For Those Who Can't Sleep On Hip Hop

SoliLLaquists of Sound Album “As if we Existed” is The New Sound of Hip Hop

sosalbum.jpgThis one of the most original groups within the Hip Hop world to emerge in recent times. SoliLLaquists of Sound delivers a powerhouse album in “As if we Existed.” Their sound is totally out-of-the-box, soulful militant peace-mongering progressive music that delves in a multitude of genres including Drum –n- Bass, Neo Soul, Spoken Word, and futuristic R & B. With that said, it can be argued that S.O.S. are the Hip Hop forefathers’ dream come into fruition, almost three decades after the emergence of a sound that was supposed to be based upon originality, creativity and positively, but somehow took a mostly negative and destructive turn for a good part of the last decade and a half. Now, the future of Hip Hop makes itself known in DiViNCi, Swamburger, Alexandrah and Tony Combs.

Although you can become immersed in “As if we Existed” upon listening, it is not possible to digest the album’s full essence in one sitting. It’s built with layers upon layers of sound and a barrage of loaded lyrical ammo that aims to kill ignorance, stereotypes and stagnant pop culture with love. DiVINCi is without question one of the most exciting and talented producers out today. Swamburger delivers rapid fire intellectually-laced lyrical bombs so effortlessly that he makes most emcees seem primitive. Alexandrah might just be the most talented female in Hip Hop and soul. And, Tonya Combs adds a touch of spoken word with a soulful eloquence that’s hard to find in urban music.

Here’s are some lyrical samples from the massive track “Mark It Place”:

“I heard that Black and Hispanic consumers were considered the easiest target markets on the scene since Damage and Used jeans…”

And from “Property and Malt Liquor”:

“Blacks were promised 40 acres, but only got 40 ounces…”

This is no hype, the album is something you have to own if you are seeking next level music. SoliLLaquist also have one of the most dynamic live shows in music today. Without question, they are something to get excited about.

For more info visit them at:

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By Khalid J. Strickland
(a.k.a. Dirty Angel)

FREDDIE2.jpgYou do NOT want to be on the recieving end of THESE.

With his intimidating vocals and bullying bars, Freddie Foxxx a.k.a Bumpy Knuckles has secured a well-earned position in the Rap Game over the course of a lengthy career. Never one to bite his tongue, Foxxx has commanded respect by pulling cards and lambasting the evils of a shady music industry, facing confrontation head-on. There aren’t many artists with the prestige of Bumpy Knuckles, a man revered in both the rap game and on the streets alike.

After blessing the masses with acclaimed albums such as the take-no-prisoners “Industry Shakedown” and collaborating with the likes of Kool G. Rap, Gang Starr, M.O.P. and DJ Premiere, Freddie Foxxx is meticulously crafting his new tour de force. Speaking via phone from the studio where he’d been working hard on his upcoming album, “Amerikkkan Black Man” (due for worldwide release in Fall 2006 by Foxxx’s own label), Bumpy Knuckles articulated his current stance on the music business to Insomniac Magazine.

“The days of me jumping in the frontline are over,” explained Bumpy. “When I did ‘Industry Shakedown’ (in 2000) I had no support from none of these rap dudes. They were crying like girls. Like, ‘Aw, Bumpy, why you dissin’ corporate America, dog? They gonna hate us’. You should’ve seen the way guys were folding on me, man. Now in 2006, when I see those same dudes, they’re like, ‘Industry Shakedown is a classic. It’s still spinnin’ in my deck. I want to make an Industry Shakedown-type album’. It’s just such a fake game, y’know? So I would never frontline for none of these cowards ‘cause these dudes ain’t built for that. They left me hanging once and they’ll never do it again.”

Asked what fans can expect to hear on “Amerikkkan Black Man”, Bumpy replied, “On this record I tried to find a medium between putting my message across and keeping my same raw approach. This album is not preachy. It’s not about Black empowerment or anything like that. One or two songs let you know my opinion on some things, but it’s still raw, hard New York Hip-Hop. I’m not trying to do nothing I don’t normally do. I’m not into doing Dirty South stuff and all that. I like to hear the Dirty South stuff, but that’s theirs.”

Backed by top-shelf beats from longtime co-conspirator DJ Premiere, The Alchemist, Clark Kent and DJ Scratch, Freddie Foxxx provides the fire. On the tough-as-nails banger “Art Work”, Bumpy Knuckles forewarns those foolish enough to provoke conflict with him:
“I’m in the hood with the ratchet on me, one in the cockpit / It’s ten minutes after nine and you’ve got a hot minute / ’Smack’ TV talk, it don’t impress me / I’ll swell both your jaws like Dizzy Gillespie / I go hard at any n***a that’s tryin’ to test me / Even major label n****s, they gotta respect me / David Banner told me n****s scared to whisper my name / then I shook that n****’s hand and welcomed him to the game”

In a wicked business where de-clawed and de-fanged artists routinely sell their souls for fame, the man known as Bumpy Knuckles has no problem delivering real talk. While speaking on the music industry’s use of conflicts and “beef” between rappers as a marketing tool, bypassing creativity and skills, Freddie Foxx stated: “Any time corporate America rewards people for being less talented and more dangerous to each other, it’s definitely a sign of not only disrespect for the game, but it’s bad for hip-hop music. You never see the corporate dudes in beef. You never see them in the (newspaper) articles. It’s always the rapper that they can (use) to be the crash test dummy for them. It’s unfortunate. Everybody knows that there are different things that we deal with as Black men in this country. But some of the things we do to hang ourselves is our own fault. We’re tightening the noose around our own (necks). Not to say everything that we do is wrong but there are a lot of things we do to assist in destroying us as a people. We’re all guilty of it.”

FREDDIE.jpgAsked if he’d rather be feared, loved or respected (inside and outside of the music biz), Bumpy Knuckles didn’t hesitate with his reply.
“Respected,” Foxxx answered immediately. “People who fear me respect the fact that I can do them damage if they cross me. People who love me respect me because they know me well enough. Regardless of what they love me for, there’s gonna be some kind of respect. The only problem with the (sic) ‘love respect’ is that you don’t know how real it is. People may love you because you’re getting money, or love because they’ve known you since you were in first grade eatin’ boogers together, na’mean? People can love you for a lot of reasons. A lot of people fear me and don’t know why they fear me. They’re scared of me because they heard a story that someone else told them. Everybody says that I’m intimidating and I scare them or whatever. The ultimate result of both of those is that people respect me some kind of way. So I’d rather just be respected, regardless of why, because I’ve earned it.”

For more information on Freddie Foxxx a.k.a. Bumpy Knuckles and “Amerikkkan Black Man”, check out
For more stories and work by Khalid Strickland a.k.a. Dirty Angel visit and

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Vivica Rayy Splashes Onto The Scene

Interview contributed by Tony “Rescue One” Samuel

277605VivicaRayy_lg.jpgVivica Rayy is a woman that knows what she wants. With a thorough understanding of business and the skills required to be a success in the adult film industry, Vivica is on a mission to expand on her brand and to take the adult world by storm. She is a new adult entrepreneur who has set her sights on being the African American version of Jenna Jameson.

Growing up in Nigeria within a class-based society, Vivica learned early on that having finances was essential to her future. Now living in Atlanta GA, Vivica is ready to use her business savvy to reach new financial heights and to cash in on the reported $10 billion a year industry.

Her new film Analyze This… is already making waves in the adult industry and her determination to be a success cannot be underestimated. Introducing, Vivica Rayy:

Vivica Rayy Interview

Tony S: I understand you were born and raised in Nigeria. How was it growing up there?

Vivica: Nothing extraordinary. Pretty cool…I played a lot…I also went to boarding school for a few years. We live in a class society…where it is pretty much rich and poor, no middle class.

Tony: Did you fall on the rich side or the poor side?

Vivica: I would say…the rich side.
Tony: So you were one of the fortunate ones.

Vivica: Yes. Thank God.

Tony: At what age did you decide to jump into the adult film industry?

Vivica: I was 19, in college and needed money. So, I started off dancing. Then I started my website and one thing led to another. I started making movies last year.

Tony: How many movies have you made?

Vivica: I only produced 2 movies…I would say three, but the other one is not really a movie, it is more like a video. I produced two films and one video. I got another video that will be released at the end of the year. I am graduating this year, so I decided to release a graduation DVD.

Tony: I read you are taking business management. How do you plan to use your degree to further advance your career?

Vivica: I am already using a lot of things I have learned. I dabble in real estate. I own a couple of properties that I rent out. I run my own business. So, I would say I already use my degree. The main reason why I am doing this…finishing my degree is so I can say that I graduated from college. Other than that, I don’t think I am going to be working for corporate America. I think for the most part, I will be working for myself

Tony: Do you own 100% of your production company and website?

Vivica: Yes

Tony: That’s pretty good. Who in the entertainment field do you admire…male or female?

Vivica: I would have to say someone like Oprah because she has done a whole lot and now she is like a big billion dollar corporation. Just from the business aspect… I am not an Oprah fan and I don’t watch her show, but I do like the fact that she is a very good businesswoman. On the adult side, I would have to say Jenna Jameson…because she has found a way to make her own brand. Now she is just making money off of her name as oppose to actually working…which is a place I would like to be in a few years from now. Right now she has girls working for her I would like to be the coach putting players on the field. I am more interested in running my business as oppose to becoming a star. I have no interest in becoming a star.

Tony: Speaking of Jenna Jameson, what would it take for you to reach a Jenna Jameson level type of success?

Vivica: First of all in house (production). You want to make sure you start off with quality production. You want to make sure you work with some top names or some top companies. You have to take time and make your movies. Make sure you have an image for a particular market that you can actually cater to. When people start seeing that you have quality stuff…you can have…reviewed by companies such as AVN…you would need to go to conventions and network with other people. You have to be involved in the whole industry. I think the conventions are definitely the key. You can meet and talk to people face to face instead of emailing someone. You have to work with the top names in the industry. She started off dancing and then she started doing magazines, and then she worked for a very good company…Wicked…a top quality production company. Then she started her own company and website because she had already built a name for herself by working with Wicked. She did a lot of feature dancing tours. It’s all about promoting…Eventually she grew to the status that she is today…It took years. I would say it took her 10 years.

Tony: Why did you start your own company instead of signing on as a contract star with a bigger company?

Vivica: I am a businesswoman so I always wanted to start my own company. I could control my own product and that way reap most of the profits. If you are just a contract star, it is like working for corporate America. The top companies that I would actually consider being a contract girl for probably won’t even look at me simply because I don’t have a name in the industry and I am brand new. The fact that I am African American might also have a play in there…

Tony: Speaking of being a Black woman in the adult industry, what kind of professional obstacles do you encounter as a dark skinned beauty?

Vivica: It’s the same thing as corporate America. People tend to pay more attention to Caucasian women. There is some type of formula, but I still haven’t been able to work it out. I wouldn’t say that being Black has hurt me in any way. I think being new is what is kind of hurting me right now. You have the stereotype of Black girls not showing up for shoots and being irresponsible. If you work on your stuff and make sure you are top-notch…top quality to the best of your ability…then people will take note of that and want to work with you. If you do things in a professional manner, eventually it will pay off.

Tony: From a marketing aspect…being an unknown artist, how do you plan to build your brand?

Vivica: Wow! That is a very tough question. I do my research. I try to see what kind of trends are going on in the industry. Just like any other business. We have a pretty good strategy as far as marketing. We plan to do a lot more appearances and convention. I can’t do as much as I would like to because school ties my schedule down. After I graduate, I plan on attending more conventions…having a guerilla street marketing team…producing quality stuff…

Tony: What makes you different and why should the public support you?

Vivica: Well. The reason why I entered the industry is to show that just because it is coming from a Black owned company does not mean it is not quality. I am quality. There is no one known African American star out there…like Jenna Jameson… I think I am on my way to that level of success. I put out quality stuff that people love.

Tony: Speaking of your movie Analyze This…, were you trying to make any type of statements?

Vivica: (Laughing) I got my whole idea from the movie Analyze This starring Robert De Niro.
Tony: What are you short term and long term goals?

Vivica: Short term tends to annoy me. Long term, I want to make millions…

Tony: The adult industry is under attack in many circles. As an entrepreneur and a starlet, how would you defend your position?

Vivica: I won’t. I have nothing to say. You have to defend yourself if you did something wrong or whatever…I just won’t. It’s a business for me and I am just moving on.

Tony: What was your first job like in the adult biz…were you nervous? How did you feel?

Vivica: I was just ok let’s do it. I was not nervous at all. It was quicker than I expected. I wasn’t nervous at all. It was quite nice.

Tony: What kind of guy are you attracted to?

Vivica: Definitely people that don’t try too hard…educated definitely…people that I can learn from…educated older guys…intelligent, guys that own their own business…because I can actually relate to them.

Tony: Is there anything that you would not do in your biz?

Vivica: (Laughs) I won’t do drugs.

Tony: How does your boyfriend handle your being in the kind of business you are in?

Vivica: I don’t think he is a fan of it. He is not very thrilled about it. The fact that he knows it is a business for me and he knows I am not trying to be a star…kind of comforts him a little. He has seen my movie and he likes it. He gives me feedback and I try to get him more involved.

Tony: Is there anything else you would like to discuss?

Vivica: People can get my movie at my mall. It is in stores in Atlanta and will be coming to other cities.

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Raydar“A Late Pass For Raydar Ellis” (Oct. 2006)
Interview by Todd E. Jones (aka The New Jeru Poet)

Raydar Ellis may have taken a while to reach this point but, he is an emcee who is worth the wait. The hip-hop nation was late in recognizing his talent. Not only should he have been known by the underground already, I should have conducted this interview a long time ago. I should have known about him way before Traffic Entertainment (Karma and Michael Quarterson) sent me his music and assisted in hooking up this interview.
An album about an album, “Late Pass” by Raydar Ellis is helping to bring creativity back into hip-hop music. Released on Brick Records, the LP includes songs about relationships, the struggles of Black actors through the past decades, graffiti, hip-hop culture, fat women, and more. Production is mainly handled by Raydar, but some songs are produced by Hezekiah, 7L, Clokwork, Marty Macfly, The Fundamental, and The Beboy. Guests performances include Edo.G, Esoteric, Project Move, and Shortbus. Standout cuts include “And It Sounds Like…’, “Whatchu Say Dat Deah”, “I 4 An I”, “Pay Homage”, and “3 Steps”. The diverse styles and topics give the album an intelligent depth for entertaining repeated listens. The old school styles of “Whatchu Say Dat Deah” is complemented by the scratched vocal samples on “And It Sounds Like”. Serious issues on the concept tracks “Sambo Song” and “3 Steps” give the album a timeless quality. Every hip-hop fan will need late pass because they should have been bumping this album a while ago. Go ahead and listen, you are already late….

TODD E. JONES: “What goes on?”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “I’m chilling, just got my laptop back from the shop, so I’m hyped. I was on the desktop earlier.”

TODD E. JONES: “Your new CD, ‘Late Pass was just released. Tell us about it.”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “‘Late Pass is something like an organized confusion to me. Not the group, but the way it’s structured. It’s an album about an album. The confusion comes from me popping tapes randomly, in and out of the deck, which become the songs you hear. But, the organization is the reason I’m doing that, to get my album into my label on time.”
TODD E. JONES: “What song on ‘Late Pass took the longest to complete? Why?”

“What song on ‘ took the longest to complete? Why?” RAYDAR ELLIS: “‘3 Steps’, the second single, because of all the places it had to travel. It went from Philly to NY, where I got the beat from Hezekiah at Beat Society. Then, it went to NJ and to MA, where I wrote and recorded my parts. Then, it went to Cali to get Honeylungs on the hook. Then, back to me in Boston. Then, back to Hezekiah in Philly. That song just took forever because of Fed Ex.”
TODD E. JONES: “What is the meaning behind the title, ‘Late Pass?”

“What is the meaning behind the title, ‘?” RAYDAR ELLIS: “It all comes from the label calling me at the beginning of the album saying, ‘You’re late on turning your album in’. So, for the rest of the album, I’m trying to figure out what the album should be. I called it ‘Late Pass because that’s basically what the label gives me on the record, so I can hand the album in.”

TODD E. JONES: “When creating a track, do you have a set theme and pre-written lyrics, or do you start with an idea or the music first?”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “Usually, it is either a theme or the beat first. I rarely write without a beat because I’m always making beats. Like, ‘3 Steps’ was done with the beat first. Then topic, then lyrics. ‘Paint Your Picture’ was concept first. Then, the beat.”

TODD E. JONES: “How did you hook up with Edo.G for ‘Shut Shit Down’? What was that collaboration like? Was it done in the studio?”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “Karma at Brick hooked that up. I had been listening to him for years. When Karma suggested it, I was like ‘Oh Hell yeah! Great idea!’ We recorded at Beyonder’s studio and the collaboration was dope! I felt like a kid on Christmas. He’s a really down to earth dude and very professional.”

TODD E. JONES: “What made you choose the producers for ‘Late Pass?”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “Most of the cats I got down with, I had known for years, like The Beboy, Macfly, and Clokwork. Actually, Macfly was my room mate. So, for ‘I 4 An I’, all I had to do was go across the hallway to get a beat. Hezekiah came randomly, from when I went to Beat Society. I ran into him at the door, copped his album, and asked if he had a beat CD. He hooked me up and ‘3 Steps’ was born. 7L came on board when we were thinking about a remix for the 1st single. But his remix was so dope that we had to put it on the album.”

TODD E. JONES: “How did you hook up with Brick Records?”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “I literally just showed up on their doorstep one

TODD E. JONES: “What is the meaning behind the name, Raydar Ellis?”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “I’m a thinker and a researcher. I like to research random topics when they cross my mind. As a result, my friends were always like ‘You always looking for something. You’re like a radar.’ So, the name was born. I added Ellis because that is my last name.”

TODD E. JONES: “On the song, ‘Power, Money And Influence’ from Guru’s ‘Version 7.0: The Street Scriptures’ album, Talib Kweli remarks that Pro-Tools made producers lazy. Do you agree?”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “In some aspects, yes. In others, no. It’s all dependent on how someone uses it. You can’t, currently at least, open up Pro-Tools and ‘Poof!’ There’s a radio hit, ready to go. It takes time to learn the functions, to learn how to mix with it, to understand how Pro-Tools effects your computer, and to get the best sound for your music out of it. Sure, it’s a lot easier that editing tape, but technology isn’t around to make usually difficult thing harder. That’s customer support’s job. It’s just a different education. I don’t think James Brown knows much about Fruity Loops. Or does he?”

TODD E. JONES: “What are some songs you are most proud of?”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “I’m proud of the whole record. I know, I know. Cliché response. My favorites, at this moment in life, are ‘Applause’, ‘Dickrider’, ‘3 Steps’, and ‘Paint Your Picture’.”

TODD E. JONES: “Who are some producers you would like to collaborate with in the future?”

“Who are some producers you would like to collaborate with in the future?” RAYDAR ELLIS: “Madlib. I got a specific song in mind, concept first. D&S, Dawaun Parker, Ge-ology, Spinna, and everyone from this album again. Why stop now?”

TODD E. JONES: “Who are some artists you would like to collaborate with in the future?”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “I’m down to try stuff with damn near anybody. Going to Berkley exposes you to so many different styles of artists. I’m down to work with anyone from any genre. I love music too much to just stay in hip-hop my whole life. I want to do some more work with my homie Christian Scott, maybe a Bjork remix, and stuff like that. Anjuli Stars! She’s dope!”

TODD E. JONES: “What LPs have you been listening to during the last couple of days?”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “Some Mandrill, Charlie Watts, Hank Mobley, with a little Manu Dibango on the side.”

TODD E. JONES: “Some songs on ‘Late Pass have live instrumentation. Creative-wise, how different is creating a song with live instrumentation as opposed to the usual way?”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “It’s definitely different, as far as constructing the instrumental, because I’m working with other people. So, before I want to change something on a record, I have to check with six other people, The Fundamental. As far as the writing and recording of the lyrics though, it’s pretty much the same. They just let me go off to write and record the way I usually do it. But, neither side is more difficult, just a different approach.”
TODD E. JONES: “The song, ‘3 Steps’ is about the full life-cycle of a romantic relationship. Do you still speak to the woman in question? What is your relationship like now? Did she ever hear the song?”

“The song, ‘3 Steps’ is about the full life-cycle of a romantic relationship. Do you still speak to the woman in question? What is your relationship like now? Did she ever hear the song?” RAYDAR ELLIS: “Her and I still communicate every once in a while. Mostly, a text message here and there on holidays. My relationship with her is cool, but I haven’t seen her in about a year. She still hasn’t heard the song though.”

TODD E. JONES: “How much of ‘3 Steps’ is actually true?”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “All of it, the whole shebang.”

TODD E. JONES: “How have women reacted to the song, ‘Fat Chicks’?”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “A whole bunch! Most ladies I run into, who have my album, say that it’s their favorite song. The only complaint I’ve gotten is from skinny girls because I didn’t do a song for them.”

TODD E. JONES: “My favorite track on ‘Late Pass is ‘And It Sounds Like’. Tell us about the creative process of this track.”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “I wanted to set that song as a marker for myself. I try my best to be a student of the culture of Hip-Hop. Even though I’m in this industry, there’s always room for growth. ‘And it Sounds Like…’ is like my starting point to hopefully making songs in the same caliber as the records I scratched on the hook. The verses were to let folks know exactly what it took to make this album because it wasn’t easy at all.”

TODD E. JONES: “What is the Short Bus Alumni?”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “The Short Bus Alumni is a group of over 30 of my homies. Most of them make music, but some of them are just homies who like to hang out. We started on the campus of NC A&T. The Short Bus is comprised of 4 core members. They are RuDi Devino, Ansom, Rhimestone, and me. So, there is The Short Bus and Short Bus Alumni. We have other sub-groups inside the Alumni, such as Ex Cons, Bionic 6, Nobody Knows & Nobody Cares, et cetera.”

TODD E. JONES: “What was the last incident of racism you experienced?”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “When I was in Boston shopping for some Fig Newtons. The store clerk kept following me around the store. That was about a month and a half ago.”

TODD E. JONES: “Where were you on the September 11th terrorist attack? How did you handle it?”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “I was asleep, so I didn’t find out till way later in the day. When I found out, I called everyone I knew in NY to make sure they were okay. I spent the rest of the day chilling, discussing the last time we experienced loss and what this event could mean to America.”
TODD E. JONES: “Word association. When I say a name of a name, you say the first word that pops into your head. So, if I said, ‘Flava Flav’, you may say ‘Clock’, ‘Crack’, or ‘The Surreal Life’. Okay?”

“Word association. When I say a name of a name, you say the first word that pops into your head. So, if I said, ‘, you may say ‘’, ‘’, or ‘’. Okay?” RAYDAR ELLIS: “Okay. Hit me.”

TODD E. JONES: “Mr. Lif.”
TODD E. JONES: “Dead Prez.”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “Blackness.”
TODD E. JONES: “Public Enemy.”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “Boyeeeee!”

“Public Enemy.” TODD E. JONES: “Common.”
TODD E. JONES: “Mos Def.”
TODD E. JONES: “Happy Mondays.”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “Office Space.”
TODD E. JONES: “Phife Dawg.”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “Classic.”
TODD E. JONES: “Curtis Mayfield.”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “Legendary.”
TODD E. JONES: “Atmosphere.”
TODD E. JONES: “J Dilla.”

“J Dilla.” TODD E. JONES: “Gangstarr.”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “Consistent.”
TODD E. JONES: “Eminem.”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “Label head.”

TODD E. JONES: “Kool Keith.”

TODD E. JONES: “Akrobatik.”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “Dreads part two.”

TODD E. JONES: “George Bush.”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “Toddler.”

TODD E. JONES: “What is the biggest lesson you have learned in your career so far?”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “That you have to damn near do everything yourself before folks want to offer you what you’ve already been doing.”
TODD E. JONES: “What are some major misconceptions do you think people have of you?”

“What are some major misconceptions do you think people have of you?” RAYDAR ELLIS: “I really don’t know what people think of me. I never really thought about it.”
TODD E. JONES: “What is the main thing that every good emcee needs?”

“What is the main thing that every good emcee needs?” RAYDAR ELLIS: “Love for the culture and an urge to be a student of the culture.”

TODD E. JONES: “Do you have a favorite sampler / drum machine?”

“Do you have a favorite sampler / drum machine?” RAYDAR ELLIS: “I love my MPC 2000XL. Before that, I was using my keyboard to trigger my drums, which didn’t feel as right. I have been rolling with my MPC since 2001. I want to try out the 500 soon. It looks really dope.”

TODD E. JONES: “In The Consolation of Philosophy, Boethius writes, ‘It’s my belief that history is a wheel…. Rise up on my spokes if you like but don’t complain when you’re cast back down into the depths. Good time pass away, but then so do the bad. Mutability is our tragedy, but it’s also our hope. The worst of time, like the best, are always passing away.’ What works of art, literature, or songs helped you maintain?”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “Sandro Boticelli is definitely an artist who helped me stay grounded and loving what I do. His paintings had a lot of symbolism and meaning to them. I’ve always been personally big on that. As far as music goes, Gil Scott Heron’s ‘Pieces of A Man’ got me through a lot! Bobby Hutcherson’s ‘Montara’ relieves me as well. There’s not too much I read that relieves me. I’m a multi-tasker and really fidgety, so I can never really just sit down and do one thing. Ge-ology is another visual artist who keeps me maintaining too. Plus, he’s got beats!”
TODD E. JONES: “Recently, what is a typical day like for you?”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “Wake up, handle the hygiene thing, play records, make a beat, have a Short Bus meeting, check e-mail, look for a place to live in ATL, have a meeting with Brick, search for a booking agent because I still need one, finish some beats for clients, hit the post office, more beats, web designer meeting, client meeting, more beats, eat, play records, and go to sleep.”
TODD E. JONES: “Do you think success and credibility are mutually exclusive?”

“Do you think success and credibility are mutually exclusive?” RAYDAR ELLIS: “Success, for me, is way more an individual and personal thing. I don’t gauge my success by what the masses think. Like, I could make a goal to record a song today, and if I do that, I consider it a success. I think credibility requires more than one person though, because you can consider yourself credible all you want, but it takes someone else to re-enforce the validity.”

TODD E. JONES: “How has your live show evolved?”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “I think, in the past years, I’ve learned how to keep it fresh and fun for myself. I’ve tried different things out. Some of them worked, some of them haven’t, but it took experimenting to get to a level of comfort with a crowd that I didn’t have, when I first started. When I first started rapping, I was looking at the ground and wouldn’t say much between songs. You know? All the new jack mistakes. Now, I just go all out! I have a lot of fun with the crowd now.”

TODD E. JONES: “What is your favorite part of your live show?”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “When I need the crowd to say something and when I point the mic towards them, they say what I needed them to say. That, for me, is where the whole show comes together. That’s the point when a lot of folks look around the room to somebody near them like, ‘You feeling this too? Hell yeah!’ That’s when I’m like, ‘I reached them!’ So, that call and response is very important to the lifeline of a show.”

TODD E. JONES: “What’s the best thing about living in Boston?”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “Brick Records and Traffic Entertainment!”
TODD E. JONES: “What’s the worst thing about living in Boston?”

“What’s the worst thing about living in Boston?” RAYDAR ELLIS: “The high rent, the winter, a lot of the people’s attitudes, the driving, and the fact that everything is closed at 2 AM.”

TODD E. JONES: “Do you have an idea or concept for your next album?”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “I have little bits and pieces of my next solo floating around in my head. Like a melody here, a concept there, and a hook over there. But, I haven’t played a note for it yet. I like to take time to really form my records. You’ll be hearing other projects that I’m involved with before my next solo.”

TODD E. JONES: “What else is next?”

“What else is next?” RAYDAR ELLIS: “The next project you’ll probably hear, that I worked on, will be Project Move’s Raheem Jamal’s solo album, ‘Boom Box’. Then, you’ll hear some more from the core members of the Bus like RuDi, Ansom, and Rhimestone. I’m thinking about a production album, but I want to get some of the aforementioned projects finished first. Also, a record with Clokwork, where he’s on beats and I’m on rhymes. Really straight forward. Also next, is some more work in R&B and learning some more instruments. I’m cool on the keys and bass, but I want step up my guitar skills and pick up a horn.”

TODD E. JONES: “Final words?”
RAYDAR ELLIS: “Thank you to everyone who supported ‘Late Pass. S.B.A. all day!”


Interview by Todd E. Jones aka New Jeru Poet

NOTICE: This interview is property of Todd E. Jones and cannot be duplicated or posted without written permission.

Brick Records:
Raydar Ellis – MySpace Page:

Atlas” by Raydar Ellis (f/ Short Bus)
Raydar’s Big Break” by Raydar Ellis
Raydar Ellis – “Graffiti Rock (Live)” – 8/22/06

Raydar Ellis – “ – 8/22/06

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Planet Hip Hop 3

October 14, 2006

planet hip hop.jpg

Planet Hip Hop 3 will take place at the prestigious New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark, NJ. Planet Hip Hop’s founder and creator Baraka Sele, has created a true international Hip Hop celebration. Her dedication to the community and to the upliftment of young people is extraordinary.

The International Hip Hop Festival will take place from November 9th to the 12th, 2006.

Please visit for more information or call 1-888-GO-NJPAC.

Posted by
Tony “Rescue One” Samuel

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