During my visit to New York, I met with the legendary Skyzoo for an exclusive interview for Hip-Hop Kings. We discuss Skyzoo Music for My Friends album, and talk about upcoming plans for the rest of 2016.
Skyzoo starts by discussing the reason for the album, and the direction he took for Music for my Friends, as a follow-up to his classic album “A Dream Deferred”. He mentions his growth as an artist and how he interprets the difference between mixtapes and his story telling albums. Skyzoo Music for my Friends was released independently and we talk about the challenges and obstacles that can arise from making that decision.
Skyzoo then talks about the single Luxury and the collaboration with Westside Gunn. We get a good story about how the artists met and how the collaboration comes around. Skyzoo is a fan of Hitler Wears Hermes, and the story also ties in with the collaboration with Jadakiss (See a Ki). Skyzoo put Westside Gunn on the single to give him so great exposure, and shoutout to Fly God which has done very well since it’s release.
Toward the end of the interview, Skyzoo gives us his personal favourite 3 tracks from Music for my Friends, which is clearly a tough quesiton due to the quality of the music on the record. The collaboration with Jadakiss was a bucket list moment and the collaboration was organic in the sense that it was recorded in a studio. Lastly, Skyzoo tells fans about the plans for tours and new music for the remainder of 2016.
DOWNLOAD | Music for My Friends – Skyzoo
You can watch the Skyzoo Music for my Friends interview on the YouTube player below. Please remember to subscribe to the YouTube channel and drop a comment as well.
Masta Ace Disposable Arts is without question a Hip-Hop classic. In the second video from the “Kings of New York” series, Hip-Hop Kings present the Masta Ace Disposable Arts interview.
When Hip-Hop Kings owner Ryan Maxwell went to New York, Masta Ace was one of the first interviews conducted for The Kings of New York series. Masta Ace has recently re-issued his classic album “Disposable Arts” as the physical went out of circulation. Masta Ace discusses the process behind the re-issue and talks about his favourite tracks from the record, along with the legnedary “Take a Walk”.
Later on in the interview, Masta Ace talks about the new two-hour documentary which celebrates the 20th anniversary of the album. Below System Records were responsible for making the re-issue and documentary happen, in partnership with Ace. If you haven’t seen the Masta Ace Disposable Arts documentary I highly recommend watching, as it’s a fantastic insight into the creation and history of the album.
Finally, the very last question confirms that Masta Ace is already working on a documentary of A Long Hot Summer nad filming has began. Please make sure you subscribe to the HHKMusic YouTube channel and share the video with a friend. You can watch the Masta Ace Disposable Arts Interview on the YouTube player below.
As part of a new Hip-Hop Kings video series titled “Kings of New York”, we have a brand new interview from Mike Towers El Final Del Principio. Mike Towers released the mixtape El Final Del Principio (The End of the Beginning) which reached #1 on the Latin Urban Music Charts.
DOWNLOAD | El Final del Principio – Mike Towers
I went to Brooklyn in March for a couple of weeks and created a mission of meeting with as many of the artists who I’ve supported over the years as possible. Despite Mike Towers only making his Hip-Hop Kings debut very recently, I was introduced by a friend (shoutout Jamieson) and was fortunate to spend some time with Mike and his friends in the studio. We discussed the new mixtape El Final Del Principio and the meaning behind the name. Mike Towers also talked about whether he would be releasing any other music from the mixtape and if we should expect to see some videos too. Mike Towers is part of #YoungKingz which is a mindset for young people who want to be successful and lastly, Mike tells us about his plans for an American, UK and European Tour.
Make sure you download Mike Towers El Final Del Principio from the iTunes link listed above. And please watch the interview on the YouTube player below. Subscribe to the channel for the upcoming interviews with artists including Masta Ace, Skyzoo, Torae, Ruste Juxx and many more. You can also view the official artwork and tracklisting for Mike Towers El Final Del Principio here. Make sure to follow Mike Towers on Twitter.
1 La Letra
2 Día de Cobro
3 Dinero en Mano
4 Déjate Ver
5 No Sabe Nada
9 Contra Quien Sea
10 Habitación 420
PREVIOUS | Denaun Porter Interview with Blatantly Blunt
Our friends over at Blatantly Blunt have recently caught up with Tim Westwood for a brand new interview. Tim Westwood talks about old school Hip-Hop which he describes as “electro” and how the sound was different to how the word is currently interpreted. Tim Westwood also talks about some of his stand out interviews and how he adapts his style to them. Check out plenty of other content on Blatantly Blunt and you can watch the Blatantly Blunt Interview with Tim Westwood on the YouTube player below.
Our good friends over at Blatantly Blunt have uploaded a brand new interview with Eminem’s right hand man and D12 member Denaun Porter (aka Kon Artis). Blatantly Blunt speak with Denaun about his work with Eminem, and being included on the Southpaw Soundtrack, along with a new album, and reflecting on Proof’s legacy and impact to not only himself but to Hip-Hop. Make sure you click the link above to subscribe to Blatantly Blunt and check out their OTHER INTERVIEWS as well. You can read the Denaun Porter Interview with Blatantly Blunt by clicking the link below.
INTERVIEW | DENAUN PORTER INTERVIEW WITH BLATANTLY BLUNT
DOWNLOAD | Cats & Dogs (Deluxe Version) – Evidence
During our trip to the 2015 Fresh Island Festival, Ryan Maxwell of Hip-Hop Kings was lucky enough to meet and interview Rhymesayers Entertainment artist Evidence. We are a huge fan of Evidence/Dilated Peoples at Hip-Hop Kings, so it was an honour to meet and interview Evidence, who confirmed that he will be releasing a brand new solo album next year, which he already has a handful of songs recorded for. Evidence also explains his reasons for wanting to sign with Rhymesayers Entertainment, and the guest producers and artists who have already featured on the upcoming album. Please support Evidence by downloading the albums Cats and Dogs and Directors of Photography from the links above. You can also watch Evidence – Fresh Island Festival Interview on the YouTube player below.
During the 20 year anniversary tour of “The Infamous”, Prodigy and Havoc of Mobb Deep came to Leeds for a live show, and our friends at KODH spoke with Havoc before the event. Presented by Sophia Ray (@SophiaRayENT), Havoc is asked about comparing the two tours (this year vs 20 years ago), and how Prodigy and Havoc first met. Live footage of the event in Leeds is also included in the video which was uploaded to the official KODH YouTube page. You can watch the KODH Presents – Mobb Deep: The Infamous Tour + Interview on the YouTube player below.
EXCLUSIVE | Atmosphere – Southsiders Interview
To celebrate 20 years of independent record label Rhymesayers, we have the first episode from their “A Moment in Rhymesayers” documentary. Uploaded to the official RSE YouTube Channel, the first episode features interviews with Slug, Musab, Siddiq and Ant, along with some rare live footage as well. Slug recently sat with Hip-Hop Kings to discuss the new album “Southsiders” which you can watch on the link listed above. Look out for the future episodes and you can watch A Moment in Rhymesayers – Episode 1: The Beginning on the YouTube player below.
PRE-ORDER | Chemically Imbalanced – Chris Webby
XXL Freshman Chris Webby gives Hip-Hop Kings an exclusive 25 facts about his album “Chemically Imbalanced” which fans from the UK can pre-order from the iTunes link listed above.
-I spent every penny of my recording budget that Eone gave me on creating this project, and then some. I bought no chains, cars, or anything of the sort. We even went over budget a bit to be honest. I truly put my everything into Chemically Imbalanced.. physically, emotionally, and most definitely financially.
-The hook to Let’s Do It Again is an homage to the Jay-Z’s lyrics in “Do It Again.”
-There was originally a bridge after the second verse on the song Set It Off that utilized the melody to the Strafe song with the same title. Unfortunately, due to clearance issues I had to take it out completely. Shout to Michelle Trumpler for singing on that while we were in the studio too tho. Dope engineer, singer, and person in general.
-Me and my in house engineer Juice spent an estimated 35-40 hours working on the 3 interludes on the album. They were like constructing audio movies.. the attention to detail we put in was crazy, but I love how they turned out in the end. Totally worth it.
-My homie Kenny Urban did the beatboxing for all 3 of the interludes in one take each. We may have nudged a couple sections the tiniest bit to keep the tempo 100% perfect, but he didn’t layer any of those crazy sound effects or drum noises. Kid is a beast with the beatbox!
-I had a song called Brim Low on my fourth mix tape back in 2010, which was over the instrumental of the song Blind To You by Collie Buddz. That song was produced by Supa Dups. Then, about 4 years later, I ended up getting in the studio with Supa Dups myself and made a completely new song called Brim Low as a little nod to my past.
-I watched Scott Storch make the beat for the title track, Chemically Imbalanced, when we were together in the studio in Miami. We stayed up working on it until about 11 AM. Probably the coolest studio night I’ve experienced thus far. Scott is insane on the keys, and it was dope as hell watching a genius at work.
-The homie who laid the final mix on all of the tracks is Jeff Edwards, who lives down in ATL. Because we couldn’t be in the same room to go over things, I spent more time on the phone with that dude in the 2-3 months leading up to the release than probably anyone in my life. It was a long, tedious process, but he killed it. That’s the homie for life.
-Day In The Life was originally recorded to a different beat produced by my dude Will Power of SupaHotBeats. When Will sent it back to me after making some changes, it was a totally different song in the best way possible.
-There was an incredible Charlie Chaplin quote at the beginning of the song Stand Up where he spoke about the human races’ lack of compassion to nature and each other, but we had to remove it due to copyright issues.
-My engineer Juice became the character BarsTaLoan, a recurring voice in all three of the interludes, one drunken night in the studio. We were all wasted on cheap wine and he just got in the booth and took on this persona. We laughed all fuckin night. Now we all call him BarsTaLoan too, haha.
-My dad, Dave Webster, played the badass guitar solos in both RAD and Ohh Noo. He also laid some background guitar on the breakdown in Nice 2 Be Back and on the last hook of Stand Up.
-Originally, RyattFienix’s vocals were far more tucked into the audio mix on Day In The Life, but i thought she killed it so I had my engineer bring her voice way more to the forefront in the mix, and gave her the feature credit on the song. She’s the shit, good peoples.
-That’s actually me singing at the end of Brim Low. We were about to wrap the song when my engineer Juice accidentally looped the outro portion of the beat. I was border line blacked out from drinking boxed wine, and I told him to keep it looped while I went into the booth and belted out all those vocals at the end in almost a Janis Joplin-esqe style. I’m definitely going to add that stylistic approach to my music making tool belt going forward.
-I didn’t pay for any features on the album. All of the guest verses all came to be in an organic fashion.
-Grafh was in the studio with me when the song Dopamine was first conceived. I wrote the hook and we laid our verses that night, and then it was months before that song was reproached and sent out to everyone else.
-Jon connor both wrote and recorded his verse to World On Fire when he came through to kick it with me in the studio while he was out east. It took him less than two hours. I can’t remember exactly how long.. that night had to have been about 2 years ago by this point… but it was fast as hell given the complexity of the verse. That man is a beast.
-Sap showed me the beat for So Eazy years ago and said he had sent it to Eminem and was waiting to hear back, but would send it to me if it wasn’t selected. Then he lost the beat, and I pestered him about it for about a year with no luck of him finding it. When he came up to work with me in CT that next year, I told him to reconstruct it right then and there because I had loved the original so much. 48 hours later, So Eazy was more or less done.
-Turnt Up was originally released on 4/20/2013 with a music video me and Dizzy Wright shot in Cali, but was taken down from Youtube due to a sample issue. I liked the song too much to let it slip into obscurity, so I had someone replay the sample and made slight changes to give it the feel of a brand new song.
-It’s hard to say, but I think my favorite song on the project is Stand Up. I feel like it’s important to use the voice I now have to spread awareness and try to make the world a better place in whatever way possible.
-The voice of my manager in the third interlude is actually my manager Dana. The label executive was played by another member of the team, Chris Fury.
-Skrizzly Adams was my main in house engineer until recently when his own solo music career started to take off. He both produced and sang on World On Fire, along with a good handful of my old songs like And The Beat Goes On, Until I Die, and Crashing Down. Great kid, and super talented.
-Opening my email and hearing Tech N9ne’s verse on Ohh Noo for the first time was single handedly one of the coolest moments of my career.
-Me and my homie Lunch Box wrote a few of the hooks featured on the album at Circle House studio in Miami while taking bogie breaks and drinking coffee flavored Monster energy drinks.
-All 3 of the interludes were based on my life. The first couple take place at a house party and on a blunt ride, which were the two most common places for me to break into a freestyle when I was young and on the come-up, many times with my homies beatboxing for me. The final one is in a label office, showing how I learned how to put my years of practice into effect when it really counted. Rapping on the spot and impressing people with freestyles or a hot 16 I had up my sleeve was always my go-to move when I was growing up, and I felt it was important to include that vibe on my debut album.
In one of the most anticipated Nardwuar interviews ever, the Vancouver-based character interviews the Wu Tang Clan. In a 25-minute feature, Nardwuar, in typical fashion, is introduced to the full group and proceeds to speak on a number of Wu-Tang Clan influences, including Shaolin vs lama, 10 Fingers of Death, Return of the Street Fighter and more. Feel free to search Nardwuar in the search to view previous Nardwuar interviews. However, you can watch Nardwuar vs The Wu-Tang Clan on the YouTube player below.