• Lord Finesse – The 730 Interview (The Complete Interview)

    Lord Finesse - The 730 Interview

    Lord Finesse - The 730 Interview

    The Funky Technician sits down with us to discuss Diggin’ in the Crates’ new album Studios, returning to the microphone, his outlook on music, and more in this classic interview. Scroll down for the complete interview.

    You’ve got the new Diggin’ in the Crates album Studios album is done and officially dropping this September. How do you feel about the way it came out?

    I’m feeling good about it. I’m definitely feeling good about it from where we started to where it’s at right now.

    Did it come out the way you wanted it to?

    Yeah. It is what it is. It was supposed to be a studio album. Basically after making it at the studio and with some of the new producers that were coming through the studio, you know, with the help of that and some of the members that came as a collective to get on there, yes. It is what it is, you know?

    No doubt. Some of the producers aren’t in the official crew, like Vinny Idol. Do you consider them extended family?

    I think it’s more work to put in. Right now it’s just a project. You develop family and close friends after years. You can’t just do it after a project. Okay, they’re family now. It’s a project. But they’re extraordinary individuals from a production standpoint. And yeah, if we continue to work, yeah, I think they will be extended family members eventually.

    Why didn’t the Diggin’ producers handle the production exclusively?

    What it was was we hold a biweekly session called D.I.T.C. BPM and what we do is we have a networking event where you come in, you send your music to this email and you send in three beats and Drawzilla curates that situation and if he likes it, you’re called in and you get to play your beats among other people that were selected and invited and on top of that, we’ll have a guest of honor. Who knows who it will be. We’ve had Pete Rock and DJ Premier and Kid Capri and Large Professor. Da Beatminerz, Rockwilder, Illmind, Marco Polo, K-Def, Bomb Squad.

    So you never know who’s going be at those sessions where they tell a story and the steps they took climbing up in the industry. And you can ask them questions. It’s a unique experience. Producers were picked from that batch, like the Vinny Idols and Super Ugly and Motif Alumni. You got a producer by the name of J. Clyde. So you got new dudes where you get to hear their music on a nice caliber, a nice level.

    For you, what does a new producer have to do to really catch your ear?

    (more…)

  • Cormega – The 730 Interview

    Cormega - The 730 Interview

    Cormega - The 730 Interview

     

    The Realness is an album that has stood the test of time. Created over fifteen years ago, Cormega was carrying a huge burden. Released from Def Jam after his debut album, The Testament, being shelved and no longer a member of The Firm, to say Cormega had something to prove on The Realness would be an understatement. There was the label that didn’t believe. A group that cut him loose. And fans that were waiting, some questioning if he could do it on his own, others knowing and waiting with anticipation.

    The Realness was the answer to everyone and everything. The classic debut, released through Landspeed, showed that not only could Mega rap his ass off, but he didn’t need a glitzy crew that was more show than prove or a major label’s budget and backing to be successful. The Realness was an instant classic to fans and proved that Cormega was not only better off as a solo artist, but that he had the potential to build a strong independent career, relying on himself and not needing a cosign from anyone.

    And while plenty of artists and fans can attest to Cormega’s legendary status today, remember that he never asked for it nor needed it. It’s great, and he’ll tell you himself he appreciates it, but it’s not what drives him, fifteen years later, to continue creating introspective and lyrical hip-hop that withstands the test of time. In this interview, Cormega speaks about the impact of The Realness, his artistic perspective, and much more.

    It’s the 15 year anniversary of The Realness. Congratulations. When you look at that today, does it even seem possible?

    Nah. Time definitely flies. It doesn’t feel like it. But I’m happy. (more…)

  • Quan – The 730 Interview

    Quan - The 730 Interview

    Quan - The 730 Interview

    “Can we please have a moment of silence?” Quan asked on his debut “Just a Moment,” a collaboration with Nas that was featured on Street’s Disciple. We know Quan wasn’t talking about his music when he asked for that silence, but that’s exactly what happened, as it’s been nearly four years since Quan’s last project, The Struggle. However, back with a new mixtape, Quan is answering the questions of where he’s been and the battles he’s fighting.

    Most notably, though, is that when Quan first asked for a moment of silence, he was asking the listener to pause and consider, remember, those who were struggling in the streets to those in jail to those no longer with us. That focus on the struggle hasn’t gone anywhere, as Quan shows on “All On Him,” a collaboration with Pusha T, that he’s still a soldier in the fight for justice and equality. While the Newport News native remembers his earlier days and what went wrong in the game, from Atlantic Records not knowing how to market him to growing disconnected to once-mentor Nas, he’s also got a bright outlook for the future, one that involves tons of new music, movie placements, and a memoir. After more than ten years in the game, don’t expect much silence from Quan.

    It’s been a few years since we heard from you. What have you been up to?

    (more…)

  • J-Zone – The 730 Interview

    J-Zone - The 730 Interview

    J-Zone

    When I call J-Zone, he’s in the middle of doing the dishes. I’ve got lesson plans and papers that need grades. But Fish N Grits dropped, a new J-Zone album, and that’s more important than both. J-Zone has never been the type of artist to just crank out an album of twelve songs, three skits, and some corny artwork and call it a day. To understand a J-Zone album is to fully grasp the many layered steps in the creative process. Rest assured that no detail is left to random chance, from the intricately-selected and placed audio clips down to the compression on the snare.

    Fish N Grits finds J-Zone continuing his redefinition. Gone are the odes to dumping your girl before Valentine’s Day to avoid copping a gift or keeping a boombox on the passenger seat, replaced with aging in hip-hop culture, hipsters, and race. With his signature chops as well as live drums, a new skill Zone has recently honed, the music is just as dope, especially because it’s about where he’s at now and not a reproduction of what he’s already given us in celebrated underground classics like Pimps Don’t Pay Taxes and Sick of Bein Rich. Over the course of two hours, J-Zone details his musical evolution, family life, his new groups The Du-Rites and Superblack, and much more. The dishes can wait.

    Your new album Fish N Grits is out and you’ve been doing it yourself, like most of your work throughout your career. What’s the process been like for you this time and how has the process changed over the years? (more…)

  • junclassic – The 730 Interview

    junclassic - The 730 Interview (July 2016)

    When you’re eleven albums deep in the game, it’d be easy to get stuck in your ways, settle into an easy formula, and let cruise control take over. Lucky for us, junclassic, keeps finding new ways to reinvent himself and continues to show growth. On Better Than Fiction Too, the sequel to Better Than Fiction, the Queens product continues exploring his identity while crafting clever punchlines and getting personal, like on the tribute “Father’s Day.” jun chops it up with us while remembering an MC near and dear to our hearts, Nut Nillz.

    It’s always good to chop it up with you. Before we get into the album, Better Than Fiction Too, I wanted to talk to you about the tragic passing of Nut Nillz, who you’ve been down with for such a long time.

    Oh, man, Nut Nillz was just such a dope dude. One of the illest cats and one of the hungriest MCs. One of the livest brothers that you’ll meet, straight from the streets of Brick City, Newark, New Jerz. Lived a life a lot of these rappers fabricate. You could never even imagine the reality of it but he was such a humble dude. He lived hard, man, and was such a dope MC and was so live on stage. He was just the embodiment of a live dude. If you was wack on the mic, he would let you know. He was the type to go to your show and challenge you if he didn’t feel that you were dope. He showed me and K-Sise a lot of love from the outset. (more…)

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    Elzhi – The 730 Interview

    Elzhi - The 730 Interview

    Elzhi - The 730 Interview

    From his smooth, razor-sharp verses with Slum Village, Elzhi quickly established himself as an MC in the realest sense (and think about how many MCs can be smooth and razor-sharp at the same time – I’ll wait). Whether he’s dropping game to a lady or reminding you why his wit and wordplay is in another realm, Elzhi’s stayed Elzhi as he transitioned away from Slum to establish himself as a solo artist. When he reinvented Nas’s classic Illmatic as Elmatic, Elzhi proved to still be on the innovative tip, as he not only flipped songs that would be frightening to most, but he added a live band just to show off a little.

    In 2016, Elzhi is still that same dude. Bars for days with that smooth-like-butter flow, but the artistic growth continues. With Lead Poison, an album that unfortunately took on a double-meaning once the Flint water crisis hit, Elzhi is an open book. From his battles with depression to his love life, nothing is off limits in what is his most personal album to date. I caught up with the Detroit legend to talk about the album, mental health and hip-hop, and much more.

    (more…)