Pharoahe Monch Talks The Art Of W.A.R.

Pharoahe Monch interviewed for Rip2Shredz // Street Press Australia //

@ 10.30 AEST - 27th October, 2010

Into the fray with Price Poetry as the Organized Konfusion duo, Monch dropped three albums which received plenty on cred but little on sales. After signing with indie-house Rawkus Records in 1999, the seminal Internal Affairs was released and side-stepping plenty of free agent persuasion from Shady Records, Runyon Ave, Bad Boy and Sony Records, Monch signed with Steve Rifkind's Street Records Corporation and released his 2007 follow-up Desire.

Monch's W.A.R. Media imprint partnered with Duck Down Records are ready to bring us W.A.R. (We Are Renegades) which Monch regards as his finest work to date and considers it a boom bap return to circa 1993- '94. The supporting cast from Desire have returned, which Jamerson confirms is “still expected February 22nd next year.” And début single off the LP is the Diamond D produced 'Shine' was released earlier this year finding Monch coupled again with the soul-drenched BK vocals of Mela Machinko who featured heavily on Desire. Behind the boards Denaun Porter, Black Milk, Lee Stone all return, but at the helm is Australia's leading hip hop producer M-Phazes.

For the exclusive interview [CLICK HERE]

Posted on Tue, 26/04/2011 - 15:07

Exclusive Interview w. House Of Pain's Danny Boy

House Of Pain (Danny O'Connor) interviewed for Rip2Shredz // Street Press Australia //

@ 08.20 AEST - 8th April, 2011

It's a 20 year anniversary of sorts for the Irish-Americans who last brought their shamrocks and shenanigans to our shores in a massive tour featuring Naughty By Nature and Coolio back in 1996. And this was their only time here as Daniel O'Connor expresses between bites of a burger at Long Island, New York's White Castle.

House Of Pain's upcoming shows will be less of a brawl with blunt weaponry and executed in a more concise and refined manner. “The major difference is it's not as drunken and angst-fueled. It's more mature,” O'Connor explains. “It's definitely sharper than before. Before it was like a dull dagger that we stabbed people in the neck with.”

For the exclusive interview [CLICK HERE]

Posted on Thu, 21/04/2011 - 14:17

Video: Food For Thought With Ice Cube

BET's 'Food For Thought: Conversations With Ice Cube'

West coast legend Ice Cube meets with Angie Martinez, Stephen A. Smith and Harry Allen in a Harlem, NY restaurant to interview him on his career, in music, film and family - the first career as Cube puts it. One of the memorable questions led to Cube speaking on being in the ninth grade and writing his first rhyme. Great interview, a must watch for all fans of real West coast rap.

Posted on Sat, 17/07/2010 - 05:53


Cypress Hill Breaks Down Classic Tracks For Complex

In preemptive strike to Cypress Hill's new album Rise Up coming out soon, Complex magazine's Toshitaka Kondo hit up the Latin hiphop leaders to break down some of their classic tracks over their legendary career as they near twenty years standing at the top of West coast hiphop.

Cypress Hill Classics: B-Real & Sen Dog On The Making Of 10 Key Records

April 19th, 2010


We were in South Gate coming back from a house party and we went to Jack-In-The Box. I had a dark blue 520 Cadillac Seville sittin’ on McLeans. It was gangsta. Straight up. I was using the phone booth and they decided to come harass me. Some of them were high school football guys and they didn’t go anywhere else but to become a local cop. We knew them, so we weren’t intimated by them. We’d be like, “Fuck you, you third stringer. You couldn’t even make LAPD” And they were trying to gang up on me. It was about five or six cops. We looked like thugs so they basically treated us like thugs. But I wasn’t doing nothing. I didn’t have no weapons, no weed. [They said,] “What are you doing here? Put your hands on the car?” I’m like, “What the fuck you mean? What did I do that I got to put my hands on your car?” They’re like, “Don’t create a problem.” I’m like, “You’re gonna arrest me for fuckin talking on the phone?” Then they were grouping around me and I was like, “What? You gonna jump me in front of all these all these people in Jack In The Box? Go head! The first one that jumps out at me, I’m knocking him out! I don’t care if I get beat up the rest of the way. You guys better call your on-duty sergeant or something because we got a problem.” The sergeant comes on the scene and asks me what happened. And I told them exactly what happened. And he told those guys to let me go and to apologize.

Sen Dog:
B-Real was pretty pissed. When I rolled up to my house, he was sitting in front of my mom’s house in his car. I rolled up in my driveway and I walked up to him and I was like, “Hey what are you doing?” And he goes, “I’m writing a song about the pigs!” He had this look on his face. When I came back outside the house, he was like, “Listen to this!” That was actually one of the later songs that we recorded during the first album because either Muggs or I reminded him about the poem he wrote about the pigs. It was right around the time we did “Latin Lingo” because that was one of the last songs we recorded for that album. I remember having the first rough of the album, “Pigs” and “Latin Lingo” wasn’t on it. It wasn’t until we went back in with Joe The Butcher, the owner of Ruff House Records, came out to L.A. to hear the final. We recorded “Pigs”. Then we flew out to Philly to mix and master the album and that’s when we came up with “Hole In The Head” and “Latin Lingo”.

He laid it down to this funky track Muggs had come up with. And then we started to build the concept for the song more deeply around that. Names were changed, but where we grew up, a lot of people knew each other and what not. A lot of these cops would try to chase the same chicks that we chased. And chicks knew everything because what do men do? They talk to women. So we were connected back in the days. We knew exactly what those guys were up to, they were no different than us. They just wore a gun and a badge to work and we didn’t. But you know, B was swift with the pen. And they gave him a creative spark and they paid the price. And those guys know that song is about them. They have to know. [Laughs.]

For the complete interview [CLICK HERE]


Posted on Tue, 20/04/2010 - 08:35

Exclusive Interview w. Danny Boy

Chi-Town native and Death Row Records' son of soul and songbird to a host of notorious Westcoast rap legends - R&B star Danny Boy (Danny Boy Steward) is steady grinding on his come back with a new album and a dusted off collection due for release by the new WIDEAwake/Death Row label. Steward, all grown and still beautiful in voice gave Dynamexx Enterprise and an exclusive on where he's at now.

For the exclusive interview [CLICK HERE]

Posted on Thu, 15/04/2010 - 09:30

Bambu Freestyle, Interview on Soul Assassins Radio

Check out Los Angeles rapper Bambu during an appearance on Soul Assassins Radio with DJ Choc and DJ Muggs from February 2010. He also spits an exclusive freestyle.

Posted on Sun, 28/02/2010 - 13:34

Interview: Ugly Duckling Fly South With

UGLY DUCKLING interviewed for // Street Press Australia

29th June, 2009
Picture three hip-hoppers who came together in 1993, straight outta Long Beach, California, two emcees and one DJ rocking a gold dookie chain and you won't come close to pinning the tail on the donkey. At an era where hip-hop's balance of power had shifted coasts down a lecherous path of hardcore reality rap, an ardent group became set on bringing back that pure ether of hip-hop. True artisans of rap, Ugly Duckling continue their forthrightness and steadfast resistance to sell their collective soul for the dangling carrot. While en route flying south, the guys drop in to paint their views of hip-hop, the audacity of a new President and illustrate their latest album.

How is the Australian hip-hop fanbase treating you while your down here?

Andy: We've only had very good experiences down under. In fact, I've always thought that the people were overly nice to us; it almost seemed to be a mercy-date. Like a pretty girl is going out with a guy who's terminally ill for the make-a-wish foundation. We can't wait to get back down there and perform for the people again because our collective self-esteem could use a boost.

A profile on you guys says U.D. are influenced from the Native Tongue movement, hip-hop on a conscious level seems rare in the spotlight, shining in favour of more materialistic rap. Do you see much of the Native Tongue ideology still practised?

Andy: Honestly, I'm not sure about any ideology and we try not to worry about other people's messages. the reason we loved the native tongue groups is because they made the coolest, funkiest, sample-based music and had creative song-writing style as well. In fact, black sheep, a great n.t. band, was a bit misogynistic but they still, on their debut album, created great music and great music from any era will always be our motivation. Great music is hard to kill.

Coming out of Long Beach in 1993, were you guys influenced much by the Snoop Dogg/Warren G etc. breakout in the same period or were you guys already in another headspace with your hip-hop, separating your identity from the over-popular 'Gangsta rap' of Cali?

Andy: At that time, we were surrounded by gangster music and it made having a career in the mid-90's impossible. that's why it took us until the late 90's to officially get a record out (we put one out on our own in 96 but it did nada). That said, it was nice to see people from Long Beach succeed and, truth told, we were cordially friendly with those guys (Dizzy and Warren G were class-mates and Snoop Dogg went to my senior prom) so there was some excitement and inspiration when they made it big. But again, all we try to do is make great music in which we believe and let the chips fall where they may.


Interviewed by Rip Nicholson // [email protected]

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Posted on Sun, 21/02/2010 - 10:18

Interview: Lyrics Born Talks Touring With

LYRICS BORN interviewed for // Street Press Australia

7th December, 2009

Leading the new vanguard of West Coast hiphop, Lyrics Born stays as active as ever, polishing up his fourth studio album in between jet-setting live heaters around the globe. Caught in Denver on The Deadliest Catch Tour, Lyrics has a story well covered and before he reaches out to Australia in the new year, The underground's most heralded performer takes time out to discuss his legacy as a leading tourist in hiphop and why he always looks forward to rocking Australia's summer.

You're hosting The Deadliest Catch Tour across the west coast then straight down here to Australia. How's the dynamic change from rocking a home crowd to bringing the same show down under?

It's great. It's not really any different as you may think. Every show I come to, every crowd I perform to I just bring the same attitude, which is - Kill it! I didn't come here just for vacation, you know. I hope to just drive everybody into a frenzy. I don't really look at it any different gig to gig, country to country, city to city.

A while back you played down here, Australia became part of your live album. Was it something down here that made Australia the tour to record?

From my point, my objective, my job is the same. On the Australian point, definitely Aussies love to party – pretty much harder than any place I've ever played. But I think it makes my job a little bit easier because, not that I'm trying to be lazy. [It's easy to feed off the energy] Exactly. One thing I noticed about an Australian crowd, they come to party, from the moment they walk in the door. I don't know whether it's the alcohol or the general culture you know what I mean... I can't keep up with 'em.

Your latest Season Pho mixtape drops soon is this pre-hype to the forthcoming album, As U Were?

Yeah it's already dropped and it's available worldwide and at Yeah the whole idea of the variety store series is it gives people a chance to see what I've been doing in between albums and gives people a sneak peek. I like to leak songs from the forthcoming album, so there's a few joints on there that are from As You Were.

Is this LP still building strength in the lab, or a finished product?

I'm almost done, I've got a few tracks left to mix. When I come home from The Deadliest Catch tour I'll dabble with it a bit more and it should be done.


Interviewed by Rip Nicholson // [email protected]

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Posted on Sun, 21/02/2010 - 01:58

Interview: RZA Talks Wu-Tang On Film With

RZA interviewed for // Street Press Australia

19th January, 2010

The abbot of Wu-Tang's conglomerate band of brothers, RZA AKA Bobby Digital AKA The Rzarector and a slew of other conceptual identities dependent on the current of creative air swirling around the genius who was born Robert Diggs, is making power moves on a Hollywood chessboard. A student under the wings of this generation's biggest cult director, Quentin Tarantino whom RZA refers to as the Master, is making grandeur attempts to bring the Wu-Tang dynasty to film, for eternal survival in a young man's game of hiphop.

Recently the Wu-Tang performed in Melbourne. Good to see almost everybody on stage. How was the chemistry during the event?

We had a really good time out there, the crowd was having a good time with us. We had a good time on stage. I think the chemistry and energy was great. We are trying to do a proper tour with the Wu-Tang Clan but that can be difficult. So I'm coming down, you know test the waters. Ghostface and GZA been down there. Now Method Man and Redman are running around right now. I'mma come down in February and bring my high voltage energy – getting' it ready for when the whole Wu-Tang Clan returns late this year or early next year. We are working out details for everyone to be involved, but right now you have the energy of RZA individually and have some fun and I'll build up a demand for the whole crew.

Is this to promote the new album, The Cure?

No I wouldn't say that. (laugh) It's really just to touch bases with Australia and New Zealand. I haven't had a chance to perform in the country for about five years, and then last year we did two dates, then ten dates so it's like you know, it's a long trip, a great continent, I think the energy of the people there are really driven and just right for my style of hiphop. I think the youth and adults have really grown to a level of appreciation for the music. So it's a real treat and pleasure to perform out there.

But I don't wanna pre-talk on that (new album), I've done some work with some good other musicians. We did the Black Rock project with the Black Keys and I've been doing some music for some buddies in Hollywood. I don't know exactly what I wanna do creatively yet to be honest with you. I'm having fun with music and that sound I've missed. Over the years I've been doing music and in the beginning it was all about fun and good times. Then we strived and got a record deal, then we have a career and started doing music for pay checks, you know what I mean. And if they didn't write me a budget I wasn't goin' in the fuckin' studio. That became a problem, so for the last two years I've been back in the studio makin' music for fun. Now I don't know what to do with it, and one day I'll decide what to do with it. Do I sell it or give it away, we don't know what we wanna do.

LA Times just announced your clearance for Man with the Iron Fist. I can't help think this was the next logical step for you, how does writing and directing film compare to scoring music?

Well its a whole 'nother world but it still reflects my creative, artistic nature but it's not an easy job, I gotta admit it's not an easy job to write the script and get it to the format we got it at and to be accepted by Hollywood and the elite people. It's taken a year, year and a half to get to that level. It's not easy but it's very fulfilling. When you get all that creativity out of you and give it to other people to appreciate it and say, 'Wow what a great story, what a great script.' It's something I've been working on for a few years and I'm really passionate about and I'm ready to share it with the world.


Interviewed by Rip Nicholson // [email protected]

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Posted on Wed, 17/02/2010 - 11:55

XXL Exclusive: Def Jam - Rush, Lyor & Liles!

Photography: Jonathon Mannion

Taken from []
Lyor Cohen is about to pull a power move. “Is Method Man confirmed?” he asks a publicist. Cohen is inquiring about Meth’s participation in VH1’s Hip Hop Honors, which, this year, is dedicated to Def Jam. Method Man is not confirmed. “What’s Method Man’s number?” he demands in his clipped Israeli accent. Cohen is soon dialing the digits. It goes to voice mail.

“Tical, guess who this is?” It’s an album skit come to life.

Cohen, the former president of Island Def Jam, is working the phones because the label is celebrating its 25th anniversary. It’s also why he opened his Upper East Side townhouse to XXL on Rosh Hashanah for this momentous round table. For the first time ever, Cohen, his Def Jam co-founder, Russell Simmons, and former Def Jam president Kevin Liles will sit together and candidly reminisce (and argue) about hip-hop’s most storied record label.

It’s about to get bigger and deffer.


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Posted on Sun, 15/11/2009 - 05:49
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