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[RTD x FH Interview]: Black ELement (Part 1)

Yesterday, Black ELement has released a major project, his A Major Minority free LP. This is the fruit of many sleepless nights for him, and it came out sick. Dude represents the yin and yang of Hip-Hop - a guy who can cold rock a party, but still deliver some insightful messages. He and I have spoken personally, and I am glad to have known this guy, and seen him progress, and getting major props all over the 'Net. In the first of a two-part interview, we break down Black EL got to this point...

khal: It's good to finally get an interview with you. For the dozers out there who don't know who you are, can you introduce yourself?

Black ELement: Thanks a lot khal, nice to be here. I'm Black ELement, The Major Minority aka Flyer Than U aka The Nice Asshole aka Dirty Digital... I think I ran out of aliases. I'm originally from New Jersey, but have been living in Boston for the last twelve years. I like Spike Lee movies, Stella, Celtics, Entourage, Porn and Politics. Oh and ladies, there's nothing like a fat butt and a cute smile!

khal: One cliché question is "how did you first get into Hip-Hop". I won't ask that. I wanna know, when you were a shorty, what was that one video that you would recite/mimic word for word, line for line, dance for dance? Mine was "Microphone Fiend".

Black ELement: I would probably have to go with Keith Murray's "The Most Beautifullest Thing In This World". That was my shit, I had the tape single and played that bitch until it broke. It was probably the first joint that really "got me"... another would probably sadly be Will Smith's "Gettin' Jiggy With It", but what can I say I was 13 with a fade.

khal: Now, when did you realize that, not so much that you wanted to rap, but that you had a talent that was more than just niggas beating on the table at lunch? Basically, was there a moment in particular that you realized that you could rock a crowd or motivate people with your words?

Black ELement: I kind of just grew into the role, I don't think there was really a "moment". I knew I always wanted to do this and with each step I just bit my lip and moved on. But I never really took it seriously until I bought my first mic when I was 14 years old; my moms thought I had a few screws loose when I dropped 200 bucks on that shit. I performed for the first time senior year, and after that I was like its time to take this even MORE serious and then it was a wrap!

khal: From what I know, you represent the Boston area, but you also grew up in Jersey for a bit. Do you feel like your style or image mirrors one spot more than another?

Black ELement: I always considered myself more Jersey than Boston, just due to the fact how i act. People in Boston always seem to keep more to themselves and kind of give you looks if you approach a stranger. I lived in New York City last summer and talked to strangers all the time; I'm a MC, I'm a businessman and for me to get connects, I'm going to need to talk to somebody so in that sense I'm going to have to side with my Jersey lineage. Boston is a nice city, but I've got pretty bored of it and I'm planning back on moving to New York. Wait Til I Get My Money Right (c) Kanye

khal: I also know that you're not feeling the Boston scene in terms of live Hip-Hop bookings and such. When you start to get put on more, will you be trying to perform out in that area?

Black ELement: I'm never going to be sour towards a whole city, because of a few bad apples that isn't really fair. I will always have love for my home city, hopefully it shows it back. The Boston Hip-Hop scene is wack 'cause there's only a few people who really run it, and they love to put on their off-beat, swag-less rapper buddies, who like to talk about spaceships and rap the dictionary. Although there are a bunch of dope MCs out here like Term, REKS, Project Move and Speacial Teamz, there is a lot of garbage thats stinking up the scene as well. It's a shame that promoters don't want to bring talent to the for front, and would rather have their boys little brother who decided to rap a week ago open for Royce.

khal: Now, over the last year, your name has been popping up on some major sites in the Hip-Hop blog game. What do you think it is about you and your music that seems to be so widely accepted?

Black ELement: My music is something that can relate to anyone, whether your a college kid or a dood on the street if you have a open mind you will dig my music. I've had friends who I didn't even think would dig my music telling me that I have talent and these are doods who got Weezy and Dipset heavy in rotation. So when I'm reaching that far across the room, it definately makes me feel good to know that I'm not the only one who digs what I do. I also listen to a TON of different music, right now I'm bumping electro like Zero 7, Supreme Beings of Leisure and Daft Punk. Most people wouldn't even know that I listen to that stuff, but it definately helps to become a more well-rounded musician.

khal: How important do you think the Internet is for the progression of music in general, and Hip-Hop in particular, today and going into the future?

Black ELement: The Internet is important up until a point; I think it evens the playing field for independent musicians like myself and somewhat seperates the dope from the no hope. Unfortunately, there is always going to be doods who will have us all scratching our heads like, "how did he get all this press?", but thats expected. The most important thing about the Internet that if you are a dope artist, you have a HUGE outlet in the Internet and you can easily reach out to any of these bloggers/websites if you're good. If you're not "good", pay your favorite blog some dough and he will definately get you exposure and after enough of your so-so songs, hey kids you just might be that next Internet superstar rapper! Haha, but seriously the Internet is a gift and a curse, but the most important thing it does is it puts the power back in the hands of the people and not corporate America. So at the end of the day, skills do pay the bills.

khal: You interned over at Duck Down this past summer, right? One can imagine that you picked up a gang of contacts from that spot, but what else did you learn that directly affects how your grind evolves?

Black ELement: I learned that in this business "shit happens", anything can go wrong at any moment, and from a marketing standpoint you need to learn how to compensate. That's probably the most eye-opening thing that I saw over this summer, because you can either panic or you can just be calm and roll with the punches. I had the pleasure of working with NoHa on some of his Duck Down projects and he was chill and was always able to think on his feet. I took that from him and I apply it to what I do, as being the product and the marketing behind the product. So when shit goes wrong, take a deep breath and move on.

khal: What would you say is your biggest obstacle in getting your name out there on a national level, both on and off the Internet?

Black ELement: Just getting people to actually listen to the material; we are in a day in age were everyone is a "rapper", from your mailman to the kid who takes your order at McDonalds. Saying "hey I rap" doesn't cut it anymore, in fact it's a major turn-off. It's like me saying to a girl I want to have intercourse with, "hey pretty lady let's fuck!", why would I do that? You have to be suave, smooth and get to know the girl first. The same thing goes when you are dealing with promoters, producers or other people in the music world you got to get to know them, or they simply won't give a damn about what you do. If they know you, they will at the very least take a listen to your music and see if it's any good. That's probably the biggest obstacle, and thats a big reason why i chose to become a graphic designer, because I can easily penetrate the music industry undetected, but once they get to know me, I will drop the "hey I rap" bomb.

khal: If someone were to ask you to describe your style in 20 words or less, how would you break it down?

Black ELement: Innovative, Smooth, Original.

Part 2 of this interview will be poppin' up on Flawless Hustle next week.

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