[rock the dub Interview]: Kontakt

A year or so ago, I interviewed a cat by the name of Wordsmith. In that interview, he spoke on setting up his own label, Nu Revolution, which has since grown into a pretty stable crew of artists. Over the time between that interview and this blog starting up, Words has always hit me with info on what's been going on, and about 2 months ago he sent me links to this mixtape, Forgery Complete, a mixtape album by one of his Nu Revolution groups, Kontakt & SoL. Their blending of introspective, real life tales, club bangers and underground mic mangling sessions are something that many crews might wish to accomplish, but don't necessarily complete fully. Both of these budding MCs represent Maryland, and while their linking up produces fire, they are both interesting individuals in their own right. So, in the honor of giving everyone their own light to shine, we are going to be bringing you a group interview in two parts: one for Kontakt, the other for SoL. Here is the first installment, with the one like Kontakt...

khal: First off, in one sentence, what does Kontact bring to the Hip-Hop game that other MCs aren't currently dropping?

Kontakt: First I would just like to say thank you for the interview. I think I bring to the game a fresh, original sound. The unique thing about me, I believe, is that I am not afraid to do or try different things with my music. I started out singing so I always try to incorporate that into the music that I do. I like to find the melody in a track and use that to give the track a little more feeling.

khal: How did you get to where you are today? Where are you from, how did you get into music initially, and what keeps you motivated?

Kontakt: I started out as a young cat in a church choir. I think that is where I got my love for music. Also my Pops can sing very well. Seriously, I think that he could have been one of the Temptations or a member of Earth, Wind, and Fire. That's who he raised my listening to. As far as Hip-Hop goes I was introduced to the real essence of Hip-Hop one day outside of school with Word when we were young at a freestyle battle. Now I am still with him as a soldier of the Nu Revolution Camp.

khal: I know Wordsmith has been doing his thing for a bit now, getting his buzz in various avenues. How long have you been rolling with Words?

Kontakt: Word has been rapping for as long as I can remember and we became friends in middle school. That one day after school we were in a big crowd of people and Word asked me to beat box. Word and this Jamaican cat went back and forth freestyling over my beat. It was crazy. It is to this day wild to see how far we have come. From that one day back in school to starting this Nu Revolution movement.

khal: I saw on your MySpace page that you started out as an R&B singer, and got into MCing. How long have you been rhyming? Was it a hard transition? Were you able to apply your skills in singing to your rhyming?

Kontakt: Yeah, I started out singing and really still love too. I have been seriously MCing for over a year now. I am really still a rookie. The transition has been good. I have many excellent partners to work with. I have learned so much from Word that it is crazy. Getting to see Wordsmith the Great master his craft first hand, has been the biggest help and influence on me as an MC.

khal: Your recent mixtape, Forgery Complete, is billed with SoL. Are you two trying to come out as a duo? If so, what makes you two fit so well?

Kontakt: That is definitely what we are doing. SoL tha Analyst is my partner in crime. We have become really close and our chemistry has grown so much. Check out one of our shows and you will see what I am talking about. I believe what makes us fit is that we both have very a open mind when it comes to music. We try to think outside of the box and try to come up with sounds and concepts that are really different than what is out today. Which is basically one the goals of the Nu Revolution camp.

khal: You have a few tracks, like "U", which seem to draw heavily from your own life. In these days, it's hard to find MCs who will truly spit about their own life, or be real about themselves. What draws you to such introspective material?

Kontakt: I just try to be real. I feel that if I am real, true to what I say, and pull from my life to make my music than people will listen and be able to relate. That track "U" is pulled straight from my life. It goes through how I met my fiancée, shout out to Nancy. How I had my heart broke before and wasn't going to get seriously involved again. But, I met her and she captured my heart. I make songs like that because I know a lot of people can relate to those types of situations.

khal: Who are some of your influences? Have you tried to emulate any of the emcees who have been important in your maturation?

Kontakt: My main influence would be Wordsmith. I have had the privilege of watching him grow as an artist. So, I have taken that opportunity to study his work and come up with the best way to express my self musically. Word and other artists like Ludacris are MCs that continue to grow and it is evident that they work and study their craft. That is what I strive to do.

khal: In the last year, your crew Nu Revolution has been building pretty strongly. What do you think sets you guys apart from other crews that are prominent in the game today? Do you think Nu Revolu will be on par with super groups like Wu-Tang or the Juice Crew?

Kontakt: I definitely hope that we can make Nu Revolution as big as those names. I think we certainly have the people to do it. Nu Revolution means ---Breaking through the mold of the repetitive nature of today's Hip-Hop to bring an entirely new and exclusive sound. That's exactly what sets us apart from all of the other crews out right now.

khal: I know you guys went on tour with Words during his Statements & Stipulations tour. How do you try to make your music truly make noise during a live show? What do you bring to the stage that would make someone want to come back?

Kontakt: Man, these days dudes don't perform. We are definitely trying to bring back the performance part of a show. Not just spiting your lyrics. When you come to one of our shows we are going to make sure we entertain you. When you leave our show we want you to remember things that we did, from chorography to props. We will do what ever it takes for you to enjoy, remember, and walk away saying "that was a show."

khal: I know one thing that both you and SoL spoke of about your mix album was the fact that it contained both bangers AND more backpack-flavored bits. Do you dig one style more than the other, and if so, why?

Kontakt: Naw, I don't think we dig one style more than another, we enjoy it all. We love to do deep songs that make you think about a certain situation for example: "Call of Duty". Then the underground bangers like "We Got This". Then feel good joints like "Music". So we just try and stay well-rounded in our music. We are always trying to make something for everybody.

khal: What's going to be going on with you in 2007 and the next couple of years? Are you working on any solo projects? Any tours? What's really good?

Kontakt: We are definitely going to be doing some shows bringing Forgery Complete to the stage. So keep checking the website for upcoming dates. I have a solo EP, Sol Tha Analyst Presents Kontact "The Enigma of Love: Scriptures for an Intense Attraction" dropping (April 3rd, 2007). Also check for Kontakt & SoL Featuring Black Knight "The Variety Show" Mix Album dropping (June 19th, 2007)

Other dates for the camp:
-92Q Jamz "Konan" Presents Wordsmith "The Next Level Series" Volume 1 Mixed by DJ Vega (2007)
-The Nu Revolution Camp Presents Wordsmith "The 2006 Mixshow Wrap-Up" (January 16th, 2007)
-Wordsmith Presents RhymeZwell "Cave Sessions" EP (February 13th, 2007)
-Wordsmith Presents Professa "The Last Chariot" Instrumental CD (February 27th, 2007)
-All-Biz "The Underground Explosion" Mix Album (March 13th, 2007)
-Kontact Presents Sol tha Analyst "Paragon of Virtue" EP ( May 15th, 2007)
-Wordsmith "The Soundscape Project" Mix Album (June 5th, 2007)
-Rhymezwell "Unititled" Mix Album (July 3rd, 2007)
-Chubb Rock & Wordsmith "The Generation Gap" (2007)
-Wordsmith Presents Black Knight "The Allure" Mix Album (August 14th, 2007)
-Wordsmith & Rhymezwell "Wordswell & Rhymesmith" EP (September 11th, 2007)
-Wordsmith "The Next Level Series" Volume 2 (December 25th, 2007)

khal: Do you have any shout outs or final thoughts that you'd like to hit the people with before we end this?

Kontakt: Special thanks to the man up a stair for give me the talent and ability to do what I do. To the whole Nu Revolution Camp, "lets keep it moving." Shout out to Wordsmith for being the great leader that he is. To my partner in crime SoL for keep me on my toes. To my family and my fiancée love you all. Kontact "Lets Go!"
for more information on Kontakt and the Nu Revolution Camp, check out the following links:

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