with Panik (Molemen)
I'm all good!
the Molemen come together?
We got together
in the early '90s. I heard about these Hip Hop meetings in Southside Chicago.
That's where I met Vakill and a lot of soon-to-be Chicago Hip Hop legends.
I started building with them and me and Vakill got real tight on some
music shit. Everything started with me meeting Vakill and building off
of the music.
you see in Vakill back then?
way he spits now is the same way he was spitting back then. That's what
caught me. I met Vakill in '91 and I knew I had to record with him. He
reminded me of G.Rap, Rakim, and Big Daddy Kane.
happy with how his album "Worst Fears Confirmed" is doing?
getting a lot of buzz. That's one of the main objectives when you put
out an album. A lot of people, including you guys, have been supporting.
The sales have been pretty good for an independent album. The three main
things I wanted to do is put out good music, have people be aware of the
album, and have the album sell decently. Those are happening as the days
Vakill in the studio?
known him for so long, it's nothing. We see eye-to-eye with each other
99% of the time. We're usually thinking the same thing. We wanted to be
more concerned with a complete album this time with a nice variety of
subjects and beats. We wanted to make the best album possible instead
of making the best songs possible.
you grown with Vakill since the '90s?
So many different
ways. Vakill has kids and I don't. (laughs) We're getting better with
age. As the years have gone by, I think we started making better songs
and now we're making better albums. We're trying to expand the Molemen
and let people know across the globe about us.
the Molemen work together on beats?
to be honest, we don't. We do our own beats and present our beats to projects.
For Vakill's album, we'll let him hear all of our beats and let him pick
what he wants, but we don't work together on one beat.
is the team element in the Molemen?
We look at
it as the Molemen. That's how we look at it. When it's a Molemen album,
we all pitch into it. We're pretty much hands-on with everything, from
the promotion to the mixing
We all feed off of each other and we
report to each other on things that we're doing. We do so many different
things, so we all have to know each others' jobs, but at the end of the
day, we're all contributing to the Molemen.
you guys been up to recently?
We have this
annual event called Chicago Rocks. It's Chicago's version of Rocksteady.
We're trying to make it a yearly thing where people can look forward to
seeing the best artists. We've been working on this year's event and it's
becoming pretty big. We've got Lupe Fiasco, Rhymefest, Naledge...That's
on May 13. We're also working on "Chicago City Limits" which
is our album with all Chicago artists. We're going to drop that at the
show. We're in the finishing processes of the album and the show.
you define Chicago Hip Hop?
Hop is just a reflection of Hip Hop in general. We have what people call
emo, backpack, and thug rap. Being in the Midwest, we're a little bit
of everything. We're a little bit country, a little metropolitan
think we have a lot of talented cats here in the city.
going on with your "Killing Fields" compilation?
at a lot of different labels, but we couldn't meet anyone that matched
what we wanted to do with it. We're going to put it out ourselves this
summer. That will be our next release after the "Chicago City Limits"
is it to be able to put out your own music and not have to rely on a label's
dealing with a major label, you have to have a platinum single or else
you're just going to keep getting pushed back. When you're doing it independently,
you're in total control of how your music is done, where it's going to
be marketed, who you're working with, and everything else. You're in control
of the whole thing, but the drawback is not having the financing of a
major label. Plus major labels have a lot of good connects with distributors.
If you're a smart independent person, you make sure that buzz is big and
eventually somebody will hit you up, and you'll be more in control when
you go in and bargain with the big boys.
Longshot been up to lately?
going to get back in the studio with him soon. He's signed to a label
called Easy Records. He's putting out his music through them. He has two
projects dropping and he's going on tour. He's definitely family and we're
going to do some more work with him in the future.
have put out a lot of beat-CD's in the past. How important have they been
very important to me. I started doing it in '88. Me and my partner PNS
used to work at a record store and I'd put those tapes up and eventually
they just started moving. Then CD's came out and I converted them to CD's.
They spread around pretty good. People liked listening to just beats and
it helped out in many different ways. We reached people all over the world
with those CD's. It also keeps me on my toes as a producer to keep that
do you see the Molemen progressing to?
people consider us as the backpack Hip Hop guys. But really, ever since
the beginning, we've been more concerned with making music. If it happens
to be one style or another style, we don't care. All we're concerned with
is making good music. That's my main concern, and to get my business better
as time goes by. It's a hard thing to balance them together, but I think
that's my main goal. We want to make music and just reach out to people.
your beat-making process?
thing I ever did with Hip Hop besides listening and buying it was went
digging for records. That's my main thing. I'm just trying to find good
samples. That's what gets me going. At the end of the day, anything could
affect me as to getting me going to make beats. It could be a sound or
old music that gets me in that mood to start making beats. This is my
main job. I don't have another job and my equipment is at home, so I can
make music at 5am or 3pm. I can make beats whenever and just block everything
do you use?
I have an
MPC, a Yamaha Motif, and I'm just now starting to work with different
computer-based software like Reason and Logic. In the future, I always
want to balance hardware with software. I don't want to be the computer-making-beats-guy
and I don't want to be the guy that can only use hardware. I've always
messed with MPC's and I see myself using my MPC for a long time. I'm definitely
going to dabble in other computer programs. I also want to learn how to
play a couple of instruments. One of the things that I want to do is keep
things interesting so the fire doesn't burn out. It doesn't matter how
long you've been making beats, there is always something to learn.
do you have for young producers?
same advice I give myself. Don't ever think you know everything because
there is always something to learn. Once you think you know everything,
then you're just going to stay in one zone and you're not going to grow.
The other thing with making beats is that you have to keep a balance.
Don't stay in one mood or tempo. You have to switch it up. Try to have
as many styles as possible and master each style.
you want to say to everyone?
molemen.com and stay in tune with what we're doing. We've been around
for awhile and we're going to be around for awhile. If you want to hear
some good music, hit us up.