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B Bravo - Nights (Feel Like Getting Down)



Just a little one for Passionweiss.

As per usual, modern funk authority B. Bravo combines old and new to form a potent dance elixir that makes involuntary toe-tapping a certainty. The L.A. beat architect appeared on Salva’s Peacemaker project along with partner Teeko last year and welds the vocoder like few other boogie cyborgs can.

“Nights (Feel Like Getting Down)” is a tribute to Billy Ocean’s classic disco floor filler and keeps the vibe going over thirty years after the original. During my interview with B. Bravo last year, he co-opted Dam Funk’s mission to uplift people with funk rather than chase success and this track doesn’t deviate from the game-plan. Synths, talk-box and drums, B. Bravo keeps it simple because when you’ve got interplanetary vibes this strong you don’t dare mess with the groove. A free download to celebrate his upcoming Europe mini-tour, this belongs in your playlist next to Zapp’s finest.

Big L - Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous



I wrote about Big L's titanium debut as part of Passionweiss' Hardest Rap Albums Of All Time. You can read the rest here. 

“So don’t step to this ‘cause I got a live crew / You might be kinda big but they make coffins your size too / I was taught wise / I’m known to extort guys / This ain’t Cali, it’s Harlem nigga, we do walk-by’s.”

Spite incarnate, Big L’s music was forever shadowed by death. Every other line was a blast of threats aimed at enemies, doubters, competitors and anyone who had something to lose. Lamont Coleman was undermining parent’s attempts to raise well-adjusted children, years before Shady gripped a chainsaw. L splattered his bars with an encyclopedia of offensive content and spat them with enough malice to traumatize a Juggalo. Who else would end a song by shouting out murderers, thieves and people with AIDS?

Coleman’s debut was the only full-length album recorded during his short life and he named it in direct opposition to television showLifestyles of the Rich and Famous. As someone who had no time for caviar dreams, Big L was the quintessential disaffected youth. He was too poor to afford a conscience and rarely paused between dome cracking bars to reflect on social issues. Cold angst permeates throughout the record and as a fan of horror films, L relished playing the villain and shocking the listener. While other emcees claimed the means justified the ends, Lamont laughed off constraint and poisoned eardrums with comparisons to the devil.

The power of Lifestylez doesn’t just lie in dark imagery though. Big L was a paradigm of technical ability with internal rhyme schemes and caustic wit. “I got styles you can’t copy bitch, it’s the triple six, In the mix, straight from H-E-double-hockey sticks.” Coleman’s lyrical bloodbath was also backed by D.I.T.C’s production and the album knocks front to back. Unfortunately, Columbia couldn’t predict suburbanites enjoying jokes about killing nuns and found Illmatic’s conscious spin on street-life was easier to market. Big L was dropped a year later and gunned down before he could record a proper follow-up making this project a haunting reminder of the realities of Harlem in 1995.


Yelawolf Interview

Yelawolf Interview

In 2011, Yelawolf was on a victory run. The half-Cherokee rapper born Michael Wayne Atha had escaped a dangerous career in deep-sea fishing, weeks of homelessness and being dropped from Columbia by Rick Rubin to prove he was rap’s next big star. Atha had raw talent and could rhyme over any style of music, even embracing his country roots without coming across as yet another novelty act. Trunk Muzik released the year prior had amassed a huge online following and Eminem quickly signed Yelawolf as one of the first acts on the newly revived Shady Records. Spirits were understandably high when he told XXL in an interview that year: “I can tell you that when you’re willing to give your life up to see a dream through, the reward is great. And now that I’ve become an apprentice to one of the greatest artists in the world, my potential reaches beyond anything I ever imagined.”

Unfortunately his debut album Radioactive never delivered on his potential. Atha sounded misplaced on several tracks containing uncomfortable collaborations, uninspired beats and forced crossover attempts, later admitting he had given up creative control to his formerly trusted production company. In 2012 he suffered a ruptured spleen during a performance in Wisconsin and was placed in the Intensive Care Unit, an accident that he credits for putting his life under renewed focus. Determined to put out a project that his fans deserved, Yelawolf released the Trunk Muzik Returns mixtape last year. He spent the latter half of 2013 recording his second LP in a secluded Nashville studio with only a few close collaborators. During our interview we talked about the recording process this time around, convincing Big Boi to let him rap, working with Eminem and which “Box Chevy” chapter is his favourite. Recharged and shaking off the ghost of Radioactive, Yelawolf is convinced sophomore album Love Story will continue his return to form. I for one believe him.

Moe Man - Straight Real

kapitol click

Originally published at Passionweiss 

In 1996, G-Funk was still the soundtrack to bouncing cars, block parties and Malt Liquor bottles. DJ Quik dropped the classic Safe + Sound the year prior and 2pac was yet to introduce rap music to suburbia with “California Love.” Oakland’s Moe-Man took influences from G-Funk as well as the Bay Area’s Mobb Music on Straight Real, which he released independently the same year. Sadly, the project went unheard in the mainstream despite its quality. Considered an underrated Bay Area gem and a rare find even in the golden age of music piracy with copies selling on Ebay for $800.00, Straight Real deserves to find its way to your stereo.




Producer K.T. The Orchestrata laced the album with bass heavy beats and fly synth jams. Moe-Man shouts him out various times on record and claims they’re brothers. Whether he means brother in blood or soul isn’t clear, but K.T’s relationship with the funk is evident as soon as you hit play. The keys on “Don’t Take The Streets Lightly” are slicker than Eazy-E’s Jheri curl and the instrumental for “Is It Like That?” sounds good no matter who’s rapping on it. Samples from The Isley Brothers, Afrika Bambaataa and Too $hort prove K.T has excellent taste and the album is populated with classic R&B to add further flava. He raps on the album as part of the Kapitol Click alongside Big Daddy-O and Shoddy Shod, but K.T’s best work is as the groove constructor behind the boards.



Moe, not to be confused with Houston’s Big Moe, rhymes quickly and confidently. He can’t be faded, talks shit and lays game down like Nino Brown. His style and delivery is a paradigm of West Coast rap in the 90s. Moe sticks to classic rap tropes for the majority of the album and it sounds great. His wordplay is simple and lacks the charisma N.W.A packed during the same era, but it works. Moe-Man speaks on the struggles of poverty on “Young Bro,” while his producer switches style to something more akin to a Native Tongues record. Only during “40 Oz. Kid” does he sound completely out of place, attempting to emulate Slick Rick’s smooth paced delivery without the necessary creative wordplay. 


Where are K.T The Orchestrata and Moe-Man now? If Google’s crack surveillance team only has four relevant links about your output, you’ve either stopped making music or avoided the internet. In the age where even struggle rappers and local stars have some mention online, it seems sadly inconceivable that either has established prolific careers. K.T’s vanished despite his tunes having more bounce than a fatty on an inflatable castle. Whilst Moe-Man has supposedly performed in Vegas under the name Moetrouble and this YouTube account which sporadically posts videos just might be him. Maybe our Bay Area readers/local rap detectives can help uncover the mystery? Any information will be rewarded with one low quality pirated copy of Straight Real, a picture of E-40 holding his glasses between his thumb and forefinger and a Walkman with foam headphones.

Young Scooter ft Kevin Gates and Rich Homie Quan - Drugs Remix

scooter gucci


















Originally published at Passionweiss 

Young Scooter’s struggle bars ensure the “Drugs” [Remix] won’t be making an appearance on anyone’s song of the year list, but only the heartless won’t appreciate Rich Homie Quan’s sincere croons dedicated to brain altering chemicals. Originally written off as a Future clone, the 24 year old has croaked himself a different lane and a few undeniable hits along the way. It’s not entirely fair to write off Scooter’s mumble mouthed rhymes as they’re entertaining enough, but it’s his perpetually affluent hook man who owns the track.

Kevin Gates comes along in the last minute with a tacked on guest verse and though his feature could have been better used elsewhere, complaining about a free verse by one of the best is punishable with ten Lil Twist bars. The sensitive thug takes a damaged view on substances and exposes detail about friends who’ve changed, the impact of bad drugs and his daughter learning to walk while he was incarcerated.



Quan and Gates also appear on remix of “Two Rounds” by Houston MC Propain. The original debuted on the latter rapper’s very solid albeit uncreatively named Ridin’ Slab mixtape from last year. This is another jam boosted yet again by the Rich Homie’s melancholic vocals and intricate couplets from Gates, who at this stage I must refrain from writing further praise about lest I enter full Stan mode. Sex raps for radio are typically a PG borefest, but the song is anchored by witty reference to the classic “O-o-h Child” (Things Are Gunna Get Easier) by The Five Stairsteps. Listen below and give thanks to the luxurious Homie.

Shy Glizzy: Street Poet or Poor Man's Boosie?



By Jimmy Ness and originally written for Passionweiss

It’s cool to be weird in 2013. Danny Brown is Yakuza dope boy chic, Future’s an astronaut, Lil Wayne wears leopard print jeggings and Lil B’s cat has recorded more songs than you. Nostalgic fans see the ‘90s as the zenith of rap and I’m not inclined to argue, but there’s also something to be said for this era in which artists are free to experiment.

Washington D.C.’s Shy Glizzy isn’t the most innovative or strange, but there’s something oddly fascinating about his raggedly long sideburns, high pitch and sometimes boyish persona. The 20 year old, whose name is an acronym of ‘Street’s Hottest Youngin’ and a slang term for a glock, is a relative newcomer with less than five official mixtapes under his name. There’s only a few interviews with him online, and it takes a deep Google search to reveal his supposed government name: Marquis King.

Glizzy claims to have spent much of his youth robbing people and discovered he had a talent for rap after trying to write a book during a stay in a youth detention center. While third rate crack rappers from the front page of Datpiff trade phony coke stories and clamber over each other for the next big trap single, the Southeast DC rookie distinguishes himself with tales of the underclass, a nasally twang and simple, yet effective hooks. But is he just a poor man’s Lil Boosie?

Wale nearly signed the 20 year old to his BOA label, and MMG also courted him briefly. Everyone’s favorite felon Gunplay even appeared in the video for “Busters,” but not everyone is convinced. Chief Keef and Fat Trel had him banned from their DC show last year over some convoluted Twitter beef, which is probably Mr Folarin’s fault. Glizzy, of course, used this as an opportunity to gain some shine and released several tracks including a mediocre Keef diss called “3 Milli.” Shy flashes a piece in the video, says the O Blocker sounds like he’s 40 and spits the terribad line “I’mma catch your grandmother and shoot her in her titties.”

Despite the uninspired granny diss, Glizzy is a pretty unique character and the wiry rapper occasionally avoids the ultra-masculine bravado of the traditional MC. Shy references being raised by his grandmother and mother in various songs, sometimes calling the latter “mommy.” On “I came from nothing” off the mixtape Law, he also mentions his lack of athleticism. “Lord have mercy on me. Uhh, I wasn’t blessed to be LeBron. I wasn’t blessed to have a Michael Vick arm.”

Glizzy’s latest mixtape, Fxck Rap, is also an interesting listen. There’s personal tales about getting kicked out of multiple high schools, trying PCP and the murder of his father. But Shy’s true strength lies in catchy song writing.

“Swish” and “Pilot” are pretty solid singles and the album’s production is decent. “Swish” thumps like a trap anthem should and Glizzy uses the line “Pop a model, pop a bottle,” which could be a hook in itself. He also mentions groupies who are willing to do anything for a Twitter follow, and my hope for the human race decreases.

Glizzy’s appearance on newcomer AR-ab’s track “Shoot Gunz” further demonstrates his unique presence. Though the track is AR-ab’s, it belongs to Shy. He nasally raps the hook, switches his flow and calls himself “a glock connoisseur” before his co-star intrudes with forgettable thug raps.

However, Shy’s vocabulary is limited and he relies on rapping the same word multiple times. Some of his metaphors break the barrier between funny a la 2 Chainz and straight embarrassing. Lines like “I told her I’m the shit, she say you don’t even stink,” are lazy at best and should be kept for post-jail Lil Wayne. On Fxck Rap, Glizzy admits he’s only been rapping for two years, and it often shows.

If I were a rap soothsayer, I’d say Shy has three career paths. He will improve and put out a solid project that will win him mass appeal. He could fade into obscurity or get big quickly off a gimmicky single. Being a pessimist, I’m going to assume it’s one of the last two and an early collaboration with Trinidad James might mean he’s already looking for a trend or “hot artist” to piggyback him. But Shy Glizzy shows promise, and I’d be happy to be proven wrong.

Nardwuar Interview



Written by Jimmy Ness and originally published at Passionweiss

Nardwuar the Human Serviette is a squawky voiced, tartan-wearing Canadian who knows more about his interviewees than they do. The man previously called John Ruskin uses his encyclopedic knowledge of music to shock, impress and enlighten. His unorthodox approach includes asking his targets who they are, giving them presents and freezing in a wide mouthed grin until the camera shuts off. This pulls the humanity out of media-trained celebrities who are usually surrounded by yes-men and unprepared for the baffling torrent of obscure questions and non sequiturs. Pharrell thinks it’s the best interview he’s ever had, Alice Cooper hung up on him, Kid Cudi left mid-way through and Snoop Dogg invited him to his house.

The controversial Canuck also works as a guerilla journalist and has questioned several world leaders, including former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien who said he didn’t know what pepper spray was, instead claiming “for me, pepper, I put it on my plate.” Finally, Nardwuar plays in several bands, hosts a show on campus radio station UBC CiTR and has more interesting stories than the bible.

After months of trying to pin Nardwuar down for an interview, I caught up with him at Vancouver skate shop Antisocial before his band The Evaporators performed. A group of veteran punks in their 30s and 40s chatted as he rushed around setting up merchandise while wearing his trademark Scottish cap. I watched him while looking for anything that would signal a difference between his on-camera persona and the real Nardwuar. Although I didn’t come much closer to unraveling his true identity, he was a genuinely nice guy, doubled his interview time with me and spoke in rapid-fire mode at all times. We chatted about his research methods, this infamous interview with Blur, Sean Price imitating him, the freeze technique and Canadian rap.

What interested you in music journalism? I heard Sound Proof, a punk and new wave video show, had a lot to do with it.

Yes indeed, thanks for remembering that and thanks for the shout out for Sound Proof! That was a TV show on the North Shore where I lived. Unfortunately, I didn’t get cable, but a whole bunch of other kids at my high school did and they would always say there was some cool stuff on Sound Proof. I was able to actually get videotapes of episodes and was able to check it out. Finally, I actually participated in Sound Proof and that’s when I started doing a lot of interviews.


I couldn’t do Sound Proof until I volunteered at the local cable company though, so I had to volunteer filming council meetings and if you film council meetings then you were allowed to help out with Sound Proof. You had to do some community service, but I was so bad at filming council meetings that I started to laugh and the camera started to go up and down so they said “okay, you can go help out with Sound Proof.”

Around the same time, I got involved in UBC CiTR Radio [University of British Columbia’s campus radio station.] So I was doing a radio show and I was doing the radio interview thing, and then I started doing the video thing. So I decided I would film the interviews, take the audio for CiTR and take the video for stuff like Sound Proof.

Journalism is in your family too. Your mother was a history teacher, but she also wrote a book about a Vancouver bar owner and hosted a television show.

Yes indeed, thank you for digging so deep into the archives. That’s amazing you know that. Well yes, my mom was a member of the North Shore Historical Society. She would drag me to all her meetings, so as a young child I would attend these meetings where all these local writers got together to talk about local history. I got into local history and then as I got into Punk Rock, I got into Punk Rock history. So it all sort of came together. My mom was doing stuff on local Vancouver history so I thought why not do stuff on local Vancouver punk and that got me interested in the roots of punk.


How did you get into other genres?

At first it was only punk rock. I would only interview punk bands and people said to me “hey man, metal is kind of fun why don’t you get involved in metal?” So I was like ok I’ll try metal. And then people were like “you’re stupid to only do punk and metal, why don’t you do rap?” and then I got into rap. And then people were like “there’s electronic music, why don’t you do electronic?” While I was at CiTR UBC radio, there were all different DJs there playing all different genres of music and they would come up to me and go “you’re so stuck in your ways.”


So I guess it was the influence of other people at CiTR UBC Radio, where I still do my show. Also when you do a radio show once a week every Friday, you can’t really discriminate. You eventually run out of punk things to talk about so you’ve got to do metal or you’ve got to maybe interview some politicians. So I think part of it was people telling me. But also having a show once a week you’ve got to interview everyone and you can’t just stick to the punk.

I heard you actually collect and create scrapbooks for artists you’d like to interview?

In the olden days anything that was in the newspaper about punk rock I would clip it out and put it in a clippings file. So I do a similar thing if someone’s coming to town. I open a file on my computer and I jot down information thinking maybe one day this person will come to town and I’ll have all this information ready. Or I dig through my files and stuff that I may have collected previously.


How long do you spend researching an artist? Do you have a team that helps you out?

I do my radio show once a week on CiTR, so generally during that week I have one interview and I think about that interview. That doesn’t mean I spend the whole week doing preparation for that one interview, but I do think about it that entire week. And sure around a radio station, I’ll go like “hey, I’m talking to this ska band called The Toasters from New York City, anything I should ask them?” or “what do you know about ska?” So yeah I do always run things by my friends as well.


How much of Nardwuar is a persona, and how much of it is who you are in real life?

Well every time I get on stage I do get excited and I jump around and I sing in The Evaporators crazily and when I do interviews I jump around and do interviews crazily. So I do get excited once I get on stage, once I’m doing interviews or once I do my radio show. Generally, I kind of think about it in the sense of when you go to a rock and roll gig.

I always was inspired by people like Jello Biafra of The Dead Kennedys. He gets up there and he jumps around so I figure when you have the chance to be able to do your music, jump around as well. I guess you can concentrate on singing, but maybe do it secondly. The same thing when you’re doing an interview. Also you should go full out, because you don’t have much time. You’re only limited to 20 minutes or 10 minutes or whatever so you gotta go in there, ask your questions and get the hell out! But if I had four or five hours, sure I’d love to just sit back and relax. Generally, it’s because I get excited, I get nervous and when you get nervous, you get pumped up and you gotta go fast, fast, fast!

I’m nervous……

So am I!


What about your clothing, your name etc? Do you use this stuff as a special tactic to draw the real personality out of your interviewees or did that just kind of happen by accident?

Well Jello Biafra of The Dead Kennedys is called Jello Biafra [a combination of the brand name Jell-O and the short-lived African state Biafra.] So I thought I could be called Nardwuar, the Human Serviette. So everybody sort of had fun names like that. As for what happens I don’t really plan anything. If it happens, it happens. I don’t really think of it as what you’ve described, I just kind of go and do it because every interview is different. So you go to an interview thinking it’s going to go this way and it never ends up being the way you think it’s going to turn out. So I just keep doing it because I just love it!


During your interview with the band Blur in 2003, drummer David Rowntree throws away your glasses and constantly physically intimidates you. Was the worst interview you’ve ever had?

Well that wasn’t the hardest interview I’ve ever had or the worst because the tape survived. When I interviewed the heavy metal band Skid Row and the heavy metal band Quiet Riot, they didn’t like the interview so much that they destroyed the tape from the interview. So I would say the Blur interview was a success. First off, because the interview happened and the tape survived. Years later actually, Dave of Blur apologized to me because quote “he was on cocaine.” It took him eight years to apologize to me but he actually did… so we can blame it all on cocaine.


[You can read Dave’s apology toNarduwar here. He says he keeps a video of the interview on his phone to remind him to stay drug free.]

I read that you’ve previously been banned from interviewing artists on labels like Geffen and Warner?

Yes, because when I interviewed Sebastian Bach of the hair metal band Skid Row and he destroyed the tape I was using for the interview. He stole my favorite Tuque, that’s why I wear this Tam [Nardwuar’s traditional Scottish hat.] He [Bach] was on that record label, so the people from that record label said “you can never talk to anybody on that record label ever again.” It lasted a few years and then well here I am back. I just interviewed Ed Sheeran the other day and he’s on Warner.



who is nardwuar
Nardwuar, artist and musician Tim Kerr and myself. 

Do you read a lot of music journalism and is there anything about contemporary music journalism you don’t like?

Oh I love the music journalism that I read. The only thing I would say is make more online blogs printable, so you can actually read them, like on the toilet. But I love reading what other people do because I know what not to ask and it’s fun reading interviews so I can get little tidbits here and there. Every interview that is done, even if it’s for a mainstream top 40 outlet, I’ll listen or read it because sometimes there’s tidbits of information out there. So I love all writers. I love all interviews and I get information from them all as well.


You were booking gigs for a little while yourself, but I heard you stopped because they were pretty disastrous. One of the craziest ones was the show at St David’s United Church, can you tell me about that?

Yes. Thank you again, amazing you’re bringing up these relics from my past. That was put on by a guy called Grant Lawrence, he’s my friend. He was in a band called The Smugglers and he managed to get a hold of the church, it wasn’t me. I was co-presenting with him because his mom knew people at the church, and we hired some skinheads to do the security. They did a good job, but unfortunately at the end of the evening they stole the money because they were working the door and they stole the amp for the church organ. So the next day when the people showed up for the church there was no amp to project the organ, that was sort of bad. Plus after the gig we didn’t go into the washrooms to clean them up and we later found out there was shit on the walls. I learnt quite a bit from there. After you do a gig, you should clean up.


I learned kind of the hard way because I thought you just leave. But then I learned when we left the parking lot – it was covered in beer bottles and stuff like that. The gig was a band called The Gruesomes from Montreal and they totally inspired me too because they covered a lot of bands in their set. Like they would cover obscure 1960s bands from Montreal and I was like “wow there’s cool obscure 1960s bands from Montreal?” That got me into ‘60s Canadian punk so that gig was a big turning point for me in 1988.

Did you see Sean Price pretending to be you while interviewing Pharaoh Monch? There was also someone dressed like you in Korn’s Twisted Transistor video.

You’re one of the few people to actually acknowledge that. I say to other people, “hey man I was in the Twisted Transitor video” and they are like “NO!” So thank you for acknowledging that. I am really there. Although, they never told me. They got a Nardwuar lookalike there.


How do you feel watching that stuff?

Well I was honored because Sean Price has a song that goes like “SHUTTHEFUCKUP!!!!” Kind of like the Juicy J song and I think that’s amazing. Pharaohe Monch, just to have him reacting to a fake me was out of this world. I just could not believe it, like this is Pharoahe Monch. I would love to speak to him myself. I guess I did it right there. So it was just something that I don’t think will ever happen again. I was just totally honored.


You’ve interviewed everyone from Jay-Z to Iggy Pop. Do you have many names left on your interview wish list?

Well, originally it was Neil Young, Bill Clinton and Kurt Cobain. I spoke to Kurt Cobain. I’ve tried Neil Young twice, failed both times. I guess I could try again when he comes to town in the next few weeks. Bill Clinton I’ve tried, but didn’t get close to him and was escorted out by other members of the media. It wasn’t like the authorities or anything. It was other members of the media saying “get that guy out of here, he’s Nardwuar, he’s going to cause a disturbance.”


So I really would love to do another presidential United States of America-ish interview with another political figure. I’ve interviewed some of the other prime ministers from Canada, but I’ve never interviewed a president that’s been in office. I’ve interviewed Gerald Ford, ex president of the USA, but I’d like to do some more presidential ones. So those are pretty much on my wish list still. I guess I’m still kind of hoping for Neil Young, but still Bill Clinton. Also if we bring it into the 21st century I would still like to speak to some of the legends of rock and roll like Little Richard or Jerry Lee Lewis. People that may be passing away soon. Hopefully they don’t, touch wood, but I’d like to speak with them because all this history is dying and you have to document it before it all disappears.

Do you personally find time to listen to music and what are you enjoying at the moment? Any rap?

In Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, there once was a rap artist who I’m still listening to called MC Terror T. I still listen to her and I listen to old school Vancouver rap. There was a group called EQ, which was one of the first groups that ever came out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. So I’ve been listening to some of the old stuff. As for other groups I do my radio show every Friday on CiTR, so there’s tons of music to listen to and I listen to CiTR as much as I can to find about new music. I’m constantly looking for it because I have no idea where to find it myself, that’s why I have to have CiTR direct me on where to look because all the different shows play at night and I can find out what I like.


I basically don’t know much at all. I have to find out what goes on, it takes a little while to find out. Yes even when I’m doing my radio show, as pathetic as it sounds, it takes me hours and hours to figure out what music to play. It’s so difficult.

At the end of every interview you completely freeze in one pose and stop blinking completely. Tell us about this technique.

I have no idea how the hell that happened. I think it happened originally because I was having so much fun that I didn’t want the interview to end. So I was like “ahhhhh!” I was just having fun. I don’t know how it happened!


You always mention Vancouver in your interviews. I just asked you about rap music and instead of talking about American music, you bought it back to Canada. Why do you love it so much?

I guess it goes right back to your first question, my mom. She was in the historical society. When I got into music, I got into local music and I love local scenes. However, if I was in Seattle I would be obsessed with the Seattle rock or rap scene, like Kid Sensation from Seattle or Criminal Nation from Tacoma. Anytime I go to a different city I’m interested in the local scene.


Looking back at your career, you seem to be a big advocate of the D.I.Y ethic when it comes to releasing and promoting music or even doing your radio show?

Yes because to begin with nobody would put on a gig for my band The Evaporators, so the only way to put on a gig is to put it on yourself. Same thing when you do a radio show. You’re doing the radio show, you have to program the music. I was doing my radio show for a little while and I was like “won’t it be cool to put out a record?” So I was inspired by a band in Vancouver called No Exit and they put out the first punk LP in Vancouver and I was given a copy of that record and I thought they can put out a record and they did it totally low budget.


What they did was they took the first Clash record and put their faces over the guys in The Clash so it was kind of a play on the first Clash record, it was totally do it yourself. So I thought I could do a record label, so Nardwuar records started in 1989. Then I thought I can put out a DVD, I can put out a CD and they can have Nardwuar t-shirts. So it started I guess because I saw other people doing it and also in Vancouver in the 1980s, I was inspired by the people that put out records. Because in Vancouver, people were like “ok we’re in a band let’s put out a record!” In other cities, they are like “well, we will put out a record but I don’t know if I want to put out an LP because I want to wait for the big major label deal.”

But here, there was no big major label deal to actually help you out, so you had to do it yourself. And a lot of things with the gigs too – there’s no place to play, there’s no place to do an all ages gig. I wanted to go to the bars, but I couldn’t go into the bars because I was too young, I looked like too much of a nerd. I could have grown a beard, but I still looked like a nerd. I still am a nerd now so I wasn’t allowed in there. You had to organize your own all ages gigs. If I lived in another city, it might have been different. There might have been a regular place to put it on, so you might not have had to do that but it’s different here in Vancouver. That’s why some of the best music is in Vancouver because people work hard. If you can do it in Vancouver you can do it anywhere in the world, because it’s so hard.

Do you have any advice for people looking to pursue music journalism?

I heard Green Day’s Dookie album and I didn’t hear one hit. I had no idea. In other words, my ideas are probably different and totally wrong compared to other people. So I’m trying to learn myself. I’m still trying to get to the top of the rock pile. But I would say what has helped me in my opinion has been being part of a community organization. You mentioned right at the beginning, Sound Proof. The local cable company, going right down there and volunteering for the local video show. Volunteering at CiTR UBC radio, the local campus community station. So I would say that in everyone’s town there usually is a local cable access TV show you can volunteer for or there’s a local campus community station and if you can volunteer and hang out at those places then you’ll learn a hell of a lot about journalism and you’ll meet so many people. I’m still learning. In fact, every time I show up to do my radio show I learn something. I always say, the minute you think you’ve learned everything is the minute you should quit.


What are you hoping to achieve with your career? I know that you were rushed to the hospital with a brain hemorrhage in 1999 and once you came out you felt a lot more determined and focused.

Originally, it was to be pool side with Heather Locklear. However, that’s dating me a bit so I will update it. To be poolside with Heather Graham. Roller girl from Boogie Nights, right? Not Heather Thomas, but Heather Graham. I guess my goal still is to get my own show. I didn’t have my own show on MuchMusic, I was a freelance contributor but I’d still love to do my own show. I guess also, like you say, after being in hospital your goals change and right now actually I’m just happy when I wake up in the morning and I have a pulse and I can breathe. So my goal is to get through the day as you get older.

Well thanks so much and Doot doola doot doo…

Doot Doo!

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The PotW Staff Remembers Their First Favorite Album


Music listeners are essentially dopamine addicts. The chemicals are secreted every time we hear a song we love.  We all remember the CD that changed us from casual listeners into audio fiends. Maybe we enjoyed the smooth grooves of a boyband or decided Sisqo had some street cred, but there’s nothing quite like discovering that life-changing album. Even if it was Creed’s greatest hits. Allow us to wax nostalgic for a second.



My introduction to music had an uncertain beginning. As an eight year old, I went through the painful process of being forced to return several albums by god-fearing parents. Targets included: Coolio for explicit language/bad hair, The Bloodhound Gang for poo jokes and boy band All-4-One, of “I Swear” fame, for sweetly harmonizing sex metaphors.

Months after letting Bryan Adams and a Christian rap tape gather dust, I sat watching Space Jam in a small theater. During the scene when a young Michael Jordan dunks, my eyes watered as I pictured myself also soaring through the air. I was blissfully unaware of a future in which I would a) still be white and b) only grow to the height of Big Sean. However, as soon as I could convince my family I wasn’t about to turn into Satan, the Space Jam soundtrack was in my uncoordinated little hands.

It was a crash course in rap and R&B, featuring everyone from Jay-Z to D’Angelo, to disappearing acts like Changing Faces and my former musical brethren All-4-One. Before his underage rendezvous gained interest, R Kelly sung his anthem “I Believe I Can Fly,” Coolio gave inspirational life advice which he clearly didn’t follow on “The Winner,” and Biz Markie met the Spin Doctors on “That’s The Way I Like It.” There was also a mysterious artist called “feat”or “ft,” who seemed incredibly prolific and appeared on almost every song. I distinctly remember telling people they were my favorite artist, until I discovered months later that “ft” was actually short for featuring.

“Hit Em High” was the album’s posse cut and undoubtedly my personal favorite. Somehow it managed to sound hardcore despite featuring no swear words, a feat even that the mighty Lil Romeo was unable to achieve. I listened to the soundtrack almost every day and could rap the lyrics word for word. My perception of music was forever altered and although my basketball career tanked, my obsession with everything audio had begun. It wasn’t until years later that my musical taste regressed to Limp Bizkit and Kid Rock. Oh the follies of youth.

 


Waka Flocka Flame - Rooster in my 'Rari


Waka Flocka Flame - Rooster in my 'Rari

By Jimmy Ness

Originally published at Passionweiss

This bangs so hard even the snarky elitists want to rip their cardigans off and smash stuff. Flocka shout raps to the roosters/chickenheads who sit in his Ferrari and try to sample the Flockaveli fortune. His opening acapella line sets things off nicely- “Pay for what girl? You better pay for this dick!” Fozzie Bear is too busy for gold diggers when there’s stacks to throw, other groupies to sample and Xannies to chew. 

You already know what this sounds like: booming trap beats and basic yell-along lyrics. But that’s not a bad thing. No one wants to hear political Flocka raps unless they’re about getting crunk with Obama and breaking windows in the White House.


“Rooster in my ‘Rari” doesn’t push any musical boundaries, but it’s a nice fiesta from technical wordplay and aggressive social commentary. Especially if you’ve been bumping Killer Mike and EL-P’s albums this month like the rest of us. Flocka’s music is stupidly fun and if you ignore any Trey Songz collaborations, Triple F Life might be the soundtrack for summer rioting and two day hangovers. Waka still does gutter shit better than any of those Chicago high-schoolers.

DJ Carnage Interview


Originally published at Passionweiss
DJ Carnage is a young producer who doesn’t care about old school rap values. He’ll make authentic gutter music for grill wearers and annoy them next week with poppy dubstep. Sneaking on the internet radar after producing Kreyashawn’s collaboration with Theophilus London “Shrimp Pt.2”, his uniquely rhythmic bass obviously stood out and he’s continued to carve a creative sound, whether working with the A$AP crew or remixing Beyonce.The DC native is also a charismatic rapper who smiles in all of his music videos and swears too much during interviews. We talked on a fuzzy phone line about working with the A$AP Rocky, smelling manure in Maryland and his varied production style.

By Jimmy Ness

What have you been doing at Coachella?
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Man, I’ve been out here on the Borgore tour. You know, I’ve been on the bus with Document One and Borgore and we have been doing shows and shows and shows. One of the stops on Borgore’s tour is Coachella. We’ve been watching other shows too, it’s pretty cool. I watched Rehab yesterday. I also watched Feed me, Madeon, Afrojack and we watched Swedish House, oh and The Black Keys.
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I read on Twitter, you said Kendrick Lamar sounded a bit like DMX?
Kendrick ….uh yeah when he was rapping he was very grungy, I don’t know. I can’t do real hiphop music, like I can’t listen to it. It has to be fast or obnoxiously stupid or something. I don’t know, I just can’t sit there and listen to someone try to be lyrical. You know, I just can’t do it.

Tell us a little about yourself?

I’m from Maryland, DC. Umm I’m 21 and ah you know, fuckin’ living in LA now because there’s more shit to do than in Maryland. I was out in the country. There were too many fuckin’ cows, waking up every day with the smell of manure and shit. So that’s just how it is, I’m living in LA now. Fucking young ass just turned 21 in January.
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How did you start making music?
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My mom and my step-dad bought me a Studio Bible and it was when I was living in the country. I had nothing to do so I just fucked around on my computer and tried to do something with my life. I just started making beats and long after that I got good, and I moved to LA. Your production style is very diverse.
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How would you describe your sound?
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Honestly, I don’t know. My influences are weird. One day I want to make some trap ass gutter shit and listen to Gucci. Then the next day I want to make some Progressive House like Swedish House Mafia, or some random day I just want to make some motherfucking grungy ass dubstep or
something. My managers hate it too because I have to make some hiphop shit and I’m just not in the mood , I just wanna make some dance shit. Or one day I have to make some dance shit and I just want to make some weird-ass bass shit. I don’t know. It’s whatever the fuck I feel like, I need to change my work ethic but that’s how it is.

What is Trap-Step?
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Trap-step is a mixture of trap music, you know the snares and 808s. You know the entrance of a trap song then right before the verse is about to come on you drop some nasty sick ass tune. It’s like the best of both worlds. You get to hear some grungy ass shit that makes you want to grit your face and as soon as the drop comes on, you want to slap the shit out of the person next to you.
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A few years ago you flew to Hawaii and watched Kanye make a beat for My Dark Twisted Fantasy?
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Yeah it was my boy Lino who told me to go out there. I went out with him and he was like ‘yo lets chill with them.’ We went out there kicking it in Hawaii. Lino, this guy I’ve been working with for hella long, he’s a great rapper. We went there and watched them make beats for like an hour. It was weird, quick and fast but they made a lot. [Kanye] He was really nice. He was really passionate about everything.
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How do you and Kreyashawn know each other?
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I’ve known her because she used to fuck with the crew. Everybody from the Bay I used to fuck with. So we were just friends and shit cause we would Tweet, and Skype each other and talk on UStream. She fucked with Lil B and I fucked with Lil B. One day we were like yo let’s make a freestyle and shit, and from there we did “Shrimp”.
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What do you think about the hate she receives?

She’s a really cool and talented girl. I think people say the hype is leaving because she hasn’t dropped new music. But I’m quite excited to hear her album though.
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You also linked up with Theophilus London through Twitter and made the beat for “Big Spender” with A$AP Rocky?
Yeah we did, because of Kreyashawn.

I sent Theo the “Big Spender” beat around August or something, a long time ago. He went crazy over it. We finished it in Australia and I was like “when are we going to release it?” Then around January, this year, A$AP Rocky jumped on it. They didn’t finish it though so that’s why it took so long. Then we had to wait a couple of months to get the sample cleared, so that’s how it happened.

I met A$AP at South by Southwest but I think I’m going to meet A$AP today again at his show, him
and A$AP Ant.
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One of my favorite tracks you’ve produced is “Tell ya” with A$AP Ant and Bodega Bams. How did that come about?
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It’s really grimy. I usually don’t make music like that and it was one of those things where I randomly felt like making music like that. It was weird. I just felt like making some grimy ass shit. My boy Bodega I’ve known him for years and years, he’s my big brother, and he’s an incredible rapper. Whenever I make some grungy hiphop shit I always sent it to him cause you know, he does that New York type shit. He did it and then gave it to A$AP Ant. I didn’t know that then. He hopped on it and I heard it and it was sick as shit. Then they shot the video, everyone from A$AP heard it and they fucking pushed that shit. So that’s how Told Ya came about. I love the tune.
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Are you doing anything with the A$AP crew in the near future?

Yams hit me up and said that they wanted some tracks for the A$AP Mobb album so we talked about it and shit. You’re going to hear some new Carnage and A$AP soon. Some massive tunes.
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You also rap, is that something you do just for fun?

When I rap, yeah it’s for the fun. It’s really like I have nothing to do that day and I’m not inspired to make any beats. So I rap on some shit and people like it, so why not make more you know. A lot of people tell me they like the videos and all that because it’s really fun, like a really fun energy. And that’s how I want it to be, I want it to be like, it’s like whatever you know. But not in the whatever sense that people don’t take me seriously. I’ll tell you a secret. It’s kind of cool that I don’t take my rapping seriously because at the end of it, I know that my beats and my production is something serious. I like to fuck with people’s heads. So they hear my rapping and THEN hear my beats….. and they are like “fuck is he actually a genius?”
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What do you want to achieve from your career?
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I want to be known as a legend. I want people to see me and be like “this guy is like remarkable.” I want to be on the Daft Punk, Timberland or Dr Dre level. I want to be known, you know. That’s my goal in life, to be one of those people that when I walk in front of other people there is a whole mob everywhere, like wow! Like they are in awe. That’s what drives me. Every single time I go to a show I’m pissed off because I haven’t reached that level yet, so it makes me work harder.