We got a chance to catch up with the Chicago Bulls point guard CJ Watson during hisQuiet Storm Foundation event at the Fifty/50. There were a lot of people having a good time talking with CJ, getting autographs, and purchasing the Bench Mob tee-shirts to support the Bulls and the foundation. All of the proceeds were donated – so make sure you get your tee over at BenchMob.com or CJWatson32.com!
Jen DeLeon chatted with him in the video above about the Quiet Storm Foundation, the Bench Mob and their rituals, the team’s funniest player (the answer may surprise you), his current pump up song before a game, and finally some thoughts on the ongoing Eastern Conference Finals versus the Miami Heat. Make sure you hit the jump to see what he listens to get him pumped before the games. Lastly shoutout to CJ for the time and the interview; he’s a very humble dude and we hope to see more of him and the Bench Mob dominating as the Bulls head down to Miami!
In part 2 of our sit-down with Melanie Fiona, we go in depth about the highly anticipated sophomore album, The MF Life. Fiona talks about the lifestyle of ‘living your MF life’, and maturing through all the ups and downs with elegant balance.
She also mentions this album will reveal the more vulnerable and sexy side of Melanie Fiona accompanied by big stadium soul sound to bring it home. Moreover, there will always be a positive twist to everything Melanie does, because she’s here to uplift and inspire. The MF Life conceptually reflects perseverance and overcoming any obstacle in your way, something Melanie says helped shape her as a strong woman.
I have a song called “Gotta Be Me” or “I Don’t Wanna Be”, which is really a personal reflection of poetry that is me talking about not compromising who I am, and going through this process and finding my identity. And having people really tell me this is who you should be, and I’m like naw I can’t. I don’t wanna be that. I just wanna be myself.
Also look out for a particularly intriguing record called “Supernova”, which she says is one of her most motivational records. Watch and find out the details above, plus enjoy a funny tour story about Melanie’s new friend ‘Guido’, and a glimpse of her show at the House of Blues. Once again, big shoutout to Melanie Fiona – very much lookin’ forward to The MF Life this summer! Keep it locked.
We’re proud to present another new interview today: part one of our two-part sit-down with the lovely and talented Melanie Fiona! Above, she talks with Sgt. Tibs about some of her favorite cities to visit, how the music industry has transformed since she first started her career, and how the collaboration with Common, John Legend, and The Roots came about for “Wake Up Everybody”.
Interestingly enough, she shares a mindset we have at Gowhere about how holding a conscious intention will transmute your physical reality. Watch and hear the story of how the Grammy-nominated song came together, and her words about using clairvoyance and a positive mindset to see and will the best possible outcome! In addition, get a sampling of Melanie Fiona rockin’ the House of Blues stage as she performed a very lively and animated set achieving a bold, rich, and elegant sound both vocally and through her live band!
Keep it locked for part 2, where Melanie Fiona tells us all about her upcoming album, The MF Life!
When dealing with today’s generation of hip hop listeners, its important for artists to be passionate and inspirational with their style of lyricism. Well, artist Soul Khan is on a mission to keep the art of rapping genuine and meaningful. Check out the interview above of Soul Khan discussing with Gowhere NY his journey from L.A. to N.Y. and also his transition from a legendary underground battle rapper to a solo artist. Or maybe it was more of a retirement from he battle rap game, considering he no longer battles due to the lack of competition. Also, be on the look out for his new EP entitled “Acknowledgment” that will drop the 28th of April. Its going to be available on both his fan page Soulkhan.com aswell asBandcamp.com. The Ep will be completely produced by DeeJay Element. If you haven’t already, download Soul Khan’s album titled Soul Like Khan below. I must say that I am a fan of every track on this album. Did i mention it was free?
Here’s another interview I did the same day I interviewed Goonie J. Yes, it was a very busy day but so worth it. Meet Astonish. He recently opened up for Lupe Fiasco‘s sold out House of Blues event in Chicago. He’s also opened up for Bun B, Wu-Tang Clan, Blu,Murs, Masta Ace, Yelawolf..you get the point, he’s good at what he does. Keep a look out for his mixtape coming out very very very soon, I have a feeling it’s going to be a good one. Here’s a little more in-depth bio on Astonish:
“Residing on Chicago’s northside, Astonish embodies the city’s capacity to produce a street-smart lyricist with enough intelligent swagger to hold his own in the midst of both the thugs and the backpackers. Having been reared in a diverse musical environment, Astonish gained a unique eclectic auditory experience that has helped him develop his balanced approach to music. Between the old-school soul records of his grandparents’ era, his father’s penchant for NWA, his mother’s persistence in developing his creative artistry, and his own musical delving with everything from Hip Hop, Gangsta Rap, R&B, and Alternative Rock: Astonish’s rhymes convey a multitude of topics that reflects this musical heritage.
Having joined up with the legendary Molemen collective at the young age of 21, he wasted no time in taking advantage of a very strong opportunity to allow his dream of becoming an internationally respected emcee to be realized. Utilizing beats by the Molemen camp, Dj O-Zone, and his own producer, Cucs, Astonish got Chicago acquainted with his style with an EP at the beginning of 2008, entitled “From Now Until Forever”. The EP was received with high regard within the hip hop community and spread across blogs and websites worldwide pushing Astonish into being one of the upcoming talents to keep an ear on.”- Astonish’s Facebook Page
I think that explains it all, oh yeah, and once again, keep a look out for his mixtape as well.
ALSO, Another thank you to Jacob and GoodLife Music Group for helping me out! Don’t forget to check out Jacob and his team too if you need any work done, they’re great! ‘SeeOurVision’.
So last night was totally awesome right. It all started at Jugrnaut when I linked up with #TeamGowhere for the Big K.R.I.T. in store. It was a groove per usual. Very, very packed. I posted for a minute and then I ran into K.R.I.T.’s manager Shipes. I felt a little bad about asking for an interview after hearing that the K.R.I.T. camp had been up all day under the jet lag act. Keyword: a little bad. We got the interview anyway, though. Much propers to the big homie Shipes for making that happen. This was actually the second time I interviewed K.R.I.T. I got up with him during the The Smoker’s Club tour last year. I have a “lost interviews” series coming. Be on the look out for that. Ha! I really enjoyed this one though. We talked Chicago Blackhawks (one of the dopest logo’s ever!!!). As I digress, I was impressed with Big K.R.I.T.’s poise and knowledge of music. Willie Hutch is also one of my favorites. Much respect goes to K.R.I.T. for having ill influences. We also talked music, of course, in addition to his new mixtape Return of 4eva, the collaboration process with Luda and Bun B, how he gets his humility from his grandmother, and Chicago-style pizza. Let me know if I gave him the right recommendations. Groove!
Before last night’s show at the Bottom Lounge, we chopped it up with Freddie Gibbs at thePHLI store in Hyde Park. Gangsta Gibbs first tells GY312 what upcoming projects to expect (Cold Day In Hell mixtape comin’ in June) before addressing the rumor that he is signing with Jeezy and CTE. Well, I had heard some of those rumblings before the show and last night, Gibbs and surprise guest Young Jeezy himself made it official. Video evidence below (shouts 2 RH).
But back to the interview… GY asks Gibbs about an assortment of other topics including his NBA Finals prediction (one that I’m gonna co-sign myself), his favorite cars growing up, and the one celebrity that he wants to say ‘whaddup’ to, as GY puts it, hah! You’re likely to laugh and enjoy throughout the whole interview so find out his answers to those above. Lastly, shoutout to Freddie Gibbs for the Gowhere love and congrats on the big signing!
Check out this wonderful interview with GoodLife’s, Goonie J. (Sorry for making you blush). Charismatic and modest, you can all see in this interview that his passion goes into his music. Growing up in Albany Park and moving around to four different places, his love for music began from writing poetry. Yes, I have listened to every YouTube video he has on there, and YES the lyrics are unbelievable. Everyone can relate to something in what he writes and all of his fans support him to the fullest. With all of the talent and motivation he has coming from within himself and after hanging out with him for an hour (I know, that’s a longgg time), I could see that he will strive to be the next big thing reppin’ Chicago. Nipsey Hussle, Mac Miller, Big Sean- keep a look out!
“I never really lived in a calm neighborhood or anything. All of them were energetic and not in a good way. But the negativity of my neighborhood never really effected me. OR inspired me. My childhood friends that I grew up with were the main inspiration. The way they showed me MAAAAD love when it came to my music was amazing. They’re proud of me and they support me to the fullest. And when you live in Chicago thats hard to accomplish. Chicago is the city of hate, every REAL artist out here knows that. But now it’s just to make my fam and friends proud. I have too much pride to do all of this and end up with nothing. I refuse to look like a fool 10 years from now with nothing to show from this. Pride isn’t my downfall, my pride uplifts me.”- Goonie J
So sit back and learn a couple new things from your next new favorite artist and keep an eye out for his mixtape that is dropping early May!
Also, a million thanks to Jacob Cuevas (who is partnered with the GoodLife family) for helping me out. Be sure to check his work out his production work at ‘SeeOurVision’.
Hey what’s up it’s Tee. Hope your in good spirits, despite this up and down weather. But that’s Chicago for you. I have something that will brighten up your day and also something fresh for the iPod.
It’s Eminem’s Chicago cousin ProbCause. OK, bad joke. And there’s no relation at all between the two. He likes Em, but is out to make a name for himseIf and not be another silly white rapper. He’s serious about his music. I met and had the chance to interview ProbCause at Bottom Lounge. He really blew me away, he’s so awesome and talented.
ProbCause just wrapped up SXSW and is currently on tour with Twista (powered by Gowhere Hip Hop) and Steve Aoki. His last mixtape Spring Cleaning is also out now and you can download that for Free.99 from his website, ProbCause.com. Check out the ProbCause interview and find out what other talent he has, he keeps it real. Also included in the video is a freestyle and performance with 2Fresh (interview coming soon) and below is a bonus track called “Got To Know”.
If you didn’t know, Blu was one of the rappers who made XXL’s Freshman class list in ’09 and is one of my favorite emcees in the game today. The fact i think he smashes his entire class lyrically and is still one of the most slept-on is an entirely different post. As i digress, I dropped by Jugrnaut for the Blu in-store event, last Sunday. Not surprisingly, there were many Chicagoans who came through to Jugrnaut to get autographs and show support to one of Cali’s best.
I had the opportunity to build with Blu for a quick minute as the event was winding down. Not one to ruin the groove, we took to the back room not to disturb the party. I just wanted to go to a quiet space where I could hear what Blu had to say and also get some decent soundbites. I’ll let you be the judge on how that worked out. Big shouts to the dude who kept opening the back door while the interview was going on. *Tiger fist*
As a bonus, I took the liberty to transcribe a few notable Blu quotes below from the interview. You’re welcome.
Blu’s take on Chicago:
“Chicago usually always comes out and shows love. So its always good to be able to hit up Chicago with a bunch of new shit that the rest of the world hasn’t heard. I feel more comfortable coming out here premiering sh*t because Chicago shows so much love.”
Blu on Warner Music Group:
“Warner’s dope. We’re about to get ready to drop this No York album. We’re just starting to put the wheels in motion and get the relationship going between the label and the artist.”
Blu on his process of making music and touches on vulnerability in raps:
“Keep true to yourself! If it makes you vulnerable, it’s how you deal with your own vulnerability. If you feel like its out there like, ‘Ah shit!’ you just gotta man up to it. For me, its easy to let stuff off my chest, especially through music.”
Blu on the art of being an emcee and beatmaker:
“That’s a pretty difficult task to keep up, man. From the Diamond D’s to Pete Rock’s, Erick Sermon’s, Kanye definitely took it to another level. RZA…Big K.R.I.T. is holding it down. Rock Marciano. Madlib. Its some heads out there who got the bars. I definitely plan on returning to the production trying to keep both fields alive.”
Blu on his craft and reloading the chamber:
“We’ve just been crafting moreso. We dropped like seven albums, so after that we had to reload the chamber. This year we’re looking to drop like 3 projects by 2012. So lookout for that No York [LP] this summer. Lookout for some new Blu and Exile stuff and we got all kinda EP’s and mixtapes and stuff about to drop, so keep your ears open.”
Much propers to Blu also for being a student of the game. It’s refreshing to hear artists discuss their influences and pay homage.
Without further adieu, check out my Blu interview as he also speaks on what makes a top-notch emcee, the difficulty of rhyming and beatmaking (he does both), and “dope-obscure-rapper” swag lol. Bloggers be quiet. He has quite a few upcoming projects on deckington. You gotta be patient with greatness. Be on the look out this summer for his new LP, No York, and also some new collabs. Groove!