Sunday, December 4, 2011

Gummy Soul: Amerigo Gazaway

CONCRETE: How and when did you get into DJing?
Amerigo: I started DJing probably early 2000. I was freshman in high school. I got my first Gemini starter set. I just started collecting any kind of records I could get my hands on, mostly 99¢ bin records, dollar bins, hand-me-downs from people's basements, attics, whatever. My record collections at the time was mostly that type of stuff. As time went on I got further involved with jazz, funk, old bossa nova, different types of stuff. My dad (Gary Gazaway/El Buho) is a jazz musician. Through that I've been exposed to a lot of different types of world music. He's played with bands like Phish, Soundtribe Sector 9 and different jam bands. He's been big in the jam band circuit doing his thing for the past 20 or 30 years. So I've always been into music. I grew up around keyboards and samplers and mini-controllers and stuff. So I started as a DJ.

CONCRETE: Your father is deep in the jam band scene. How did you discover hip-hop?
Amerigo: It was through my older brother and sister. They were into hip-hop when I was in middle school. My brother left for college and went to UT Knoxville. I found this shoebox of hip-hop cassette tapes that he left behind when he went to Knoxville. Except none of the cassette tapes were in it. It was all empty covers for Black Moon and Gang Starr, De La Soul, Tribe Called Quest. I was in middle school when I found it, and was like, 'I'm going to go out and buy these.' So I started buying these albums I'd found in the shoe box. I got into hip-hop that way. Then I got my first DJ turntable set, and started collecting any records I could find.

CONCRETE: At what point did you go from just playing music to producing your own music?
Amerigo: It really didn't take long. When I was a freshman or sophomore in high school I got my firs copy of Acid Pro. Which was the program to use back then. So I spent four or five years making beats on Acid Pro with whatever samples I could find. My senior in high school, my hard drive crashed. I lost everything. I lost all the beats I made freshman thru senior year of high school. When that happened I went out and got a Mac. I got a bunch of new programs. That's when me and Josh (Wally Clark) started hanging out. I started relearning in all these new programs like Reason. We kind of learned together. I taught him what I knew. He was really big into soul and funk and he put me on to that. Cause I was always a big jazz head. I was always into weird stuff like sound tracks, kids records, all types of weirdo records. Hanging out with him, he got me really deep into the whole soul thing. That's when Gummy Soul came about.

CONCRETE: You rap too. When did you start rapping?
Amerigo: It just kind of happened. I think just being around it. Going to Hillsboro, they had the studio with Mr. Gabany. A lot of what I did came out of that. Skipping class and going to the studio. Hanging out with people and free-styling. Riding around and free-styling. It was just a natural kind of thing. I never intended on being a rapper. I wanted to be the DJ, cause I didn't like being out in front of people. I wanted to be playing the background. One thing led to another and I started rapping.

CONCRETE: What was the first rap you released?
Amerigo: I haven't released a whole lot. I released that track "Dragon Park" little bit earlier this year, before the "Flood" song. This year in particular has been my first official releases to come out. I released an instrumental album last year on the label Cold Busted and instrumental hip-hop, trip-hop label out of Colorado. As far as the rap goes I've just kind of been sitting on it for a long time. I've been in school is the other thing. I've been in school for like the past 6 years going to MTSU. I haven't had time to work on music like I wanted to. Music got put on hold. Now that I just graduated like a month ago, it's taking off again. I'm really back into the music. And with this new project it's really blown up.

CONCRETE: What was the project you did for Cold Bsuted?
Amerigo: It's called Selective Hearing Volume 1. It's basically what the title implies. I have selective hearing. I hear what I want to hear. I listen to these records and I take only the piece that I want to hear the most and create a beat out of it. That's how the title came about. It seemed like the perfect title for what I do. It's on BeatPort, Amazon, Pandora. That's what's really cool about the label, I didn't have to do much. Just release the album and they get on all these outlets for me. It's been pretty successful. It's been featured on some radio shows in Germany. It's cool to see how that stuff spreads. It's crazy the time we live in.

CONCRETE: Can you break down your new project Fela Soul?
Amerigo: Basically what I did was took samples from Fela Kuti, the father of Afro beat music, and made beats with it. Then I took De La Soul a cappellas and put those on top of it to create new songs or remixes. When people hear mash-up they think Pearl Jam with Jay-Z or Weezer meats Lil Wayne.

CONCRETE: How did you pick the materials from the careers of each?
Amerigo: I was kind of limited in terms of the a cappellas I could find for De La. It was hard to track down some of those a cappellas. I had to order Stakes Is High off ebay and wait like a month for that to show up. It was worth it. I knew that I wanted to have that song, and it ended up being the first track on the album. I'm really glad I waited and actually got ahold of that. I was kind of limited in terms of that. And Fela Kuti is all over the place. If you listen to his music it's really different and cool, but it's really difficult to try and marry the two together and get it to sound right. We had the idea for it last year, fall 2010. Then I forgot about for a long time, cause I was busy with school. It was some time this summer I sat down and started making a beat and I started humming a sample from a Fela Kuti song and I just remembered. The whole idea and vision for it came back to me. So I obsessed over it for two or three weeks and did it.

CONCRETE: What are some of the cool things that have happened since you released it?
Amerigo: It's funny, cause we weren't going to release it until later this year. I was still fine tuning it, tweaking it, trying to get it to sound just right. But then Questlove came in town to play a DJ set at Mai. Anyone who is a fan of The Roots or Questlove knows how big of a Fela Kuti fan he is and how much of a De La fan he is. So me and Josh (Wally Clark) found out he was coming to town decided 'we're going to give him this CD.' So I brought my camera down there and posed as a press photographera dn Josh reached up. The super giant that he is, he was able to reach up on the huge DJ booth of Mai and stick the CD up there so Questlove could see it. We were determined to get this CD to Questlove. Once we were successful at doing that we knew that we had a week to actually release it before Questlove would just forget about it and go on with his life. We got everything together. I mixed the album. I mastered it. We did the video to go with it. We did liner notes. And we released it a week later on Tuesday, September 13. Since then it blew up. Questlove tweeted it to his 2+ million followers. It got a feature on and which is Questlove's website. I really owe a lot to them because they really got the ball rolling. If they didn't pick it up I'm not sure it would have blown up like it did. Big shout out to Questlove for posting it. After that we didn't do much. It spread virally on the internet. In the first two weeks we did over 10,000 downloads and 80,000 plays. That's from our bandcamp. I also found out it's been uploaded to torrent sites and it got a lot of activity there also.

CONCRETE: What are you working on next?
Amerigo: I want to follow it up, but I don't think I want to follow it up with another mash-up project. I think the next thing I want to do is a full length rap album of myself and Gummy Soul. We want to release a Gummy Soul album with myself, Kurtis Stanley and Wally featuring all 3 of us. So I think those are the two projects I'm going to focus on for the next few months. Everybody's been begging me for my rap album forever, and I've been in school and haven't had time. I've just been releasing instrumentals and remixes. That's where my true passion lies, so that's something I have to cross off my bucket list so I can move on to other projects. I think that's where we're headed. We got a lot of stuff in the works. Kurt Stanley has a video coming out for his tracks off the Gummy Soul album. We're going to be releasing singles in the mean time just to keep the buzz going.

CONCRETE: DJ, producer, rapper, which is your favorite?
Amerigo: That's a tough one. I think when I started making beats that was cool because I felt like I was one of the only dudes in my high school that did it. Now everybody's a producer. Everybody's a DJ. And everybody's a rapper, but I think rapping is unique. The way I put words together is unlike anything that other people are doing. Everybody's different in terms of lyrics. So I'm going to go with rap.

CONCRETE: Any last words or shout-outs?
Amerigo: Shout out to everybody who downloaded Fela Soul and reposted it., for getting the ball rolling. All my Nashville peeps and people who have supported me over the years. My brother (Rickey Mindlin) he's my manager and he's been a huge help through all of this. And my parents.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gummy Soul: Kurtis Stanley

We've been knowing Kurt since before he was Kurt and before we were CONCRETE. He's always had a presence on the mic. Freestyle sessions at Bracey's crib in Knoxville during Monday Night Football were a must see! In the years that followed Kurt Stanley has harnessed that raw presence into a flow and show of irresistible feel-good. Most recently he got down with producer Wally Clark and helped solidify the Gummy Soul brand. They've been churning out some bangers and raising their bar on every record and with every show. Here's a quick Q&A with Mr. Kurtis Stanley.

CONCRETE: How did you link up with producer Walter Clark and start working together?
K. Stanley: It was a mutual friend Dave Meador, DJ Tommy Ill. He's a DJ. We me t in Knoxville. Josh (Walter Clark) knew Dave. That's a long story. Basically we all met up in Atlanta through Dave. It wasn't here until recently that Dave made the bridge between me rapping and MCing and Josh actually making beats. He was like, "Hey man you should get in touch with one of my dudes. Actually you know him, Josh." I was like, "Cool." He put us in touch and from there we kind of felt each other out. See the different styles and made sure it meshed. Then we immediately got to work. We didn't even have a solid plan moving forward. We were still just feeling each other out. The first thing we recorded was "Right On" the mian single from the Gummy Soul album we released.

CONCRETE: What projects did you do between Obtuse Music and Gummy Soul?
K. Stanley: During that time it was kind of like a lull. The same thing, a friend of a friend Bracey Halbrook he went to school with a cat Kent Gillum who is at Dirty Cabin. The Obtuse thing was a great experience, but it wasn't necessarily the exact sound that I was looking for. I wanted to get more into the sample based production. Bracey pointed me in the direction to find Kent. Again, me and Kent got together checked each other's style. It worked. We made an album called Time's Flying. It was very, very underground. It turned out great though. We really want to go back and release that. Those guys are still in the picture. I always talk to Bracey. These guys are in my group of peers that I like to send new music to. The relationships were never ended on any kind of sour terms. It's just life happens and on to the next. But they're still very close friends of mine. Kent actually mixed the Gummy Soul project for us. That was courtesy of Dirty Cabin. The sound on it was excellent.

CONCRETE: What is Gummy Soul?
K. Stanley: Gummy Soul is really a collective. Amerigo and Wally were already doing so many things. It started with Wally, and Wally had a radio show at UT but also the most prominent one and one he became known for was the show at Vanderbilt, WRVU. He had a great show with a wide listenership across Nashville. That's really where the brand got it's first recognition and starting getting a feel for what this guy is about.

CONCRETE: Today, is Gummy Soul the collective?
K.Stanley: Yeah. There's a lot of different dynamics. We put on a hell of a show. At the same time it is a production house. There's two producers Wally and Amerigo, but they're also DJs. Multi-faceted, multi-talented, and where I fit in is I'm the artist on the label with the lead project titled Gummy Soul. It was fitting because it was kind of an introduction in terms of them being producers not DJs. I'm the MC which is what I'm known for. We combined forces. I think that best describes Gummy Soul currently. That doesn't limit it to what it could be. The plan is obviously to continue growing.

CONCRETE: You also did Gummy Soul Meets The Stuyvesants. How did the project with that Brooklyn collective come about?
K.Stanley: That was something that Wally told me about and introduced me to that project.I listened to it, probably for a week straight. I was like, "Man this shit really, really feels good." And it feels similar to what we were already doing. Why don't we bridge the gap? This is music city. We're known for all kinds of different music. Obviously a lot of country, but there's so many scenes that are going on in Nashville right now. There's this new breed coming up, all these different cats, different sounds. We wanted to open the listenership for people who are here in Nashville for those guys up there. Because we really respected and appreciated the kind of music they were doing.

CONCRETE: How did the recording process for that work?
K. Stanley: It was pretty much, at the time, they had no idea that we were doing this. They had no idea. I think that was their purpose in releasing an instrumental album, to see if they could get cats on there who were actually flowing and send them some stuff. I think ultimately they appreciated what we did. It was a sincere effort on our part, because we really appreciated what they were doing and respected their craft as producers. Wally pointed out to me that they were using basically the same kind of production that he was doing. It immediately felt right. We just went in and tried to pick (our favorite), cause the whole instrumental album is dope. We selected a few, went in. We didn't want to make it too long. We just wanted to make it a nice feel good, summer release. It worked out really good. We got a lot of activity because of it.

CONCRETE: What project are you working on now?
K. Stanley: I got a lot of things in the pipeline. Because of recent things that have happened, the Fela Soul, we've had people reach out. Also my track record just as an MC here in Nashville, there's a lot of people that I didn't realize recognize my name and my brand. They've reached out to me for collaborations just to get on different projects. We're trying to get heavy on the show circuit with LoveNoise and Kidsmeal. We're working on the next Gummy Soul project with these cats. The project is close to being done. It's about the same length as the other one. We feel good about that length. It's like 35 minutes. It's still meaty. It's streamlined. For me, I live outside of Nashville, and I can put on one of our projects and come into town and listen to 90% of the project. That's where that idea came from like, "I want to put on a project I can bump continuosly all the way on my commute from my house to work. Just one project the whole way, but it has to be solid. That was obviously the goal, it's everybody's goal. With the production that we've got it's such a good flow, a good feel. It typically works out, so far it's been working well for us.

CONCRETE: When do want to release the new project?
K. Stanley: There's really not a set time or anything like a deadline. I would say right now we have 80-90% of it done. But working with these guys, I'm telling you, Wally will make about 5-10 beats a week. And that's on top of the thousands that he's already got in his library. So he'll forget about beats and he's like, "Man I made this one five years ago." There were probably 2 or 3 tracks that he made pre-2000 era that went on the Gummy Soul project. He's got a serious vault. So much that he forgets about them. It's stupid man! (laughs)

CONCRETE: If you guys are recording all the time, and have that much material, there must be some throw-away tracks. Are there? What do y'all do with all the music?
K. Stanley: Don't misunderstand. That doesn't mean I'm rapping on every single beat. There is a selection process. Some tracks that we do happen to throw-away, we're like, 'Ah this is good, but it's not the right feel.' Bear in mind, at this point, we've only done one project. So some of the other stuff that we have previously recorded could probably go. That's why I'm almost done with this next project. Really we could stop right now and have about three projects released like 'Bam!' But we're trying to be strategic with it. We don't want to just throw it all out there completely. Some people get in the habit of droping stuff (all the time), and I get that. Your audience is totally different from what it was when I first started. It's just changed.

CONCRETE: Like their constant thirst for new material?
K. Stanley: Yeah. It's constant, constant. It's not that we lack the output to do that, but I think that's one thing that makes us kind of different. We're trying to build solid, whole projects with even mean singles. The lead singles for each one, first, second and third are going to be hot singles. But at the same time the project can stand completely by itself. The singles can stand by themselves. Strategically we've been doing this a good year and a half. So it's still fresh to us. We're still strategically inline. That's how we've been going about it up to this point.

CONCRETE: Any last word for our readers? Any shout outs?
K. Stanley: Shout-out to all the folk that are supporting Gummy Soul, Kurtis Stanley, Amerigo Gazaway and Wally Clark. Shout-out to you guys, CONCRETE. I've been messing with y'all for I don't know how long, even before CONCRETE. You guys are growing, we're growing, I'm growing personally, so thing are good. It's an exciting time for us. I appreciate y'all having us.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Gummy Soul: Walter Clark

So his real name is Josh, but he goes by Wally or Walter Clark. His counterparts in Gummy Soul use all three when speaking on the man who founded the collective. This producer/DJ/designer has crafted an aesthetic similar to classic 90s hip-hop when producers chopped samples from the most soulful of tunes. We asked Wally Clark to break down exactly what Gummy Soul is, how it started and where it is going. We also got some insight into his music making technique. Enjoy!

CONCRETE: What is Gummy Soul? How did it form?
Wally Clark: Gummy Soul started when I started making beats. I took the name Wally Clark from Wallabees (Clarks shoes) and kind of as a Ghost Face tribute. And I used to go by Wally and The Champs, that was my fake band, just as a producer. I came up with the name Gummy Soul as like my fake record label. It was all right when I first started. It was just confusing to people what Wally and The Champs was, because I would say I'm Walter Clark in Wally and The Champs. The with Gummy Soul everyone just responded to that name. It's just been whatever I needed it to be. When I had a soul show on WRVU it was called Gummy Soul. I made the website Gummy Soul. And I would try and introduce myself as Walter Clark, my original name, but I started saying Gummy Soul and everybody recognized that. Then when I got with Kurt (Stanley) he just immediately embraced the essence of what I was trying to do. We were thinking of a name for (our project), and he had kept shouting out "Gummy Soul" through the whole thing. So we were like, "Why don't we call the album Gummy Soul." So that became another thing called Gummy Soul. It's semi-confusing to people, but I like the fact that it's vague and not very hip-hopy. The name also reflects the production style that I do.

CONCRETE: How do you describe your production style? How do you approach making a beat?
Wally Clark: When I started making beats, just looking for records, I didn't have that much money. So I was looking for records that I liked to listen to also. And I love soul music. So I naturally gravitated to those samples. When I first started making beats, I thought I was going to make dark Wu-Tang beats. But it's just a style that has come out naturally. When I go in there I don't want to make dark, depressing shit. I want to make soulful, almost happy sounding beats. That's just what naturally always came. So when I pick things out, I usually take a song and I hear that it's got a good tone, and I chop the entire thing up into like a 100 different little chops. The I just start layering on top, and layering and layering.

CONCRETE: When you sample, are you sampling individual drum sounds and creating new patterns as well as other sounds like trumpets or flutes, all from the same track?
Wally Clark: I take the drums from, I have a stock of drum sounds. So I'll just build a kit after. I start to fuck with the sample, like I get a basic drum just kick and snare going for count. Instead of listening to a metronome is annoying. So I just do that. Then I lay something in, usually the sample has drums in it also. So I listen to that and get the groove there. Then I just add drums around it to compliment what is already in the sample.

CONCRETE: What projects have you released under Gummy Soul?
Wally Clark: I did the Kurtis Stanley and I joint project Gummy Soul. I basically just waited until I thought I was good enough to pursue it. I made beats for five years without even really telling anybody. I was hoping someone like (Kurt) would come along that I really clicked with. We did that. As a place holder while we worked on the next one we did The Stuyvesants Meet Gummy Soul. It's actually beats provided by a Brooklyn based duo called The Stuyvesants that I just happened to have the beat tape and Kurt liked it. I didn't do the production on that. We tried to make that clear in the lyrics, but people still think that I made it. He responded to it because it still has the same feel as I do. That was intended to be more like a mixtape thing. Aside from that we're working on new stuff. I'm producing when Amerigo rhymes. I produce for him. So he's an instrumentalist that makes stuff, but when he rhymes I produce for him.

CONCRETE: DId you produce the flood record (The Great Flood)?
Wally Clark: Uh huh. Yeah. Everything that Amerigo has released so far I've produced.

CONCRETE: Are those the only 2 MCs you produce for?
Wally Clark: Well now we have a song with Tre on it, from Sam & Tre. I've gotten with D-Goodz a couple of times and he's writing something to record real soon. We are now in a position to start looking to work with more people. I haven't pursued it to this point, because Kurt gets the job done, and we work so well together.

CONCRETE: Any last words or shout-outs?
Wally Clark: I'm just happy that people are feeling it, and I hope that Gummy Soul the music helps people to discover Soul Music. That's a main love of ours.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Yelawolf Full Interview

When we did this interview, it had just been announced that Radio Active was being pushed to Nov 21 for release, and Yelawolf was walking his video "Hard White" onto 106 and Park.

Our first interview with Yelawolf, he talked a lot about the childhood years he spent in Nashville (INTERVIEW HERE). So this time we wanted to talk about Radio Active and The Slumerican Movement. He was a bit tight lipped about Radio Active, preferring to let the music be a surprise for fans when it drops. But besides the music he really opened up and gave us well thought, honest answers. Here is the unedited interview.

CONCRETE: Radioactive was pushed to a November 21 drop date to do some "finishing touches'. The Source Magazine gave the project 4.5 mics, so what finishing touches need to be made to a 4.5 mic project?
Yelawolf: Nothing musically. The translation is a little off. There's some things around the ... it's kind of hard to say without blowing the surprise. We got some things we're working on that's between the release date that's for the fans. Just to create more awareness for the album. Just a couple of surprises. There's some shit that's going to go down between now and the release. Musically there were just a couple of mixes. There's nothing going to change with the music itself. There were just a couple of mixes I wanted to get in and tighten up. I'm just very picky man. But musically it's not going to change. The album that got reviewed is the same album that people are going to hear.

CONCRETE: You're on the Hard White Tour. Is this your first headlining tour?
Yelawolf: Yeah. Well I ran an East Coast tour. I did Minneapolis during that tour too when I did the Trunk Music Tour. I did New York. This is the first time I've ventured out West. I did Boulder and Denver, and I'm in Idaho tonight. So this is the first time I've been out here to these areas myself as the headliner. It's going great. The fans are coming out and getting rowdy. And I got DJ Craze out with me this time. I got my first two roadies out here with me. So it's dope.

CONCRETE: Who are your roadies. The ATL twins?
Yelawolf: Nah. The Twins?! Yeah right! (laughs) Brooklyn is my road manager or tour manager. My man Bobby Straight Edge is the stage manager. So them two together, they're making it happen. I got a more produced show this time. There's a little more attention as far as the stage. It's more official this go around.

CONCRETE: You seem real laid back when you're not performing. On stage and in the booth you have a lot of energy. Do you have any rituals or anything you do to get ready?
Yelawolf: People have asked me, 'Man what's wrong with you.' And I'm like, 'Nothing. Just chillin.' I'm not performing right now. I'm just chillin.' I guess because the way I see a performance, It's a performance! Some artists would rather take the energy that they have day to day on stage. I like to transform and become a part of the record and really just rock out with the fans and to make a connection. That just comes from being inspired by it. Performers like Axel Rose, or Redman or Mystical, Triple-6-Mafia shows, Jim Morrison. I watch a lot of festival footage like Rage Against the Machine, Primus. I just try and capture that energy and make sure the shows is fun to be at and something they'll never forget.

CONCRETE: We saw a track list for Radio Active. Who are some of the producers you worked with on the project?
Yelawolf: Well anything that was leaked out to the public as far as the track list, we still have to leave something for surprise. The cover art dropped this morning. We're giving people enough. This is a project that I've waited years and years to put out. I've told people enough about features and production features.

CONCRETE: Did you work with Diplo?
Yelawolf: Yeah.

CONCRETE: We've heard he also stayed in Tennessee for a while. Did that come up in any conversations with him?
Yelawolf: Diplo's the homie. Outside of making music, he's just a cool-ass dude. When we see each other we kick it. I met him first at Coachella Festival. We just hung out and started chopping it up. We finally got the opportunity to work on a project. He sent me music and I was just blown away. I wrote the record and that was that. I ended up getting FeFe Dodson on the hook. It's crazy. The rocerd turned out phenomenol. As far as talking. I know he spent some time in the South. He told me about that. You can sense it in his music though. There's a lot of bounce in his music.

CONCRETE: It's out there that Eminem is on the project also. What's it like working with him as an artist also knowing he's the head of Shady Records that you're signed to? How do you draw that line? Is that weird?
Yelawolf: Nah. Nah. It never really crosses my mid that he runs Shady Records when we're making music. That doesn't really matter. That's not even a thought really. After we start putting up the album and crunching down the records, adding on or taking away. It's all a creative process. There's no business. When they start crunching numbers and shit like that, that's where you call in management. That's a whole different discussion. As far as making muisc, we're just making music. You get in there and have fun and make records, that's what we do. That's the best part about the whole journey is when you're in the studio making classics. When you record a record and you know it's something special it's the best feeling in the world. There is no line to be drawn to answer the question. When you're making records, business doesn't exist. We don't even talk about that shit when we're making records.

CONCRETE: You've dropped the first single from Radio Active, "Hard White." How did you decide that would be the first single?
Yelawolf: Well "Hard White" we felt was just a good buzz record. As far as first big single, we knew that it was a dope record and it could grow its own legs. But we also knew that it was a little too hardcore for certain markets or whatever. But it started growing it's own wings. The record started moving by itself. Sometimes you just never know what a record is going to do. We personally didn't expect too much out of "Hard White." We just knew that it was a good record. It wasn't our 'best foot forward' but it was good burner for the streets. It wasn't too far left of Trunk Music. It wasn't alienating the fans we had created with Trunk Music. It made sense. It was a good burner for the streets. We shot a video. The video turned out great. It's getting picked up. (It's on) MTV. It's getting picked up by 106 and Park today. I'm walking it on today (10/7). So yeah, it kind of grew its own legs. We have records we feel like our going to make leaps and bounds for me and for the album. And also for people's perspective of what I'm capable of doing and where I'm about to go.

CONCRETE: In the song "Hard White" there's a lyric "Rest in peace Wayne Bush", and we recently saw you send him a birthday wish on Twitter. Who is Wayne Bush?
Yelawolf: Wayne Bush was one of my best friends. I tweeted that on his birthday (Sept 26). He died in a motorcycle accident a few years back. Basically he was a young dude off the streets. He was a single parent of two daughters that would wake up every morning and take them school and pick them up out of school. He sold weed for a living and was really, really good at it. He made a lot of money. But he was one of the best people in the world. He would come and help me to survive really when I was at the bottom. He put money into a studio. He would carry me to shows. He just supported me fully. He put a studio in my house on a street called South 11th Street. He would have all his boys come over and help me make money by charging them for studio time. He was just one of the best dudes. He was so involved with me musically that I know if he was alive today he would be on the bus right now. That's who Wayne Bush is.

CONCRETE: Can you break down what the Slumerican movement is all about and who is affiliated?
Yelawolf: Slumerican is a cultural brand. It's a family of like-minded people. Me, myself I'm the President, Mr. President. Lower Managment, Jon Newport. The original Tyler the Creator, Tyler is the creative director. He did the album art for RadioActive. He's doing the artwork for Slumerican. Basically, things we've always wanted to see shirts. People that we want to associate ourselves with based on their genius. It could be a skateboarder. It could be a photographer. It could be a rapper. It could be a singer, guitar player. It could be a professional beer drinker. Just rad people that came from the bottom and are proud of the American culture. Because, it's obviously a play on words, but it's patriotic. It just represents the underbelly of it all. The people that make our world go round, the 9-to-5ers. So we just started associating the name with people we were backing. Rittz from Gwinett County (Georgia), obviously Newport as a skateboarder, Tyler is also our photographer, an ill-ass photographer. So I actually rocked the first shirt that we put up, on the front it says 'The Losers Win Again' and I'm wearing it on 106 today. That's the first shirt that we've made. Some more gear coming out of the brand. It's slum patriotic.

CONCRETE: How did you link up with Struggle?
Yelawolf: I met Struggle through Alex King. He's another rapper from Nashville, rapper, entrepreneur, this fool does everything. Alex Hustle is his nickname. I met Struggle through him and we just clicked. It was just one of those things. We just clicked straight up. Even before I knew that he was rapping. 'Oh shit, you do music?' Then come to find out he's Waylon Jennings grandson. Which I was like, 'What the fuck?! Seriously?' I couldn't believe that. he was like, "Yeah man I'm Waylon's grandson." His story is just phenomenal. He came out of the streets. He became a huge dope-boy out of Nashville. He has 32 prior convictions. He's been shot at and shot. His street story is amazing while maintaining a relationship with his grandfather who has now passed. So now they have collabs. Shooter, Waylon's son, he had unreleased masters to Waylon Jennings originals for struggle to do a collabo. So it's a Struggle and Waylon callabo album they're working on right now. It's crazy man. It's something that hip-hop has never heard and country music have never heard a project like this before. This intense and this real. It's pretty dope.

CONCRETE: So we see one of your listed occupations as "professional drinker." Are you sponsored by Jack Daniels?
Yelaowlf: Actually I am. They brought cases of it to the "Hard White" video shoot. They brought me the big Jack Daniels statue. They invited me to the distillery and tour the company and go an the tastings and shit. I'm not sure if they're ready to fully commercialize it, but they're backing me. I'm psyched about that.

CONCRETE: You still doing tre-flips at the DGK Playground?
Yelawolf: I did a tre-flip over a gap or off a ramp or something.

CONCRETE: Who's your favorite skater of all time?
Yelawolf: Of all time?

Yelawolf: Dude there's just so many with so many different reasons. I guess one of the first, most influencial people street skateboarding, well there's two Matt Hensley and Tom Penny as far as street skateboarding. Ramp skateboarders Danny Way is probably my all time favorite vert ramp skater. Who else, Rune Glifberg was another ill-ass vert ramp skater. But Danny Way has just pushed it. He's just the gnarliest ever. One of my favorite current skateboarders is Paul Rodriguez and Torey Pudwell. His Big Bang part was insane. Grant Taylor is also like new breezes, game changer. The way he can skate tranny and street, that's just the evolution of skateboarding. Andrew Reynolds, (Mike) Carroll the whole Plan B squad. Marc Johnson, there's just a lot when you start thinking about it. Shit man Kareem Campbell.

CONCRETE: Have you ever hooked up with Jamie Thomas? He's from Alabama.
Yelawolf: Yeah. I've skated with Jamie. Damn, can't forget Jamie either man. Just to add to the question, you know skateboarding has always been style oriented to me. Like a person's style could always over-ride their trick ability. I could just watch a person's steez. One person could switch 180 up a curb and it just looks so much more steezy than one other dude's tre-flip. It's just fun to watch certain skateboarders skateboard so it's really hard to pick my favorite. Technically I think I've mentioned enough. There's still a lot of underground homies that are ripping it that I love to watch skateboard like Josh Dowd and Newport, the whole Last of the Mohiquan Squad (VIDEO HERE) the Miami Squad.

CONCRETE: What do you think about Lil Wayne putting out all these videos from different skate parks?
Yelawolf: I think that what it does, looking at the brighter side of that situation, is that some Lil Wayne fan is going to pick up a skateboard and it might be the next best skateboarder the world has ever seen. Some 7 year old kid who's the hugest Lil Wayne fan is like, "Fuck that I'm going to skateboard." And they might have some natural ability. I was pretty lucky. My roots are pretty ill. The first skateboard the reasons that I started skateboarding when I was 6 years old I was all about the Bones Brigade. I had Steve Cabellero Half-Cabs, (by Vans) all the most legit shit, just because I was surrounded by the right people I guess. For people that never had an interest to skateboard, if Lil Wayne fans see him skateboarding they might be inspired to go skate. There's nothing wrong with that. It's just a culture that you've got to respect. Who knows, he might stick with it and get better. He might quit, who knows. I think it takes a while. Unless you can throw down a board and cruise, mob down the street with the homies, ollie around up on curbs and off curbs without looking like you're clumsy, you can't really call yourself a skateboarder. You got to be able to mob comfortably. You've got to look really comfortable on a skateboard.

CONCRETE: So did you go to the Antioch skatepark when you lived in Nashville?
Yelawolf: Damn. High Rollers. Damn man, I got bodied there. I tried to drop in on that vert ramp, straight to flat. That was all about spine ramps and Chucka Boots, the original snap backs with the flat bills. Dude skateboarders pioneered so much of style that it's just crazy to me.

Friday, November 11, 2011


As part of our Slumerican Cover Story (Issue #43) we interviewed Rittz, the red-haired, double-time rapper from Gwinnett County (North Atlanta). We first met Rittz in Feb 2011 (CHECK THE CONCRETEtv INTERVIEW), but since then he has dropped his White Jesus Mixtape, hit the road with Yelawolf and now has his own budding, national audience. There was a lot of new ground to cover and he was down to let us in on his career development.
CONCRETE: Your song "770" was your first regional hit in the Atlanta area. Can you tell us about Gwinnett County, where you're from, and about that record?
Rittz: It was 2007 when I did that. Gwinnett County is like a suburb, like a Metropolitan area of Atlanta. When I was growing up rapping, it was just the suburbs of Atlanta. Now it's gotten to be so many people here, there's a movement from here. It's really the North Side of Atlanta. You know you got the East Side, the West Side, the South Side and this is the North Side. There's actually a lot of rappers reppin' from the North Side, but nobody really got it to that point yet. At that time, that's what that was. I was just trying to represent where I was from and put it on the map a little bit.The thing about Gwinnett is you get to live both sides of life. It looks like it's a nice area to live. If you're not from here you'd think it's a great place. It's just a lot of shit goes down here, cause it's a lot of people. It's a huge population, and it's a big drug area. That's pretty much where that comes from, just writing about my experiences growing up here. And just letting (North Side) have a voice in Atlanta. Everybody that comes to Atlanta that says they live here, a lot of them live here in Gwinnett.
CONCRETE: Your mixtape "White Jesus" has a lot of tracks produced by DJ Burn One. How did you link up with him, and how did the mixtape project come about?
Rittz: I met Burn-One at a Yelawolf show when he first put out Trunk Music. He was DJing for Yelawolf. He said he was a fan. I didn't know Burn One did beats. I had heard some mixtapes from Burn One but I didn't know he was a producer. Then my manager told me he produced. One night at Tree Sound (Studios) he was there and played me some tracks. The tracks he played me was the shit I love. The tracks I still like, not a lot of producer make these days, a real soulful sound to it. So it was like perfect match. I used to make beats, and I tried to make beats like that. So to find a producer that actually had the style of shit that I like was kind of strange. It was like meant to be type shit. Working with him was cool. A lot of it was done through e-mail, sending me tracks. I like that. I've had a home studio for all of my life, so I kind of work weird. I like being on my own time and doing shit on my own. I don't really get with a producer and writing a song with them and all that shit. I kind of do it on my own. I record it and send it to them and go from there and make the track what it is. It was cool. Their style, it's a team of them. It's Burn One and four other dudes. They call themselves 5 Points (Music Group) The Green Machine. It's their whole crew.

CONCRETE: On the mixtape's title track "White Jesus" at the end there's a sample from Joel Olestine (TV Evangalist). Are you a fan of his do you watch him on TV?
Rittz: Nah, not really. I'd be lying if I said I did watch him. I'm not "not a fan" of him. I was just searching. I wanted to put something meaningful on the end, like some type of sermon. I was on YouTube and was searching speeches about destiny and that popped up. The (music) video kind of portrayed it out to be kind of a joke thing, cause Yelawolf's on there interpreting him or imitating him. But actually the speech meant a lot to me as far as what I've gone through to get to this point. Just everything in a nut shell he said it in that. It was just the perfect thing to put on the end. It's funny that it happened to be one of the biggest dudes, if not the biggest dude on the country.

CONCRETE: We didn't see Yelawolf's portrayal (monk/priest) as a joke.
Rittz: You know what I mean. Not a joke. It was funny. It added an element with him joining on there that made it tight. But actually when I got (the sermon sample) I didn't even see it visually, I just liked what he was saying.

CONCRETE: You have a video out for "White Jesus". Are you planning to release more videos from that project?
Rittz: It's just a slow process as far as budgets and stuff like that, and really just not being at the point to do them yet. I really want to wait until it's going to be the most effective. There's a lot of people that haven't heard the project period. So we don't want to waste videos right now. We want to get a little bit more people into the project and then put some videos out. That's kind of the hold-up on "High 5." The plan is to shoot a video for "High 5" "Blowin' My Mind" "Nowhere to Run" and Sleepin'". Those are coming soon. I just did a viral video with 3 Little Digs here in at Tree Sound Studios for a song I've got called "Wishin'". That's going to come out. And I'm in a video with Jackie Chain, that's about to come out. That's a feature song with Jackie Chain and Jarren Benton from a SMKA Project. So I've got a couple feature videos but nothing that's just mine coming out yet. I think after this tour that's the next move is to start getting on these videos.

CONCRETE: We've heard in other interviews, you describe "Nowhere to Run" as sort of a snapshot of your life at that point. This wasn't that long ago. That song is about straddling the rap game and a 9-to-5 job. Have you been able to quit your job as a cook?
Rittz: I just quit that job. It was weird. I was touring with Rehab and my boss was letting me off work on the weekends, cause all the tour dates were on the weekends. Luckily I had gotten a new boss, because my other boss wasn't feeling me getting the time off. He was about to get rid of me.Which couldn't happen financially. But luckily I got a cool boss to try and solve the situation i was in. He was like, "Dude, this (music) is way more important." I had taken so much time off that I was always gone. So the last day wasn't as big as I thought it was going to be. It kind of just happened gradually. Next thing you know I was barely even there. Finally it was time to come and be like, 'Look this is hurting me more than it's helping me.' Cause I was always missing out on things cause I had to work. It literally just happened. I just quit my job in, I think it was August or the end of July. It just happened. It's been kind of crazy all the way up to this point just working and doing the music shit.
CONCRETE: What restaurant was that?
Rittz: I worked at Jim and Nick's Bar-be-cue (Suwanee, GA). I was a cook in the back. I worked the fry station, salad station. I worked in the back at the drive thru. I didn't work the window, but I put together orders. This restaurant where I'm at, it's a chain so there's some in the South, but the one I'm at is extremely busy. I had never taken a job serious ever since I dropped out of high school when I was young. I've never been serious about a job. I was always hustling on the side, or just doing whatever I can. I really just wanted to rap. But I got to that point where I had to pay bills and do that shit for the first time in my life. It's time to wake up. So I really put in a lot of hours there and was busting ass and kind of took it seriously. It sucked. Yeah, Jim and Nick's.

CONCRETE: For people who haven't heard you, how would you describe your style?
Rittz: My flow is obviously fast and double-time. I can do it the other way too, but it's pretty much what I do. Lyrical content is based on, I try to be lyrical on everyhting I write. I spend a long time crafting each verse. I like all my syllables to match. I don't go in and write verses really quick. It takes me a while. It takes me a few hours to write on verse. It's a lot of words. I just try retort back to when I was younger and partied and even now, and struggling. I just try and relate to everybody. Not just one group of people, something everyone can relate to. Definitely fast and lyrical.

CONCRETE: We've heard you talk about syllable matching in other interviews. Could you break down a bar for us, and show us what you mean by that?
Rittz: Man that's tough. I'm trying to think of a specific rap.

CONCRETE: How about the line from "Nowhere to Run" where you talk about the other cooks talking about you in Spanish?
Rittz: OK. Well actually that line specifically is a bad one to do, because the hardest lines for me to write and to match are things that are coming from the heart. That actually came from a real situation. But, how I break it down and how I would approach that is, 'Someone's talking about me in Spanish.' I can't just rhyme "Spanish". I've got to rhyme "Talking 'bout me in Spanish". So it doesn't rhyme perfectly, 'It's getting harder to manage, They're talking 'bout me in Spanish.' It's trying to rhyme each syllable, not just the last word. So if I come up with 'Man I hate my life, my job. Then I feel like my days dissolve.' Each syllable has got to go in, not just that word. My main thing is I'm just self conscience. What I'll do is if I want to say, 'talkin bout me in Spanish' and I say 'harder to manage', since 'harder to manage' and 'bout me in Spanish' don't match perfectly, I might spend 15 minutes thinking that line sucks, without just going with it. An average person would just roll with it like, "Man that shit's tight." But I might throw away my paper just cause that didn't match. It's kind of ridiculous honestly. Yelawolf gave me some advice like, "Dude you just got to keep going and just know you're dope." Part of that process is what makes me good anyway, but sometimes it gets a little bit ridiculous. Like if things don't match up perfectly, and that's one of them, 'bout me in Spanish' and 'harder to manage' don't rhyme perfectly, because 'bout me' and 'harder' doesn't rhyme. So I spend a lot of time. I will come up with a line and just try to fit in the pieces in between. I guess that kind of sums it up.

CONCRETE: Have you started working on music for your next project?
Rittz: Yeah. I'm starting to get beats together right now. I've got a few songs done. I don't really have a plan to put it out yet. I'm just getting stuff ready on the back burner. I'm really looking for beats, cause the next project I do, I know what kind of sound I want for it. Now it's just getting the right type of tracks that's going to make the project sound how I want it to sound. I'm getting beats together. I've been getting beats submitted to me, but I'm looking for certain things, so it's hard. I don't rap just on everything that I think is half-way tight. I want it to have a vibe, a consistently throughout the project. It's in the making though. It's getting started. I will say that. I got a few songs, so whenever it's time I'll be ready to go.
CONCRETE: Any last words or shout-outs?
Rittz: Shout-out to the whole Slumerican crew. Especially up there in Nashville. Struggle, Jelly Roll, Shawty Fatt, ATL Twins, everybody we was with out there, the whole crew. I'm just really happy to be with a group of people like that. Just to fit in and everything matches so perfectly. It's a real exciting group of people. It's looking positive, for once. So it's a good thing. Just shouting out the crew, shouting out the people at Tree Sound Studios. That's it man.

Rittz, Yelawolf and Slumerican hanging out at the CONCRETE Magazine photo shoot.

After the photo shoot, Rittz shows Yelawolf, Mamawolf and Papawolf his new Rittz T-Shirt merchandise.


Ziggurat Records - Flossed In Space 11-11-11

ZIGGURAT - Flossed In Space (Official) from Marshall Josh Burnette on Vimeo.

North Carolina to Nashville residents Ziggurat Records drops Flossed In Space today.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

STRUGGLE - The Full Interview

We've known and followed Struggle since we started CONCRETE Magazine. Back in 2004 he was Young Struggle, but he's all grown up now. We've know about his musical heritage and his troubles. We know he is 100% authentic.
This week has been a roller-coaster of emotions for Struggle that reflect his life as a whole. He just dropped his triumphant video to "OutLaw Shit" featuring Yelawolf and his late grandfather Waylon Jennings. The song is a mix of rap and country more true and well put together than anyone who has tried to mesh the at-odds-genres before. With Struggle's "OutLaw Shit" it's natural and the real reflection of blue-collar American neighborhoods (like The Nations) where pick-up trucks bump both. It smashed through the blogosphere and quickly shot past 20,000 views in 3 days and is still climbing fast. AND he is on the cover of CONCRETE Magazine #43 that drops 11-11-11.
Yet with all the positives in his musical world, the real world crashed down on him again. While visiting his probation officer, they locked him up on a new charge. As of 2 days ago, Struggle was again behind bars. You can visit HIS WEBSITE and donate to his legal fund or purchase some merchandise that goes to the same cause. Petition and good intent letters can be sent to FREESTRUGGLE2011@GMAIL.COM #FREESTRUGGLE

"OutLaw Shit" f/ Waylon Jennings and Yelawolf

His story runs deep and while this interview just scratches the surface it goes more in depth than any we have read.
CONCRETE: Where are you from?
Struggle: I'm from Nashville, Tennessee. West Side, a neighborhood called "The Nations", it's right of Charlotte Pike.

CONCRETE: What projects have you released to this date?
Struggle: In 2003 I put out an album called Struggle Until We Make It. In 2004 me and Jelly Roll put out The Halfway House. In 2006 put out a disc called Trying to Eat an
d sold them independently. In late 2009, early 2010 I put out Soundtrack To An Indictment. We have the new one coming out next month.

CONCRETE: How did the name Struggle come about?
Struggle: It started as Young Struggle. It really started as Struggle. A few people called me Struggle. It was a nickname. When I started rapping I started going by Young Struggle. Eventually the "Young" came off. My name Struggle just represents, not so much the struggle but the endurance of the struggle. And the overcoming of the struggle. And regardless of what you're going through you can rise above it. You've just got to keep grinding. Just keep at it and never let go of your dreams.

CONCRETE: What can you tell us about your new project?
Struggle: It's pretty much self titled. It's called I Am Struggle. The label that I've been signed to for the last few years pretty much just gave me the reigns and said, "Make the music you want to make. Don't worry about a radio hit. Don't worry about anything. Just do you. Do what you want to do." So we took it a whole other direction. This music really is the music I've always wanted to do. I got the producers I wanted to use like Will Power. A lot of it is produced by Jody Stevens from right here in Nashville. We mixed country and hip-hop, but in the most authentic way that we could. I mean I'm a rapper. I'm from the streets. My music was already authentic. We just took a lot of Waylon (Jennings) some Johnny Cash, some of the older, what I felt was authentic country, outlaw country and mixed them together. It's an amazing album. It's got features by Yelawolf. The first single is called "Outlaw Shit". It's me, Waylon and Yelawolf. The video just dropped. Directed by Tyler Clinton from Do.Not.Resist. A lot of great people came out and supported me on it. It's been a journey these last ten years of grinding and doing music to really get to the point where now I'm able to do what the fuck I want to do. This album totally embodies that.

CONCRETE: Can you break down your musical heritage?
Struggle: My grandfather is Waylon Jennings. That's my mom's dad. My dad was an old West Nashville thug (William "Fat Pat" Harness) from The Nations (neighborhood). They met in West Nashville at the skating rink. They had me. It was kind of a Romeo and Juliet story. He ended up passing when I was 10. My mom sang back-up some for Waylon, so there were times that I got to go on the road and stuff. She was hard headed and stubborn and wouldn't take any handouts. So at the same time we were living in Section 8 housing. I really grew up straddling the tracks. Musically, because of my generation and my environment, I clung to hip-hop, to rap. That's what I related to. At the same time my grandfather and his music was a huge inspiration in my my life. Now, as I'm older, we're digging into these old records, and the things that he talked about in country in those days is pretty much the same thing as we talk about now. It definitely went to together well. My other grandfather is Duane Eddy. He's a famous guitar player, rock-n-roll guitar player. And my grandmother Jessi Colter. She had some #1 hits and was a country star for years.

CONCRETE: How did you link up with Yelawolf?
Struggle: In 2008 Massbaum the label that I'm signed to met me wanting to do a movie about me before they signed me as an artist. They were wanting to do a movie about my life. They came down from New York. We got a script written and started casting people. They were looking for a white rapper with tattoos, an authentic rapper that would understand my story. Because Nashville is like no other place. We're a different breed. We really needed somebody that understood the Nashville culture. So we found this guy Yelawolf and it just so happened that he had lived in Antioch through the formative years of his life. So when we talked to him he was like, "Man I've always wanted to tell that story. I know. I grew up around the E-Macs, Ounze and all them different people." These people were of the same caliber as me I guess. They share the same story. He just got really passionate about it. He had a situation at the time, it wasn't anything like what he has now. We just clicked. We've got so much in common. We grew a bound and a relationship that didn't have anything to do with the music at the time. Then in January 2008 we actually cut "Outlaw Shit". It was the first record we did together, and it was such a big song that we've just been holding on to it. At that time, the lane that I was in (the song) didn't really match with what I was doing. But (the song) was matching with what I wanted to do. So I knew that there would be a time to release it. It just so happens that Yelawolf blew up right before I was releasing it. It all worked out great. Me and Yelawolf are more like brothers than anything. We've had about 5 years deep down of being friends.

CONCRETE: Your new video for "Outlaw Shit" is amazing. What can you tell us about making that song and video?
Struggle: Well I had been working on a few Waylon songs and was really just looking for the right one, and Jody Stevens called me and was like, "Man I got it!" I found this unreleased recording of Waylon singing "Outlaw Shit". Which it was originally "Outlaw Bit" and it was at a faster pace. So he found that my Uncle Shooter (Jennings) had released it on an album. It was an unreleased rendition of the song. It was slower and it said 'Outlaw Shit'. So as soon as I heard it, I just clung to it. I'm facing federal charges. I was facing federal charges then and beat that case. Now I'm on another federal charge right now. So my whole life has been that of an outlaw. I heard the song while I was in Patchwork(Studios) recording a couple of other songs and Wolf came into the session and said, "Man I want to get on that!" I cut the song and he jumped on it. The song is really about my life, about the struggle of getting out and trying to stay out. With the video, we did Yelawolf's part in Atlanta. He was on the (Vans) Warped Tour, so we went down there and cut his scene. The rest of it we shot right in The Nations (neighborhood). You'll see Laverte's (Market), George's Tire Shop, like that whole corner there on Centennial and 51st. I just brought it back to the hood. It's a crazy video. The story-line is just ridiculous. We took it somewhere else. We didn't want it to be your average video. It's really a short film that's adapted into a music video. It's really next level. I was actually at the race track with Jim Johnson and Yelawolf and I met this guy Tyler Clinton. He was hanging out with Jim Johnson, he one of his homeboys. He was snapping some pictures of us and stuff. So he hit me up on twitter saying, "Got some great pics from in Atlanta with Jim and Yelawolf. Love to get them to you." So he shot me a couple of pictures and we talked a couple of times. He was like, "Man I want to shoot the video on you." So I was like, "Alright, I got a song I want you to shoot." I sent him the track. He fell in love with it. He flew out from L.A. the next week, and we just went at it. We did it all guerilla style. Of course it cost, but not a tenth of what it would have. We really did it grimy. But it turned out epic. It's crazy. There's not a lot of videos that are done like this now.

CONCRETE: You have a song with Jackie Chain and Rittz. Is that from the upcoming album?
Struggle: I did that song at Tree Sound (Studios) around Christmas (2010). I was in there recording this album. I recorded a handful of songs at Tree Sound in Atlanta. When we were recording this new project, we rented out Compass Studios which used to be Hillbilly Central. It's where Waylon recorded Wanted: The Outlaws album which was the first platinum selling country album in history. They set the mic up for me right where Waylon stood and everything, so it was just a whole other vibe. But while I was in Atlanta I cut "Getcha High" with Rittz and Jackie Chain. Really I leaked it and I don't know if it will be on the project. I don't think it will because this other music is so different. But it will definitely be on a project. I'm not sure of it will be on this one that we're fixing to push.

CONCRETE: Your last project was Soundtrack To An Indictment. When did you record that? What inspired it? Can you break that project down for us?
Struggle: I was just going through so much. It was a year, year-and-a-half while I was signed to Massbaum. With anything, the music business, the streets, any of it, you have ups and downs. We were just at a down period were we had over extended ourselves a little bit. We were at a strategy building stage. There wasn't a lot of income coming in, so I was back out in the streets grinding. I just trying to get it the way I knew how. If you listen to the album from the first song to the last song, it's a journey through a year through the ups and downs of the streets. There's songs like "Dope Boy" that are more upbeat or flashy. Then there's songs like "Can You Hear the Sirens" and "When You Come Home" that tell the other side of the streets. When I went to release the project I had just been indicted on federal charges out of Memphis, Tennessee. I was listening to it, and I was like, "Man it's crazy how if you just listen to it from front to back you can hear the different stages of what happens when you're in the streets. And out there hustling, making it by any means." You can hear the different levels of pain, the glory and the downs. It was a journey. "When You Come Home" was the last song that I cut for that album, and I had just been indicted. Everything on that album is 100% real. There's no additives at all. That was how I was feeling everyday. It was where I was at mentally, physically, financially. Every bit of that was journey. It's really the best way for me to describe it. And it was a classic album. I put it out for free. I didn't put any push behind it. We got crazy amounts of downloads. I've actually toured off of that for the last year since I released it. To a lot of people it is still their favorite album. It was me giving fans a piece of me. I didn't try to make any money off of it. I just wanted them to get a little closer to me as a person.

CONCRETE: Any last words or shout outs?
Struggle: Y'all be looking out for the squad. We're here. Yelawolf has his album about to drop. My brother Jelly Roll has got so much in the pot right now. Y'all are fixing to see. I know Jelly Roll has been biuzzing for a while, but we're taking it to a whole other level now. We got a great squad. Worm, O.N.E., the people at The Phoenix Room, Zilla, Hecto and all of Slumerican. Slumerican to me is almost like what The Highway Men was. Everybody has got their own thing going on. Everybody is their own artist and got their own movement. But when 4 or 5 great people get together that are already powerful, it's unstoppable. That's what it is. Shouts out to all my A-Game, me and Jelly's movement.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

CONCRETE #43 - COVER & PHOTO SHOOT - Meet the Slumericans!

We are excited to preview our next cover dropping 11-11-11! It features Yelawolf and the other players from his Slumerican Movement. Yelawolf lived in Nashville during his formative years (Check our CONCRETEtv interview with Yelawolf from FEB 2011). This is THE FIRST Slumerican cover photo, and they brought in people from all over the country to make it happen. The photos were shot by Tyler Clinton (Do.Not.Resist) who also designed Yelawolf's Radio Active cover and directed Struggle's new music video (Outlaw Shit). We thank Yelawolf and all of Slumerican!
Along with the Slumerican crew was Matt Swinksky who made this great video of the cover shoot.

A - Yelawolf
B - Shawty Fatt
C - Rittz
D - LWR MNGMT / Jon Newport (check his part in the skate video 'Last of the Mohicans')
E&F - The ATL Twins (and their VICE INTERVIEW is a must read!)
G - MamaWolf
H - PapaWolf
I - DJ Dirrty (& his blog Baller's Eve)
J - Tyler Clinton
K - Struggle
L - Jelly Roll
M - Zilla
Here's a few of our photos from the day.
We will be releasing full length interviews with Yelawolf, Struggle and Rittz this week.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cypher Sunday - Sept 18 - TACKZ-AM7

Nashville's first graffiti writer TACKZ-AM7 will be the featured artist. This is a rare chance to meet and watch the legend paint.

Friday, August 19, 2011

CONCRETE tv: DJ Paul of Three-6-Mafia Interview

DJ Paul was in Nashville shooting a video (with Black Fly Music) with Young Buck and Charlie P. We pulled Paul to the side for a quick, exclusive interview. The highlight is him talking Memphis food at 7:45.

Here is the video: DJ Paul f/ Young Buck - Mad at Me (video by Black Fly Music).

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cypher Sunday - Aug 14 - at The End

Don't miss it. These have been classic, intimate jams.
The First 20 thru the gate get a mint condition "Show and Prove Magazine #5", the Dirty South Issue (2002), plus some ear-buds and/or other i-pod accessories from Griffin and a CONCRETE sticker. AND the first 10 thru the gate all that stuff PLUS "Show and Prove Magazine #3" (1999).

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

CONCRETE tv: Jackie Chain Interview

At 8:55 he shouts out CONCRETE Magazine in a major way. Thanks for the love Jackie!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cypher Sunday - July 17 at The End

It goes down again this Sunday at The End - 2219 Elliston Place. Graffiti Jam in the courtyard during the day/into the night. This go round we have the 42s live on the main wall. These guys crush.
Inside club starting around 6:00 DJ Gummy Soul (classic hip-hop & soul) and host Kurtis Stanley will make it a night to remember.
As always during the day we will be having the "Sketch Book Battle" $50 gift certificate to Jerry's Artarama for the winner. Griffin Technologies will provide iPod/iPad accessories as give-aways also.
Come out and kick it!

Lord Jesus!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cypher Sunday Video: 05-15-2011

Everyone has been rocking solid work at the Cypher Sundays. People came in from Knoxville and Memphis. June 26 is about to be crazy!!!
Shot & Edited by - yeah he's sick.

Mini-Doc on "The Crossover"

Great short documentary on the basketball move "the crossover" by The New York Times.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Montana Cans - Nashville Stop

World famous photographer Ruedi One (Germany), is touring the U.S. with graffiti artists Sever-MSK (Nashville Native now in Atlanta), Wayne (NYC) and Smash (Switzerland). Their painting and taking great pictures and video along the way. It's the Montana Cans Across America Tour.
Ruedi is releasing pictures/slide shows from the road, and here are the two days they spent in Nashville. Check out CONCRETE Mag making an appearance on Day 5!
CONCRETE was able to capture some of the painting and help the guys connect with artists in other Southern cities. Glad Nashville was included on this graffiti tour. Here's a few of our live action shots, and the finished wall at Rocketown.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Play Cloths co-signs CONCRETE tv Video

PLAY CLOTHS BLOG posted our CONCRETE tv preview video with Malice. Shouts to Malice and PhatKaps!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Preview for our Malice (of Clipse) Video

The full video is sick! COMING SOON. Joerilla is the man for video.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Red Cup Sundays

We're getting it in every Sunday in Clarksville! Clarksville, Hopkinsville, Springfield, Nashville come have a blast with us. We got the red cups ... BYOB. Club 931 - 1348 College Street, Clarksville, TN
ATTN Artists: want to perform infront of a Clarksville crowd? Hit us up for details.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wal-Mart Anthem!

This is why we love New Orleans!

JUNE 11 - Ridin' & Rollin' Custom Car Show

This show is going to be bananas! Register your car/club or business today. We gone shake it!
CLICK HERE and like it on facebook.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Cypher Sunday Video: 04-17-2011

Going down again next Sunday (May 15) at The End, 2219 Elliston Place.
Paser's piece on the main wall was sickening. Ragoe and Riet AM7 next.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

CYPHER SUNDAY POSTER by REX2-TM, WorkForce Rebellion

The first 15 people through the door gets a one-of-a-kind poster by graffiti artist REX2. We've got so many other things to give away as door prizes, etc. Come out and kick it! Graffiti expo by day, hip-hop inside at night. Going down at The End - 2219 Elliston Place.