So I recently, in the past future, got to do a little diggin in The Klinik’s head. He is a key piece in the Strong Roots roster as both a producer and emcee, and this man’s beats create instant urges to freestyle and or break necks!! Let’s go!!!
Do you consider yourself more of an emcee or more of a producer?
If you ask me this one a different day of the week, I’ll give you a different kind of answer. I started off as a producer, that only lasted for about a month. After that, I didn’t have a choice BUT to start rhyming. That was when my first group, The Soulution first formed. So I’ll always be partial to producing. But I love writing some rhymes, it happens naturally after you make a beat. I doubt I’ll ever hang the mic up.
Why do you love hip hop?
To me Hip Hop is very similar to the other scene that I grew up in when I was a teenager, the punk and hardcore scene. Both have the same energy and aggression, the same mentality and message, both started around the same time, and they bring a lot of the same topics to light. Both have the same convictions and are equally as unorthodox. They shouldn’t exist, but thru pent up anger and frustration, they both do. When I was a baby, I was a major hip hop head. Being born in ’89, I was born into it. There’s no way I can’t not like hip hop. I used to watch Yo! MTV Raps and then I’d watch Headbanger’s Ball immediately afterwards. And I’d stunt hard on my parents with a boombox on my shoulder every time Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air came on the TV. So, it will forever be a part of me. It’s not up to me. It’s outta my control. I’ll forever be a fan of the boom and the bap.
How do you feel about sample laws and do u feel as an underground artist they even matter?
For underground artists, it really doesn’t. Long as you chop it up so nobody can recognize it, you’re good. It’s not like any of us are making money off this shit anyway, so they have no need to hit us up. It’s all about how a sample is flipped. I do love some loops though.
Tell us some thoughts on loop diggin.
Diggin’ for loops is one of my favorite pastimes. I used to hear songs as a kid, and think “Damn, that would be a dope beat.” Or I would recognize a sample, like “Yo! That’s The Doors.” To me, Hip Hop/Sample-based production is all about taking something that sounds familiar, and making it sound brand new. Cats that dig, will forever be looking for the ultimate loop. It’s the never ending journey.
What is Strong Roots Records?
Strong Roots Records is a Indiana-based record label that the homies R-Juna and his wife/producer Iris started. After a dope weekend at a hippy festival, they decided it was time to start a label so that all of their homies had a vessel in which to release their music. We consider ourselves a co-op label. Basically, every member helps each other out. The roster keeps growing by the day, and consists of nothing but artists from Indiana. We’re tryna bridge the hip hop scenes in Indianapolis and Bloomington, as well as the entire Hoosier State. We record ourselves, do our own artwork, make our own beats, write our own rhymes, do our own cuts and scratches, etc. And we also perform together under the Strong Roots Allstars. We’re tryna take the hip hop scene back to the old days of Peace, Love, Unity, and Having Fun. And we’re tryna connect everybody together in the process. I’ve released 4 projects on Strong Roots Records so far (with more on the way), you can download all of them for free at strongroots.bandcamp.com
What selfish and non selfish benefits do u see from collaborations?
Collaborations are my favorite. Selfishly, some people want a feature from an artist who’s name is poppin’, in hopes of gaining fans. I think that shit is corny. Do a song with somebody because they would sound good on the track, or would fit in well due to the subject matter of a song, instead. Nonselfishly, collaborations can bring the best out of both artists. It can take artists out of their comfort zone, and push them both lyrically and mentally to a place they’ve never been. So I always encourage collaborations when they’re genuine and not forced. You can tell when there’s no chemistry between two artists, and the listeners are the ones who end up paying the price.
Do you feel it is more important to have a message or to express yourself…..would you censor yourself from writing a non pc song if that’s what you felt?
I think both are equally as important. My favorite artists are the ones who express themselves by having a message and standing for something real. Hip hop has always been the voice of change, and I love how the overall subject matter of the hip hop community has changed over the past couple years. People are getting back to being aware. They’re tired of being in the club all the damn time. They’re realizing that the world around them isn’t perfect like they thought it was. Trap rappers are even speaking out and getting political. I’ve never been one for censorship, even if it’s something I’m not trying to hear. Because I understand that everyone deserves the right to express themselves. It’s better to express yourself through art, then to express yourself thru negative actions. I wouldn’t censor myself if I were to drop a non-PC track, but I would prepare myself for the potential backlash and be ready to defend myself. People are more aware now. You can’t just say anything on the mic, like some people used to do.
Who is your favorite MC and why?
My favorite emcee… Man, that’s a tough question. If we’re talking all time favorite, it’s gotta be Biggie or Big L. They’re both sorely missed and for very good reasons. Both were incredibly witty and clever on the mic. Both rapped laps around cats effortlessly. When I was growing up, I’d listen to them and think I could rap (even though I couldn’t). Just listening to them made you wanna rap. Both of them are responsible for the metaphor and punchline bars that dominate the rap game still to this day.
Who is your favorite producer and why?
Favorite producer… Well there’s too many. I will say that Pete Rock is at the top. What he does to samples is still untouched even to this day. Pete Rock’s ear is ridiculous. He was basically born into hip hop, so he truly understands the culture. He was DJing on the radio when he was like 13, that’s insane to think about. Back to Biggie again tho, Easy Mo Bee is my favorite most-slept-on producer in the game. He crafted some of my favorite beats of all time on Ready To Die, plus he produced for everybody from Pac to Miles Davis. He’s another producer that understands this hip hop shit.
What do you see in the future for IN hip hop and why?
As far as hip hop in Indiana, I think it’s gonna get even better. I’m seeming more unity amongst artists than I was just 5 years ago. People are tired of seeing the same show every time they go to a local show. I’m seeming more variety on the bills than ever before. All of this is great and I see it getting even better in the future. I’m seeing more crews collaborating and working on music together and that is always great. To be honest, the local scene seemed kinda divided when I started coming to shows. Now it doesn’t seem like that. Everybody is down to build with others, and hopefully that trend continues until we get pushed into the forefront of the hip hop world.
Discuss this remix and why you were moved to do the 2nd version of the rap monster remixes
The Ace One remix just seemed fun. Ace had sent me the acapellas with a letter along with it, explaining how he was sending them out to all of the producers he knows. I was a major fan of the original Rap Monster LP, as well as Iris’s remix of it, so when he explained how he was planning on keeping the Rap Monster album alive forever, I said fuck it and started making some beats. This song in particular was one of my favorites that I did, so I figured I’d share it first. I’ll be dropping one more single and then I’ll drop the project after that, so be ready!
Who did the art? and tell me more about them.
My homie Nicholas Love (aka Love Visuals) did the dope ass artwork. This dude been my homie since middle school, we go way back. So he’s my go-to artist, he does all my artwork. He was a beast on the canvas’s and with the paint marker, but now he’s gotten mind-blowingly good with the graphic design. He’s also a super nasty EDM producer (he produced the song Creature that me, Ace One, and R-Juna did together) and he’s also a member of Strong Roots. Peep his Wizard Gang EP on soundcloud, you won’t be disappointed.
Brown sugar and cinnamon oatmeal… Fuck cereal.
In 3rd grade right after I got married on the playground. I divorced her the next day and been living the bachelor life ever since.
favorite cartoon as a kid
Ren and Stimpy. It was so crude and vulgar, which explains a lot about me today.
1st concert was The Beach Boys at Union Station when I was like 4 or 5.
fav place in indy to buy records
Favorite place in Indy to buy records back in the day was Missing Link. It was the best record store, hands down. Nowadays, I can’t tell ya where I dig. If I did, I might have to kill you.
1st recorded song
1st recorded song… Here We Come by my old group, The Soulution. My first solo track I ever did was The Great Adventures Of Sean Don (http://thesoulution.bandcamp.com/track/the-great-adventures-of-sean-don-part-1-feat-cree-don-don-demarkus)
1st passion was skateboarding. Got my first board when I was 6. After that came the guitar, when I was in 3rd grade.
fav sexual position and how does this relate to ur rap style…lol
My favorite sexual position is the jackhammer, and it’s similar to my rap style cuz I just stay poundin’ out new music, regardless of if you like it or not.