Issue One - The Find Magazine

Page 1

+Interviews Shad

Ave. To Also features: Ave. To C.R.A.C. Knuckles Freddie Joachim Hocus Pocus Indy Sparks Large Professor Lone Catalysts Main Source Mr. J Medeiros One Day As A Lion Samon Kawamura Shad Shawn Jackson Uyama Hiroto

Indy Sparks


Street Art Interviews SINNA CAX

‘I was aways off doing my own thing’

THREE | Welcome Back FOUR | In The Spotlight Freddie Joachim SIX | Review Lone Catalysys - Square Binizz SEVEN | Review Shawn Jackson - First of All EIGHT | Introducing... Ave. To TEN | Review One Day as a Lion - One Day As A Lion EP ELEVEN | New School Review Large Professor - Main Source TWELVE | Old School Review Main Source - Fuck What You Think FOURTEEN | International Interview Shad SIXTEEN | Review Uyama Hiroto - Son Of The Sun SEVENTEEN | Review C.R.A.C. Knuckles - The Piece Talks EIGHTEEN | Art Focus Interview Sinna TWENTY | Art Focus Interview Cax TWENTY-TWO | Article New Artist Advice TWENTY-FOUR | The Come Up Indy Sparks TWENTY-SIX | Recommendation Of The Month TWENTY-SEVEN | Personal Classic Review Mr. J Medeiros - Of Gods And Girls TWENTY-EIGHT | The Message

Welcome back to The Find! Or in case you didn’t read Issue Zero; welcome! This time I also want to dedicate my first words to some people. First of all, thanks again to everyone who participated on this project and a warm welcome to everyone who joined the team! Special thanks to Pishoo, who’s doing a fantastic job on the design – all on his own! Next to that I want to thank everyone who did read our previous issue and many, many, MANY thanks to everyone who showed his or her support to us. We recieved lots of positive feedback, nice comments and even some requests for buying hard copies. Unfortunately, we aren’t able to print our magazine yet, but it’s one of our biggest ambitions to do that, so please stay tuned! After the release of Issue Zero we immediately started to work on this next issue. We tried to improve the magazine as much as possible and hopefully we succeeded. If not; let us know! Like our previous issue we got reviews, interviews, some articles and an art-section. Next to that we added some new sections like the ‘The Come Up’. This is a section where we really want to support beginning artists with. If you want to have a feature on this section in our next issue, just contact us at Myspace! Another new section is the ‘Personal Classic Review’. In this section we review an album that is a true classic to us. Something that’s timeless, something that’s fresh, something that doesn’t get bored, something that’s unique.. So expect some high-quality music in that section!! Enough talking for now, feel free to scroll down and start reading our second (and first official) issue of The Find!! Stay Thirsty, The Find Crew

Editorial Heaps Mr. Nicksta


Alex Beatwize Brian Pollock Clayton CrimzonFear Debo7 Heaps Nofrillz R.M. London Steven Logas ZeeZee

Design Pishoo


Ave. To Cax C.R.A.C. Knuckles Freddie Joachim Hocus Pocus Indy Sparks Large Professor Lone Catalysts Main Source Mr. J Medeiros One Day As A Lion Samon Kawamura Shad Shawn Jackson Sinna Uyama Hiroto

In The Spotlight...

Freddie Joachim

Freddie Joachim Name: Freddie Joachim Age: 26 Hometown: Los Angeles & San Diego Artist: DJ / Producer Music: Hip Hop, Jazz, Soul Similiar to: Kero One, The Sound Providers, The Upstarts Influenced by: ATCQ, J Dilla, De La Soul, Pete Rock Label: Subcontact (Japan) Release: In With Time, 2008 Contact / Listen / Buy: Sometimes you put a disc in your CD-player, you press play and the moment the beat drops you know for sure that it’s a great album; ‘In With Time’ by Freddie Joachim is such album. The DJ/producer from Los Angeles hooked up with artists such as Othello (of Lightheaded), Choice37, Son Of Ran, Surreal, Aloe Blacc and Blu to create his debut album, which released earlier this year. ‘In With Time’ takes you on a musical journey to the wonderful land of Hip Hop, Jazz, Soul and everything in between. If you are a lover of so-called ‘Jazz Hop’, I have four words for you: check out Freddie Joachim! It’s hard to put a label on Freddie Joachim’s music. Next to Hip Hop, there are very clearly a lot of influences in his music - particulary of Jazz and Soul. But where are his musical roots at? ‘As a kid and teen, I listened to A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Pete Rock, J Dilla, The Sound Providers etc. My father plays the trumpet, so he had records with Maynard

Ferguson, Willie Mitchell and other artists like that. I feel lucky that I identified with all those particular artists at a young age. A lot of my peers were into the mainstream too, but I was always off doing my own thing. For some reason Hip Hop and Jazz really caught my ear.’

“I definitely love making music, and I’m surrounded by it almost 24/7”

Next to the release of his debut In With Time, Freddie also treats his fans with some free releases. He offered four volumes of ‘The Joachim Remixes’ for free on his blog. He also released ‘Tiger’, a collection of instrumentals and next to that he keeps uploading new tracks and remixes on his Myspace. To me, that shows his passion for music. ‘I definitely love making music, and I’m surrounded by it almost 24/7. My 9 to 5-job is engineering sound, so at times it can seem a little tedious or monotonous. So sometimes it takes the fun out of music. Luckily, that doesn’t occur too often. It’s funny, during the week, I wake up, I work with music all day, then when I’m done with my “day job,” I work on my music all night. It’s a vicious cycle.’

Words by Heaps Buy: Contact & Listen:

In The Spotlight...

hate a ‘hustler’ rapping about hustlin’ or a gangster rapping about gang bangin’, haha. Culturally, I feel hip hop has lost a little steam, in a DJ/MC/B-boy/ Graffiti sense. But with the internet now, hopefully more kids will be exposed to the elements.’

“I feel like hip hop has lost a little steam” Next to producing tracks, engineering sound and DJ’ing, he also plays several percussion instruments, keys, guitar - which he tries to incorporate in his music. ‘In With Time’ was released earlier this year in Japan, but the US and Europe still have to wait on his album. Freddie’s still waiting on a label that wants to release his debut; ‘At the moment I’m still waiting on a label, but I don’t let it discourage me and I’m not trying to have it be my main focus right now. I just continue making music, hopefully everything will work out. I hope Bad Boy approaches me, so I can do a fresh collabo with Cassie, haha, only joking. On the real, any bigger label that I would feel comfortable releasing music with, and would let me have most, if not all of the creative control’.

Lots of people discuss the state of Hip Hop and its future; Nas claimed that Hip Hop’s dead, KRS-One said it lives, but what does Freddie Joachim think? ‘I’m the type of person who doesn’t have any difficulty adapting with change. I don’t really dwell on the past, nor look too forward into the future. I apply that way of thinking with music as well. From the mainstream to the independent scene, I really enjoying Hip Hop being released today. I feel good music is good music, regardless of it’s origin. Of course, some artist’s messages and lifestyles I don’t necessarily agree with, but you can’t really

Freddie Joachim

“I’m the type of person who doesn’t have any difficulty adapting with change”


The Lone Catalysts

Lone Catalysts Square Binizz Whenever I talk to the younger Hip Hop generation about the differences between what’s good & what’s hot, I always end up using the late 80’s – mid 90’s as a reference point for all that was/is good about the genre I love. I obviously go into a b-boy geek like trance about the Biggies, Wu-Tangs, Mobb Deeps, Tribe Called Quests, Nas’s, Ice Cubes & so on. But moreover, I always end up eulogising unabashed about the beats. Primo, Pete Rock, Buckwild, Showbiz, L.E.S, Large Pro, Lord Finesse, Dr Dre, Nashiem Myrick & others spew forth in a continuous barrage of ‘supposed’ knowledge. The ‘Golden Age’ is a time that myself & many of my peers find hard to let go of & are only to eager to hark back to. With Square Binizz, The Lone Cats have given us another window for re-entry into yesteryear. J Rawls & J Sands sound has always had that air of nostalgia but I think a conscious decision was made to turn that up a notch with SB. Nigga Please, Act Like You know Me, Pass The Moey, Hit The Studio, How Long Will You Need Me The Cash Rules & most prominently Make It Better, all have that 90’s Boom Bap feel stamped all over them. While necks will snap throughout SB, it is these tracks that will be the cause of many of the neck aches that will soon follow. These songs are intertwined with more examples of Rawls now signature drum patterns & soundscapes. Normally such a formulaic method would detract from all that is good, or even great, about this album. But such is the quality

of the samples used in tandem with those aforementioned drums (Red , Black & Green/The Numbers) that the ‘Golden Era’ vibe is never lost across the entire CD. Even when a departure from the dominant sound is embarked upon (Manhattan & the Danny Breaks assisted, Lone Catalysts Remix), the concept is never compromised so the overall feel is left intact. Lyrically this album doesn’t exactly break new ground but that is not the intention. Contrary to this, J Sands & guests are almost paying homage to both MC’s from the past & MC’s passed. I may be stepping over the mark for saying this but with the current state of Hip Hop such as it is, I wouldn’t be surprised if SB is meant as a kind of 2 fingered salute to all that has gone wrong with the music, as well as a big up to what it is supposed to all be about. Many of today’s releases suffer from the fact that the artist trying too hard to be all things to everybody. 10 or so years ago even the commercial side of an MC’s release he or she would have the same core element throughout the product. This mantra is just not adhered to enough these days amongst the industry’s supposed leading lights. Square Binizz is one such album that not only takes hold of this philosophy but shows others exactly what to do with it. I only hope that this release isn’t confined to Japanese shelves & internet orders because there are a lot of so called fans out there who could do with having there ears pricked by this type of release. Words by Nofrillz

Information Lone Catalysts: Buy:

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Kero One Jazzy beats and honest rhymes. Two aspects to link Kero One with Lone Catalysts. Definitely check out his amazing album ‘Windmills Of The Soul’.


REVIEW Shawn Jackson First Of All help but attempt to follow the hook as you coast– a disease that repeats throughout the album. Jackson than hits his stride as the “Backstage” break bullies the speakers causing nothing but a head noddin’ reaction, which then transitions perfectly into “Strategies,” a face scrunching schooling from Shawn J. with a gully street twist provided by Guilty Simpson. This is where the album takes a turn and coasts with smoother and more soulful beats on tracks like “Feelin’ Jack,” which is undoubtedly my song of the year so far, the hip hop meets techno-salsa “Countdown,” and the slithering “Hate Down.” While Shawn Jackson and his beat team take everyone for a versatile roller coaster ride, the album manages to never once veer off course. From fist pumping hyper activity, to boozed beats and beautiful bluntquests, “First of All…” is a 13-track melting pot full of summer ingredients topped with pure hip hop spices. While everyone scours the blogs for their next favorite single from a throwaway artist, Shawn Jackson proves that he is one of the top new MCs to check for, and one that can actually make an entire LP worth of dope tunes. “First of All…” marks the first valid Summer record of 2008 and gives a glimpse of an artist that hip hop fans can and will get excited about for the future. Equipped with fresh buttery smooth production and addicting flows– I know you all will be feelin’ jack. Words by R.M. London

Information Shawn Jackson: shawnjackson Buy:

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People Under The Stairs Thes One and Double K from Los Angeles form the great group P.U.T.S. They just released their upcoming album ‘Fun DMC’, so don’t forget to listen to that!


Shawn Jackson

If Shawn Jackson isn’t a living example of a working man’s hustle paying off I don’t know what is. Involved in the hip hop community since his debut in 1999 as Soul Kaliba, one half of the Rhode Island group Roolette, Shawn has continued his flow upstream by releasing a solo project in 2002 enititled “Soul Searching,” a Rhode Island favorite sophomore release in “Opium,” along with a eccentric 12″ done with Giant Panda’s Newman called “GO!,” that was met with high critical praise from Portishead and URB Magazine. Now, in a year that has been moving along at a snails pace as far as hip hop releases go, the relatively unknown Shawn Jackson sticks his Panama hat directly in the mix with his new album “First of All…” With help from Guilty Simpson, Ta’Raach, People Under the Stairs, and Comel from Time Machine, Jackson’s “First of All…” marks hip hop’s first TRUE summer album of 2008. The beginning of the record blasts off with a proper hyper active introduction track in “How Ya’ll Feel?,” which then melts into the quirky laced “First of All…” that Jackson blesses with smooth bashful bragadaccio, followed by “Soopafly,” a hypnotic left coast laid back loop that will lactate the essential vibes for anyone holding a stank sack. And along with the swagger stuffed “Fix Ya Face,” Shawn Jackson quickly proves that he is a versatile MC with a hot ear for beats that will soon be taken seriously. As the jam “Gold Medal Kids” spreads through your cerebellum, one can’t

Introducing... Ave. To

Ave. To


Ave. To Ave. To is a group consisting of three guys; The Unknown, Oddisee and Kolai. This year they released their debut ‘Three Way Intersection’, a beautiful cross-over of Hip Hop, Jazz, Soul and everything in between. I had a chance to interview Kolai about their musical journey. Can you tell me a little bit more about your collaboration? I know it’s between you three, but how did you meet and why did you decide to form a group and to make an album? We met through a common friend who’s DJ. Rich then introduced me to Amir. Like many producers they had created music that they loved but had not found its place with their typical listeners. I loved the collection of tracks they made me listen to from the get go. I liked the approach they wanted to take: organically styled yet ‘machine made’ beats laced with tons of live musicians. It’s hard to put a label on your music. It can be defined as a cross-over between Hip Hop, Soul and Jazz but it’s also has influences beyond those genres.

“organically styled yet ‘machine made’ beats laced with tons of live musicians.”

Can you name some of your bigest musical inspirations? I love music. That’s it. I like Bach and the Beatles, Stravinksy and the Stones, Beethoven and Bowie, Prince and Arvo Part, Vaughan Williams and Stevie Wonder, Antonin Dvorak and Miles Davis. If I’m moved, it’s good. If I become happy to be alive, it’s good. Apart from that, are there also non-musical things you guys get your inspiration from for your music? History. Politics. Relationships. Religion. Philosophy. These themes are in my head most of the times. They help mostly when writing lyrics though. When it comes to music I prefer to look for raw emotions rather than intellectual meaning.

“When it comes to music I prefer to look for raw emotions rather than intellectual meaning.”

You collaborated with quite a few musicians on your album. Are there any other artists/ musicians you guys really want to work with? I would be willing to work with anyone who can play and likes the project. This is especially true when selecting the musicians for Ave.To live-shows. I can’t say I’d like to work with a particular big name though. If Stan Getz could come back to life and play a little Tenor Sax that might make my day of course.. lol! I much prefer musicians who don’t expect everything to revolve around their name and skills. If we want to make a trumpet record sure, let’s book Dave Valentin. In this case the goal is to make Avenue To music. So what we need are skilled musicians with an interest in being part of a large musical tribe. Your album ‘Three Way Intersection’ just released in Japan but also in the US. Are you guys satisfied with the responds and feedback you got on the album? It’s better so far in Japan than in the US. That is not surprising. Mostly I think the reaction is that

“We are beginning to be successful.”

I saw some blogs offering your album as a free album. What are your opinions on that? That is the flip side of the net. Luckily musicians have been abused for thousands of years. That being said only musicians have the right to give their music away for free. Others don’t have that right and should not do it. When artists put years of their life in a record, the least people should feel is a little bit of respect. Don’t just steal music to make your blog more appealing. That’s insulting.

“Three Way Intersection is the first step, not the last.”

What can we expect from Ave. To in the (near) future? We are working on our live act. It’s a delicate operation to translate such a complex and dense studio-project into a live band. If we wanted to have everybody on stage we’d need a 15 piece band. We are working on a tour; Get ready! Of course we’re also gearing up to a second album. We’ll take our time and do it right. Like for the first album. Avenue To, as the name indicates, is not a sprint to the finish line. It’s a long journey. Three Way Intersection is the first step, not the last.

Introducing... Ave. To

of confusion. Retailers wonder if it’s a Jazz-record or a Hip Hop record or a Lounge record. Of course this confusion is incomprehensible to us. If you have a Hip Hop-store, then give it to the Hip Hopheads and they will find something to relate to in this record. If you have a Jazz-store, give Avenue To’s album to the Jazzheads and observe how they too can find happiness in this record. And finally give the cd to your DJ’s and/or play it in your lounge or at your party and you’ll see that it is actually also a perfectly respectable lounge record. We must re-double our efforts to hammer this message home to our American market. We are beginning to be successful. It matters that when people hear it once they recommend it. This is what we are seeing so I am happy about where things are headed.

Ave. To

Next to Ave. To you guys are also working solo. Can you tell me a little bit about that? Any upcoming solo-projects/releases we should know about? I am working on the first EP for singer-songwriter Selective Intelligence. An eclectic selection of jams, at times sultry, at times pensive, always filled with intense emotions. I’m very excited to have DJ Smash and Ahmed Simour remix two Words by Heaps of the tracks. The package should have about 8 tracks. Look for it later this Fall on Asahra! Listen: Our magazine mainly focusses on Hip Hop Buy: so I want to ask you this (very cliché) question: what do you think of Hip Hop nowadays? I’m not and expert in that genre but it seems to me that Hip Hop has matured and is enjoying its golden age. It might even be the beginning of the decline. One day some business man with big bucks noticed you can make even bigger bucks with hip hop. Some artists and producers are really talented and also learn to play the game. Others think that just playing the game is what it’s about. So you end up with music that promotes superficiality, materialism, violence, greed, and lust. Though obviously profitable this kind of music does not appeal to me. A whole bunch of such artists have popped up in hip hop in the last 15 years and I don’t care for them at all.


One Day As A Lion

One Day As A Lion One Day As A Lion EP “It’s better to live one day as a lion, than a thousand years as a lamb.” This statement is the basis of the duo One Day as a Lion. One Day as a Lion is a collaboration between Zach De La Rocha (of Rage Against the Machine) and Jon Theodore (of Mars Volta) based out of Los Angeles, California. They come together to make one unmovable force of musical talent. It is truly amazing how two well known genres of music can be melded together to create a totally unique sound. One Day as a Lion resurfaces the influential rapcore genre that was once upheld by De La Rocha’s former band, Rage Against the Machine. This self titled EP is very reminiscent of Rage Against the Machine. Essentially the key instruments used to make this EP possible are the drums and the keyboard. Although there are no longer any actual instruments played besides the drums and keyboard, this project still brings the feeling of a live recorded band. The guitar and bass guitar innuendos are synthesized sounds made by De La Rocha via keyboard. Jon Theodore plays the drums masterfully as Zach De La Rocha lays his infamous lyrics and vocals over them. The lyrics and vocals of Zach De La Rocha have not changed a bit over the time between the Rage Against the Machine era and now. He still speaks on the various issues that plague our society, government, and economy. In their direct words they describe their music as “a defiant affirmation of the possibilities that exist in the space between kick and snare. It’s a

sonic reflection of the visceral tension between a picturesque, fabricated, cultural landscape and the brutal socioeconomic realities it attempts to mask.” The single off the EP, “Wild International”, suggests the horrors of war, specifically the war on terrorism. On a more local level, the title track “One Day as a Lion” refers to the hidden conditions and the immigration situation in L.A. You can tell that there was passion put into this project. All in all this EP deserves the high praise. It is virtually flawless in my opinion. Those who are hardcore Rage Against the Machine fans should definitely pick this one up as soon as possible. One can only hope for the same satisfaction from their full length album, although I highly doubt that they will disappoint. Ultimately, I envision One Day as a Lion becoming one of the futures greatest artists to ever hit the charts. Words by Optimus Prime

Information One Day As A Lion: Buy:

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Zach De La Rocha Lots of people don’t know that Zach De La Rocha also collaborated with other artists. He collaborated with DJ Shadow, Blackalicious, KRS-One to give a few examples. Definitely worth a listen!


modern day clubs and I doubt they’d would have gotten much play anytime back in the day either. Neither though is that bad compared to the debacle that is “Large Pro Says” which is so bad I had to listen over ten times to confirm that it wasn’t a gag or spoof. Thankfully the entire album isn’t littered with these tracks which keeps it average to above average overall all, I definitely can’t recommend this as a buy for newcomers to large professor without advising you to try to preview it first. This has several other stand out tracks such as “In the Ghetto” which manages to walk the delicate tight rope of reporting the conditions in our neighborhoods without glorifying it. Also the songs “Classic Emergency” and “Rockin Hip Hop” might get some extra spins, but none are these push it over the definite buy edge, all I can say is you should definitely check out a preview or sampler of the album. Words by Debo7

Information Large Professor: thelargeprofessor Buy:

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Lord Finesse Another legend from the Golden Era that you should’ve heard. He released three soloalbums with his debut ‘Funky Technician’ as his best release, if you ask us.


Large Professor

Large Professor better known from his association with main source for which this album is named after, has embarked on a solo effort, in the hopes that he can avoid the pitfalls that may rappers from the early nineties and beyond fall into. He must often maneuver around the trap that comes from being known for group work; those who know him from main source may look at him as only a piece of a puzzle. “Large Pro is the ultimate dope” is how he starts off the album, in what almost seems an effort to reassure himself of his ability, his self-directed pep talk continues onto the next track “Hot” which is probably one the most enjoyable. Overall the two initial tracks which feel somewhat like intro part A and B, don’t accomplish what I like to see from lesser known artist, a brief overview of who you are, which makes connecting with the artist on a more than a sonic level more plausible. After the stand out track “Hot” he waste no time capitalizing on the good vibes garnered, with the track “Maica Living” in which he, Killah Sha and Guardian Lea; pour out their hear for 3:47 about the everyday struggle of scratching out a living in a world where that gets harder every day. I recommend that this track be obtained whether you decide to get the entire album or not. The next two tracks seem to be club orientated and are a such a serious drop in replay value that it could take you completely out the mood for the whole album they have no place in

New School Review

Large Professor Main Source

Old School Review

Main Source

Main Source Fuck What You Think After the release of the classic album ‘Breaking Atoms’, Main Source returned with their second and final album ‘Fuck What You Think’. The album originally dropped in 1994 but because of troubles with their label Wild Pitch Records and the parting of well-respected member Large Professor, the official release was moved to 1999. Rapper Mikey D replaced Large Pro for this second album and this major change is really noticeable. It’s hard to top your debut-album, especially when people consider it as a classic. Look at Nas’ Illmatic, Jay’s Reasonable Doubt, Eric B. & Rakim’s Paid In Full, but also Main Source’s Breaking Atoms. I know I don’t have to compare Fuck What You Think with Breaking Atoms, because both releases are way different. Breaking Atoms is a more jazzy record, with a lot of Large Pro’s creativity in it. That brings me to the first negative aspect of Fuck What You Think; the creativity and his topnotch productions are really something I miss on this album. Sir Scratch and K-Cut did a mediocre job on the, morely boom bap, productions, but they are nothing compared to the time when Large Pro was a part of the group. So the productions are not as good as their classic debut, mainly because of Large Pro leaving the group, but lets judge this album individually now without comparing it to a classic. The openingstrack Diary Of A Hitman starts the album really good and is also one of my favourite tracks of the album. New member Mikey D

proves with his three storytelling verses that you can’t underestimate his lyrical skills. Lyrical-wise, I think Mikey D really adds something to the group when it comes to his vocals and lyrics; I even prefer him rapping over Large Professor. The album is filled with good tracks, with Diary Of A Hitman, Hellavision, Set It Off and What You Need as highlights. Fuck What You Think is a good listen, but it really misses the creativity and the productions of Large Professor. Fans of Old School Hip Hop who like to nod their head to music won’t be disappointed with this release, but it would be better if Large Professor was still in the group and they continued their jazzy trip which they started on Breaking Atoms. But let’s not end this review with a pessimistic statement, because this album is definitely a good listen with more ups than downs. Words by Heaps

Information Main Source: mainsource1 Buy:

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Walkin’ Large A group from Germany who makes music similiar to Main Source and other legends from the Golden Era. Old School Hip Hop with great (jazzy) productions.


International Interview


International Interview

Shad Let’s start at the beginning: when did you got into hip hop and why did you decide to make music yourself? I started making music seriously when I got the chance to record my first album in 2004. A couple years before that I was performing with a couple groups and really getting into writing rhymes and learning how to perform. Is there a specific song, album or artist that you heard as a kid that made you fall in love with hip hop? I always just loved music as long as I can remember. First hip hop to really make an impression on me would have to be Nas – Illmatic and specifically ‘The World Is Yours” when that used to come on the radio. In high school, discovering Common and his lyrical genius, Rass Kass – Soul On Ice, De La Soul – Stakes is High, Outkast – Aquemeni. Those albums impacted me the most I’d say. You also play acoustic guitar. It’s not really a basic instrument for a MC, so why did you decided to play this instrument? Just because your musical taste is very open or did you have other reasons for it? Yeah, when I first started playing guitar it had nothing to do with my rapping. I liked rock music. Weezer and stuff like that. I never even thought of combining to the two for years. I started freestyling before I learned guitar and it was years after I was doing both that I decided to try combining them once in a while. You financed your first album with the money you won on a talent show. Can you tell me a little bit more about the talent show and how you got into it? It was a unsigned talent contest put on by a local radio station. My sister entered me as a birthday present – she sent in a demo an a bio – and I was selected as a finalist and eventually won.

“it was a big opportunity to get things going”

What did the first price for this talent show mean to you? It meant a lot. Firstly, I was able to record a solo record so it was a big opportunity to get things going career-wise, and secondly it also gave me a bit of confidence to know that someone out there that

isn’t a friend or a blood relative actually thought I was alright. Without the money you won on that show, would you ever been able to release your debut album? I probably would have figured out a way to put something together, but it would have taken a lot longer and it would’ve been a lot harder. Also this gave me a nice little story to help push the album in the media and stuff. That kind of thing never hurts. Which album is more personal to you, ‘The Old Prince’ or ‘When This Is Over’ and why? That’s a good question. Both are pretty personal. The Old Prince maybe even moreso because the whole things deals with my emotional/spiritual/psychological life and issues. So it’s deep. When This is Over is equally personal but maybe not quite as deep into my psyche. Its more about the different things that make up who I am but not as much about the core of who I am if that makes any sense. Both are pretty personal records though. What’s more important for you; having fun in making music or the possibility to reflect your emotions and talk about more ‘heavy’ subjects? Another good question. I don’t wanna cop out and say both are equally important so Im gonna say that while both are important to me, making music about things that matter is more important. I get a lot of satisfaction from when I’m able to do that and I know that impacts people the most as well. Music is an opportunity to have fun and that’s cool but theres a million ways to have fun. The fact that music is one if not the only universal language and one of few ways to turn something heavy and ugly and alienating into something beautiful that people can come close to is special and really important. I will enjoy your two albums for a very long time, but are there any plans for a new release? If so, can you tell me something about it? If there are no plans, why not? Thanks man. No concrete plans yet. I’d like to be

International Interview

in a different place first. That way I know I wont be making the same album over again. I’m just starting to get an idea of where I’m at now and something fresh and important to me that I’m learning in my life. I’ve been doing some writing and I’ve put down a couple things I’m kind of liking but no concrete plans for another release.

“hip hop is really hurting but there’s some bright spots”

sic for the right reasons, I’m excited to hear what kind of hip hop music is being made in 15 years. The culture is so young and rapidly changing.

“I get worried about that sometimes”

What about touring, any plans to do a tour outside of Canada, or maybe even overseas? I’d love to tour overseas sometime soon. We have some plans in the works to get down in the states in the fall. Do you think Canadian Hip Hop will get a bigger role in hip hop in the near future? I’m not sure. I think it would take a lot of support here in Canada for our own artists in order for that to happen. I think when/if Canadian people are turning their ears to what our artists here are doing, the rest of the world might start to take notice. In an interview with Stolen From Africa TV you say it’s ‘a struggle’ to be an artist from Canada. What advice would you give to other beginning artists from Canada? I would say have fun, enjoy every step of your development career-wise and as an artist, stay humble, and keep trying to reach people on a real level… I think only good things can come of that. Words by Heaps Listen: Buy:


This question is a little bit cliché, but I still want to ask it you this: what do you think of hip hop nowadays? I think hip hop in general is not in a great place right now. But there is and will always be artists that do it in a way that feels right to me. Artists that put out music that’s honest and creative and passionate. And there will always be lovers of the music too that enjoy it and support it and feed that energy back. So overall, I think hip hop is really hurting but there’s some bright spots. Do you think Internet affects hip hop in a positive or in a negative way? I think its great. People can hear new and diverse music, artists miles a part can collaborate, etc. Looks at us talking/writing now! I think its fantastic. And what are your thoughts on downloading music? Lots of people find out about new music by downloading albums, but how do you think about it as an artist? I think its also great. People will always make music. If the industry dies, if no one is making a living off of it, there will still be music and maybe even better music because people wont be thinking about money every time they go to write a song or play a show. Some people say hip hop is dead but in my opinion it’s not; lots of great releases nowadays. Can you tell me something about your favourite artists and (new) releases? I think Lupe Fiasco is one of the most creative and interesting new artists to come out in the last couple years. I’m a big fan of some other Canadian cats like Theology3 and Seazon that I think are ill lyrically. Blu from Cali… There’s good artists and good music all over. You’re definitely right there. How do you think hip hop will be in, let’s say, 15 years from now? I get worried about that sometimes. But with the way music gets spread now, I think kids will grow up with a really diverse musical experience. There will be infinitely more places to record and opportunities to produce quality recordings. As long as they’re guided by the right things and making mu


Uyama Hiroto

Uyama Hiroto Son Of The Sun Eastern sentiments pasted to a modern wall. Hiroto making sense by using a light beat accompanied by a large scala of instrumental deliberations, some samples and a touch of ambience with the use of voices. Nostalgic feelings for an unknown country. The rising of the sun. Nature. A prelude and a postlude to maturity. This album is the whisper of a silent generation lying underneath the corridors of the masses, propagating a message of unitement without the use of words. Simply by acknowleding our being. No false prophecy. No lies. No judgement. It’s the epitome of accepting our human nature without any prejudice concerning the irrationality of life. City life breaths in and out on the beat while nature disregards every boundary in which we put her in. Like a new born tree making it’s way through a concrete wall. The vast aquarel painted by Hiroto is that of the surroundings of man without commentating on his wrongdoings. Significance of dreams. Astonished by the presence of all which is ethereal in its simplicity. Soft soothing strokes painted on our eyelids for when we are in need of peace and harmony. A sanctuary between the inner struggle in which more and more people find theirselves in these days. The seemingly discharge of unrest in some tracks is a way of creating redemption through experienced control of musical instruments. This is lounge music as it is sup posed to be: simple yet effective. The two collaborations with spoken

word artists Golden Boy and Pase Rock do sweep you up a little, but at the same time Hiroto is telling you that there’s no reason to stress out. Just enjoy. Life. Music. Uyama Hiroto took out his assumptions regarding hip hop, jazz, electro, and gave it a mellow brand. His debute album A Son Of The Sun is produced by himself in cooperation with his former associate Nujabes under the label Hyde Out Recordings.

Information Uyama Hiroto: Buy:

Like this?

Words by Alex

Shingo Suzuki Shingo Suzuki is another skilled producer from the land of the rising sun. His new album ‘The Abstract Truth’ has Jazzy instrumentals on it but also some tracks with vocals from MC’s like Moka Only, Blu, 20syl (of Hocus Pocus) and more.


REVIEW C.R.A.C. Knuckles The Piece Talks is that quite a few of the tracks are short, for example ‘2.16.05’ is absolutely ridiculous with the funk guitar and Blu ripping the mic, but it’s not even two minutes long. I need more is all I’m sayin. When I first heard ‘Bullet Through Me’ I thought that it might have some crossover appeal to the electro crowd and wouldn’t have been suprised to hear this on the radio. I guess there wasn’t enough label dollars behind this piece of work which is really a shame because these dudes are MAJOR talents and will continue banging out dope material.

Information Shawn Jackson: cracknuckles Buy:

Like this?

Words by Brian Pollock Johnson & Jonson Another project by Blu, together with Mainframe. Their self-titled release will drop soon, so stay tuned for that!


C.R.A.C. Knuckles

I have to be honest. I slept on Blu. While I was busy playing Brother Ali, Ghostface Killah, and P.U.T.S. last year dude put together the album of the year with Exile. This year he came back with a producer out of Detroit by the name of Ta’Raach. The first thing I noticed when I hit play on this album was it wasn’t going to be a gritty sounding heavy album. After a couple listens I find ‘The Piece Talks’ really hits you in the face with crackin’ beats that don’t sound tired after a couple listens. The second track ‘Buy Me Lunch’ is a real catchy guitar laced track in a similar vein of ‘Hey Ya’. The light-hearted lyrics mesh real well with the girl on the hook. This is one of those joints you play after work while you’re driving home in your car, the kind you belt out at the top of your lungs like no ones looking at you sideways. There are quite a few tracks that definitely have some Dilla fingerprints on them; Soulful samples and heavy drums are never a bad thing though. One track that really stood out to me was ‘CRACHAUSE’. The beat throws you off at first but once the bassline rolls in, it’s neck bobbin’. It reminds me of a lounge when the floor starts filling up, especially with how Ta’Raach gets on the mic and raps effortlessly. There’s really almost too many dope tracks on this album to talk about all of them. Ta’Raach definitely saved a lot of bangers for Blu when he had this album in mind. From the interludes to the start to the finish this joint delivers heat. One shortcoming I found

Art Focus Interview: Characters



stuff as that seems to me to be the traditional style that influenced graff/hip hop characters that we are used to today - heavy ink lines and loads of colour.

Name: Sinna Age: 32 Country: Italy Specialty: Characters Homepage: Character is definitely style - and style of character is definitely what Hip Hop & street art are all about. So when it comes to character in street art, what is that? I pitched 20 Questions to a couple of character artists to hear their inner views on what character and style are all about. When I met SINNA at a recent gallery opening, I was full of questions about how I could put character into my work. His characters reek a unique blend of style and attitude – yet out of which hat did that come from? Sinna, thanx for your time. I’m gonna dive straight into this because just like the chicken and the egg story - I’ve gotta know what comes first; the character or the style? It all depends. Sometimes characters just pop out of my head and on to the page and I have no idea where they come from. Sometimes style comes through in the drawing itself and then at other times I may be influenced by a certain (influential) style for the moment or sometimes the work I am doing requires a different style than I am used to… Do you, personally, have character and style? Describe your character and style in one word for each. Yeah, everybody does. Its your personality. Er... Friendly and Beardy!? What is your age? I’m 32 years old. You introduced yourself to me earlier as a ‘character artist’, why is that? This is loosely speaking as I tend to class myself just as an artist. However, a lot of my pieces are based on cartoon characters that I have created. They don’t necessarily have a specific context. What is a character as opposed to a drawing? The character is the specific subject matter. It tends to have a personality or emotion. It isn’t a drawing, but you can have a drawing of a character. What inspired you to start doing character design? I have always loved comics and cartoons. When I was a kid I used to draw things like Garfield and Snoopy, yet it was Manga and graffiti that influenced my style as I got older. I love Vaughn Bode

What is the best advice you could give someone (who can already draw) that wants to take the leap of faith into character design? Just keep drawing and get your work out there. There are so many more opportunities nowadays with computer games and comics etc. You can never stop learning or developing. Who or what would you say was your most defining or breakthrough influence that tipped you over into doing the character design? Learning to spraypaint about 5 years ago was one, as it meant that I could paint big characters on walls which means that more people are more familiar with my work, however, I have always loved drawing cartoons - so it has kind of been with me a long time. What do you think are the essential requirements of a character? I really don’t know. A lot of my characters are quite simple. Emotion and personality can be achieved through really simple features. I would say simplicity is the key. Briefly describe your character creation process, if there is such a thing? A lot of ideas flow through me and seem to come from nowhere. I love to create without preconception as this can keep things interesting or surprising yet this is not always best when working to a

Words by ZeeZee

Art Focus Interview: Characters

and it can really compliment a piece. Othertimes the styles could be really different but they will be so contrasting that they still work really well. The best thing to do with that is to keep collaborating on a regular basis, with as many people as possible and seeing what works. It has been said that urban art is an evolution of graffiti and the urban subculture in general – is it possible to generalize urban artists so easily nowadays? Urban art is graffiti and vice versa. I think that any body that works within the street can be classed as urban art, but it all depends on how good it is and the execution of an idea as opposed to just writing your name badly or putting up a stencil. I mean where is the art in writing obscenities in comparison to someone who has developed their style and letterforms with finesse and spent time, thought and energy on what they do? There are kids on Youtube who film themselves writing tags at home and they class their work as graffiti. They have a lot to learn. In your opinion, how do you see the music and street image of Hip hop as being an influence on the direction of urban art in general? Does it influence your work to any degree? Hip Hop has always influenced my work as it is the reason that I was switched on to graffiti in the first place. It was a new thing when I was a kid so it was interesting and exciting. I have seen it grow up too and it is always their when I am working or playing. As for urban art in general, it is definitley a contributing factor, however, these days people are so much more clued up about different genres and have greater access to information that everything crosses over. Music is art anyway. Is there anything else that you would like to add? Keep on doing what you love and inspire others as well as being inspired yourself. Word to Grafik Warfare and Soopa Doopa.


brief or doing commission work. I don’t really have a format, but other artists will first build a framework with shapes. Sometimes I just draw a line and then let the rest evolve as I see it on the page or I paint blobs or drip paint on to a page and then draw into what shapes I see. For my robots, I tend to start with an ear and then the head. How long have you consciously been directing your energies into character design? Well, quite a long time. I used to do cartoons and stuff when I was a kid, so probably since then. Describe your present home environment in one word. Creative. What do you do to renew your motivation or keep it going? I seek inspiration around me all the time. I have a good group of friends that are very creative so it keeps me on my toes and pushes me forward. You do a lot of your work on the street – how does the ‘street image’ affect your work? I do some work on the street. This is kind of like urban advertising. Getting seen and giving something to others. Have you ever had any problems with ‘authorities’, while doing your work? Not really. I don’t really class myself as a graffitiartist and putting up stickers is quick and easy. I have painted some stuff but I’m out of my league in comparison to others. Why did you choose the urban environment as your canvas and would you recommend it to others? I have always been inspired by Graffiti and ‘street art’, so the street is the canvas. I would recommend it to others who have an understanding of that scene and also to those whom have something to say. Have you ever done collaboration pieces? What do you think is the best way to do collab to bring out the best result? Yes. Collaborating is interesting as sometimes your style can merge really easily with someone’s work

Art Focus Interview: Characters


CAX Name: CAX Age: 25 Country: Australia Specialty: Characters Homepage: CAX, thanx for your time. How do you describe the style of art that you do? Earl Grey tells me I’m a graffiti traditionalist, so i guess I’ll go with that! I’ve always wanted to be a graffiti-writer but now my style is a bit all over the shop! Are the characters you created intended to be a representation of anyone or anything in your life? Yeah, sometimes. But I rarely let those people know I’ve done my version of them! I tend to draw people I see in public or very often girls i think are hot, especially girls I’ve met but was too shy to talk to! Why do you produce the work that you do – do you have a particular message, are you striving to…. do what? Its funny, I have a mate whom I studied with and we used to say we just want to make “shit that looks cool!”. I’d like to believe that was my only motive but it’s not. I often fantasize that when my art gets heaps better, that it will be a force to help fight injustice in the world, haha. Who or what has been the greatest influence in the work you do? There has been three that come to mind... First off the bat was my grandmother, she was constantly putting material in my hand to draw on stuff, and as kids do, I started hitting the walls and furniture! My second ones are Cypress Hill and Mister Cartoon. I was obsessed with Cypress Hill in high school and used to copy their script style logo and weed leaves all over my school books. my teachers hated it. And the third influences were probably Can2 and Scien. When my family first got the Internet, the first thing I did was type graffiti into a search engine. The two results I remember going back and looking at over and over again was 123 Klan and Can2. I loved the letters they did, but more importantly I was introduced to characters! What is the best advice you could give someone (who can already draw) that wants to take the leap of faith into character design? Diversity! Especially if you’re a writer who just does letters. I rode that bandwagon for a while and it sucked. There is so much more room to breathe with characters! I’m not saying just do characters though.

Art is like a vocabulary; the more you study it and do it, the better you can express yourself. Also, you might want to also get yourself around people who know whats up with characters. Whether you do it via the Internet or in person, surrounding yourself in a good learning environment is important! The characters you create are very ‘graffiti’ style – who is your intended audience? First and foremost I have to like it, if i don’t like it, then i don’t care if Michelangelo (the painter, not the Ninja-turtle) says I burn, I won’t be happy... Then i need to have the respect of my crew, especially Earl Grey. If that phase of testing goes alright, next I need to impress the haters and rivals (something I still struggle with...). I believe when I’m good enough there will be no more haters! But as long as there is haters, that just means I’m constantly going to try and get better! I guess that means my intended audience is everyone. Have you ever done a representation of yourself? If so, show it. Yeah, this year I did a run of T-shirts with a piece titled ‘so i bought the bitch a flower’ which was partly me, as far as clothing and my emotional state, and the rest of it was an interpretation of what i would like to look like. I’ve always wished i could look like a cartoon character - I love the idea of having antennae - seriously how dope would that be! I notice you’re into hiphop and this is a hip hop magazine – which hip hop artists definitely deserve a listen to? God so many to name! The two main ones at the moment are Angus Younga (Broken Aesthetiks) and Esvee (IVA).

Art Focus Interview: Characters From your pictures I see that most are on paper – do you do any wall pieces, freestylin’ with cans or such? Yeah, I try and paint about 5-7 days out of a month, but most of my stuff goes to Lewps for his local graffiti-magazine (ILLEGAL FAME). Which artists inspire you the most? At the moment ITCH, MISTRY, GUTTER, ANUS, TOOMER and KID9! Describe your attitude to life in one word. Megatron! How many in your family and where are you placed in the siblings (eldest, youngest etc.) and did this effect your artistic tendencies? How? Im the oldest of four children. I’m like the black sheep, the others where all well behaved, I was the kid that was always getting my arsed kicked! It didn’t effect my art though! I notice you participated in a show last July, how did it go? Did it change your perspective on yourself and the direction of your work? How? I was pretty stoked with how it went, even though my piece didn’t sell! It was a great show and it’s only the second time I’ve been in a professional exhibition, so it was a great experience. The piece I did was on an old electric bass and was mad fun to paint. Is there anything else that you would like to add? Yeah, shout outs to everyone, I hope I didn’t come off as a total dick!.... fuck bitches, get money! Words by ZeeZee


I’m working on album covers for those blokes and they are both good people and good emcee’s. Others are them hungry humans (Class A, Thorts, Phew, Autism, Raven, etc...) and there affiliates ( IVA, DJ Bogues, DJ Elev8, Spit, Didji, Luke Mac, etc..) as well as Simple Simon, Tommy Gunz, Mata N Must, Urban Monk, JP and J Waters, Backpack Assassins, etc... How long have you been into hiphop and the urban scene? Started off listening to gangsta and commercial rap in the early 90’s, but about 1998 I was exposed to a documentary on Australian hip-hop with all the elements in full effect....That was it, my virginity was gone, and I was going to chase that moment of pleasure for the rest of my life! It is clear that the hiphop urban art scene is only a small part of street art these days as more artists and styles take to using the can. How do you see the hiphop/art-scene in the area where you live? In my hometown, the scene is really closed minded and the few writers that there are, most are traditionalists who hate street art... Plus you have zero tolerance from the local government, as well as heaps of toys and crews who are straight up vandals, who get a bit carried away capping people and trying to be gangsters. I just put my head down and keep trying to get better. How is your work promoted? I started out trying to promote myself but now it’s all word of mouth! I prefer it that way, I hate giving props to myself! Do you (or would you like to) make a living from your art alone?? Tough question, at the moment I’ve been freelancing on the side a little bit and enjoying it, but I don’t know if I could handle the pressure of my art influencing whether or not I eat and pay rent that week! What do you do to inspire your own creativity? Can I say acid? Haha, there is a bunch, actually. Sitting on a couch with a bunch of emcees having a cypher over a few beers is always a good one. Being around writers or tattooists while listening to music is always good too! What percentage of the hip hop crew in you area are into making art in the hip hop style? Pretty much most of Ballarat lives by the traditional rules of graffiti. INK and IVA crews for sure! MURPH1 is an old school head who rocks the traditional graffiti styles as does CRAZE (rest in peace) and ED-ONE, always rocked hard too! These people all believe that you show respect when doing your art.

examples of sites you can post your music on. s Although there are numerous others, these seem to a young, blooming artist it’s be the most popular. Other places include numersometimes hard to get yourself out there to the world. The more you make, the more you want ous forums. But just putting it there doesn’t mean someone might just pop in and check it out. Chancpeople to hear your music, but sometimes you just es are – that will never happen. It’s you who is going don’t know how. Well, here are a few ideas to get have to bring them there. Don’t just sit there making your mind rolling the direction of self-promotion. a fancy page - contact people, give them the link, and make sure they leave comments. Chances are if ONE Networking: Okay, early on in your promotion, net- Termanology or MC Champ leaves a good comment, working will be tough. You don’t know anyone and you’re about to get whole new fanbase on your back. chances are, if you do, they don’t or they couldn’t THREE care less. You may think you’re different, in fact you may even be, but they don’t look at you that way. Remember – Local Before International: One misThey see you as another small-time artist trying to take many people make is trying to get international get a deal. Yes, seems dead-end, right? Wrong. Who name before getting known locally. Honestly, if you cares if they don’t want to hear it? Keep yourself don’t get local attention, chances are that no one steady - make sure they hear your name more than internationally will care. Like they say, first love once. Sooner or later someone is going to realize comes from home. Target friends, schoolmates, that you have something special. But hey, network- neighbours, and other family members. Make sure ing doesn’t mean contacting the biggies of the in- they start playing your stuff everywhere. Once their dustry, it also means contacting fellow rising artists. friends, schoolmates, neighbours, and family memMake friends with artists who are coming up, work bers get a listen - you just went international lawith them, and help each other out. Make sure if dies and gentlemen. Congrats. But, don’t ride on your name is coming up that their name is coming that. Many times people will just keep the music up with you. That way, if any time someone does to themselves, so don’t think it’s going to be an something substantial, you’re going to get your easy ride. Keep promoting yourself internationally dues paid. Don’t be the shark who throws out the through those sites but, again, try and get known people that helped you get where you were either. If locally first. Radio-play doesn’t hurt either, just you worked with them when you were nothing, you make sure your going on a respected radio station. should work with them when you’re something sim- If you put your music on a station known for bubply because that was your first step into the industry. blegum, then don’t be surprised if no one cares.



Post Your Music...EVERYWHERE: And I mean everywhere. There are numerous sites you can do this on that are specially made to get your music out. Myspace, Facebook, Soundclick, Reverbnation, D-Music and E-Snips are some


Get your Music Reviewed: This tip, in my opinion, is very underrated and many people don’t try and do it. I don’t know if its fear of rejection or just plain laziness. If you have an album, EP, or mixtape out – let people know. And by people – I mean reviewing

people. Contact them, send them a fresh copy, and try and get it reviewed by them. Of course, this can be risky. If the reviewer chooses to give you a negative review, it could cost you your name. So be very careful and make sure that the reviewer isn’t going to bash up your whole project before it’s even put its shoes on. That being said, I suggest you show a number of people the project before handing it in for reviewing. That being said, don’t count on only friend’s thoughts of your project. Try and get a neutral idea of what the album sounds like to the common ear. If they like it, chances are so will the reviewers. But question is – how do you get your music reviewed? Google to the rescue. There are numerous sites out there that are built on reviewing indie artists to try and bring them up (or down). Contact them and get you name out professionally.


Shows: Anyone can go into a studio and rhyme or make a beat. But not everyone can run a show the right way. There are many-a-legends that can’t keep a crowd moving during their stage-acts. Trust me, it’s terrible. You lose fans, you lose credibility, and worst of all – you lose everything you tried to gain. Don’t stress, practice makes perfect. Make sure you’re ready for your show before you go up. A good thing to do is to go to other shows. See what they do and look at what interests the general public in terms of the stage act. Also, going to shows is also a good way to get contacts with some big-names. Once again, get feedback from people before the show so that you don’t look like a fool in front of a packed auditorium. And no lip-synching. This is hip-hop. Keep it real or keep it at home.


The “Sigh” Factor: This is my own tip. This may sound cliche, but – don’t give up hope. Don’t just sit back, sigh, and say “I can’t do it.” You can. Trust that. If you have something special, something different, you can. Maybe not today, probably not tomorrow, but definitely sometime. You may not become 50 Cent or Soulja Boy (and please don’t), meaning money wise, but you will get your name out and you will get the loyal fans you’re looking for. Look, if you’re in it for the money rather than the love of the music, you really don’t deserve to be an artist to be honest. Do what you love, period. Otherwise, you’re just another person working their 9-to-5 hating what they do for a living.


Be...REAL: Be real. Be honest. Be true. Numerous ways to put it. If you don’t have guns, don’t let people think you do. If you didn’t buy the chain, don’t boast about it. If you don’t have spinners (and even if you do) don’t talk about it in your music. Period. Nothing more to say about it.


General Promotion is the Key: General promotion is something everyone tries to do. A few suggestions include: a) Make the merch: Make shirts, bags, stickers, buttons etc. Sites like and will help you with this. b) Posters and Ads: Get your name out the classical way. Posters at stores, ads in newspapers and magazines, etc. c) Blast That S***: You are the first step to promotion. Play that music out of your car and SIX your BoomBox. Make sure people HEAR it, Don’t Be Picky: This is major for many artists. They not just hear ABOUT it if you catch my drift. get picky. “I don’t want to be on this label” “I want this much for the deal” “I deserve radio-play”. No. Good luck with the future and I wish you the best in You don’t. You don’t deserve anything yet, not a your musical endeavours. Thanks for reading. penny until you become established. You can work your butt off 24/7 up in the studio. Words by Beatwize You don’t deserve a grand and you definitely don’t deserve a million, and you don’t deserve a major deal. What you do deserve is respect. Get it. Get that respect. Make sure people know what you’re doing. And soon you’ll get what you deserve.

The Come Up: Indy Sparks

Indy Sparks

Indy Sparks Alright, why don’t you tell about who you are. what you do, and why. My name’s Indy Sparks, I’m a MC. I spit because... other kids in my age bracket don’t know how. Basically, I do this because a lot of other cats I’ve come across, can’t. Dope, how do you feel about the way in which young artists are marketed and treated in the music industry? Young artists are marketed for the young, because their mindset is young. They don’t make music for everyone because they don’t care about what a hip hop purist who grew up on the classics thinks, they only want to know what their peers think. And since kids only care about the responses of other kids, adults in the industry have free reign over their marketing. Sure, they get rich. It’s the sellout theory in action. What is it that has made you more mature than the average young artist and able to realize that it is better to not limit yourself by trying to appeal to only one age group? A:Truthfully, I started out as an artist without thoughts of what a particular age group likes. It’s easy to make a track and have your friends go, “Damn, that was sick.” It’s rewarding when you talk to one of your mentors in the game and have them say “Damn, that was sick.” To me, it’s pointless to shoot for entertaining kids 4 or 5 years younger than me with some temporary half-ass dance craze. That’s good, I think it’s working out quite well for you, but you also mentioned that you are coming out of Raleigh, North Carolina, how has being from the south effected your music? Being from the south actually reinvented me as an artist. I’m from Boston, and being from up north, I had sort of an ignorant mindstate regarding southern music. As close-minded as I was, the first time I heard UGK’s Ridin Dirty, I had sort of an epiphany... I was trying to box hip hop into this elitist category, when in reality, I was ignoring what makes hip hop so great- the amount of diversity within the music. So understanding the southern culture and how it affects the music around me has allowed me to go places I didn’t think I could go before with my music. Speaking of the diversity within hip hop music, you have often been labeled a “backpacker”, how do you feel about being called that specifically? And what is your take on people labeling different kinds of hip hop in general?

As far as me being a backpacker, I feel like people want to box me into that genre mostly because of my voice. Have someone else rock my lyrics on the track, and I guarantee the generalization wouldn’t be made. All in all, it really doesn’t bother me much to be labeled this or that... I think my biggest issue with labels in hip hop is the infamous “real hip hop” category. I’ve said it countless times, and I’ll say it again THERE IS NO REAL HIP HOP. Hip hop is whatever artists make it to be. It’s all hip hop, just maybe not the side of the spectrum that certain people would like to partake in.


What are your ultimate goals in music? Do you look to help create any specific changes in hip hop or the world with your lyrics? My ultimate goal in music is to not make things about anything more than music. I’m not looking to make a career out of this, or to change the face of hip hop... I’m doing it because it’s fun. I just want to make music, nothing more. What’s the fun in making something serious? You lose the heart and soul, and the body can’t survive.

“I’m doing it because it’s fun.”

Yes, which brings me to my next question, you have said before that music is just a hobby for you, what are you actually pursueing as a career? A:I’m currently in college pursuing my major in Communications Media & Broadcasting, which basically means I want to work in radio. Mainly, to share the music I enjoy, the artists many people haven’t heard of, to the masses. If that didn’t work out, would you ever consider putting more focus into your music and trying to make a career out of it? A:If the demand was there, and financially I was free to do it, then definitely. I would love to have that freedom. In this day and age, it’s possible, but who knows... only time will tell.

“It’s music. You need a story to listen?”

is Dead, drops in the fourth quarter of 2008. Be ready. Words by Steven Logas Listen: Download: download/16631505afde28f4

The Come up: Indy Sparks

Your bio on your Myspace reads, “It’s music. You need a story to listen?”, and on your records you touch on life in general at times, but never speak specifically about your life; would you ever consider opening up more in your music? I have plans for that in the album I’m working on right now. I think it’s about time for a more personal introduction to Indy not only as an artist, but as a person as well. Let’s get to the music, on the track “Take ‘Em To War” from your latest release you say, “Never lackin’ the skills, I’m only lackin’ the melanin”, have you ever actually felt as if you were held back when it came to your music because of your skin color? It’s really a plus and minus, to be honest. On the positive side, you get people hyping you up because you’re white and you’re a talented lyricist. Unfortunately, people connect the two and the first thought that pops into their heads is: Eminem. “The next Eminem.” Believe it or not people, there’s many other white MCs in the game, that have been around a lot longer than Em. Look at Serch, for example. I see what you mean, on to another song from Thin Line, W.I.G.G.E.R., a remix of a Nas joint that carries a similar name, don’t you worry that by using that variation of the N-word to describe people who are attempting to talk or dress a certain way, you are in turn marginalizing the entire African American race? No, the track wasn’t intended to disrespect anyone outside of my own race. I meant what I said, they’re embarassing. Everyone can agree with that sentiment, regardless of race. I feel the same way about hipsters, people in general who act in a way so far from their original mentality that they’re no longer themselves, they’re just an imitation of stereotypical image. The appearance we perpetuate is completely under our control, so there’s no excuse for such a false representation of self to exist. Stay in your lane, be yourself, don’t turn yourself into something you’re not... because then you’d just be nothing.

That’s honorable, a great way to close out a great interview, but before you go, do you have any last words or shout outs that you would like to say? A:I’d like to give a shout to everyone that has supported me in all my endeavors, and to my fellow artists and producers- Killah Matriks and TeckNiq being two people I’d like to work with more in the near future. Special recognition goes out to Supastition, who cosigned my potential. Thanks to you too duke, for the opportunity to let people into my world for little bit. Boxcutter Sessions EP: Indy

Indy Sparks

“I meant what I said, they’re embarassing.”

Recommendation Of The Month

Foreign Hip Hop

Foreign Hip Hop Unfortunately lots of people ignore music from foreign countries. Sometimes because they don’t understand the lyrics but sometimes also because of plain ignorance. The Find Magazine got readers from all over the world, but this month I will highlight some artists from France and Japan, which most of you consider as ‘foreign’.

Samon Kawamura The land of the rising sun, the land of jazzy hip hop. It doesn’t surprise me when kids don’t get to hear bedtime stories at the evening, but jazzy hip hop instead. I do not want to generalise, but lots of great jazzy producers have their roots in Japan. Samon Kawamura, Shingo Suzuki, Uyama Hiroto, Himuki, DJ Mitsu The Beats and DJ Krush to name a few. Don’t get me wrong, of course there are more skilled producers from all over the world, but when it comes to a ranking of countries; Japan is definitely on the number one spot. I got familiar with Samon’s music by his first album named ‘Translations’. It’s an instrumental album with jazzy beats and a soulful touch. Really nice to listen to on a sunny day with a beer in your right hand – but that’s the same for every other jazz-influenced album. This year Samon Kawamura released his second album, Unfold. Again, he did a great job on the productions with this time some guest-appearances by respected artists like Aloe Blacc and Kev Brown who really add something with their vocals. Trust me, you won’t regret it when you buy one, or even two, of his albums.

Hocus Pocus I have to admit that I prefer music in a language that I can understand, but Hocus Pocus is one of the few exceptions. Hocus Pocus is a group from France consisting of DJ/rapper 20syl, bass-player Hevré Gogard, Matthieu Lelièvre on fender rhodes, Antoine Saint-Jean, Antoine Saint-Jean on drums and DJ Greem. The group is unique because of their (in my eyes excellent) combination of Hip Hop, Jazz, Soul and Funk. The lyrics are in french but that doesn’t matter to me as someone who does not understand the language at all. The music is truly amazing and the chemistry between all instruments and the lyricist is a very positive factor as well. Normally I like it to hear what a rapper’s saying, but in this case it isn’t even important. They accomplished in combining Hip Hop with some other great musical genres and that’s all what matters to me. I highly recommend this group, especially when you are a fan of jazzy Hip Hop and if you’re open to foreign music, what you should be. If you are more into turtablism, check out C2C. A project by 20syl,DJ Greem, Pfel and Atom. They won the DMC Team World Championship Turntablism three times in a row, what is unique thus far. I highly recommend their video’s and live-sets. To keep on linking, I also recommend Drum Brothers. It’s a project by Atom and friends Arshitect, Guan Jay and Permone. They released their 12” Live & Uncut earlier this year and it’s truly amazing. Some nice jazz-influenced turntablism with real rhymes on some of the tracks. I found out about this 12” a few months ago but I am still listening to it every now and then. Especially the track Take It Back, which became the anthem of the summer! Words by Heaps

Personal Classic

Mr. J Medeiros Of Gods And Girls me the same way Blu & Exile’s “Be low the Heavens” hit me: it just took my ears by storm till eventually i was listening to it almost twice a week. So if your a hip hop-head or just a fan of poetry you should enjoy this album.


Words by CrimzonFear

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Mr. J Medeiros: Buy:

The Procussions Very obvious choice, but still worth the mention. The Procussions is a group consisting of Mr. J Medeiros, Stro The 89th Key and (formerly) Rez


Mr. J Medeiros

What happens when you’re broke, sleeping on your friends couch, and decide to pour your emotions, ideas, and views onto paper for a month? You get a damn good album from Mr. J Mederios. For those of you that don’t know Mr. Mederios; he hails from Colorado and is 1/2 of the Rawkus Records group ‘The Procussions’. Of Gods and Girls is his first solo album and all I can say is not many albums have impressed me like this. Mr. J holds his own on 13 tracks (the other 4 are remixs) even would put up against the likes of Pigeon John or 20 Syl. The production is handled by Mr. J on 4 tracks and the rest is handled by outside producers most notebly Illmind who drops in for the Strange Fruit Project assisted “Change”. At my first listen I was blown away by the smooth production and overall flow of the album. But for me the beauty is found in the pictures Mr. J paints with his vivid lyrics that tell a varitety of stories from child exploitation to money problems. A great example of this is “Call You”, which is a very emotional song about his relationship with his parents. It seems like every song could be made into a music video or movie script. The only criticism i would give this album is the remixes. You dont need 4 remixes on an album, especially when the orginals are so great!!! What makes an album a personal classic in mind is the replay-abilty and learning something new about songs on the album years later because the messages are so deep. It sort of hit


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