Saturday, August 12, 2006

the shuffle. [8/12/06]

Beautiful Saturday early evening. About to crack another Heineken, previewing some new DnB releases, and at T-minus 20mins to 7PM, this house is about as quiet as it will be for a bit... new baby on the way. Wifey's at the baby shower right now... i hope they are doing good.

Odd week, this one. Loads of news, but I feel like it's the same news from me... waiting and wishing for my son to get here already! And not sleeping for some odd reason... who knows.

In terms of the blog, I have a few things going on... awaiting the answers back from a few interviews I sent off... gonna review C. Aggy's new album... the usual. I have a piece I need to do for Oh Word, as well as a spank load of reviews for various DnB heads... and no time to concentrate. So is the life, though.

*takes swig*, Let's get to it, shall we?

01/Did you know that listening to obscene/suggestive lyrics as a teen will make you more prone to having sex at an early age? A report released on Monday
suggests this. Now, this would have nothing to do with sexually suggestive movies or videos, no? Nothing to do with that shit. I mean, hell, I've listened to Rap for most of my life, and while I knew exactly what Snoop meant on his first album, I wasn't out calling bitches ho's and making them suck my dick for rocks. It's parenting (or lack of), not music, that will truly decide how your child will turn out.

02/For you Avon Barksdale fans out there, HBO announced that Season 4 of The Wire
will begin on September 10th. If you are like me, though, and own HBO On Demand, you can catch the first episode on September 4th via On Demand. Gotta love it. Apparently, this season will focus on the education system? Looks like some kids get caught between the drug life and and studies... I know I'll be watching! Oh, and speaking of HBO originals, it looks like The Sopranos will be touched by a Baldwin... Daniel Baldwin is set to star in the movie-within-the-show, Cleaver (working title?), which Chrissy calls "Saw meets Godfather 2", whatever that means. Should I be happy about this?

03/MTV's "newlywed" shows are a doomed ship: first, Nick left horse-toothed Jessica (
or vice versa), then Dave Navarro let Carmen Electra go. Now it seems that Travis Barker, the one of blink-182 and Boost Mobile commercial fame, is leaving his wife, who was a former Miss USA, apparently. And not bad looking, either. She did seem to be an airhead too, so maybe he just got tired of her asking silly questions. Who knows, but all I know is this: if you aren't married like 10 years before getting a reality show on MTV, fucking RUN from that contract!

04/Those Danity Kane chicks better feel lucky that they weren't in Diddy's first "Making The Band" group... that fucker Choppa, who is now being called "Young City" for God knows WHAT reason, just
got picked up on some armed robbery shit. Well, the warrant was out for him, but I guess that Bad Boy South money wasn't long enough... not that the nigga could sing, or was mature, but damn, homie, make something of yourself!

05/OK, so Snoop
holding 2 women on leashes on live TV during the MTV VMAs? Good. A cartoon lampooning the incident.. offensive?

06/Now that we're on the subject of Rap culture and, well, ignant ass niggas, let's delve into a chunk of Rap star goings-ons... Lil' Flip has
finalized a deal to sign with Asylum, which seems perfectly happy signing deals with shitty MCs. Peep that article to see this nigga talking about his dopy of his album being "watermarked"... nigga, you just heard that term yesterday, let's be serious. Let me hear you spittin your "freestyles" about watermarking your shit. Also wanting to be on the move is Lil' Kim, who is said to be fed up with Atlantic, probably over her last album doing piss-poor numbers. Go figure. Holla at Asylum, ma! The douches over at SOHH let loose that Scarface, the kingpin of Rap-A-Lot, is said to be leaving the label over shady dealings, to the point where nigga is like "I ain't doing no mo' solo LPs!"... christ. Holla at Asylum, face-mooooob! Now after Outkast stayed silent throughout the whole debacle about the split CDs for their last official release, they finally come out and deny breakup rumors. My suggestion: give it up. Andre, you know you are hating on Rap right now, go act, nigga. Go do Four Brothers 2: Grandpa Got Murked or something. Let Big Boi be a Purple Ribbon mogul. And if all else fails, holla at Asylum! MC Supernatural was entered into the Guiness Book of World Records for freestyling for over nine hours! I wonder how many times he talked about being the illest rapper? Nah, he's the illest... We also learned this week that Jay-Z is trying to find out how to get water to Africa. Bol thinks that Jay should just stop worrying about this water stuff and work on his LP... I agree with that to a point. In other Roc-A-Fella news, rumors are flying about Kanye West getting engaged? I'm not sure if I believe this one or not... his ego seems too big to allow him to care for someone else on that level. We shall see, I guess... and on a final note, in dead rapper news, the trial that I like to call "Biggie Smalls vs. LAPD" has hit another snag... new motions made by Volletta's team have been denied. Apparently, there is a conflict on trying to include a few of the officers in the suit, claiming that they were at the scene of the crime that night. Lord, help Ms. Wallace find out who murked her son.

07/That nigga Maurice Clarett is something else. Four years ago, he was big pimpin' it on the field at Ohio State. Now, nigga
gets caught with 4 loaded gats and alcohol. Now, they speculate that he might have went to cap off on some chick who was gonna testify against him, but Illseed thinks there's a link between him and a Rap mogul who he owes bread to, allegedly. (Word is neph has the same lawyer, David Kenner, who repped for Death Row back in their heyday)... we shall see. Someone get this jig some help before he hurts someone!

08/Skype, one of the leading companies bringing you Voice over IP phone service, is planning on
getting into the mobile phone business. How crazy will that be? I mean, that should translate to cheaper phone calls for users of that phone... one can dream, can't he?

09/For those of you afraid of losing all of your San Andreas gats and money, Sony is making an adapter that will allow PSOne & PS2 memory cards to be read by the PS3. Geeks of the world, rejoice. And save up for that jammy, whenever it drops... in other Sony news, they have a new product forthcoming called "mylo", which is set to let you use products like Skype and cruise sites like YouTube. 5GB of space on that jammy too... is it worth it, though? For teens on the go, of course! Parents, get your wallets out!

10/The good folks over at Oh Word have dropped the illest 25 tracks from the last 6 months... some surprises, but the list really isn't deniable.

11/After all of that Jew talk Mel Gibson did in a drunken stupor, he is now on the chopping block: Disney is deciding whether it should be keeping Apocolypto on it's schedule. The timing might be funny, b/c I know Disney is axing mad jobs over there. Mel isn't the only one hitting rehab, though: Robin Williams fell off the wagon *again!* and has checked into rehab. Good for him, go Mrs. Doubtfire!

12/I read in the latest Dime Magazine that Stephon Marbury has a new clothing line coming out called Starbury. Ho, hum, right? Thing is: the clothes are gonna be on the cheap. Talking like nothing is going to be over $14..98, sneakers included! He wants to do it for mothers on a budget, which you can't hate on, and the quality is supposed to be fresh. I believe September is the month this line wil be out... where? Who knows... my boy thinks it will be Payless, but who KNOWS what he has up his sleeve.

13/Lou Diamond Phillips got arrested on some spousal abuse shit. I mean, yeah, your career is down the toilet... is that a good reason to hit on your lady? Beat up your agent, or fuck up your director! Don't beat wifey... that ain't good for business.

14/Word came this week that the powers at be for DVDs said they are going to go a lil' lax on the procedures invovled in burning DVDs. Apple is said to be one of the companies interested in this... I can only see this as a plus! I mean, they lost crazy loot making discs unable to be recorded. I support free reign of the products I buy, so anytime I can't do something, I will rebel. End of the day, though, they are looking to get into the download-and-burn sites that are making software like this available more every week.

OK I hope you guys can wrap your heads around some of that madness. Keep it locked for more info. And, as always, if you have any topics you think might interest me, hit me up.

EZ...

Friday, August 11, 2006

Friday, August 11th 2006 playlist


Crazy music, this week. Most of this week's playlist is what I like to call "up front", because I've been dealing with people I know and up and coming guys, I just like hearing that new sound. I also have about 8 mixes to link in this bitch too, so let's get it cracking...

Drum & Bass/Jungle:

01/Blu Mar Ten "Deep Inside" [shogun audio]
02/Commix "Talk To Frank" [metalheadz]
03/Soundclash "Bang Bang" [xs]
04/GianniMaz "Hope Floats (working title?)" [dubplate]
05/Typecell "Illumination" [dubplate]
06/Senses & Survival "Lisys" [horizons music]
07/Pr0gress "A Million Miles" [dubplate for now]
08/Bishop "2eighty7" [dubplate]
09/Redeyes "Behind Closed Doors" [spearhead]
10/TK "Substance" [nu directions]

Various:

01/Sean Price ft. Buckshot "Cardiac" [taken from his forthcoming album, Jesus Price: Superstar. captivating beat, ill flows.]
02/Christina Aguilera "Thank You (Dedication To Fans)" [taken from her forthcoming double CD, Back To Basics. Primo cutting up "Genie In The Bottle" is my shit. Also, peep the "Back In The Day RMX" featuring that new nigga, Termanology (big up Spine Mag).]
03/The Game "It's Okay (One Blood)" [I won't go into how neph took a MAJOR L, I just hope the sophmore is the truth.]
04/Pharoahe Monch "Push" [weird track. I dig it, but it's weird hearing Monch do more singing and stuff than rapping. Let's hope the new LP features more mic technique.]
05/Cham ft. Alicia Keys "Ghetto Story (Remix)" [she did her thing. loving this one!]
06/Kelis ft. Nas "Blindfold Me" [ROFL. Mr. and Mrs. Jones get it in over an odd beat. No comment.]
07/Monica ft. Dem Franchise Boyz "Everytime Tha Beat Drop" [knocks in the whip. end of.]

OK, now let's get to these mixes:

*Spinline's Transmogrification mix 2006 August -- very dark, dubby styles on this one. loads of exclusives, as well as favorites like Amit's "Immigrants" and Digital's "Get Away". if you like the Dub DnB styles, peep this NOW!

*The Fix come with another dubby-style mix, finding time to even throw in some Ink, Keaton and Alpha Omega! don't sleep on this one!

*that dude Methodus drops a more liquid/soulful style mix on this collection from the "Who Am I" series from Floridadnb.com. my "Just Memories" fav is on there, as well as a beautiful Chino lick.

*NC's kapsil comes wth a new mix for August '06, and mixes a nice combo of older and newer, funky and deep, just plain interesting tunes. not too many DJs will drop tunes by Paradox, Konflict, Duo Infernale and Jonny L in the same mix. beautiful shit.

*ESB & RollandBurn celebrate Detuned Radio's 3 year anniversary... 3 hours! Respect to the bitterbrew.

*Caps & Jones drop a new mix for the summer, complimenting their spring mix. Check out the mixture of flavors... this is more than a mashup.

*boj lucki drops DUB FI DUB Pt. 3, and yes, it's chock full 'o dubs! mostly on some dubby flavours (YT, Tactile, etc), and he even drops some Demolition Man and a few bootlegs (Lupe Fiasco, Busta Rhymes)... peep!

*DJ Excision dropping an intense dubstep mix... "7th Curse" by Headhunter... watch out!



Hate it or love it, but this post if THICK! Go do your homework, kids! BE EZ!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

rtd forthcoming...

What's up world? Just marinating right now, really...

Been a crazy last couple of weeks... sometimes it feels like I'm gettin' it at all angles, people slingin' shit and I'm trying to dodge it while getting other shit done... it can be hard work, but I'm still here.

Just wanted to let you guys know... watch out for a new interview, hopefully I'll get the answers back soon. We'll see...

Also got some things brewing with the Horizons Music Group. Loads of newness forthcoming from them...

Finally (in the forseeable future), I'll be doing a review of the Back To Basics album of Christina Aguilera's, forthcoming next week. I think I'm gonna stick to a Monday schedule with new release reviews... how's that sound?

Keep it locked...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Hip-Hopcrisy

You gotta love when rappers contradict themselves... here's a few glaring examples:

Method Man (in Part II of his xxlmag.com interview) speaking on the "Say I" single, and how he would speak about it on the radio...

"They’re saying I went to the radio stations discrediting the single. How could I discredit one of my own fuckin’ songs that I spit on?"

And now, from the same interview, is him talking about when the "All I Need" single came out...

"I did everything in my power to discredit that fuckin’ song and the shit still went platinum as a single."

So he doesn't discredit the track when it sucks and gets no spins, but is willing to discredit it if its doing well? Something's gotta give, Meth.

Now, on to Kanye West, and his views towards homosexuals. He went on MTV talking about how the word 'gay' is now perceived to be the 'opposite of Hip-Hop', but then on DJ Khaled's "Grammy Family", he's all "Used to hit the radio them faggots ain't let me on"...


Just gotta love those double standards. It's fucked up until you can use it, right? This might be a developing idea... keep it locked.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

[rock the dub Interview]: Wise Intelligent


You know I have to rep for my hood; Trenton, NJ is where I was born and raised, and when I was a shorty, there was one video that Ralph McDaniels and other outlets would blast: "Rock Dis Funky Joint". There were scenes shot in projects not too far from my childhood home, as well as ill shots taken on the Trenton Makes bridge. The group was the Poor Righteous Teachers, and the standout MC of that crew was a man by the name of Wise Intelligent. He had a mixture of the rapid fire flows of that time, as well as lacing his darts with intelligence and social commentary. Many fans only knew "Rock Dis Funky Joint", and didn't realize that PRT pretty much helped pioneer (uncredited in many circles) the true conscious Hip-Hop movement of that time. They dropped 3 slept on albums, and at this point, Wise is out doing his own thing with his Intelligent Muzik movement. With a new mixtape and album set to come out, khal got a chance to question Wise on where he came from, where he's at, and where he's going.

khal: First and foremost, thanks for the opportunity to let us re-familiarize ourselves with one of the unsung heroes of Hip-Hop. For the uninitiated, can you please let us know who Wise Intelligent is, who you are affiliated with, etc?

Wise Intelligent: I’m one third of Trenton, NJ’s and Hip-Hop'sPoor Righteous Teachers; Holy Intellect, Pure Poverty, Black Business, The New World Order and all uh dem ting. Lyrically, I’m your favorite rapper's favorite rapper! Not only did MC’s get knowledge of self from PRT album’s, but they also found a lot of their flows in these same albums. So in a nutshell, I am the progenitor of a lot of what’s HOT today!

khal: Do you think that growing up in Trenton, NJ, has shaped your style differently than if you had grown up somewhere bigger like NYC or Philly?

Wise Intelligent: Maybe, and maybe not! The people, the surroundings, and experiences is what adds on to a man, the way he perceives his environment and develop ideas concerning the world around him. Through my travels abroad I have come to the understanding that every “black community” with exception to a few catch phrases are identical in their poverty, oppression, suffering, decay, etc. I’m not one to follow what the masses are doing either, so I would definitely have brought something new and original to Hip-Hop regardless to where I was from. After all I’m “The Talented Timothy Taylor!”

khal: Let’s take it back to 1990, when PRT dropped Holy Intellect. What was going through your mind back then? Were you just happy to be signed, or did you know exactly what you were doing back then? Do you have any regrets in regards to choices you made back then?

Wise Intelligent: The manifestations brought forth on that particular album represent a young black male in America coming into knowledge, the first steps toward righteousness. You ask “what was I thinking?" That’s just it, I wasn’t thinking at all. Not in an ignorant since of the statement, but rather the fact that, I am at most times a vessel being used to convey certain truths. My responsibility in this role is not to think, but to choose and except. The thoughts already exist in the Universal Sub-Conscious Mind of God. We just choose, and the thoughts we choose to accept will become our reality. In other words, such thoughts will find their author. Thus, HOLY INTELLECT. As far as regrets, there’s only one; if I had Another Chance at Life, I’d listen to me a bit more!

khal: There are some who believe that a lot of the 5% ideas, as well as your heavy social commentary, were slept on back in the day. When people think of consciousness in Hip-Hop, they seem to skip over you and PRT. Why is that, do you think? Does that upset you at all?

Wise Intelligent: 90% of the people of this world don’t and won’t know shit if it is not marketed to them! This is the west we are living in. Don’t you remember, the leaders of Europe (the Emperor and the Church) would teach the masses only what would influence public opinion in whatever way favorable to their agenda? America is an extension of Europe, and the people only believe what they have seen and/or heard on BET, MTV, VH1, Clear Channel, VIBE, XXL, SOURCE, ABC, NBC, etc. So while PRT was not being marketed, groups who were being marketed could take “pieces and bits of all my hip hop hits” (to quote Rakim) and claim it for themselves. I’m not ever upset about it, my goal is not to be the “king of rap.”

khal: There is a lot of patois and Jamaican flows throughout your work, from 1990 to now. Is that part of your lineage? Do you feel any kinship to cats like the Marleys, or prophets like Capleton?

Wise Intelligent: Well no, I’m not Jamaican, my mothers root goes back to Barbados. And of course I feel kinship with all of Jamaica and the Caribbean. We are ONE people in a deeper since than slave-ships. But, that’s another interview.

khal: Can you break down the “Back to School” project you talked about on All Hip-Hop previously? I know The Talented Timothy Taylor project was the 1st of the reportedly 5-CD box set? Please explain your motivation behind this project, and what you hope to accomplish.

Wise Intelligent: The “Back 2 School” box set is actually 7 albums; one disc for each period in a school day. The First Period which is “WISE INTELLIGENT IZ….The Talented Timothy Taylor” will be followed by WISE INTELLIGENT IZ…The Unconquerable Jezus Jonez (7/7/07), and WISE INTELLIGENT IZ….El Negro Guerro, and so on…The concept behind the box set is that we are living in a severely dumbed-down, anti-intellectual environment, so I have decided to go against the grain and take hip hop Back 2 School! She’s truant, she’s “in the trap”, she “in the mall” she’s “in the club” she’s “going down” because she’s everywhere except where there is knowledge. That’s why the cover has the scantily clad sister (Hip-Hop) on a bike and we’re headed “Back to School.”
Hopefully when school let’s out I would have left a sound catalogue of knowledge, wisdom, ghetto-political social-commentary, style and substance.

khal: What’s going on with Intelligent Muzik? Is this just a label, or is it deeper than that? Do you have any other projects on the horizon under that umbrella?

Wise Intelligent: Intelligent Muzik iz by all means a movement that focuses greatly on the unknown element of Hip-Hop which is activism. Intelligent Muzik's mission is to become the first community owned and operated label in the form of a not-for-profit that trains urban youth in careers in and surrounding the muzik industry. Starting with how to own and profit from your talent.

khal: I know it’s gotta be hard to pick just one, but do you have a favorite track from your catalogue? Is there any project you wish you could redo, and if so, why?

Wise Intelligent: I haven’t made my favorite song yet. I guess that’s what’s keeping me sharp. I would like to do Black Business over, simply because I could have expounded on many more relevant matters pertaining to the title than I did. Facts like blacks account for less than 1% of all the business receipts in the country, how in 1860 90% of all blacks worked for whites and today the numbers are the same. So that’s the one I’d do over.

khal: I have heard guys like Saul Williams say that Hip-Hop has gone Republican; Cam’Ron has even called himself Bush when speaking about his rap battles. Why do you think that the mainstream is not pushing more conscious Hip-Hop? Who do you think is truly pushing that sound?

Wise Intelligent: I believe that we are getting “conscious Hip-Hop”, just conscious of what is the question. Today’s rap music is “money-conscious” and or “street-conscious.” Some have argued that the lack of positive images and lifestyles in mainstream “black” music is because positive rap don’t sale! I am not one who subscribes to this belief. PE sold, Fugees sold, Kanye sold "Jesus Walks"? Again it’s what’s marketed and made to look attractive to the masses. When you follow the links between The Bush administration, the Prison Industrial Complex, Clear Channel, Viacom and the Major recording companies you’ll begin to understand the “bigger picture.” But that’s another interview. Check out “The Globe Holders” track on BLESSED BE THE POOR?.

khal: Who or what is a bigger problem for the ghetto youth of today: the music that promotes ignorance or the government that keeps their feet on the back of the ghetto?

Wise Intelligent: Which is the “bigger” problem is not the question we should ask, rather “what is the biggest problem?” The music we listen to is a problem but is it THE problem, NO! The government has always dealt with blacks as sort of a second class pseudo-European populace, so we should expect their neglect. The problem for black youth in America whether rich or poor, free or slave is when their own so-called leadership i.e., their teachers, preachers, politicians, businessmen, authors, directors, athletes, and entertainers, are afraid to be BLACK! When we make decisions based on whether or not our words and/or actions will or will not offend white-folk! When we are afraid to teach our youth the truth about themselves, their culture and heritage and our gift of civilization, science, math, languages, medicine, etc. contributions that pre-date white man we create the problem. The problem is that our youth are being taught to envy their oppressors. This is why so many rappers assume positions of power in this muzik industry and take on the ways actions and characteristics of the oppressor. We have a desire now to be like this oppressor when the movement should be to replace him!

khal: I hear you’re still living in Trenton, NJ. I grew up in North Trenton; in fact my mom still lives in North Trenton. Do you think there’d ever be a time when you would move out of Trenton? Why or why not?

Wise Intelligent: Yes I will move out of Trenton soon enough. I need a farm land around me, at least the distance of 100 yards between myself and my closest neighbor. I love the people of Trenton, I just think that we all deserve better!

khal: Lead by Busta Rhymes’ “New York Shit”, there seems to be a brewing resurgence for the Tri-State area to try and re-claim the crown of this Hip-Hop thing. Do you think that this is possible right now, with so many fans loving the tracks coming from the South?

Wise Intelligent: Anything is possible but my attitude is and has always been, why can’t more than one style of rap music be marketed, promoted, positioned, played, consumed and exist simultaneously? Why must there be soooo much “tribalism.” We still haven’t learned from our past. We were divided on the continent of Africa into tribes (Yuroba, Mandinka, Songhai, Igbo, Hausa/Fulani, etc). The “Slave-trade” was supposed to bind up the divisions amongst us. On those boats we became one to deal with the common threat and experience. Today we don’t know what tribe we came from and rightfully so. We are suppose to be ONE people with many flavors!

khal: When you’re not making music and building your Intelligent Muzik foundation, what else do you get into? How does Wise Intelligent wind down?

Wise Intelligent: I’m a VERY family oriented man. My bride and my sons are my peace of mind, nothings more relaxing than time spent with them.

khal: Do you have any shout outs or words of wisdom to drop on the masses?

Wise Intelligent: Yes, The problem with the ghetto, the suburbs, the hood the government, the churches and everyone in the whole wide world is this; We all need to listen to MORE WISE INTELLIGENT, more INTELLIGENT MUZIK, MORE POOR RIGHTEOUS TEACHERS! So the INTELLIGENT thing to do would be to log onto
Intelligent Muzik and my MySpace page and cop that “Blessed Be the Poor?” The Un-MixTape.

Big up to Wise and his people for setting this interview up. If you still haven't gotten enough Wise Intelligent, peep this interview that noz put up on Cocaine Blunts. Peep those links, check out his work, and try to do your homework on true Hip-Hop knowledge, as well as true life knowledge. Be easy.

[rock the dub Interview]: Tha S Ence

I am presenting you with another interview that has been on hold, waiting for The Flow to rise from the ashes like the Phoenix... even though I highly doubt it going down. In any case, check out a budding producer from Philly, Tha S Ence. Now mind you, this was conducted in March of 2006, so some of the topics might seem to be a bit dated (speaking on the passing of J. Dilla, the Cam'ron barbs slung at Jay-Z, etc.), but I figure, this guy is a beautiful producer and still needs to get his shine on. Check out this piece and see for yourself...

With the current state of Hip-Hop, manufactured characters and watered down beats run rampant on TV and radio, diluting what true heads knew as “the essence”. Today, hailing from Philadelphia, we have Tha S Ence, a young producer who is studied in classic Hip-Hop knowledge, and ready to teach listeners through sound. Reworking samples into new compositions, all the while keeping that same raw energy, is just one of his strengths. A no nonsense attitude is another one of his gifts. Combine these, sprinkle in a love for both Buckshot and Jay Dee, and you have a recipe for Hip-Hop beauty. Check out this conversation about beats, rhymes and life.

khal: There are plenty of producers out there making beats. What is it about Tha S Ence that sets him apart from the rest of the crowd?

Tha S Ence: Mainly the sound, there’s so many producers out there making the same kind of stuff, especially all that radio crap, same keyboard sounds; it's so played out. Another thing is cats must have forgotten the art of sampling, because half of them aren’t doing it or it’s so sloppy, you can’t listen to it. Some cats just make whatever, constantly copying stuff they hear on the radio. I’m definitely not a carbon copy of another producer.

khal: I see you are reppin’ Philly. With such a rich musical history, including Hip-Hop legends like Jazzy Jeff and The Roots, has that had any influence on how you approach your craft?

Tha S Ence: In a way, yes but not just people from Philly, more like everyone that has ever made any dope music; be it jazz, “neo-soul", rock, anything really, but I really like the consistent stuff that has been coming out of Detroit. I try to broaden my music taste to listen to all types of Hip-Hop here and overseas stuff too but not just Hip-Hop. Most sample records I get are off the wall, something I would never listen to if I wasn’t making beats. I would have to say my biggest influence is J Dilla, (Rest in Power) hands down.

khal: True, now I noticed that you have a post on your MySpace page referencing the recent passing of Jay Dee. I am also a huge fan of his, and was wondering, if you had to describe what made J Dilla the illest in 5 of his tracks, which ones would they be and why?

Tha S Ence: Man, that’s a crazy question because Dilla made consistent material and A LOT of it, that’s a part of being ill to me. I got a bunch of beats tapes of all types of Dilla stuff that never came out or is just coming out now, I loved everything he did with Slum Village, ATCQ, Jaylib, Busta Rhymes….the list goes on and on but there’s no way I can list just 5.

khal: By the looks of your ill MPC ring, you obviously use that mighty tool for making beats. What else do you use?

Tha S Ence: I’m a minimalist; all I use is my MPC and a portable turntable. I record to my computer. I just try to use all the sounds I can get from that record. People forget, beats aren’t there to confuse you, or even the emcee on it. Only downfall to minimal setups is once your machine starts messing up, your whole operation goes down.

khal: Your sound is very epic, for example, you have some serious strings in “onslaught”. Do you try to evoke certain emotions while producing, or is it just about creating dope music?

Tha S Ence: Definitely, once you feel the original record, I sometimes try to bring out that same emotion in the beat, or flip it the other way, create dope music but changing a sad record to hype joint.

khal: How did you get involved with the MTP Beat Battle?

Tha S Ence: I saw a bunch of flyers and the website for the past ones. So I hit up the creator, for the event and he put me on luckily. I'm a new guy so I thought that would be the best way for people to hear my music. Check it out on mtpjersey.com.

khal: Let’s say you are given unlimited resources to create your The Chronic, where you are the main producer and you have many MCs blessing your beats. Which MCs would you choose, and why?

Tha S Ence: My first pick would be Elzhi; that dude is a rhyming machine his lyrical patterns are crazy, just straight ill. Then Busta Rhymes; if you know Busta, you know he can rhyme on anything you throw at him. I would want A Tribe called Quest on a joint no doubt, that’s my favorite group of all time. Tip and Phife’s flows link together, makes the song even doper. I would really like to work with Buckshot, too: he's got crazy energy and I love how he enunciates his words… you know he’s dead serious when he says anything. Oh and how can I forget Little Brother; Phonte and Big Pooh got skills and are characters on every track they’ve been on. That would be the most eclectic album you would ever hear but I would stay with a theme throughout the whole album. Man I can’t forget [MF] DOOM, I just like the way he plays with words and comes at tracks totally different than any other rapper I’ve heard. On the real this is probably the hardest question I would ever have to answer because there’s a lot of dope emcees to narrow it down.

khal: You also speak on the recent barbs that Cam’Ron has thrown at Jay-Z. The phenomenon of rappers reusing other rappers rhymes does get kind of out of hand. Where do you think a rapper should draw the line?

Tha S Ence: I think when rappers use other peoples like to create their own style is where they need to stop. I understand if you give credit or props during the verse like – “As so and so says…” or something to that nature but your whole steelo was created from someone elses work…nah man that’s lame. Cam’Ron just showed people how even their favorite rapper jacks lines but no one notices because people don’t know the roots of this hip-hop music. Jay was getting his style from the old school cats and no one noticed.

khal: Have you had any MCs hit you up for your beats yet? How can someone get in touch with you to discuss a working relationship?

Tha S Ence: I’ve have a couple here and there but nothing has struck my interest so much, I'm working on a real website to get maximum exposure. Not too many emcees realize I put time and work into making these beats; I want to get paid for work I do, not just give beats away for free. You got to draw a line somewhere with cats and set them straight. If you would like to get in touch with me, you can email me @
thasence@gmail.com or instant message me on [AIM screen name] Tha S Ence. I rather have you send me a link or something to figure out who I am dealing with.

khal: Where do you see your art going in the next couple of years? Also, what are you looking for with your craft, the glamour or the respect?

Tha S Ence: Next couple years I just hope to get even better at what I do, if I can make it a fulltime job, dope. And I want to start getting a mixtape together, and get on some distributed albums; I just want to make dope music If people love it, that’s cool, if not that’s cool too. I just want to live off of making beats, I'm not about the glam and I’m no where near close to getting Pharrell and Just Blaze money but I'm not doing this just for the money. I love Hip-Hop and I love making music.


You can get more information, including audio samples and more of his views on his MySpace page. If you are interested in getting beats from him, send any e-mail inquiries to thasence@gmail.com. We wish him much success and quality production for years to come. One.