Mayer Hawthorne on Michigan Radio

January 7, 2009

Mayer Hawthorne on Michigan Radio: From Hip-Hop To Doo Wop For Ann Arbor Native

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[via:StonesThrow, interview by Laura Weber]

HouseShoes and Sweeney Kovar w/Abraham Beltron

December 29, 2008

Sweeney posted this over at Classic Drug References, it’s definitely worth checking out.

Sweeney Kovar Interviews Hex Murda

December 25, 2008

Sweeney Kovar over at Classic Drug References just posted an interview with Hex Murda. Check the excerpt below or click here to read the full thing.

Hex Murda: what the fuck? What is that?
A fucking recorder so I can record this…

Hex Murda: Oh. Sweet.

… and I can write this shit out *spills Heineken* and I can spill shit all over the place.

Hex Murda: Did you spill real liquor or just beer?

Just beer.

Hex Murda: Oh okay. I almost kilt your face. When you write that shit put asterisk, Hex almost kilt my face, asterisk. I don’t like that ho ass shit. A nigga gonna call me or send me a link to my Blackberry, I already know, it’s some ho shit. I look on there and its some nigga on the there talking, ‘I don’t know why everybody think Black Milk is so cool…’ How the fuck nigga, you wake up thinking about another man, you were dreaming about him, and then be like, nigga he’s not cool. So niggas get on there like, ‘yo, Black Milk is cool,’ or, ‘I don’t like Black, blah blah blah this and that,’ then some nigga come in like, ‘he’s not cool!’ It’s like, bitch, I like chocolate ice cream and you don’t like chocolate ice cream, don’t make me not like chocolate ice cream. Bitch, stick to vanilla. Why the fuck would you get up like, I hate chocolate ice cream, you faggot ass nigga. That’s why I be mad at these niggas.

Dude chilling backstage: That’s why I leave them alone yo. They don’t exist in real life, they don’t exist.

Hex: You know what though, let’s keep it real. I done caught niggas on the Internet, no bullshit, I’m famous for that. I’ve caught niggas on the Internet, I’ve caught three niggas. Got their IPS addresses, holla’d at my people, nigga got the reverse directory, found these niggas like, ‘whassup nigga, talking shit on the net?’ One nigga, this one bitch ass nigga was on the computer when I walked into his office, he did graphic design. So I walk into this nigga office, me and my cousin, he got his pops and his bitch in there. I walk in like, ‘hey man, you do flyers?’ he’s like ‘hey, whatsup!’ like he ain’t had motherfuckin client in like 6 months, he surprised as hell. He’s on the computer, on the site when I walk in. I tell him, you do flyers? Yeah I do flyers. You do cards? Yeah I can do whatever. You can do a card like this?  I had a Dreadnaughtz card with me that was horizontal and shit, instead of vertical. Or was it vertical instead of horizontal? Yeah it’s vertical… nigga I’m black and I’m drunk, shut up. So I give him the card, he’s looking at it and the shit says, ‘DREADNAUGHTZ – HEX.’ He was talking shit to me on the Internet for like, two weeks before that till I figured out, because I had just came home from the joint…



Click here to read the full interview.


Out Da Box Tv Episode 4 feat. Black Milk

November 29, 2008


Nametag Interview

October 29, 2008

When you’re rocking over beats by some of Detroit’s most talented producers and you’re the cousin of who’s widely considered as the city’s leading Hip Hop ambassador, you’d better have your act together. Nametag knows that a strong supporting cast isn’t enough to make it, and he’s making it a point to not settle as a sidekick. Even his first mixtape, Ahead of the Basics, was named because of his aspirations to exceed expectations: “Whatever is basic lyrically—the the simple one-two punch line—doesn’t cut it for me,” he says. “It doesn’t prove that you’re a good artist or not. I couldn’t see myself dumbing down a verse.” Last month he released Classic Cadence Vol. 1 (click here), a mixtape that compiled highlights from his previous two mixtapes and notable guest appearances. He’s hoping that will whet Hip Hop heads’ appetites for Courtesy of Ambition, an EP that hits the streets November 25.

In an interview with MichiganHipHop, Nametag gives insight on his latest and upcoming projects, his down chick, and being the cousin of the legendary Detroit artist Black Milk. Continue reading →

RideOut Interview

October 23, 2008

Many emcees spend their entire careers trying to tap into audiences outside of immediate rap circles. Some will collaborate with rock artists, others will make deliberately female-friendly singles, and others will others look to land spots on multi-genre tours. The career of Lansing rapper RideOut, on the other hand, is the other way around. His first live performance was at his high school’s “Battle of the Bands” concert, and while at college in Ohio, he became the lead vocalist of SoundScape, a Hip Hop band that consisted of him and several instrumentalists.

But don’t get his genre-bending background confuse you: RideOut is an emcee’s emcee, placing emphasis on vivid imagery, storytelling and speaking on issues that matter. The City, his new album with SoundScape producer/bass player Terry Cole, has gotten rave reviews from go-to industry sources like OkayPlayer. With The City getting re-released in Japan through P-Vine Records earlier this month, RideOut talks to MichiganHipHop about the differences between rap crowds and rock crowds, how a Japanese audience will respond to his music, and what makes Michigan’s rap scene better than anywhere else’s. Continue reading →

RideOut On Why MI’s Hip Hop Scene Is The Best

You’ve done music in Michigan, you went to school in Ohio, and you’ve lived in Chicago, Tennessee and Alabama as well. How are the Hip Hop scenes in all those places different from each other, and where does Michigan’s Hip Hop scene fit into play?
Personally, I’m not really a big fan of the Chicago Hip Hop scene. Actually, I won’t even say the Chicago Hip Hop scene, because I don’t know about the “scene,” but I’m not a big fan of a lot of Chicago rappers. I feel like a lot of them don’t have the layers that you might see in Detroit or other places. Everything has it’s exceptions, though; like I’m a big fan of Common, Kanye, Lupe, Crucial Conflict, Do or Die, PyschoDrama. That’s a couple that have stood out to me, I count those as influences. Down in Tennessee, at least when I was down there, it was all Three 6 Mafia, they reigned supreme, and that’s something I’ve never really been on, but even as much as I don’t like Three 6 Mafia, that region really helped to diversify the flow, diversify the different types of music that I was open to, able to rap on. There’d be cats from New York saying, you know, “You can never rap on a Three 6 Mafia beat”, but I can do that, even if I don’t like them, I’ve been able to adapt the flow. Being down there in Tennessee and Alabama definitely helped me appreciate 8Ball, Scarface, OutKast, Goodie Mob, even Ludacris. I heard Luda before everybody heard Luda; everybody outside of the south, anyway. I already knew the words to most of Luda’s album when I moved to Michigan. Like, I remember going to school hearing “Hey, you heard this guy Ludacris? He’s got this song ‘What’s Your Fantasy,’” and being like, “Yeah, I already know this dude.” Coming up in the Midwest, being a cat that was really into the Jay-Z and the DMX and the Fugees, all the mob beats and stuff, that was something I wasn’t used to, that definitely helped broaden my horizons. Looking at the East Coast art form, I found different ways to do it. Even when I was down there, I was still into Eminem and D12 and Canibus, guys who had that lyrical quality; the guys in the south are stuck somewhere in the middle. Continue reading →

Now On Interview

October 6, 2008

In a city where sunshine and silicone reign, Hip Hop group Now On are showing Californians how Michigan puts it down. Initially, the trio of Jackson Perry, Haircut and IX Lives were living in Ann Arbor: where the closest thing they had to a beach was Belle Isle, snow boots were used during 10 months per year, and widespread success was just an aspiration. But the group’s big move three years ago has them bringing substance to the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles.

It all began with each member performing with separate groups; Haircut with Athletic Mic League, Jackson Perry with Funktelligence, and IX Lives with Ace Deuce Clique. Crossing paths while performing at the same venues, friendships led to the three collaborating until their collective chemistry prompted a permanent partnership. Fellow Detroit artist and friend, Buff1, coined the rapping/singing/producing trio “Now On”, which is an abbreviation of their motto: “Live from Now On to the future.”

With several quality full-lengths already padding their discography—“Eye Level,” “From Now On…,” “Don’t Call It a Mixtape”—the group dropped their new LP, “Tomorrow Already,” last week under A-Side Worldwide. Jackson Perry and Haircut (IX Lives couldn’t join the interview because he was attending a college business course) connected with to talk about changing locales, loving home, and the importance of voting. Continue reading →

Willie The Kid Interview

October 2, 2008

Since reciting Rakim’s rhymes as a kindergartner, Grand Rapids, Mich. emcee Willie the Kid knew he was destined for greatness. He’s already helped secure that success by making the right networking moves: a working relationship with mixtape heavyweight/T.I.’s official turntablist DJ Drama and fellow mixtape DJ/producer Don Cannon helped him nab a deal with their Aphilliates Music Group (AMG), and his older brother La The Darkman is a long time affiliate of the Wu-Tang Clan. But friends in high places can only do so much, and Willie’s shown the talent and work ethic it takes to make it happen. His witty, punchline-heavy bars have held their own alongside the likes of Young Jeezy, T.I. and Jadakiss with his appearances on Drama’s Gangsta Grillz: The Album last year, and he’s got several solo mixtapes under his belt as well. Even though Willie has relocated to Atlanta with a degree from Clark Atlanta University, he still realizes that he’s been given opportunities that not many people from his violence-laden hometown, nicknamed “Gun Rule,” get to experience. With his major label (AMG/Asylum Records/Atlantic Records) debut Absolute Greatness, which hits stores this week, he plans to do what MC Breed and The Dayton Family did for Flint in the ‘90s: permeate Hip Hop’s established geography and put on for his city. Continue reading →

eLZhi Interview

August 13, 2008

Ever since his days of working with storied groups such as The Breakfast Club and 925 Colony, Elzhi has been considered one of Detroit’s top-tier lyricists. His flawless technique—the deft beat-riding ability, complex internal rhyme schemes, the metaphor- and simile-stacked verses—has earned him the respect of Hip Hop heads everywhere, and his female-friendly verses have helped Slum maintain a rapport with the fairer sex as well. The problem is, Elzhi’s music hasn’t always been very accessible: though Slum Village’s albums have consistently been in stores, much of Elzhi’s music has been released with small runs and limited distribution, forcing fans to scour eBay and message boards to satisfy their fixes.

But this summer, Elzhi has finally released The Preface. Weighing in at 16 tracks and one hour long, the album has punchline-heavy bars, conceptual gems, panty-wetters, and cohesive narratives—everything that an Elzhi fan would expect after waiting this long for a proper debut. In an interview with, Elzhi gives insight into the construction of the disc, recounts his past and present roles in Slum Village, and the importance of showing his artistic dimensions. Continue reading →