good, man. I really can't complain. Good things are happening.
of Art is out now. How do you feel about how the album came out?
happy with the album. I approached this one differently from the last
one. Like I told you before, I did a lot of extra songs this time. I did
twenty-six cuts and then picked out thirteen of them that had a certain
feeling to them and then came up with the concept. Everything just fit
so I'm happy with it.
of Art definitely sounds a lot different from your other albums.
I just did
this really dark side-project called The Chemikillz. That was on the super-dark
tip. When I started working on The War of Art, there was a whole change
in my life, including where I lived. Everything around me was very positive.
the title The War of Art mean to you?
has different styles. Everybody does their music or artwork in a different
way. Styles clash, but it's all good because diversity is the key to everything.
With this one, I felt like I could make whatever music I wanted to.
at you as an artist and being diverse, you have a very unique style and
voice. How do you see yourself amongst all the rappers in the game right
try to come with my own shit, no matter what. I feel like I might not
have a big page in the history book of hip-hop, but at least I have a
page. I think sometimes it works to my advantage with me doing such different
music. Sometimes it works against me and people just don't feel it. It's
not for everybody.
write your songs to make people listen a few times or should people get
your music on the first listen?
I think my stuff is so simple that it gets completely overlooked, and
sometimes it's really complex. Some of my stuff is very blatant. Sometimes
you have to listen a few times to get it.
your writing process like?
there will be a bunch of us in the studio and we'll all be writing and
building. Then sometimes it's me by myself and I'll just write something
down. I'll be sitting in the living room and I'll just write a couple
pages, or I'll be on the road and write a little. I'll go in writing spurts.
your lyrics are very abstract. Do you know what everything means? I remember
Ghostface saying he couldn't remember what some of his abstract lyrics
Ghostface is dope, man. He's sick. I can pretty much explain everything.
Everything has some sort of meaning to it.
find people taking away meanings from your music that you didn't intend
them to take?
Yeah. I think
some people don't get the sarcasm in it. Some of it is sarcastic and some
of it is what it is. I think some people don't really understand the sarcasm
of certain lyrics. Besides that, people get what they want out of certain
I don't mind.
If you get something out of it, it's a plus.
your own touch to a lot of famous lyrics. What's your inspiration for
in those quotes because it might be something I'm listening to at the
time or it just popped in my head. I listen to pretty much everything
except country music. My brothers are rocker cats and some of the homies
are hip-hop cats and some play the guitar. I'm influenced by all kinds
music go past the hip-hop boundaries?
I feel like
I can go outside of the hip-hop realm. People that like other types of
music can like this too. I think in the way of how I live and how it is,
it's hip-hop. We have two turntables and you're not ever going to see
me with a guitar. This is hip-hop. The way we live is hip-hop, but the
music can be appreciated by other people, too.
it working with J-Zone on the album?
cat Brycon. He linked us together. We made a few phone calls and a few
emails, and the song was done. He's happy with it and I'm happy with it.
I like working with cats from over there because a lot of people don't
really bridge that gap.
looking for some different beats on The War of Art?
I think all
my albums are different. I did that album with Fat Jack and it had a certain
sound to it. Speakerface had a different sound to it because [Mike] Nardone
did the beats and Kutmasta Kurt did all the mixing on it. I think the
stuff I do with [Daddy] Kev sounds different too. They all have different
sounds, but they still sound like a complete thought.
it working with KRS-One?
It was a
trip. Doughboy makes beats out here. He's a mutual friend. He makes beats
with the ABS' and he was the link. He likes what me and 2Mex are doing
and he's already made beats for KRS for his other stuff, so he made it
happen. I went down to meet him and he was a cool cat. A few months later,
KRS shows up at my house and we made it happen.
at your house?
was so weird, man. I was star-struck. One of my childhood heroes was in
my house. I've seen a lot of famous cats, but this was different. I was
bugging out. Three days later, I was still like, "KRS-One was in
my house!" I couldn't believe it.
it seeing KRS in the studio?
It was good.
I had seen him in another studio and he had a different method of how
he was doing his cut over there. He did a different style when he came
over here. It was dope.
people pay attention now that you have a KRS collaboration under your
I kind of
hope the East Coast pays more attention to what's going on over here.
People on this side definitely support cats from over there. I just want
it to start getting more mutual. I want to be able to go out there more
often. We've been out there a few times. It's cool. We're going to try
to get out there more.
feel disrespected by the way New York treats you, Project Blowed, and
I don't feel
disrespected, but I feel it's not really appreciated. I feel like after
awhile, things will catch on. I don't see any disrespect. When I do meet
cats, it's all love. We all respect what each other is trying to do. Our
scene isn't as big, but it's all good.
to happen to change things?
We just need
to tour out there more often. We need to dig our heels in and show cats
that we're here and we're not going anywhere. That should do the trick.
as though you have very hardcore fans. It seems like it's either you love
Awol One or hate Awol One.
Yeah. I definitely
agree with you on that. That's the whole thing with the Shapeshifters.
There are crazy cats that are down with it, and then there are people
that are like, "I hate that shit." It doesn't seem like there's
anyone that says, "It's ok. It's all right." It's either "I
hate that" or "I love it." The Shapeshifters have been
dealing with that forever.
been going on with the Shapeshifters?
doing our thing right now. Everybody dropped their new solo record and
we're about to go in there and start rocking some new shit. We had two
really good US tours last year. We're going to rock a new album in the
next couple of months because it's that time. We all talk to each other.
I'm doing a show with Circus and 2Mex in downtown LA tonight.
it recording The Chemikillz with Mascaria?
really dark shit. I recorded the album in the basement of this factory
and I was going through a lot of shit. It's really bugged out. It's like
some whole other shit.
like you can click well with producers and make a cohesive project with
Yeah. I click
with certain people and we just end up working together.
is it to do everything independently and not have to worry about having
a certain sound?
best part of doing what I do. I have a lot of field to work with. Someday
I'm going to produce my own album.
option presented itself, would you want to go to a major label?
I don't know.
I'll deal with that when it comes. Right now I'm working with Cornerstone
RAS and they've been treating me really good. We all get along, so I don't
see any reason to go to a different record label. I think I'm going to
do a couple more albums with Cornerstone. I really can't complain. You
don't want to change a good thing.
has touring been to your career?
something that MC's have to do, man. There are only so many fans that
can find out about your stuff from going on the net and buying your album.
You have to go on tour so people get your whole vibe. Everybody does it.
If you want to make shit go down, you have to tour. That's why a lot of
these cats might put out a dope record, but that's all you hear from them
because they don't want to go out and take that next step because it's
hard. That shit's not easy. Sometimes you get a lot of money and sometimes
you don't. I've been lucky with some of my tours. I don't know. It's not
for everybody. A lot of people don't like that life.
been your favorite spot to rock?
even say it. There have been a lot of spots I like. I always like coming
home. I like so many different spots for different reasons.
coming up for you in the next couple of months?
to be on the road. I want to support The War of Art for a little while.
I'm not really going to be recording anything new except for this Shapeshifter
record. I'm trying to rock The War of Art.
you want to say to everyone?
vitamins and pet your dogs and have a good day.
information, check out http://awolone.com