The two young, focused and enthusiastic MC's Truth and Paradox come through with an in-depth and informative chat touching upon just about everything!
It was a warm summers day and I was nursing through the aftermath of Glastonbury Festival. Hippy life is cool and all, but I needed to play some hip-hop to snap out of my hazy gaze. Clicking through the information superhighway I came across Urban Prophecies .co.uk and the two dudes behind it, Truth and Paradox of Promethean Foundation. I'd seen the names before, had spoken to Truth on occasion and even read an article on the web pages of the broadcasting giant BBC. It was time to learn more. I downloaded audio clips from the website previously mentioned, holla'd at Truth, who holla'd at Paradox, and here's what went down.
Okay, the bog standard questions first. Forgive me for boring you. Where you both from, how'd you both link?
Truth: Paradox was a long time fan of mine. He was playing football for the same team as my cousin and when he found out that he was my cousin he became friendly with him and begged him to introduce us….......I'm playing…...Basically, I emcee'd and was doing some shameless advertising to some people online, one of my friends from school…...he threw it to one of his friends from Para's school who was into hip-hop and then he said "there's this guy that emcees at my school" and introduced us which happened to be this lad here….we both shared similar ideas and interests so we hooked it up. We had met each other a couple of times before though.
Explain the name Promethean Foundation, Truth and Paradox.
Paradox: Promethean = creative and original . The foundation suggests building ourselves something big while keeping it creative and original. Truth = well that is man. Paradox is another way of telling the truth .
Truth: Promethean originates from the Greek God Prometheus who stole fire from the heavens…....which isn't always the best way to go about things. But hey, he did what he had to do to stay warm.
How much material have you come up with together so far and when's the first chance for the masses to check it out on wax?
Paradox: Basically we bin promoting ourselves mad, and even though there are little tracks that we have done as a double there is a high amount of anticipation. Things like battle of the mc's on 1xtra (truth's victory) etc have really helped get us noticed and interviews such as this have done even more. As far as tracks done there's our first "Norvus Ordo Seclorum" then "Native Tongue" and that's about it.
For the forthcoming single "Two Shades of Grey" there we will be delegated separate sides to spit on. Truth will have the A with "Needles Eye" and I will have the AA with "Pen Cries ink". I'd say look out for that late September.
Truth: Late September? You crazy arse fool! That's coming out Late JULY The EP is more likely to be out early winter.
What does Norvus Ordo Seclorum mean?
Truth: Novus Ordo Seclorum is what's written on a dollar bill note. It's Latin…and I fucking forget what for. That was months since we recorded that track… New World Order And its written on the back of a dollar bill note. Show's their intentions. Yeh Silent Soundz is funding that, and the EP is being released through them too.
Seems like you feel its important to let each other shine individually as well as collectively then? A situation happening more and more with hip-hop duo's…
Truth: We were both solo artists first. When Para came up with the idea about doing this crew thing I was kinda hesitant, but we always agreed we would do things as individuals as well. But as the Foundation has become even more prosperous and the expectations and abilities have risen as a duo we've focused more on that. This white label release allows us to support each other and to release something under the group name. It's an ideal situation to come out on, and its gunna be followed by the EP which is the big new thing!
Paradox: Neither of us really feel under pressure or caged in the foundation relationship. We are very strong together and individually, which we use to our advantages.
Kind of like the set up with the new Verb T and Kashmere…
Truth: Yeh true, but I don't think Verb T and Kashmere are actually a group together? I dunno what that situation is. I guess we got the speakerboxx/love below thing going on too. Haha
Which one of you is Andre 3000 and which is Big Boi?
Paradox: I don't think roses smell like poo but the Ladies say I'm a big boi so…
Truth: I'm Big Boi ! I mean, I'm not really into Outkast's new release, I never got into it but I'm big boi. Para is the pretty boy Hahaha.
So what region do you hold it down in and is there anything else happening there about?
Truth: EA….......Suf-Fuck. For a small mainly rural place EA got talent…......Def Tex, Delegates Of Culture, Eternal Student, Vinyl Dialect, and they doing it good right now, The Whole Profam squad – Eternal Student, Tom Young, Promethean Foundation, loada producers hanging around here, Hoodee, who I got a track with ready to be recorded. Just need something more solid, a regular night.
Paradox: Yeah, agreed. There needs to be one night that just unites the whole of this Empire so that we can build with one another. Too often its like "woooo, you mean there's another mc around here?"
How often do you get to perform? Perhaps you could one day organise the regular night you hope for?
Paradox: Really, the closest place for us to build a real foundation is Norwich where at times the hip-hop scene has been quite abundant. We do mainly smaller parties and occasionally a rave (aldeborough) but the problem with the raves is that there is a constant battle for the decks as drum and base DJ's are quite at large in the area. As far as putting on a night, hopefully when the EP is dun or maybe …..
Truth: Its something I would like to put on…...But it would be hard, and there's things I want to concentrate on more right now before that. Rawganics needs to come back!
What's the quick run through of the types of lyrics and subject matters you're coming with on the forthcoming release/s?
Truth: We hope to hit hard. We aint gonna come with nothing shallow so all u bling artists can tuck your chains away. We are very strong in are viewpoints and don't waver under industry pressure as you can see with the "two shades of grey" single. Truth tends to use his wit with hard punch lines addressing political and social issues, the same with me. Though don't get us wrong we aint always looking on the dark side of life, our shi* will always be unexpected but original.
Paradox: I'd say our topics are unlimited and versatile…...that's one of our advantages. Some emcees and acts are scared or cautious to approach certain topics in fear of loosing their "raw hip-hop" audience or whatever.
What artists are you feeling for what they're saying at the moment, and whilst we're on the subject, who in general do you have a lot of time for?
Truth: Brother Ali…That's who I'm bumping a lot of. He deep and it's like he a dope emcee without you sitting there and deciphering every sentence he says. Overall, he a dope songwriter, which I want to develop more. I'm also feeling Reggiemental, Blood and Jonez… Low Key seems to have some good support behind him and I read an interview with him and he seems like another level headed young man. The future is bright.
Paradox: Yeah Brother Ali, Immortal Technique, Nas, Slug. Tommy Evans smashes every track he does on the Asylum Seekers (Foreign Beggars) LP.
Truth: Yeh I've always felt Tommy Evans…......I love the UK scene….but it gets a bit boring, some people are on the same thing. Mind you that can go for a lot of underground music. Cappo is someone I'm feeling…his got a defined style and you can see the songwriter creeping out of him…....Yungun is also someone not afraid to do something different. I think he is making some good music.
How much blood sweat and tears go into the writing of one set of lyrics? Do you churn it out or treat it like the piece of history representative of you the minute its released?
Paradox: I spend sometimes hours on my lyrics. I think whatever you put out is a reflection on you and it does affect others, so each lyric write has to be taken time over. Sometimes though, you just have a mad freestyle or flow and everything spills out, for me, there no way you can determine how it gonna come.
Truth: Personally we go through different writing experiences…....I don't really got a set way I do it, but usually I'll write about 3/4/5 songs just to find the concept and direction for that one song, then I'll write the song incorporating the ideas from the others. Sometimes I'll just write it out…but i can't put out something I don't feel. Getting the concept and direction is hardest and more important thing for me.
Agree that the internet is quickly becoming the most useful, and primary source of exposure during the early days?
Truth: Its an access to a wide audience. To neglect the internet would be a foolish thing to do…...you can't neglect any audience or promotional resource. We been on 1xtra!! when we battled. We are building up communications with BBC Suffolk. Its all about networking and relations in this industry. We at an early stage and that's so evident to anyone. As for radio, magazines etc, they will be getting our white label EP and everything through, and if they like it they can review it etc. It basically gunna be thrown out everywhere. A lot of gigs. you have to create a buzz big enough to be seen otherwise people can't look at it!!
Put your big heads on and tell me how huge you're working towards being, in terms of the UK hip-hop scene and the music industry as a whole. Do you recognise any barriers or are you speeding up bulldozer style?
Paradox: The sky aint even the limit man. Obviously we are cautious where we stepping but Truth and I are ambitious and basically we hungry for success.
Truth: Well put Mr paradox….........I'm hear to make music. Hopefully I can put that out to a wide audience and still make the music I want to. I wouldn't mind being "big" or "making it" I'm sure I could do something more productive with the money that some of these cats got.
Your evident dedication and admirable ambition and motivation appears to leave you with little free time for anything else. Are you still getting your head in college books?
Truth: I'm at college studying music technology…....and I think I have a job, although I'm not sure!! That's kinda crazy right now. That will just be for summer. These next three days are gunna be crazy. This cheeky lad Paradox, I dunno if you know him? He coming to stay with me for 3 days of hip-hop work and writing…It's never work…..It's always fun!! We got a lot to get d-d-doooooooown I'm not good looking enough to have a girlfriend so that doesn't take up my time which seems to be a lot of peoples problems. (Looks Paradox's way).
Paradox: Yeah, man if I lived off this I wouldn't see it as my job. But I got A Levels the next two years which includes teaching myself music tech.
Who handles the production and who's doing it for the EP? Why did you choose them, or how did you hook up with them?
Paradox: Profound Productionz. Its the extension of the Promethean Foundation. Basically cuz we versatile musically there aint no limits to who will produce. If we think that a singer or an mc or a guitarist has skills and we can benefit them then we will produce for them. I produce The Pen Cries Ink which will be on Two Shades of Grey and also Native tongue. The EP is being produced by Tee Jay Wight…From silent sounds, we aint touching no instruments for that, that's just gonna show our skills as MC's. We hooked up with TJ thought the web again. He just another spider we met on our way that turned out to be a sick beater maker.
Truth: What people don't know is that Leisure, Silent Soundz CEO, actually contacted me months ago…...almost a year ago or something, a long time ago anyway and was interested in signing me to and developing me on Silent Soundz! I emailed him back and he didn't get back to me!! Haha. I'm glad…..I wasn't nothing on what I am now…..these things just crumble down some how. Then I met Tee Jay Wight downloading and we spoke, and he was added to mine and Para's joint msn list. Para started talking to him, and did that song "Promethean" and then …we here now.
What equipment are you using? and when it comes to recording vocals? how do you go about it? if not in a studio, how do you overcome the hurdles of lower quality sound etc
Paradox: Basically I use Reason and Cubase and shit loads of VST software compressors. I gotta crappy four track mixer I run the mic , electric guitar through etc and when I record with truth we put a sock over his sm58.
Truth: Socks and pillow bags but for the releases we doing the studio thing. Need that for releases, plus I'm studying music technology at college and our facilities are amazing i'mma put them to use next year. I got some new equipment that aint hooked up because my pc I use to record decided to fuck up after I had spent a few figures on a sound module, new monitors and a midi keyboard, so imma sort that out soon…..I'm not good with PC's. At college I made a few beats that are still in progress on Cubase SX with VST's basically.
You mentioned instruments. Do you play any? What genre's of music are you feeling besides from rap and do you think you'll be blending that in with any of your material?
Truth: I don't play instruments but I'm fairly eclectic, I listen to a lot of other music…....some for samples, some cus I just straight enjoy it. I like Red Hot Chilli Peppers stuff, Rage Against the Machine back when they still were, some Fun Loving Criminals stuff, then some of the more chilled out stuff like Curtis Mayfield and I'm feeling Amp Fiddler right about now. I listen to a lot of funk and soul and shit…...but I'll just slap a compilation CD on and then just chill to it you know. I don't follow it you know? Don't check for names etc
Paradox: I play instruments, (piano and guitar) and use dem a lot in my tracks. I like Muse, the funk, reggae , jazz and world music. You can see all dis shit comes to influence in our beats
Anyone you wanna shout out or diss or humiliate or anything?
Paradox: Fuck Ja Rule. Big up Tommy tempo. Shout outs to the whole of the EA community man. Peaceeeeeeeeeeeeee.
Truth: Biggup Tee The whole ProFamm. The whole Silent Soundz crew. a big Fuck You to globalisation. BUY OUR SHIT SO I CAN BUY A CHEESEBURGER