Monday, February 27, 2012
Exclusive Interview: Big K.R.I.T. Expands On Breaking Stereotypes About Mississippi, Talks About Racism In The South
Meridian Mississippi's very own Big K.R.I.T. recently took the time to make a stop in the country of Ohio as he traveled to Athens to headline Ohio University's Sibs Weekend Concert. The Def Jam signee sat down with me to talk about various aspects of his hometown including food, influences and racism in Mississippi.
"A lot of people just scared to go there based off of our past but you know, racism is everywhere," K.R.I.T. said. "The only thing I can say about where I’m from is if some somebody doesn’t like you for your race, you know it."
Krizzle also explained that Mississippi isn't all country and stereotypes about the south are not true. "I’m country, but I’m intelligent. Just because you’re country doesn’t mean you aren’t intelligent you know?" He said. "It’s not what they depict as far as the stereotypes and that’s what I’m trying to break that wall down."
Known as King Remembered In Time, Big K.R.I.T. also broke down how he wants to make timeless music. He expands on his upcoming project 4Eva N A Day and says he may never be able to duplicate songs already in the catalog.
"The thing about a lot of these records and these dope songs is what I like to call 'lightning in a bottle' brother," He said. "There’s some songs I did and I’ll never be able to re-create and I’m becoming more comfortable with that."
You can listen to and/or read my full interview with Big K.R.I.T. below:
Paul Meara: My first question is, what’s it like being in southeastern Ohio? I know you’ve been in Ohio before but now you’re in the country of Ohio so…
Big K.R.I.T.: Aw man don’t be trippin’ I love the country man.
PM: Aw I know, that’s what I’m saying.
Big K.R.I.T.: If you ain’t in the city, you in the country it don’t matter where you at, you know what I mean? It’s a great time to come out here. I’m just glad the music is traveling and growing like this that you can come out here and do shows like this man so I’m excited.
PM: Big K.R.I.T. from Meridian, Mississippah. That’s my best Big K.R.I.T. impression.
Big K.R.I.T.: (laughs) No doubt.
PM: I can’t do it (laughs). I know that you are big into promoting that. I’ve interviewed a lot of artists from the south, they’re from like the areas, Atlanta, Memphis and I’ve done other artists but you’re proud of saying, Meridian Mississippi. What is it about the country life in Meridian that makes you want to get that name out there?
Big K.R.I.T.: You ever been to Mississippi before mane?
Big K.R.I.T.: Gah damn boy.
PM: I’ve been to Atlanta, never been to Mississippi.
Big K.R.I.T.: I’m trying to show people there’s cities, it’s not dirt roads like you think. It’s cities, like everybody doing their thing man. It’s people grinding, even hip-hop, the whole scene, it’s definitely growing. There’s just no outlet for us to get our music out there so you never know. A lot of people just scared to go there based off of our past but you know racism is everywhere. The only thing I can say about where I’m from is if some somebody doesn’t like you for your race, you know it. You go everywhere else, you may not know it. You know what I’m saying? You know it down there. Other than that man I encourage everyone to go, there’s a lot of soul music, blues. The food of course and it’s not what they depict as far as the stereotypes and that’s what I’m trying to break that wall down and I’m from Mississippi, I’m country, but I’m intelligent. Just because you’re country doesn’t mean you aren’t intelligent you know?
PM: I was going to ask you about that, food wise, if I’m going to Meridian, Mississippi, what am I eating there?
Big K.R.I.T.: Man I encourage you to eat some vegetables.
Big K.R.I.T.: Some vegetables. Man he thought I was going to say fried foods or something. (Laughs)
PM: (Laughs) Nah what’s that home-cooked meal that’s good?
Big K.R.I.T.: Home-cooked meal for me? See a lot of people ain’t know about me man like, I just recently kind of stayed off of eating fried foods and stuff like that just cause we on the road, health-wise so. So I kind of just stay into the vegetable age. When my mom come through, she cook me some macaroni and cheese, something like that but other than that I’m on some turkey, baked chicken kind of thing, you know?
PM: I think the reason a lot of people like you is because you’ve got the newer sound but you’ve also got the sound of like the OutKast’s, the UGK’s, or Scarface.
Big K.R.I.T.: I was raised off that.
PM: I know, you can tell in all of your albums, so how important is, not only all the influences but what are you trying to go for? You’re always saying you want to make timeless music so what is your goal with that?
Big K.R.I.T.: To where the music definitely outlives my career, to try to create that album or that song that does so much more than what hip-hop and my career would be based on, you get in and win some awards or something like that but then it’s over. But nah, I’m trying to make that kind of music that every time you hear, it takes you back to where you was when you first heard it or it evokes some kind of emotion and we talking about artists like Marvin Gaye, Bobby Womack and Curtis Mayfield, lot of soul artists, blues artists making that kind of music, I’m trying to do the same thing man, you know?
PM: That’s perfect because, if I ever want to talk to someone about Big K.R.I.T., I always say, “Go listen to ‘Time Machine.’”
Big K.R.I.T.: That’s what’s up!
PM: Because I think that is the perfect joint because it brings you back to the day but it also sounds new. Just talk about that track and everything that represents…
Big K.R.I.T.: Ah man it was just me trying to reflect on growing up and my pops putting me on to the kind of music he felt like helped mold him as far as hip hop music is concerned and that he could relate to and it was just kind of recalling what it was like to be young and I think people really dig the fact that there’s a lot of honesty in my music. I don’t mind telling you about my real relationships with my family or with the streets I grew up on or the people I encountered in my life. I feel that’s extremely important cause I don’t want you to feel like I’m trying to sell you an image, no this is really me. That record man, I really did that record for me and my pops cause I need a ridin’ record on this CD and I don’t know if people goin’ like it but I like how it sound in the car and it just worked out man. I didn’t expect people to take to it like that but apparently it’s one of the favorites and Chamillionaire jumped on it so that just took it to another level.
PM: Speaking on 4Eva N A Day, how is it going to sound in comparison to all the other records you’ve put out?
Big K.R.I.T.: Man, the thing about a lot of these records and these dope songs is what I like to call “lightning in a bottle” brother. It happened and it was a time or emotion I was going through and it came out that way so even now, I’m still trying to top K.R.I.T. Wuz Here and records like “Something,” “Hometown Hero” but for the most part man, even if I never get to top those, Lord willin’ I can make that kinda, that balance it out and you understand the growth and see where I’m trying to go with music and it’s really what I’m trying to do man. There’s some songs I did and I’ll never be able to re-create and I’m becoming more comfortable
Saturday, February 25, 2012
The video depicts P's day before, during and after he opened for Big K.R.I.T., Dom Kennedy, Stalley, Illpoetic and L.e for the Uncool during Ohio University's Sibs Weekend Concert.
Peep out the video here or below:
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Dom Kennedy spent a day in Athens, Ohio on Saturday and gave me just enough time to snag an interview with him. Headlining Ohio University's Sibs Weekend Concert along with Big K.R.I.T., The Leimert Park legend sits down with me to talk about his highly anticipated Yellow Album, his plans for 2012 and how Leimert Park has influenced his career.
Dom says that Yellow Album will be a more mature version of his music and also more "forward thinking." He also recently announced his This is Dom Kennedy Tour in which he is still looking for an opener.
The L.A. native also expands on when he decided that music would be his full-time occupation and on the fact that it took him a long time to make money in the industry. "I knew it was gonna take a while to do it," he said. "But it something like around 2005 I started to prepare myself for."
Already in full swing in 2012 (not 2011), Dom Kennedy says he wants to challenge his comfort zone and build on the hype already garnered from From the Westside With Love, The Original Dom Kennedy and From the Westside With Love II. With a slew of talented west coast colleges to compete with like Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, Jay Rock, Hopsin and Odd Future just to name a few, Dom has his work cut out for him. Luckily, his fans and the blogs know he'll never stop Grind'n.
You can see the full video interview below thanks to the homies over at CreMedia Productions, who produced the whole thing:
Paul Meara: Aye what’s good, Dom Kennedy?
Dom Kennedy: What up, what up, what up man?
PM: How does it feel to be in Athens?
Dom Kennedy: I mean first time, you know what I’m sayin? first time is always good, so it’s exciting to see new places, new people. You know, the theatre we performin’ at looks real dope. It looks like it got a lot of history, happy to be a part of that for sure.
PM: Right, last time we talked, Westside With Love II just dropped, now you’re coming up on Yellow Album. How is Yellow Album gonna be in comparison to maybe Westside II, original Dom, or the first Westside?
Dom Kennedy: Well I feel like musically, you know it’s a lot more mature in terms of like… I feel like a lot of my past projects were rooted in, like, things I was influenced in, you know what I’m sayin? Like, it was kind of like me, you know, making my own music based upon the things that I had, that I loved and that I liked growing up and I feel like Yellow Album, I wanted it to be like more forward thinking, you know what I’m sayin? Like a Dom Kennedy project that was like rooted more in the future, if I can say that, so that’s kind of like the sound and the feeling that I’m going for.
PM: Right, and I know and you got big plans for 2011, what do you think’s gonna make 2011 you’re best year?
Dom Kennedy: 12.
PM: 2012. (Laughs) You’re right!
Dom Kennedy: I mean, I already booked the tour. I got a tour going, This is Dom Kennedy Tour in the end of March through all of April, coast to coast, so that’s like my first national tour I would say. So, I’m really, really excited about that and happy to have the opportunity to be doing that, so that’s already a bonus to like get that established early in the year. Yellow Album, just you know, new music is just always fun to put out and especially a project like this because it’s kind of like a challenge for me and it’s kind of like stepping outside of, not really my comfort zone because its music at the end of the day, but I kind of wanted to like challenge myself and do something I haven’t really done before and just, you know, be interesting, so, those is like two big landmarks in my career right there I feel like.
PM: The Leimert Park Legend. Just talk about how that area is really put into your music.
Dom Kennedy: Well really it just kind of, it was kind of something that just, it was a place that I grew up and I lived with my mom and my little sister, you know, for a lot of years and then I moved away then I moved back as I became a young man, going, after I got out of high school, kind of had my own apartment. It’s the place where I really decided to pursue music and a lot of my projects, you know, 25th Hour, From the Westside With Love was like written in my apartment in Leimert. Just with me, my computer, my thoughts, and notebook and things like that. So it’s kind of the place where I got my soul, kind of, musically, you know. So it’s kind of something that just stuck with me.
PM: When was that moment you knew that you wanted to drop the nine to five and actually decide that music was going to be your career?
Dom Kennedy: I never really had, I only had like one job, really, you know what I’m sayin, like a real job, but um, man, probably like 2005, I would say, is kind of when I started getting ideas in my head that it was like, you know, it was something that was worth pursuing and that I could actually have a shot at doing well at, you know. So I kind of started focusing my life and my lifestyle changed to go towards music. I knew it was gonna take a while, you know what I’m saying? To be successful and to get to a point where I was making a living, you know? Even being successful and then making a living, I knew it was gonna take a while to do it, but it something like around 2005 I started to prepare myself for.
PM: You’re also into big into the fashion aspect of hip hop, you got the deal with The Hundreds. So why is fashion so big to you? Obviously it’s a positive sort of thing, so why is that such a big deal?
Dom Kennedy: I mean it’s kind of just how I always was you know? It’s kind of just like a lot of things in music I feel like with certain artists they just carry over from your real life, it’s certain things that translate that you can’t really fake or like change or something, or and just, me being a regular kid I was always into like looking nice. Like what was the new style, the new fashion, coming that was going to be popular next year, you know what I’m saying? That was just something I was always into, just trying to do my own thing. Like take what was current but put my own spin on it so I didn’t look like everybody else so it didn’t seem so common or regular. So it was just something that you know just naturally carried into my music as one of the main things I’m about and that I talk about because that’s how I am, that’s how I was.
PM: You’ve done a lot of big time collaborations including Big Krit who’s also going to be here tonight. Who would be somebody that you haven’t worked with that you would like to get in the studio with?
Dom Kennedy: Man it’s probably a lot of people, mainly producers but I still haven’t been able to work with DJ Quik, you know what I’m saying? Him being one of my favorite of all time. Somebody like DJ Quik, whether it be just production or just hopping on one of my songs would be like big for me. I always draw blanks but that’s one for sure. Like after From the Westside Love Tour, with recent times I’ve been able to work with a lot of people, and I have a lot (of) collaborations coming out this year with like bigger artists but definitely DJ Quick is like one of the people I just haven’t been able to connect it with where we could sit down and do something.
PM: How big would that be to have DJ Quik collaborate? I mean he’s a west coast legend. What would that mean to say, "I worked with somebody like DJ Quik?"
Dom Kennedy: I mean for me its like, I guess it would be like playing basketball with your, you know, with your hero if you was in the NBA. You know what I’m saying? Because I really feel like its not too many people I could say that if they wasn’t around, if they didn’t, if I didn’t hear them I wouldn’t be doing music the way I’m doing it. DJ Quik is definitely one of those people that if I didn’t really grow up listening to his music, I probably wouldn’t be the Dom Kennedy that I am musically today.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Friday, February 17, 2012
This is one of the best videos to come out of the Fly Union camp. Really impressive visuals from the homies over at CreMedia Productions. Featured on OnSmash, 2DopeBoyz, Karmaloop, Illroots, and Karmaloop, 5000 is another classic cut off of the hometown heroes latest project, TGTC. With TGTC2 coming out soon, this video is a great hold-me-over until then.
Monday, February 13, 2012
During our interview, Jéan P talks about how he got started in hip-hop music. JP says that it was a school assignment that initially gave him support for something more. "Eighth grade we had an assignment, it involved rap," he said. "Did my rap, they loved it and next thing I know I realized this what I want to do the rest of my life."
We go on to talk about his influences including those who he will be performing before during this Saturday's Sibs Weekend Concert at Templeton Blackburn Memorial Auditorium. Jéan P will be opening for Def Jam signee Big K.R.I.T., Dom Kennedy, Massillon native Stalley, L.e. for the Uncool and Illpoetic. Jean says that he looks up to all of those artists especially hometown hero Stalley, who he met at an earlier show in Cleveland.
Jéan P recently released his latest mixtape Opposites Attract, a project that has been picked up by some reputable Hip hop blogs including KevinNottingham.com and DJ Booth. We discuss what impact he hopes to make on the music industry and how he separates himself from the zoo of rappers trying to make it in the game.
Finally, Jéan P and I discuss the impact his son Amir has on his music and how an eventual rap career is not just for one, but two.
You can see the full video interview here or below:
Monday, February 6, 2012
Taylor Gang affiliate and newest signee of Gramercy Records, Neako joined me on The Mearablog Podcast to talk about the slew of projects that will hit shelves from his camp in 2012, The Number 23, working with some of the top names in the Hip hop industry and how he got his start in the Hip hop game. You can see the full podcast episode Here, on YouTube, or check it out in the iTunes Music Store search: The Mearablog Podcast.