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  • BDTB Interview w/ Blake Allee – Toxic Flowers Release | @blakeallee

    We sat down with Blake Allee for an interview about him and his new Toxic Flowers, which is the first sound that we have heard from the Indy producer / emcee in over a year. But, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been working in the studio. The artist has just been steering his sound into a new direction: his direction. He took a break from the scene to really put himself into his sound and has started making music for himself, but thankfully, is willing to share it with us.



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    BDTB: So, where ya been?
    BA: I don’t wanna say I’m gone or still in it, I don’t where I am exactly. Man, I just got tired of promoting stuff, and playing shows because you had to promote them. I enjoy playing shows and enjoy making music, but I realized that if you don’t promote or have other people help you promote it just doesn’t work out. I just got to a point to where I wanted to do it for fun. It’s a lot of work when you just want to make music. I’m not saying that I won’t be doing any more shows or making any more music, but I want to make it for myself, and if I release it, I release it.

    BDTB: Kinda like how you released, Toxic Flowers. (Referencing the 24 hour before Facebook post)
    BA: Yeah, I had the album done for a few months, but I really struggled with if I wanted to do a video with it. I had always worked with Digital Rabbit on my videos, but he’s gone now. It was always part of the promotion and I had to stay up every night and get to blogs or whatever and it just became what you had to do, but I was just like, “Nah, I’m just gonna drop it tomorrow.” (Chuckles)

    BDTB: Do you plan to do any videos at all with the new tracks?
    BA: If I do a video I am going to do it myself. I’m not sure how that will go (chuckles), but since Digital Rabbit is a very talented director, to compete with him is not going to be easy. But, I guess I don’t really care as much. I don’t mind if every angle is perfect or if I don’t have the best camera or correct lighting. It just needs to be an idea and just doing it myself because I can edit, but if I did another video it would be that way. Focus more so on the story of it.

    BDTB: It should just be simple, it should just be, “Here it is. Enjoy it.”
    BA: Yeah, exactly. I know it can be hard to standout and I know that it is part of the game, I understand that, but I tried.



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    BDTB: With Toxic Flowers were you trying to tie together a certain theme or were you trying to get a point across? It seemed like a lot of the album dealt with looking for and finding something.
    BA: The album is not necessarily personal because I know it is off the wall, it’s not in plain English and you have to decipher it. I just felt like really comfortable in saying what I needed to say.

    BDTB: I noticed a lot of supernatural themes within the production and “Laser Beams” kinda sounds like an X-Files sample? And obviously in “Missed Calls” you use Godzilla in the background? Was there anything that lead you to use that?
    BA: Nah, it was a sample. It was just a sound I found from OmniSpirit, but can see the X-Files in there now. Supernatural and weirdness is something I have always been drawn to. I don’t even know where the Godzilla came from. Sometimes I like to look around for weird sound fx and someone on YouTube had every roar collected from the early movies to the new one. I recorded them and mapped them on the keyboard and found the one I liked the most.

    BDTB: And in “Shamrocks” you have the voice over interlude. Where was that from?
    BA: It was from a documentary called Comic Book Confidential. What I do is when I watch movies sometimes I will have a recorder going with it so when someone says something cool I have it on tape to use.

    BDTB: We talked about you making the album just to make the album; does that make it any easier to decide who to bring on? Or who to ask for a verse? I guess, how did you decide to put Tony Styxx in for a track?
    BA: There are some people in the city that I have always worked with and man, he just fit the song and what I was doing with it. I felt he had something special to bring to the track.

    BDTB: So do you have anything on deck ready to release or is it gonna be a while before we hear from you again?
    BA: I honestly don’t know. I will say that I haven’t been writing music as extensively as I used to. I felt like I didn’t have another life. I was working at the Post Office and then coming home working on music until I slept. Only to wake up in time to go back to the Post Office six days a week. And while I still love making it, I feel like once you lose that desire to be the best you will still create and put out music, but I don’t think I will try to be the best. The goal was always to be the best producer or be the best emcee. I’m not saying that I am or that I’m not, it is just not the goal any longer.

    BDTB: Now it is more about you making music and making sure that you are getting across what you want and that you get your art out there?
    BA: Yeah, if I want to work on something I will and if I don’t, I won’t. I don’t feel the pressure to anymore.



    All being said, it’s safe to say that this will not be the last time that we hear from Blake Allee over at Bringing Down the Band. How soon we will hear from him is up the artist himself. Until then, make sure you check out his newest work, Toxic Flowers, which is out now. You can listen below.

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  • Dart Adams Interviews Fashawn About Nas, Mass Appeal & Fresno (Video) | @Fashawn @Dart_Adams

    Dart Adams recently sat down in Cambridge, MA with Fashawn, and the interview discussion covers a slew of topics.

    Dart Adams sat down with Fashawn before his show at the Middle East in Cambridge to discuss his first album “Boy Meets World” and the part of his life he was in when he wrote and recorded it. Moving on Dart gets into the 5 year gap between the release of “Boy Meets World” and “The Ecology”. Moving on Dart gets into talking about “The Ode to Illmatic” and how Fashawn released his “Illmatic” inspired record before the Detroit rapper Elzhi. Fashawn also touches on his worries with rapping over the beats and what inspired him to do it in the first place. Fashawn goes on to talk about his hometown of Fresno and what it was like coming up in that city compared to other more notable locations for California hip hop. To close it out we hear about how he feels being acknowledged by Nas and his thoughts on being a part of Mass Appeal.

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  • BABA: Bandcamp Interviews Mello Music Group Founder Michael Tolle | @MelloMusicGroup

    Browsing around today I came across an interview that Bandcamp did with Mello Music Group‘s originator Michael Tolle. Being a fan of what MMG has been doing for the last few years, it’s very interesting (and inspiring) how he and his team have formed an organic label that thrives on doing music they love, without compromising who they are. Read the entire article here on Bandcamp. MMG’s Persona compilation will be released on March 10th. Pre-order here.

    Founded in 2007, the Mello Music Group is now one of the healthiest independent hip-hop labels around. It’s a diverse musical family that includes producers, MCs, and musicians such as: Washington, D.C.-based Oddisee, Los Angeleno Open Mike Eagle, Detroit’s Apollo Brown, plus West Coast freethinkers Dudley Perkins and Georgia Anne Muldrow, and East Coast classicist Rapper Big Pooh. Not a bad roster for someone who, by his own admission, didn’t know what he was doing. Perhaps his naiveté during a period of change made building a new kind of label possible. I got the scoop from Tolle this past month, as he readied some heavyweight releases from the likes of Red Pill (of Ugly Heroes), L’Orange & Jeremiah Jae, Oddisee, Quelle Chris and many more.

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  • The Breakfast Club Interview w/ Kanye West (Video) | @kanyewest

    Kanye West is keeping his name bubbling in the internet with an interview he did today with The Breakfast Club.

    Normally I probably wouldn’t share such a video, but this lengthy interview really kind of delves into his thinking, how he works, his fashion, his growth as a musician, and has him talking about the importance of being an influence. It’s a very candid and somewhat politically correct interview; I think it’s more of a growth as an individual than him trying to appease anybody. I enjoyed it, and I appreciated his words about innovation and influence.

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  • Nuvo Interviews BDTB About 5-Year Party this Weekend | @NUVO_net

    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 the whole story here.
    Facebook event information.
    Get $5 presale tickets here.

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  • #INDIANA: TCC Magazine Interviews Freddie Bunz in “Real Name, No Gimmicks” | @FreddieBunz

    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.

    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.

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  • Flying Lotus’ BBC Radio 1 Debut w/ Unheard Music from Thundercat & Kendrick Lamar | @FlyingLotus

    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.

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  • theSTASHED Interview w/ Phonte, Royce Da 5’9″ & DJ Premier (Video) | @theSTASHED

    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.

    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.

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