Posts tagged “Interview

Interview: Dave Chappelle First Interview In 5 Years

Industry Tips & Advice: Basic Radio Interviewing Skills by Robert Preston

Interviewing another person as part of a radio broadcast can be an intimidating assignment for somebody without experience in interviews or in radio broadcasting. To get the most out of your interview, enter the interview prepared, with knowledge of your subject and what you hope to get them to discuss.

Proper research on the individual you will be interviewing is essential in having a successful interview. If you don’t know who your subject is or why he or she is important, you won’t know what to ask them. If you don’t know his or her past statements and actions, you are more likely to be caught off-guard by an answer given, which can lead to hesitation and awkward pauses in an interview and can make planning the path of your interview difficult. Find past interviews, and attempt to glean new information from the subject which they have not been asked about. If the individual being interviewed is on a press junket, for example, you will have to ask the standard questions to get information on what they are promoting; however, you should also try to ask unique questions and explore avenues prior interviews have not.

Preparing a desired path for your interview enables you to keep the interview on course. The level of detail you use is up to you and can change from interview to interview based on whether your interview is flexible, with a general goal of an entertaining segment, or you are specifically focusing on addressing a set of issues. You can list the questions you wish to ask the individual if you are looking to remain regimented, or you can simply write notes of the key areas you wish to cover. Pay careful attention to the amount of time you will have to conduct your interview. Unlike an interview for a written article, you will likely have a set segment length that you must fill, and must have enough questions to do so, but you also do not want to run out of time without getting to important questions.

Practice asking the questions of the interview if you are unsure. This is particularly useful for individuals who are inexperienced with interviews, as it enables them to grow comfortable phrasing questions in easy-to-understand ways. Practicing your questions beforehand, based on the notes you have prepared will prevent you from potentially forgetting what your notes mean during the interview, which is potentially disastrous. If possible, practice using the equipment that will be worn during your interview. Entering an interview without having used the headgear your radio booth will utilize can leave you ill-prepared for your interview. If your producer will communicate to you throughout the interview, practice holding the conversation of the interview while also listening to and following your producer.

Staying Flexible
While a set goal for an interview is important, unless you are working under a very strict time constraint for which your allotted questions just barely fit, do not hold yourself to completely following your plans. If an interviewee provides an intriguing response to a question, follow through on it and attempt to gain further information. If they tell the start of an interesting piece of information, encourage them to go on. You can always return to your planned questions; however, it can be difficult to return to an avenue opened by an interviewee once it is closed.



Music News: Nas Talks Ending Beef With Prodigy [Video] by Randy Roper

Nas Talks Making Peace With Mobb Deep’s Prodigy

In a recent interview with MTV News, NYC rapper Nas talked about putting his differences aside with Prodigy of Mobb Deep.
In the interview, Nas told Sway of MTV about his conversation with Prodigy, saying, “He called me as soon as he got out of jail; he got in touch with me. We talked about some things. I didn’t know he had a book. He didn’t tell me that. I guess he just wanted to clear the air on some past things that don’t mean anything today.”

Prodigy was released from prison in March after serving three years.

Prodigy’s book, “My Infamous Life,” has been controversial throughout hip-hop, talks about the relationship between the two Queens rappers.
Since making amends Nas and Prodigy have worked together on the Mobb Deep record entitled “Dog Sh*t,” which was released online in April.
“I just jumped on the record; put that to the past or whatever ill feelings he had towards me,” Nas said. “I think he was misinformed about things, like I was a negative guy or like I was trying to harm him in any kind of way. I think maybe he just grew up a little bit.”

Nas is currently in the studio working on a new album, but could not say when anymore songs with Prodigy would be in the works.

“At the moment, I just got back into the studio, and my focus right now has been just starting to work on the album, so who knows?” Nas said.



Article: Ology Exclusive: Andreaus 13 Discusses The Decline of Hip-Hop by JT LANGLEY

Read part 1 of this interview:

Andreaus 13 is a hip-hop veteran, having worked with Terminator X in the late 80s and collaborating on his 1991 album Terminator X and The Valley of the Jeep Beats, while also being associated with Public Enemy. Outside of hip-hop, he is the C.E.O. of the African American Media Network, and an Affirmative Action Officer at the Nassau County Sheriff’s Department. Wednesday, May 11, 2011, Andreaus 13 released his solo album Judgment Day 20 years after the release of The Valley of the Jeep Beats.

Q: When do you think hip-hop made this turn for the worst that you’re talking about?

A: It happened in 1992-1993, that’s when it changed. Before then, you had different groups—Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, Fat Boys, Run DMC, DJ Kool Herc, [Lord] Finesse, De La Soul. You had a variation of music. You had a tapestry. When it got to the level in ’91, ’92, everything had to be gangster, everybody had to be a gangster, and now, everybody’s dead because all the gangsters out there killed them.

Now, when we were little, the gangsters, you didn’t know who they were. Everybody glorifies this gangster lifestyle, but at the end of the day at the corner-store, you don’t really want to meet your maker, you don’t want to die. All the people talking about how they’re ready to die, they’re lying, they don’t really want to die, and they’re just selling it as product. They just do that, immortalizing this music, and the kids are susceptible, they buy into that, they feed into that, and they want to live out that lifestyle, kind of like they say Tupac did when he played [Roland] Bishop in Juice, because, come on, Tupac was with Digital Underground doing “The Humpty Dance.” How’d he turn into “Thug For Life”?

Q: Are there any artists you could name that pushed that lifestyle to come out?

A: There were so many—there’s too many to point one out. If I had to bring up a name right now, I would, but a lot of them are gone now because they were one hit wonders that came out with a mega-hit, and then you never saw them again. But it’s like everybody started doing it. It’s not one person. They all started doing that gangster style of music. Everybody.

Q: With those words and your album in mind, how do you feel when people say that Tupac and Notorious B.I.G. were the greatest rappers to ever live?

A: I think that the greatest rapper that ever lived is Rakim, who came from Amityville Memorial High School in Wyandanch, Long Island. That’s the greatest rapper that is alive right now. I think that every generation is going to have their ‘greatest rapper’ still, but if you look at the five elements of hip-hop, you’ll see that Rakim has all of those elements in his music. Everybody’s going to have their picks, but to me, the greatest rapper alive right now is Rakim.

If you ask anybody, they’ll tell you that Eminem is the greatest rapper to ever live. Now, I don’t know the name of his breakdancers, I’ve never seen Eminem with graffiti artists, I’ve never seen him pumping up his DJ with his own album, I have never heard any knowledge other than him talking about his childhood, that it was so messed up, that nothing ever good happened to him, so I don’t know what knowledge it is that he’s dropping. People will tell you he’s the greatest rapper—he’s not. Eminem is a good rapper, but he’s not the greatest. Biggie was a good rapper, but he’s not the greatest, and Tupac wasn’t the greatest. It was Rakim, and Rakim is still alive, and, you know, I honor him right now, because Rakim is truly the greatest lyricist ever alive. There’s nobody that’s surpassed him yet compared to the knowledge that he drops in his rhymes.

Q: Are there any specific rappers nowadays that you think are hindering hip-hop and negatively affected the American youth?

A: I would say right now that any rappers that don’t have a vocabulary of 50 words, then they fall in that category. If they don’t know how to spell ‘soliloquy’ or ‘sassafras’ or ‘viva voce’—I would say artists that don’t have a vocabulary over 50 words, and you can listen to any of their records and see if they can expand past 50 words. All they’re doing is dumbing down a community. Some of stuff I hear is such a turn off, that I don’t even know their names.

A lot of the ‘Dirty South’ rappers—I don’t know what kind of education that they’re getting down south, because there was one rapper [Waka Flocka Flame] that didn’t know about voting. I think there should be some kind of ‘reason test’ before a person can become a rapper. It’s not the rapper’s fault. It’s the discrimination by these white, institutionalized owners of these record labels who believe in white racism. They don’t care if a person is educated or not. They’ll give a person a record deal who says the worst things, because that’s what they want, an ignorant person. Black people’s leaders are TV personalities, actors, and ‘quote’ athletes and musicians, but white people’s leaders are intellectual philosophers, and scientists who win the Nobel Peace Prize. So my whole point is that it’s not the rapper’s fault. That’s why it doesn’t even matter to name a rapper. It’s the record executives and the radio stations who are playing this music and promoting these types of artists who say that to destroy the black community.

Q: So you think racism from the record label owners is a major factor is shaping this?

A: Of course. I have interns work at my studio all the time. They say ‘I can’t get a record deal because I don’t say this negative stuff,’ so that’s the corporate structure telling these artists that you have to say this crap to get a deal. They tell it to me all the time. They’ll tell you the streets are running the music business, but the streets aren’t running anything. The corporate executives are telling people ‘You’ve got to do a staff inspected minstrel show, say this shuck and jive Negro stuff, and we’ll give you a deal. If you say something that’s eloquent and uplifting, we’re not going to give you a deal,’ and that’s just the facts. Nobody wants to attack the Tommy Mattolas, or any of those guys up there [who contribute to the] destruction of our black community. They’re just as at fault as anybody else. They take the rappers and sign them. They’re just as at fault.

Q: What do you think about white rappers that have adopted the gangster lifestyle? Do you think the labels are a factor in promoting that?

A: I think that they just want to sell records. They’ll do anything novelty to sell records. But you have good rappers that were white, a rapper that’s just not because that he’s white, but when you put racism in there it adds to it. But if look at a rappers like 3rd Bass, 3rd Bass was definitely a great rap group. MC Serch. Those guys were good rappers. You have like Paul Wall, he’s a good artist. So I don’t think people like Paul Wall, because he’s a white rapper, he’s liked because he’s a good rapper. It’s like I said, it’s the things that people are saying to the derogatory situations. So that lifestyle that white, black, Spanish, and anyone could portray is all negative. You don’t have to portray a negative lifestyle to be a musician, because at the end of the day—I work in the Nassau County Correctional Facility where all the bad guys are locked up, and nobody out here I know really wants to come in and visit where I work at. When they get in here, they want to go home. So that’s just a false lifestyle that people are selling.

Q: Are there any artists in the younger generation of hip-hop that you listen to?

A: Man, I have been so turned off, I couldn’t really tell you who I listen to. I’ve just stopped, I gave up, because they’re not in anything, they’re not saying anything good. Lupe Fiasco, I like him, some of the “Kick Push,” I like stuff like that. Lupe Fiasco, and maybe some of the new stuff that Snoop Dogg has done, but there’s nobody, there’s no tapestry out there, everything is one way, so I don’t listen to it. I don’t want to hear ‘ice’ and ‘knife’ and ‘slice’ and ‘jack’ and ‘back’ in rap. Every record has the same thing, under 50 words. There’s a college study that has been done. I don’t want to hear that, it’s a dumbing down; like when my kids play their music, now they’re learning and getting aware about them being ripped off. You know, I told them to go look up De La Soul, and now they’re like ‘Wow, this stuff is better than this crap on the radio.’ So if you were to take all the classic artists and put them up against these new artists, the new artists would get murdered. They would get killed in a battle. I like that thing that Nelly did, that new song that he has, it’s a lot popped out, but he’s staying real to his roots, he’s a positive rapper, he talks about, you know, the party thing and all that, but he’s not coming out like he’s all gangster and is going to murder somebody. He’s being who he is, so I like artists that are being real, and being true to themselves.

Q: Do you think there’s any specific region or city that’s creating the worst image for hip-hop?

A: It’s not really a regional thing. It’s not a regional thing. It’s artists, and like I said, these artists are so bad that I don’t even want to be bothered with listening to them, you know? I didn’t want to listen. It was so bad. But it’s not a regional thing. They’re all over the place. I don’t know this guy’s name, but I think he has an ice cream cone on his face.

Q: Gucci Mane.

A: Yeah, I’ve heard some awful stuff from him. Like, he has no education, like he must have dropped out of school in the 6th grade.

I’m going to tell you, my son is a skateboarder, and I don’t want anybody trying to get initiated [into a gang] by shooting my kid off his skateboard. So any rapper that’s out there that’s big enough in the gang lifestyle, the prostitution, and dealing drugs—any one of them know that that’s kind of cool because the black community—see, they [rappers] go home to a rich community, a gated community after they put out those lines. But guess what, the people who have to listen to it, they live in the hood, they’re the ones that have to live in all of that hell. Who talks about all of that hell, but doesn’t have to live in it? Me, I do. Me and the members of black people who live in these communities of color have got to catch hell from making enemies of the people on the corner, at the deli, the kids in the park. When we want to take our kids out, we don’t know if we’ve got to catch the hell from that music they’re making and these people in the park want to act like that.

When they [rappers] party, they don’t go to the grimy neighborhoods, they go to the best places around with bodyguards and security, but they want to put that crap [music] where people have to go and live that, where it becomes a shootout at a bodega. When I roll out, when I go to speak, I have correctional officers with me who have Glock 19s, so guess what, what can you say to me, or do to me? Nothing. So that’s my point. You can’t be selling this lifestyle. I don’t want my little girl running around saying ‘This bitch is a crazy hoe.’ No, I don’t want her to say that. I don’t want my 4-year-old saying that.

You know, that’s the measure of the music: can you have a 4-year-old in the booth with you when you’re saying all of that stuff? And will you be proud of what you’re saying when you’re standing in church? I just wanted to let people see that you can put out an album, entertain people, educate people, without degrading people, you know? I mean, come on, the guy who killed a girl at Rutgers University, remember that guy? He kicked the door open because she was having a sorority party, he kicked the door open, and shot her and killed her. This was her neighbor. Now what the hell do you think he was listening to? He thought he was a real gangster. He was a punk, and now he’s in jail for the rest of his life. So that’s what these rappers are enticing our kids to do because the make it seem that the negative things are okay. You’re not a man, killing women and children, you know, you’re not a man when you do that. And you’re not a man when you rap about that.

Q: All that being said, do you think hip-hop has any chance for a recovery?

A: Well, the only way that rap is going to make it, hip-hop is going to make it—the redeeming factor for hip-hop is like Chuck D always said, the Internet. He said that people can get on the Internet and bypass all record labels, and put out their own music. That’s the savior here, the Internet. Youtube, Facebook, and all those social networking sites—that’s how the revolutions got going in Egypt. The musical revolution has got to get started, and it’s started already. I’m not the only person that feels this way. I’m just saying that because of my relationship with Terminator X and Pubic Enemy, and doing the TV shows; now remember, Chuck D, myself, and Terminator, we started the African American News company in 1993 to do news. So we’ve been reporting the news on TV for 18 years. So it’s not like—this is a movement that I’m a part of, and I think that I’m glad that I’m a part of the movement, because the Internet is a hope. The thousands of Internet and cable producers on public access who are doing their thing—they are the hope. Independents, the independent groups out there, the indies, they are the hope of hip-hop.

The corporations are bastardizing hip-hop. Ronald Regan used the word ‘Niggardly.’ Niggardly is the way that hip-hop is being used. It’s being bastardized and pimped by corporations, and that’s just the bottom line, and the only way that you do that and undermine it is through the revolution the same way they can take down a government in Egypt. I think that people across the world can start a revolution in music, because it has to start somewhere, and that’s why I said ‘Well, you know what, I’m always used to sacrifices.’ I know I’m sacrificing myself to say all these things. Everybody wants to say what I’m saying. They just don’t to because they want to make money, the record labels won’t saying nothing because they want to continue to rape and pillage music. They’re against the good, positive rappers out there, but they won’t promote that because that’s not in line with what they want our communities to look like.

This is not just me, I’m just more vocal. This is a movement, and all the record executives, they deserve to go to jail. It’s like they want the banks to go to jail for the Wall Street bailouts; me, I would like to see all those record execs doing jail. I’d like to get Tommy Mattola an elevator ride over here to jail. That’s what I’d like to do. All the Tommy Mattolas, all the Silversteins, Sylvia over there where Grandmaster Flash was on, people like that, those are the people that deserve to get elevator rides to go to jail, people who sign artists that talk smack about our community and keep it in disrepair. I wouldn’t go after no rapper; I’m going after the record label. I hope they all, everybody there, get the penalty they have to have. Didn’t Michael Jackson say Tommy Mattola was Satan or the Antichrist or something like that? That’s where it is, and you know, the rappers are powerless—that’s like going out and you’re a slave that’s mad at the plantation owner. You’re not doing nothing when you go after rappers, that’s why I’m not targeting any rappers, but, I mean, if you ask me a question, I’ll give you an educated answer. Some of these rappers need to read some books. They don’t have any words. Rappers have nothing to say to me. They’ve said the same thing over and over, its invictum, and some of them won’t even know what invictum is. But you know, I’m a music lover, and I’m a fan just like anybody else.

I have a song called “Afterbirth,” I got Egyptian priests for this album, so I took it all the way back to Egypt. See, I’m not just going to tell you something, I got some Egyptian priests, these are Egyptian priest, and they’re going to tell you what it is that you’re saying. Remember, they know the Egyptian language, they know how to speak it, they know how to go to a pyramid and read off of a pyramid and tell you what the words mean. In Egyptology, in Egypt, 25,000 years ago, you call it hieroglyphics, but the proper terminology is ‘metu neter,’ and it means ‘holy words,’ so the Egyptians say that everything that comes out of your mouth is holy. Then they also say ‘think seven times before you say something, because what you say out of your mouth is coming into existence,’ so that’s why I say when I think these rappers are bringing all of this plague, pestilence, and famine into existence, I am standing on the Egyptian methodology. They are bringing this destruction. If they say something sweet, then something sweet will happen. If they say something negative, then something negative will happen.

Also, I have Rabbi—I’m a Christian. Another rapper is Muslim, but we’re doing the same thing with my Jewish Rabbi people, so this is a spiritual album that goes back to Egypt before all the major religions. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all came out of ancient Egypt. So we figured ‘Well, you know what, let’s not just go back to Christianity, let’s go back to ancient Egypt too,’ because we’re trying to educate people. And I got this all in London from Professor Griff [S1W]. Professor Griff always tells you to educate yourself and arm yourself with knowledge. You know, he has been a little bit over the top and overboard, but he can always reference you to a book of scholarly content, and that’s my point. We have to have scholars now, like one of my songs says “A living god, Dr. Cornel West.” We are not honoring the literary prose and guidance of our scholars. So, what happens? The dumbing down of a race. And this all goes with the Illuminati and all of that stuff that people talk about. This stuff didn’t just happen for a reason, you think that every record has to have the word ‘sin’ in it, and ‘I hate you’ and ‘I’m going to kill you’ and ‘I’m gonna bust caps on you’ and ‘I’m gonna sell drugs to your kids and rape your women,’ and you think every word is wrong because that just happened?

There is a concerted effort to be a part of the genocide of the black community. And they say ‘Okay, the white kids buy the records,’ but they ain’t walking through the hood. I’ll bet you’ll find 80 percent of the people buy the records, but they won’t go walking through the hood. So they just buy the records, and they can play the records all day long, and they can do all that good stuff that they want to do, but guess what, they’re not in the hood. So when they get out riding bicycles, and when you’re out pushing a kid on a go-kart, and you’re in the park playing Frisbee, they’re not in that ghetto park where ‘Rallo’ and his crew are selling crack and pimping tricks. They’re not going to that park that they’re [rappers] talking about. They’re going to go to some park that looks like a country club. That’s where they take their kids, but where we’ve got to take our kids is in the hood, they’re going to talk all of that stuff, so we’ve got to walk through all that crap that they’re portraying.

I would like to say to the people that are going to the read this interview: I would hope that you would do something for your children that’s got to go into the park this summer, and got to be outside skateboarding, and riding bikes, and at the barbecue. This is the album that you want them to hear. This is the environment that you want for your kids. Boycott the record executives. Continue to boycott those record labels that support negative images to be sold in the community to our kids. Boycott them.

And to all musical artists in this genre: did anything good ever happen to you?



Article: Jadakiss Speaks On The State Of Hip-Hop by Boss Lady

Jadakiss dropped by Invasion Radio on Hip-Hop Nation (Sirius/XM 44) with DJ Green Lantern and myself earlier this week to promote his upcoming mixtape I Love You: Dedication To The Fans (due May 24 via Def Jam) and shed serious light on the differences between hip-hop in the late 90s till now. He also touches on the thin line between “grinding” and “annoying” for upcoming rappers, words of advice from Jay-Z and more:



Article: Rakim Says Hip-Hop Needs Some Renovation by JT LANGLEY

A return to the roots has been a topic in hip-hop ever since the 90s Mafioso crossover back when, and though it’s an up-and-down argument as to how the genre needs to reinvent itself with the past in mind, massive renovation has yet to take place in the general mainstream. Artists have talked here and there, and some have listened, but Rakim, the emcee who most will say is the greatest to ever touch bars, from ’87 with Eric B, to The Seventh Seal in 2009, shared some words to the public in a recent interview with The Guardian on the topic.

“It’s hard,” Rakim said. “The conscious level is definitely low and the substance of the music is so much lighter, but you have to understand the game is young in new places. It’s still growing…We really need some of that consciousness, that fly on the wall that watches over us and comments. I like B.o.B. and Lupe Fiasco a lot, they’re both exploring the music, but I don’t see a lot of artistry out there.”

I’m done talking about Odd Future in individual articles, but they’re a major player under Rakim’s words, being that they are the youngest mainstream music makers at the moment, along with [name your favorite gangster rapper of the 2000s], and your Lil Bs, Guccis, and Waka Flockas. And you can stretch it far beyond that.

Hip-hop’s holding some roots and making some major steps forward in style, but they don’t seem to be stretching back to remember The Bronx origin and tradition of the artform, so Rakim’s putting it right. If you’re going to argue against him, it better be a damn good one.

Throw up your thoughts.




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