I'm proud to say that I had the privilege of being a part of a video that made it into this year's Village Voice Best Of 2005.
If you've been paying any attention at all you'd know that I act and do improv. Well earlier in the year I did a cameo in NYC's hiphop group The Blue Room's video 'Show Me The Money'.
In the post—9-11 terror-alert-orange Big Brother-searching-our-bags era, this one-camera underground gem, shot on the subway in the wee hours of the morn, may be the last of its kind. SHOW ME THE MONEY is a fun, tongue-in-cheek premise. Jor-El as hobo-rapper (complete with raggedy boarding school T-shirt) deliciously captures the essence of kids selling candy—not for no basketball team or nothing, just for themselves. "You do it for the love?" "Nah, show me the money!" True indeed. -Patrice Evans
Anyway, where am I going with this rant? What's the point? Well the point is, I'm releasing the Neo Retro Spectro Graphiks Vol.1 mixtape consisting of 4 years worth of music from various albums I have released during that time period as well as unreleased music and tracks from forth coming projects... Make any sense to you ? Well it makes an awful amount of sense to me. First off, if you've made some good music it's meant to be heard, doesn't matter when it was recorded. There are miliions that have not heard it. You never stop promoting an album. Micheal Jackson will never stop selling records.
If you've never heard The Hidden Diaries Of Sonny Carson Mixtape, Journal: An Eklektik Journey, Pagan: 1st Movement 1968 or Vinyl Destination, you can get a taste of what you've missed and proceed to get yourself up to date. On NRSG Vol.1 you'll get a sample of tracks from the forth coming album Co-Conspirators and an assortment of unreleased tracks from albums that were stopped short and mixtape songs that never left the studio.
I'm looking at men's diamond watches seeing as in my born date is just around the corner. This mixtape being completed and released to the masses is almost like a birthday gift to me within it's self.
On a totally unrelated note... Actutane lawsuits are just another serious issue in the midst of the million and one that exist in our unbalanced and chaotic society.
"Accutane has been linked to 240 suicides worldwide and has continued to be a controversial subject since Accutane was first FDA approved in 1982. Accutane manufacturer, Hoffmann-La Roche is now facing legal battles as mainly survivors of Accutane suicide deaths have filed suit. Lawsuits allege that Accutane manufacturers failed to warn of the deadly Accutane side effects that can occur and instead, focused on more mild Accutane side effects such as dry skin.
Accutane patients and Accutane survivors are trying to uncover what Hoffmann-La Roche knew about Accutane side effects while failing to fully disclose the dangers to the FDA, physicians, and patients. In addition to a link between Accutane and psychiatric disorders, Accutane causes severe birth defects and even fetal death. The FDA concluded that Hoffmann-La Roche did not adequately communicate the dangers to women using Accutane. Now, Accutane is even linked to an increased occurrence of inflammatory bowel disease and lupus."
Just some interesting information that you probably didn't know about. And it won't stop , won't quit!
Where do we begin? You can call me the 'everything' man. I've been working on various ways to express ideas and share them with folks for the last few years on a larger scale, though I've been an artist all of my life. I'll be 27 in October. I'm originally, from Long Beach, Cali. I've spent the majority of my life between The Bronx and Harlem though, actually, looking to leaving the states to find a new home.
2. When did you start rapping?
I started rhyming professionally in about 2001. It came directly behind me making my first appearances in New York's (Poetry Circuit).
3. Who do you think have been your main influences/inspirations?
As far as making my first step towards performing, it would have to be a very close friend of mine that influenced me the most. A very powerful writer/ performance artist & playwright, she basically was amazing on stage and made me feel a lil bit ashamed for being a grown capable man, afraid to speak the words that I wrote. Around the same time I began to post poetry online on a few sites and became apart of one very important site (Fireseek) that actually spawned a lot of the now flourishing poetry boards that exist today. I also wrote a lot about police brutality and the abuse of power by so called authorities in lower income communities. I received a lot of feedback letters and responses to the majority of what I wrote, mainly from those people that experienced events similar to those I spoke of in my pieces. I realized the importance. And decided that I'd continue by taking advantage of every venue I could speak in. Soon I had become a host of a number of open mics where people could do poetry, emcee or express their selves in whatever fashion they felt comfortable. I've performed in the federal prison system, in churches, colleges, various venues throughout the tri-state area and most importantly for children. I took some time off from it though, to see where I was going. I took some time to rest. One can become overly immersed in what they do. Hiatus from things at times is the best solution.
4. What was the main massages and vibe that you put in to your first album?
Journal: And Eklektik Journey was the first real record I released. I was doing a whole lot of poetry back then. Holding down at least two weekly venues and slamming often. I decided to gather some of my journal entries and just record them. I compiled my poetry with my rhymes and tossed them together as I saw fit. Back then I did an open mic in Harlem where my main focus was to get people to stop being on either side of the emcee - poet divide. So much energy had been and still is going towards trynah separate the two when the two are apart of each other. I figured I'd give both sides something to appreciate and basically open closed minds enough so they could discover on their own what was great about the two. It seemed to work. Same idea came with that album. I didn't wanna do the same lame poetry cd that alot of the people I shared stages with put out. And I wasn't going to do another so called 'Hiphop' album. I did what I do naturally. I did me.
5. What differences can we except in your next release, if any?
Every album I've done thus far has been totally different from it's predecessor. 'Co-Conspirators', the next album set be released on the 'Eklektic Gardens' label will be the first album where I collaborate with other artist on the majority of tracks. I produced the entire album with a less is more vibe, very relaxed and easy flow. Something for those that wanna hear dope emcees spittin rhymes that don't sound like they're trynah be nice on the mic. We have some veteran wordsmiths accompanying the soundscapes. This isn't a party record. And it's not a put you in a coffin EP either. What it is, is some good ol reliable, won't do you no wrong Hip Hop.
6. Are there any artists that you wish to work with in the future and do you have any aspirations to experiment with different genres of music?
I've been producing unconventional Hiphop tracks and some alternative soul / rock tracks. I've always done more then what people deem real ' Hiphop' music. I have an album entitled 'Pulse 2.0' that's in the works. Honestly, most of the album is written and the tracks have been produced. Just need to get the vocals recorded. That's a process. Whole nother state of mind. There's also a 7 track Rock EP I plan on working on in the near future that basically takes a trip through the immense genre that is Rock & Roll. Honestly, I feel at times anything I do will be Hiphop. It's in my blood. And it will only be classified by I the creator of it. When the artist does not have the say in what it is that he/she creates, then the problem begins.
7. Do you regard yourself as an underground or commercial artist?
I'm an independent artist. The moment you sell a record you become a commercial artist. So I am both. People often confuse commercial with mainstream.
8. Who is your main target audience?
Anyone that will listen. Since I'm playing with different genres and making music in general. I have something to offer to a vast demographic that encompasses more then the so-called 'Hood' or cult following pigeon holed 'Indies'. Though there's nothing wrong with those divisions. I just choose not to be apart of the separation game. I have already interacted on stages with wide ranging eclectic audiences. Young and old. Wealthy and broke. There's no limit to amount of persons one can reach. I make music for anyone that can hear it.
9. Seeing that you are 27 years of age do you think that helps in terms of maturity when dropping logic on the mic and has this had any bearing on the choice of your name 'Conscious'?
Nope. Maturity comes with experience not age. The name came from the original poetry pen name Stream of Conscious. I dropped that a few years back. The way I approach art in general, is in a stream of conscious method. Whether it be in the form of a rhyme of a painting. Free flowing and uncontrived. When it's done it's done. No deliberation.
10. Thanks for talking with us! Is there anything else you wish for people to know about Conscious or any messages you want to send out (shout outs etc)?
Just look out for the re-release of the Journal via Violent Art Records. Of course the forth come EP Co-Conspirators on Eklektic Gardens (guest appearances by, Dyalekt, Crooked Scallah, Members of The Black Horde, Dirty Harry, Thinker, Tah Phrum Dah Bush (Filthy Clean Records), Frankie Devualle , Sense, Kaleal Crooks (Silver Pharaoh ) and some other folks who shall remain nameless. Definite shout out to Inner Circle Entertainment, my partner Jigsaw from Allhiphop.com for constant encouragement to do what I'm doing. And a certain new media guru down south that I can't seem to ever get along with that has opened my eyes to what else I'm capable of doing with all this new fangled digital technology. Oh and yeah can't forget Adam Bernard super journalist and host of the In Da Mixx radio show at Fairfield College on Tuesday nights. Check out Adam's blog http://tuesdaynights.blogsome.com
There was a word going around earlier this year that certain manufacturers of Suv's would by standard have gps automatically installed in their vehicles. The theory was that since rappers seem to make Sports Utility Vehicles their choice of transport, that obviously making these modifications in cars bought by them would aide the 'Hiphop Police' in keeping track of them, along with monitoring their conversations. I wonder though where are this hiphop police stuff is and where it's actually going. I thought that it was all started to for the most part keep tabs on those individuals that use their freedom of speech to motivate the masses to think and free themselves from the wrong doings of the magistrate. I thought it was cointelproesque. Now what I'm hearing more of is complaints by individuals that don't have the masses best interest at heart. Who's messages are rather vulgar and frivilous. Those who actually have a track record for being involved in much more then making music. I don't question them being harrassed and being wrongfully infected by these providers of oppression. I just want to know ultimately what the real agenda is of this 'Hiphop Police' group. Who in fact they target? What their true purpose is? & Where the leak is? Who told to begin with that there was a special section of the police. I also wonder that if perhaps there's a differance between the Hiphop Police and the monitoring that has been done and the haraasment of those not so mainstream artist that speak more so about affect governmental change.
It's all rather confusing to me.
As a child though there were times that you'd chew gum or eat mints that kids normally would rebuke if offered. But anything was good when you were sitting in church. For instance. Violets in no way would be the candy of choice for a small child. Honestly, they weren't all that great and if you asked me then I would have said that they probably really had violets ground up in them. There were also an assortment of chewing gums that were likened to adults such as Clorets, Freedent (The only gum I know of that boasted of not sticking to teeth. Dental work. Old people. Kids aren't worried bout that.) and that sugarless gum.(Tasted diet. While it's on my mind. If you happen upon a restaurant that serves Tab. Don't order. Get out of there. And don't be fooled, some of those Fresca's are the old ones that you shouldn't drink).
All this talk about when I was younger reminds me now of two things I did not like.
Davey And Goliath. Scared me. Talking claymation, puppets or what have you just didn't do it for me. Nevermind you're talkin bout a children's show that came on before the sun even rose. It was dark out when it came on. Dark out and weird scary show. Not a good mix. Similar to Zoobilee Zoo and don't let me get started on the friggin Letter People on PBS... yikes..!