Friday, August 27, 2010
It's that time again here at AYCE, where we ask the questions you want to hear (and if you don't want to hear it, we really don't care). Now, if you live in Seattle and list "hip-hop head" on your resume under “Skills”, one: I’m guessing that you can tell me what’s in the “special sauce” on my Big Mac, and two: based on your life choices I'm going to venture a guess that you have yet to hear "Gravity", the recently released album from Def Dee and Language Arts (La for short). If you're not from Seattle, you get a pass...at least until the end of this interview then it's time to come out your pocket. This album, in my opinion, is nothing short of amazing...I heard it got 5 mics from The Source (sorry Bun). From beginning to end "Gravity" has everything I need from an album: hard hittin kicks and snares, mixed with old school vinyl static, sprinkled with piano, and topped off with a slick, poetic flow. I caught up with Def and La and had a chance to chop it up a bit about beats, rhymes, and life.
Benny: Where are you guys from and how long have you been making music? Of that time, how long have you been making music together?
Language Arts (La): I was born in the Philippines, raised in Seattle. I have been writing music/poetry for 6 years. Me and Def have been working together for about four of those.
Def Dee: We are both from Seattle and have been making music together since early ’07 I believe. The first time I really began making music was in 2002. That was the year I got my first set of turntables and started making my own mix tapes. That was when I really became a student of the game. Studying and making my tapes helped shape my creativity for beats in the coming years.
Benny: How did you get the moniker Def Dee? As I surfed around the net I found that you're not the only Def Dee...ever heard of Def Dee & Scott Fresh? They were, apparently, doing their thing in the mid - late 80s. Any significance or purely conincidence?
Def: One day while DJing for my friends that were bboying, my homie Rudy said I was Deaf, not because I couldn’t hear but because I spoke with my hands. Somewhat corny but then again it was 7th grade. I went by the alias DJ Def. When I set my sights on production, I slowed down a lot on DJing, so I dropped the DJ and added my first name’s initial spelled out at the end. I knew that “def” was a classic hip-hop term, and classic was similar to the way I produce, plus def still has the meaning of speaking with hands.
As far as Def Dee & Scott Fresh, it was purely coincidence. After I found out about the duo I downloaded a song of theirs entitled “Go Def Dee Go!” . I had no idea of this group before coming up with my name; I hope they don’t have a price on my head! There was a DJ out there by the name of DEFDEE with no space between, but since “Gravity” was released and got exposure on the net I have yet to see his name anywhere. If for some reason you confuse me with someone else, you can find me under the alias of Dom the Don or Dom Sicily.
Benny: We’re all allowed to be a little corny in 7th grade. I recently heard an interview with DJ Premier where he said that he tailors his beats specifically for the particular emcee that he is working with at that time is that something that you try and do as well?
Def: Tailoring beats specifically for the emcee is definitely something I strive to do. At the same time I might like to produce something that the emcee hasn’t yet stepped to so that the collaboration feels fresh. A lot of the time the emcees I work with will come to me and say, “just produce me that Def Dee shit!” so it all varies. I do think tailoring music specifically for the artist is a great way to go about things as long as you don’t lose your originality.
Benny: He goes on to say that if that emcee doesn't like the beat, he erases it and starts over. Imagine the Primo beats that went to waste!!! So what's the count of the Def Dee beat library today? Do you ever erase a beat?
Def: I cant even begin to imagine what kinds of beats Premier and all the other amazing producers have thrown away, but at least we know that if they were out they probably wouldn’t want us to be listening to them; so I think its for the best. My beat count is very low in comparison to other producers I know. I have 4 different drives of music on my board that I record my beats into. Each drive has about 70 tracks on them, except for the 4th, so overall I have in excess of about 120 beats. It isn’t much but a lot of the stuff I make gets tossed in the trash, I’m very particular with the music I create. It doesn’t help to have a broken Zip drive, which doesn’t allow me to save my beats on the spot; I have to record them live into my hard disk recorder everytime. This is only for the time being since my pockets are currently filled with lint!
Benny: My pockets too homie, mine to…(shaking head). Speaking of Primo...the sample on the title track, Gravity...Royce (with Primo) or Killah Priest?
Def: You know your Hip-Hop! It’s a Killah Priest vocal that I mixed with Inspectah Deck.
Benny: C’mon son, this place isn’t called All You Can Eat Hip Hop for nothin! Spoken Word Poetry has long been synonymous with hip-hop music and culture. My first experience with La was through Spoken Word at the Seattle Poetry Slam. I remember you being the "sacrifical lamb" and then spittin for about 6-7 minutes off the head. What came first being an emcee or being a spoken word poet?
La: I started performing in front of audiences with poetry, but I have been cyphering and freestyling long before.
Benny: Was the transition from one to the other easier or harder than you expected?
La: Not really, because rap is rhythm and poetry. I find a lot of "rappers" lack attention to detail when it comes to the actual poetics of their writing. I find that in the poetry community, a lot more writers who are well trained in all of the tricks of the trade (i.e. metaphor, simile, allusion, personification, foreshadowing, etc.).
Benny: La, on *Uno Amore* you have a line "you don't want beef, most of you local rappers are faker than my front teeth…” Just how fake are those teeth homie?
La: (laughing)... They are actually completely fake. I broke em skateboarding when I was 16.
Benny: Damn, talk about Kick Flip gone wrong (laughing). Seriously though, is that how you really feel? Any names you wanna drop?
Benny: Many of the blogs and reviews of "Gravity" have labeled the production as a "mid-90s-style NYC boom-bap"...as that the "theme", if you will, or is that what we can continue to expect down the line? I gotta admit I felt the same way when I first listened. It took me back, but didn't feel "old". I think that is a testament to La, his ability to methodically weave his way through the beats.
La: This wasn't our initial intention, but after the first few tracks we recorded this particular sound just felt natural at the time. We weren't hearing anything like this on the radio, only in our ipods. In the end it became a nod to the golden age, but we wanted to do so tastefully without being stuck in the past. My next album is completely different, much bigger sounds, more live instrumentation… but still 100% me. My guy Blu-Ray produced this one it's titled 'Roll With The Winners' and will be available for purchase September 11th. I just finished writing my 3rd album, produced by Jester, titled 'SEALAB 2011' which is projected to be out by early spring.
Continue reading after the cut...
Rock The Dub, and Bostonianz617. Since this just got to us now, we're hearing it with you. I expect great things for your auditory pleasure. The link is below but first check out the video from Mayhem about the collab with Catch on the cover art! Big thing cookin up for the future with Mayhem and AYCE...stay tuned!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Like I mentioned before, AYCE is proud to be a part of the homie Mayhem’s second mixtape - *cough-cough* AUGUST 27th *cough*. Today we get a little behind-the-scenes take from the man himself, as well as the homies Ellementt and DJ Familly Tyz. Peep:
Big ups to Marco and the Bostonianz617 fam for the video!! Thought y’all were about to get rolled up on (1:14)!! Not even a flinch though…soldiers! LOL!
Did I mention, August 27th? Get it.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
…FUCK YOU! I mean, I think you and I both know that ain’t nobody out there
googling Binging “wacky styles of hip-hop.” And if they are, Brainslice will be right over to kick them in the fucking sack…seriously. That is all.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
I need a pair of locs, quick-like…and who got the keys to my six-four? Oh wait, I don’t have an Impala…guess I don’t really have any locs, either. What I do have, though, is a mixtape that took me right back to the glory days of Dre, Cube, the Click, the ‘Liks…man, do yourself a favor and go cop Otayo Dubb’s So Opinionated right. fucking. NOW! Serious! Start the dl – don’t worry, it’s free! – and then you can finish reading this while the mixtape prepares to bless your computer with its presence. I’ll wait for you…
Friday, August 13, 2010
Just in case y’all don’t kick it with us on fAYCEbook (wtf?), I figured it was time to let everyone else know that we’re creepin’ on a big date ‘round here! Keep your eyes and ears open…and get prepared for Mayhem.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
CONSPIRACY WORLDWIDE RADIO
Live guests - DJ PREMIER - JOE BUDDEN - SLUM VILLAGE - ELZHI - BISHOP LAMONT - DIRT NASTY - SIMON REX - WORLD EXCLUSIVES and more!
Broadcast on Aug 6th 2010
DOWNLOAD OR LISTEN AGAIN
(Click PLAY to stream or Download to keep)
OR HEAR ALL OF OUR SHOWS
PLUS! MISTA MONTANA WEBSITE
AND NEW MENACE BLOG
On this stuffed to the limit comeback show we have:
DJ Premier steps sway from a busy recording schedule to grace us with his presence, delivering a classically 'Primo' interview. We explore his current production work with Kayne West, his hope that Busta Rhymes will finally like one of his beats the tenth time around, his desire to work withEminem and all of his up coming projects. Essential listening for hip hop.
Slaughterhouse's vocal exciter, Joe Budden , makes an appearance sounding as self-assured as you would expect with his album Great Escape and Mood Music 4 around the corner. We explore the content and logic behind his new book Enter The Mind Of Joe Budden, his recently recorded track with Eminem and the many artists he has worked with in the process of creating his new projects.
Bishop Lamont doesn't do interviews anymore, unless the interviewers have earned his respect in the past. So it was our pleasure to talk with one of hip hop's most travelled and hear the full story behind his departure from Aftermath, his acting career and more importantly, his new music. We discuss his new work with Erick Sermon and Pete Rock as well as hearing how he plans to make a European album featuring UK emcees. A true blessing.
Slum Village have a new album out and have recently recorded a video. So you would expect group member Elzhi to be full of zest and information about his groups work. However, recent events have dampened and confused Elzhi, as he tells us how his group have recorded a video without telling him and omitted him from various projects. We focus on his new album and even find time to discuss Inception.
Simon Rex aka Dirt Nasty is one of the mainstream's most prolific artists. From his acting career, to his stand-up comedy - all the way through to his hip hop alter ego, Dirt Nasty, Rex is an amazingly talented and endlessly creative performer. Packed with energy and gusto, this interview has classic written all over it, as we meet the man behind the music with an ample splattering of Dirt Nasty for good measure. His album Nasty As I Wanna Be is released Aug 10th - go support.
AND THAT'S NOT ALL!
Montana and Menace offer you the chance to design the first ever Conspiracy Worldwide Radio t shirt. Simply submit a design (two-colours) firstname.lastname@example.org before Aug 12th and our favourite creation will be chosen and worn by listeners and artists alike. DON'T DELAY!
Friday, August 6, 2010
Oh, and fuck a VEVO...
Thursday, August 5, 2010
My guy Frank Ramz is definitely on his Twitter hustle this morning, as always, and noticed a little tweet from Ritchcraft asking if anyone wanted a track remixed. Frank sent over the acapella for "Good Mornin", a track he did with K. Sparks...and voila. Pretty dope if you ask me... I dig how twitter has brought about a whole new type of networking.
Boston based emcee Mike Bhaiya sent through a few tracks a while back and I liked what I heard...a bit on the edge of Pop but since I flirt with all genres of music I didn't mind at all. Well, homeboy came through a couple weeks later with an advance of his new album "The Universe Is Dreaming". Admittedly, it took me awhile to get to it but I gave it a listen last night. It is definitely different than what I remembered from him...sauntering more on the line of hip-hop and pop at times. For example, We Got It featuring Julie Bachialis is a poppy, almost made for radio joint. It begins with Bhaiya's delivery vaguely resembling another Philly bread MC from back in the day...Fresh Prince. This party joint is immediately followed up by a darker, more grimey record, 2-1-5th, that made for a bit of an awkward transition.
Some of the beats made me feel like an ADHD kid on an acid trip with multiple layers of synth and guitar riffs. One thing that you can hope with heavy beats of this nature is an emcee that will attack the mic and make his voice and lyrics heard. Mike Bhaiya definitely attacks the mic on a couple of tracks and reminds me why I listened in the first place. Even with his fierce delivery though, on the Introduction his lyrics tend to get drowned out by the heavy synth. I think my favorite track from the album is All In My Memory (Kenny's Song) featuring Julie Bachialis and IQ which is an ode to a fallen brother. The beat is nice IQ and Bhaiya complement one another nicely and Bachialis can sing her ass off. All in all, I dig Bhaiya's delivery, lyrical ability, and content...It's "aiight".
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
I somehow managed to jack the wifey’s laptop while she was busy in the bathroom. Does anyone know what that buzzing vibration noise is? I hear it every time she goes in there. All I know is she comes out with a smile on her face, so whatever.
My Ipod is a real asshole sometimes, but once in a while, I get a playlist like THIS. So, fuck “What’s in Shake’s Tapedeck”, check out MY playlist:
Classic shit from Paul’s Boutique. Always on my Ipod.