Anthai, thanks for your request to do an interview with you. Most of the guys out there will know you from 71Raw, so please tell us when & how you come together and who are the founding members? The members are Martial Art, Broken Tongue, and myself. But right now, currently it’s just Martial Art and I holding it down for 71Raw.
What's the deal with Mic Willy? He's also on your 71Raw site and on myspace he say he's 71Raw too. Essentially, he was the background guy in the group. We used to do our own music videos and interviews together. He used to help us out a lot on promoting for the group. I gave him many ideas on what he should’ve got into but he went his own ways. I’ll keep it real with you, the only people putting it down for 71Raw at the moment is Martial Art and I, the rest are good homies. We don’t do things the same as before where we used to go out together and promote the 71Raw flag. As you get older, you have different priorities and obligations.
It seems that you are the head of this group, cause we hear from you the most. What are the other members doing all the time? We have grown as a group and matured and it’s evident if you listen to our first album “71Raw Project”. When we first started out we were the Trinity in the streets, running around promoting our cds and group. Now we're like small components split apart, we don’t see each other as much as before. Some of us have families and others have personal endeavors. Martial Art and I have been in the studio lately, going out meeting new people, and just building all the time.
Can we expect a solo album from them? You can expect a solo album from Martial Art, maybe after the next 71Raw album drop. He already got some solo songs he had made awhile back, still sound fresh. As for Broken Tongue, I don’t think he will release anything.
Your first album was titled with 'West Coast Killa Beez'. What was the reason for that? Actually our first album was entitled “71Raw Project” and the first 300 copies had the name “West Coast Killa Beez” on the cover because back then I was building with Christ Bearer and we came up with a notion to put that on there. Things got misconstrued so then we revised the name to “Feat. Universal Warlords”. We are linked up with brothers from the West Coast Killa Beez, it's just we don't come around as much due to our schedules.
How do you connect with Northstar? I personally ran into them back in 2004 at the GZA’s show when they were coming in. Back then, I was a hungry famished dude with my backpack full of cds and flyers to promote my group. I saw them and gave them our demo. Boom! Two weeks later Christ Bearer called me up when he was out in Las Vegas and we build over the phone occasionally for a year before we actually saw each other face to face again.
Do you got contact to other wu-affiliates? Christ Bearer introduced us to Berreta 9 and Division, B9 introduced us to the Black Knights and that night I had brought my cds full of beats. Introduced the Knights to my beats and they were rhyming all night in the hood, that was like real street Hip-Hop nuts. After that, the Black Knights would come through to our studio and hopped on to record our second album "Ninja Guidance"...played chess, sparked the trees, played video games, wrote rhymes, and just build all night.
Christbearer said in an interview with us, that he connect you with The RZA and gave him your album. How was it to met him and what was the result of it? On the real, that was a dream come true for all of us to actually meet RZA in person. Christ Bearer brought us out to West Hollywood where the 36 Chamber West Studio was at. The people that were in the studio were Division, Bobby, B9, Scarekrow, and Christ Bearer. I brought my cds full of beats, RZA played the cd, and we rhymed. He saw a lot of potential in us and told Christ Bearer to watch over us and keep us working. RZA told me the next day at the “Unleashed” video shoot that he was digging my beats and how the beats are similar to his chamber. He can tell we some dedicated hungry mcs.
Are there any plans together? One time I was playing chess with RZA and I asked him to jump on a beat he was really diggin “The Last Fight” and he said to swing it through the studio next time. Weeks after, the studio got shut down and it was hard for me to get in contact with him. During that time Doc Doom came out from doing time and was planning to get him on that same track but like all of us know what happened to him. R.I.P. Doc Doom!
Do you got some unreleased Material from Doc Doom? I have a cd w/ some old material from the Black Knights but not sure if Doc Doom is on there. Just some random cd they had left in the studio.
Do you have any memories with him you can share with us? The first initial meeting with Doc Doom was when I first went to the Wu-Mansion. I introduced myself to him, he was really cool. The second and last meeting was at the Black Knight’s show I believe 2 days after he was released. I had asked him to jump on a song with us and he agreed, I took a picture with him and talked for awhile. He was quiet and humble.
You are a producer, MC and Dj. what is your favorite? Well first of all, I'm a very precise person and love to use my time productively. I love to have fun but I am also a serious person with a lot of respect for people. If you notice, a producer, mc, and a dj, all three have different personalities by looking at what they do. Most producers you don't hear much about them, they're kinda like in the background. DJs are usually quiet and speak w/ their hands, not many dj's are talkative when you see them in interviews. Now you have the MCs, about 99.9 percent of them are very talkative and vocal. Now, I have all three titles. Originally, I started out as an MC. Nobody taught me how to rap, I caught on kinda like a kid who wants to learn how to play basketball. The more practice you put in the better you will be. I love writing lyrics, it exercises my brain cells and I can express a lot of my emotions or even speak for the unheard. From writing the first and second album, a lot of people came up to me and asked if some of the songs were written towards them, that really shocked me because these people are my homies. My secret to writing rhymes is that I observe everything around me and incorporate that into my rap. I wouldn't waste my time writing a full song about someone unless it's some kind of battle or something. No offense to anybody but when people assume I'm talking about them when I write my lyrics, that makes me sorta happy because my rhymes touches people either in a positive or negative way. I gotta say poetry is definitely powerful and very influential. So then, I gradually jumped into producing beats. We didn’t know anybody with raw beats back then, got so frustrated so I had to go out and buy a sampler and just sampled numerous material and came up w/ some amazing beats for us to start. The beats are vitally important in Hip-Hop if you ask me, if your beats are weak, then 75% of the time the entire song is wack. Back when I had so much time on my hands, I used to make 3-4 beats per day. I heard Prince used to compose a song per day so that was my inspiration on making beats each day. Now, it’s very difficult for me to find time to make a beat, but when I do find the time, I would spend hours alone in the studio…just zone out! The beats are like the backbone in the songs basically. Lastly, I love to dj. My man JP Da Mayor taught me how to blend records before we ever got into this rap industry. One day I was thinking to myself and was like “I know how to mix records, why not make some extra cream and dj parties” immediately, I went out and bought turntables and a mixer. I mainly dj clubs where they want to hear that dance pop radio stuff. The promoters looked out for a ninja and took care of me so I’m not mad at that. From djing, that really helped me network with other people in the game. So basically, I’m a type of person that uses all of my talents to the get my name out there. But yo, to finally answer your question…all three because they have their moments. I can’t choose, it’s like going against my own shadow. Oh I almost forgot, I recently have been doing small fashion shows so I guess I can put that on my entertainment resume. I assume the people like my Asiatic swagger and attitude. I don't mind doing fashion shows at all because if people appreciate who I am then I'm totally for it, besides I get to hang out with the hot girls backstage. So I'm trying to do it all and have fun at the same time. Shotouts to Roscoes Chicken & Waffles...had to throw that in to let yall know this interview isn't fake!
How long do you produce and what was the reason for this? Sometimes I can produce all day and skip a meal and someday I can just try to make a beat and quit in 15 minutes. You gotta have that drive and a good idea. I’m a very picky person, so in order to make things happen in life you gotta do it yourself so that’s why I started producing…I don’t like to depend on people especially those who lag. I love all kinds of music and I try to put all sounds together like a huge glomeration. You see a broader style of beats when I release my solo album.
Who are your idols in this genre? I have many idols in many genres…but for Hip-Hop it’s the Wu, KRS One, Common, Mobb Deep, Gangstarr, and the list goes on man. Today’s Hip-Hop, I don’t hear many that shines like the brothers from 90’s, that was when Hip-Hop was at it’s prime. Or it could be me, I might not be in the same state of mine as before because I'm a lot more mature and I'm into more different stuff.
What is your equipment and how do you work on a beat? I started out with the Zoom Sampler, I still use that sometimes. I evolved to the Mpc2000xl (Blue). I’m a type of producer who search for the samples first and then create the drums. There are times when I just lay in bed and listen to some good oldies and certain parts would catch my ears and I would take notes so when I get into the lab I can go back to that particular song and make something out from it. Bottom line, you can’t be reluctant, you have to be motivated and keep pushing yourself to work…put in blood, sweat, and tears when I make music.
You also released 2 Dj mixes over your myspace site with old Disco and 80's stuff. Is that the sound we can hear from you at a party? A lot of people don’t understand my personas, when I’m a dj, I mainly spin dance stuff because that’s what the girls want to hear and you gotta please them or else they’ll be no girls around and of course the guys will not want to go to a party with no girls and your party is wack. It’s common sense. My rapping and producing is straight Hip-Hop, I don’t want to say “Real Hip-Hop” because it’s a cliché and sometimes can dilute the true title to what we do. Those two mixes I made was to promote me as a dj, don’t get me wrong I love all kind of music. I have music appreciation and many people don’t have that understanding and love for the music. I’ll tell you the corruption in music it’s not the people who have been making music for years, it’s the shady people who are behind the scenes running labels and what not. Music is art, I love art. Freedom of expression baby.
How was the reaction of the fans? I get messages from fans all the time and that makes my day. They tell me their ladies love it and would say they play it at the gym, yo man that makes me feel good because I put in a lot of time and effort.
Would you do a straight Hip Hop mixtape in the future as well? Yo I have already made some Hip-Hop mixtapes already, I’m planning on releasing them very soon. It all depends on my mood at the moment. Right now, I'm in the 80's zone because I grew up listening to that stuff as a child when my Mom use to bump that around the house.
You said that you will release another solo album the next time. Would it be more like your 'Revival' compilation or what can we expect from it? My next solo album is going to be my own Hip-Hop album with me rapping on it over my beats. I already have enough songs to make a dope album but I'm utilizing my time wisely. I just released one of my songs called "Asiatic" on Myspace (www.myspace.com/Anthai). I'm planning on releasing it next winter 2009. So the fans can purchase the album as a personal gift to themselves. I'm really enjoying making this album because, I get to control everything my way and the best part is that I'm going back to my old rhymes back in 2004 when we first came out with "Universal Warlords". I'm also coming out with "Battle Scars pt. 2" since the fans really enjoyed part 1...gonna have a lot of people paranoid when that comes out.
Do you got a name or a release date yet? Gyea, it's going to drop winter '09...yall gonna see a solo from Anthai da Protagonist, an album with full aggression, vulgarity, love, hate, and positive messages you can go by. I don't have a title for the album yet but I will keep you posted on that.
Are there any guests on it? Yea I got some guests on there, such as the West Coast Killa Beez, my ninja Martial Art, my homegirl First Lady from Blackball Ent, and a few more. I have so many ideas but it would take me a lot of time to really make it happen.
What are the plans with 71Raw the next time? The last album was great by the way! Thank you, I love the Ninja Guidance album personally. I'm not bias or anything but I felt that album were my top 5 in 2008. You can listen to that album from the beginning to the end, the f**king beats are sickkk plus the rhymes, cmon yo nobody I know from where we're from got skills we do. But we represent the 714 areas and holding it down always! West Coast baby.
I heard that there will be a 'West Coast Killa Bee' Sampler in the future. Do you heard of it and are you a part of it? I hear a lot of stuff yo, if they call me up we'll join the project if not it's all love. Everybody's time is different. Those are my people and they look out for us but it's just the timing issue.
Black Knights build up theire Black Ball Entertainment. Do you got any connections to them? Black Ball Ent is down with 71Raw. I know all of them. We were partying not too long ago, I gotta contact them ninjas again.
What can u tell us about the whole Hip Hop situation these days? I love Hip-Hop but nothing is like the good old days in the 90's Hip-Hop! Today's Hip-Hop is sorta bland, you know when you eat something bland and it's missing an ingredient? I've noticed some people are sounding the same on every album they had put out. I can't name a classic album for the past 3 years besides "Ninja Guidance". Nothing from what I have heard. Hip-Hop is definitely still active in my opinion, I just wish the radio stations would play Hip-Hop instead of just rap music. If people don't understand what I just said, then do your research!
Word! You got a black President in the United States now. What is your point of view on this? Are you political? I was really into politics when I was younger. I am proud to say that I did voted and my vote was for Obama. It is really important to exercise your freedom to vote, some people don't even have that option. Many people talk talk talk about politics and don't vote, they complain on a lot of issues and still they don't vote. I agree with his policies and respect his upbringing and his intelligence. We are living in great history, he opened up a massive door for other people with dreams. Right now the world is dealing with the recession and for Obama to take over what Bush created which was a monster, it's going to take some time for Obama to clean it all up. I would love to converse with him, he seems realistic.
It was a pleasure to do this interview and i wish you all the best for the future. Thank You
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May 24, 2014 21:25:47 GMT -5
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