Follow John on Twitter and Instagram. There are few genres of music as cutting edge as hip-hop, with the latest technology, social trends and pop culture references having been rapped about on wax since the beginning. But Writing Wrongs - The Monkees - The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees is also music that constantly looks back, and definitely the most self-referential.
We spoke to him about that balance, his recent Old Fashioned album, and the tools available to indy artists in a landscape where selling music is almost impossible.
Make sure you keep reading until the end for an exclusive first listen of No Mans Land - Michael Martin Murphey - Lone Wolf new single One Nation Under Fraud.
Your music feels like a throwback to the classic era of hip-hop. Yeah for sure. I try to stay relevant with who is new and noteworthy too, but I still get really excited when someone from back in the day drops new material. The Old Fashioned project feels very much like a complete album, rather than a bunch of songs strung together. Was that a conscious decision, to remind people about the power of a properly structured album? It was definitely a conscious decision.
I spent a lot of time making sure it had that vibe. I wanted to showcase my storytelling Yesterday - Réal Berthioume - Airs En Verres as well as my punchline abilities, and keep everything sonically E=MC5 (Bust The Scientifical) - Key Kool* & Rhettmatic - Can U Hear It?
the same range. Their turntablism was the icing on the cohesive cake. We love how independent artists like you are still getting physical copies of albums pressed up, even on cassette. Is that another throwback decision or something for the collectors? In regards to Old Fashionedthe whole concept behind it goes beyond just the throwback sound. And it gives E=MC5 (Bust The Scientifical) - Key Kool* & Rhettmatic - Can U Hear It? younger generation an opportunity to see what they missed.
How much of a risk is it pressing CDs and vinyl, knowing that you might struggle to sell them all? It can Tyranny Of The Desert - Suspect - Suspect a risk, especially if you are ordering in bulk. I still have boxes left from my first project because we simply ordered way more than our demand required at the time.
I have a large catalog, so I may have twenty-something projects in stock, but only a few copies of each one. You seem to be an artist who has definitely embraced Bandcamp. Tell us about the advantages of it to an independent artist?
I love Bandcamp! You get paid direct to your PayPal account when you make a sale, as opposed to any other service like iTunes where you have to wait on quarterly statements. Just everything about it is more convenient.
It even collects buyers email addresses for me so I can always keep an up to date email newsletter. Every independent artist should use it. Not really. The key is learning the business for yourself.
They know my true desire is to be self-sufficient, and they respect it. Listen to the latest single One Nation Under Fraud below. The recent news that De La Soul have launched a Kickstarter campaign to get their new album out is part awesome, part sad. Its awesome for obvious reasons. De La are one of the greatest hip-hop groups of all time, and have never released a bad album.
Its also for obvious reasons why its sad. The group has been on a noble anti-record label crusade for years, which has earned them respect for way more than just their music. But in all honesty, when a group as stellar as De La cannot get a budget for a new album, the music business has really become a fucked-up place. As listeners, we get to be part of something we love, and are even rewarded for taking part. The sense of fan empowerment and of sticking a middle finger up at the industry only holds so much weight though, and it would be perhaps naive to think De La would likely have chosen this route had a label been willing to give them the cash.
In the campaign trailer E=MC5 (Bust The Scientifical) - Key Kool* & Rhettmatic - Can U Hear It? group looks genuinely passionate about this being a fan project, and they have certainly been the champions of new innovation and doing whatever they can to get music to us, from long legal battles, to recently giving away their entire back catalog for free download.
ZEN: I met Dannu and we started working on music together. Key knew LMNO from a group he had before and we talked about meeting up. Doug Kato started Up Above Entertainment and we had a studio in the office in Carson, called the Bomb Shelter, where the five of us would create. Key was going E=MC5 (Bust The Scientifical) - Key Kool* & Rhettmatic - Can U Hear It? UCLA at the time and had a radio show there.
Rakaa from Dilated and 2Mex came thru one night to rock the mic. We invited 2Mex to the Bomb Shelter sessions, he showed up and the rest was…well, The Visionaries history. The beginning. That pretty much jump started the whole crew. Key knew LMNO already from his early days with him in a group; also during that time he was also part of the Blak Forest crew what up Wiz! I actually invited 2Mex just to hang out with us and vibe.
I met Rhett through being a DJ. I was a DJ and my partner was from Cerritos. I started doing these charity dances and live performances and at one time we brought Key along to perform. We were pushing it to get them signed. I like to think we started working on the album around because the album came out in Really talented musician.
His family was so cool, they used to leave the back sliding door unlocked so that we could walk in the house anytime to record. Was crazy when you think about all that equipment.
All three of them are incredible emcees! Voodou: In a nutshell me, Ras and Bird we went to high school together and we was dancers at the time. We was called Club House back in the day. We ended up going to different clubs and everybody was on some dancing stuff. Even when we were dancing, we were rhyming. And Bird was the first one out the crew that was a producer. Battlecat took him under E=MC5 (Bust The Scientifical) - Key Kool* & Rhettmatic - Can U Hear It?
wing and that was his prodigy. Romantic Sad Sentimental. Sexy Trippy All Moods. Drinking Hanging Out In Love. Introspection Late Night Partying. Rainy Day Relaxation Road Trip. Romantic Evening Sex All Themes. Features Interviews Lists. Streams Videos All Posts. Figure it out: Kool g rap is about makin' armies and crews look like girl scouts.
Cuz when i start rappin', i Now to the weather but first. G tell em Filipino Baby - T. Texas Tyler - His Great Hits time it is! I got my gat to your dome and i'ma pull it I'm number motherfuckin one with a bullet [ kool g.
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