Matter ov Fact: Everybody's good, 730. We're keeping busy on new material.
Your new album is The No Budget LP. First off, how much did it cost to make this album?
G. Grhymey: The title isn't lying. We literally had no budget. The whole point was to show that a hot album can still be made without money out the wazoo. I guess that's what we specialize in for now. If we get signed to a major, maybe we'll do the $2,000,000 Budget LP. Nah, doesn't have the same ring to it.
Blezzed: As artists it cost a whole lot of time and dedication, the rest, ask Digga!
What inspired the banger ÒOn WaxÓ?
Matter ov Fact: I was looking at a candle and suddenly it just hit me. Nah, all buffoonery aside, "On Wax" was inspired by the notion that all rappers have to live by what they say in their rhymes. I feel that sometimes fans take rappers too seriously. I'm saying, for all we know Kool G. Rap may like to garden in his spare time. I'm not giving Joe Shmo the okay to go behind a mic and talk reckless. I'm just saying that there is a difference between rap and reality. At the end of the day, people should be able to figure out an artist's intentions based on the context of their lyrics.
E Pillz: Exactly, not to mention it was also taking a shot at the dissing game that a lot of rappers are involved in. Once they feel threatened lyrically it's like, 'Okay, see me in the street.' To me they just sound like sore losers who can't take a loss. Keep it on wax and keep it moving.
Did you have anyone specific in mind on ÒPussyassfuccboiÓ?
E Pillz: Yeah, all you Pussyassfuccboi's out there! Actually, the song is not a diss. Digga and Shameek, our A&R, both live in Atlanta. When we visited them last year, we had a great time. We were picking up on the slang such as ÒpussyassfuccboiÓ and seeing how the music scene goes down in the South. Everyone was so hospitable and nice. So the song is actually paying homage to all the people that showed us love. We took the southern slang and applied it to all these corny emcees. People in the east need to wake up though, because a lot of these southern cats do their history and know about real hip-hop. Dudes were commending us on making genuine music. There was this one dude who was bumping Dilla's Donuts down there. But yeah, during parts of the song you could say I was taking shots at every new artist whose name starts with ÒYoungÓ or ÒLil'Ó because they seem like cookie cutter rappers, but other than that, it's not aimed at anyone in particular. I just feel like at times, what's being considered rap is more so ÒdanceÓ music. That's fine, but we can't be considering these guys actual MC's.
Looking at that, is there still a market for artists like yourselves, who like to have fun and make good hip-hop?
Blezzed: Hell yeah. I read Strong Arm Steady's journals and they hit the shit right on the head when they were talking about how the Rock The Bells tour was selling out every night and not one artist on the bill had a single getting radio spins. No disrespect to Soulja Boy or Mims, but they have crazy No. 1 hits and they'll never come close to packing a venue the way these dudes did. More people then you think see through this corny era in rap.
G. Grhymey: I think that market dried up for a while and now it is opening up again. People are starting to float back to originality and individualism in music. I think Kanye is a good example to prove that point. And he's just a solo act. I actually think that market is thirsty for a group act and hopefully we can fill the void.
Who is Fab Nickel's ideal fan?
G. Grhymey: Like I said in a solo song I did a couple years ago, "I'm doing this for my real hip-hop heads/I don't give a fuck if you blonde or you got dreads." I think our fanbase is and will be diverse because of the dynamics of the group alone. How often do you see a half black, half white squad that holds it down like us? That alone gets the eyes of a bunch of people. Then when they hear the music there's no turning back for them.
Matter ov Fact: Our whole team is very diverse. Our clique together looks like Mike Jackson's "Heal the World" video.
What did you guys want in the production for The No Budget LP?
Matter ov Fact: We knew that our production was going to be on point regardless. E Pillz, what up! So we didn't look for a specific sound. We choose beats based on what we think best suits the ideas that we are trying to express. Everything has to do with the vibes, man. We're not the type to sit down and say, ÒOkay, this is our club song, and this is our girl track.Ó That right there is artificial. We're all natural like chicks with armpit hair.
E-Pillz, how do you respond when fans tell you your production sounds a lot of hip-hop in the '90s?
E Pillz: I tell them to go ÒeffÓ themselves! Nah, not at all. Actually at times I take offense because I tend to think that I have the retro sound but with a modern spin on it. According to my ears, it's a modern sound. It's like my take on the golden age boom-bap with the essence of 2007 on it. So when people say it's reminiscent of the '90's I don't mind, but at the same time, I don't feel like it sounds old. I just don't like when people dwell on it. If the song is hot, it's hot. Why do you have to throw in the ÒIt's hot, but it sounds like that old school hip-hopÓ? Come on, man! Can't blame 'em though. They attribute the sound to a period when the best hip-hop was being made, so ultimately, I'm flattered.
Blezzed: To add my two cents to this, I don't think people understand that we don't try to make our music that way. It just is what it is.
Are you looking to do more outside production in the future?
E Pillz: I am definitely looking forward to doing some outside production. People don't know what's cooking inside my lab. I've gone left field with some of my production but I would never use it with Fab Nickel. Not like I'm withholding it, but ÒusÓ as a group would never use it because we know what our sound is. So when I'm experimenting, I have tons of joints that I feel would be perfect for some more main stream rap artists, R&B artists, pop artists, movie scores, TV commercials, etc. Digga has an extremely talented artist, Thonio, signed to Six Figga Entertainment and when you hear his material you'll be surprised at what tracks I produced. So yeah, I would love to get some music out there and showcase my versatility. At the same time, Fab Nickel comes first! When I get time to expand my sound with other avenues, I definitely will.
Fab Nickel recently signed to Digga's Six Figga Entertainment label. What made you guys want to sign to Digga?
B Cliff: Digga believes in us, bottom line. He was serious about signing us after seeing how loyal and dedicated we were to him.
Blezzed: Yeah man, it feels great to have someone who has been around greatness his whole life love your music and have faith in it. We been down with Digga for a while now, before the contracts. Pillz didn't even tell him we were a group until a year ago. But he really fine-tuned us and made it clear that we could take it to the next level. Before him, we tended to lay down 16's and 8's with a hook sandwiched in between. Diggz showed us how to structure a song. That man and Shameek the Exec really molded us like priests do to the minds of young boys. They took us to the next level. Yo, to be honest I loved Digga's work before I even knew it was his work. We used to listen to ÒPull ItÓ by Cam and DMX everyday on full blast and couldn't believe how crazy that beat was. One of the first questions Pillz asked Diggz was ÒWhy wasn't 'Pull It' on Confessions of Fire?Ó
G. Grhymey: Shout out to Digga. He's a good dude. He made sure all the behind the scenes work got done for the album. Before, we had to keep track of every little thing, but now he helps out where the fans don't see it. If we rock on a Digga beat they'll know because the credits will be out in the open, but nobody will know how much he and Shameek do and get done for us. We wanted to sign with them when we got the offer because we trust them. This guy E has known him for a while now, way before the rest of us, and now we are like a family. Everything flows right when we're all together. It was a no-brainer when the offer was made. The situation is lovely like that dream I had with Jessica Alba in it.
You guys shouted me out in the liner notes, which was very cool, except that it was under ÒIndustry People.Ó Isn't that kind of a backhanded shout in a way?
E Pillz: 730, let's not beat around the bush man. You are so industry it's not funny. You look like one of those corny ass A&R'S with your shades on even when it's night out, your skull shirts and your studded skull belts! You even told me to use more 808's and lay off the samples! (laughs) Come on, man you know our interpretation of ÒindustryÓ doesn't have a negative connotation. We are just getting in the game so anyone ÒofficialÓ that we come across in this business we consider industry. We know you're cut from the same cloth as us so next time, you're name is going in the ÒfriendÓ list! All right, buddy!
(laughs) Thanks. What are your goals for The No Budget LP?
B Cliff: To give you an idea of what we're capable of. I think the world is going to be shocked by the growth from album to album, especially with our next project, How To R.O.B. (Rhyme Over Beats).
What's the next move for Fab Nickel?
B Cliff: To get our faces out there. We really wanna do more shows. We've done some and the response has been great. People are really amazed at how different it is, and at the same time, even when we perform a laid back track, the crowd is really into it. So go to MySpace and hit us up, and while your at it pick up The No Budget LP, available on Amazon, Hiphopsite, iTunes and CDBaby.com. It's worth the money.
Matter ov Fact: In 2008 look out for our next project, How To R.O.B. (Rhyme Over Beats) and Thonio's new album "The Life of...", both on Six Figga Entertainment.