If you haven’t copped DJ JS-1’s “It Is What It Isn’t” album, you are missing out on one hell of an album. Here’s an interview with JS-1 by Rap is Outta Control’s/Halftime Show’s DJ Eclipse. Check it out and then check out the album. You won’t be disappointed.
When I think about my childhood in New Jersey, one of the things I think about is the great Hip Hop coming out of our state! I mean we’re talking about the Garden State……the state that brought you Lords of the Underground, Queen Latifah, Lauryn Hill, Naughty by Nature, Redman, and many others. One of the best to come out of New Jersey is the legend herself, Rah Digga. Digga has made a name for herself by destroying microphones for years. Yes, she’s dropped albums. Yes, she’s been on television. What makes her legendary is her rhyming ability. She’s been blessing mics for over two decades and shows no signs of slowing down. Don’t believe me? Check out her latest joint titled, Thinkin’ Out Loud, and that should show you that she still got it! Did I mention that she writes her own rhymes?
Digga, let me start off by saying thank you for taking time out to do this interview with the 7th Boro.
Stroy: Where did your love for hip hop come from? Was there a monumental moment when you were like, “This is what I’m going to do!”?
Rah Digga: My love for music comes from my parents. I was taught at an early age to appreciate music and to pay close attention to the words. They were very militant people so analyzing music messages was quintessential. Seeing Queen Latifah, also a Jersey native do it made me feel like it was an attainable goal…not just something for New Yorkers lol.
Who/What influenced you to start rhyming?
Roxanne Shante was the first rapper to make me pick up a pen. She taught me how to go off on dudes without geting the “she’s ok for a girl” pass.
How did growing up in the Bricks influence you as an MC?
Lots and lots of rappers to battle. We the Outsidaz were pluckin them off one by one too..
You dropped a lot of music this summer. One of my favorites is “Storm Comin”. You say a line ” They told me sex sells, I took the red pill, I chose to stay street, let the culture prevail”. (Powerful line by the way.) Do you feel like lyrics have taken a back seat to sex appeal when it comes to today’s female MCs?
Absolutely. Artists were usually signed according to their talents and then later groomed for the masses. Nowadays artists are getting signed according to their looks and THEN the talent is being created in an office meeting.
When you said a storm was comin’…..was that a hint that we might see a new Rah Digga album in the near future?
I’m always prone to drop something. Even if it’s just a single here and there. That aforementioned Storm however would be the tensions that are rising due to Hip Hop culture being exploited for everyone’s monetary gain. Meanwhile the DJ/artist community that are still marching to the piper are acting like they don’t see it. Also the media make up the craziest headlines to deflect from the real issues folks are trying to address. It’s happening everywhere in the world unfortunately, not just in music.
You have a healthy catalog of music out now….which track are you most proud of and why?
Right now…I would have to say Angela Davis. That is probably my most honest, introspective record to date.
You’ve recorded with many talented MCs over the years. Are there any other artists (any genre) that you would like to work with?
I wish I would’ve had the pleasure to work with Amy Winehouse. We skyped quite a bit. I can’t believe that never happened. Nas is my favorite emcee. Perhaps one day that will come to fruition. I would even love to fiddle around on a house track with Azelia Banks. House is everything to me. I really think I would like to try my hand at producing an artist. I’ve whipped quite a few of them into Hip Hop ready form lol.
If you could create your own New Jersey Fab 5 (MCs and Producers), who would you include?
Is there anything else that you would like to share with your fans?
Follow me on twitter @therealrahdigga …I’m quite vocal about things lol. And stay tuned to my Soundcloud. Don’t think because you don’t here me in the mainstream that I’m not making music. Thank you all for supporting for so long. These barz are here forever!!! #CultureOverEverything
Thank you again!
Once again I’d like to thank Rah Digga for doing this interview and for slaughtering mics all these years. You can check out her latest releases on her soundcloud page. Bless, Stroydnaire.
I recall buying CDs back in the day and reading the production credits behind the album. We sometimes forget how important the producer’s role is in creating the final track. It’s up to the producer to make sure the sound is cohesive with the artist’s lyrics. A great producer does more than just make beats; they create the vibe and overall essence of a song.
One of these great producers is Bernard “Focus…” Edwards Jr. Focus… has created sounds for Xzibit, 50 Cent, Schoolboy Q, Skyzoo, Beyoncé, and Slaughterhouse just to name a few.
Stroy: Start off by introducing yourself & give us some of the highlights of your production credits.
Focus… :I am Bernard Edwards, Jr. Son of famed bassist and producer Bernard Edwards of the group, CHIC. I go by Focus… and was a staff producer for the Aftermath Ent. label from 2001-2008. I am currently working with Dre again at Aftermath.
For those reading this that might not have heard of you yet, what are 3 songs you’d want people to hear first?
“Yes” by Beyonce’, “Respect My Conglomerate” by Busta Rhymes and “U Already Know” by 112. Those are my most notable…
What/Who influenced you to go into production?
My father was my major influence. Seeing him in the studio was the most inspiring thing I can remember. I wanted to be just like my father. What boy didn’t? After that, I began to pick and get motivated by various mentors of mine, (Prince, DJ Premier, Teddy Riley, Stevie Wonder, Dr. Dre, etc.).
How would you describe your style / sound?
I pray my style is original. I know I love utilizing the element of surprise. Whether it is where I decide to take a track melodically or the style of the the track in its entirety.
Do you take the artists content into consideration before agreeing to work together?
OF COURSE! I do not like being part of anything demonic, misogynistic, debasing or anything near apostacy. I don’t write lyrics for these artists. I just make the music. If I don’t like what I see the artist(s) has done or is doing, I will pass on a project in a heartbeat. My integrity is way more important than my finances.
How did your relationship with Aftermath come about?
I was working with an artist Dre was interested in. He heard my production through the people involved with that artist.
You have produced tracks for many talented MCs over the years. Are there any other artists (Hip Hop or any other genre) who you would like to work with?
What’s the future look like for Focus…?
Raising my kids in a great place with my great wife with a great outlook on a real life! This industry doesn’t need me but my family does.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
I appreciate any and everyone who has supported and listened to my music since day one. Means the world to me.
I’d like to thank Focus… for taking time out to make this interview happen. I’d also like to thank Bryan over at the Beeshine.com for making this happen and for representing Hip Hop!
Legendary producer K-Def breaks down some of his dopest records and some of his early life when he chops it up with J-Zone. K-Def is most famous for his early Lord Of The Underground records, but he also worked with Da Youngstas and formed the underground group Real Live. Coming up under the wing of Marley Marl is some big shoes to fill, but he ended up getting it done. These 2 are familiar and have been working together for years. Zone worked as an intern in K-Def’s studio during his early years.
The Human Serviette enters the 36 Chambers!
The Cut caught up with world champion Newport smoker and producer extro Marco Polo to talk diggin and beatmaking. Take a rare look inside Polo’s studio and get the insight on how he crafts those bangers.
A few years back I was checking out Lattisaw Tapes (Official Blog…check them out) when I heard some audio from an MC named Willie the Kid. At the time I’d never heard of him but that would quickly change. I did a search online and came across, “The Fly 2”. The first track I clicked on was a track called “Dragon Fly”. That track put me on to WTK real quick. The beat was mesmerizing and Willie’s wordplay was on point. Once I heard the rest of the tape I was really impressed. I started downloading other mixtapes and kept up with his music ever since. There are many MCs who can rhyme but there are few who can truly create music. The beats and the rhymes come together as one. Willie has shown this on his previous releases especially “Aquamarine”, “The Fly 2”, “Masterpiece Theatre”, and “The Living Daylights”. If you haven’t checked out any of Willie’s music, make sure you check out his catalog (after you read this of course). You won’t be disappointed.
Willie, first off let me thank you for taking time out to make this happen.
Stroy: What are some of your earliest hip hop influences? Was there a monumental moment when you were like, “This is what I’m going to do!”
WTK: Indeed. My father was the most hip hop dude I knew when I was a kid. He collected tons of vinyl – and would convert the albums to cassette tapes for people in the neighborhood. I remember being very young and he would play like LL, EPMD, Public Enemy, NWA artists like that in the crib or in the car or wherever. And I always memorized and recited every song, man. Those were my early memories of hip hop.
As far as inspiration to actually do it myself, that came later. The Rap City/Yo MTV Raps era – Nas, Jay-Z, Puff and Big, Mase, Snoop and Dre, ATCQ, Wu-Tang, those were some of my early influences. I remember running up to my father one day, way before being a rapper was a ‘cool thing to do’ telling him this is something I’ma do one day.
I want to thank the extremely humble and down to earth Wordsworth for taking time out of his busy schedule to sit down for this exclusive 7th Boro interview. The Brooklyn MC, and his eMC crew just dropped a warm up track for their upcoming EP and have plans to also drop an album after that. Watch as Words and I speak on different topics:
Working on the Lyricist Lounge – 1:42
Possible new show – 4:11
Signing to Penalty Records – 4;45
Process behind working with eMC – 5:45
Most important quality when making a “super group” album- 7:31
If he had to form a Hip Hop “super group”- 9:40
His upcoming projects as a solo artist- 10:12
New MCs he is listening to now- 13:03
Possibility of Battle Rapping- 15:30
The use of the N word – 17:21
NBA Finals prediction – 19:25
Best player in the NBA – 20:24 (spoiler alert: not MY favorite response)
To be continued…….. Stay tuned to the 7thBoro.com and @Wordsworth_eMC for PART 2 coming in a few days.
On this interview, Joey says he may battle and lists some of his favorite battles.
Ab soul talks about his favorite albums, touring, and possibly threatening to leave T.D.E.
On Part two he Speaks on new album, growing up in a record shop, being independent, collab album with Danny Brown and A$ap Rocky, and the most underrated MCs.
The very talented Kentucky MC, Devine Carama, took time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for me. Each question is set up with a snippet off his latest album, No Child Left Behind. The responses were received via email; so I decided to put the questions, responses, and snippets together in a short video.
I hope this interview with Devine, along with the snippets off the album, caught your interest enough to go SUPPORT the music. Get your copy of “No Child Left Behind” HERE
Among other topics, he speaks on that Kendrick verse and also says Tupac was the last true “King of the West”
He ends this by saying: “I Need This Slaughterhouse / T.D.E. Collab to Happen”
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