Tag Archives: Freddie Foxxx

Leaks Vol. Four Album Stream – Bumpy Knuckles

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The legendary Freddie F-O-X-X-X has been busy digging through his vaults again.

Leaks Vol. Three Album Stream – Bumpy Knuckles

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The OG Freddie F-O-X-X-X drops a free collection of unreleased tracks packed with his trademark brand of raw, honest lyricism.

New Joint – Bumpy Knuckles & Nottz

Bumpy Knuckles & Nottz – “Grumpy Ol Man” (@BumpyKnuckles / 2018)

The legendary Freddie F-o-x-x-x celebrates his OG status on this dope cut off his forthcoming Nottz-produced album “PopDuke”.

Bars In The Booth – DJ Premier / Bumpy Knuckles

Freddie F-O-X-X-X delivers lyrical right-hooks over a sinister DJ Premier beat on this latest “Bars In The Booth” episode.

New Joint – The Audible Doctor / Bumpy Knuckles

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The Audible Doctor ft. Bumpy Knuckles – “The Beast” (@AudibleDoctor / 2014)

The Brown Bag Allstars member teams-up with the mighty F-O-X-X-X on this track from his forthcoming EP “Can’t Keep The People Waiting”.

New Joint – Bumpy Knuckles & DJ Wayne Ski

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Bumpy Knuckles & DJ Wayne Ski – “New York, Where You At?!?” (@BumpyKnuckles / 2013)

The mighty Freddie Foxxx attempts to rally his Rotten Apple soldiers with some tough love on this track from the forthcoming “Black Card” album.

Live On Air – Freddie Foxxx

Bumpy Knuckles takes some calls alongside Sway and Heather B on Shade 45.

New Joint – Neek The Exotic / Bumpy Knuckles / Satchel Page

Neek The Exotic ft. Bumpy Knuckles & Satchel Page – “Get The City Warm” (IllAdrenalineRecords.Com / 2012)

Alterbeats-produced thoroughbred Rotten Apple rap from Neek’s forthcoming album “Hustle Don’t Stop” which features input from the likes of Confidence, Audible Doctor, O.C., Meyhem Lauren and more.

New Joint – DJ Premier & Bumpy Knuckles

DJ Premier & Bumpy Knuckles – “More Levels” (Gracie Productions / Works Of Mart / 2012)

The boom-bap specialists drop visuals for one of the illest cuts from one of the year’s best albums so-far “Kolexxxion”.

Hardcore Composers – DJ Premier / Bumpy Knuckles

DJ Premier and Bumpy Knuckles (or Freddie Foxxx to OG Hip-Hop heads) speak to TheBeeShine.Com about their new album “The KoleXXXion”.

KoleXXXion Album Trailer – DJ Premier / Bumpy Knuckles

Trailer for the forthcoming collabo album from DJ Premier and Freddie Foxxx featuring clips from the video to the single “wEaRe aT WaR”.

New Joint – Bumpy Knuckles / DJ Premier

Bumpy Knuckles – “Bap” (@BumpyKnuckles / 2011)

Freddie Foxxx returns with a DJ Premier-produced banger from their forthcoming collabo album “The Kolexion”.

Pete Rock…Welcome To Manchester Mixtape Download – DJ Lee Majors

Manchester’s DJ Lee Majors has put together this extensive tribute mix to one of Hip-Hop’s greatest producers in celebration of Soul Brother #1’s forthcoming UK tour – download here.

Words From Lee Majors:

“In anticipation of Pete Rock’s forthcoming visit to my home city of Manchester
UK I have put together this mixtape featuring 40+ Pete Rock tracks/productions, all mixed and selected carefully – trying not to stick with the too obvious and pushing more of my personal favourites to give the project a more individual flavour. The cover is a reference to the infamous Carlos Tevez “Welcome To Manchester” billboard that was produced by Manchester City football club following his arrival from bitter rivals Manchester United in the Summer of ’09. Ironically Tevez has now just expressed his desire to leave Man City. The @chocboywunda is performing at Manchester’s illustrious Band On The Wallmusic venue alongside Jazz/Soul legend Roy Ayers on both the 17th and 18th of July.”

Tracklisting:

01. LET’S GO – PETE ROCK FT DOO WOP
02. HOLDIN’ IT DOWN – BIG L
03. WE ROLL – PETE ROCK FT JIM JONES & MAX B
04. BUMPY KNUCKLES BABY – BUMPY KNUCKLES
05. FLY TILL I DIE – PETE ROCK FT TALIB KWELI & CL SMOOTH
06. CARMEL CITY – PETE ROCK & CL SMOOTH
07. NIGGAZ KNOW – PETE ROCK FT J DILLA
08. COMPREHEND – PETE ROCK FT PAPOOSE
09. UNSTOPPABLE – MIC GERONIMO
10. TAKE YOU THERE – PETE ROCK & CL SMOOTH
11. STOP DAT – EDO
G FT KRUMB SNATCHA & JAYSAUN
12. GIVE IT TO YA – PETE ROCK FT LITTLE BROTHER
13. HEART AND SOUL – RED CAFE
14. DOWN WITH THE KING – RUN DMC
15. BE EASY – GHOSTFACE KILLAH FT TRIFE
16. 914 – PETE ROCK FT STYLES
P & SHEEK LOUCH
17. IT’S LIKE THAT – D BLOCK
18. REAL HIP HOP (REMIX) – DAS EFX
19. WHAT THEY CALL ME – RAH DIGGA
20. I LUV – RED CAFE FT TALIB KWELI
21. DO THANGS – DOO WOP & JOELL ORTIZ
22. THE SAGA BEGINS – RAKIM
23. THE RAP WORLD – PETE ROCK & LARGE PROFESSOR
24. PRICELESS – ALL CITY
25. RESPIRATION (REMIX) – BLACK STAR (MOS DEF & TALIB
KWELI)
26. SITUATIONS – EDO G
27. ONE LIFE TO LIVE – PETE ROCK FT MC EIHT
28. A YO – METHOD MAN & REDMAN
29. TROUBLE MAN – INSPECTAH DECK
30. WRITERS BLOCK – ROC MARCIANO
31. SHUT EM DOWN (REMIX) – PUBLIC ENEMY
32. THE BITCH IN YOO – COMMON
33. THE WORLD IS YOURS – NAS
34. RATHER UNIQUE – AZ
35. GIMMIE ONE – REDMAN
36. FADES EM ALL (REMIX) – JAMAL
37. QUESTIONS – PETE ROCK FT ROYAL FLUSH
38. SONNY’S MISSING – RAEKWON
39. 1-2-3 – BOOT CAMP CLIK
40. HOLD THAT – TERMANOLOGY
BONUS:
41. THE JOY – KANYE WEST FT JAY-Z & KID
CUDI (SOUNDCLOUD ONLY)

Addicted To Music – DJ DeadEye

EPK for DJ DeadEye’s new Brick Records album “Substance Abuse” which features Freddie Foxxx, Reks, Termanology, Slaine, Esoteric, Cormega, Craig G etc.

Hardcore Composer – DJ Premier

DJ Premier speaks to TheHipHopChronicle.Com about working with Freddie Foxxx and the late, great Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal.

World Famous – M.O.P.

TheHipHopChronicle.Com interview with legendary Brooklyn duo M.O.P. – Billy Danze and Lil’ Fame reminisce on meeting DJ Premier, Guru and Freddie Foxxx for the first time and also recount a convo with Fat Joe after his Lexus was stolen – Danze gets a little confused about which album “Downtown Swinga” was recorded for but years of Hennessy consumption will probably make some memories kinda blurry LOL.

Crazy Like A… – Freddie Foxxx

Vintage 1993 interview with the infamous Freddie Foxxx.

Freddie Foxxx Interview (Originally Posted On StreetCred.Com Oct 20th 2008)

The term ‘Hip-Hop legend’ is one that’s thrown around a little too easily nowadays. With here-today-gone-tomorrow rappers currently claiming legendary status before their first mix-CD has even hit the streets, the criteria an artist must meet in order to be considered worthy of the title has obviously changed drastically in recent times. Freddie Foxxx, however, is an MC who has earned his stripes the old-fashioned way, through hard-work, determination and a love of making raw, emotionally-charged hardcore Hip-Hop.

With over 20 years in the game, Freddie’s career is perfect “Behind The Music” documentary material. Dropping a 12″ single in 1986 as a member of Supreme Force, the man also known as Bumpy Knuckles went on to work with Rakim’s former right-hand man Eric B. on his debut major label album, 1989’s “Freddie Foxxx Is Here”. The 90s saw the New York giant’s rep grow infinitely bigger, with Freddie entering into a short-lived feud with the Bronx’s Ultramagnetic MCs, his shelved “Crazy Like A Foxxx” album for Flavor Unit Records becoming one of the decade’s most sought-after unreleased projects, and show-stopping guest appearances on tracks from Kool G. Rap, Naughty By Nature, BDP and Gang Starr establishing the gruff-voiced wordsmith as a true cameo king.

In more recent years Foxxx has remained busy on the independent circuit, releasing 2000’s well-received “Industry Shakedown” album (followed a few years later by the equally potent “Konexion”) whilst appearing on projects from Pete Rock, De La Soul and former rap rival Kool Keith. This summer longstanding fans of Freddie were finally rewarded when the rapper dusted off the master tapes of his infamous “Crazy Like A Foxxx” project and released a dual-disc package on Fat Beats which included both the 1993 demo version of the album (produced by D.I.T.C.’s Showbiz, Lord Finesse and Buckwild) and the tweaked 1994 Flavor Unit version.

Often thought to be as aggressive in person as he is in his rhymes, Bumpy Knuckles kicked it with StreetCred.Com to talk about his new-but-old album, recording with rap greats, and his sometimes-misunderstood persona.

Ryan Proctor: During the intro to the recently released D.I.T.C. version of “Crazy Like A Foxxx” you mention that Flavor Unit turned it down when you originally submitted the project back in the 90s. Did they give you particular reasons as to why they didn’t want to release that version of the album?

Freddie Foxxx: When I turned in “Crazy Like A Foxxx” Flavor Unit felt that it was too dark for what they were looking for in terms of the marketing strategy they had planned for me. Back then Flavor Unit had already been involved with big radio records like Zhane’s “Hey Mr. DJ” and Naughty By Nature’s “Hip-Hop Hooray”. My sound at the time was very different to that, so the label turned down the original “Crazy Like A Foxxx” and I went back into the studio and made some more melodic sounding tracks, which was the final version they accepted.

RP: When you went back into the studio to record new material, did you feel like you were being forced to compromise your original vision of the album?

FF: It was more about keeping the concept of the album intact for me. If you notice, some of the tracks on both versions are the same. So to me, what I was talking about on the album was more important to me than the musical underlay I was saying it on. I was more concerned about getting my message across. I wanted people to feel exactly what I was going through in 1993 / 1994 and how I felt as a young man growing up in America. So I just said ‘Okay let me try and do this differently’ in terms of the production the label wanted.

But I was so in love with the original D.I.T.C. version that once I retained the masters and started getting emails from fans saying they wanted to hear it, I had to put the album out. I know there’s been a bootleg version going around for some years now that somebody took from the demo cassette, but the quality of that wasn’t very clear. So I wanted to finally put “Crazy Like A Foxxx” out properly and let the fans know that it was coming from the original source.

RP: Prior to recording “Crazy Like A Foxxx” in the early 90s you released your debut album “Freddie Foxxx Is Here” in 1989 on MCA Records. Did you have a different mindset going into recording “Crazy…” than when you made your first album?

FF: There was a lot that went on in my life between those albums. There was a lot of disappointment because I had high expectations for my first album. I was only young at the time and I thought that once you had a record deal you’d have access to work with all your favorite artists and everything else that comes with a major deal, but that just wasn’t the case. After my first album I went back into the streets and started getting an education there, so by the time I went into recording “Crazy Like A Foxxx” I was so full of a different type of information that it just changed my whole thought process.

RP: When you look back on the material contained on “Crazy Like A Foxxx” and then compare it to the music you’re making today, how do you feel you’ve developed as an artist over the years?

FF: I’m one of those MCs who if I’m going through some turmoil, if I’m angry or happy about something, I’ll write about my feelings. My passion is in my work, so if I get on a track and I’m screaming through the record people know that’s real emotion they’re hearing. I put my genuine emotions in my music, which is what separates me from a lot of other artists because too many cats are scared to really be real on a record so there’s no believability in what they’re saying. I always try to give people the best of what I can do as an artist and put all of the passion and emotion I’m feeling at a particular moment into the music I’m recording. I’ve done that since the beginning of my career and that’s still how I make music today. My format doesn’t change, I just update my rhyme style and stay on top of my skills.

RP: You’ve gained a reputation over the years as being a very aggressive and volatile individual. Do you feel that, even now, you’re still viewed as being a “mad rapper” type of character?

FF: Exactly. Absolutely (laughs). People have painted a picture of me, and I wouldn’t say that I don’t take responsibility for that to some extent, but sometimes you expect people to think along broader lines than they do. It seems like my angry side intrigues people more than my calmer side. It is what it is and I’ve had to learn to rock with that.

The media contributes to that as well; they’ll always describe me as being an angry rapper and use pictures of me with a mad face. So sometimes if I try to do something outside of that musically it doesn’t always gel with people, so the dilemma I go through as a recording artist is do I just stick to doing what people think I am? Or do I keep trying to push that wall down so they can see there’s more to Freddie Foxxx than they think? It’s always a puzzle to me.

I take time out to look at interviews that people have done with me on the blogs and whatever. I’ll read the comments people put up about me, and sometimes I’ll even answer if someone’s taken something I’ve said out of context. People are quick to critique what they don’t know, so sometimes the only way to deal with that is to step to it and say ‘Nah, that’s not what it is.’

One thing I’ve always felt I needed to do was keep my brain fed with new information. A lot of that comes from being a kid whose mother was very strict about me reading a lot. As a kid, every time I got an ass-whipping because I’d done something wrong, part of my punishment was to read. So I’ve always tried to keep up with new information, especially being in this music business, because once you develop a reputation or people decide they think they know who you are, you’ve gotta learn how to get around that intellectually and in a smart way. But I think my temper has gotten the better of me a lot of times and caused people to back away from me without really getting a chance to know me as a person.

RP: Do you think that’s something that’s possibly held your career back over the years?

FF: You know what? It’s been a gift and a curse. Eventually you can become who the people think you are if you’re not focused, and sometimes you have to just fallback because there’s no defense from the truth. I mean, if you do something to me, I’m going to step up and say what I say. If you ask me a question, I’m going to give you an honest answer. It might not always be what people wanna hear, but it will be my genuine opinion. I was raised to always give an honest opinion and I’ve always respected honesty. That’s why I don’t trip out when I hear people saying they don’t like Freddie Foxxx because I don’t expect everyone to think that what I do is to their liking.

I’m always very realistic about things, including my career. I believe there was a time that was right for me to strike, but my temper got the better of me and people still charge me with that. People feel like they’ve gotta be careful around me, but I’m not an animal and I’m not someone who doesn’t know how to handle their business. But I’ve had to learn to deal with the perception people have of me in order for me to do what I need to do as an artist, because my main objective is to make music, it’s not to entertain what people think about me. Once I got past that hump, then I became a better individual.

RP: Throughout your career, you’ve collaborated with some of the greatest MCs of all-time, from Kool G. Rap and KRS-One to Naughty By Nature’s Treach and Guru of Gang Starr. Have you ever gone into a studio and felt intimidated by the level of lyrical skill a particular artist was bringing to the table?

FF: Nah (laughs). I wouldn’t make a song with anyone I didn’t think could put pressure on me. A lot of people have called me to do songs with them, but I felt they weren’t qualified as MCs to be able to put pressure on me. Like, I love being in the studio with KRS-One because he says so much stuff in a tricky type of way that you can’t do nothing but think that he’s getting at you (laughs). We just recorded an album together called “Royalty Check” and there’s a track on there where KRS says ‘We’re all foxes, but you’re more Vivica, I’m more Jamie.’ So I can’t help but think he’s trying to be funny. I’ll laugh about it, but by the same token I’ll turn around and say something back in my next rhyme. But we don’t get into some whole angry beef situation about it, because that’s just what MCs do to make each other better in the studio.

I think someone like Kool G. Rap is such an incredible MC that people expect him to just body you on a record, so I needed that type of pressure to bring my A-game when we did “Money In The Bank” for his “Wanted: Dead Or Alive” album, to at least make people say ‘Yo, I kinda like both their verses.’ G. Rap saying a better verse than me wouldn’t have been a problem, the problem comes when someone totally annihilates you on a record to the point where your name isn’t even mentioned in the discussion. So far I don’t think I’ve had a strike against my name like that and I’ve never felt pressure from any MC that I didn’t want.

Even if someone didn’t think I had the hottest verse on a record, the fact that I’m in the debate tells me that I did my job. It’s when it’s a hands-down decision that the other guy came out on top, that’s when you know you’re in trouble (laughs).

RP: I remember reading back in the day that the reason your part is so long on “Ruff, Ruff” from BDP’s 1992 album “Sex And Violence” is because KRS-One had actually finished his rhyme and was doing graffiti in his notepad but you thought he was still writing.

FF: Yeah, yeah. You know what happened? I wasn’t sure if KRS wanted me to talk reckless on the record or not, so I tried to come with this pro-black, uplifting rhyme. Then when I said the rhyme KRS was like, ‘I like that, but that ain’t the Freddie Foxxx that I wanna hear.’ I’m like ‘What you mean?’ He said, ‘I wanna hear the Freddie Foxxx that everyone’s talking about, the MC-murdering, gun-slinging Freddie Foxxx.’ I was like ‘Oh word!’

I wrote my “Ruff, Ruff” verse right there in like 15 to 20 minutes. When I said the second rhyme that ended up on the record, that was the beginning of our friendship right there. KRS was like ‘That’s what I’m talking about.’

RP: Do you have any other memories of working with KRS on that particular album?

FF: I remember when we recorded the album’s intro “The Original Way”; I didn’t go in the booth to spit my verse. The engineer plugged the microphone in outside in the control room, so we were just handing each other the mic like we’re at a party right there in an open room to get that live sound. It was amazing and the idea was crazy. Kenny Parker was in the studio and me and KRS were just passing the mic back-and-forth. That whole joint was just us freestyling.

The consistency of that “Sex And Violence” album reminded me why I jumped into this game and stuck with this craft for so long because KRS gave me an education in a whole different style of rhyming with that record. When I worked with G. Rap I learned a lot about work ethic. The same thing working with people like Treach, 2Pac and Chuck D, I took something from all those experiences.

That was the great thing about that time, because I actually worked with those people before it was normal for someone to just email you a verse. I was actually able to form first-hand working relationships in the studio with these people. I remember I sat in on a Run-DMC session with Eric B. one time just as a fan, and just to see them working was an inspiration. At that point I’d never even been into a proper recording booth, so when I saw those guys in the studio I was just like ‘Wow! This is what I wanna do.’ I wanted to be behind the mic like DMC, who I thought had the craziest, craziest voice in the world.

RP: There seems to be a real generation gap developing in Hip-Hop with a lot of older artists openly criticizing younger cats. As someone who’s been a part of the culture for many years, what’s your take on that?

FF: Some of the criticism is warranted, some of it’s not. When people are given the opportunity to fully explain themselves, you can see where they’re coming from, but some of it’s just straight hate. Back in the day Hip-Hop was more about lyrics and people wanted to hear MCs spitting dope rhymes. It was all about the rapper back then and it was the rapper who built the personality of a record.

Back then it seemed like artists just had a more creative approach to their overall presentation, particularly where live performances where concerned. I mean, nothing was bigger than seeing Doug E. Fresh climbing out of a globe onstage, or seeing Slick Rick sitting on a throne, Eric B’s turntables rising out of the stage, or LL’s giant radio. Performing was so much a big part of what artists did back then and I think that had a lot to do with fans getting excited about a particular artist because they had a more personal relationship with them than they do today.

When it started to become more about the producer and the rappers became secondary to who was actually producing a track, then you started hearing less quality work from some MCs. But I think the best advice someone can give these new rappers is for them to dig deep into themselves and find something more to talk about than just the normal superficial stupidness.

The business has changed to such an extent now that it’s cheapened the worth of the music. There’s nothing special about rappers anymore like there used to be. Back in the day there had to be something extraordinary about you as an artist in order for you to be considered special by the fans, now there’s such an over saturation of mediocre artists which definitely isn’t good for the music.

RP: What do you think can be done to encourage communication between the different generations of Hip-Hop artists?

FF: I think they need to bring the seminars back. Back in the day, I was going to Jack The Rapper and How Can I Be Down? and that’s how a lot of new artists were getting their information from the older artists. Since they stopped doing the seminars, it’s been more difficult to mix the culture. I was able to meet people like Melle Mel and Afrika Bambaataa and talk to those guys as an upcoming artist. I think there needs to be more events like that today, because to me those seminars were a huge learning experience because you were able to see all these artists who were already in the industry sitting on discussion panels giving you jewels. There needs to be more forums and platforms for discussion, but everyone’s so damn lazy just sitting on a computer all day long, and they’re not looking at informative websites, they’re looking at gossip websites and that kinda shit.

RP: Do you think the internet has hurt Hip-Hop?

FF: Nowadays people are quick to dismiss new music. Like a guy will download a new song, but then two days later when someone else plays it they’re like ‘I’ve heard that already – what’s next?’ It could be a good record, but once they’ve heard it they want something else straight away. It makes me wonder what the fans are listening to or what they actually want from the music. That can mess with your creative process if you’re not focused because some artists are so unsure about what people want to hear, they end up doing anything trying to please everyone. The other problem is that a lot of today’s fans are aspiring artists themselves, so they’re listening to new music and saying ‘I could make a better album than that’ which stops people from fully supporting or enjoying the music.

RP: So what’s next for Freddie Foxxx?

FF: I’m just going to continue to make rap music the way I make rap music. I don’t want to try and fit into an already overcrowded space. I love being in my own lane as an artist and I’m someone who can actually say they have a genuine fan base so I’m not mad at that. When I get emails from fans telling me they’ve been following me for however many years, that confirms to me that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, which is making Hip-Hop music the way I think it should be made.

Ryan Proctor

Ruff, Ruff – Freddie Foxxx

Audio of Bumpy Knuckles talking to the UK’s Hip-Hop Chronicle about the recent release of his ‘lost’ 1994 album “Crazy Like A Foxxx”.

Akrobatik Interview (Originally Posted On HHNLive.Com Mar 17th 2008)

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Ask most new artists today what they’re looking for from their music career and the chances are that longevity won’t be at the top of the list. In today’s industry climate of ringtone rappers, one-hit wonders and declining album sales, many new jacks are looking to get in and out of the business as quickly as they can whilst accumulating as much money as possible. Whereas back in the day the term ‘overnight sensation’ was viewed as somewhat of a derogatory label that suggested an artist hadn’t paid his or her dues or fully perfected their craft, cats today aspire to blow up with their first musical efforts, so they can squeeze the game for all it’s worth financially and fall back before the bubble bursts and their fifteen minutes of fame is over.

Underground champion Akrobatik, however, is someone whose career plan most definitely does stretch beyond only worrying about his next mix-CD placement. Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, the rapper with the commanding baritone flow first debuted back in 1998 with his rugged single “Ruff Enuff”. But it was Akro’s 2000 Rawkus release “Internet Mcs” that really caught people’s attention, with the Beantown lyricist’s sharp, satirical look at the then burgeoning online rap chatroom community raising both eyebrows and laughter. This was followed in 2003 by the release of Akrobatik’s critically-acclaimed debut album “Balance”, which saw Ak winning the International Songwriting Competition for the captivating single “Remind My Soul”. Shortly after, the dreadlocked mic wrecker joined forces with fellow Boston bomber Mr. Lif for the well-received Perceptionists project on the Def Jux imprint, an album that landed in Rolling Stone’s best-of 2005 list.

Having recently released a new solo set entitled “Absolute Value”, the down-to-earth rapper is hoping that his blend of socially-aware subject matter, competition-crushing battle rhymes and quality production will once again please existing fans whilst showing doubters that he really is here to stay.

Just before jumping on a plane to Florida, A-to-the-K set some time aside for HHNLive.Com to talk about collaborating with J-Dilla, working with his idols, and American politics.

You’ve been releasing product now for over ten years. How do you feel you’ve developed as an artist in that time?

Well, I think I’ve gotten more confident with my flow and just with my ability to hold down a song from beginning to end. I think I’m getting stronger as an artist and maturing overall as a person.

The independent rap game has changed a great deal since you first debuted. Is there anything in particular you feel you’ve had to do to evolve with the business?

I’ve had to learn as many ways as I can to make money. We all have to try to survive and create situations for ourselves to enable us to stay in the business. Like you said, I’ve been here for a long time now and that’s no easy feat to be around for over ten years. A lot of that has to do with me going out and finding opportunities for myself to supplement my income and maximize my potential as an artist. Whilst I think it’s very important for an artist to keep putting out good music, I think it’s just as important to keep your business tight.

You’ve become something of a radio celebrity in Boston thanks to your daily Sports Rap-Up. What exactly does that involve and how did you get the gig?

Basically, the Sports Rap-Up is something that I do every Monday through to Friday. I have a segment on the morning show on Boston’s JAM’N 94.5 that’s one minute long and it plays three times throughout the show. It’s basically a freestyle about the sports news from the previous night. It’s a fun thing to do as I get to talk about what’s going on in the world in real time every day and there are opportunities for me to incorporate things from outside of sports into the Rap-Up with punchlines and stuff like that. It’s definitely a cool way for me to stay in contact with the people in Boston. The station actually approached me to do it as I’ve been in the business so long now that a lot of people there were already familiar with my work. They approached me, I gave them a demo, and it worked out real well.

Akrobatik – “Sports Rap-Up 2007”

Do you ever get feedback from listeners who were unfamiliar with you as an artist, but then after hearing you on the radio have then started getting into your music?

Absolutely. I get emails every week from people saying they’ve been listening to me every morning on the radio and then maybe they went to check out my MySpace page or something like that. It’s definitely bringing me some new fans, for sure.

Your recent single “Put Ya Stamp On It” with Talib Kweli was produced by the late J-Dilla. How did that collaboration come about?

It was a label thing. Fat Beats hooked me up with the opportunity to rock over a Dilla track that they’d commissioned from him before be passed away. I was real fortunate to be able to do that.

Did you feel any pressure recording that track knowing that you were adding on to Dilla’s legacy and that any posthumous Dilla-related material could end up being critiqued harder than what was released when he was alive?

Yeah, I mean I totally understand how that all works and that people may be sensitive to the idea of an artist who didn’t actually know Dilla rhyming over one of his tracks. But the fact of that matter is, Talib Kweli and Dilla were good friends and Kweli and I have known each other for a long time. Although I only met Dilla once, I feel that we really did the track justice and a lot of people do really seem to like the song. I think it’s something that Dilla himself would’ve been into.

Akrobatik ft. Talib Kweli – “Put Ya Stamp On It” (Fat Beats / 2008)

You have features on “Absolute Value” from legendary artists such as Public Enemy’s Chuck D, B-Real from Cypress Hill and Bumpy Knuckles (a.k.a. Freddie Foxxx). How did it feel recording with such Hip-Hop icons?

It’s definitely an amazing thing to be affiliated with guys who I grew up listening to. It’s unbelievable to me to that Chuck D was down to get together and do a track because he was my idol when I was growing up. It’s been a beautiful thing, and if anything, this album will establish the fact that I have the respect of my peers and my contemporaries. If I’d have come up somewhere like LA, New York or Atlanta, perhaps people might’ve heard about me quicker and realized that I was for real. But being from somewhere like Boston, it’s a little bit harder for people to be convinced because there’s not a wave of popular artists from the region I’m from. So I think this situation might make people a little less reluctant to check me out, with me getting the co-sign from people like Chuck D, Freddie Foxxx, Talib Kweli and Da Beatminerz. But that said, I’ve worked very hard to get myself into a position where these people would even consider working with me.

The track you recorded with Chuck D, “Kindred”, has political overtones to it and politics is obviously a hot topic in America right now with the Obama / Clinton situation. Regardless of who actually gets into the White House, what changes would you like to see any new American government make?

A: Well, there are a few immediate things. Everyone talks about the war in Iraq and that’s something that’s really a life or death situation. I would love to see our guys get out of there. I think if John McCain is the President those guys aren’t going to go anywhere and will be dying over there for years. That scares me. I think Hilary Clinton would get those guys out somewhat faster, but I think Barack Obama would get them out much faster. But the Iraq situation is just one thing. We also have healthcare issues and George Bush has left us with a pretty big bill, so we’re going to have to figure out how to get out of that debt as the country’s pretty much in a recession right now. I have a lot of concerns and I’m not sure if the person who’s going to fix them is going to do it necessarily because of what political party they’re from. I think we just really have to figure out who the best person is for the job. I’m hoping that whatever happens between Hilary and Barack, whoever wins that goes on to be the President because I just couldn’t take another four years of a Republican warmonger being the President of the United States and I don’t think the rest of the world wants to see that either. Just for the country’s global image, I think we need to do something that shows people we know America needs to change and that we’re doing something about it. There might be some mistakes made along the way, but I’d rather see that than America making a ‘safe’ decision and thinking that because we’re at war we need to have another war President. I’d just like to see someone in the White House who’s not a lunatic.

Are we likely to see another Perceptionists album with Mr. Lif any time soon?

Yeah, absolutely. We’re writing songs and getting beats for that right now. We’re taking our time with it, but we’re all going to be together a lot this year touring, so the album will probably be formulated over the summer and hopefully we’ll have it out by the fall. But we’re definitely going to do it.

So what’s next for Akrobatik as a solo artist?

I’ve got a lot of things going on. I’m doing a lot of stuff in the sports world right now and am working on some endorsement deals here and there. I’m just really busy and I’m hoping that I can put together another cohesive group of songs so that I can put another album out next year. I think I’ve had my time being the best-kept secret, so now this is my time to shine and just enjoy being in my prime.

Ryan Proctor