Rapnews interviews another artist from 518 (NY) to talk about influences, past releases, future releases and live shows.
What's your name and where are you based?
Hi. My name is Dezin8ed or Dezmatic or Dezmond Two Two or Deuce Deuce or Dezmondo Otto or Doozer Mcschnooglesburger or simply Dez, if you're not into the whole brevity thing. I live in Albany, New York. The 518, where I (we) also make my (our) base of operations for Pitch Control Music.
How do you rate your local hiphop scene right now?
Compared to the other cities? I think this shit is crackin now. It's still humble and underdeveloped. I mean, the publications are slowly starting to gas it up but not to the point where it would really blow. We're all just still blue collar emcees and deejays hustling our little gigs here and there, just so we can keep dumping money into pressing cd's and flyers and t-shirts and blah blah blah. But I like it this way, for now. We've brought some Def Jukies and heads from Weightless and Rhymesayers and some of the older heads we grew up on through to the area so, as far as how it stacks up against other scenes, I think it's competitive but as far as crowds and the people in it, I think the term blue collar really applies to the 518. There's an overwhelmingly strong work ethic and a readiness to network amongst most of the artists in our scene and I think that's what sets our home apart from others. All over the country, when it comes to this hip-hop shit, there are a lot of people who grab mics or own MPC's or some Techs and a Vestax who really believe they're famous and have a very prepared and impersonal demeanor. But the people can see through all that rock star shit and that's one of the main ingredients in the recipe for falling off. But we don't play that shit around here. we don't care if you got Fat Beats distro with a guest appearance list of who's who and what's dope to the fanzine fiends on your new critically acclaimed concept album. It's not impressive. If you're cool, just be cool. And we'll notice it.
When and how did you get into rap music and culture?
When I was really young, PE. Pittsburgh starters and clock necklaces. Chuck D was my first rap hero. From there it was like a can of worms. Fights in the hallways over Nikes. Getting punked in the lunchroom. Fisherman joints. Marvel comics. Rhinestone logos. Stealing dinkleakers. Rolling schwag pinners. The first time you fingered a girl. That smell. That feeling.
Can you name a few of your most important influences?
Oh man. That's too hard. There's too many who've blessed us. I mean, the good shit changes it's face over time, you know? One year it was Native Tongues, the next it was Boot Camp. The next it was Co-Flow, then it was Typical Cats. Hopefully my peoples and I can contribute to that legacy as time goes by.
What records have you dropped so far for us to check?
First was Thank You. Fuck You. Then Bonk Bonk with my man Sween. Then I did an album with W.Steele from San Diego called 40's For Breakfast. Then I just finished this concept EP I did for the ladies called Vodka Music. Everything I've done has been completely on my own dime so they've been small batch pressings here and there but they're all available for listen (and some for purchase) on my website www.dezmatic.com
Is there one song or album you are most proud of?
A few. Probably the most important joint to me was the one I did about my mother called Maternal on my first album with my homie Sween. I'm also very proud of another joint I did with Sween last fall about television called Idiotboxer. But there's a few others too. All in all I'm rather proud of all of my shit. Not to sound conceited, I just like the shit that I make. Otherwise, what's the fucking point right?
How would you describe your music/rapping style?
I pride myself on being able to do many things and wear many hats. My style? I feel that saying it's something that can be defined would be limiting it. Punches. Patterns. Concepts. Crew cuts. Comedy. Tragedy. Hooks. Skits. The whole shbang bang. But I aint done yet. I still got mad shit to get out of my system before anybody can call it, let alone me.
What rappers do you rate most highly in 2005?
I like the shit my peoples do more than most of these sheep out here. Shyste. iCON The Mic King. AWar. Fallen Anglez massive. Sween. Lodeck. Dos Noun. Sev Statik. Rick Whispers. The whole Jam Faction (from Philly). the whole Fingerprint Records. Nobs. Eibol. Hippo. Losaka. Erosadis. yadda yadda yadda. The team is thick. And of course Ghost Face. Duh.
Have you got any projects you're working on?
I'm doing an album with my man Nobs (Fingerprint Records) which is untitled as of yet. But so far shit is nucking futs. He's doin the beats. I'm spittin the spit. Should be out sooner than later.
Do you do many live shows and what shit goes down?
Yeah mang. Dezmond rocks on the reg. I try to keep it fresh and new every time. But if I have several in one week, then that means that they're probably all in different cities so I can get away with rocking the same set a few times in a row. But for the most part, I'm still just a local yokel so I'm often playing in front of the same one to two hundred people and I have no choice but to switch material and put twists on old shit. Play with jazz groups and rock groups. Rock with different ensembles of emcees and deejays. Rock over different beats. Have themes to my sets. Coordinate shit so there's different kinds of art or visuals to go with what we're playing. You know. Keep it fresh. Fresh to death.
How important is the internet to a developing artist?
Do you wanna make any plugs or shout outs to end on?
Yeah. Word to the motherboard. www.pitchcontrolmusic.net That's where it all ends and begins. Go to the message boards and cry about your life and how shitty your job is and we'll all tell you how hard it isn't.