Monday, October 27, 2008

Interview With Akin From CYNE

The long awaited and much anticipated interview with Akin from CYNE is finally here!

What was it like working with Nujabes?
working with nujabes was cool, he sent us the beat, cise already had a concept for the track and i just ran with it.

Can you elaborate on your verse in the song "Feather"?

when i wrote the verse for feather i was just pondering on the different irony's in life ya know. so i was thinking about really letting go of all fears an restraints and just doing you. "trying to be dali when i write" i love dali's paintings and surrealism in general so through that in there. somewhere online someone fucked up my verse completely, i guess i should start posting my lyrics.

Rumor has it that you live in France. How's the transition from Florida to France going?
france is cool and paris has always been a great place of inspiration for me. the winter can be harsh but then again i'm from the sunshine state so ya know i'm a bit spoiled. but all in all Paris is awesome.

I myself am I big fan of French rap. For those who don't know too much about the French rap game, got any suggestions for artists to listen too?
to be honest with you i haven't really checked any thing out to deep but there are a bunch of dope underground artist like Tchad Unpoe and Kerjo that i've collaborated with.

How do you feel your music has grown throughout the years?
i think i've grown since CYNE's debut record so naturally my music is gonna grow as well. i like to think the music is a direct reflection of me so i hope to keep evolving.

CYNE stands for, "Cultivating Your New Experience". Can you explain this and how you guys came up with the name?
our homie al (norman beats) came up with the acronym. we already had cyne. really it's just kinda a play on words, we are trying to say that signs are a universal language that people respect ya know like stop signs and things. so basically we're trying to make music in that vein, stuff that you might or might not dig but you gotta respect where we're coming from.

Your new album "Pretty Dark Things" has been long awaited. What have you been doing in your time off? Also what does this title mean to you and what can listeners expect from this cd?
well we took our time to make PDT. i'm proud of the record and i think it's a real time sensitive album with everything that's going on in world right now. i hope folks check it out and get what they wanna get from it, but above all it's honest and real talk from some cool dudes.

I read that you guys have a song about the philosophy of Rousseau. For those who might not know, in which song do you mention this and what's your take on this subject?

well rousseau is a french philosopher that interests me cuz he writes on themes with man and nature, or man and society and every involving that. i find those specific themes interesting and inspiring as well. the track is called "rousseau" thanks homie.

Be sure to check out CYNE & Akin on their myspace pages.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wax's Freestyle For Vibe

With an interview coming up with Wax and EOM, I thought it would be appropriate to introduce Wax to those of you who don't know what he's all about. This is a freestyle verse that Wax submitted for the Vibe contest. This dude definitely has talent and with the success of his YouTube videos he'll be heard from for years to come. I mean, who doesn't like a guy who raps in a parked car with his seatbelt on?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Hip Hop In The 90s

When I think about hip-hop culture in the 90s (early 90s mostly) I think about harmless lyrics wrapped in beats that you can't help but tap your foot to. Songs about wanting (or even wishing) to be taller, finally reaching the point of fame and success but only having more problems because of it, and songs about not being a player anymore. When remixes were as good or even better than the original. Of course you still had the East vs. West, Tupac vs. Biggie. But that type of mentality and rivalry has and will always be around in hip hop. This was a time when Puff Daddy was the "Tiger Woods" even before Tiger Woods. A time when you had computer animated cats singing alongside of Paula Abdul in her music videos (by the way, Opposites Attract is def one of my all time favorite music videos). Why aren't there anymore movies like "Friday", or "Who wants to be a menace in south central while drinking your juice in the hood" (greatest movie title ever!)? Movies that entertained and made a point at the same time. TV shows during this period achieved this as well. With shows like, "The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air" and "Martin" (Damn Gina!). I remember being so influenced by "Kriss Kross" that me and my two buddies danced around on stage with our clothes backwards to their song "Jump" at an after school talent show. Hip hop back then wasn't about lollipops and half dollars. It was about the love of music and expressing yourself through it in a positive way. I was right there, tuning in, when R. Kelly introduced Ronald Isley's character of "Mr. Biggs" to the world in his music video "Down Low". A time when getting your "booty on the floor" (Coolio's song "1,2,3,4") seemed so innocent. Speaking of Coolio, who could forget his song "Gangsta's Paradise" from the movie "Dangerous Minds" starring Michelle Pfeiffer, who plays a naive but inspirational school teacher. This is why I love mostly everything about the early 90's. I was young, impressionable and wanting to get out of school so I could go home, turn on MTV and watch MC Hammer's music video "2 legit 2 quit". Who doesn't like parachute pants? Here's a short list of songs that made the biggest impression on me at that time:
"I Wish" by Skee-Lo, "Hip Hop Horray" by Naughty By Nature, "Crossroads" by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, "I Got 5 On It" by Luniz, and "California Party" by Tupac
Honorable mentions include: "Ready Or Not" by The Fugees, "93 'Till Infinity" by the Souls Of Mischief, and Montell Jordan's "This Is How We Do It".

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Xzibit- Paparazzi

Now I know you're probably thinking that Xzibit isn't exactly underground and he definitely isn't. This is just a reminder that "mainstream" rap wasn't always about "money and the fame", as Xzibit points out in this song "Paparazzi" (something I'm sure Mr. X to the Z still had).

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Hieroglyphics Concert

Not much to say here. The concert was amazing. From the opening acts, Blue Scholars and Musab, to the main course, Hiero, the show produced a lot of good music and a lot of fun. So here's a video I recorded live from the Catalyst, "93 'Til Infinity". One of the all time classic rap songs.