On last week’s SNSS, we started talking about our favorite MC’s of all time and my answer for the last decade plus has always been the late, great Big L. I did mention that there might be another artist overtaking L in my personal list, and I think it’s actually already happened. Kanye is hands down my favorite artist of all time, throughout any genre. The music has been dope from day one and the man is absolutely hilarious with everything he does. If you haven’t seen Aziz Ansari’s bit about ‘Ye, he nails it perfectly. Dude is just so excited about everything, it’s comedy.
With the new album finished (and no longer called Good Ass Job), ‘Ye has started making the rounds to media outlets to get the buzz going. While the above trip to the Rolling Stone office was great, the highlight of the week has clearly been his entry to the Twitterverse. You have to follow this dude…it’s incredible. Peep it – @kanyewest.
Be prepared for a lot of Kanye talk on TAOD. You’ve been warned.
ManifestoTV caught up with Shad for his recent Toronto performance and also shot a quick interview with the dopest MC out right now. Stop sleepin’!
If you’re like me, you’ve been listening to Drake’s Thank Me Later album quite heavily the past few weeks, so you’ll probably also enjoy this interview with Semtex. While they don’t break down every song on the album (I would have been particularly interested to hear the story behind “Karaoke”), there’s a lot of good info in here. I did laugh at the “sounds like your parents played a big role in your life” question though. Generally speaking, that’s pretty much what they tend to do.
You can also check out footage of Drake murdering our Summer Jam last night over on the KUBE site. It was impressive to watch, thinking back to when we played him over 3 years ago on Sound Session. I never would have anticipated his success to be this great, but it’s really ill to have the hottest rapper of the moment actually be dope. Novel concept, I know.
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
My nerd crush on Ms. Pilloton aside (smart women FTW), this is awesome.
In short, she graduated from Berkeley trained as an architect, but after working a few years in “the real world” making conventional goods, she realized she wanted to do more. At 26, she founded Project H Design, a non-profit created to put design innovation to better use. Rather than focus on making money, Project H seeks “the triple bottom line: planet, people, & profit.”
As a post grad that’s been disillusioned with the rat race from time to time myself, I love that she took a chance and put her ideals first. It’s actually not that different from our mindset with Sound Session…well, in terms of doing work you believe in, rather than “selling out” if you well. Kudos to Emily and if you’d like to read more or become involved, check out their site.
Here’s a great presentation of hers from last year that explains things a little further:
Seattle people: it looks like they have a chapter here in the 206, so if you’re looking for some direction in life and have extra time on your hands, you know what to do.
As I mentioned in this week’s show archive, Sunday Night Sound Session was recently featured in the Seattle P.I. thanks to one of their writers, Elliott Smith (thanks Elliott!). Now I know you’re all quite familiar with SNSS if you’ve found your way here to TAOD, but for those that weren’t aware, this article has proven to be a great look. We’ve had a TON of folks reach out to express their gratitude and really, we’ll kick it right back to y’all. While we take great pride in how much work we put into the show and we fully recognize the responsibility we have, the bottom line is that without you, we don’t exist. Without people who actually love and live this music and culture, SNSS falls on deaf ears.
As music lovers, we’re a dying breed. Sure, more people consume music than ever before, but how many really love and appreciate it? For those that do, SNSS represents a rare opportunity to broadcast genuine music with substance over a 100,000-watt Clear Channel signal.
Hov admitted he dumbed down the flow to double his dollars. We’ll never do that. We don’t exist for any other reason than to play music we believe in…music from the soul. We need artists to continue making it and we need YOU, the real music lover, to continue supporting it. We’ll do our part as the conduit, believe that.
‘Sunday Night Sound Session’: The best radio show you’ve never heard
By ELLIOTT SMITH
SPECIAL TO SEATTLEPI.COM
The caller, voice dripping with gratitude, has one more thing to add before he hangs up.
“Thank you guys for playing so much good music,” he says.
Sounds like the provenance of satellite radio, no? Or perhaps even Seattle’s beloved KEXP?
On this night, at this hour, however, the station in question is KUBE-93. That’s right, the same KUBE that is widely seen as a corporate behemoth with a playlist as deep as a puddle is actually home to the best radio show you’ve probably never heard: “Sunday Night Sound Session.”
From 10:45 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. each Sunday, hosts DJ Hyphen and J. Moore play the latest and greatest in hip hop from both a national and local perspective — 90 minutes that are unlike any other in the KUBE lineup.
“Our show almost operates in opposition with KUBE,” said DJ Hyphen, aka Dorian Bunker-Pardo. “But all we’re focused on is good music. It’s deeper than just playing a record. It’s about something you can appreciate, something you can feel.”
You won’t hear the latest from 50 Cent here; instead Hyphen and Moore focus on artists that generally aren’t part of the everyday KUBE lineup.
The genesis of “Sunday Night Sound Session” came out of the rubble of a similar show, “Future Flavors,” which ran on KUBE for many years. But when it came to revamping the show, KUBE wanted to go in a different direction.
“We wanted to take a different approach to what Seattle hip hop fans were asking for,” KUBE Program Director Eric Powers said. “They’re both great shows but for different reasons. We wanted to talk to more of a hip-hop audience because of the music that was coming out locally and nationally.”
Finding credible hosts for the show was critical. With a background in college radio and a job working at KUBE, Hyphen became an obvious candidate.
“They were like, ‘Wow, this guy is a hip-hop nerd,’ ” Hyphen said.
To provide a local voice, Powers and Co. turned to the person that anyone who has ever been to a rap show in Seattle is familiar with.
J. Moore is an artist, hypeman, producer, booking agent, manager, ambassador, community leader — if it’s hip hop in Seattle, he’s probably got his hand in it. Radio host wasn’t exactly something he had thought about when the opportunity was presented to him.
“It sounded interesting, but I had to think about it so it wasn’t like I was putting myself in a position to perpetuate tokenism,” Moore said. “I was like, as long as we have control over programming — our own playlist — that was the main thing, just making sure we have the ability to be autonomous and establish our own identity. A brand within the brand. And that’s what ‘Sunday Night Sound Session’ is.”
The DJ Hyphen-J. Moore pairing was received well within the Seattle hip-hop scene, and four-plus years later, the show is still going strong.
“Being at the station that they are at, with the long history of alienation from Seattle hip hop that it’s had, their credibility is quite vital,” said Larry Mizell Jr., another important fixture in the Seattle hip-hop scene as an artist (Cancer Rising), media critic (Stranger columnist) and fellow radio host (KEXP’s “Street Sounds”).
“J. Moore is a fixture of Seattle hip hop — if you ask anybody in the scene about ‘the mayor,’ they’ll know who you mean, and it ain’t Mike McGinn — and very few could hope to match his years of contribution and sacrifice to this scene,” Mizell said.
“Hyphen is a consummate pro, sharp as hell and always looking for new stuff. Their taste is great and varied, and they’re able to put together a high-quality, entertaining and enlightening program every week that in my opinion few in Seattle, let alone anyone at KUBE-93, could pull off.”
At this point, SNSS isn’t just spinning records in a vacuum. It is breaking artists on both a local and national level, and have some of hip hop’s biggest luminaries stopping by the studio to talk shop.
“We’re definitely doing something right when fans around the city like it, people around the world like it, the artists like it, the labels like it — we haven’t had too many complaints,” Hyphen said. “The more support we get, it makes KUBE look better.
“We’re really appreciative of KUBE giving us this framework and letting us do what we want with it. It’s insanely rare. At 10:45 KUBE hands over the keys, and the kids get to drive and go wherever we want. As long as we bring it back in one piece at 12:15, KUBE’s excited about it.”
One of the results of the show’s success is the thought that anyone with a mic and some rhymes can make it on the radio. The show receives hundreds of submissions from aspiring artists, most of which aren’t radio ready. The show’s local slots are highly coveted, and often leave Seattle-area up-and-comers wondering why they aren’t getting airplay.
“We’re active participants in the life and the scene, so we’re going to hear from producers, engineers — people who are involved — about what the buzz is.” Moore said.
“We’re not passively waiting for people to send us music so we can sit back like a panel judging music.
“There’s a complete lack of understanding of the rite of passage that is necessary. It’s about development. That would be like me saying, I’m going to be a professional basketball player because I like basketball.”
Powers says that the show does draw decent ratings, but “what’s more important is that we allow other music to be heard, discovered and exposed from a local and national level.”
So what’s next for Hyphen and Moore and their little Sunday night show that could?
“It would be nice if we could expand the show on (Sundays),” Moore said. “And it would be nice if we could add an additional day or move to another day. That’s just for radio land. But something that (Hyphen) and I have always talked about it is being creative about utilizing this platform to create something for this brand that can exist beyond the radio and beyond Sunday night.”
Wherever SNSS goes in the future, right now, the pair enjoys being able to broadcast what they love to an appreciative audience.
“It’s a platform to express your ideas and opinions, but whatever we say just has 100,000 watts behind it,” Hyphen said. “So we play the same music that we’d play if we were choppin’ it up or hanging out or driving to the club. Now we get to blast it out — it’s our 100,000-watt iPod.
“We’re really thankful that we have this opportunity. We’re stand-up dudes who love the music, and that’s how we got the show.”
And with that, Moore and Hyphen pack up their gear and flip the switch back to the station’s automatic overnight programming, where they are greeted by the latest 50 Cent song.
They laugh and turn out the lights.
Elliott Smith is free-lance writer who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The homey Casey linked up with the other homies Thurz & Y-O for an interview at their Neumos show the other day in Seattle. Homies everywhere!
Look out for the A Love Supreme documentary to drop soon, narrated by yours truly…
As I mentioned on this week’s SNSS recap, Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3 tour came through Seattle this weekend and pretty much shut down the city. Along with Hov, J. Cole, Wale, and N.E.R.D. performed and all the opening acts came through our station (KUBE 93) to chop it up before the show.
In these clips, peep the homies Karen Wild and Producer L talk with Pharrell, Shay, and N.E.R.D.’s newest member, Rhea, all about their upcoming Instant Gratification album. They also revealed some secrets behind their creative process in the studio and gave lots of insight to the motivation behind their art. Some lucky listeners also got to ask the group a few questions as well.
Check out all 4 parts of the interview…P kicks knowledge throughout.
If for some ungodly reason you don’t…peep this dope piece put together by the Ruby Hornet team for a nice recap. Shout to the homies Buff, KT, and the whole Athletic Mic League. They’re one of my favorite crews of all time and it’s great to see all the success that Drew/Haircut/Mayer is having these days. Great music from great people!