I-80 Roll Call is a collection of 37 tracks produced by DJ Loot and featuring various artists across the United States from cities located along Interstate 80.
Riot Craig has released his new project Beauty From A Distance, now streaming on all the major services.
Riot teamed up with E-Moe for the below video to Raw Emotion, the lead single off this project.
In this interview, we talk with J.Smo of BUNKS about Hip Hop, his music, and who’s currently impacting the scene.
His mixed genre project, Purgatory, is now available.
When did you start making music? Has it always been an important part of your life?
It first started in 1999 more as exploration and experimentation but started getting serious around 2002. My great aunt was a well known pianist and organist in her community as well as a teacher. My dad toured in bands playing bass and guitar before settling down as a pastor in the ’80s.
Music has always been the one constant, stable thing in my life. It’s always there for whatever purposes. To lighten the mood, lift spirits, zone out, release stress, and it never talks back or yells at you (unless you listen to metal of course).
What is it about Hip Hop that draws you to the genre?
I honestly have no clue but Hip Hop is more than just music. Hip Hop is a culture which has been commoditized, fashioned and marketed for commercial profit. I’ll avoid going too deep in this interview but rap music on the commercial/mainstream level has been used a tool to fulfill many separate but similar agendas; all with not-so-positive side-effects (or intentions).
Many impressionable youth are negatively impacted by the images and messages propagated by the mainstream media via rap music which all end up being used to downplay Hip Hop as the positive cultural force it always has been. There was a time, pre-2000, when positive, uplifting Hip Hop could be heard on the radio daily…not so much anymore.
Back to the question… I was 6 years old when I bought my first cassette tape. It was 1988 and I lived in the very small, rural community of Lynchburg, Tennessee (yes, where Jack Daniels is made). With that said, Hip Hop and rap music was not big there but I had television and radio at a very early age so I knew what was going on in “pop culture”.
That first cassette tape was MC Hammer’s Pray single, then I got into Naughty By Nature, 69 Boyz, Biggie, Outkast and the list goes on and on and on… No matter how much country, classic rock or metal music I was surrounded by during various times of my life… I always LOVED Hip Hop, always.
It is what it is, I suppose.
How do you write and make your music? What does your creative process look like?
Up to until recently I would just use my studio time to vibe out and create music that sounded good and made me feel good. Whatever came out “in the moment” (that was dope) stayed and everything else got erased or turned into something new.
More recently I have been teaming up with independent bands of all genres outside Hip Hop to remix and collaborate on blending my style of Hip Hop production with whatever style of the song I vibe with enough that I get the itch to want to remix it. Sometimes there’s a break, intro or a riff in a song I can’t get out of my head; those are the songs I typically remix (as long as the band is cool with it).
My forthcoming Purgatory EP is 6 songs of this nature where I teamed up with indie musicians from all over the globe and various genres to create Hip Hop versions of their music. The release date is still TBD.
Who do you think is making an important impact in the Hip Hop world today?
So many people there’s no way I can keep up or even attempt to bring light to all of them.
Gregory Jerome in OKC. Paul Willis in Sacramento. The whole Team Backpack movement. Chuck D is still doing HUGE things after all these years. Masta Ace is still doing HUGE things after all these years (creating, touring, educating) despite having M.S.!! KRS-1 is still impacting Hip Hop as always and all the artists who study, overstand and realize Hip Hop is a culture and a movement intended to bring positive change and impact to your tribe of people and the communities around you.
Do you make your own beats?
What prompted you to record the song “Angelo’s Breakdown”?
I will just leave two links for anyone that wants to know the full story involving the burning down of a 300 year old log home.
It could be considered bizarre or crazy by some but this is actually an older song written in 2006(ish) that I never officially released. It is a collaboration with my long time friend and partner C Bret of Stephenson Rd, based in the rolling hills of rural middle Tennessee.
Angelo’s Breakdown (video with vocals) | Angelo’s Breakdown (story video, no vocals)
Below is the new video form Sacramento’s own, Dirk Dig, featuring another local R&B artist, Levi Moses. Something smooth for the grown folks to vibe to. Single from Dirk Dig’s upcoming album “Past, Present, Future”
Shot and edited by: Emoe
Unlimited Sounds Publishing & Distribution is proud to announce the addition of White Knuckle Riot to our team of artists, songwriters, and producers.
White Knuckle Riot was formed in California in order to deliver the people a politically charged message, conveyed in heavy rock, haunting lyrics and driven desire. Each member of the band has 20+ years of musical and entertainment experience. Having shared the stage with countless powerhouse bands over the years such as Avenged Sevenfold, Papa Roach, Deftones, Seether, Chevelle, Stone Temple Pilots and many, many more! Through a chain of events that can only be described as destiny, the 5 members of WHITE KNUCKLE RIOT have converged into this powerful entity and are spreading the message of political dissent through heavy rock music.
Tennessee based Antler Hopkins released their new album Eat People on May 20th. The guys gave us a few minutes of their time for the below interview where we discuss making baby music (without any babies) and how being around Nashville influences some of the music they create.
What do you think makes a band successful?
Patience, passion, unity well really the relationship is the biggest part of it. Not only are we band members but we’re best friends. We would say what truly makes a band successful is at the end of the day being able to say that we’re great friends wanting to make baby making music, without the babies, and instead of just saying we’re a band.
Success is measured in many different ways but having friends there enjoy the spoils of said success together, that’s just Antlers way of success!
Has your style changed from when you first started making music?
Crazy thing is that our style changes with every song we write! It’s just one of the awesome perks of having four different musical backgrounds in a unity to calibrate with.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
The space between our left ears and our right ears Oh and Miranda.
What does your creative process look like?
Jeff and Bruce are the lyrics master minds of what is Antler Hopkins. So they would just have the lyrics and an idea of how the song would go. So Quan and Justin comes in and the music and the groove! So in better words Jeff and Bruce are like the raw uncooked chicken and when Quan and Justin comes in they add
Is there something about the Nashville area that contributes to your creativity as an artist?
The fact that our songs have a lot of religious undertones. Oh, and the song sycamore is like an homage to Nashville.
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Get to know Whorrifick by checking out his exclusive interview with Unlimited Sounds. Whorrifick explains how he first became inspired to write music, where he draws his influences from, and why he decided to title his new EP “Vomit“, available July 1, 2016.
When did you start making music? Has it always been an important part of your life?
I started making music at a very young age, I would guess around 9. Back then I wanted to learn to play guitar! I was taking lessons and had a little starter acoustic guitar my Mom had got me for my birthday, but it just never really stuck with me though. Back then I would try to write songs, and lyrics were what I enjoyed, from what I can remember the songs were crap, but I guess every 9 year old has to start somewhere hahaha! But Music has always been a HUGE must in my life!! It took years in between back when I was 9 to around 20 to get back into creating music, but music has always been an energy source for me!
Where does the inspiration for your music come from? What is it about Hip Hop that draws you to the genre?
My inspiration comes from just the want to accomplish! I am never satisfied and definitely my biggest critique. To me Hip Hop has always been the genre for meaning and power! The power to not even hit harmonies, and just be clear with each and every word delivering a voice and message in every single one of those words, that’s power! Add that to rhyme and bass and you have what I consider, absolute art! I love all music, but I can not scream or sing; however, I can rhyme and my voice naturally stands out. I honestly feel Hip Hop found me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way, that power I speak of can accomplish great things. My goal is to bring a message in every track, and reach people beyond just a catching beat, I have always used music as therapy and I guess you could say now I am wanting to help be someones therapist, while acting as my own, getting out my life into music.
How do you come up with new music? Do you use stories from your own life or from other’s experiences?
My music is like my diary. My music is motivated by my own life, I just write what comes to me and what I am feeling during that time. When I first started writing, I wanted to follow the rule of being a true artist! My closest friends and family listen to my music and learn things they never knew about me, because I do not speak about it. My music is truly my release, and I feel it is honest music like that, that has the power to connect to others and help others get through the same shit.
Who are your biggest influences? What motivates you to keep going?
Musically I listen to so many artists and so many influence me, I mean I have a huge Marilyn Manson portrait on my right inner forearm, and on any given day you could walk in to my listening to Earl Sweatshirt then Pasty Cline. And with journalistic music like mine, I think life influences me the most and looking at what other artists have done that connected me to them on that deep level where you use their music constantly for anything from stress relief to pre game motivation. I keep going harder, because I want to get better and better as an artist and I want to give people who have gotten me here, a better life. I do not have any goals to be driving a Lambo, but I do want to be paying my Mom’s bills! And just the thought of having that ability, makes me hustle.
Is there a message or a specific theme that connects all the songs included on your new album, Vomit?
Vomit for me is the tell all of things I have kept in for years. I put pen to paper and just wrote all the shit that has troubled me and made me who I am. The theme, I suppose is honestly. No club beats, no pop-ish 5 word chorus over and over, none of that shit, just straight lyrics over a beat that allows you to not just hear, but feel every word I am saying.
Why the title Vomit? And how did you choose Whorrifick as your artist name?
Vomit first came from the top single off the EP, Vomit, which I titled because it is just that, me spitting up the crap I have down deep. Then after writing the whole EP, I felt that track exhibited the feeling of the whole EP, and just explained the EP in one word. For my name, it was just something new and interesting I felt to Hip Hop and Music! Years back, one of my favorite Metal bands, Motionless in White, had an EP ‘The Whorror” and I liked that play on words, then I took it and changed it to me. Hence, to me Whorrifick describes me, the real me, I am different, crude, and like to be funny and inappropriate you could say, but I am also serious and I guess “darker” than most people would call it lol….to me it fit. Like my music, my stage name is still like my real name, referencing the real me.
Featuring smooth beats, thoughtful lyricism and addicting melodies, “Chakra” by Speck Rex, available Friday, May 20th, is a new work that the hip-hop world cannot overlook.
Speck Rex has been on the hip-hop scene for a few years now since honing his craft while in college. He has matured throughout the years as an artist, which can be heard in his SoundCloud archives. Warm up to his sound with hits such as “Comets” and “October”.