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!
Hey everyone, Chas Guy here with my latest interview with previously showcased artist, Seph Ade! I caught up with Seph here at The University of Maryland and chatted with him about his first full-blown project, ‘Love Acoustically‘, released the other day. We also talked about what it was like for Seph to work with Ike Da Kid when they collaborated on Ike’s music video for “The Way You Are” (below). Check out the interview, grab a copy of Seph‘s album ‘Love Acoustically,’ the previous ‘Love Acoustically‘ FreEP atsephade.com, and be on the lookout for more in the future from this promising young R&B artist! Be sure to follow Seph on Twitter @Seph_Ade.
Friday was an adrenaline rush…WHY!?! One of the greatest of the golden age of rap blessed GWHH, Cam Be, and Tina P with his time. Bear witness as Big Daddy Kane gives us his thoughts on what it’s like to be a living legend, the state of hip hop, and his upcoming live album, The Last Supper. His answers were surprising; what else to expect from BDK!?!
On the state of hip hop:
“When you got to break hip hop off in different categories, then yeah, there’s a possibility that it may be dead. But you know, rap music is still alive and the youth – they still embrace it and it’s become a lucrative business. From that aspect, I think it’s a beautiful thing.”
Hey World! I’mAndrea Oppanthe newest edition to theGowhere Hip Hopteam. I got a chance to talk toAmel Larrieuxafter her explosive performance Friday (Jan 7th) atThe Shrine. We talked about her life as an independent artist, her love forChicago, and performing at theShrine. She also let me in on a little secret… she is working on a newGroove Theoryalbum with her old band mateBryce Wilson!
For those of you that don’t know, Groove Theory was an R&B/hip hop group from the late 90′s that spun off chart topping jams like “Tell Me” and “It’s Alright”. Amel parted ways with the group back in 1999 to start her own solo project which has proved to be a great success spawning radio hits like “For Real” (Which is also one of my personal favorites). It’s exciting to hear that they will join forces again for another album after 12 years!!
This interview was one of my favorites because Amel Larrieux is so real and down to earth.Cam Be put a creative spin on this one infusing her performance with the interview check it out!! Amel is working on her fourth album Ice Cream Every Day, which will be released sometime this Spring.
This week we headed over to PHLI Worldwide for the NBA Jam Release sponsored by EA Sports and Complex. There was a lot going on at the event from a DJ, 312′s & Vitamin Water, stations to play the game and a Kyle Korver appearance. Check out this interview where we talk about who his favorite team was to be back in the day, his first thoughts about coming to Chicago, his favorite – or should I say, least favorite thing about the Windy City, and of course, his favorite pump up music for workouts and before a game. Compare his favorite artists to D-Rose’s when I asked him the same question back in the summer.
Buddefli.comalso got a chance to catch up with the beautiful Keri Hilson at Chicago’sRemix The Runway event in Millenium Park and asked the question “what advice would you give to up an coming singer?”. As you can see, we focused on just the above question while our new partners in crime talked about a variety of topics on Miss Keri Baby’s upcoming music in their interview, brought back below.
Last Wednesday, I was on hand for Mikkey Halsted‘s private listening party for his upcoming Dark Room project, which is slated for release December 21st. Speaking on the listening party for a little bit, it was quite the scene. No time for name dropping, just know a lot of Chicagoans packed The Shrine, nodding their heads in support of Mikkey’s first official offering. After the listening party, Mikkey spoke to me in great detail about Chicago love, first impressions, his journey in the rap game, the Cash Money days, and even turning down record deals. I would behoove all to check out the interview as Mikkey tells his story coming up in the city involving some windy city players you might’ve heard about. Think big why don’t you! Fantasize about it. Ha! Once again, i’m not naming any names and in the words of my south-side brethren, “Those that know…know!”
On Dark Room and Photo Album:
“Dark Room is the prelude to the Photo Album. The Photo Album is a little more glossy. When you get Dark Room, you get the hungriest Mikk… you remember how DMX did the game and he came out with 2 albums in a 6 or 7 month period? As soon as we shoot the last video for Dark Room, we shootin’ the first video forPhoto Album,and I’m not waiting on no label. The reason why I turned down the deal for Dark Room isbecause they wanted to put it out in the spring. And I said no, we doin’ it this year, 2010!
The Capo was on deck at this past weekend performing for the Harris Theater audience atRemix The Runway! Lara Phillips caught up with him to talk about his fresh fit in honor of the event, and got a chance to ask about his recent mixtape Capo Life featuring artists likeCam’ron, Sen City, Snoop Dogg, Gucci Mane, Sean Garrett, Juelz Santana, Vado, andYo Gotti. Jim Jones says that he’s been recording for over a year and a half straight, and to expect his album Capo in stores this coming February alluding that it will feature collabs from Jadakiss, Raekwon, Trey Songz, Sean Garrett, Cam’ron, and Snoop Dogg.
I’m excited to see Jim Jones making moves again, and the Diplomats getting back together for a concert reunion. They were a powerful movement back in the day, I’m still waiting on Killa Season 2! I used to listen to Hustler’s P.O.M.E. my freshman year of college in the art school dorms with my guy D. It was official. Well expect more from Jim Jones with his own TV Show? Until then check out capolife.com (if it’s up by now), and follow the man@jimjonescapo!
Just a couple weeks back, we were able to chop it up with Mickey Factz in the studio on our GWHH Radio program. For those who missed one of our most entertaining segments yet, we have not only the full (and extended) interview above, but also Mickey’s ridiculous a capella freestyle, inspired by our discussion of art! The freestyle is filled with witty lines and historical references to some of art’s greats (like Picasso and Leonardo), which come natural to Factz – a lover of contemporary and street art. In fact (no pun intended), here is a small sampling of the dope lines that Mickey spits above:
“Imagery. Museum in Sicily, lookin’ for Mona Lisa in Italy,
No more writing my rhymes down, this is calligraphy,
When I’m done, ya’ll will cheer, who you know with this ability?”
“Life’s like art without an eraser, you better watch how you draw with it,
I do this per diem, cuz I been realer feelin’ like Ben Stiller spending nights in the museum.”
You will have to listen to the full a capella to also catch how he twists art references into movie references. Factz named all of his favorite artists in the discussion prior to the freestyle, in addition to two more interesting things you may not know about his personality. The interview was also primarily an extensive and informative talk about themusic as Mickey talked about the creative process on the I’m Better Than You mixtape, the reason for its delay, and what upcoming videos to expect from the project. Other topics include how he landed the Honda partnership, some initial details about the upcoming album, The Achievement, and the aforementioned conversation about art that you can now hear for the first time in the extended interview! So without further adieu, enjoy some quotables from the interview below and download that I’m Better Than You mixtape if you’re still sleepin’ on it as well. Enjoy!
On the delay of I’m Better Than You:
“It was supposed to drop August 24th and my laptop got stolen August 17th. And all my raps and all my final drafts of the songs and some of the beats were on there. If I didn’t get that laptop stolen, I wouldn’t have done “Diamond Dust”, I wouldn’t have done “Melodic Nightmares”, I wouldn’t have done “Inner Love”. I did have somethin’ on there that didn’t make it, which will probably come out on another mixtape before the album drops, which nobody knows about ’til now.”
On The Achievement:
“I want it to be somethin’ that will resonate with people not just me being successful, but people just enjoying the successes and aspirations of life… It’s not really gonna be my full on story, it’s gonna be the conclusion to The Leak series.”
NBA all-star Shawn Marion walked the red carpet at Enclave for Wade’s World Weekend in support of his former teammate and I was able to talk with him briefly as seen above! As a precursor to the interview and as a big fan of the NBA, I always appreciated Marion’s game comin’ up with Phoenix before bouncing around a few teams and finally settling with the Dallas Mavericks last season. He’s seemingly always in Chicago during the offseasons as I even recall one where I found myself watching a pickup game with him, Andre Iguodala, Antoine Walker, and a few other NBAers. During that game, I saw Marion’s athleticism on display first hand on a chase-down block that would have made LeBron James jealous.
Anyway, Marion was nice and appreciative the whole time, which was on display in the interview where I first tried to ask him about the big news of the summer with LeBron and Chris Bosh joining the star of the evening in Miami. He instead turned his attention toWade’s World Foundation, which is the real reason everyone was gathered at Enclave and throughout Chicago the whole weekend. I’m sure the players are tired of that question by now but it was the first thing that came to mind when we did this interview on the fly. After discussing Wade’s foundation, I also asked Marion about his own foundation – The Shawn Marion Foundation – where he detailed his most recent event, which came in the form of poker. Not surprising as I recall he was one of the athlete/celebs who participated in this year’s World Series, if I’m not mistaken. Finally, we got in a fun question on what the Mavs were listening to at the end of the season so stay tuned ’til the end to find out… And now I have an image of Dirk Nowitzki bobbin’ his head to the adopted team anthem, haha.. awesome. Enjoy!