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[rock the dub Interview]: The Real

The Internets is a funny place. Cats like Tay Zonday can reach crazy acclaim (and billings on Jimmy Kimmel) for sounding like, well, Claire Huxtable's father. Or take Souljah Boy, who told 106 & Park that he not only had 10 million hits on MySpace, but the record label that signed him sent a limo TO HIS HOUSE to get the paperwork done. In any case, Les Internets can get it right, and that's where The Real comes in. The Real has stepped to the plate and offered up hilarious videos that poke fun at Hip-Hop in a creative way (e.g. their latest video, which asked UPS employees how they felt about Biggie's "don't be mad, UPS is hiring" line)and their vlog that has gotten play over at NahRight, on Miss Info's blog, and many other blogs/sites that may or may not matter (this blog included - you make the call). Brothers Jeff and Eric Rosenthal boast resumes that some post-grads would die for: Eric has studied filmmaking at Syracuse, been mentored by László Kovács on the set of Two Weeks Notice, documented artists like Missy Elliott, Juelz Santana, as well as Kanye West at both the 2005 Grammys and during his 2005 Touch The Sky tour, among other things, while his brother Jeff is a recent Boston Univ. grad who has interviewed Hip-Hop personalities ranging from Voletta Wallace to Lloyd Banks, Lil Scrappy to Field Mob, for both print mags and online publications; he has also covered politics, Pop culture and media matters for RADAR, wrote for the now-defunct ThisJustIn.com (an HBO/AOL comedy website), and currently works as the in-house artist for Very Short List. Clearly these two brothers have their fingers to the pulse, and are on the brink of helping usher in some of the more creative Hip-Hop vlogging out there (plus, its cool to have a voice outside of the Internets Celebrities and Ill Doctrine!)... I got intrigued, and wanted more info... khal seeks, and he shall find:

khal: There are some out there who might not know who’s behind "The Real", can you break that down for us? From speaking with you, I know you guys are brothers, but how many others are involved in the production of your videos?

Jeff: The Real is composed of my older brother, Eric, and myself – at least on the business side of things. Working alongside us, though, we have a huge network of friends who give us both their acting chops and their quality time for our show.

Eric: Our anonymity worked toward our advantage for our first video, "Lloyd Banks' Retirement Party", because people thought that The Game made it, Cam made it, and truthfully we didn’t mind the conversation that it started.

khal: For someone to bust out the videos you do, with the hints of social commentary and satire and the like, my guess is that you have been Hip-Hop fans for a bit. How long have you been into Hip-Hop, who are some of your favorite MCs, etc.?

Jeff: My favorite MC is Soulja Boy.

Eric: We’ve both been students of hip-hop for most of our lives and, like most people, we love Biggie, Jay-Z, Ice Cube, and the like. Today, though, my favorite MC is Kanye West. Clipse and Lil’ Wayne are nasty, too.

Jeff: If not Soulja Boy, because SouljaBoyTellEm.com hasn't been released yet to Sam Goody (OCTOBER!), then I would say Tag Team.

khal: How long have you been making videos? The quality is top notch for a vlog – what kind of equipment do you use?

Jeff: I’m mostly just a writer, and stay away from Final Cut Pro.

Eric: Canon XL2 and Final Cut Pro. We’ve been making movies since our early teens. I went to college for it, studied under legendary filmmakers and put in a ton of hard work along the way.

khal: Where’d the idea for "The Real", a vlog that pokes fun at Hip-Hop, come from? Were you influenced by any other blogs/vlogs out there?

Jeff: The idea behind The Real came from the fact that there is nothing like it right now. As for blogs, we read them all.

Eric: Especially the ones that link to us. We want to fill a huge void – to bring comedy to a culture that takes itself too seriously.

khal: Can you break down the process involved in making your videos, i.e. how long does it take for a concept to go from an idea to a finished project? Do the two of you bounce ideas solely off each other, or are you kind of working with a group of people?

Eric: We have the ability to put these together very quickly – within a day, for some.

Jeff: I usually come up with my ideas on a whim. Eric and I were just walking up Fifth Avenue in New York when I thought up the retirement party. And then it’s who do we know, and who can we get involved to make it work - because none of our sketches are scripted. They’re all rehearsed for a basic idea of how things'll go, and then ad-libbed. So, it comes together relatively quickly.

khal: Is there any subject that's too taboo for slaying on The Real?

Jeff: No. Anything can be made funny.

Eric: We’re trying to build on the culture, not take it down.

khal: Do you guys have any plans on expanding The Real, like doing videos on Pop stars or compiling your things into a DVD or anything?

Eric: We’re open to lots of things. And yes, the grand vision is to expand the franchise. Stay tuned, and we might have something to tell you soon.

khal: I want to do something different in this interview; let’s see how quick your mind(s) work: spout the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear these words or phrases:

a) Nas

Jeff: We talked to a homeless guy outside of a Nas listening party – he was first in line – who was trying to tell us about the free movies he gets into. He also said that the new Bond movie wasn’t so good, but that the chase scene took his breath away. He was my best friend.

Eric: Carmen.

b) Cam’ron

Jeff: "Knock knock, who’s there? Killa Cam. Killa who?"

Eric: He’s like this athlete who has all of this ability, but doesn’t care to use it, which is kind-of disappointing.

Jeff: I like his mixtape stuff over his albums.

c) “bling bling”

Jeff: Does anyone still say this? Also, when I interviewed Lloyd Banks last year – nice as can be, and very good with his answers – I almost knocked his massive ring off his hand when I shook it. And then he called me “the next Howard Stern,” presumably because I’m white.

Eric: Lil’ Wayne’s incredible. I don’t know.

d) "Greatest Rapper Alive"

Jeff: Soulja Boy. Tag Team RIP.

Eric: Kanye West.

e) "crank dat"

Jeff: I don’t know what that’s referring to.

Eric: Seriously, Jeff was doing that dance at lunch today.

f) "swag"

Jeff: I associate it with free stuff, but MTV has a different definition.

Eric: Jim Jones, who I would love to get on our show for an extended interview. He’s a fascinating personality.

g) Michael Vick

Jeff: Those dogs had it coming.

Eric: I’m putting a lot of money on the Falcons to win it all this year.

h) MP3s

Jeff: I can’t say anything without the FBI or RIAA taking interest.

Eric: I have so many great ideas for how to save the record industry, but I’m not giving them away for free.

khal: Can you give us an idea of some of the videos we should be expecting to see on The Real in the near future?

Jeff: We have this idea where we do a video and it’ll be funny. I have no idea. We have to do a video for Monday, and I don’t have any ideas yet.

Eric: Ringtones.

khal: When do you think you'll STOP making videos?

Jeff: Before people start liking them. That’ll show em.

khal: Do you think Hip-Hop vlogging will start attracting more viewers/producers?

Jeff: Absolutely. Vlogging is the big thing on the internet now. I’m surprised there aren’t more out there now.

Eric: I was going to say the same thing. Each day that passes, I'm shocked there's so few of us out there.

khal: Do you have any final words or shout outs or anything to give to the readers?

Eric: Shout out to all of our fans, and everybody with a sense of humor that's picked up on us. Shout to the bloggers who wield such immense power today. We appreciate everyone's support and interest.

Jeff: Shout to my brother, Eric. Also, big ups to Ed Lover.

Make sure you make The Real a part of your life; burn their feed and make SURE you keep up to date with their works. Shouts to Jeff and Eric for taking the time out for this Q&A. We leave you now with their latest video:


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