YC The Cynic on The Journalist Today @ 5 p.m.

February 23, 2010 at 9:06 am (Daily Offerings, Entertainment, Exclusive, interview, Live Stream, Music) (, , )

The 19-year-old phenom straight out of the Bronx is ready to bring NY rap back….

If you too are cynical, download his album here… And by the way, you’re welcome…

So be sure to tell a friend, to tell a friend, to tell the President– I’m ON!

Just click on the image below at 4 p.m. EST to listen to The Journalist…


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Emmanuel Jal, Blitz the Ambassador & More on The Journalist Tuesday Feb. 9th– 4 PM-6 PM EST

February 7, 2010 at 2:19 pm (Daily Offerings, Entertainment, Exclusive, interview, Live Stream, Music, News, Sports) (, , , )

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It’s All Donwill from Here

February 3, 2010 at 10:08 pm (interview, Music) (, , , , , , , )

The Journalist: Explain to us how did this project [Don Cusack in High Fidelity] come about?

Jasika Nicole of Fox's "Fringe" & Donwill have a song for Laura

Donwill: Long story short, me and Von[pea], we got this thing called the “brain trust,” and we kick around ideas—that’s how, more or less, Brooklynati and Moonlighting get kick started. Me and Von have these random conversations.

And one day I was like it would be really dope if somebody took one of their favorite movies and made a soundtrack to it, like an unofficial joint, like the “Unauthorized Biography of Rakim” but did that joint for like a movie, a whole soundtrack.

And he (Von) was like, “Oh yeah, that’d be cool.” So one day, we was in the Bay and I was just sitting around making beats–bored. And I made a couple beats and started rapping to them, and I was like Imma just do a soundtrack to High Fidelity, because that’s one of those movies that just touches me. I relate a lot to it.

And it kinda snowballed from it being a free EP that I was going to put on my blog to actually being an album with features, with guest producers and guest artists.

The Journalist: Now that you’re doing a solo project, how much input do the other members have in the music?

Donwill: This was pretty much all done by me. I kinda showed them in phases the album. I showed Von more than Ilyas, as I created the album just cuz he’s closer and it’s easier to let him come over, hear a couple tracks than zip up some files and send them to Ilyas.

I used their opinions. I trust their opinions. It’s like as musicians and artists, the fans love or hate the music but the fans don’t understand that there’s a council of like five to ten people that every artist has. It could be the guy at the newsstand, the dog walker, and their roommate. And those are the people that dictate if the music is actually good or not to the artist themselves. Because that’s the opinion I trust.

I trust Von’s opinion. I trust Ilyas’ opinion, the guy Dom’s at the label opinion, our manager’s opinion; there’s a couple more people. But when I bounce my ideas off of those heads and they tell me, “Nah, that song ain’t really, you know.”  There might be somebody who can hear it. But me, if my ears don’t like it, my trusted committee of ears don’t like it, I’m like well, I’ll take it back to the drawing board.

The Journalist: How did that work out, getting Jasika Nicole from the “Fringe” to play the lead female role in “Laura’s Song” video?

Donwill: It’s funny man. I hang out around an eclectic bunch of people. And she just happens to be one of the people that I hang around with. We like watch TV, movies together and shit–

My bad.

The Journalist: Nah, you good, you good. You can do whatever.

Donwill: Oh, see I’ve been holding back then.

[laughter]

Donwill: We have this thing called Bad Movie Night, where we all get together and watch really bad movies and laugh.

And one day we were watching a movie, and I’m just like I wanna ask her to be in my video but I don’t wanna seem like a weirdo.

[laughter]

Real rap,we’re cool and she knew me. But she didn’t like know me. I met her through a friend. And that’s like the beginning of a whole notha relationship, when you pulling somebody to side and like, “I’m interested in doing X,Y, and Z.” But I let her hear the song and told her about the idea.  and it just so happen to be that she’s a person after my own vision. And she loves artistic passion and loves projects where the person is so driven, they don’t let anything hold them back.

Like that video itself is a feat in itself. It was guerilla style.

The Journalist: What happened in that scene with you and Vonpea doing your take on a “High Fidelity” moment?

Donwill: The thing that nobody knows about Von, because he’s such a serious looking dude is Von is probably one of the most hilarious people I know. Like seriously, the guy is hilarious.

He likes the movie too, so he would try to get really into being Dick’s (Jack Black) character. And when the camera’s rolling, he would get into these long rambling–You know how Dick would be in the movie really Millie Mouse, low voice, mumbling and stuff. He (Vonpea) was like that to the letter. And I’m just there like this guy. He was trying to make me laugh, trying to make me mess up the take.

The Journalist: Comparing you guys (Tanya Morgan) to Slaughterhouse, who’s who?

Donwill: I would say Vonpea is Joell Ortiz. Just for the simple fact that Joell seems like a kinda private person but you know he just demolishes. Every time he spits, he gets your attention; he’s an amazing lyricist. That would be Von.

Me and Ilyas, we’re a little bit tricky. In the public eye, I would be more of the Joe Budden in a sense. I’m the one that’s usually out there— I’m the guy that’s always talking to people. I’m all over the internet; I’m not that hard to find.

The Journalist: I saw you on 2DopeBoyz the other day—just typing away.

Donwill: Yeah, exactly. I’m just there. Whereas Ilyas, he would be like a Crooked I. That’s more of Ilyas’ aesthetic is that hard shit. You know like the [over emphasizes] haaard shiiit… but in a different respect.

Ilyas is into more darker [sic] music. His solo release that he’s putting out is really a dark album.

I don’t know if Tanya Morgan fans in general will able to appreciate what we’re doing. If you can appreciate a concept album, you can appreciate what we’re doing. So I won’t that. Tanya Morgan fans will appreciate what we’re doing solo, because it’s just an extension of the concept. We’re just being ourselves.

The Journalist: What happens if one person in the group just blows up off of their solo project? Is that going to affect how Tanya Morgan makes its music from then on?

And have you guys discussed that?

Donwill: We talk about that. It wouldn’t affect it. Of course from the outside looking in, it would be, “There goes Nelly and the St. Lunatics.”

[laughter]

But from the inside, it’s like we all have very artistic intentions with our music. If something catches fire, you can’t really help that people gravitate to it. All you can do is try to make them understand why they’re gravitating to it.

Once you have the eyes and ears on you, then it’s time to leave them. It’s not time to dance in front of them and do whatever they want you to do. Like we got to organize this body of work, y’all need to listen to this album next, we’re going to do this next.

But let’s say I blow up and I’m on 106th and Park next week–I’m leaving Tanya Morgan and moving out to Brazil, because I get in like that.

[laughter]

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The Journalist With Asher Roth, Donwill & More

February 2, 2010 at 12:00 am (Daily Offerings, Entertainment, Exclusive, interview, Live Stream, Music) (, , , , , )

Listen here… @ 4 p.m. EST today for all the guests, songs, and insights.


And be sure to tell a friend, to tell a friend, to tell the President–I’m ON!

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B.o.B EPK Available Now

January 23, 2010 at 10:36 am (Entertainment, interview, Music, video) (, , , )

Check out B.oB’s newly released EPK here… for all those who still don’t know.

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Fashawn & J. Cole on Los Angeles Leakers

January 22, 2010 at 12:01 am (interview, Music, video) (, , , )

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Blacc Thought: The Aloe Blacc Interview

January 18, 2010 at 1:18 pm (Daily Offerings, Exclusive, interview, Music) (, , , , , , , )

Aloe Blacc (of Emanon) is the quintessential artist with an intellect to match

Aloe Blacc is one-half of the Hip-Hop duo Emanon (with renowned producer Exile). Based out of talent enriched LA, Aloe and Exile found a chemistry that would prove to their solution to refresh the soul of Hip-Hop. From pressing their on vinyls to distributing their own material, Aloe and Exile created a lane for future Hip-Hop groups and artists seeking to give the people a soulful sample of life.

And on the day we celebrate an instrumental figure in history, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., The Journalist discussed the past, present, and future of Hip-Hop with a lesser known but important figure in the foundation of the art.

The Journalist: You hooked up with a rising producer in the game, by the name of Exile in 95. Tell me how that union came together?

You are now watching a master (Exile) at work

Aloe Blacc: That was a really serendipitous event. I was literally just a student in high school. I had been penning my own raps for a few years. My friends around me befriended Exile. He was going to adifferent school, a different part of town.

But Exile was a DJ and he was making a mixtape at the time and he wanted to work with some local emcees. This was 95, mixtapes were big but on the West Coast, mixtapes weren’t what they were in New York.

Exile was an anomaly on the West Coast. Especially where we came from in the suburbs of Orange County, he was definitely unheard of. And he was making mixtapes, and on the A side he was putting 45 minutes of whatever tapes were hot at the time, in the indie Hip-Hop scene. And on the other side, he put 45 minutes of his own music. Music he produced with emcees he was working with.

So he chose to work with me on project called “Imaginary Friend.” And from that point on, we just kept working together. Basically, that was our first album. And when we put that out, it sold like hot cakes at the B-Boy Summit, at local events—we did it. Basically we were using the popularity of the A side to get people to listen to the B side, instead of rewinding through the A side. And it worked. Great technology and he was definitely and unconscious genius back then.

The Journalist: We got Exile. We got Aloe Blacc. Now we got Blu, Fashawn. It’s like the West Coast Soul.

Aloe Blacc: There’s a lot of talent on the West Coast, unfortunately there’s not a lot of executive music industry leadership on the West Coast, and so we miss out on the business that gets made to get people signed. Kid Cudi was found on a mixtape in New York, because it’s New York. But on the West Coast, it’s hard to get that kind of decision making going.

But we got the talent. We got the artists right here. Blu was an artist that was working with some Hip-Hop friends of mine back in early 2003 when I met him. We were just walking around Long Beach one day; because we were suppose to be making some music. It was about five of us. Blu was one of kids that were there. And we started reciting some lyrics like Slum Village, Elzhi lyrics.

And we were going back and forth reciting different things and he knew a lot of stuff. And I was really impressed with the body of work that he knew, that I was interested in. At the same time I was impressed with his lyrical skills.

He invited me to a show. He was like, “Yeah, come to the show.” And I went to go see his show and I called up and said, “You gotta come with me. You gotta meet this kid.” So we went to go see Blu’s show at Universal City Walk; they were doing Hip-Hop night. And we were both impressed. And from there Exile and Blu just started working together.

The Journalist: You’re on both Blu’s and Fashawn’s album.

Aloe Blacc: The first time I met Fashawn was recording on the album. But I was already a fan, because I’m already peeping the music and I’m already knowing that the kid is nice.

Both Blu and Fashawn started really young. And they had their mind in the right place when it came to writing rhymes.

The Journalist: How do you feel about the new generation—who’s getting on and who’s still underground? Blu. Dope album. Still underground. Fashawn. Dope album. Still underground.

Aloe Blacc: I think at least on the West Coast, it’s the social-political climate. Back when I was 15, 16 and I got my license to go to a Hip-Hop club. I swear to you, I was watching Mobb Deep, Busta Rhymes, Jay Z. Everybody whose anybody, I saw them perform live for like ten dollars, five dollars. And that is not possible anymore. If you’re under 18, you can’t go to a Hip-Hop venue; you can’t go to any venue really.

The Journalist: Not with the price of those tickets.

Aloe Blacc: A lot of that communication about what good music is, a lot of those events and culture are gone. Hip-Hop events start shutting down when raves got shut down, because kids were coming home high and dying because of the drugs at the raves. So Hip-Hop suffered for that.

Be sure to check out Aloe Blacc’s projects with El Michels Affair, fiancee Maya Jupiter, and Exile (Bird’s Eye View).


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Aloe Blacc Hates UCLA

January 18, 2010 at 11:00 am (Daily Offerings, interview, Music, video) (, , , , , , )

The Journalist unearths the making of “I Hate UCLA” by Aloe Blacc.

Listen below to Blacc’s cover of the Biz’s finest work.

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Aloe Blacc

January 18, 2010 at 5:00 am (Daily Offerings, Exclusive, interview, Music, video) (, )

As we continue on with this Blacc Day…

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A Change is Gonna Come

January 18, 2010 at 4:00 am (Daily Offerings, Exclusive, interview, Music, video) (, , , )

Here’s Aloe’s incarnation of an all-time classic…

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Emanon & Blu Perform Blind Love

January 18, 2010 at 3:00 am (Daily Offerings, Exclusive, interview, Music, video) (, , , , , )

Yo, remember this is what we call chemistry….

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