Ahead of his debut solo album, the Colony member talks about his EP, his forthcoming project, musical influences, production and more!
For those living under rocks, could you introduce yourselve?
Wassup people, this is Conspicuous the Coroner aka Cesar Romero aka King Cons. 1/4th of The Colony representing ottomanelfmusic.
How long have you been serious about doing hiphop and who have been your biggest influences?
I been serious about hip hop since '99 when I first went to the now infamous Homegrown bless the mic radio show. My biggest influences are people like Bootsy Collns, Rick James, Al Green, Norman Conners, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfeild, Dr Buzzard, Bobby Womack. Hip Hop wise, Dr Dre's Chronic album first got me rhyming but I look up to my crew for inspiration. I believe Smurf, Grim and Willo are three of the best in Hip Hop, period!
Where abouts in the UK are you and how do you rate the domestic scene right now?
Seven Kings is my manor blud! Although I live a little closer to Essex now. I think the UK scene is real healthy at the moment. There's a lot of shit out there as well as a lot of good. Ying yang effect and that. People complain about the shit too much. I say we gotta co-exist with that. You need shit so that the good can stand out! No one's taken money out my pocket so fuck it!
How do you feel your release of the Dictionary Meaning EP went?
The original vinyl release was slow, mainy due to lack of promotion by myself! I expected it to sell without giving any to radio or press. The only DJs spinning it was Excalibah and Skully. The CD re-release is doing very well now, with the fact that I'm on the new Ghost 12" that's done exceptionally well as well as Salvos ep, and the Evil ED LP too, so the name's spreading!
What have you been up to between dropping that and now?
As I already mentioned, the Ghost, Evil Ed and Salvo ting. I'm producing for members of The Colony, Shameless, T.B, Mudmowth, Breaknecks and I've just started a joint LP with Evil Ed! Apart from that we got The Colony/Stronghold mixtape, a little UK/US ting with Life Long, Poison Pen, Breez Evaflowin, C-Rayz Walz and them.
When is your debut album out and what label's releasing it?
My debut LP is entitled Backgammon and is set to drop September 5th and it will be out on ottomanelfmusic.
Could you tell us about some of the tracks and guests you have on there?
The first 12?? was 15 Minutes Of Fame feat. Cal-i B/W Death Of A Gemini. 15 Mins was on some conscious tip regarding the industry and Death was on some life/death shit! The second single out now, Focussed, features soul brother number 1 Shaun Escoffery (space rider) and is produced by Evil Ed. The B-side features Smurf and is called Want Me Back and it's about dealing with single parent households. I got Shameless on a track where we pay homage to some of the musical greats. I got my little cousin rhyming as me when I was 11 on another track. I got Willo, Seanie T, Grimlok on there too. Production wise, Jehst, Ghost, Apollo, Propaganda, Dise, Evil Ed, myself, oh and AH Fly on the saxophone!
You handled most of the production yourself last time. How comes you've got other producers this time round?
I don't consider myself a producer. I can make beats. Musically, I rate each producer on my LP highly and believed they would be able to provide me with suitable material. I find it hard to write to my own beats. It's like the saying goes, 'the green seems greener on the otherside'. I like to be challenged.
What producer did you enjoy working with the most, and what beat makers would you like to collaborate with in the future?
I loved working with Ed. That's why we doing a joint LP. We just on a level. Him and Apollo, he really grilled me to get the best results, although each producer played the part of producer. Next LP, definitely AH Fly and I was supposed to have a couple of Lewis Parker joints but he left for New York before we could work.
Do you prefer the role of being a rapper or producer?
I like both. Somedays I'm like, 'fuck beats, I wanna rhyme', then I hear a bunch of beats by Props and think fuck it, I'm back on the beats! I'd say he inspires me to make beats the most. A little friendly competition!
Have you ever been involved in graff or breaking?
Nah bro. Cant break or graph. I can draw cartoons and make up my own characters and stuff though!
What equipment do you usually use to compose your music?
I use the MPC 2000xl. I want a Emu SP 1200 tho'!
Whats usually the process with your tracks? Do you pen the lyrics and then find a beat, or the other way around?
Again, it depends. Sometimes I write to a beat and sometimes I write then find the beat. Depends on the vibe.
What's the current status of The Colony? The other guys dropping solo stuff?
Smurf's got his LP 'My Alpha' dropping on YnR. Wills' working on an EP that could become a LP. Grims is just recording at the mo for his mixtape. Apart from The ColonyStronghold mixtape as a unit, we starting The Colony LP in December!
Who do you think has released the hottest product in the UK scene this year?
It has yet to drop and it's going to be Smurf's lp 'My Alpha' and it is gonna be this year. It very well could be the best UK LP I heard ever!
Have you got any live dates we can look out for?
I got a few things coming up. I'm doing the Dark Horizons tour with Seanie T and I'm on road with Evil Ed too. No dates at the top of my mind but keep your ear to the road!
How are you at the freestyle?
Do you wanna make any shout out's or plugs?
If I start now it will never end! Haha, they know who they are! On that note look out for future releases from Ophkea, Leevan Kif and Cobane! Oh, and buy the Salvo, and Ghost 12"s!