About a couple weeks ago I answered some questions asked of me by the folks or www.thegoodlook.net pretty exclusive stuff I'm sharing with you. The interview is only viewable to subscribers to the good look new media service. But You're cool I'm going to let you get a peak.
Meet The Good Look Artist
The Renaissance Renegade with the ENDLESS Bag of Tricks.
Picture a space pirate on a flying ship that time travels. The ship is shooting rockets everywhere and blasting funk, rock and electronica from chunky ass speakers, and every once in a while you hear the space pirate reciting only the most intense lyrics through a loudspeaker he bought at a pawn shop on the Moon. Now you kind of have an idea of what it's like to know my boy Conscious. He's the type of dude that will randomly stroll up on you in a dark Manhattan bar and just start talking business plans. Not the typical "Yeh son, so I'm about to drop this album next month" rapper plans. I'm talkin "Yeh, so I'm about to integrate my live art and web platforms to start aiming at this punk rock demographic" type plans. After discussing his plans in the heaviest of New York accents and with the gnarliest of snarls, he'll give you feedback on your plans and THEN introduce himself. Without smiling. Matter of fact, I kinda just described how we met. Years after our first meeting, Conscious has become a good friend, a trusted sounding board and one of my favorite artists. At first it was just because he's a breathtaking lyricist. The more I got to know him, it was because he's also an equally prolific songwriter, musician, poet, visual artist, graphic designer and God knows what else. And here's what I get for picking his brain.....
If your life was a movie and you’re constantly scoring it with your own music, what’s the plot of the Conscious movie.
Very Seinfieldish. A movie about nothing. How'd you come up with that question...?
Because your life is a movie that you’re constantly scoring with your own music. So who’s the arch-nemesis in the movie?
People that mangle classic songs by unjustifiably doing covers! Look. If you can barely sing your own songs... Leave everyone else's alone.
Well you’re gonna hate me next year then, we might as well end our friendship now. I’m covering every song I ever loved next year, and some of them will be terrible, I promise. So how about that Barack Obama?
Yes We Did! But now, what will we do? It's about time we focus our attention inward and start making moves to clean the filter out the muck in our immediate environments. Personal responsibilities handled in ‘09 is the true ticket! Whoa!
A lot of people hear your name and automatically start to think you’re some preachy positive hip-hop guy who burns incense at his Native Tongue shrine. But I know you, and I know better. And sometimes, I even prefer to call you "Blackbeard". Why do you stick with the Conscious moniker?
It just works... You kind of stick with names that make sense. Some folks have a tremendous time with figuring out what to call themselves. It just so happens I happen to be aware; for the most part. Conscious means aware... it works. I do have aliases. Rokstar Charlatan, The Bronx Über Villain... Those names make sense for the movements they are a part of. What's in a name anyway? Well... letters.
There’s some dude traveling to a distant planet in a spaceship that is only playing your music. The trip will take him about one year. Describe what his mind-set will be when he lands.
Confused. Frightened. Curious. Not because of my music but by the 'fashion' that will catch his eyes. Both males and females in skinny jeans hanging down to their knees. Seriously though depending on how he internalizes the music the outcome could go in multiple directions. I feel I offer up a rather diverse scheme of sound and audio word content to accompany the tunage where our space traveler will definitely have some words for me good or bad. There will be some sort of reaction. I'd only hope it would be one of not wanting to vaporize me with some phaser gun.
I always looked at the Bronx like it’s own planet. Many people who love hip-hop have never been to the borough where it all started. What’s life like in the Bronx? Shed some light on it for the folks who’ve never been there.
I surely do not want to paint an unflattering picture of the Bronx to those who have never travelled here. But, I can't honestly say I'm incredibly in love with living here. There's a kind of stagnancy here. There's almost a stifling, stiff invisible mess that clouds our breathing air at times. The Bronx in my opinion does not have the same vibration that say Harlem has or certain parts of Brooklyn. It's rather dead. There's no electricity here with the people. Surely there's more going on then I'm probably aware of. But you do not instantly get any feeling of productive movement when you enter this borough. I just don't feel it. Maybe it's just me. Maybe I need to create it.
It definitely has it’s own aura….
I've been thinking about doing some live art here and pulling in a few artists to do the same. Posting up on like the Grand Concourse with easels and doing random pieces of art just to change the monotony of the average person’s day here. We'll see. [Go to] iareart.org. There will be information about that there soon.
What are you working on right this moment?
I'm working on figuring out what made me stop being so productive. Most folks would say I'm crazy because I'm always making some new music or art.
And I agree with them.
But I'm talking about trynah restart the engine that I had burning that was getting me on various stages, filling up my resume with interesting accomplishments and finding my face or words written about me in various magazines and on television sets abroad. It's been incredibly hard to focus in the last almost two years. Sitting on the cusp of success as far as 'being known/wealth'; I've smelled it. Tasted a tad bit of it and even held it in my grasp for less then a brief moment. Hurts. I've been working toward just being financially sound for more than me. It's for family, for friends. I want to be able to create opportunity. On a large scale. I want to be able to satisfy those onlookers that for years and years approach me with same the question; “Yo, why aren't you on”. I've been sitting in limbo. I'm tired of getting to know me. I'm working on building that momentum, getting enough push behind me to finally get up that hill. I know the answer is to strip down. So I'm stripping. Full Monty.
Don't think it's all bad though. I don't want you guys to read this and be thinking “oh god this dude is gonna take his life or someone else's. I'm actually a pretty happy dude. Patient. And aware of everything around me. There's a great few albums being put together. Innovative, genuine music. Quality work that will stand the test of time. There's the finding of my voice to actually sing. Not just record but to do it live. The new year will bring forth much. There will not be a new me. Just a reconfiguration of what has always been. Faster Stronger Better. Not! Jokes.. Im kidding... Come on have a sense of humor... Smile...
Do you plan on smiling in any of your pictures in the near future?
Anybody who’s known you for more than five minutes knows you have about 20 different projects and a catalogue of hundreds of songs. What are the two projects (musical or otherwise) that have the majority of your attention right now?
I've been laboring over this Magnavok7 album entitled Let Her Bomb. It's an Alt/Rock minimalist record. Well that's what I've been describing it as. It's an interesting thing to be working with an invisible band. Yes. Exactly. I've been getting some feedback on a few of the tracks and it's been pretty positive. There's one song in particular that has gotten an overwhelming response. “One Couple”. Mind you only the rough reference version has been made available online. Part of the reason is to test out a handful of net applications that distribute new music to fans and take advantage of the fact that we are now in an age where we can share our works in progress with them. It's an interesting time. Anyway, the song is probably one of the best works I've contributed to creating I think and it's seems to be appreciated across the board, even by those folks that wouldn't normally dig this type of music. The song is rock, punkish. Yeah I said it the other way around. Deal with it.
Where else can The Good Look family find you online?
Are there any other independent or not-so-well known artists out there you’re listening to that people should know about?
Sumkid, Gif, Kalae, Coole High, The Black Horde, Cavalier of The Dugout, K-Swift, Elucid
Where’s the best place to eat in the Bronx?
Couldn't tell you. Probably home if you know how to cook.
"Neck on Froze"
"Smilin on the Inside"
Finding Conscious Online
So I finally found a friggin template that I like and started working on my website. It's totally ridiculous that I haven't had one all this time, but whatever... I want you guys to check it out and stay posted. www.iareconscious.com Keep on reading and most importantly commenting so that I know you're out there. Shout out to Lateef Dameer who reached out after realizing he recognized me at a Ghostface show in NYC. Using the power of the internet for good. One day at a time. So the official iareconscious website will basically keep you up to date on the madness that I create, where I'm going to be and things of that nature. One of the things I'm really excited about is the journals I'll be writing to share the process of creating two great album in Magnavok7's 'Let Her Bomb' and The Bronx Über Villain's, 'The Bronx Über Villaini'. Of course they'll be new photography and painting projects. Also look for frequent drops of new and old audio... basically a wealth of art to share with you. Hoping you find some sort of benefit from ingesting it all.