Mixtape.
Two Tiffanys celebrating what they love by giving it a stage and using their voices to spread the word.

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Interview: MC Homeless

Meet Matt… known better as MC Homeless. He grew up going to punk shows and singing in grindcore bands before connecting with hip hop, but hip hop was present in his life from the get-go. From Youngstown, Ohio, Homeless dropped his first full-length album, “Trapped Under an Ohio Sky” in 2007, on DIY Bandits. In November 2010, he released his sophomore album, “27“, on Milled Pavement. It featured guest appearances from Brzowski, Ira Lee, zoën, Riddlore, and Mesparrow. You might remember CB reviewing that album, too. He has toured internationally, as well as around the United States, with acts such as Brzowski, Moshe, Riddlore, Ceschi, The Coup, Lifesavas, Existereo, Nomar Slevik, Grand Buffet, K-The-I???, Awol One, and many others. He just recently got off of touring and playing at SXSW, so I had the pleasure of interviewing him. Check it out, as we discuss the bands he’s in, his album “27”, tour stories, upcoming projects, and more.

Interview: Illus

Adam Wallenta, also known as ILLUS, has been independently making music and illustrating comics since the early 90s. He has recorded and toured with artists such as Chuck D and Public Enemy, R.A. the Rugged Man, Dilated Peoples, Blackalicious, and DJ Johnny Juice. Let me bring you up to date with his latest album (hear other releases here). In January of 2010, he released, “Feel Good Music“. It has a total of 7 tracks and they were produced entirely by Brooklyn’s J.J. Brown. The legendary Chuck D even said it was “one of the best albums of 2010”. If you haven’t heard it yet, I suggest you go listen to it (then buy it!) — guaranteed to make ya feel good. Not only does Illus have his hands in music and hip hop, but he’s also a self proclaimed comic book geek and he’s an artist. Ever heard of the Public Enemy comic book series / graphic novel? Yep, illustrated by Adam Wallenta. He also has various other comic books (Soulan, The Retributors, Adam & Bryon, and others), so be sure to check those at his American Mule site. He has also had his work shown in galleries, he has worked at Marvel Comics, he’s done album covers for artists (J-Live’s “Undivided Attention“, J.J. Brown’s “Connect the Dots“, his own “Feel Good Music“), designed t-shirts, painted portraits, editorials, and more.

Read the interview below as we discuss his music, the “Feel Good Music” album, art, comic books, his upcoming album (slated for March), and some other stuff…

Interview: Rey Resurreccion

Representing San Jose, California, is rapper and producer Rey Resurreccion. I first heard of him when I came across the remix Nima Fadavi did of “Spaceships” back in July 2010. In combination with Nima’s beat, Rey‘s lyrics and laid back approach pulled me in and pushed me to do a Google search for more of his music. That then lead me to songs from his independent 2009 release, “Limitless“. After that, I was a fan.

Just this November, Rey Resurreccion dropped his “Sleeping Giants” album with Clout Magazine, and made it available for a free download in December. Something for the people. If you haven’t grabbed that yet, you should. It’s a really dope album all the way through. He brought in a lot of heads holding it down in San Jose / the Bay Area in terms of guest spots, production, and cuts. Names like E.Sik, Oneself DaVinci, Paulie Rhyme, Matty Slims, Solis Cin, DJ Cutso & DJ Squareweezy (of The Bangerz), Nima Fadavi, Chexmex, Barry Bones, and more.

With two albums under his name, a mixtape for Cukui, doing prouction for other musicians… Rey is well on his way to help San Jose get more recognition. Enough talking, let’s get into the FIRST interview of 2011…

Interview: New Block Babyz

We brought in this year with our exclusive interview with Gimm!박사, and have since kept in close contact with our musically inclined friend. Back then, Gimm let us know about future projects he was working on, including writing and producing for several other artists. Also, he’s graced us with his first English language song for our site’s mixtape: Primary Colors (Vol. 1), which featured artists BB and New Champ. Now, it’s the end of the year, and we’re bringing you guys another exclusive interview with Kpop’s newest buzz: New Block Babyz. If you’re a fan of Kpop, you’ve probably heard a lot of noise recently surrounding these cats. From YouTube, twitter, blogs, and music forums alike, fans are in a frenzy over this new mixed gender crew of MCs and R&B crooners. Each member, immensely talented in their own right, comes together to form a fresh new sound and concept  which beckons for everyone’s attention. The members of NBB, all in their mid to late 20s, may be young, but their musical prowess should serve as a sneak peek as to what the future of Korean Urban Pop music holds. Young’N, Ven, New Champ, Wu-Tan, Kimm, Gimm, and ZS make up the members of NBB, and also of several spin off groups, all of which each member seems to float in and out of seamlessly. This new crew definitely breaks the stereotype of what many are used to when they think of Kpop groups, but that’s what makes them so unique. Ladies and gents, read on as we get to know New Block Babyz!

Interview: Lilac

This past summer we told you guys about J-Summit NYC, the monthly event that celebrates and supports Japanese music and musicians in New York City. Well, that around that same time, we mentioned that we were working on an interview with Lilac, one of the staple Japanese rock bands that attends the show. Well, low and behold, about six months later, the interview is finally up and ready for viewing. I won’t go into details as to why it’s been delayed for so long, but I will say that the guys from Lilac have been very gracious and understanding with all that’s gone on surrounding this. So thank you guys! Also, a note to fans, Gabriel is no longer in the band, but they are still friends, and I want to say that we support you in whatever your next project is, and that we support Lilac in their continued projects! NOW! On to the interview!

Interview: Stainless Steele

Second interview of November is with Stainless Steele. Residing in Pennsylvania, Stainless Steele’s talent is split between rhyming and producing. Showcasing the two of those equally, he just dropped his latest album, “Dub Hop Illuminations“, on November 5th. It’s 11-tracks of electronic hip hop weaved with bugged-out, psychedelic vibes. Outside of Stainless Steele, the album only features two other vocalists, Suzy Free and Wufei the Zen. And then there’s Space Monk, who shows up on two tracks.

I was kind of surprised that I haven’t interviewed Stainless yet, considering that I’ve been chatting with him & keeping up with his music for a couple years now. But with the release “Dub Hop Illuminations” over a week ago, I thought it’d be the perfect opportunity to get some words in with him. Check it out…

Interview: Bambu

Self described as “a dad, a comrade, an organizer, an artist, a worker, a fan, a soldier, a thinker, a do-er, and a fighter until death.” Who is he? He’s Bambu, a socially concious Filipino rapper who lives in Los Angeles.

He’s a guy who turned all his destructive, negative energy into something positive… he changed himself for the better & turned to music. If you’re not too familiar with what he’s done musically, he made a name for himself in California when he was part of The Bambu Brigrade. In 2002, he released his debut solo album, “Self Untitled“. After that, he linked up with emcee Kiwi, to form the musical duo Native Guns. They dropped an album (“Barrel Men“) and 2 mixtapes. After splitting, they began dropping music as solo artists. Bambu released “…I Scream Bars for the Children…” in 2007, “…Exact Change…” in 2008, and “…Paper Cuts…” was just released earlier this year.

Other than being an emcee, he’s also a community organizer and activist — which can also be heard throughout his music. If someone were to ask me “who are your top 5 rappers today”, Bambu’s name would be in there. Top 3 even. He has incredible storytelling abilites and he’s politically aware. His music is honest and thought-provoking, while also managing to speak to the people, rather than over their heads. He’s an awesome person all around… approachable and a funny guy too. I’ve been a fan of Bambu since late 2006, so getting some questions in with him made me ecstatic. Haha, enough talkin from me, check it out…

Interview: NUOL [뉴올]

Korean Hip Hop has come a long way since the late 90s, with artists and producers creating music that can stand on its own against it’s worldwide counterparts. What was once considered a novelty genre, it has matured into a beast of creativity, sparking an underground rap scene with much flavor. Enter Nuoliunce, or as he’s known nowadays,  just Nuol. The super producer was beat master behind the now defunct Reggae/Hip Hop duo Koonta & Nuoliunce, and he’s also been the mastermind behind some of the hottest underground tracks in Korea, not to mention his first solo effort ‘The Mission’, which featured artists such as Minos, E-SENS, and Verbal Jint. Now, with the recent release of his second solo album “The Mission 2”, Nuol takes it to another level, while taking some time out to chat with us. Read on for his interview.

Interview: Glen Porter

Ryan Stephenson, better known as Glen Porter (dropping an “n” from his grandpa’s name, Glenn Porter), is a beat maker from California. Initially inspired by close friends, he became interested in producing music in his late teens or early 20s. And before then, he was breaking and spinning.

I was put onto Glen Porter‘s music by DJ Bizkid, who suggested that I listen to his 2009 release, “Falling Down” (on Project: Mooncircle). The whole album grabbed me with its gloomy, downtempo vibes. Glen Porter lays down the backdrop and makes it easy for the listener to draw out storylines and pictures to each song. One of his first albums was “Blessed By A Young Death“, which was dropped in 2008 with Inner Current Recordings. This year, he released his 7″ single, “Smile Now, Cry Later” (which was limited to 300 copies).

Glen Porter is getting busy, as he has a collaborative project with Dday One set to release late September. It’s a 4-track 10″ titled, “Wavelengths“, where both producers interpret the four brainwave patterns – Beta, Alpha, Delta, and Theta. Glen is also working on another album set for release in 2011. Check out the interview below, listen to his music, and become familiar with this man if you’re not!

Interview: Depakote

Next up to plate is Depakote. Depakote is a beat maker from California. Being in his late-twenties, he was heavily influenced by the golden era of hip hop. In his high school years, he began writing rhymes, and not long after graduating, his life changed forever. He was hospitalized and diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder. Seeing the brighter side of life, he went back to college and started recording hip hop music as a hobby. It evolved into something more than that, thanks to his friend Paul Kim, who introduced him to Fruity Loops and Reason. And from that point on, he’s been pushing out those hip hop beats. I first heard of him through the “Adventure On The Sun: The Music of Sun Ra” mix, and then I stumbled onto the “Isaac Hayes Tribute” instrumental album mixed by him and re:source. After that, I kept my eye on this guy… and now here we are doing an interview with him.

Depakote‘s latest album, “Gummo“, was dropped this year as a tribute to Harmony Korine’s 1997 movie of the same title. Download link can be found at the bottom of this interview, as well as the link to find his other projects.

Interview: Jason James

Yesterday was the release of Marvelous World of Color, the newest colaborative album from Jason James and Rodney Hazard (formally known as WEB & I.D.e.A, respectively). The album is a 14-track masterpiece of intellectual lyrics and soul shaking beats. Artist Jason James gives listeners something that is timeless, music from the heart and we at CrayonBeats are totally hooked onto the rhymes that he’s giving the masses. If you’ve been keeping up with us, we’ve covered their work a few times (here & here) and this album is no different. As this album is fast becoming my favorite within just hours of downloading, I took this opportunity to interview Jason. Read on for a brief look in to Jason’s marvelous world of color.

Interview: Ruby Red

Reggae Dancehall Queen, Ruby Red stands out from the crowd with her crimson locks swishing through the air as she moves it and grooves it. Teaching her students the hottest combination to the hottest reggae beat she attacks the dance floor, with so much energy it’s hard not to get hyped just by watching her. Aside from her vibrantly colored hair and insane skill, Ruby Red  stands out as one of the very few choreographers in Taiwan who dedicate their talents to promoting and inspiring Reggae culture. As a relatively underground scene in the vast country, where pop, electronica, classical, and hip hop rule the airwaves and dancefloors, Ruby Red’s love of Reggae and Dancehall is rare, but much welcomed in the ever increasing Global Village of music and dance. She’s so dope, Reggae artist Lyrikill made a song especially for her, and she in turn cranked out a bad-ass routine to go with it! Currently, Ruby Red is teaching classes in Taiwan for any who’s interested in learning, and her youtube channel has many samples of her work. After watching just two of her videos, I so impressed by her overall talent that I asked RubyRed if she’d be so kind as to answer a few questions with me. Read on for her interview: