. Scion, quite frankly, is one of the best emcees around today. Marked by symbolic tattoos, glasses, and a bad-ass beard, don’t let his somewhat unexpected looks fool you - the man is, dare I say, genius. I’ve never had to use a dictionary before in a hip-hop song, and I sat with one in my lap as I tried to dissect two of my favorites - “House” and “Forty Thieves”. The guests, in Blue Scholars’ Geologic and newcomer Chev hold their own with respectable appearances. However, Scion really steals the show here. The album stalls only in the beginning, and also slightly in the middle, with the dud of “Weather Vane” and other slow points. If this were trimmed down to a 14 or 15 track journey, it would be that much better. However, I highly recommend this album, and it’s really surprising that my favorite album of the year (so far, and I doubt it’s going to get knocked off the pedestal) isn’t getting more recognition. The path of the Tobacco Road might be a long one in some ways, but it’s
Common Market: www.myspace.com/commonmarket Buy: www.amazon.com worth taking every single step. Words by Andrew Lonczak
A Mind On A Ship Through Time The DC duo, Panacea, consists of storytelling emcee Raw Poetic and spacey producer K-Murdock, they recently released a new album entitled, A Mind On A Ship Through Time. This album follows their 2007 release, The Scenic Route which received considerable critical acclaim and put Panacea’s unique sound and talent on display. This album fully spotlights KMurdock’s calm and spacey production style. Soft synth arrays, slow melodic piano loops, and use of natural sounds create a deeply layered compilation of beats that compliment Raw Poetic’s vocal style to virtual perfection. To tell you the truth, the beats probably could have stood alone and sold as an instrumental album. There are so many different sounds happening at once that you will find yourself rewinding a track to hear some strange interjection in the beat. The depth in production can also be a bit of a problem with this release. Sometimes there are so many things going on that the overall sound becomes cluttered and hard to digest. This wasn’t a problem throughout
the entire album but on a few tracks the multiple layers become too much to handle at once. Lyrics on this album are solid which was expected based on Raw Poetic’s past lyrical demonstrations. His storytelling skills are exceptional and his laid back flow easily syncs with K-Murdock’s production. At times throughout the album there are occasions in which the level of production outshines the lyrics. The volume of the beats, compared to Raw Poetic’s voice, seems to be a little out of balance. It seems at times listeners will have to strain to understand Raw Poetic’s lyrics, which lowers the overall listening experience. Overall this was a solid release that could have been better by simply “cleaning it up” a little bit. I would have liked to see a featuring artist or maybe a little change in pace on one or two of the tracks but that is not a problem because this is the kind of album that you come home and just chill to; we need more of those in today’s hip hop. If you are a Panacea fan or a progressive/alternative hip hop fan in
Panacea: www.myspace.com/panaceanmuic Buy: cdbaby.com general, this album is most definitely worth a listen. On a side note, one thing that disappointed me about my reviewing process is that when I searched for “Panacea A Mind On A Ship Through Time”, the first link that came up led me to a site where I could download the entire album for free. Obviously, there are going to be those links, but I don’t think that after all the time and effort the duo put into this album, a free download link should be offered as the first option rather than buying. Please support the artists, if you like the music go buy it! Words by Mookie Williams
Single Reviews Instead of a full album, I think I’ll switch it up a little this time and review ten of the most interesting tracks that have been leaked, or put out, on the internet during the past month or so. The tracks that I’m reviewing are in no specific order and are based primarily on my own opinion. With no further ado, here’s the line up:
Warwick Avenue This is a serious record right here, different from Wale’s usual fresh, have fun style. Basically it’s a song written about a girl who has been playing games with him, cheating on him, etc. The sample in the song is from the original “Warwick Avenue” by Duffy. Wale put his own twist on it with the kick drum and snare, and it came out quite nicely. Lyrically, Wale comes correct with every verse, content and flow wise. This track is a nice remix to a non-hip-hop related record. Well done Wale.
Kanye West Robocop
So just to get it straight, I threw this one in here just so I can talk about Kanye and his new image. I’m not gonna lie folks, I’m still not feeling the whole autotune thing Kanye has been doing. Here’s another example of it. The beat is good, it’s pretty much just an electronica
beat (like something Justice would have taken part in), but instead of singing…why not rhyme over it? Kanye’s flow is so versatile, he could rhyme over anything. All in all, I’m not feeling this track, or his other autotuned tracks for that matter. Don’t let me discourage you, check it out for yourself.
Crown City Rockers Body Rock
Well, Crown City Rockers is one of my favorite groups, so naturally everything they put out is a classic, in my opinion at least. This track is more of dance track than the usual vibe track their fans associate them with. The beat is pretty hard, but for some reason it sounds more synthesized than usual. The hook is very catchy, and the verses that Raashan spits over the beat are of having fun and dancing. It’s a very well done track. Just let your body rock to the music.
Escape Earth If you’ve never heard of Diverse before, I think it’s time you gave him a listen. “Escape Earth” is his newest record, and might I add one of his best projects. The track its self gives you the impression of being in space, with the echo effects, as well as the satellite samples played throughout the track.
Diverse is a very insightful lyricist, so it’s no surprise that these lyrics have meaning. If you dig deep, you’ll find that this track addresses the various issues that plague the world today, and how man wishes there was an easy way to escape these issues.
Life In Marvelous Times I don’t know what happened to Mos Def, but the one thing I do know is that he’s making a come back. “Life In Marvelous Times” is a look at the hard times presumably in the neighborhoods that Def grew up in. Lyrically, Def brings back his trademark flow and singing. The beat hits hard; the beat of champions. I’m glad to hear from this cat again. Just as he says in this song, “bright moments always come back vivid,” Def is coming back as vivid as ever.
Exhibit A (Transformations)
If you know me, then you know that I consider Jay Electronica the best lyricist since the golden days (Nas, Jay, Biggie, Tupac, etc.). Exhibit A (Transformations) was produced by the super producer Just Blaze, and Jay Elec definitely tore this instrumental apart. Hands down, this is my favorite of all the tracks that have come out in the past month. I don’t think there is more to say about this, just listen to it.
And here we have a couple of amateur emcees that have only been in the game for a short while now. Although this may be true, don’t underestimate them, trust me. These 3 cats are exceptional at what they do. To tell you the truth, TreaZon really surprised me in his lyrical ability. Mickey and Nero came with the heat as usual. The beat to this track hits hard, so turn up your bass, and let the beat blow like grenades! Keep a look out for these emcees in the future.
“Blogology” is a tribute from my man K. Sparks to all the blogs who support him, including, www.trolleystopent.com (my spot), and www.themorningtilts.com (my boys spot). K. Sparks has been creeping up on the hip-hop game for a short while now, and if you haven’t heard him by now, I think you should make it a point to. He’s a very good lyricist, who can carry himself through the banging beats he comes with. This track is no exception to the rule, it’s right on point. The concept of the song is very clever, but hey that’s what you expect from a creative artist like K. Sparks.
As my all time favorite emcee, I consider Lupe Fiasco a pioneer of hip-hop, agree with me or not, I still think he is. Even before he was signed he was coming out with some of the hottest stuff around. “Accept The Troubles” is a good example of this. The track was unreleased until a month or so ago, and when I saw it, I didn’t even have to listen to it to determine whether I would download it or not. The track is Lupe’s way of telling people to deal with the consequences that come with their actions. The beat hits hard, and Lupe’s lyrics are flawless as usual. The “accept the troubles” sample is a very nice touch too; it gives it that authentic feel to it.
The KnuX Fire
I like to consider The KnuX an alternate version of Outkast. This song is a good example of why I think this. The KnuX really do come with the fire, not chonky fire, just fire. The beat to this song is chill, and lounge worthy, and might I add once more, very reminiscent of Outkast. The KnuX just came out with their debut album Remind Me In 3 Days, which is very good, so get out and be sure to cop that.
Accept The Troubles
Well, there you have it folks! Optimus Prime’s top 10 tracks of the past month. I hoped this helped enlighten you on some great hip hop. And remember kids, keep rockin fresh! Words by Optimus Prime
The word ´Mindstate´ should ring a bell for lots of fans of jazzy Hip Hop: it’s the title of the debut-album by Pete Philly & Perquisite. Since the worldwide release in 2005 the duo is coming up and they released two albums following on their debut, they’ve won several prices and they toured intensively. The Find Magazine had the possibility to talk to Pete Philly about the upcoming European tour, music and their music specifically. Bad news for people from Holland, but good news for European fans: Pete Philly & Perquisite recently ended their Dutch tour on December 6th in Amsterdam and will continue with a big
European tour after that. “We played a lot in other countries last year and we will finish that with a big European clubtour. We’re going to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France,
Scandinavia and we played our final show in Holland. The difference with our previous foreign shows is that this time we’ll do one big tour instead of just separate shows like
we d i d before. “ America has to wait a little bit longer: “It’s way too expensive. There are a lot of European artists who can’t play in America and also a lot of American artists who can’t play in Europe, just because it’s too expensive to travel. Next to that it’s important to be structural if you want things to work out. So we want to go to America if we can do it on a structural way.” On December 6th the duo released a live disc with consists of recordings from the shows they did at European festivals. According to Pete there are no concrete plans for a brand new studio-album yet, so fans have to stick to Mystery Repeats; their most recent release. Unlike Mindstate, they didn’t work on Mystery Repeats with a concept in the back of their head, but why’s that? “We didn’t know what we wanted to do, the only thing we knew for sure was that we wanted to make music. Working on a concept is nice but it can also be very tiring. Personally I am pretty much a conceptual writer and I think that Mystery Repeats is way more conceptual than other albums that people consider as a concept. For me, Mystery
Repeats is kind of a ‘comingof-age-album’, kind of like you see in movies often: someone who grows from being an adolescent to being an adult. It’s the same with Mystery Repeats, like the realization of the circle of life.”Apart from their own music, what’s Pete’s mindstate on Hip Hop? “Hip-hop’s what rock ‘n roll was in the eighties: the gimmicks and image are more important than the music. The same happens with hip-hop nowadays; there’s more attention for a rapper’s image than for the music itself. Honesty is way more important in my opinion. It looks rappers have some sort of phobia of crying, emotions and other human things. You know, there’s some sort of ‘gayness-limit’ and I am very close to that concerning my music and lyrics. I am definitely someone who thinks confidence is important, ‘bragging and boasting’ is basically a part of Hip Hop, but everything is way too tough and cool nowadays. It’s way cooler to show your emotions and to show what you feel, instead of acting tough. I also think it’s really tiring for all those rappers to be in their role of being cool and tough. Nowadays people are so thirsty, they drink the sand: there’s a lack of great releases they get offered so they have to do it with what they get.” We all know the Internet has been a big development in the music industry; Pete says it’s a negative thing. “As a beginning artist you are basically fucked.
The current situation almost forces me to start a new career and that’s a shame. Producing and mastering music costs money and as an artist you have to earn that money: if people download your music than that’s impossible. As an artist, you’re in the middle of a dilemma: making music as a hobby and don’t earn anything, and being forced to do that part-time, or making music as a job and earn money and doing that fulltime. Next to that music isn’t unique anymore because of downloading. Back in the days you bought a record or an album, nowadays you download it and it’s just a small file on your laptop. ” Words by Danny V.
Old School Review
People Under the Stairs The Next Step
If someone had to define the west coast group, People Under the Stairs, in one word they would most likely say independent. Starting how many rappers from the 90’s started their career no deal, no publicity, and definitely no financing. People Under the Stairs (PUTS) were forced to let the product speak for itself. And it did; garnering critical acclaim from most of that day. So how does it hold up today ten years later with so many advancements made in production? It’s questionable whether their style is unique enough to make it timeless as opposed to just outdated. From the outset PUtS attempts to set a lyrical precedent but while doing so they also slightly waste what could have been an excellent concept for the song “Death of a Salesman.” Throughout the album there is little tying each track together; no common theme, concept, or style that would take away from the experience if listened to on shuffle.
The Next Step comes off as a collection of experiences that shaped them as people. Tracks such as “San Francisco Knights” truly capture the essence of their environment helping you to visualize it as a listener. PUTS try to make the lack of continuity a positive by having a mix of storytelling, tough talk, vivid imagery, consciousness, and partying. Unfortunately none of it is ever done that well, often leaving topics long before they are fully covered. The best example of this is on “The Tamburo 5” which starts off with a lambasting of current hip-hop switches to random boast about skill, and then returns to topic only to go off topic to end it. The album while at points brilliant it struggles to maintain any shine it attains. This album is in a peculiar position though due to the production. Its production even for its day was retro more comparable to earlier groups of the early 90’s as opposed to the later 90’s.
PUTS: www.myspace.com/peopleunderthestairs Buy: www.amazon.com Its production is still enjoyable today, but labels such as classic should be held off for another ten years to see where they fall on the novelty/classic line. This opinion is crystallized at the end when with the absurdly enjoyable outro “Play it Again.” The beat is off the wall catchy and the “Brand New Funk” sample they chose is perfect for the two points the song is trying to make. The first thing they want is multiple plays; which is an experience you may not feel like partaking in; not because the album is bad more so because the album has low replay ability. The sense that this needs more spins to grasp the concepts is not there; one listen full experience and it’s up to you if you want to experience it again. Words by Debo7
People Under the Stairs Fun DMC
Fun DMC harkens back to the dawn of hip-hop where music was designed to be a fun expression from the streets; with the pure accessibility of the music combined with the patented experimentation you expect from underground artist. The album never feels the same but the style is consistent; you can see where People Under Stairs have grown since the Next Step in ‘98. It’s hard to fault an album like Fun DMC, because the very nature of the album is unassuming, laidback, and, well, fun. The artist is having fun rhyming; the producer is having fun mixing; so it’s very easy to end up playing follow the leader and find yourself have fun too. The problem you run into with fun albums is they often cause the nature of a review to conflict with the purpose of a review. This album is average in almost every aspect when broken down from a critical standpoint; lyrics, production, deeper meaning, and continuity, but excels in the area that most listeners value most, ‘enjoyability’. Unfortunately for most reviewers
‘enjoyability’ is not a word and is usually so subjective to judge that it’s often left out of serious reviews. However, the fun factor of this album cannot be denied. This album challenges many of the staples that have become the norm in the underground community. A lot of underground music at has become somewhat anti-social; almost priding itself on never being eligible for radio play consideration. This is one of the biggest ways Fun DMC stands apart because of the nature of Fun DMC you could see many songs on the album make some top ten countdowns; assuming people hear about it. Fun DMC is similar to their first album The Next Step in the sense that there is nothing to gain in terms of comprehension by giving this album multiple spins. You get the whole experience the first time through and if this album was like most albums it would have a low replay ability. But it’s not like most albums it’s fun and with fun being the purpose this will get multiple spins at multiple events.
PUTS: www.myspace.com/peopleunderthestairs Buy: www.amazon.com They have “Anotha (BBQ)” is designed perfectly for… you guessed it, the BBQ experience. They have “The Fun” perfect for parties and cruising. Half the songs on here you could probably see playing during a movie montage. The whole production is built around you being able to tune out the words and just dance. Often it seems as if the music is just as loud if not louder than the words. Which in most cases would a negative, but it seems PUtS is leaving it up to your ears which you want to focus on by having them at the same volume. This is a must by if you do a lot of parties or often the one asked to supply music or you often find yourself chilling back with nothing that captures your mood perfectly. If on of those descriptions match you I’m sure you’ll something on here that you will give play many times. Words by Debo7
New School Review
We encourage you to visit the following websites:
Blogs & Others
C-Walk Media www.cwalkmedia.com
Concrete Canvas www.concretecanvas.com
Can’t Stop Fanatics www.cantstopfanatics.blog spot.com
End Of The Weak www.eodub.com
Stencil Revolution Jazz Hop www.stencilrevolution.com/ www.last.fm/group/ forum Jazz+Hop
East Of L.A. www.eastofla.com Hip Hop Head www.hhhead.com Hip Hop In Je Smoel www.hiphopinjesmoel.com Hip Hop Leeft www.hiphopleeft.nl
Can’t Stop Running www.cantstoprun.ning. com/forum
Musical Essence www.musicalessence.wordpress.com The Trolley Stop www.thetrolleystopENT. com Webqualité www.webqualite.net
Raw Rap www.rawrap.net Rhymehouse www.rhymehouse.com The Find Magazine http://issuu.com/the_find_ magazine The Urban Block www.theurbanblock.com The Unheard Hype www.myspace.com/theunheardhype Unidos Por El Flow www.myspace.com/unidosporelflow Weather Underground SF myspace.com/weatherundergroundsf
Want to be in this list in our next issue? Contact us! email@example.com
Alright, why don’t you tell about who you are, what you do, and why. Okay my name is Praverb the Wyse aka Patrick by those who are close to me and I emcee. By day I work as a correctional officer at a juvenile detention center (unlike Rick Ross I will admit it haha) and at night I morph into a rhyme machine composing lyrics that detail my experiences, my life, and more. I rhyme because it helps with relieving stress and because I like to string words together. A Rapper and a correctional officer, quite the odd combination. Aren’t you worried about your image being tarnished? I could care less about my image haha, I do not flaunt around like I am a thug or a backpacker, I just do me. If people can relate to what I am speaking about great but if they can not join another bandwagon. Being yourself is great, but an attitude like that could limit your success, doesn’t furthering your musical career matter to you? I mean I would like to have a lengthy career similiar to
Scarface or Rakim but at the same time I know that nothing is premanent you know. So I will take it day by day and continue to speak on what I know and be myself, I would like to motivate others, I would love to be the poster man for being myself haha. I mean everything that I do is life is a blessing so if I get an opportunity I will need to capitalize off of it. Speaking of blessings, how does being a Christian man impact the way in which you percieve commercial Hip Hop lyrics and how you go about putting to together your own words? Well I have always had a deep appreciation for music regardless of the genre but hip hop consumed me you know. I listen to music and I am a fan regardless of the obscenity, vulgar themes, etc. I just tend to not speak about the material things so much, I tend to focus on life ills, the problems that we as humans face daily, and the braggadocio rhyming haha. An integral part of your life experience is your environment, Northern Virginia is a very diverse place in many ways, how has living there impacted you as an artist and just a person in general?
Praverb - The Gospel Is Free Mixtape:
http://rapidshare.com/ files/81835769/the_gospel_is_ free_mixtape.rar Words by Steven Logas
The Come Up
Well I love Northern Virginia, the landscape and proximity to D.C. are great. My father was in the Navy and while I was a child I lived in various areas. Being well cultured and learning how to become patient has helped me as a person. The traffic up here is horrid and that is where the patience comes into play, creative ideas and lines come to mind when I am stuck in traffic. The lyrics, have you ever considered toneing down the Christian messages in your songs to prevent the alienation of non-Christians? In everything I do I want to be true to myself. I do not think that my songs are saturated with a preachy message, I do sprinkle my faith and beliefs here and there. Alright, on your remix of Jay-Z’s Lost Ones you say, “Everybody rockin’ the cross now, is it a symbol or we gettin’ closer God now?” What’s your personal take on that? Well I believe that people are quick to rock a cross emblem or get a religious tattoo yet they have no concept of how to be a christian. It the cross just a symbol or our we trying to become and live like Christ. Without sparking a debate I will say this, it is easy to thank God when things are in accordance to our heart (our way) but when things get difficult people tend to turn their back on faith and their beliefs.
I am not talking about the new Q-Tip album; I am talking about the era Hip Hop’s in right now. Hip Hop is dead? Hip Hop sucks? The future looks bad for Hip Hop? There’s no hope for Hip Hop anymore? No, we are now experiencing the rebirth of a damn great genre.
A while back I had a discussion with someone about hip-hop and the state it’s in. He asked me if there will ever be another era like the ‘Golden Era’ and I could simply answer that question with ‘yes’. People are still (copying Nas?) saying that hip-hop is dead but I am convinced that the opposite is true. I know there’s a lot of crap nowadays but there can’t be good stuff without bad stuff on the other side. That brings me to my first question: why are people always focusing on negative things? Let artists like Lil Wayne and Soulja Boy (obvious examples) do their thing but why the hell would you follow them and analyze their music like they are the King and Queen of England?? Again, let them do their thing and let them get rich, but just ignore it when you dislike it and focus on artists that are good. Why focus on the bad Hip-hop commercialized, but I am sure one day there will be a new ‘hype’ and hip-hop can move on as a genre under the radar. It’s just like every other musical hype; for some time it will be all over MTV and BET, fans will complain because “the mainstream sucks” but after a (small) amount of time the hype will be over; same will happen with Hip-hop. Trust me on that one. Another question I think about a lot is ‘Why are lots of people always sleeping on good (but unknown) stuff??’. I think it’s because lots of Hip-hop-heads reminisce to the Golden Era too much. It’s not a bad thing, it was a great era, but please... PLEASE stop only caring about new releases by Nas, Jay-Z, Wu-Tang Clan and more artists like that and also pay attention on stuff you don’t know yet. Yeah, if you think close-minded like that and if you ignore the rest; then Hip-hop sucks pretty hard right now. If you free your mind and also download/buy music you don’t know yet and if you also pay attention to music that doesn’t come from the G.O.A.T.’s, then Hip-hop is a fucking beauty nowadays. Like you maybe now I own a blog and I have to admit I am a big fan of ‘New School’. Of course I also love music from the 90’s, but the biggest part of the albums on my blog are post-2000. You can’t imagine how many great releases there are since 2000 and how much I love recent releases! For example; People Under The Stairs, Giant Panda, Ohmega Watts, Blue Scholars, Common Market, Sage Francis, Nujabes, Kero One, The Procussions, Panacea, Atmosphere, Shad and the list goes on and on and on. The problem is, lots of people are sleeping on those releases just because of 1) plain ignorance or 2) a lack of knowledge. And that’s the problem nowadays. We need to spread the word about good music and ignore bad music. I want to give a shout-out to all great blogs, sites and people that are trying to get the word out and that put their focus on slept-on artists! And there’s something I want to ask all Hip-hop-heads; please think outside the box and if you find an album/artist that you don’t know, just check it out instead of skipping it because you never heard of it and because media/websites don’t publish about it. I love Hip-hop. It’s something I can say without feeling ashamed because it’s a beautiful genre and it’s getting better and better. If we all support the scene, ignore bad artists, focus on good music and spread the word about it, then I am sure one day we will enter a new Golden Era. Words by Danny V.
Jean Grae & BSBD
The Evil Jeanius I remember first hearing a leaked version ‘Jeanius’ back in 2003 and thinking DAMN this is definitely one of the iller female MC’s I’ve heard in awhile. I really recognized the voice and couldn’t put my finger on where I’d heard it before. It was only later I came to realize Tsidi Ibrahim went under the name ‘What? What?’ and had a rock solid discography dating back to the mid-90’s where she put in work with the group Natural Resource and got busy on a bunch of ill shit. If you’re still sleeping give your fucking head a shake. I’ve probably been bumping Evil Jeanius for a month now and the lasting appeal on this album is ridiculous. Blue Sky Black Death crafted some very intriquite soulful dark beats that don’t bombard your ears with sound in the Keep It Simple Stupid fashion. The sounds are seamless patterns that could very well stand by themselves just fine, add Jean over the tracks and you have a winner. The majority of the work is quite sinister and fit like a glove around Jean’s flow, hence the
name Evil Jeanius. The opening track is an erie-sounding cut that definitely sets the tone for the album. Some carefully placed bass tones and a soul sample on the hook solidify this track into banger status. The intro to the second song throws you off at first with a fast piano loop that has been cut off time. As it drops into the first verse the piano tempo is halfed and an ill bassline kicks in. This is one of my favorites of the whole LP. Jean and Blacastan rip the track to shreds in four minutes flat. By far the sickest beat is Threats with Chen Lo on the feature. Dudes took a Ray Charles sounding sample and stripped it down butt naked and built it back up into a lovely head nodder. I dare you not to snap your neck to this. Another stand out track is ‘Take it Back’. Dudes yet again managed to murder a sample; this time taking a flute sample out of what sounds like a childrens audio book and layering swirls of bass underneath. The playful childishness of the sample is erased Mutombo style with the rugged analog bass. The
Jean Grae: http://www.myspace.com/ jeangrae Buy: www.amazon.com contrast of the two distinct sounds on this cut really make for an interesting listen. It doesn’t hurt to have a triple-A lyricist in Jean on vocals either. On the real this is a dope dope release from a couple of super talented peoples. I haven’t heard a complete album like this in a real long time. It is only ten tracks deep and the beats are all in a similar vein with Jean switching up her rhymes from braggadocio to storytelling to wordplay. This is something you can just throw on and play top to bottom, only stopping to hit rewind. Words by Shamrock Pollock
Q-Tip: www.myspace.com/qtip Buy: www.amazon.com
The Renaissance After 9 years Jonathan Davis (Q-Tip) released his second album The Renaissance on the November 4th. The rapper with the high-pitched voice selfproduced most of the album into throwback beats resounding from the ATCQ-era. Artists like Norah Jones and D’Angelo backed him up in the process. It’s good to have someone like Q-Tip reeling in some fresh sound in the times of plastic. To quote the Boston Globe: ‘The disc is an affirmation that life, and hip-hop, can indeed get better.’ Note that the release date was exactly on the day that Barack Obama was elected as the first black president in America. Of course, the date wasn’t picked blindly. In today’s society most rappers fulminate against the status quo and fantasize about change, but Q-Tip has always been true to his own unique style of arranging words. In a country where the indignation of getting upset about the hardships of life is getting disputable, Q-Tip will not be affected. Funky, jazzy and positive – well we’ve all seen these aspects in
A Tribe Called Quest; so did the Abstract change? Well you could say he got more mature – and he hasn’t lost track of his fans. The album might be a tad modest for newcomers, but the appetite of loyal listeners will be satisfied to a certain degree. Don’t expect something new or revolutionary. Q-Tip’s approach is highly minimalistic yet very effective and enjoyable. He stills masters setting the pace in the structure of his songs: the whole album is so smooth that you won’t hear many transitions in between songs. Move The highlight of the album is the funky track ‘Move’- one of two tracks which Q-Tip didn’t produce. You can hear a sample from Jackson Five’s ‘Dancing Machine’ leaving a touch of disco in the atmosphere. Q-Tip tells us in the song: ‘You know it’s time for phat beats’, well I think he’s right and he even got me to move on this song. All in all it is a great album; fresh and authentic. I would not call it a renaissance since it’s not less
real than any other of his work. You might better refer to it as a coming of maturity. Q-Tip might not be thriving, but at least he’s surviving with style and will continue to do so for many years. Words by Alex
Surreal: www.myspace.com/surrealsound Buy: www.amazon.com
Pardon My Dust Surreal is another guy that has been around for a minute that I have continued to sleep on. He dropped his first single back in 1998 and has been involved in other small projects over the years. 2006 ended up being a busy year for the then Florida based MC, with two solid albums dropping in the same year. One with DJ Balance (Future Classic) the other with The Sound Providers (True Indeed). Now hes moved on to the bright and sunny smog laden landscape of LA and has recently dropped his third album “Pardon My Dust” In 2008. It’s evident from when you hear the first track that the change of scenery has changed his delivery. His flow has slowed down a little bit which is better for his style in my opinon because now he sounds more focused and more smooth over the beats. The lyrics are very solid throughout and are filled with great imagery but nothing really mind blowing. Guest apperances come from Supastition, Izrael Bell, Brotha Soul and Dillion Maurer; everyone comes correct on there verses,
especially Supastion and Brotha Soul on “Pursuit”. “Pardon My Dust” relys more on piano & guitar rhythems for the most part instead of the normal tradtional boombap sound of hip hop to provide a tranquil jazzy soundscape much like the one found “True Indeed” But some of the beats were really of hit or miss. Surreal handles the production for 5/14 tracks with the rest coming Rek One, Symbolyc One, Five Quartz, Dela, Batsauce, Neemo and Def Dave. While all them are caple producers they really don’t come with enough variety in there sound to keeps things entertaining. To me this is not Surreal’s best work. While the lyrics are definatly there the production unfortunately hampers this release from being as good as his previous two albums. But there are still several songs song that stand out that should be enough to give this album a listen.
Words By CrimzonFear
Foreign Exchange Leave It All Behind We all know what we were expecting. Breathe was baited in wrought anticipation of Nicolay expanding on his beautiful Boom Bap sound & Phonte to keep on hitting those verbal Hat Tricks/Home Runs. In terms of content, the boys came straight out of leftfield. In terms of quality, they delivered & then some. Rumours had been circulating wireless airwaves for months, before a single track was heard, that Phonte was gonna let those vocal cords loose this time out. But I don’t think anyone outside of Phonte and Nicolay themselves knew what was in store. Maybe the concept that was undertaken is what prompted the change. As superb as Phonte is at showing his emotion as an MC (see All For You), there is something about a well sung vocal that better reflects love and relationships. No purposely flawed vocals, no wheezy whines, no vocorders and no autotune to be found anywhere, Phonte is the perfect foil for Nic’s lush soundscapes. When the lead single dropped I, like every other fan, grabbed it as soon as we knew it was around.
Now, when I first clapped ears on it, I wouldn’t say I was underwhelmed but it wasn’t all that I expected. I now think that, speaking from personal experience, it was always supposed to have that effect. By my sixth or seventh listen I was loving the album just like everyone else was. But one glaring bit of genius about the selection of the first single – quite apart from the fact that it was/ is a free download – is that it is probably about midtable of a list of the best tracks on the album. This too had to be the plan from the outset. It was definitely a worthwhile plan, too, seeing as the resulting opus is such a superbly crafted piece of musical engineering. For an album with such a cascade of sound to be virtually sample free is not only an extreme rarity these days but also carries a strong element of risk, given the change of direction from the first effort. We the listener could have just as easily gone against this album because of that change. For an album that so obviously bases itself on all that is right with
Foreign Exchange: www.myspace.com/theforeignexchange Buy: iTunes Hip-Hop and R&B, it lends itself to too many other genres for it to be classified under either. And quite frankly trying to do so would be doing its creators a grave disservice. I billed Connected as beautiful hip-hop. Leave It All Behind is beautiful music. Words by Nofrillz
This time I won’t recommend you specific artists, but I want to talk about two other musical genres. It’s no secret that hiphop is the personal favorite of the whole The Find Crew, but there’s more great music if you ask me. Of course it’s alright to limit yourself to one genre, but there’s nothing wrong with being eclectic or being open-minded. Too afraid to make set a footstep in the world of another musical genre? Just read this page and I’m sure you’ll find something you like, even when it’s completely ‘hip-hop-less’. This month it’s time for some jazzy music.
Like you probably already know, jazz lays pretty close hip-hop. I don’t have to tell you that lots of producers sampled classic Jazzrecords and if that’s a shock to you, just listen to Common’s Resurrection or Kero One’s In All The Wrong Places and you can hear Herbie Hancock’s Dolphin Dance. Listen to De La Soul’s I Be Blowin’ and you can hear Lou Rawls’ You’ve Made Me So Very Happy. I could fill Issue Three with a list of samples but I won’t:
we all know producers use a lot of old jazz records to sample in their music. Of course there are a lot of obvious things you should check. Miles Davis’ Kind Of Blue is instant classic to me and definitely a must-hear. If you really want to stick to hip-hop you should check out Doo Bop, which features Easy Mo Bee on some tracks, or you could check out the Evolution Of The Groove EP, which has Nas on a track. They both released after Miles Davis died, so not sure if you can count them as ‘Miles Davisreleases’ but they are definitely great! Another great release - which I am listening to while I write this; nothing better than listening to Jazz while you are writing stuff – is Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage. Five insane tracks recorded together with musicians who where part of Miles Davis’ second quintet. Also, let’s not forget to mention Hancock’s Empyrean’s Isles; another classic release. Like Black Milk would say: Give The Drummer Sum. Time to highlight Tony Williams, a great drummer who was –what a surprise- also a part of Miles’ second quintet. His album Emergency! is amazing and has some rock and funk-vibes to it, it’s definitely a recommendation for those of you who like jazz with a little bit of rock in it. To those of you who prefer more actual releases, I highly recommend Jose James’ The Dreamer. If you want to sleep: put this on and lay down and trust me, you will sleep!
Like the title presumes, it’s a very dreamy album and Jose’s soulful voice makes it even better. A really warm album where the artists combine jazz with soul and it’s perfect to chill to when you are tired or if you need some relaxation. A project closer to the home of Hip Hop is J. Rawls’ Liquid Crystal Project. This is a project done by the man who’s known as the producer for Lone Catalysts and consists of one album and a follow up-album which released this year. Hip Hop-wise J. Rawls is a great producer but both albums for his LCP are also excellent, although I prefer the first part. Smooth jazz with some hip-hop influences here and there. Those where some (sometimes kinda basic) recommendations in the wonderful world of jazz. Each month I will recommend you something different but I am sure I will return in an upcoming issue with another genre. What will it be: Soul? Funk? Electro? Rock? We’ll see! Words by Danny V.
Recommendations Of The Month
Recommendations Of The Month
International Interview: Nicolay
Nicolay According to Nicolay, best known as one half of Foreign Exchange (with Phonte of the North Carolina group Little Brother), many “producers” don’t deserve their title. Well, if anyone has room to talk, it’s him releasing superb efforts every year since 2004’s Foreign Exchange “Connected” sonically recreating a soulful blend of hip hop/house and jazz. Now, being at the helm of a new label along with a new release, Nicolay had a chance to talk it up about the future for him and his take on the industry. Tell us about yourself and what it is that you do? My name is Nicolay and I am a producer/musician originally from The Netherlands, Europe and currently living and working in North Carolina. What instruments do you play and who have you played for/ with? I play keyboards/synthesizers, guitars, bass and drums. Most people know me as one half of The Foreign Exchange and outside of that and my own albums I have produced music with and for Little Brother, Median,
Supastition, Kay of The Foundation, Darien Brockington, Oh No, Yahzarah, Sy Smith, Strange Fruit Project, Stokley Williams of Mint Condition, Chip Fu, EMC, Zion I, Roy Ayers, Bob James, Jaguar Wright and many many more. Being from the Netherlands, do you see a difference between how hip hop is seen there as opposed to the states? I get that question a lot but really I always have a hard time answering it, mainly because for me personally there is not a lot of difference. Yes and no. On the one hand, Europe is very much focussed on the USA when it comes to movies, music, fashion, etc. but on the other hand, Europe does seem to have a little bit more of appreciation for the original aspects of the art-form. So many people complain about what they don’t like about hip hop music, what is it that you love about it? Honestly, I don’t necessarily consider myself strictly a hiphop artist or producer. Hip-hop does seem to be one of the red threads that runs through my music, though, but so are soul,
so many people are complaini jazz, dance, down-tempo, etc. I think the number one reason that ng so much right now is the large number of subpar releases, but it’s never too late to turn it around. How do you feel about the future of music and record labels etc.? I think that we can all see clearly that the future of music will more than likely not include any traditional major record labels. More and more major and notso-major artists are either going the ‘indie’ route or releasing their product themselves, as they no longer really need a label to reach their core fan-base. A lot of major labels and music execs have really placed themselves ‘outside’ of the music by being obsessed with SoundScan and other numbers that say nothing about the quality of the music and, if you ask me, and they are presented with the bill right now.
something new to learn. Is it a struggle to do music fulltime? What made you finally make that plunge? Of course it’s a struggle, and it depends on your ability to “hustle” whether you’ll sink or swim. I decided to stay working my dayjob for as long as I could,
and so I worked a regular 9 to 5 all the way up to December 31st of 2004, when things were going well enough for me to support myself with the music. I quit January 1st, and have not looked back since. It’s probably easier for a producer than for an emcee as there’s many
different things that I can try and exploit, from productions and remixes for others to your own albums to DJ gigs, etc. Ideal scenario what would it be concerning your music? My ideal scenario would be to be able to do this for life, until my very last day. To up and coming producers/ mcs attempting to get heard, what advice do you have? Learn to play an instrument. Learn about arranging for different size ensembles. School yourself on recording techniques, EQing, compressing, etc. A lot of cats “claim” to be producers, but very few actually deserve the term. Words by Preach Read a review of Foreign Exchange’s new album on page 22
International Interview: Nicolay
Tell us about your new imprint, and some of your plans to make sure that you can overcome some of the hurdles that seem to be effecting the music industry. The most recent (and last) experience I had with a record label while releasing my HERE album (2006) was not a positive one, and so I wanted make a change and be responsible myself rather than having to depend on other people. I have felt for a while now that I could do a better job myself and keep the money that the label would normally take, and now I get to put my money where my mouth is. We are focussing all of our efforts on one release at a time, and hopefully that will keep us in a good course. So far it has been going very well. Other than live instrumentation, what do you use when making beats? I have always been a PC dude, since day one I have mainly used this free program called Modplug Tracker to do all of the sequencing. I currently record, edit and mix in Pro Tools. How do you feel about the new Foreign Exchange album? Also, was their anything different this time in creating it as the last one? The album is done with 11songs. There’s a lot of things that are different about this second album (none of which I can comment on right now), but one thing has stayed the same: we are still working on it via the internet. Greatest advice you’ve ever gotten concerning your music? Get educated. Even though I didn’t always enjoy it at the time I am very thankful that I got to learn music theory the way I did. Never think you know everything. There’s always
Art Focus Interview
Kirpy Name: Kirpy Age: 18 Homepage: www.kirpy.deviantart.com/gallery Kirpy is an insanely talented 18 year-old from Melbourne, Australia. He has been painting since 2005 and has had a flourishing artistic career, working with likes of Ghostpatrol, Miso and Satta since the age of 16. We caught up with Kirpy for a quick chat and a few questions. What do you think is more rewarding, your on the street stencils or your canvas work? Both really. On the streets is always satisfying as there’s the thrill and adrenalin element,as well as going back to the spot and seeing your work. But off the street has a certain aesthetic quality for me, in that the detail and use of layers, colours and backgrounds in canvas work can be appreciated a lot more. What is it like working with such high profile artists, such as Ghostpatrol? It’s always good painting with other artists, both high profile and unknown. You see other’s working techniques and pick up tips as well. And it’s always good to mix your own style and ideas with someone else’s. I see you have exhibited work at Stencil Fest and been part of the Artholes show, how was that experience? It’s good to be exposed to another side of what you do, and beginning to exhibit my work regularly this year has opened a lot of doors for me. People have seen my work and contacted me through that to lead to other jobs and opportunities. I tend to be dealing with people sometimes twice my age so it’s good for me to get the experience early on.
Melbourne affects what I’m exposed to, and therefore I guess all my work has an underlying influence because of that. What is your favorite material to cut on and why? printer paper, nice new cutting mat and a fresh blade. orgasmic, because of the amount of detail you can achieve and the control of the blade. How did you get into the world of graffiti? Through a school art class initially, back in 2004. Discovered the art form, websites, and just opened my eyes to it. The rest has just kinda followed… Do you think city councils should buff graffiti, or should they just leave it? It doesn’t matter. The buff can never stop the art form. If anything, it pushes people to do more. But it is always a kick in the nuts to see your work painted over. Who or what is your biggest influence? What: Other stencil artists, graffiti, hip-hop, Melbourne. Who: Too many to name Any message for the world? Nah not really… check out my work! Words by Will Verity
How does the city you live in (Melbourne) affect your work? Melbourne’s got an incredible scene for street art which of course is definite inspiration.
Art Focus Interview
Ghostpatrol Name: Ghostpatrol Age: Unknown Homepage: www.ghostpatrol.net If you are not familiar with Ghostpatrol’s work, I urge you to stop reading this interview, visit his website (http://www.ghostpatrol.net/), and explore his world. His characters are both naïve and humorous, but often have dark undertones running through them. Their oversized heads never cease to make me smile, and the way he effortlessly slips between a variety of mediums is truly envious. Words cannot express how much respect I have for this guy, and at the risk of sounding like a kiss ass, I can most definitely say that Ghostpatrol is one of my favourite artists. I know that your early work was mainly stencil based, but how did you originally get into street art and how long have you been making marks on walls? In 2003 i was living in Hobart where I grew up, there wasn’t much street art around. I had no idea it was such a big thing. Together with my mates we started doing stickering and stencilling. It wasn’t long before I discovered Stencil Revolution and started to meet the Melbourne team.
You reside in Melbourne, a city hailed by many as the capital of street art, what’s it like to be active over there, and what drove you to move here? Melbourne is a great city. I’m very lucky to be here surrounded by great artists, venues, stores and people who appreciate art. I move here after living in England for a short stint. It seemed natural to move to Melbourne as my family had already moved there, and I was excited to work with some great artists in Melbourne. You hold claim to a very distinctive style, what influences the artwork you produce? Self indulgence, nintendo, children book illustration, 80’s cartoons, marcel dzama, kid acne. But mainly the other artists that i’m around and werk with are my biggest influence. You often work in a variety of mediums, be they ink, aerosol, pencil, cotton or paint, what are your favourite materials and how do you decide on the mediums you use? It’s nice to be flexible. some times i get bored with just inks. There’s still nothing better than a full day in the sun painting with cans. Different mediums make me werk in different ways. and i stops Do you name your characters and do they have personalities? Some have names, so don’t. But they all have personalities. they are deathtron mountain resi dents and are mostly concerned with evil. Words by Jules www.flickr.com/photos/_ruso
Qwel & Kip
Qwel: www.myspace.com/qwelg4Buy: www.amazon.com
The New Wine In the year 2000 Typical Cats released their Self Titled album. It quickly became a favorite among hip-hoppers around the world and the Chicago-based 4-piece group was predicted a bright future. However, when Qwel came out with his ideas of making an album on his own, there were many critics that doubted if Qwel was able to make a good album without the rest of the crew. But it all came back to bite them and If It Ain’t Been In A Pawn Shop, Then It Can’t Play The Blues turned out to be a success. Qwel has since then released around 10 solo and he also got 2 official releases together with Typical Cats. To the release of The New Wine Qwel hooked up with the jungle producer Kip Killagain. He has almost have a new producer for every release now, except that Jackson Jones produced three records. To have a non-hip hop producer on a hip hop release can compromise its quality, but I personally like when artists experiments outside the boundary of one genre. Unfortunately it
doesnt always work out well on The New Wine. The beats sometimes feels a little out of place and on tracks like Heliocentric there are to much focus on the electronic loops, when I believe that it would be better to give Qwels rhyming more attention. But It’s nothing to worry about when there is tracks like Agape Rain, with its beautiful piano loop, on the same record. Qwels biggest strength has always been the text writing, and it isn’t much to complain about here. Qwel is as usual pointing sharp criticism at USA. On the track Reality TV he asks us and himself where the artistry is heading, and we’re getting a follow-up on the subject on the records only lyrically weakness, internet killed the videostar, where Qwel explains how the wrong artists always gets to sign the big contracts. It sure are true, but he seems a little too sensitive in this subject.
The New Wine is a typical Qwel record, with deep lyrics and crazy rhyme-structures. The production could be better and to be honest I miss the rest of the Typical Cats in all of Qwels solo releases, a hook by Denizen Kane just hadn’t been wrong. But don’t mistake me now, cause The New Wine is still a really good record that I strongly recommend you to buy. Words by Anton Wårdell
Personal Classic Sometimes you go to a concert and you find out about the support act for that night. Sometimes you do know the support act, sometimes you don’t. You search for some tracks and listen to them; at the first listening it sounds alright, but after hearing them live you get blown away. For me, Giant Panda is one of them. When I went to a show by People Under The Stairs I noticed Giant Panda was the support act for that night. After hearing some tracks I thought the music was nice, nothing special. But when they performed a great live-show, I just HAD to buy a copy of Fly School Reunion and so I did. Coming from the Tres Records family, you almost can guess what you can expect. New school music that sounds like it comes straight from the nineties. A Tribe Called Quest fans will recognize ‘Midnight’ in Giant Panda’s 90’s, a song where they show their dedication to this
era with. But 90’s isn’t the only track that refers to the golden era: the whole album has a specific vibe to it which sounds kind of similar to groups such as Jurassic 5. From a looping guitar-riff on Sho’ Improve, to a mellow beat on 90’s and from the futuristic Super Fly straight to the old school-sounding Diggin’ In The Tapes: Newman and Chikamaranga made sure the album has enough variation for the productions, which is definitely one of the most positive things about the album. The rapping is also great, but not completely noteworthy. Their flow is on-beat, the lyrics are alright but there’s one thing that’s kind of unique for GP: Chikamaranga is a Japanese MC. Personally I can’t understand a word from what he’s saying, but it adds something valuable to the album, because his flow and delivery are way different than Newman’s and Maanumental’s, who rap similarly. Without Chikamaranga, I
think the vocals would be kind tedious. But the combination of the three rappers/producers is perfect if you ask me. What’s also unique about this album, is that there are no guests on this album. Apart from Thes One of People Under The Stairs, who mixed/mastered the entire album, the gentlemen did it all on their own. You don’t see a lot of artists nowadays who dare to do that: everyone has to get all their friends and musical colleagues on their album, but Chikamaranga, Newman and Maanumental don’t need guest-appearances to create a solid album; they can do it all on their own. Words by Danny. V
Thanks for reading!
Published on Dec 10, 2008
The Find Magazine is an Independent Hip Hop/Art-Magazine that focusses on Hip Hop and especially artists that should get more recognition fo...