Posts tagged ‘DJ Spinna’

Ill Tarzan swings again: Fresh Daily interview

This man needs no introduction, not really. Fresh Daily hails from Brooklyn and has been releasing fresh cuts for a couple of years. Founding member of the A OK Collective, he’s one MC who stands out from a crowd of your average mic slingers.

Mainly because he comes with a whole lot of bare-faced cheek and heaps of lyrical imagery. Fresh has worked with top-drawer producers such as Illmind, DJ Spinna and Exile to name just a few. Back in the day he went by the name of Ill Tarzan and was swinging his way through New York’s open mic spots. A lot has happened since: Fresh Daily, all day, every day.

In his own words: “I’m an emcee. I’m a graphic illustrator. I am Brooklyn. I am 1996 seen thru ’89 Cazals rocking a dookie gold rope chain. I am the Blackstar video for “Definition” riding in a van with Jay-Z and Slick Rick. Get creative.”

Creative he definitely is: a colourful persona with the tilted hat and dope sneaks to match…no further ado: it’s all about beats, rhymes and breasts in the BB interview.

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What’s your philosophy on hip-hop? Is it all about wordplay, politics or just plain fun?

My philosophy on hip-hop always will be dope beats and dope rhymes. You know what that entails. KRS-One said “a dope emcee is a dope emcee”. That old adage rings true still. There’s obviously more to it than that. But the general gist is that. And it definitely has to be fun.

You’ve lived in Brooklyn for a long time. Can it be a blessing as well as a curse sometimes to come from a place that has brought us so many artists that have made an impact?

There’s been obviously a blessing in the sense our environments shape us in our growth oftentimes. The only down side to it possibly is the amount of dope emcees that come from Brooklyn. We definitely have an oversaturation in regards to musicians with a similar mindframe.

Can you tell us how you first got exposure as an MC? I believe you came up through a few open mic nights, what was that like for you at the time?

The NYC open mic scene when I came into it was a definitive launchpad for the careers of alot of emcees. The arena I came up in had emcees like Immortal Technique and Jin and then later down the line, rappers like Mickey Factz and Theophilus London.

How much of a rivalry is there still between MCs in New York’s five boroughs? Do you strongly identify with being a Brooklyn MC, or a NY MC? Or do you not give a damn about being either?

I’m definitely a Brooklyn MC but not out of a sense of rivalry but out of pride. I rock with all NYC emcees. Each borough of New York has SUCH a distinct flair and style and culture that rivalry is inevitable.

What are you playing on your music player right now?

Drake’s “Thank Me Later” and Flying Lotus’s “Cosmogramma”. 2 Hungry Bros & 8thW1 “No Room For Dessert” & Homeboy Sandman “The Good Sun”.

I read that you’re a connoisseur of street fashion and a bit of a sneaker addict. How many pairs of sneaks have you got and what are some of your favourite fashion items?

Sorry to disappoint. The kids kinda ruined sneaker and streetwear culture for me. I’ve given away alot of sneakers and sold alot of deadstocks and rare pairs. I’m alot older than I look and my tastes really refect my maturity. I enjoy tonal Nike air max’s and trainers, Vans classic and Chukkas and Clark’s desert boots and Wallabes.

These days I enjoy Ralph Lauren, Sebago, Red Wing, Visvim and Sperry footwear as much as I enjoy my Nikes.

(editor’s note – to any of the brands mentioned: if you read this, pay me!)

Who do you think are some of the best-dressed MCs in hip hop history?

Definitely Slick Rick, Grand Puba, Jay-z, Kanye West, T.I and of recent, Rick Ross.

You had a car accident a while back that you talk about on your track ‘Break a Leg’ – how did that happen? Did it change your
perspective in any way?

In Feb 2008 a Suburban SUV sped thru a red light and struck me as I was riding my bicycle to the train. My tibia and fibula was snapped almost in two. It took 2 months in the hospital and 2 months to walk again. God is good though, I’m walking and running and recording. It def taught me patience.

What’s the theme or concept behind the “Gorgeous Killa” album?

Initially it had a theme musically. It had a concept. Along the way that got lost. Now it just stands as a conversational piece and a title from an observational perspective about the dichotomy of creating art while working a real job.

Your recent release “Tomorrow Is Today” has a distinct electronic feel to it – who made the beats? Do you like experimenting and take new directions in music?

Most of my music is just a direct reflection of what I’ve been listening to. Alot of the music on Tomorrow is Today was produced by either Benamin or The Milkman. There were Flying Lotus beats and remixes of other bands like The Gorillaz and Telepop Music. My new project “Mothership/LAND” sounds similar in sound but deals with more social/relationship issues.

Your work ethic: is there anything that can distract you from working or writing…big breasts or other lol?

Anyone who knows me knows I am fond of buxom women. Nothing is a distraction though. Unless I NEED a distraction.

What have you got in the works right now?

Currently I’m promoting my latest project, “Mothership/LAND”. I’ve got 2 videos out and more coming. (peep here: “In The Stuy” and “Thanx“) 

Any last words or shouts?

Shouts to BenAmin, Pacool and Jinesis.

thanks; (download the A OK Winter Fresh Mixtape)

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August 12, 2010 at 15:04 Leave a comment

BOOOOMMmm: DJ Spinna drops a bomb

March 24, 2010 at 18:58 Leave a comment

Four years ‘development’ / DJ Spinna interview

While we’re at it, here’s some more good stuff from Manchester: the peeps at development have done a wicked interview with DJ Spinna, who is playing their fourth birthday bash alongside Osunlade this weekend (at Sound Control).

Exclusively (yeah, that’s right), we’re quoting some of the best bits here. For your fix of phonic tonic, head back to their blog.

Nice1 deep cats!

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You recorded the hip hop album ‘Sonic Smash’ last year, which was fantastic. How much of your time in the studio is devoted to Hip Hop these days?

It’s hard to balance the two but I would say I’m doing more dance records these days as it pays the bills and there’s also less politics involved in that scene. I also enjoy the end result much more, from the studio straight to the dance floor. With hip hop it’s just not the same.

Hip hop has changed a lot over the last few years with a very different sound making it through to the mainstream, what are your thoughts on the genre right now?

As for the mainstream it’s pretty bad, not much innovation there. I’ve always remained underground because of this. With that said I feel like the realness is dead in the mainstream world. There’s still good hip hop out here but most of it remains underground as usual. I miss the early 90’s when quality hip hop like Gangstar or Tribe were mainstream. Those days are over. The genre has made too much money and the soul is gone.

J Dilla or Michael Jackson?

No comparison. Two different kinds of legends for their own reasons. Michael being the greatest entertainer of all time and J Dilla being the most innovative and progressive thinking producer of this generation. There will never be icons like these again in this lifetime.

Your style always seems to cover a lot of genres, from Stevie Wonder to Sade through to Hip Hop to Techno etc……. what music don’t you like?

I don’t like Death Metal, makes me want to slit my wrist and it gives me a stomach ache.

Tell us about Stevie and what he means to you?

Stevie is the ultimate humanitarian artist. His music reflects love and peace, and his voice is golden. But in the 70’s he was super funky and his production was innovative and way ahead of it’s time for that era. If you listen closely to some of his recordings you can hear everything from the talk box, to Hare Krishna choirs, apregiating moogs, sick drum programming and sampling before the general listener knew what these things were. The water drops instead of finger snaps on “Overjoyed” for example, who thinks of this? And that was 1986!

New York seems to have lost a lot of record stores over the last few years, where are your favorite digging spots in your home town and what is the most treasured 12″ in your vast and highly respected collection?

My two favourite spots to dig are Academy Records and Big City Records. One of my most treasured 12″‘s is Stevie Wonder’s As. It was only legitimately pressed as a German Motown Promo with a picture sleeve. It was never commercially released as a 12″ in the States or any where else in the world and it’s stupid rare and expensive.

Tell us something we probably don’t know about you…

I am a home body. Don’t go out much these days. I’m not impressed by much and I prefer to be home working or chilling with the fam. Sometimes my wife has to give me a swift kick in the butt (figuratively speaking) to get out and live a little.

March 24, 2010 at 15:31 Leave a comment


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