Monday, December 1, 2014


1. Peace and blessings fam, thanks for honoring me with this interview. I Know that are dope beyond dope you are at your craft but for those who may not know who you are but feel free to introduce yourself? 
Peace! 1st & 4most… I want 2 say thank U, 4 the opportunity 2 reintroduce Myself. Officially I am The Intergalactic Sorcerer Supreme DOC STRANGE A 1Won Journalist Piranha 7-2. Or 4 short Doc Strange (THEE ORIGINAL) formally of the group Legends Of M.E.T.R.O.Y.D. I’ve been doing this as an MC, Prod, Eng. & Performer 4 some time now. I’ve worked for such labels as Uptown MCA & Bad Boy doing AnR work & promotions as well as helping AnR staff at Mercury, PolyGram, Polydor & lastly PMD 

2. Doc Strange, that’s a dope name but explain how you came up with it and the special meaning behind it?

Easiest answer is/was Doc Strange Marvel Comics Character but much deeper is My uncanny & “Strange” character since I was very young.

3.Who inspired you as an MC/DJ?

My Brother & His crew Musique Disco (1980-81) My humble beginnings. After that the Cold Crush, Fearless 4, UltraMagnetic MC’s, Public Enemy & De La Soul 2 name a few.

4.What is your earliest memory of music?

As long as I can remember, My Parents were into music… all genres.

5.When did you fall in love with music and hip-hop aka your brown sugar moment?

Music is between The Jackson 5, Chic & Slave.

6.How long have you been an MC/DJ not to show age but what year did you get started?

1981 I started Emceeing, a little bit of DJing. Dancing throughout and started producing around 86/87. I was a graff/graph artist as well.

7.What was the moment you realized that you had a talent for music?

85-86 a school yard battle & summer show we entered. Did not win but made a large impression. 

8. When did you decide that this was something you wanted to pursue?

The summer of 87, going into sophomore year of high school.

9.What is the local scene like where you live?

Crazy!!! I am from the Class of 91-92- meaning I am from Essex County NJ. Which consist of cities like East Orange, Newark, and Montclair. Now what this means is High School talent shows, park jams & club performances were We rocked with, against or around/in front of… Let alone lived near, went 2 school with or ran with such names as (1) Art Of Origin= Chino XL & Kerri Chandler (2) New Style= Naughty By Nature (3) Do It All Do= Lords Of The Underground [when Redman was the DJ] (4) That’s Them= Artifacts (5) Refugee Camp= Fugees… just 2 name a few
0.What is your current lab set up and how has it changed over the years?

Multiple Programs, cut & paste and some speakers. The major change is the analog 2 digital

11. What is your creative process as an MC?

It varies with the material, song or concept. Mainly I C things… they come, I got 2 write, voice record, color code or clue/que Myself the lyrics.

12.What are some of your current projects and where can we find them?

have been on sabbatical until recently. U will B able 2 find My work very soon, unfortunately I will have 2 tell U on the next meeting. I had released material in 96 that is about 2 B recycled or actually has been re-released in Canada & now making it’s way back 2 the states.

13.What are some of your future projects and which ones are you looking forward to most?

My Artist are on the rise, I have 2 studio compilations in the work, however the most is “The Return Of Doc Strange: Doppelganger Xecution”

14.Do you represent any companies or labels and if so who are they and how long have you been affiliated? 

Yes I do DARK MATTER SOLUTIONS- Consultants/Management; Rosa International LLC & Stronghold Recording Studios

15.Tell me more about your radio show strange nation on smash mouth fm? 

IT IS THEE ULTIMATE ADVENTURE!!! An Xcursion, An Xpedition, An Xperience… In Sound, Sight & Smell. “Strange Nation Wit DJ 2 Fast The Tour Guide” is 3 hours of Edutainment in Iconic Pop Culture with World Music as the backdrop.

16. How can people stay connected to you?

At the current moment the studios fb & twitter page, soon 2 change. Bsides that 

17. Do you have any jewels for aspiring artist? 

B YOURSELF but More Importantly- no compromise & guard your integrity. U can make it without perverting or bafooning yourself.

18. Any special shout outs or special thanks if so feel free to do so?

1st All Praise is due 2 the Creator of The Heavens & Earths! Family, My Brother Raheem… DARK MATTER (The whole team i.e.: Kali Kartel, Split Personality OmaRnB, Mix Masta Freak, Cherif Seck) IS HERE 2 STAY! My DJ 2 Fast, B Magnetic, The Laser Squadron, Dr. Grant & Rosa, A- Form & Stronghold, Lost Tribes & Last but not least The Universal Zulu Nation. 

19. How do you define your sound and what sets you apart from other artist?

Organic Empowerment… Edutainment infused with Pageantry, Depth & Sweep. 4 Us it’s a way of life & We live it as We love it… Can’t… No Won’t Say That About Others.

2O. What is the difference between an MC and a rapper?

Rappers envelope words 2 present 2 an audience, in hopes that the audience, is impressed with what they, the rapper believes is their gift. MC’s- Masters of Ceremony engage an audience giving 2 them The Elements of Plot, Rhyme & Reason as well as Lyrics 2 Go!!!
Any final thoughts for the readers?

Stay tuned 2 this man Nate OG… Much appreciative… 2 U G 4 this interview. Focus on the future & don’t fall 4 the New Jim Crow, some of ya’ll the Ole jim crow

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


1.    Whats good family, thanks for blessing me with this interview. Now I know how dope you are at your craft, but for those who may not know feel free to introduce yourself?

My name is Damon Martin (35yrs young), better known as “Science”. I am a mix engineer. I used to rap and produce beats but my love for the craft of mixing has taken over for the better part of the past 8-9 years. I still write from time to time and I may catch a spark for a hot beat but for the most part, I stick with what I am great at; mixing. I used to own a recording studio (05’-07’) in the Book Tower building (Downtown Detroit) but it was shut down due to owner/city issues and is still closed to this day. I took a break between 09’-10’ and started back in 11’ with a refreshed mindset. I had to refocus and now, here I am.

2.    Now I have known you for a short time but how did you get started producing/engineering?

I was a sort of a “best kept secret” among my friends. No one outside of them even knew that I could rhyme or produce. In 2002 I got together with 2 close friends and formed a group called “Tha Alliance”. Out of budget and necessity, I started producing tracks for our songs. However, I was never a “front” man. I've always been a 'behind the scenes' type of person. So I fell in love with producing and recording more than writing and performing. Nature took its course there. I sat with the engineer that recorded our group and learned a few tricks of the trade through close observation. His name is Tony Grown AKA “T-Grown” (Eclectic Multimedia). This guy would always stop what he was doing to pick up the phone just to answer my ultra-rookie ass questions. By mid 05’ I then began recording and producing for a long time close friend “Boogie Bandero”. Between mid 05’ until the close of the studio, we had tracked just under 50 incredible songs. That’s where the base of my practice and skill foundation was laid.  

3.    When did you start Producing/Engineering not to show age but what year did you start?

Music has always been in my bones. Between my father’s huge collection of albums from being a DJ in his youth and my uncle’s influence with early hip-hop and rhyme skills, everything just seemed to fit in its place. However, technically, I didn't tap into my talents until mid 02’ (at 23 years old).

4.    What does your lab set up consists of and how has it changed since first began?

Let’s put it like this, it has changed significantly:
1st setup (1 bedroom apt.): Triton Keyboard, Slow ass PC, 4-channel mixer, Mic, KRK Rockit 5’s and a 6-pack of bud-light.
2nd setup (2 bedroom townhouse): Triton, Nord Lead Synth, Tons of Synth Software, MPC 2KXL, Tascam FW-1884, GT67 Mic, KRK Rockit 5’s, 12-pack of bud-light and a 5th of Henny.
3rd setup (500 sq.ft. 20th floor suite): Triton, Nord Lead, MPC 2KXL, GT67 Mic, AKG 414 Mic, Tascam FW-1884, Mackie 32x8 mixer, KRK’s, Event Tuned Reference Monitors, Mac G4 + Windows PC, 5-piece Drums, guitar, DBX Comps, Eq’s, a mini bar and multiple 5ths of everything…lol
4th setup (Current): After selling off everything over the years, I've learned that a recording/mix engineer needs to invest in the craft and skill before gear. Currently I have the most basic setup ever: A powerful  PC (self built) w/PCIe interface, Event Monitors, Pro-Tools 10 and my sanity.

5. What are some basic fundamentals that you feel artists and producers should bear in mind when collaborating?

First and foremost, you need to spend some time getting to know that person. If you don't have that luxury, at least study some of their work prior to engagement to get the artistic expression of that individual. If you get a chance to do so, “shoot the shit” so to speak and don't make everything about music. Get to know who and what they are outside of music. Build relationships! Relating is a building block. Don't be so judgmental. Other ideas exist beyond your own so, respect them. Art was not divinely implanted into YOUR brain only, so open up and accept art for what it is no matter how you perceive it. Basically, when collaborating, tear down the walls and let the art speak.

6. What are some of your pet peeves when dealing with artists and producers?

Artists often lack professionalism when it comes to dealing with the language of the studio in all of its aspects. Most local artists spend so much time (too comfortable) in home studios that they never get to experience the day to day rhythm of a pro recording facility. Producers may know what they want to hear but they get married to the rough drafts and home recordings way too often. When they hear the song professionally mixed, they hate it because they've been bumping the ultra loud rough mix. Any pro mixer that I know does NOT mix at loud volumes nor do they make mixes loud. That’s not our job. We create balance with the producer and artist's suggestions in mind. In both cases, they often try to tell you how to do your job, not realizing that they just lack experience.

7. Now we are both from the same hometown, but what has the local scene been like lately?

Quite honestly, I have no clue. I've lost touch with the local scene because everyone has become their own rapper/recorder/mixer/producer and mastering engineer all in one. The moment you try to show them that you have some mixing skills to offer, they refer you to some loud mix and half master that sounds good to them because why: they've become addicted to the rough mix sound and you can't tell them otherwise. I've found ways to spread my talents via internet and have gotten work doing so.

8. Does the local scene and trends affect your creative process?

See answer for question #7. LOL

9. Who are some of your influences and what did you gain from them and how did you incorporate their style into your own?

Dave Pensado (Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Mariah Carey, Elton John, Michael Jackson, and more!) This guy is the man! He has a weekly web show called Pensado’s Place along with co-host and Exec. Producer Herb Trawick. On the show, he has guest engineers and producers from Al Schmitt, Manny Marroquin, Chris Lord-Alge, and Tony Maserati to Young Guru (Jay Z’s Black Album), Dj Ali AKA MixedbyAli (Kendrick Lamar’s engineer and tour Dj), Marcella Araica and the likes. I've taken so much advice and learned so many techniques from Dave and the others that I probably would have never learned on my own. They definitely take you down the audio “rabbit hole”. LOL I attended the inaugural Pensado Awards in Santa Monica, Ca. on June 28th and I met some amazing people in the industry that I definitely look up to. It was a great show hosted by Chris lord-Alge, Young Guru, Marcella Araica and Lisa Loeb.  I received some great career advice from some pros like Steve Genewick (Capitol Studios) and I took the experience all in. I came back home recharged!

10. How would you define your sound and brand?

I'm still building my sound as an engineer so I don't really have a dedicated sound so to speak. I don't really produce beats anymore so I can't speak for that. However, I'm known for not making the same beat twice, if that helps. lol

11. What are some of your current projects and where can they be found?

Currently I'm working to develop a local hip-hop artist who goes by the name “Young Knowledge”. He has a few YouTube videos but he has some growing to do content wise. I rarely get to show off mixes because these are songs that have not been sent off for copyrights and/or artists are very sensitive about what songs are released. So, unfortunately, I don't have much work on the web to preview. My Soundcloud page (mixedbyscience) is full of unmixed material, older songs and beats that were never used. The only mixes that I have there are a few songs mixed for competition and they are labeled as such.

12. What are some of your future projects and which ones are you looking forward to most?

Young Knowledge album – 2015
Boogs Bandero – Spring 2015
Hard Grind Ent. – Spring 2015

13. Do you represent any companies or labels, if so how long have you been  
affiliated with them? 


14. Do you have any jewels for aspiring producers/engineers?

HAVE SOME FUCKIN’ FUN MAKING MUSIC! Music as an art is Boundless! You can't do it all by yourself no matter how gifted you are. Get with a mentor! Mentor someone else! Open yourself up to criticism! Learn a thing or two about humility! Do your Homework!!! Remember, it’s all about the ART and not just you! Record, Mix and Produce with the emotion of the song in mind and not just the quality of sound. Respect professional advice, decisions and wisdom. Follow through with what you say you're going to do! If you're an aspiring engineer, hit me up! I give it freely as it was given to me, as long as there is no material injury to myself. I’m looking for someone to teach so contact me if interested. Truthfully, I can go on for days but I don't cast pearls before swine. I'd rather wait for those who are serious about their craft to connect with me via email at

15. Any Special Thanks if so place them here?

Well, first and foremost, thank you Nate for conducting this interview. I feel privileged! I thank my parents for being so hip (they’re young lol), my uncle Chris (R.I.P) for introducing me to the world of rhyme skills and wordplay at such a young age, T-Grown for passing the torch (even though his is still lit…lol) and last but not least, Dave Pensado & Herb Trawick for creating such a diverse web show that gave me the spark to take things a bit more serious (fun-serious) once I got back into the music.
Damon Martin
IG: mixedbyscience

Monday, August 25, 2014


  1. Whats good family, now I am a huge fan since I heard u on houseshoes let it go album but for those who may not be familiar with your craft, feel free to introduce yourself.
  2.  Peace. This is Anthony Jackson...also known as Big Tone. A west side Detroit native. And I’m a musician.
2. Who are some of your influences and what did u incorporate from their styles into your signature style? 
Most of the stuff that has majorly influenced me is from a time that’s considered the Golden Era of Hip Hop. So the early 90’s mostly...Tribe, Pete and C.L., Main Source, Hiero, EPMD, Rakim, and alot of hip hop releases from that time period inspired my upbringing alot. The Detroit hip-hop community has been really influential on me as well. Artists like Dilla, Royce, Waajeed...their music had a big impact on me and my approach to the craft. 
3.I wanted to tell u that your latest single "The Crib" is a classic from DJ Dez and DJ Butter "A Piece Of The Action" album but when did you start MC/Producing what to show age but what year did you start? 
Good look! I’m excited that it’s resonating with the people. To anyone reading this, make sure to grab that “Piece of The Action” LP when it drops. That’ll be another Detroit hip hop artifact to have. To answer the question, I’ve been rhyming since a child. It’s hard to remember when, exactly....maybe 9-10 years old. I wasn’t writing songs or anything, I used to just freestyle alot. I really didn’t get serious about it until after high school. Producing would happen a couple years later...around 19 years old or so. 
4.What was the event or moment when you knew this was what you wanted to pursue? 
Those early studio experiences impacted me like that. I always wanted to be in the lab, whether I was working on the music myself or not. I just loved the environment, so I wanted to be in the lab all the time.
5.What do you enjoy more MCing or Producing? 
The go hand in hand. I enjoy the beat making creative process more, but being able to share my voice with people is an honor in it’s own right. I really enjoy both.
6.I currently reside just outside grand rapids Michigan but what is the local scene like? 
I don’t get out to local events as much as I’d like to these days...which is something that I’m hoping to change. But I feel the local music scene has always been commissioned by the artists, dj’s and curators, nurtured and supported by the communities, and housed in intimate clubs and pubs scattered throughout the city. The faces and places change, but the culture remains the same. 
7.What does your lab set up consists of and do you have a favorite piece of gear? 
I got a real simple set up. I’m running logic on a mac, with a Metric Halo interface, a Bluebird mic, a Focusrite channel strip, Korg Synth, and an MPC 2000XL ...which is my favorite piece. I’m actually planning to revamp and open a fully facilitated studio over the next year, but it’ll still be pretty simple in structure. I  feel like it helps with the work flow. 
8.What is your creative process as a MC and Producer? 
Not much to it. I just try to connect and create amongst artists that inspire me. I’ve got a nice environment to create in. So  we just sit in the lab or outside on the porch, elevate and kick it. Eventually beats and rhymes and songs happen.  
9.Does the local scene affect your creative process at all? 
Yeah. Artists around here have inspired me for so long, it’s fresh when we get the chance to work together. I’m blessed to have some great talent that comes through and let me be apart of some dope projects. 
10.What are some of your current projects and where can they be found? 
The most current work I’ve released is available at the Swank Addict Bandcamp page. I dropped 3 EP’s this year. “No Thieves In the Temple”, “Clear?” and “LAWDHAMMERCY” are all available there. 
11.What are some of your future projects and which ones are you looking foward to most.
 I’m looking forward to all of them. It’s been a minute for me, so I can’t wait to start hitting people off with the new releases. The first up is a free download LP called “God Bless You” that I’ll be dropping soon. We’ve actually just released the God Bless You video this week, too. The next album is a collab LP with the homie Fuzz Scoota called “BLK MRKT MNPLY”, which I definitely feel like is some of my best work to date. Then me and Houseshoes have this “Big Shoes” project we’ve been working on the past year that’s due top of 2015...which is gonna be one for the books, too. Then there’s my album, “Dare To Wonder”, named after an artist creative development program that we’re building. No timeline yet, but I’m workinonit.   
12. Do you represent any labels or companies? 
If so how long have you been affiliated with them? Swank Addict, which is my immediate circle of friends. Loveturl, which is our artist collective and homies on the west coast. BLK MRKT MNPLY, which is our new product line. And Dare to Wonder is our recording studio and creative development program. That’s it. 
13.What are some of the pros and cons for being an independent artist vs a major label artist as you see it? 
I think it’s not much difference. There’s more debt hanging over the head of a major label act, due to more of a financial investment being made. The indie artist has the blessing of the bigger piece of the pie, yet comes along with the challenge of handling the operation and expenses. I think most indie artists I know dislike the fame game, work without managers, and rely on the nearby supporters and coworkers to build with. And most major label artists I’ve known take the fame that comes along with  the marketing and promotion as it comes, have management teams, and work within business network. But at the end of the day, it all comes down an artist doing everything they can to inspire the people enough to create a demand worth supplying. 
14. What is your take on the analogue vs digital debate on producing? 
Dope is dope. I feel whatever pieces allow an artist to be in the is what it is. I love the work flow that the digital realm provides, but I’m also a conspiracy theorist and I’m leary of computers without cd drives, and I have nightmares about crashing hard drives/systems and all that. But the MPC’s and hardware based pieces come along with tracking processes that take a long time and parts that need to be replaced, and lots of cables and cords and shit like that. At this point, I’ll alwys be one part analogue, and one part digital. 
15.How would you define your sound and brand and what sets you apart from other artist? 
I just do what I know to do. My thoughts and ideas over music that I like to hear. Sometimes I’m dead serious, and sometimes I’m having fun. 
16.Do you have any jewels for those who are aspiring to pursue this as a career? 
Make your space in the lane you love, and love the lane you’re in. The people that are supposed to rock with what you do will, and those that aren’t, won’t. So just focus on your movement and growth, and let the rest be. 
17. Do you have any Special shout outs or thank yous? Shout outs to the lightworkers of the world. Spread love. 
18.What does a typical day for you consists of? 
If I’m handling my biz, I meditate in the morn, center my thoughts, address the current order of affairs, eat breakfast, work, make phone calls, work out, clear off the eraser boards, unwind, and enjoy the fam until the next episode.  
19. Any final thoughts for the readers? 
Let’s do what we love, and see where it get’s us. Peace.

Anthony "Big Tone" Jackson
Swank Addict, LLC
p: 313.378.4585

Big Tone X House Shoes, "Big Shoes LP", COMING SOON!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


1.Whats good family, I wanted to thank you for blessing me with this interview, Now ive known u since 08 and I know you are dope beyond dope at your craft hoo those who may not know who you are feel free to introduce yourself?
 Thank you for the opportunity brutha Nate OG. This is most definitely a privilege. Yeah man! We Been connected since 08'!!! Building together and becoming better! Well, for those who don't know, I am ReKLisT(aka ReKoNiZe) born and raised in south east Daygo(San Diego, Ca). I also go by ABC(Africaz Blackist Child), Knuckle Juggles, and i have a few more names i've created over the years. But those are all basically emcee personalities but those are Loooong stories! LoL
 2.Who are some of your infulences and what have you absorbed from their styles into your own style?

Man....where do i start... Well, my Bro Chris Price!!!!! you Nate OG the hardest working producer i know!  no question!!! Jimi Hendrix!!! J Dilla and Madlib ofcourse!!!!! 9th Wonder, I just started really started messing with Kev Brown and Early read! Also became new to Watkinz da General! Yes! The RZA, DJ House Shoes. King Coz a production duo out of houston! Robert Glasper, Chris Dave,Derrick Hodge, Casey Benjamin, Jon Jon Webb, Josh Webb(R.I.P) , Mint Condition,Thaddeus Tribbet, Cloud from brooklyn has been a huge influence. ?uestlove!!! Pete Rock!! Timberland. Dr. Dre. Nottz. Kanye up until 808's and Heartbreaks... Alchemist. MF Doom. Daru Jones, Damu the Fudgemunk, Dana Hawkins, Shuggie Otis, Black Milk, Flying Lotus, Tyler the Creater, Left Brain, Q Tip, Ali Shaheed, Isaiah Sharkey, D'angelo, Pino Palladino, Isaac Hayes, Mandrill, Steve Wonder(My parents named me after him), James Brown... Man i can keep going all day... lol NickNoxx from my city! Loving his work! And also my boy Demi Daygo! Met him in high school and we been good since! Amazing artist. He helped me out alot with getting started. Also my sister A.R.E. aka Goddess who got me in to alot of good hip hop growing up and she the reason i started rapping. And The 4MaT coming out of Chicago! Super Ill emcee im currently working with. He forced me to expand as a producer. I'll leave it there for now lol

3.The name Rekonize, how did the name come about and does it hold a special meaning?

The name ReKoNiZe or ReK for short came about as i was heavy into rapping in high school. I was going by Africaz Blackist Child at first but I used the word Recognize quite often when i end a song... Like you know how the song fading out and emcees say a couple last words. I use to always be like... "uh huh yeah, recognize"... So i eventually started calling my self recognize. Then one homie of mine from high school was like instead of spelling it "Recognize, spell it Rekonize". So there it is but i soon realized that there are alot of people going by this name so i had to change it to ReKLisT. But most people still know me first as Rekonize which is cool with me.

4.How long have you been a Producer/Musician not to show age but what year did you start?

I started playing drums in 1992 (i was 4 lol), self taught. I started emceeing with my sister in middle school. i started making beats in 2004. And i taught myself guitar in 2006.

5.What was the moment or event that you decided to pursue this craft?

 Like alot of producers i know, I was a rapper first. But I needed beats. Couldnt buy none and I was tired of taking other peoples beats so i just bought me Magix Music Maker and started making my own beats for myself and my sister. I think when I met Chris Price back in 07 thats when i started taking producing and being a musician serious.
6.What is the local scene like where you reside?
 The local scene, not all that great from my point of view. Its hard to find rappers in San Diego that really mess with my style of production. I've had alot of issues where rapper would say they want some beats from me. I'd send them beats and i wouldnt here from the for like a month. Then I would hit them up like whaddup. Turns out they did nothing with the beats. Lol like really??? There are a few loyal cats trying to work but for the most part, im looking outside.
7.Does the local scene affect your creative process at all?
 The negative things use to effect me but i dont let it now. I try to stay positive and create and have faith that sooner or later, this work will pay off!
 8.What is your creative process like, I am a producer as well but love hearing about the creative process?

Man... I mostly like to be alone... New vinyl or dope samples i find online always get me motivated. i also like to have random videos on youtube playing. Any kind of videos. Especially funny ones or dope beat making vidz. Or a good movie or show. I do most of my work at night when the wife and kid is sleep.

9.Wanted to congratulate you on releaseing a dope beat tape titled "2Late" what was your creative process for putting this and any of your releases together and what does the title mean?

Thank you Fam! Uh... 2Late is actually the first of a series of maybe 3 or 4 beat tapes im putting out. This first tape was basically a handful of beats that i had been sitting on. Some beats i may have submitted to artist that were not used and others were just beats i weren't planning on doing anything with. I finally said, I need to just get these beats out because i have so much work i've been sitting on.  I want to get this out and start off on a fresh new journey. The name "Too Late" is kind've a subliminal message simply stating by the time people start to recognize who i am in this music, it might be "too late". I may be gone. As far as all other releases past and future... the process always changes.

10.What are some of your current projects and where can the readers find them?

Solo Work
Find alot of beats and music at
Forever Late Then Never (2006 - 2008) (AfricazBlackistChild)
Also have some beat videos and music on youtube at

Collaboration with Chris Price as TrUsTeD SoUnDz
Beat tapes titled Honey Bunches of Notes, #BeyondStraiteIll and more beats can be found at
And we also have videos on youtube at

You can see some old vidz of me playing guitar

And you can see me playing drums with the ZZajj Band

 11.What are some of your future projects and which ones are you looking forward to most?

One project im looking forward to the most is a TrUsTeD SoUnDz EP that Chris Price and I are currently working on. Hoping to release that in the next couple weeks.Gonna get started on A.R.E.'s project soon. Also looking forward to The 4MaT's new Album which i have some production on. Said to be released by the end of this year or early next year. I have an album in the works with INF coming out of Dallas. And ofcourse, the Too Late series of beat tapes will continue. I may put the next tape out this week. Also, You Nate OG and I definitely have some work to do! Also just met and talked to a Daygo Native MaxtheOne about possibly working on some joints. Trying to get with my Daygo fam Demi Daygo, Von Dreaam and KDoh in the future also. So far thats all i can remember at the moment.

12.Do you represent any companies or labels if so how log have you been affiliated with them?
SmashMouthFm recently invited me in to there family! Much love to DJ TSoul. I work with PBC(Pitch Black Creation) which include the Whole 9(The 4MaT, The 4mula, JusOne) Been workin with them since 2008. Ofcourse Trusted Soundz Music (production duo which consist of myself and Chris Price, officially since 2011). And ZZajj Band(a funk jazz style band located here in San Diego, Ca. Im currently the drummer. I joined the band back in 2008 as a back up guitarist). Hope this answers the question lol

13.Tell us more about Trusted Sounds how did the concept come about for the brand and when was it established?

Trusted Soundz.... LoL... This goes back to 2007. My dad brought me around his buddies funk jazz style band after i taught myself to play guitar because he figured, with the skill i had already gained, it might be best to expose me to other musicians And he was right. Anyways, apart of this band was my now best friend or bro, Chris Price. We both played drums and we both played guitar. I learned alot from him over the years as far as general musicianship. Over a short period of time we started realizing, we were both in to just about the same things musically and even outside music. J Dilla, MadLib, and Mint Condition along with alot of other dope artist was a big connection for us seeing we were both already huge fanatics before we even met. So from there i started sharing him music I've made. He would introduce me to all these crazy musicians and we just kept connecting over the years. Drum battles every week, goin out and eatin at different spots, playing music... Over the years he would always admire what i did with my beats the way i admired his skills as a musician so i figured since he helped me so much, I'd encourage him to start making beats. I knew with his interest he expressed for REAL hip hop, and his talents with live instruments, he'd be a dope producer. So basically I told him, "man, you needa start making beats"... He'd always be like "na...." or like "I'll think about it..". Lol i was determined to get him going so i bugged him and bugged him and BUGGED HIM everytime i got the chance till finally he was like "IGHT MAN! DAMN!!!"  And from there he started doing his thing... And we eventually decided since we was always working together with this music, we mightest well start a duo. So from 2011, we made it official. TrUsTeD SoUnDz was created! Been going hard ever since. And this is only a brief history of Trusted Soundz lol.

14.What is your take on the Vinyl vs E- Digging debate?

I quote a wise man that said "If the end result is one will question it!" I couldn't agree more. Vinyl or internet, just make it touch the soul.
15.what does your lab set up consists of and how has it changed since you first started?
Ah man, well i started off with Magix Music Maker... it got the job done lol Then i upgraded to Fruity Loops and Reason which is what i made Beat Hop Vol 1 with. In 2010 i picked up a Boss SP 303(such a dope machine if you use it right). Now im mainly using my MPC 2000 OG which i copped in 2012. i go back and fourth between Reason, the 303 and the 2k all depending on what im doing. like when im looking to do the cleaner beats im using the software. The 303 is more like my mess around/practice machine. Then the 2K is like the experiment with samples type of machine. There is a few more machines i want to get in the future once my money get up.

16.Do you have any jewels for aspiring producer and musicians?

If you got love for music, don't let no one or no situation take that away from you. Dont let anything destroy your faith. I've fallen victim to this many times over the years because i always would be looking for a faster more positive response or recognition for my art. But I had to come to realize, everything happens in due time. So now i just make my own goals and pray to my God that i succeed. Also, no matter how successful you get, Stay Real.

17.Do you have any special shout outs or thank yous if so feel free to do so here?

just thank God for making opportunity for me. Thank you again Nate OG for the opportunity and thank you for being a great inspiration and example to me. Keep up the Good work brutha! Shout to Chris Price. All my family and friends... Im not gonna start a list cuz yall will be hear reading for another hour lol so love everybody lol oh DJ TSoul another man giving us huge opportunity. Thank you Brutha... ight im done LoL

18.Any final thoughts for the readers?
  uh... Hip Hop aint dead, Im Right here.... and uh... Chris... Quit Work, Make Music LOL.... Deuces!!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


1. Whatupdoe family, Now ive known you for a minute and must say its an honor to be able to build with you and I know how dope you are at your craft but for those who may not be familiar with your work, feel free to introduce yourself to the readers?
Peace, Peace my peoples my name is Watkinz Da General

2.Now Watkinz Da General, Where Did The name come from  which is dope btw?
Well Watkins is my last name, I drop the s to add a z... Da General came from a brother of mines by the name of Konflikt
I met off a website we use to be on called He gave me that name because I always stood
on the frontline for my fam...

3.How Long Have you been Producing and MCing not to show age but what age did you start?
Ive been producing for like 22 years & rhymin for 25 years now...

4,What was the moment or event that made you say this is what I want to Persue?
When I 1st heard Run-DMC, Whodini, LL Cool J, The Juice Crew I fell in love with HIP HOP!!!

5,I want to congratulate you on your current project The Salute EP, how has it been recieved?
Thank you fam... I appreciate it! I had another project I supposed to drop but I put it on the back burner do to other
projects I was on... So I had to put out this EP til its time to drop {The Men & Women of Honor II Album}...

6.What is the local scene like where you reside?
Its cool out here... But the only problem that I have is that North Carolina artist don't
support one another... But we have alot of talent in NC from Petey Pablo, Little Brother, 9th Wonder and the whole Jamla Squad, Pee Batters, Tre-Dot, Tye Banks, Seven Da Pantha, Jon Blaq, & BIG S.I.N to name a few...

7.Does The scene where you live affect your creative process?
Nah! I get inspired off everyday living fam...

8.Who are some of your influences and what did you absorb from there styles and incorporated into your own styles?
Marley Marl, DJ Premier, Pete Rock, The Alchemist, Statik Selektah, Bomb Squad, Teddy Riley, J-Dilla (R.I.P.), Just Blaze,
Bink Dawg, Nottz Raw, 9th Wonder, Larry Smith, Large Pro, Ayatollah, Amiri Gamble and my CAT5ive Brothers!!!! I absorb all there styles to come up with the "Watkinz Da General" sound...

9.What is your creative process like as an MC/Producer?
Crazy energy over here famo... Even tho Imma laid back type of guy I like to be in a NC state of mind when it come to this music...

10.I'm a producer as well, but what is your lab set up consist up and how has it changed over the years since you started?
My lab is all hardware... I love my ASR X (Black) thats my main weapon, but I have a MPC 2000, Triton Keyboard that I use every now & then... I had the Mashine but I sold it...

11.Whats your thoughts on the Analogue Vs Digital Debate?
Imma Analog dude like I said before I love my hardware... Not knocking anybody who rocks with the software...
Its just not me!!!

12.Whats your thoughts on E-Digging and Vinyl digging?
Well I love vinyls but sometime its hard to find the vinyls your looking
for so I'll be diggin online to find some dope sounds to create some dope

13.What are some of your current projects and where can they be found?
These are some of the projects Ive worked on... Please support that REAL HIP HOP!!!

14.What are some of your future projects and which ones are you looking foward to most?
I got some work with OG Stormin'Norm, Hemanifezt, Jon Blaq, BIG S.I.N., Nate OG, plus many many more...
Im really lookin forward to OG Stormin'Norm-Viet-Norm 11.0 album &
Watkinz Da General/NateOG- Beat Tape

15. How  can the readers stay connected to you?
You can find me on facebook @

16,How would you define your sound?
That 90's Authentic Hip Hop!!!

17.Any Special Thanks or shout outs feel free to place them here?
Yes! Special shouts goes out to all the Blogs, DJ's, Radio Shows that supported my music over the years...
All my family, friends, fans that ever supported Watkinz Da General... Thank You!
S/O to Stormin'Norm, Hemanifezt, Tye Banks, Boss Ty, Aechdot, Shaultbody & the U.B.M Fam, Dutch McVeigh & the whole
CAT5 Surpreme Rule comrades, DJ T-Soul @ SmashMouthFM, DJ Luv Dlux, Spectac & Amiri, Carolina Dirty, Octavious Reed, Early Reed, DJ Helmedia & the whole TTTRadio.Net, Jon Blaq, and last but not least you Nate OG!!!

18.Any final Thoughts for the readers?
Peace, Love & Hip Hop

Friday, June 20, 2014


1. What’s good family, now it’s been a minute since our last interview but incase the readers missed it feel free to introduce yourselves?

Ki: What’s up! For those who don’t know us we are The Ol’ Days!  The guy with the bald head is Rookie Chi and I’m Ki’ of NC the guy with the locks lol.
2. I want to congratulate you on a masterpiece of an album "1979" that’s in my heavy rotation on my iPod classic but how has it been received by the fans?
Ki: I think it has been pretty well received! I am honestly amazed by the response we have got worldwide since it dropped in January. We get random love all over the US and more surprising people contact us from overseas to buy the album and tell us how much they like it!
Rookie The Producer Chi: the people have been accepting it as an eye opening experience, literally. When we do live shows or we post the album on line people usually stop in their tracks to either listen or tell us how they felt listening to us.

3..I see you are opening for some big names and some of my influences like Slum Village, and Talib Kweli what was that experience like?
Ki: It was kind of surreal because I would have a lot of reflective moments as it was happening. I would automatically think back to living with my grandparents and listening to Talib Kweli or SV in my bedroom wishing I could someday be like them. So it’s an absolute dream come true to open up for people you admire and respect so much. 

Rookie The Producer Chi: these are some great opportunities and we got to thank God for that and those who support us because we didn’t have to get blessed with these shows. I tell you Slum Village was so awesome because this was like the group that inspired our sound greatly, I mean we were speaking about the groups we loved before we recorded 1 song as The Ol’ days and Slum Village was on all our tongues. That event was like our "guess what, we rap" party because cats had heard of us but many had not seen us live so it was our 1st real opportunity to connect with those who had been supporting us initially. Being that it was the 1st performance we really took it terribly serious and because it was our heroes SV we took it even more serious and rehearsed as much as we could until the week of. when we did the show we had never seen a crowd that big but it just energized us, we bounced back and forth on that stage and when the smoke cleared and we got off stage we damn near impeded the next act from going on because of the commotion people caused when we went into the crowd to watch Slum Village and our guys substance rip it. Our supporters were very excited and happy with our energy as far as the performance. For a long time almost a complete year that remained our best stage show to date until that is we opened for Talib Kweli. That was one fuck of an experience because we had our own dressing room, luke-warm waters, wireless microphones and a super large audience to perform to. This one topped Slum Village but it was because our energy was on 12 and our chemistry as a group got even more intact and I have no doubt it showed because we still hear great things about how we did on stage and it was a 1/2 month ago. We were electric that night and the crowd’s energy was unbelievable!

4. So how have you guys been since we last chatted what’s new with y'all?
Ki: Yea we’ve really been working hard to keep the music going. We still meet once a week and have writing/business sessions to help push our music to a new level. I work a full time job so the work never stops. You’re always balancing music and family.
Rookie The Producer Chi: the main thing that has changed I think is how many people know about us, I mean we are still in our humble beginning sort of speak but now we definitely see the numbers increasing on everything we are doing and the overall support here in the states and especially overseas is astounding. we have been mad busy with collabs in the us and overseas and of course working on our new mixtape, we stay busy with that but as you know life doesn’t stop so the balancing act between home work and music continues but we thank god for the opportunities we have been getting tossed to us.

5. Rookie I wanted to ask you if you heard any new developments on your documentary about the violence in Chicago?
Rookie The Producer Chi yes I have been working diligently on the documentary actually I am cutting the main trailer as we speak in order to establish the Indigogo or Kickstarter to raise the money to get the remainder of the film done. The soundtrack has many artists from Chicago, but all centering on the events and how they have made them feel in a musical sense. The artists are donating their cut to the film to see that it gets done and I think that speaks fathoms about the artists of Chicago and how much they care to do something to make a real change. Of course Ki will be scoring and doing much of the sound design of the film under Jimbro Records and I am very happy with that decision/placement. I trust my bandmate with my life so a film is nothing to toss to him! I will continue interviewing people up until I close off production to edit maybe sometime in the late winter but it should be a powerful piece of work that will tell the side of the story from that of the victim. Being that I live in the belly of the beast I believe they will have no choice but to listen as it is one of the most honest works I have ever done.

6. Now Ki being one of the dopiest producers I know when can we hear breaking the code vol. 2?
Ki: I’ve been planning to push a new beat project out sometime this year. It’s too early to tell if it will be the long waited Breaking The Code 2, but I do plan to drop something special before the end of 2014. 
7. Are you guys doing a sequel? If so when can we expect to hear some dopness from it?
Ki: 1979 as it stands will be our personal “Illmatic” meaning there won’t be another project exactly like it. We will however keep the storyline going where 1979 left off. I won’t elaborate too much on it because for those who haven’t heard it yet need to go out and buy it. It’ll probably be 2015 before we drop another official album. Until then we have some dope mix tapes and EP’s coming up.

Rookie The Producer Chi: we are currently working on the next project which is our mixtape and that along with fulfilling our collabs is the focus for now. getting more music videos out for 1979 is also a goal of ours as we may not have the budget but we still would like to put our best foot forward as far as trying to get our audience to understand where we came from and where we are trying to go with this music.

8. What was the creative process behind 1979 as far as the album being put together sessions etc?
Ki: In the beginning I would make beats and Rookie would come up with hooks at the beat was being made. Our technique is still the same except now we get tons of beat submissions so we like to have listening sessions and start writing when a beat starts speaking to us. Our whole sound and style has always been based off a feel. So when we “feel” something we write to it because we know that it will more than likely become a great song!
Rookie The Producer Chi: personally I think our main goal was to find out what our group chemistry was at the time and just try to put together a project and keep it a cohesive piece, kind of like a book reads or a movie watches. We had lost a member at the time so our dichotomy changed tremendously, but it didn’t stop us thank god. We continued to meet at least once a week and get business done, then the music. Sometimes Ki would come with song ideas and sometimes I would but the best songs that happened to me were the ones we did from scratch there.

9. If you guys could lock in a studio for a month with an artist or producer who would it be and why?
Rookie The Producer Chi: The artist I would pick would be Kendrick Lamar and that is because not only can this guy put together a classic album, but he can battle rap and freestyle, I mean he is like the total package and he seems rather down to earth as well. Those are the kind of guys we love to work with. Producer wise I would say either Madlib or Dj Premier. Madlib is so unbelievable as far as production goes he makes me just want to go and clear samples while he works. The shit he did with PiƱata was astounding! That’s the only other album fucking with Kendrick’s album to me. Dj Premier was my favorite even before I knew who Dilla was and how big he was so I want a primo lock down bad!
Ki: Personally I would love to do an EP with Elzhi. He is my favorite emcee out right now and I’m still amazed by his lyrical ability. I think that would be a growing experience for me as a producer and an emcee!
10. Anything you guys would like to speak on feel free to do so?

Rookie The Producer Chi: I think that we have proved Chicago’s music scene is wide open, I mean the looks and opportunities we have been getting would normally not be here in this manner. We know what we have is a very unique opportunity and we don’t plan on squandering that for anyone! The Ol' Days are going to prove you don't have to be a spring chicken to do this music thing as long as you love and respect it, and put all your heart into it. We want to show MC’s and Rappers that it’s ok to smile, laugh and be silly again. a big part of what is missing out of hip hop is the comedy and the jokes and people can see from our live shows and the music we drop that we don’t take ourselves that damn serious, but we definitely take our music serious. Chicago has enough people talking about death doom and gloom, just because it’s real and that’s how it is out here doesn’t mean we want to harp on the negativity.
Ki: I agree with Rookie. We just want to let people know that it’s okay to smile, laugh and have fun A lot of people run around with false bravado thinking they have to portray themselves as something they are not. Just be yourself and try to enjoy your limited time on this planet Earth. 

11. Any special shout outs or special thanks?
Rookie The Producer Chi: shout outs: Dj Taigo and all the DJ’s at WHPK that showed us love, Jennet Posey aka Jpose who filmed and snapped photos of us and even wrote an article about us in the Hyde Park Herald to get us some needed publicity for our upcoming show, our guy Montez, our girl Chiquita and all those who came in from out of town to show support. You guys made the ultimate sacrifice and we can’t thank yall enough, Troy, Slone, and all our overseas people who been showing mad love. We can’t forget Substance and Deka Derse, we been ripping some awesome shows with you guys and I believe the best are yet to come. Amina and Coolout Chris you guys have been supporting and linking us up with good people and events since day one and we love yall! Leland aka LP you are the best engineer I know, stay growing with us and watch where we all make it to! Shout out to all who were involved and supported 1979 in anyway because we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you to ALL the blogs and friends that have reposted or retweeted us to get the word out faster and to more people. Shouts out to our very supportive families because yall put up with a ton of our "rap artist" shit and we love yall for that!!!! Shout out to my son chill, I love you and this is all for you man, all of it! Last but not least shouts out to Facey McFacerton.

Ki: Yea I’d like to give a shout out to all the people in our circle, the Dj’s, the bloggers and the fans who have continued to spread our music since our debut! Super special shout to Dj BVAX, Troy “DaHybrid” Brown, Anthony “D2G” Ingram, Derrick Curtis, Ashley Woods, Ladonna Blair, Tony Chambers and Keisha Chambers. 
12. Any Final words for our readers and how can they stay connected and updated to you guys!

Rookie TheProducer Chi: Shouts out to Serena and our guy Kevin Smith for helping us with our web presence. Please check out our website Expect that site to grow as we do one opportunity at a time. You can reach everything we do from there! A HUGE THANK YOU NATE OG for always looking out with the interviews man!

Ki: For those who haven’t heard the album yet please go straight to now and check it out! If you want to connect with us we are just a click away on the net!

Saturday, June 14, 2014


1.Whatupdoe family? Thanks for blessing me with this update interview, For those who may not know who you are and how dope beyond dope you are at your craft, feel free to introduce yourself?
No prob man, and thank you for the opportunity. For those who aren't aware, I'm Nametag, authentic emcee, songwriter...artist overall from Detroit, Michigan. Been at this for a minute trying to get the world to hear me.

2.I wanted to congratulate you on your new ep "The Tag Alexander EP"  which got me re inspired to produce with a renewed desire, but how has the ep been received by fans?
It came out on May 28th, and so far, the fans who've checked it out have been fairly receptive to it and helping spread the word. The "Reward" song and video is definitely reaching people with its message.

3.. What was the creative process behind the ep? and what is the message that you wanted to convey when creating this project?
Originally, I wanted to just do a single series only, based off when i temporarily changed my name to Tag Alexander to build buzz, and later release a limited edition disc version and vinyl. I figured if I were going to do that I may as well just prep an official project. That name change didn't go over to well, but I kept it for the website and EP title due to sort of connect to the original idea.

4.I also wanted to ask you about your label Lead and Be Legendary which is also a movement that i would love to be apart of anyway, how was this created and if you can break down the science behind the meaning of the Label and Movement?

Summer 2013, I called myself being creative saying I wanted a digital record label but just call it "The Label" but spell it "LABL". The name itself, is a clever way of saying lead by example. It's about taking the gift you have to leave your mark and inspire others in a positive way. Growing up, the great entertainers, athletes, humanitarians to had that impact on me. Generally, we consider these people legends. I'd love to someday be looked at as that, even if it's just as an artist on the Detroit music scene. It comes off as an oxymoron, but LABL is a movement for the leaders to follow. We want gifted people to be aware that they are leaders and that it's plenty room for them to be them and inspire others to do the same. Rinse wash and repeat.

5.How is your family doing these days I know in the D its been pretty crazy?
My family is great man, I keep in touch with the extended fam always and at the crib, I can only say that I'm blessed to have a beautiful strong willed woman at home, and a beautiful daughter who's further reason I need to be on A game and "Lead And Be Legendary".

6.Do you have any future plans of doing some tours hitting the road in the near future?
Yea. I can't honestly say an official tour but, you never know. I would like to be part of some dope music festivals and conferences. Always good to network.

7.What are some of your future projects that you are working on and which ones are you looking forward to most?
I have about 3, probably more, the way I've been working. There's an EP with a producer Time Stretch from Cali we've been stirring for about two years. It's done being recorded on my end, just getting mixed, mastered and fingers crossed for this Killer Mike feature. I'm back on grind mode for the For Namesake II album with Nameless. DJ DDT have been mapping out some projects as well. I'm looking forward to them all because we're putting over 100% into each one.

8.I also wanted to say that the Redo project was a classic I just copped it a week ago and its been in my heavy rotation ever since, Do you have any future collabs with more producers and artist?

Thank you. I've been keeping it fairly in house recently. The producers from "The Tag Alexander EP", you may see me working with a lot more often along with Nameless and Stretch. I'm not against any collabs though. Too much talent out here.

9.If you could lock into the studio for one month with any artist or producer who would it be?
Probably Ty Farris or Ren Cen Cool Beans as an emcee and Nick Speed or Apollo Brown as a producer. It seems biased because they're from Detroit but they have undeniable worth ethics with proven results. I prefer to surround myself with artists with that drive. That's seen through people who I feature on songs and producers I work with easily. Outside of Detroit, I'd say Skyzoo and The Alchemist.

10.Any thing on your mind that you would like to discuss feel free to do so here?
Yes, support dope indie music. That's where the great music is right now...especially in Detroit. Lead And Be Legendary, get familiar.

11.Any final words for our readers and shout outs or special Thanks?
Check out my latest video "Reward" on YouTube or directly at Get "The Tag Alexander EP" out now via L.A.B.L in all online stores and streaming spots for music like iTunes, Bandcamp, Spotify, etc. Shoutout to my lovely lady, Kila and our lovely daughter Paris. Thank you to all my extended fam, fans, DJs, Bloggers, Journalists, etc. I appreciate y'all. More music coming. I don't stop. L.A.B.L