Life On Wax Interview

LoW:In an earlier conversation we were having you said that you are starting not to care what people think about your music-- then what is the point of making music?

Nah I didn't start to 'not care' what people think about my music, I was talking about not caring what other people think about music I listen to. Or rather, their opinions about certain artists that I happen to like. Some people tend to believe that what they say should stop me from liking what I like, or that I'm crazy because I like certain things. But, then my music comes up.

As far as not caring what people think... It's more so I'm not worried about what people think. It's a better way to phrase the statement.

I do not create to cater to people. If I did, then I wouldn't be creating anything true. It would be contrived. It wouldn't truly be art. I personally am willing to do me. A lot of people aren't. I know that I create things that people will gravitate towards. If you're not gravitating toward it then it's not meant for you, or perhaps you're just not ready for it. It's not my job to worry about that.

LoW: As a MC, are you content with a small fanbase? Or do you strive to have a larger audience? Did you ever have aspirations to be THE top rapper in the game or was that never a thought?

I'm more then a rapper. I enjoy creating music man. But I do much more then rap. Your fan base grows as you put yourself out. I've been in an out of hermitage. So I'm not too concerned about it. I've been fashioning my network and doing a lot unseen. My art, as far as music, is deeper then me spitting rhymes.

I have music in films. I've done music for theater. I'm looking at licensing. I've had a ringtone contract for over two years. I'm getting back into playing music, formulating band situations, and various combinations of performing artists thinking toward those larger shows. I'm more concerned with the quality and diversity of the music I'm responsible for. Being known by millions is only a matter of time. I ain't too worried bout it. Rapper. That's too funny.

It is kind of funny, because that is only a portion of the art you accomplish. What other forms of art do you do and how did you get into each of the artforms?

Conscious: I paint. I'm a photographer. Somewhat poet and a writer, and I act. Trying to lean into some comedy stand-up-ish stuff. Recently I started incorporating some of the material I write into my 'hiphop' sets. As far as how I got into those different movements of art. I just picked them all up. Felt like taking a picture. Getting on stage and doing improv. There's no real story about any of the art and how I came into it except for the poetry thing.

LoW: What was the story behind poetry?

Conscious: The poetry was a springboard into some of the other stuff. I started doing the poetry seriously after writing a lot about police violence and social injustice. I posted a lot online in this old forum called Fireseek a while back. I met a good friend there as well.

Between posting poetry that got tremendous response and seeing this new friend perform I was basically forced to do it. I had no choice. From there I got into hosting open mics and slams and all kinds of events. I developed a stage presence.

Increased confidence and the realization that I was doing something that motivated others further fueled the flame. When you see that you can affect positive change. Its thrilling. You have to continue.

LoW: And you brought that thrill to prisoners, is that correct?

Conscious: I think the females where more thrilled. I Had a partner that worked in the education department at this Federal joint in the city. And basically he'd schedule to have poets come in and perfroms and speak with the inmates.

Definitely and interesting experience. Something I'd like to do more. Once I've got some things in order. It was a great opportunity. I appreciated the experience.

LoW: Your paintings are kind of wild, free, and colorful-- what is your muse as a painter?

Conscious: Life. Transferring energy. Getting people to open up unused channels in their brains. Getting more folks to enjoy art. Unfortunately, lots of people are intimidated by art. The art world is strange. But it really shouldn't be that way.

Just like music has an ability to affect your emotional state. Calm you or rile you up. Visual art can speak to you in ways that sound can't. People can be motivated by visual art once they're able to be loose and enjoy its full scope. Expanding their minds and full potential. I like to paint live and speak to people while I do so.

LoW: Does that mess with the interpretation of the art? Do you actually explain what you are painting, feeling, and expressing?

Conscious: No, I don't explain much at all. I ask people what they see. The biggest problem and reason why people are afraid to approach most art is because they don't wanna feel stupid for not knowing.

Most times with humans there's this fear of not knowing things and looking like a moron. Suffering embarrassment and ridicule. I ask people what they see. What they feel. I get them to engage their imaginations and to think laterally. That's the purpose most of my art serves. That's where I am currently.

LoW: Versatile creativity seems to be seeping through your pores- where you raised to be creative? Or were these art forms things you were attracted to and learned by serendipity?

I think I was raised to be free to do what I wanted for the most part. To explore and none of my talents were stifled. Not to be afraid to try things and not to worry about what people had to say about what I wanted to do.

I don't know about everyone else, but I feel like most times your talents are something that just appear and if you exercise them and have a passion, with practice and study they become more and more refined over time. Perhaps you may see something that peeks your interests.

Realizing the talent you already have you may consider this new thing and add it to your arsenal. When you are confident in what you do you tend to be open when you find newer things that can enhance what you're already doing, or just take you in an entirely different direction. I want to experience as much as I can through art. Living through art you have infinite channels to stroll through if you so choose.

LoW: What about if the ideas behind George Orwell's book '1984' came to surface and even demolished creative thought, art, music, and free thought- where would Conscious be as a person and what would do you think you would do?

Probably be killed.

be killed or kill?

Conscious: Both.

LoW: Another thing you are apart of that I caught on film and enjoyed was the 'Subway Series.' Can you explain what that is, the thought behind it, and where people can join or see it unfold?

Conscious: Hmmm. The Subway Series is like a Hiphop party on the train. Currently organized in NY by Kid Lucky of Beatboxer Ent . (.. m -->http://www.beatboxerent.net/.. m -->) Emcees, poets, musicians, beatboxers, dancers and onlookers meet at various locations. Riding different subway lines. Freestyling and just having a crazy cypher during the ride.

On the way back from the destination to where the ride begins there's networking and exchanging of business cards. Kats sell cd's If we have any press coverage. People get interviewed, do drops. It's a very interesting event. It's been covered by quite a few media outlets.Village Voice, The Source, NBC, NPR...

LoW: Wow, any altercations or persons trying to stop the series?

Conscious: Nope. Never had a problem. We even did it on the Staten Island Ferry. The thing about the Subway Series is in the midst of Hiphop being seen in a poor light we prove that it's not just the mess they broadcast. Sometimes you have to take action and show and prove. Instead of being mad that people are talking badly about you. This is the age of digital tech and web, there's no excuse not to be able to show people more then just the surface of things.

LoW: With all the positive and talented hip hop artists out there today- why do you think hip hop STILL gets a bad rap?

It's an age of taking responsibility for the art we do and archiving truth. Because its a powerful source and those that perpertuate the poor images realize it. Its like the Black Panthers doing things in neighborhoods changing things for the better.

They were deemed militant and made to look as if they were blood thirsty maniacs. If you have something like Hiphop that has the potential to affect change globally and destroy the structure that's keeping people in a daze, if you're part of that system that wants things to stay the same, you gotta exploit all means to destroy the entity that has the power to destroy you.

Pretty simple. And at the same time money is being made. Ha ha. Killing two birds with one stone.

LoW: If you had the chance to speak to the young hip hop fans of today what would you tell them? Will the culture still be there for them to enjoy in the future? What can hip hop supporters do to preserve the positivity within the culture?

Man I tell kids the same things I tell adults. Be true to yourself. Separate from your ego from time to time and step outside yourself and see the bigger picture. I have no idea what the future holds. I try to live in the moment as much as possible.

True supporters pretty much know what they should do and for those that don't, be active. Be responsible. Help to archive and make records of everything. Take photos get film footage. Share information. Don't complain, affect change. That's it.

Life On Wax

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