The Spotlight is on…
When did you fall in love with H.E.R.
- Tarik: I grew up on Linden Blvd in Cambria Heights, Queens so when I
was kid in the 80′s I saw DMC chillin in Hollis, I saw LL Cool J
walking down the street in St. Albans. I saw these superstars in my
hood. I felt privileged to grow up in a borough that was home to the
best that Hip Hop had to offer. It was more than the music that made
me first fall in love hip hop, it was the cultural affiliation with
these artist that made me see hip hop as a part of my identity.
Kimani: I first met her and brought her home in around 1983. i bought
this profile records tape that had ‘sucka mc’s’ by Run D.M.C. on it. I
listened a lot more over the years. learned a lot from it. KRS and
Chuck D were saying the same shit my parents were trying to teach me,
but they said it only cooler. But it wasn’t until 1990 that I thought
that my involvement with h.e.r. could me more than just as a listener.
That record was “People’s Instictive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm”.
A lot of the samples were from records my mom used to play in the
house (Stevie, Marvin). Something about that record was inclusive to
me. I felt connected in a way that I hadn’t felt before. And it was
then that I fell in love with H.E.R.
- Tarik: MC
I used to break dance all the time as a kid but when I became a
teenager I started writing lyrics religiously. I used to write raps
and mail them to my best friend/cousin Rezen (rest in peace) down in
Texas. He would do the same and mail his raps to me. It was so much
fun communicating with someone in that manner.
DJ: I have an iPod and an iPhone so I can DJ anywhere anytime. Times
have changed huh?…. It’s a shame….
Producer: I make beats but I don’t consider myself a producer.
Everybody and their mama has a beat machine and makes “dope” beats.
Kimani is a real producer while I make beats which I’m stockpiling to
sell someday to some naive rich kid who wants to be a rapper!
Kimani: MC/Songwriter. It’s evolved over the years. DJ: I had a radio
show in college. Good taste in music but my mixing skills are shit.
Producer: I did all the music on Giant Antlers, and Stone Soup for
that matter. Graff Writer: I should have been a doctor cause my
handwriting is like cavemans so I do not write at all. BBoy: I can
fake dance. I used to windmill on my living room rug while watching
video music box, but i’m not a b-boy.
Dayjob or no Dayjob?
- Tarik: Dayjob Nightjob whatever. I’m bout that paper! Gimme da Loot!
Kimani: Dayjob. Suit and Tie. No beard…
5 All time favorite records?
- Tarik: Illmatic, Low End Theory, It Takes Nation of Millions, Aquemini, Voodoo,
Kimani: The low end theory. It takes a Nation Of Millions. Rage
Against The Machine (self-titled). Thriller. Ten.
Internet: gift or curse?
- Tarik: Curse…
Kimani: Both? It put third earth out of business. It made me get a
real job. But without it I doubt that we’d have fans in places that
we’ve never been, without a very expensive direct mail campaign. Also
I wouldn’t have heard most of the really good music that i’ve been
exposed to over the past few years without the internet. So as far as
I’m concerned the pro’s far outweigh the cons.
- Tarik: Staying alive this long. Seriously….
Kimani: My three proudest hip-hop accomplishments, which is what I
assume you are asking are as follows.
Running into Q-Tip on my block, giving him a copy of i’m talented on
tape and then getting a chance to open for them a couple of times.
Having Dj Red Alert play our record on the radio. He talked over the
end of the song and repeated the chorus and that was a special moment.
We went out to Jersey to Marley’s house to do his radio show. We were
on with Lord Tarik and Peter Gunz. We got to pick a beat to freestyle
to and we picked ‘Road to the RIches’. One of my favorite beats of all
clearly i haven’t done anything of note in a long time…
Why should people check you out?
- Tarik: Because their life’s time line continuum will be lost in
infinite stupidity if they don’t.
Kimani: The music speaks for itself. it’s honest. and it’s really really good.
- Kimani: I’m inspired to make a record so that my kids can say “my dad
might not have sold a million records, but those records? those
records? nobody was fucking with that shit.”
- Tarik: No favorite yet… Still yet to come
Kimani: insomnia 411 with slug and jean grae. i hate the coldplay
sample. but the emotion in that song carries over. so i needed to make
a version with tarik on it. now it’s called black insomnia 411.
Why do you still love H.E.R.?
- Tarik: Because I love myself.
Kimani: i’m nostalgic. i have great memories with her. and she’s still
pretty fly when she puts some effort into her appearance.
Where can we check you out?