Monday, May 14, 2012
Prodigy of Mobb Deep joined me on The Mearablog Podcast to talk about his upcoming album, H.N.I.C. 3. P also gave me a little preview of what kind of sound we're going to hear on the next Mobb project.
The N.N.I.C. also addresses why he decided to collaborate with Wiz Khalifa on his latest solo project as many question the compatibility of music styles between the two.
"I collaborate with people if I respect they art, I like they art, then I'll collaborate with 'em," Prodigy said. "As far as Wiz (Khalifa), Wiz is a hood nigga, Wiz is from the hood, you know what I'm sayin? and basically his style fit right with my style."
When discussing politics, as in other interviews, Prodigy says he believes Ron Paul is the man for the job and he brings more transparency to the Oval Office. P mentions that while he supports Ron Paul, he says the Representative from Texas will never win a bid for the presidency and that Barack Obama will definitely win in November.
Prodigy also broke down how he believes Mobb Deep will last for a long time and even says that he's thought about quitting Mobb Deep and rap in the past.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Darke Bros, a duo comprised of Cas Metah and Wonder Brown of Scribbling Idiots, was an album that we've been waiting for since 2009. Last summer Cas came to Athens, Ohio for a show that never ended up happening and said the project was still coming. A little more of an anecdote, on my way back to his car he told me he had a copy of “Darke Bros” on him, but he took them out of his car. Here we are in 2012 and the album is finally in our hands…..it was worth the wait.
The album kicks off with Nan Knew where we get the two Scribbling Idiots playing off each other with Theory Hazit on the beat. This track doesn’t really fit the theme of the album, but it honestly doesn’t matter, this track is just two brothers clowning on each other and the end of the track will have one cracking up.
The album is divided into four distinct sections with interludes separating them all and with loose themes in each section. The first section was not as strong as the others (not to say it’s bad). Mind Bender is a storytelling track where both Cas and Wonder tell the possible story of someone who broke into their house. It makes one curious to know if the story is fiction or if there’s any truth to what we hear in this song. Vintage made the beat and the snares hit really hard and will have you nodding your head.
This is where reviewing the album gets really difficult because from here on out the album is too dope for words. The second segment starts with I Know which features Lyriz, apparently this track was recorded a real long time ago, but it still hits hard. They all talk about their own stories and experiences they've had. Lyriz speaks on his stories of struggle, Cas Metah speaks on the drug life and Wonder Brown speaks on his friends that are still in the ghetto. Back and Forth is a favorite on the record. MattmaN made the beat and once the 8th bar passes on each of the emcee’s verses the beat makes a change. A change that is more intense and the emcee’s follow suit. Both Cas and Wonder bear all on this track and you can feel the pain that both are going through.
The loose theme of the third section of the record is love, but the track Hurt strays away a bit from this topic. The track is produced by and features JustMe. The topic of the track is pretty self-explanatory and touches on every facet of pain, what causes it, how you deal with it and more. A first run through might not have one feeling this track through, it definitely grows on you the more you rock it. Famous Lovers Pt. 2 is the favorite track on the album, the beat is too fresh for words, Vintage made it with such a deep bass line and a dark piano loop that I had this song on repeat for a long time. Mouth Warren is also featured on this track and all three tell stories of three people that are withholding deep dark secrets. From drug use, cheating in relationships and more.
The last section of this album, is the best on the album, all three songs are dope and promote the theme of hope. It’s the perfect way to end this album, it has such a dark tone to it and to have such a positive ending is perfect. Drowning Man is the only track in this segment that has dark tone to it, yet still ends with positivity. This track is the single off the record and rightfully so, it features Elias (of Scribbling Idiots) and Copywrite. Cas, Wonder and Copywrite all speak on their faulty walks with Christ, but also talk on how they’re working on it and how it will get better. The last song on the album is Winding Down. It features Holmskillet (who makes a number of guest appearances on the album) and speaks on how fast pace life is and how much hard work we have to do. At the end of the day however we need to step back, calm down, and wind down.
“Darke Bros” was as expected and more. It’s a very dark, personal album, but it also shows that there is hope in these dark times that we’re living in. Production was on point with the usual from Vintage, Theory Hazit, MattmaN, but we also had some newcomers show up on the beats. Producers like DT of Clan Destined, So Crates and Lil Jay all bring amazing sounds to the project. As of right now it’s in the running for album of the year.
Friday, May 11, 2012
Thursday, May 10, 2012
When one thinks Hip Hop most people think, Cali, Atlanta, New York, but did you ever think of Arkansas being a hub for Hip Hop?
Enter Lo Thraxx a 21 year-old emcee who has stepped on the scene and is taking Arkansas with him. With a music style that could easily be considered both mainstream and underground, Lo Thraxx is just chill.
Lo says music quality is above all else and in today's market where there's a motto of quantity over quality, it's something refreshing to hear.
"I myself wouldn’t care if I went mainstream and signed to a major label, that’s cool as long as I’m in a good position, I’m going to make good music."
PaulMeara.com was able to catch with the Arkansas emcee and ask about how he got started, who he’d like to work with and about his tour that is coming up in the next few months.
Introduce yourself, LoThraxx, what are you all about?
LoThraxx: I’m Lothraxx, representing Arkansas. 21 year old, up and coming rap artist, underground, bringing that cool laid back swag to the game. For the cool people who chill and smoke weed.
For you to start rapping at 18 and to go where you are at right now, how did you get there in such a short amount of time?
LoThraxx: Man, I don’t even know honestly. I be around music so much, since I was young, from my dad bumping Tupac and Biggie, to just riding in my mom’s car, that’s all we listened to is the radio. I’d get suspended from school watching the channel that just play the music and doesn’t even play the video. I’m just constantly listening to music and watching videos. It was just life that was all I did. Then I tried to rap and it came out right, how I wrote it was just right. So I just did it and I just keep progressing ever since then. 18, I’m 21 now, but I just keep progressing, change up the style and get more mature with it, but at the same time, just captivate the listener. Just keep everybody interested in it, like when they first heard me.
I listened to the “Highlight Reel” it was real dope, real fresh, it was nice to just sit back and relax. I feel you’re right in the middle. There’s the mainstream, which is completely over the top and then underground is real serious and you’re just right in the middle. You’re chill, you’re taking it seriously, so where do you see yourself, 3-5 years from now?
LoThraxx: That’s a good question. When I was growing up, people were like mainstream dudes were watered down. People talk so bad about mainstream dudes. I see mainstream people making so much money with it. I feel like with my flow I’m capable of doing mainstream stuff, without changing my image and I can do underground. I just feel versatile. If I go mainstream I’ma do that, it’s just how things fall into place. Hopefully I’ll be in a better position than I am now in 3 years. I myself wouldn’t care if I went mainstream and signed to a major label, that’s cool as long as I’m in a good position, I’m going to make good music. It don’t matter to me like that, I feel like I can do both, I feel like I can rap with them dudes and rap with the underground. Hopefully I’ll be in a good position either mainstream or underground.
I had been sleeping til Paul turned me to you and I noticed some other names that I didn’t recognize on the tape. Who do you run with, who do you work with on a regular basis that we all should know about?
LoThraxx: Definitely Baker’s Club, Ras Fresco, P Blackk, Chill Will, everybody in Baker’s Club, I run with them dudes. In Arkansas there are a lot of cool rappers like my homey J Mula, there’s some other rappers in Arkansas that are really doing it too and they’re coming up with me. Really just Baker’s Club and J Mula. I’m coming up with those dudes.
What’s next for you?
LoThraxx: I’m working on videos, I just dropped “The Concrete” it was supposed to be an EP but there were a lot more songs on it so it’s kinda like a mixtape. Just dropped that in March. Right now I’m working on new videos and new music constantly. Trying to plan out the next mixtape and how I’m gonna go about it. I should be going tour pretty soon in the South. That’s going to be a good look because I haven’t really been on the road that much. In between that I’ll be working on new music and in August or September I should have a new tape ready.
Who would you like to work with in the future?
LoThraxx: I’d like to work with Nas, Kanye, K.R.I.T, as far as producers Lex Luger, the dude that did “Niggas In Paris”.
You’re going on tour where can we expect to see you in a couple months?
LoThraxx: I’m going to tour around Arkansas, Memphis, Oklahoma, and I think I’m going to Chicago. I think it’s in September.
I know that you being a young artist, how do you balance, going on tour, working on music, how do you do all that without losing your mind?
LoThraxx: I go to school, I do music, I be working, just doing crazy shit, I just have to keep the shit in order. That’s really all I can do and not be lazy about it because I know I be having some lazy moments. As long as I keep everything planned out and organized it’s nothing. It’s about to be summer too, so I’m really going to focus on this music. Plus I’m getting more and more shows, I appreciate that so I’m just going to take advantage of it. You only get one time to do this shit and it’s fitting to be my time so I’m just going to grind hard. I see my future being nice so I’m just working hard on it and keep grinding.
What advice would you give for someone who is up and coming and is trying to make that next step into at least slight notoriety?
LoThraxx: I would say be confident in your sound and you gotta have an ear for music, you gotta know what’s good and what’s not. There’s a lot of rappers, but not a lot of good rappers. You have to have an ear for good music, be different. Another vital thing is you have to have a plan for a plan. You have to have big plans and then you have to have small plans to get that big plan completed. Like I rap and I want to be on, but I gotta do small shit to get there. You just have to plan shit and go ham, you gotta go hard no matter what nobody say.
When you aren’t rapping, tearing up tracks and rocking shows?
LoThraxx: I be chilling, I don’t really go out much, I just left my home and did that P90X shit, I’m at the basketball court now getting ready to hoop with my homies. Because they be acting like I changed cuz I don’t be around so much. So I kick it with them so they don’t treat me different and act like bitches and shit. I just chill, smoke, get high, eat and go to sleep and work on raps. I mean I go out and party but not that much, I just do what normal people do and chill.
Any final words?
LoThraxx: You can hit me up on twitter @LoThraxx, you go pick up my “Highlight Reel” mixtape at Lothraxx.com. My soundcloud LoThraxx has all my music on it. Check YouTube for my videos. I want to give a shout out to PaulMeara.com I fuck with y’all.
- Michael Stover
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
It’s only a few years old and hasn’t always been a serious one, but the rap career of Pittsburgh emcee/producer Devin Miles is starting to take full stride and is, itself, the epitome of the Steel City Hip Hop scene in the last five years.
Near the release of his second project This is How I Live, Miles says he believes that Pittsburgh Hip Hop is way more than just a two artist circus.
“I think honestly that we are a powerhouse in the country as far as Hip Hop (is concerned),” Miles said. “I think that we’re a heavy contender in Pittsburgh and I’m actually really proud of the movement and the fact that everybody from the city is making moves and trying to succeed and while they’re doing that, they’re putting on for our city.”
“I plan on separating myself solely on the fact that you’ll be able to draw no comparison because we’re really creating a sound,” Miles said.
PaulMeara.com recently caught up with the Pittsburgh up-and-comer as we discussed new his new project, how he got to where he is, Pittsburgh Hip Hop and more.
What made you want to do Hip Hop and what is the whole story behind Devin Miles as an artist?
Devin Miles: What made me get into Hip Hop was actually my brother because back when I was younger, maybe about 10 or 11, he was freestylin’ and he really took it seriously but whenever I got to see him do it, I was like, “that’s pretty tight.” I could see those who were like 12 or 13 recording little personal rhymes from those little bootleg PC mics and stuff and I would just record it, play it back and then I got into beat-making because I’ve always loved to produce and I started to produce probably when I was around 14 and I made beats until I was like 17. I got to engineer. I got to work with Big Germ and E. Dan down at ID Labs and I did some time down there working as an engineer and I was still rapping at the time but I wasn’t really taking it seriously. I just kept making some music and then Zeke, my manager, he was like, “I think it’s time to take it to the world,” and I was like, “let’s go.” I dropped my first project last year, which was Finding My Own and after that, I’ve just been on it.
A lot of these young artists want to be producers as well and it’s interesting that you bring that up. How serious are you on the producing tip?
Devin Miles: I’m actually very serious on it. I took a break for a while cause I wanted to focus on rapping and using other producers but recently I started to get back on it heavy because on my future project, I’m gonna have a lot of dope production on it and I take a lot of inspiration from Big K.R.I.T. cause he’s dope at producing everything and he’s one of my favorite artists.
When was that moment that you knew that you wanted to do Hip Hop and make it your future?
Devin Miles: It was probably my freshman year in high school, I was like 15 and I met up with a fellow member in the RLES Society Jo Christo and he was one of my good friends in high school and him and I were just making music when we were freshman and we were at my house one day making beats and stuff like that and we just thought this was the greatest thing we could ever do and it’s the only thing we ever wanted to do. All our friends would go out and be reckless and stuff like that and we would just be there with a total satisfaction in making records like he would make them, I would make them and really then I was like, “this is what I wanna do.” I’ve always played music, I played piano and guitar since I was like five so I’ve always loved it and I always knew I was going to do something in it cause nothing else really interested me. Hip Hop, I just few to love it over time ever since I was young because of my brother and I owe him a lot, not just from when I was younger but definitely in high school and I didn’t even take it seriously but I knew the time would come and that’s what it felt like. I’ve loved it way back and it helped me want to produce.
There are a lot of rappers out there because technology has been able to give basically anyone an outlet. How are you trying to compete with the next guy when there are so many to choose from?
Devin Miles: First and foremost I plan on doing this strictly off the music I’m gonna make. I’ve got some crazy things going on. As you know, I’m one third of The University, they’ve produced for J. Cole and me and them have a project coming out next that’s solely produced by them and myself and it’s on some music you’ve never heard before. I plan on separating myself solely on the fact that you’ll be able to draw no comparison because we’re really creating a sound. And of course, I’m trying to stay more visual and get more interactive with my fan base so they can get more and see me more and that’s where I feel I’ve been lacking. That’s important because they can see what’s going on and they can be a part of my growth because I wouldn’t grow without them.
Pittsburgh is becoming more and more involved with the national Hip Hop scene (Mac Miller, Wiz Khalifa, etc.) and you’re trying to be a part of that. What are your thoughts about the Hip Hop scene in the Steel City?
Devin Miles: I think honestly that we are a powerhouse in the country as far as Hip Hop (is concerned). We have some of the dopest spitters. We obviously have Mac, we Obviously have Wiz but we have a lot of great underground talent. We’ve got a lot of dope producers here, a lot of kids that I know who are younger who have a lot of raw talent and they’ll be able to grow and continue on and of course there’s the Come Up Boys, shout out to them, Vinnie and Franchise. They make great music. Shout out to Beedie and the Varsity Squad, Jon Quest, we’re all making huge strives and I think that we’re a heavy contender in Pittsburgh and I’m actually really proud of the movement and the fact that everybody from the city is making moves and trying to succeed and while they’re doing that, they’re putting on for our city, which is great, ya know?
This is How I Live just dropped. Tell me about the project and what you’re expecting as far as reaction is concerned?
Devin Miles: I feel good about this actually. This is definitely some of my favorite music I’ve made and my fans who’ve heard Finding My Own are definitely going to realize my growth in my music and they’re gonna feel more in one with me because my sole purpose is, if I could touch one soul out there, I feel like my goal is accomplished and I could see that off of Finding My Own because that was a deeper project and people said that they felt me and I hope that they can continue to grow with me so that those people can realize my growth and what’s going on right now and the newer fans that have hopped on, they’re definitely gonna like the music because it covers a whole wide variety of everything, every level possible. We’ve actually got some videos coming out, we’ve got some good promo coming out. I really think it’s gonna do real well.
- Paul Meara
Monday, May 7, 2012
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