It’s refreshing to hear emcees that bring a sincere and connected vibe to the mic. Vee Skeeno is an artist that shines through for us- initially as a member of Connecticut super-group, The Voyagers. For those who can remember or know 90's Hip Hop, the crew had us making comparisons to Souls of Mischief due to the dope collaborative and diverse vibe.
Skeeno (aka Vintage Veez) has been excelling with the release of each track. He’s equally at home rhyming over boom bap beats or more over-produced sounds of modern Hip Hop. Lyrically, he can run with the best of 'em in ...
Insomniac Magazine Interviews ILLPO
North Carolina super group, ILLPO (Mundae Boones & J Bond), has become a major force to be reckoned with by dropping powerful gems like "young boi," "Ali," and most recently "Armed" (with Medicmuzik). Please tell the readers what inspired you to form the group and how many years you've been in the game.
We been in the game 10 plus. We all linked up in college back at NC A&T. It was us and three more of our homies. We were all individually nice, but I think we were in the era of the squads. You were with a team whether it was Wu-Tang, ...
SmooVth interview: Top tier talent in Hip Hop
There's no doubt that #TheWinners (Hus Kingpin, Rozewood, SmooVth, Sean Rosati, Marvelous Mag, El Ay, and other amazing talents) are one of Hip Hop's most impressive rising collectives. SmooVth delivers incredible depictions of street life on each track and possesses a distinctive flow with a laid back vocal style befitting his name. In this interview, one of the prominent members of the super lyricists shares insight into his path within the Hip Hop music industry.
"The love for the culture is what’s missing. Nowadays money is the motive. Back then, people wrote rhymes for a reason. They spit their raps to talk about ...
Insomniac’s Weekly Top Ten: Don’t Sleep On These New Releases
Insomniac Magazine's Weekly Hip Hop Top Ten is here again! Are you up for the action? You better be...'cause it's about to go down!
1) August is almost over but DAVE EAST still managed to drop the banger of the beach-going season with his Mahogany Beatz produced power gem, "All Summer." The Harlem spitter boasts lyrics both confident & humorous("drunk at the ATM, I can't remember what I took out/ Henny coladas, I'm kind'a saucy at the cookout")that keep the party poppin'...and when you hear how Mahogany Beatz revamped the classic "Apache" breakbeat you'll thank the Hip Hop gods for being ...
Chakra Khan: “Love is at the Core” album review
Few independent Hip Hop music artists and groups can rival the inventiveness, creativity and dedication to their craft that Solillaquists of Sound have displayed over the past decade plus. Even more impressive is each group members’ willingness to step outside of the boundaries of Solilla and try new musical and artistic adventures. That’s exactly what we receive with the new collaborative project between SOS members Alexandra Love and DiViNCi as the new duo Chakra Khan on Love Is At The Core.
The factors that immediately stand out with Love Is At The Core are both artists’ uncanny talent to seem almost ...
Insomniac Magazine Interviews Video Director & Entrepreneur – Olise Forel
In many cases, Hip Hop fans are initially introduced to their favorite lyricists through a variety of creative music videos that showcase the style and charisma of the artist. However, viewers rarely get a chance to glimpse the talented visionaries behind the scenes who create the visuals and bring their music to life. Insomniac Magazine sat down with one of the most imaginative and prolific video directors in the industry, Olise Forel, to discuss his creative process, origins in the industry, and business plans for the future.
The Insomniac staff are always impressed by the talent and creativity you place into ...
Hip Hop Spotlight: Knotz keep it moving in the music industry
Knotz has been in the game for quite some time. What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the Hip Hop scene since the 90s?
Dreadchild: The loss of originality and meaningful substance, I would say. And artists who care more about the craft and music.
Aswad Mikal: Style wise a lot of artists are the same, even accent wise- you don't know where they are from. Also, I think the music is more repetitive with the hooks and lyrics in a song and beat driven. There isn't a lot of word play.
How would you describe Knotz’s music?
Dreadchild: All around dope Hip Hop ...
Insomniac Magazine Interviews Eloh Kush
New Jersey lyricist, Eloh Kush, has been building an impressive resume of quality material on the solo tip and as a founding member of Hip Hop collective, Angelz Inc. With the impending June 24th release date of "AngelDus" (a collaborative project between Eloh and production mastermind Dus) fast approaching, the ultra-creative emcee took time out from his frantic schedule for an interview with Insomniac Magazine.
Peace Eloh! To begin, please share some background info for readers unfamiliar with your material or history in the industry.
Appreciate all tuning in and all those who have been on my journey with me from day one. ...
Are You Hip Hop?
You can’t be Hip Hop by wearing diamonds in your mouth. Hip Hop won’t be found in a Bently or an Aston Martin. Wearing brand names like Roca Wear, LRG, or Sean Jean won’t make you anymore a part of Hip Hop than rocking gear from Russell Simmons' American Classics brand at Wal-Mart. Lingo, slang, swagger, jewelry, playing car jacking themed video games or even DJ Hero, won't make you anymore Hip Hop than spitting fire (rapping) will make you legit. It's ironic that today's so called “Hip Hop heads” rely on corporate entities and brands to tell them what ...
Insomniac Magazine Interviews Abstrakt Mind (A:M)
"Hip Hop is fairly new and we should treat this wonderful blessing as a child who should be nurtured and cared for." -Abstrakt Mind
You initially caught our attention & topped Insomniac Magazine's Weekly Top Ten with "KTM Anthem," then pushed the creative boundaries even further with "The Pen To Pad Theory Vol. 1." What do you have planned for your fans on your collabo project with fellow CT lyricist, Mark Da Mighty, as part of new super group, The Saviors of Everything?
Well if I told you I'd have to ki...(laughs) Just kidding. What we have for you guys is something ...
Insomniac Magazine Interviews Hip Hop Producer Endemic Emerald
Endemic Emerald is one of the most talented producers in the game! Kicking off his career in the UK, the behind the boards mastermind has now become a permanent fixture on NYC's underground hip hop scene. Although Endemic spends nearly every waking moment in the studio, he took time out from his busy schedule to chop it up with Insomniac Magazine.
For readers who might be unfamiliar with your history and past material, briefly tell them about your accomplishments in the music industry.
Peace! I have had albums signed and released on labels such as EMI records, Duck Down and IDC entertainment. ...
We appreciate quality Hip Hop here at Insomniac Magazine…and one of the best projects to drop in awhile is DJ Skizz’s star-packed “Cruise Control” album. Here’s another gem to encourage you to cop the joint…the dope as f**k, “Billy Ocean,” featuring Big Twins & Hus Kingpin. Yep, two master lyricists ripping s**t on an ill track! Check it out…
North Carolina super group, ILLPO (Mundae Boones & J Bond), has become a major force to be reckoned with by dropping powerful gems like “young boi,” “Ali,” and most recently “Armed” (with Medicmuzik). Please tell the readers what inspired you to form the group and how many years you’ve been in the game.
We been in the game 10 plus. We all linked up in college back at NC A&T. It was us and three more of our homies. We were all individually nice, but I think we were in the era of the squads. You were with a team whether it was Wu-Tang, Def Squad, Flip Mode, Terror Squad, Native Tongue, Boot Camp, etc. So we just clicked up…called ourselves ILL POSITION…and that was it. Once the team was broken down to two, we cut the name to ILLPO. Also, we grew up in the era where if you couldn’t rap, you didn’t (laughs).
Briefly walk us through the writing and recording process involved in creating your material.
The creative process is simple – Get beat, kill beat, record song. We have been collectively doing our music for so long at this point it’s organic. When it feels right, it feels right.
With the exception of a few acts such as Little Brother and J. Cole, North Carolina isn’t a region widely known for emerging Hip Hop talent. What plans do you have, marketing and music related, to strengthen and firmly establish NC’s presence in the industry?
Allow us to retort (laughs). NC GOT IT!…the world is slowly but surely recognizing. Rapsody (Jamla, Roc Nation), King Mez (Dr.Dre), D.R.U.G.S.Beats (Dr. Dre), 9th Wonder, Phonte, Rapper Big Pooh, Cole…I could really go on and on. On one of our tracks on our joint, Boones said, “Most of my favorite artists is the artists I know,”…Daily Planet and OCfromNC (W.A.T.S!!!!!)
Our plans are to continue giving grass roots, grown man hip hop, lyricism, BARZ, and banging beats! What you tend to realize is that music will overshadow any preconceived notions about region, age, ethnicity, gender, whatever! The presence exists with the support of the gatekeepers like blogs, satellite radio, the internets (laughs)…radio, promoters, festivals…we plan to be around for a long time!
What makes your group different or unique in relation to other Hip Hop acts on the scene?
We come from a different place. We grown, rappers with mortgages off life and Hip Hop. People gravitate to us because of the content, then when they hear and see that the shit is dope they stick around for awhile. If we can get your attention for 6-8 minutes then we got you.
You’ve worked with a number of impressive producers who push the boundaries of Hip Hop music to the next level. Some of those sonic architects include D.R.U.G.S.Beats and Medicmuzik. When did your collaborations with them begin and what other ILLPO projects laced by these particular producers can we expect in the future?
Medic is the homie. He fam. An artist too just like us and we have rocked with each other for years. Like-minded people hang around the same music and that’s how dope sh*t pop off. DRUGS is the producer…family. This will be our second project with the homie D.R.U.G.S. We dropped our first a couple of years ago called “Dopamine.” You can get that on our Bandcamp page – ILLPO1.BANDCAMP.COM. D.R.U.G.S is a monster and provides the perfect soundtrack to our voice. We intend to turn the tides with the next project fa sho! By the way, it’s called “Worst Case Scenario!” We will make sure you guys will be some of the first to get a whiff of that thang!(laughs) We want to make sure we show some love to all that have provided scores on our Hip Hop journey…Ovadose, JJ da Genius, C Boogs, G ROBES, ShowdownBeatz, B Squared (WATS!!!!!)…sheesh. Been blessed to have rocked with so many dope individuals. ‘Almost surreal at times.
What is an ILLPO performance like? Describe your onstage energy and interaction with the fans.
Our show is powerful Hip Hop…energetic conversation rather. We go in and perform to and for the crowd. Come see a show and I guarantee you would come to the next one.
What opinions do you have on today’s music climate in comparison to Hip Hop’s Golden Era?
You would think the climate is great but it all depends on your perspective. It’s people who hate Rap/Hip Hop now because they are only listening to mainstream outlets. There’s satellite radio, internet radio…Great blogs and sites like you guys who provide an awesome source and outlet to hear fresh, fulfilling dopeness. The game has changed. Golden Era was more talent, minimal biz. This era is more biz, minimal talent. Get that money tho’!!!(laughs)
Are there any modern lyricists who stand out to you? Would you like to collaborate with any of them?
Rapsody, Mez, Cole, OCfromNC, Daily Planet, who are all NC…Then I got to throw in WESTSIDE GUNN & CONWAY…FUX WITH THEM! And we would like to collabo with all of them!!!
What is it about their style or delivery that impresses you?
Originality, uniqueness, beats of their own drum. All of these artists are clearly in their own lanes like us and we acknowledge great stuff when we hear it.
What achievements do you hope to reach within the next 5 years?
Be able to maintain and power up our living 100% off of this music. People have different perceptions of what is being successful. When you can live and provide for your family doing the things you love, you are successful!
Any final thoughts? Shoutouts?
Shouts to W.A.T.S., our Upsouth Musik Family, Livewire The Launchpad, B Staples, all the DJs, ENA POP, all our conglomerates on this NC scene and journey, the blogs, the radio stations, the videographers, VA, Warfield, and the whole NC!!!