As you hopefully already know, we’re celebrating our five-year anniversary this weekend at the Hi-Fi in Fountain Square (Indianapolis). While I was out at Bangs Nicely’s listening party on Monday, I got to chat a bit with Kat from Nuvo, and we did a little impromptu interview about the party and such. Big thanks to her and Nuvo, and we hope to see everyone this weekend!Read More »
The Counter Culture Magazine recently interviewed Naptown’s Freddie Bunz about a slew of different topics. Read a bit of it below, but make sure to head over to TCC to check out the full read. Click here. I’ve added a track he did over a Sango track below too.
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Place yourself in a large, dark basement teeming with an almost palpable energy and crammed with people, all of whom are about five PBR’s in for the night. Lights come on, and a sonic wave of a dirty bassline simultaneously shakes the floor and ceiling. An up-and-coming MC steps up, stage center, jumps on the mic (as hands fly up in the air), and cuts loose a relentless barrage of lyrical profoundness in and out of the sound system, and straight through your understanding of Hip Hop as you knew it. Meet Freddie Bunz. Reppin NAPTOWN to the fullest, Freddie Bunz has already established himself in the Midwest underground hip hop scene, and is set to become a 2015 household name in Hip Hop, Trap, and Bass Music nationwide.
Bill Samuelz: So what’s the scene in Indianapolis like? What do you love about it, and what keeps you rooted there? How long have you been living there?
Freddie Bunz: NAPTOWN is special to me. I’ve been on tour all over the country and met some really dope artists. But Indianapolis is very special and blessed with amazing artists of all strokes. It don’t matter if it’s rap, indie rock, EDM, DJs, painters, or whatever . . . people do what they are passionate about here. Most recently, over the past 5 years, this city has advanced as far as the progressiveness and acceptance of culture in general.
BSZ: Are you referring to EDM culture? Hip Hop? Both?
FB: BOTH. My mission is to bridge the two. That’s what Freddie Bunz means to me . . . I feel like over the years, I have gained so many EDM followers and lost a lot of hip hop heads . . . critics don’t know how to analyze it . . . it’s not generally for radio, I get that!!!! But the truth is I am very much hip hop . . . other hip hop artists realize that. With this new album, I am taming it down as far as the crazy bass lines and such . . . this record is boom bap . . . this record is EDM . . . It’s just alien music, really. I can’t wait to have it done.
BSZ: When did you start rapping over electronic music? Do you remember the first time you did it? What transpired between the time you started rapping, and your first production or recording?
FB: Of course, I grew up listening to things like Daft Punk. I always felt those types of electro-style timing . . . That’s how I developed my rhythm. My rhyming style, I would say, came from what I was listening to at the time; lots of east coast stuff. The classics, like Mobb Deep, Wu Tang . . . then on to the Def Jux stuff. I can remember the first time I did something over an EDM track. It was the first night I heard the DJ ICEY tape, “Essential Elements.” It was just those raw Florida breaks with modulated bass lines. I was jaw-dropped.
Flying Lotus is now a resident on BBC Radio 1, and he tackled quite a bit on his first day. Above you have an audio video of an unreleased track from Thundercat titled “You’re Dead”, and down below I’ve added a couple other samples of unreleased / alternate goodness. You can check out the whole episode from this link here, which is about two hours in length. He plays a lot of dope tracks and interviews Herbie Hancock. Bong.Read More »
Big K.R.I.T. joined the folks at Ebro In The Morning and talked for over 30 minutes about topics such as his work ethic, racism, the south in general, the “King of the South” moniker, and more. When you get yourself some time go ahead and press play, and if you haven’t heard his Cadillactica, you can do so here.Read More »
theSTASHED accidentally scheduled Phonte and PRhyme‘s interviews at the same time, but no worries, they went ahead and did it together. There’s a lot discussed in this 25+ minute interview, including stories from years ago, so I’ll leave you to it.
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Sometimes, I don’t plan well. Most of those times when plans don’t go well, they end up in a big huge mess. It’s not the most fun part of this job. However, this day was one of the few times that some funky planning ended up in something epic. If you checked the interview with Phonte that we did a few weeks ago, you can see that it ended rather abruptly due to some visitors. In most cases, visitors that you didn’t plan on will mess up your interview. In this case, those visitors happened to be two of the greatest figures in Hip-Hop history.
PRhyme, also known as DJ Premier and Royce Da 5’9″, made their way into the STASHED studio as we were interviewing Phonte. Rather than having them wait, the three old friends all joined in one long conversation. Among the topic discussed include their history together, being grown men in Hip-Hop, and possibly working together on a new project. If that ever happens, you can thank us for making that happening.
Check out this nearly 30 minute conversation with Phonte, DJ Premier and Royce Da 5’9.” It’s worth the watch.
Macklemore stopped by Ebro In The Morning for over an hour and talked about a handful of issues and topics. The discussions goes from race, protests, culture appropriation, white privilege, hip hop, and a ton of other similar things.Read More »
Our own LONEgevity unveiled his rap, etc. album today with all of the instrumentals, and wrote a bit about it below. Listen, read, bump and download for free from Bandcamp.
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RAPRAPRAP – I actually made this beat when showing Jay Diff a few cool things about Ableton back in July of 2014. Later, when I sat down to finalize the album, I didn’t have an intro, and instead of doing something more somber, which was my initial plan, I decided to come straight out the gate and just do clever rap stuff. Even though I’ve been rapping longer than producing, and have put out numerous projects with hip hop groups with me rapping (Hinx Jones / Beats & Breakfast), most people know me for my production. I think the angst and idea that I get overlooked in the rap realm by most people is frustrating at times, and this song was meant to pretty much showcase my wordplay and ability. I tend to have a bit of aggression and cockyness in my rap persona, and I’ve always been pretty opinionated. So yeah, this is just what it is…like hey, listen up and learn something. Blah blah, look at me, I’m a rapper.
STONES – This is an older song that I remixed. I tend to remix my songs quite a bit, as you’ll understand after reading all of this. This song was originally recorded back in 2012 when I was working on a “Drums Bang” project (which eventually turned into a business) and had a completely different beat. I ended up losing some of the stems, so I had to remix it, and I actually like it a bit more now. I flipped a Madlib/MED track. The features are my homies G Granite and Gritts, who wrote some really great rah rah rap stuff for it. “Stones” references the last lines of the song.
WANNA DO – I wrote and recorded this song in one night back in August of 2014. The beat was one that I made when I first started messing around in Ableton back in June of 2014, and was just a real simple loop. Sometimes simplicity works wonders, and it did for this one. I’m not sure what exactly sparked this song, but here it is. I enjoy doing spacious octave singing over tracks, and it gave me the vibe I wanted.
SITTING IN MY CAR – The whole idea for this song is kind of funny because I wrote it about a past life I had. I used to work the typical 40+ hours a week as an engineer in the medical field, and back in 2010 I was laid off. Managing working a ton of hours on top of all of the other things I did was tough, and I kind of looked back to a previous life to draw inspiration a bit when I wrote this song last year (around May of 2013 I think). Right around this time, Mike Schpitz actually drove to Indianapolis from Chicago to do a weekend recording session for a project we were working on, and this song was actually a stem from after that session. I think. Maybe it was right before? Actually, now I’m not too sure. Ha. Either way, I sent this track to him around the same time we were putting out our “Sunday Brunch” project (April of 2013) and our recording session (May of 2013). He was able to chime in and add his experience as the 9-5 rapper with a family to add a great take on my idea: that necessary “me moment” the song is about. This is one of my favorite songs I’ve done.
I WONDER – When I initially opened Ableton to make this beat, my intention was for this to be the intro. It turned out a bit too vibey. Then I wanted it to be the outro, but I re-realized that I already had a perfect outro. I put this interlude in the middle to simply show another side of my creativity. It’s minimal and to the point.
THRONES – I wrote this song when I was in the middle of binge-watching Game of Thrones. I was sitting and making a beat while re-watching an episode I partially missed, and the sample you hear came on. I instantly got the idea to write a song from the perspective of a bold and crass, yet loved king in this world. It turned out to be a mixture of many of the characters spaced throughout my 5 mini-verses, and at the end the “now all my people say…” part gets revealed as I say “he’s the great” at the end. It all ties together.
WAKE UP – This is another older track that I had sitting around. Kind of. I made the beat and wrote the verse to this in the summer of 2013, and Pete actually sent me the verse pretty quickly. I got the scratches from Spoolz shortly after, but I didn’t actually piece this song together until about a month ago. Pete has been one of my favorite rappers for along time, so I’ll proudly play back fiddle to him. It’s more or less just a rappidy rap song telling you that we can rap. It’s fun.
STUCK - This song is pieces of a song that I wrote for my lady about 2 years ago, re-imagined with a different beat than I originally used. I knew I wanted to put out this song before, but I thought the vibe was a little weird, so when I was randomly browsing through beats I made in 2010, I found this one. I had completely forgot about it, but it was perfect for what I wanted to share. Short and sweet.
KISS – This is a bonus track because I didn’t really want to have two songs like “Quickie” on here, and they were both pretty similar. But also, this song is literally like 6-7 years old…recording and all. I had to do some clever things to get it to sound decent. The idea of this song is pretty simple, yet cleverly complex. I wrote this song with two ideas in mind so that depending on the person, they would think I’m talking about two completely separate things: 1) the first kiss, and 2) the first kiss down below. If you listen closely you’ll realize it can be interpreted both ways. I’d like to shoot a side-by-side shot video showcasing this at some point, but if the lifespan of this song is any indicator, it might not happen for a few more years.
QUICKIE – I mean, it’s exactly what it seems like. It’s a song about a quick sexual encounter. It’s very descriptive. I remixed this beat after I made it to give it a better feel. This song is also roughly three years old.
SLEEP – This song has many meanings. Aside from referencing Naptown (Indianapolis), the song talks about being slept on as an emcee, being a bit older than some of the newer cats emerging, and all of the weirdness that goes along with it. It’s not necessarily a cocky song as much as it is an awakening; it’s a respect due type of thing. As much as I have love for the entire Indianapolis and Indiana music scene, sometimes I feel like I get overlooked due to being a blogger and somewhat of a “mover” in the scene. It’s hard to describe sometimes, as I’m not a typical artist, so it’s frustrating sometimes. There just isn’t a “perfect place” for some of us. This is just my way of saying that I may be seasoned, but don’t sleep on this old man – go and dig and you’ll find my work. You might just like it, and I’ll still give you 30/10/5! Ps, I’m not THAT old. This beat is also a remix from the original…but it was a great segway from the previous song so I kept it.
Killer Mike Render took a break from the Run The Jewels tour recently to again speak with CNN’s Brooke Baldwin. He discussed his emotional speech at the Run The Jewels show in St. Louis the day the news broke of the grand jury’s decision, his thoughts on the Rams players’ “hands up” gestures, the grand jury decision itself, and what Mike would say to Wilson himself. Part one above, and part two below.Read More »
- Baby D
Last night’s decision to not indict Officer Wilson for the death of Micheal Brown has us all feelin’ a certain type of way this morning. Last night though, Killer Mike and El-P were performing in St. Louis on their Run The Jewels tour when the news broke. The video shows Killer Mike bearing his soul to the crowd. He shares his thoughts, feelings and fears due to the decision. It gets emotional and got me all choked up.
The fan’s video also got the boys performing a song at the end so stick around after you listen to his words.Read More »
In an article today put together over at Nuvo, DJ Kyle Long asked four different artists from Indiana to come up with a question for Atmosphere’s Slug. You can read the entire interview here at Nuvo, but I’ve quoted my favorite question and response below, which was asked by Diop. Atmosphere will be here on November 20th, which we shared along with a bunch of other upcoming Indianapolis events earlier today.
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The last question comes from Diopostle who dropped his superb debut album Driving on Faith earlier this year. Diopostle asks: “What are a few critical steps to building a sustainable and independent local music scene in a city where the market doesn’t currently exist?”
Slug: That’s a good question, and if I had that magic answer I’d write a book and get rich. For us it was accidental. We didn’t know what we were doing. Truthfully the steps we took in the ’90s probably wouldn’t even work today because the landscape has evolved. When we were building Rhymesayers there was no Internet. It was all about showing up with a stack of fliers and tapes to give away or sell. The things we did back then are obsolete now.
But the main thing I try to tell people is to always be honest with everybody, especially yourself. If you have to lie to get where you’re going, then you’re hustling people. And hustling people works, but it’s temporary. All hustles are temporary. If you want something that’s sustainable it has to be honest and true. I’ve always tried to be as honest as possible in my music and outside my music. I look at it like this, if you don’t want my truth, if you don’t want my honesty, then you probably don’t want me. If you can’t respect me for being myself then we don’t need to work together. I don’t want colleagues or even fans that can’t accept me for who I am. I ain’t here to trick nobody.
I also think you need to stay community-minded. The funny thing about mixing art with commerce is that it becomes very insular. It makes it hard to stay communal. I think that’s the thing that most people bang their heads against when they’re trying to establish a scene. There’s a short list of people in hip-hop history that have been able to keep it communal as opposed to keeping it focused on self. I would point to Afrika Bambaataa, or Proof out of Detroit. Proof was known for creating a space where people could come and freestyle or just kick it. And it wasn’t about Proof it was about the community. Luckily I was working with a few people who were really good at staying community minded, and I think that’s why we were able to get where we got in Minneapolis.
There’s a dude there in Indianapolis named Rusty from the Mudkids (Last IV, Birdmen of Alcatraz) who everybody there knows. That means there already is a community in Indianapolis. Every time I talk to him or see him I can see that he is a leader. I don’t live there, so I have no idea if he’s regarded as a leader by the younger kids. But if not they should really look to this guy because he’s got a lot of history,
inspiration, and charisma. Those are the types of things that create a leader. So Indianapolis has the leaders, you’ve got the soldiers, and you’ve got the people with talent. That’s all it takes to spark interest from people outside the scene to look in and make it a larger scene. The energy is infectious. This hip-hop shit is contagious. It just requires people to not be so insular, and to put their ego in the backseat.