Back in 2013, I got to chat to Black Rob for ten minutes as he was on his way to the studio. This time around I tried not to repeat the same questions, but unfortunately I caught him as he was trying to catch some food. Guess some things just aren’t meant to work out, huh? Regardless, you can catch Black Rob’s new LP, Genuine Article, is out 21 April.
Robbie: Were Spoonie Gee and Doug E. Fresh a big influence on you when you were a kid?
Black Rob: Hell yeah! Parties, break-outs – the whole shit! Doug E. Fresh was definitely slamming, man. I already wanted to my thing, but it gave me some inspiration to tbe best that I could be.
What was it like growing in Harlem?
It was different, man. A lotta kids was doing what they had to do, playing around and not doing music, so I came in there doing music. I used to have the parties jumping, little freestyles and all that stuff. Hear that shit out the window. I used to be the number one guy, but I was too young to really comprehend what I was going through, cos I was just stretching out. But I was nice though! [laughs] (more…)
Just read this wonderfully comprehensive feature on Big L over at Complex, titled Casualty of the Game: The Big L Story, and was inspired to collate a few stories of my own from past interviews. T-Ray, Peter Oasis, Milano and AG all share some memories involving The Devil’s Son… (more…)
BR has popped up with two new appearances this week. The first one is taken from his next album, Genuine Article, and sounds like it’s a left over from his stint at Duck Down based on the fact it contains Sean Price and Tek features and particularly sparse Easy Moe Bee beat. (more…)
Here’s some promo-only b-side action intended for McGruff‘s underwhelming Destined To Be album, courtesy of a vinyl rip from The Martorialist’s comment section, which reveals that Isaac Hayes was a hater on a certain level, since he deaded this from retail release.
Having already conquered the theme songs of Hill Street Blues, Nightcourt, Magnum, P.I., Facts of Life, Gimme A Break and now The Golden Girls, it’s fair to say that Cam’ron still has dozens of 80’s themes that require his unique talents to bring them into the present day. Here are ten contenders: (more…)
While certain sections of the rap internets don’t seem to hold ‘Lano in particularly high regard, I will rep for his abilities any day of the week, particularly when paired with the P Brothers on the beats. Taken from the Alfa Romeo mixtape, which you can stream over at Milano’s Soundcloud. I’m pretty sure I posted this last year but shit happens.
Having cut his teeth working with the Diggin’ In The Crates crew at the beginning of his career, Milano Constantine went on to sign a deal with Warner Bros. but was let go before the project was released. Thanks to a handful of independent singles, four mixtapes and notable guest spots with The Beatnuts and the P Brothers, Milano has continued to rep that classic Uptown style with his witty wordplay and vocabulary spill. Following an extended leave of absence, ‘Lano is set to return the rap game with three new projects. He took a little time out to speak about how he came up, working with Big Pun, Showbiz and T-Ray and how the late Party Arty taught him his most valuable lesson as an MC.
Robbie: What are you working on at the moment?
Milano Constantine: I’ve got the Alfa Romeo mixtape. It’s a vintage feel, I’ve got some unreleased, uncut raw stuff from the lab on there, and some new stuff that I’ve been working on. I had to take time off, but I feel very blessed, and now is time for me to go back into it with full force. Now I’m just feeling more comfortable with everything, you can’t put forth any good material if you have to get your life situated, everything has to go in line correctly. This is a great time in my life, I just had a daughter. My mother is in good health – she was really sick. You’ve gotta take care of your family first and music will come secondary. I wanted to reach out to y’all guys for always keeping that platform for me. God bless you guys always keeping me alive. I thank you guys for that. (more…)
Here’s a track from Milano‘s next mixtape, Alpha Romeo, which is dropping in the near future. Also finally got to interview the man recently, so look-out for the interview here in the next couple of weeks.
When I caught Black Rob on a patchy phone line this evening, he was in the studio recording new material for Life Story 2, and as a result was only able to spare ten minutes. Nevertheless, I was able to fill in a couple of the blanks in regards to his history in the rap game and future plans.
Robbie: How old were you when you started rhyming?
Black Rob: About eleven? Twelve? Around that time. What inspired me was what was going on around me – the music! When I heard that, I wanted to be in.
Did you have a group back then or were you always a soloist?
I was in a rap group when I was like 22, 23. We was called Schizophrenics. It was me, my man Alto and my man Godzilla. (more…)
Concluding my discussion with Percy Carey, he talks about battling DMX, missing out on his spot on “Live At The BBQ”, working with Kool G Rap and the continuing process of recovery from his injuries.
Robbie: It seems like there were two separate leagues of MC’s. Guys like Mikey D didn’t care about making records because they were so focused on street respect for battling. Is that how you felt?
MF Grimm: That’s exactly how I felt. At the time, people I was with and things of that nature, money wasn’t an issue. It was a street rep. You wanted to be known for that. “Don’t go against him! Don’t waste your time!” I bring up DMX, because he came to me. We were at a Def Jam Christmas party, and he wanted to battle me. His boys were from the street, and my boys were from the street, and they all knew each other. They were just talking about it, “I don’t think your boy is better than my boy!” “What?” So it just started that way. I wasn’t even in the mood that day, but I had to. Far as I’m concerned, I destroyed him. I like X. Then he turned around and battled Jay-Z, that’s the way it was. (more…)
MF Grimm has survived many trials and tribulations during his life and career, having barley survived multiple gunshot wounds which left him in a wheelchair for the past twenty years, missing out on his spot on “Live At The BBQ” after a run-in with a taxi driver and having the master reels of his first album stolen from a recording studio. Returning to music after an extended hiatus, Grimm spoke to me about his new project Good Morning Vietnam, developing his rhyme style, rolling with King Sun, forging his reputation as a serious battle MC in his younger days and the importance of the New Music SeminarBattle For World Supremacy.
Robbie: It must be exciting to release some new music.
MF Grimm: This time around with Drasar Monumental, I feel like I’m just starting my career now, working with him. I’ve never been able to work hands-on with a producer like I’m working with him. It’s more than music, we get along like brothers. It’s not about profit margin, it’s about making quality songs and music. I have so much to learn that it’s fun to be around him, we’re both students of the game. Every song we did was created on the spot, was written that same day.
What else are you doing these days?
I’m currently the president of a multi-media company called Arch Enemy Entertainment. We work with USA Today, which goes out to 11.9 million people, so I’m in film and television. I’m responsible for a lot of writers, illustrators and animators. Music is something which I can only do when I make time for it. I started working with them in 2008 in marketing, and I made president in 2011. (more…)