Posted in Random Ish on October 26th, 2009 by Edwin
I’m Edwin Ortiz. I’ll be helping Hyphen out with keeping this site updated, whether it be a dope mixtape, footage from concerts, or exclusive content from SNSS. Also, with the approval from Hyphen, I’ll periodically post articles that I feel warrant a discussion. In this way, readers can sound off about the current happenings of hip-hop.
Without getting into too much detail, here’s a little info about me: I’m from the Northwest, born and raised. I’m double majoring in journalism and history at the University of Washington. Along with blogging duties here, I write for HipHopDX.com and have contributed to other various sites such as KevinNottingham.com.
I look forward to building with the viewership/readership Hyphen has already received with TAOD, and I hope that this sites reach can expand through quality content and commentary.
And remember; Holla at a playa when ya see him in the streets. (c) Stuart Scott
Anyone who follows TAOD knows that last week marked Seattle’s annual music & arts festival, Bumbershoot. J. Moore and I have hosted the main stage hip-hop show for the past few years, but this time around, I had the special pleasure of not only being on the “Bumberboard” that helped plan the entire event, but I even got to perform by DJ’ing for the homies U-N-I.
Thurzday and Y-O took to the Fisher Green Stage (alongside artists like Mayer Hawthorne, Janelle Monae, De La Soul, and more) to rock in front of an enthusiastic crowd. We ran through a high energy set including tracks like “Cali Soul,” “Beautiful Day,” “Land Of The Kings,” “Supreme,” “K.R.E.A.M.,” “Hollywood Hiatus,” and more. Aside from the classicness that occurs at 1:29, the highlight has to be “Supreme.” The kids were wylin’ out to that one and both Y-O and Thurz got some crowd surfing in.
I had a really good time all weekend, so big shouts to everyone involved: One Reel, the artists, KUBE, the homies, the new folks I met, and [Jay-Z] most importantly, you, the customer [/Hov!]. If I have time, I’ll be posting up some more footage of various Bumbershoot performances here on TAOD. Stay tuned.
D. Black and the Sport’n Life crew came through Sound Session recently to talk all about D’s upcoming Ali’Yah album that drops on the 15th. Always a pleasure to open the SNSS studio up to dope artists, but it’s especially fun to chill with good people. Download the whole audio of the show right here.
D.Black, a Seattle-based rising hip-hop artist, took some time out to visit the good folks J. Moore and DJ Hyphen over at KUBE 93 for Sunday Night Sessions to speak about his newest release Ali’Yah. While talking about Ali’Yah, D.Black made special note of the increase in maturity and artistic development since his last album. That maturity is evident on such songs as the recently released “Yesterday,” the first single off Ali’Yah, and when asked about the song D.Black explained the concept saying, “All of us have had situations in our past that if we look back at it, we breathe life back into it. So it’s better to leave yesterday behind and look forward to tomorrow.” The positive vibe was reflected back by the fans as well as D.Black spoke with a few folks who called. D.Black also spoke on the opportunity he had to work with so many talented artists while crafting Ali’Yah, noting the contributions of fellow artists Jake One, Vitamin D, B. Brown, Melissa, Choklate, Spaceman, Kuddie Mak and many others. Be on the lookout for D.Black’s newest album Ali’Yah available September 15th via Sport’n Life Records/MYX Music Label.
A little before Pac Div dropped their Church League Champions project, Like, Mibbs, and BeYoung came through the Sound Session studio to chop it up on a variety of topics. We discussed that mixtape, the digital EP they put on iTunes a while back, and of course their upcoming full length debut, Grown Kid Syndrome. They also talked about the importance of their live show, how their creative process likens to their game on the court, their favorite underrated West Coast MC’s, the L.A. scene, a possible collaboration with Andre 3000, and much more.
This was one of the most enjoyable interviews I’ve done, mainly because chilling with Pac Div reminded me of kicking it with my college homies back in SoCal. These dudes are real hip-hop heads who love Dilla and basketball…pretty much all it takes to be cool in my book. Plus, we’re both fans of the Arizona Wildcats and even spent time commiserating over that damn 2001 NCAA Championship game. For the record: I still hate you, Mike Dunleavy.
Sometimes the industry moves fast, sometimes it moves slow. We had Raheem DeVaughn on Sound Session in February of last year when he had just released Love Behind The Melody, and at the time, he was planning on dropping the follow up later in 2008. Plans changed however, but his new single with Ludacris just leaked yesterday and lo and behold, it’s the same song he previewed for us a year and a half ago.
Since we grabbed this footage before TAOD was in existence, I figured I would bring it back for those who may have missed it. Here’s the studio version of the track with Luda as well, courtesy of 2DopeBoyz:
If you want to go back and check out the full interview with Raheem, click here or peep our podcast page…although you’ll have to scroll down a bit haha. Damn, we’ve interviewed hella folks…we might have to dip into the archives and put up all the interviews we did in the first 2 years of Sound Session too, cause those aren’t up there yet. Rest assured though, as the son of a librarian, I’ve got everything archived offline.
A few months ago, J. Moore and I held a quick informal poll on Sound Session with our listeners – Of the most well respected ‘big 3′ R&B singers of the last 15 years, who is your favorite – Maxwell, D’Angelo, or Bilal? Despite only releasing one official album, Bilal battled it out with D’Angelo for the top spot and they ended up tying the vote.
Personally, after hearing 1st Born Second in 2001, my entire vision of R&B was shaken to the core. On that one record, Bilal displayed a soulfulness in his music, songwriting, and most noticeably, his voice that hasn’t been topped since. Simply put, it’s a flawless album and marks one of the crowning achievements of the Soulquarian collective.
When Bilal came through the SNSS studio, we jumped at the chance to ask him all about that album, his Love For Sale follow up that was unfortunately shelved by Interscope (Industry Rule #4,080), and his upcoming project, Air Tight’s Revenge. We also discussed his upbringing, his first big break as D’Angelo’s back up singer (and his prompt firing), behind the scenes stories from the Soulquarian days, his favorite J Dilla memory, and much more. Check out the full interview below to catch up with the legendary Bilal Oliver.
The new homey Q from The Mad Bloggers was kind enough to feature an interview with yours truly on their site. Here’s the quick Q&A session…learn something about your boy, TAOD, SNSS, and more:
Where does “The Audacity of Dope” name come from?
The Audacity of Dope name comes from a play on Barack’s 2nd book, The Audacity of Hope. I founded the blog in May 2008 as a home for our Sound Session interviews and episodes, which was also around the time I started working in a fellowship program for Obama’s campaign. It seemed like a natural fit to tie my political interests with passion for music. Plus, I like that people have to spell ‘audacity’ to get to the page. Those who can’t shouldn’t be there anyway.
What’s the inspiration behind the show “Sunday Night Sound Sessions” and why you do it?
Sunday Night Sound Session is the brainchild of myself and my co-host, J. Moore. It started when KUBE 93 approached us to take their Sunday night new music show into a new direction, preferably something a little more focused on the ‘underground’ side of hip-hop. Having hosted a college radio show for four years previously, I knew I wanted to make Sound Session similar to my Beats, Rhymes, and Life college program, but take it to a new level with the increased wattage. J and I are inspired on a weekly basis to give some shine to deserving artists that may not be getting the exposure they deserve through traditional media outlets. In other words, we support good music, across multiple genres, because most commercial media outlets are more concerned with turning a profit than promoting art. We understand that it’s ultimately a business, but we think there should be more of a balance, and hopefully Sound Session provides some of that.
Why aren’t there more programs like “Sound Session” on other stations?
There aren’t more programs like Sound Session because the current business model with commercial radio doesn’t allow it. Plain and simple, radio at this level is a business designed to make as much money as possible for large corporations. There’s nothing wrong with that from a capitalist level, but from an artistic perspective, it’s a huge detriment to the music. Large corporations sell hip-hop the same way they’d sell shoes or pizza. Whatever they can do to make money, they’ll do it. This translates to media outlets across the country promoting the most base level human interests in their entertainment packages, which is particularly evident in hip-hop. If big budget action movies depend on explosions and flashing lights, hip-hop radio tries to sell sex, drugs, and violence. They’re the easiest topics to sell because they require the least amount of education. When you have a rapper on our show talking about socio-economic issues and gentrification, you’re automatically going over the heads of at least half of society. It’s sad but true. It all starts with education.
Who are three ill artists right now flying under the radar?
The first artist that pops into my head is my dude Shad. He’s insanely talented lyrically, makes great songs that everyone can relate to, and takes pride in his sound and his message. That’s pretty much my criteria for who I want to listen to, and it’s only a matter of time before he gets the recognition he deserves. Along those same lines, there’s a MC from the Bay/LA named Tunji that I’ve known for almost a decade now. He’s one of the most talented artists I’ve ever seen and like Shad, he takes so much pride in his music and what he represents. He’s going to make some classic music sooner rather than later. Lastly…hmm…I’ll throw a curveball and go outside of hip-hop. There’s an indie pop/R&B group from Sweden called Little Dragon that makes some incredible music. I don’t know too much about their story, but their music is a great mix of all the best elements of pop, soul, R&B, and even some hip-hop influences. I definitely recommend people to check ’em out.
Definitely check out their site, they’re doing some great work and highlighting artists that deserve the shine. Keep it up fellas!