Tag Archives: Old Maid Entertainment

The Best Of Al-Shid (The Old Maid Years) – Al-Shid

al-shid cover

NY’s Al-Shid pulls together a dope collection of quality material recorded over the years for J-Zone’s Old Maid Entertainment.

Fish-N-Grits Album Stream – J-Zone

j-zone cover

The multi-talented J-Zone returns with another dope combination of sharp observational humour, funky beats and Rotten Apple attitude in the form of the brilliant “Fish-N-Grits”.

New Joint – J-Zone

j-zone pic

J-Zone – “Go Back To Sellin’ Weed” (@JZoneDontTweet / 2016)

The always-dope Queens, NY representative offers the rap game some tough love on the flip of his new vinyl release.

New Joint – J-Zone

j-zone cover 4

J-Zone – “Lucky Strikes” (@JZoneDontTweet / 2014)

Some funky drum flavour from the multi-talented NYC resident.

52 Best Albums & EPs Of 2013 (Part Three) – Ill Bill / J-Zone / Dirt Platoon etc.

Ill Bill – “The Grimy Awards” (Uncle Howie) – The Brooklyn emcee kept one foot in the gritty past of NYC and the other striding towards an apocalyptic future as he shed light on both his influences and pivotal life moments throughout this extremely personal project. With production from the likes of Large Professor, DJ Muggs and DJ Premier, Bill dropped arguably his most impressive work to date (and an honorable mention has to go to Q-Unique for one of the year’s best verses on “L’Amour East”).

ill bill cover

Omniscence – “Sharp Objects EP” (Omniscence.BandCamp.Com) – Having made his name in the 90s with underground classics such as “Amazin'” and “Touch Y’all”, the North Carolina punchline king returned like he hadn’t missed a beat, displaying his agile lyricism on this EP built on the strong, jazzy head-nodding sonics of Australian producer Debonair P.

omniscence cover

Dam-Funk & Snoop Dogg – “7 Days Of Funk” (Stones Throw) – Getting back to his G-Funk roots, Snoopzilla got in touch with his inner Bootsy Collins by uniting with talented producer Dam-Funk for this synth-heavy blast of retro goodness that sounded like Tha Dogg Pound had gatecrashed a 1983 Bar-Kays jam session. Ooooweeee!!!

snoop-7-days-of-funk

J-Zone – “Peter Pan Syndrome” (Old Maid Entertainment) – Providing theme music for thirty-something Hip-Hop heads everywhere faced with the cold realities of growing-up, Zone Loc’s latest opus found the Queens, NY producer-on-the-mic navigating the pressures of full-time employment, property ownership and relationships with his usual blend of sarcastic humour and musical inventiveness.

j-zone-peter-pan-syndrome

DJ Skizz – “B.Q.E. (The Brooklyn-Queens Experience)” (Gawd Of Math Music) – Amidst ongoing debates around the topic of New York rap losing its identity, producer DJ Skizz enlisted the likes of Masta Ace, Al’ Tariq and Rasheed Chappell for a hardcore shot to the dome that needed to be listened to whilst wearing a hoodie and Timberlands to be fully appreciated.

dj skizz cover

Strange Neighbour – “The Heisenberg EP” (Revorg Records) – Taking his inspiration from the anti-hero of cult TV show “Breaking Bad”, UK producer Strange Neighbour got busy in the lab and cooked-up this drum-heavy batch of bangers featuring the varied lyrical styles of Phoenix Da Icefire, Oliver Sudden, Big Toast and more.

Heisenberg.Front_

Durag Dynasty – “360 Waves” (Nature Sounds) – The Alchemist continued to spend the year churning out ridiculously dope beats with this full-length crew effort from Planet Asia, Tristate and Killer Ben. With the West Coast trio each spitting sharp lyrical darts, Alchemist’s stripped-down beats provided the right amount of thump to ensure said darts exploded on impact as intended.

durag dynasty cover

Chairman Maf – “1976” (ChairmanMaf.BandCamp.Com) – UK producer Maf’s debut full-length instrumental project was a masterclass in creating mood music. Ranging from ethereal boom-bap to intergalactic soul, “1976” took the listener on an unpredictable sonic journey which had a worthwhile destination around every corner.

chairman maf cover

Skyzoo & Antman Wonder – “An Ode To Reasonable Doubt” (Loyalty Digital Corp) – The Brooklyn lyricist paid homage to Jigga’s classic debut respectfully and creatively on this Antman Wonder-produced EP. Retreading the musical steps of golden-era Hov definitely meant attempting to fill some big shoes, but this brilliant eight-track release found Skyzoo adding just as much to “Reasonable Doubt” as he was taking. No regrets here.

skyzoo cover

Dirt Platoon – “War Face” (Shinigamie Records) – Straight off the streets of Baltimore, duo Raf Almighty and Snook Da Crook cracked the concrete beats provided here by French producer Kyo Itachi like a pair of lyrical jackhammers. Rough, rugged and raw, “War Face”  left your eardrums feeling like they’d just been pummelled by the neighbourhood bully.

dirt platoon cover

Tommy Tyler – “The Golden Section” (SonsPhonetic.BandCamp.Com) – The Irish emcee delivered a moody, hypnotic five-track EP that drew the listener into a sombre world further enhanced by the bass-heavy production of Mook. Music to listen to with the lights off.

tommy tyler cover

Ryan Proctor

Check Part OnePart Two and Part Four.

Old To The New Q&A – J-Zone

j-zone pic 3

Many Hip-Hop fans breathed a collective sigh of relief when news circulated some months ago about Queens, NY resident J-Zone’s return to the world of music. As one of the game’s most creative and entertaining figures, the self-confessed Onion Ring Pimp left a large void in underground rap circles when he announced his self-imposed retirement from the microphone towards the end of the last decade.

After debuting in 1998 with the cult classic “Music For Tu Madre”, Zone spent a solid ten years carving out his own musical path, shunning mainstream trends and laughing in the faces of stern-faced Hip-Hop purists, all while filling projects such as “A Bottle Of Whup Ass” and “$ick Of Bein’ Rich” with his colourful humour, sharp observations and unique production.

But whilst pimps might not pay taxes, they do still have to pay bills, which was a cold fact Zone faced following the release of his 2006 projects “To Love A Hooker” and “Experienced!”, with the self-confessed Rap-A-Lot fanatic forced to enter into the world of nine-to-five hours, office politics and daily commutes.

Brilliantly capturing his transition from artist to tie-wearing work colleague in his 2011 book “Root For The Villian”, the chances of J-Zone releasing a new album seemed unlikely. Until now.

Returning with the poignant “Peter Pan Syndrome”, the talented producer-on-the-mic has crafted a project that finds Zone poking fun at certain elements of modern day living whilst grappling with his own place in life as a thirty-something musician refusing to be sucked into a life of conformity and the potential social consequences that accompany that decision.

A few weeks ago, on the eve of the release of his eleventh album, Zone Loc jumped on the phone to discuss his passion for playing the drums, adult peer pressure and the pitfalls of social media in his typically candid manner.

When we did our last interview in 2011 you’d just published your book “Root For The Villain” following your retirement from music. Yet here we are in 2013 ready to talk about your new album “Peter Pan Syndrome”. What happened?

“I had no intentions of making any more music at that point, at least not Hip-Hop. I was done with the J-Zone s**t and I still can’t really say that I’m fully back in it because most of my albums happen by accident. The book happened by accident. You just get inspired and you do something, but the problem is that when you create something you then have to do a whole bunch of other stuff with it that you never planned to do. I mean, even though this album is done, I still don’t want to get out there and perform (laughs). People have been asking me if I’m going to go out on tour to the promote the project and I’ve been weighing it up, thinking about it, and maybe if I could tour Europe I’d do it as I’d like to go back there. But I mean, I can’t remember the words to none of my old songs (laughs). The whole idea of performing is just so foreign to me now. But I really had no clue that I was going to do another J-Zone album. What happened was, I’ve been a musician since I was five and have always played an instrument or done something. So when I stopped making beats and rhyming in 2008 / 2009, I was writing for places like Ego Trip and then I did the book which gave me a creative outlet. But I didn’t have any musical outlet, so I was deejay-ing here and there. But after two or three years of not doing any music, if you’re a musician by nature, it’s easy to say that you’re going to walk away from the business but you can’t walk away from the music. Sooner or later, you’re going to get that itch. Around the time that the book came out I took up drums as a hobby. I wanted to learn an instrument and do something where there was no pressure to make money or anything like that. I just wanted to be able to enjoy it for what it is. So about six months in I really wanted to try and improve. I was watching a lot of old footage of Clyde Stubblefield and James Brown’s concerts and stuff like that…”

Did learning the drums give you a sense of creative freedom that you hadn’t been getting from Hip-Hop at the time you announced your rap retirement?

“Yeah and it also kinda tied in to the whole “Peter Pan Syndrome” thing as well. I mean, people make you feel like at a certain age you’re not supposed to try new things. It’s kinda this thing where once you graduate college you’re not supposed to learn anything new unless it’s going to lead to instant money or a better job. Nobody really puts three or four hours a day into something just to learn it once they reach adulthood because people have bills or want to start a family, things like that. So people look at you crazy when you tell them you’re going to try something new. But about six months in to learning the drums, I just started taking it really seriously. I was collecting vintage drums, RJD2 gave me some tips on how to record them to make them sound like old records and I just really got into the drums. But I still wasn’t good enough to be a professional drummer, it was just a hobby that I thought maybe I could do something with. Then I’d been playing for a year and I started thinking about how it would sound if I made some beats and did my own drums. The issue was always sound quality because live drums either sound great or really shi**y. To get them to sound like those breaks I used to sample you have to have certain mics, certain studio equipment and use certain techniques. I was creating breakbeats for people on the side and I was like, ‘Well, what if I started making beats again and I added this new thing that I’m doing with the drums.’ So I started making beats with live drums and they were coming out good. The tempos were a little faster than the stuff I usually made and the overall sound was a little funkier, so I was going to do another 45 single to follow up the “Drug Song” one I did last year. So I was looking for two songs to put on a 45, like an uptempo instrumental and a regular rap joint. I made two songs, but they weren’t right. I made two more songs, but they weren’t right either. Then before I knew it I had twelve songs. So I was like, ‘F**k a 45! I might as well just make an album.’ (Laughs).”

Were these actual finished songs or just rough ideas that you’d been working on that you thought could work as an album project?

“They were the songs you hear on the album. I’d made “Gadget Ho” and “Molotov Cocktail” and those were going to be the 45. Then I started making more songs and was like, ‘Nah, this would be a better song for a single.’ Then before I knew it I had all these songs and I could start to see the skeleton form for an album. There was a running theme throughout them with me talking about getting old because that was the only thing that I wanted to rap about as it was something that was on my mind. So once that outline formed I knew where to take the direction of the album. I mean, I didn’t even announce that I was doing an album until it was just about done. I couldn’t believe I’d actually done it (laughs). At first, I was just going to give it away to friends to show them that I could still make good music. Then I was just going to throw it up on iTunes and not actually tell people it had come out. Then I thought about doing some artwork. So little by little it just became a fully fledged project.”

j-zone pic 2

What makes the project work so well is the fact that, even though you’re addressing certain life issues that perhaps people aren’t used to hearing you talking about in your music, it’s still very much a J-Zone record. If you’d have tried to remake a “Pimps Don’t Pay Taxes” in a safe bid to please fans it could have easily sounded forced or awkward…

“Definitely. I mean, I’m always going to be me. But when you put something out, people are always going to want what they can’t have. I mean, I have a lot of different layers and I’m influenced by a lot of different things. So that means I can give you something like “Chief Chinchilla – Live At The Liqua Sto” or I can give you something like “Experienced!” because I’m a clown and a joker but I’m also a musician. I like West Coast exaggerated gangsta s**t but I also like the Jungle Brothers. I’m influenced by so much and it just comes out, but not everyone is always going to get it. I mean, I don’t know five people who all have the same favourite J-Zone album. I don’t really read message boards and online feedback to my stuff because it messes with your head, but I read this one thing someone forwarded me that had been written after someone had heard the new music and they were saying that I was on some new s**t with the beats which they said they weren’t really feeling but then they were saying that I was still rapping about the same old J-Zone stuff. So I was like, ‘Okay, so you want me to deviate from what I usually do with the rapping but then keep the production the same?'”

So, basically, you did it the wrong way around?

“Yeah (laughs) It’s like what do you want me to do? This is something I say to artists all the time and me and Vinnie Paz were talking about this recently because he was a little frustrated about some stuff, but, as an artist you really can’t win. Whatever you do, some people will like it and some people won’t. Some of your records will be more popular than others. One of the most valuable things that Danger Mouse ever told me was to just keep making music because, even if a certain record isn’t received very well at the time, when your career is said and done and you have a discography people are going to look at that as a whole and then that’s when they’ll be able to appreciate the peaks and valleys. So I’m trying to think long term in terms of doing what I want to do and just in terms of thinking about what a new album does for my catalogue as a whole rather than just trying to get a new project out there for the sake of it. I mean, people always say they want the J-Zone they heard on “Pimps Don’t Pay Taxes” or “A Bottle Of Whup Ass” but I’ll never be able to do that again. You’ll hear subtleties from that era on the new record, but it’s impossible to recreate those earlier projects.”

j-zone pic 6

This is something that we’ve talked about before, how certain artists who made such an impact on fans early in their careers are always tied to that initial material. So, even if someone like Nas made an album in 2013 that actually was better than “Illmatic”, fans would still say it was inferior because of the nostalgia and memories that surround that project for so many people…

“That’s exactly right and it really has less to do with music and is more to do with aesthetic and time. I mean, people tell me all the time that “Pimps Don’t Pay Taxes” or “A Bottle Of Whup Ass” was their theme music in college. Now, I could have have put “Chief Chinchilla” out when they were in college and made “Pimp Don’t Pay Taxes” today in 2013, and if I’d have put out one of my newer records back then, those same people would equate that record with getting drunk, getting girls and going to class and they’d equate “Pimps Don’t Pay Taxes” with having to pay bills and all the other responsibilities that come with adult life in the present day. Memories are attached to music so it’s easy to say ‘Oh, this album is the best!’ because you’re also thinking about the time period it came out in. But when you’re just talking about the music and being completely objective it’s a different thing all together. For instance, “Hard To Earn” or “Moment Of Truth” are technically the most well-produced Gang Starr albums, but “Step In The Arena” will always be my favourite Gang Starr album because I have so many great memories attached to that record. “Words From The Genius” by The Genius is obviously inferior to “Liquid Swords” but I’m always going to pick “Words From The Genius” because that came out during a great time in my life and “Liquid Swords” came out during a terrible time in my life. So my opinion on those two albums really has nothing to do with the music itself, it’s based on where my life was at the time I ingested the music. So, with this new “Peter Pan Syndrome” record, I understand that now. It’s something that we all do. I mean, if someone says they don’t like the new album, it really doesn’t matter to me. If someone says, ‘Well, it’s no “Pimps Don’t Pay Taxes”‘ then that tells me they were probably twenty-one years-old when that album came out with no responsibilities and now they’re probably married to a big three-hundred pound woman who’s taking them to court, they’re in a lousy job and they’re like, ‘”Peter Pan Syndrome”? Whatever, man….'”

But “Peter Pan Syndrome” should really be the album that does resonate with that person in their mid-thirties who’s not really sure where there life is at right now…

“Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s why people like the “Jackin’ For Basquiats” track that I did so much because a lot of people’s favourite artists are out of touch. Now, I don’t really fault the artist because as you start to make money you get into buying million dollar paintings and business franchises. That’s natural. But you’re audience isn’t really going to change with you. The difference between me and Jay-Z is that he started from the bottom and made it to the top, whereas I came in at a certain level and stayed there the entire time (laughs). Regardless of what they sold, my records have always been made for the same guy, that blue-collar regular motherfu**er. Even though “Music For Tu Madre” was a much different record to “Peter Pan Syndrome”, both albums were made for the guy that’s in the same tax bracket then as he is now. I’ve always made records for the same person. I mean, even as I got older and more polished with my production and some of my records became less slapstick and clownish, all the records were still very youthful. Even though “To Love A Hooker” might be a little more mature than “A Bottle Of Whup Ass”, they’re all youthful records. I started my recording career at twenty-one and now I’m thirty-six, but my records have always been youthful, just in different ways.”

So with any music you’re making now it’s about balancing that youthful energy and humour with an honest reflection of being an underground musician in his thirties…

“Yeah and it’s a balance that I’m trying to maintain. See, I’m in an odd position. Like I said in my book, you have different types of artists. You have artists who became so successful that when their music career died down, they were already involved in other things. Someone like a Sticky Fingaz was doing the acting thing, Xzibit had the “Pimp My Ride” thing. It’s almost like rap was a springboard for them. They came in as artists but then they were able to use that to go in other directions with their careers. They never had to go into the nine-to-five world when the music started drying up a little. Then you have rappers who always had a day job. They’d work during the week and do shows on the weekend or maybe if they did something during the week they had to make sure they got onstage early as they needed to be up for work in the morning. So those guys always had a job on the side while they were also doing the music thing. But I fall into that very small percentage of underground artists who was able to make a living off music for ten years or whatever, but then I reached that point where I had to start looking for other sources of income. So I started looking for work around 2008  which was one of the worst times to be doing that as the economy was so bad. People my age were starting to go back to school because they didn’t know what else to do because they couldn’t find jobs. But I didn’t really have the money to go back to school so I was starting real low in the job market. It took me about a year to find a job for about nine bucks an hour. I hated it. I actually ended up working four jobs, doing about eighty hours a week, napping in the car between jobs so I didn’t get into a damn accident. I had two sports reporting gigs, I had a sales job at a gym and I worked in a school. So I was doing all of that in my early-thirties which is the time in life when you’re supposed to be established. People around you are getting married, having kids, buying houses and I’m like, I can’t do none of that s**t because I’m only earning about eighty bucks a day after working for twelve hours. Of course, being in New York  as well it’s all about class, status and money. So where I might have been able to meet a girl before because I was doing something interesting as J-Zone even though I might still not have had a lot of money, at that point I wasn’t even doing anything interesting and I still didn’t have a lot of money. Then, in the jobs I was doing, I’m getting dicked around by management and whatever. So it was a shock to go from being your own boss, running your own business and being an artist and entertainer, to having to start from the bottom in the worst financial time. It’s a hard pill to swallow. So it gave me an insight into that world that perhaps another artist might not have. You might have other artists taking about similar stuff that I’m talking about on “Peter Pan Syndrome”, like getting older and whatever, but if they’ve not been in that position that I was in then they might not know exactly how dire it is out there. I mean, maybe they are in that position, but not many people really want to talk about it. ”

So that whole employment experience really opened your eyes to a different world?

“Yeah. I mean, I’m not saying that other rappers don’t go through the same stuff I’m talking about, but not everyone wants to be so honest about it and admit that they’ve fallen from grace as they say and have had to start from zero. I mean, there’s really no reset button once you get into your thirties. Everything around you becomes a lot more rigid, it’s harder to change, you can’t undo a lot of s**t because as you get older mistakes are more costly. But it’s a different world out there today. I mean, nobody’s retiring at sixty like our parents did. People are having to work longer, people are changing careers instead of having a job for life. But I had no experience in the nine-to-five world, so going to employment agencies, I’m getting laughed out of there like, ‘What the hell is Old Maid Entertainment?’ I mean, I ran my own business and it took a lot of skill and will power to be able to do that, but they don’t really see that. You get on LinkedIn and all that s**t but that doesn’t make any difference. So you begin to get frustrated because you’re like, ‘Damn! By me dedicating all this time I have to Hip-Hop does this mean I now have to stay where I am for the rest of my life?’ I was scared and I’m still scared because I honestly can’t tell you what my next thing is going to be. I have no clue.”

j-zone pic 5

“Peter Pan Syndrome” isn’t necessarily the first step in a planned J-Zone rap comeback then?

“Nah, man. To be dead honest, with my life, I see about three months ahead. I don’t look any further than that really. I mean, I’m also helping to take care of my grandmother who’s ninety now. I’m in a very odd situation and in some ways it’s good but in some ways it’s bad. I mean, I’ve been trying to move but if you don’t have a traditional nine-to-five then you can’t rent without showing pay stubs from a steady day-job. It’s hard. There’s just different s**t going on. I’ve already decided that I don’t want to go back to school, partly because I don’t have fifty thousand in expendable cash to throw at a masters degree. I tried to do the teaching thing but then I realised my method of reaching kids when I was working with them wasn’t something that would be accepted by the administration.  It just wasn’t for me. Working with all these baby-boomers who’re pensioned up for life and trying to save their jobs by pushing test scores up but they don’t really give a s**t about the kids. Everybody working there is dysfunctional but then they’re worried about me wearing a weird haircut to work. I just didn’t do well there (laughs). So I kinda used “Peter Pan Syndrome” as a way to laugh at some of that stuff because humour has always been my coping mechanism for serious issues. But right now, I’m scared to death because I have no idea where the f**k my life is at or what’s next. I really don’t.”

I think a lot of people feel that way in today’s world though due to financial issues, lack of job security, relationship problems etc, but you just wouldn’t know it if you believe everything you read on social media…

“Everybody on social media gives you the highlight reel. Nobody wants to show the missed free throws or the bad dunks. Nobody’s going to show you that they missed five shots in a row. They’re only going to show you the highlights of the game because nobody wants to be seen as being less than superhuman. I mean, I’m struggling with a lot of things and to me my music is my outlet. But whenever you create something and come from an honest perspective you run the risk of people ridiculing you like, ‘Okay J-Zone, well why don’t you just go do this…’ but they’re not in your situation. I mean, people see me as just living in my grandmother’s basement or whatever, but taking care of  a senior citizen is a lot of f**kin’ work! It’s not easy. But when you put that stuff out there, people who are in the status quo position will tell those who aren’t in the status quo position that it’s easy to go out and get a high-paid job or get married because they’ve already done it. I mean, my best friend, he works a regular job and he’s like, ‘Okay, to get a job this is what you need to do. Just go to the employment agency, tell them you want work and they’ll give you a job.’ But he’s been working in the regular workforce since he was eighteen and he hasn’t had to look for a new job in about ten years. So he doesn’t really realise how much things have changed and he’s also not going into those employment agencies with a Hip-Hop resume (laughs). So there are all these little details and idiosyncratic things in my life that make it a struggle for me to get to the traditional adult life of nine-to-five job, wife, kids and all of that.”

But is that traditional lifestyle something that you actually want?

“I haven’t figured out exactly what I want yet but I’ve figured out what I don’t want (laughs).”

Sometimes that can be more important…

“Yeah, exactly. I mean, people look at me sideways when I say that I don’t want to have kids right now. But I’ve been something of a caretaker over the years with my grandmother, especially in the last five years or so. I’ve always had some kind of responsibilities so I’ve never really lived that whole wild bachelor drunken lifestyle. So here I am at the age where I feel like I should be settling down, but then on the other-hand I feel like I’m twenty-one and I just want to bomb the f**k out. But when you say something like that it’s easy for people who are in that traditional life to criticize you for it. I mean, I try not to judge people for the decisions they make in life because I’m not there, I’m not them and I don’t know what they’ve been through firsthand. But I know people who aren’t married and who don’t have kids who’ve deleted their Facebook accounts because the pressure was too much and they felt so bad about not being in this so-called ideal situation that they were seeing other people in. They were looking at Facebook like a constant reminder that they’d failed, when, in reality, you don’t know what’s really going on in the lives of those people. You could have a kid, but that kid could be sick. You could be married, but your wife or husband could have a drug problem. You don’t know what’s going on as you’re only getting half the story. As adults, I think we judge each other too quickly without knowing everything that’s going on. I mean, I thought it was bad enough when you went through peer-pressure as a teenager; you’ve gotta drink, you’ve gotta smoke, you’ve gotta have sex. But the pressure I’ve been dealing with in my thirties, that s**t is some major pressure. I mean, I’ve pretty much managed to stay on my course and avoid doing s**t that I don’t want to do, but it f**ks you up because the pressure that I’m dealing with now is based around time because all you hear people say is that time is running out. Which is something that I really wanted to address on “Peter Pan Syndrome”. I mean, there comes a time in everyone’s life where you have to make a decision and live with the consequences. If the pressure’s too much and you don’t really want to have a family or work a square job but you do it out of fear, there’s a chance that in twenty years time you’ll be like, ‘You know what? I’m glad I did it.’ But there’s also a chance that in twenty years you’ll be like, ‘What the f**k did I do?’

It’s like the concept of the mid-life crisis has been reversed now…

“Yeah, definitely. I mean, before, people would say that you were moving too fast, but now they say that you haven’t grown up quick enough (laughs). I mean, since I started promoting “Peter Pan Syndrome” I’ve had friends and other people come to me who are married with kids telling me that they wished they’d done what I did and chased their dreams so at least they would know now how it would have turned out. So I think a lot of what I’m addressing on the album is stuff that everyone around our age goes through in one way or another. Everybody wants the life that they don’t have (laughs).”

j-zone pic 4

So have you taken away any particular life lessons from your experiences over the last five years since you attempted to enter the regular world?

“I’ve learned how much life sucks when you stop dreaming. I mean, you do have to take care of your responsibilities and you do have to accept reality, which is something that I accepted when my music career didn’t end the way I wanted it to. I can live with that. I can accept it. But even though I’m not ever going to go around being the successful rapper supreme, which was never a realistic goal anyway, just being able to keep creating and making music is what keeps me feeling young and alive. I mean, I wanted to die when I was just doing straight work and didn’t have any creative outlets. When I love something, I don’t believe in outgrowing it. I mean, you might outgrow going out to the club and getting drunk every night, but when it comes to music, hairstyles, clothing, I still like the same stuff that I liked as a teenager (laughs). I just never outgrew Hip-Hop but you’re made to feel guilty about that at this age.”

Do you think being so involved in Hip-Hop has held you back in certain areas of life?

“Oh yeah, definitely. I think by me pursuing music and Hip-Hop seriously as a career when I was twenty-two, I unknowingly sacrificed a lot. The difference between then and now is that I know I’m digging myself into a hole by continuing to do this. When you’re young, the field is level, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve become very aware of the fact that people who aren’t in this world really don’t respect the s**t. I mean, when you take that path and then later in life you start looking at women you might want to date or friends who have families, they’re looking at you like you’re crazy for still being involved in this. So for those of us who went the musician route full-time in our twenties and became accustomed to that lifestyle, now that we’re older, we’re realising, not that it was a mistake, but that we’re on a different boat with a different destination that’s riding a different current. You can’t really explain it. So unless you’re a huge successful artist, if you’re just a blue-collar musician still out there grinding, you just have to get used to people asking you all the time, ‘When are you going to wake up, give it up and come over to this side in the regular world?’ Well, I tried it and I couldn’t get any respect. People say go get a job? I went and got four jobs and I still couldn’t make a living (laughs). I was physically falling apart and I was broke and miserable. So I decided that if I was going to be broke and miserable, I’d rather be broke sitting up here having fun, writing books and making music in my own situation. I tried following the rules and that s**t didn’t work. At least now, even though my future has a huge question mark over it, I’m happy doing what I’m doing.”

So depending on how well “Peter Pan Syndrome” is received, will there be another J-Zone album in the pipeline?

“Like I said, I live maybe two or three months ahead, man. Would I like to get some production work? Yeah. Would I like to get some deejay gigs? Yeah. I’m still learning as a drummer, but a couple of people have already hit me up for some breaks so maybe I can find a niche doing that. I really just want to find my niche. I’m not really interested in re-entering the Hip-Hop arena and competing with other artists. I just want people to know they can come to J-Zone for something specific. I want to have certain things that I do very well, whether that be with the music or writing, and I’ll do those things as an independent contractor. Maybe scoring music for films and TV or doing voice-overs, things like that. I just want to solidify my brand, do certain things that only I can do, and build J-Zone into this entity that might not be famous but is hopefully something that I can turn into a decent living. That’s really all I can hope to get from it, man.”

Ryan Proctor

Follow J-Zone on Twitter @JZoneDontTweet and visit GoVillainGo.Com for more info.

J-Zone – “Gadget Ho” (Old Maid Entertainment / 2013)

Peter Pan Syndrome Album Sampler – J-Zone

j-zone cover

After retiring from the rap game in 2009, getting a regular day job, leaving a regular day job, writing a book and learning how to play the drums, the mighty infamous J-Zone makes a welcome return to the studio with his eleventh album project “Peter Pan Syndrome” – listen to the sampler here.

Tribute To J-Zone Mixtape Download – The Worst

France’s The Worst delivers another impressive tribute mix this time showcasing some of the finest output from NYC’s biggest Too Short fan J-Zone – download here.

Do The Math – J-Zone

Amusing interview with J-Zone on Soce’s “Kickin’ It” series discussing the finer technical aspects of Zone Loc’s creative process.

Do It Like A G.O. – J-Zone Selects His 5 Favourite 90s Rap-A-Lot Albums

It’s safe to say that J-Zone is a cult hero within underground Hip-Hop circles. Since debuting in the late-90s with the still highly-sought after “Music For Tu’ Madre” project, the now retired New York producer-on-the-mic has left behind him a musical legacy that brilliantly incorporated the boom-bap sensibilities of the East Coast with the wit of Richard Pryor and a love of all things pimpin’. From my own personal favourite “Pimps Don’t Pay Taxes” to his Bo$$ Hog Barbarians collaboration with Demigodz member Celph-Titled “Every Hog Has Its Day”, Zone-Loc has consistently laughed in the faces of moody back-packers who think Too Short is the anti-christ of Hip-Hop by perfecting his own unique brand of humorous-yet-credible rap.

Whilst, sadly, we’re never likely to hear another J-Zone album, the man formerly known as Captain Backslap is still adhering to the first lesson taught in Pimpology 101 (i.e. the game should be sold, not told) by penning his forthcoming book “Root For The Villain”. With chapters covering what happens when rappers have to return to the 9-5 world, technology and amusing music industry stories, the book is, as Zone says himself, for those who “still use Walkmans and collect records” and who “feel it’s perfectly acceptable to wear a clip-on tie with Master P’s face on it” to a job interview. So essential reading for those literate mo’fos out there who even in today’s digital age still have an attention span that lasts longer than five seconds.

“It’s one-third memoirs of the music business, one-third social commentary from a curmudgeon in his thirties and one-third appreciation for the obscure and under appreciated,” offers Zone when asked to further describe “Root For The Villain”. “Not every chapter will be for everybody but I think everybody will find something in there they can relate to.”

Having been influenced just as much by someone like a Bushwick Bill as he has more acceptable artists such as a Rakim, the one subject that has regularly come up during numerous conversations and interviews with J-Zone over the years is our mutual appreciation for the southern-fried gangster-isms and outlandish pimpishness of the plethora of albums released in the early-90s on Houston’s infamous Rap-A-Lot Records. With a long list of deranged, dysfunctional but downright dope artists on its roster, the outrageous output from the then fledgling imprint almost made releases from other gangsta powerhouses such as Ruthless and Death Row seem as wholesome as Christian rap.

Back in the day, I had foul-mouthed albums from the Geto Boys, DMG and 5th Ward Boyz in heavy rotation just as much as universally acclaimed releases of the time from the likes of Main Source, A Tribe Called Quest and Ice Cube.

So rather than do the expected “What made you decide to write a book?” interview, I asked J-Zone to speak about his five favourite albums from the golden-age of the mighty Rap-A-Lot Records, one of Hip-Hop’s most slept-on labels. Word to DJ Ready Red!

5. Convicts – “Convicts” (1991)

So Big Mike and Mr. 3-2 just made it into your top five with their “Convicts” album….

“I have to give an honourable mention to Ganksta N-I-P’s “South Park Psycho” which almost made it but the Convicts album is just so flagrant and wrong that I had to put it in here (laughs). It’s just so wrong in so many ways. It’s also one of the few Rap-A-Lot albums that was available on vinyl with a picture cover other than the Scarface and Geto Boys releases. Rap-A-Lot releases were already known for being very politically incorrect and offensive but the Convicts just seemed to embody all of that and more. I mean, they had the song “Illegal Aliens” which was straight up racist, they had “Whoop Her A**” which is misogynistic and violent and they had “Wash Your A**” which was a commentary on people that stink. They just seemed to manage to offend everyone under the sun with that album and at some point you’ve got to give people credit when they’re able to offend that many people (laughs). The Convicts were just no holds barred with it and they went after everyone. To me, “Convicts” embodies everything about low-budget regional independent rap records of the time with the bad mix downs and poor mastering, but at the same time they were flipping samples that nobody else had really used before. So the ideas were there but it was just so unpolished, but I’ve always really liked that approach. My first solo album “Music For Tu’Madre” was similar in that regard, in terms of the samples and ideas being very original, but the overall  sound quality of that project was very low-budget. But going back to “Convicts”, at the time the album was released Rap-A-Lot was a label, a crew and an aesthetic really trying to find its footing and the imperfections in the record just made it seem that much more of a DIY project.”

There’s two things that stand out to me now when I go back and listen to this album and that’s how much Big Mike improved as a rapper between this and replacing Willie D in the Geto Boys in 1993 and also how Jay-Z jacked “1-900-Dial-A-Crook” in 2000 for his “1-900-Hustler” on “The Dynasty”…

“Scarface kicked the same rhyme on that “1-900…” record that he kicked on his own record “Your A** Got Took” with the “Here’s some game…” verse. So you kinda got a little preview of Scarface’s solo material on the Convicts album as well (laughs).”

That’s a good point you made about their choice of samples as a lot of the early Rap-A-Lot releases really relied heavily on old-school Southern funk and soul for the loops they were using…

“Those early Rap-A-Lot releases had the bass of the West Coast mixed with the sampling approach of the East Coast where they were taking risks and sampling music that hadn’t really been used that much, if at all, before then. I mean, I don’t remember hearing any obvious James Brown type samples on any of those Rap-A-Lot albums, it was all old-school Southern funk and regional music that was being sampled from groups like The Meters who came from New Orleans. That whole Rap-A-Lot vibe just had that nice bumpin’, slow feel to it and it was a really nice sound. But in 1991 Rap-A-Lot were really finding their footing as both a label and in terms of their sound and the Convicts album was just a good representation of that on all fronts.”

Convicts – “DOA”

4. Willie D – “I’m Goin’ Out Lika Soldier” (1992)

To me Willie D is an unsung comedy legend…

“Willie D had a big influence on J-Zone because he was a guy who was intelligent and clearly knew better, but he had such a flagrant side and would literally say the most outrageous things. I remember when “Rodney K” came out after the beating incident and there was huge outrage from the Hip-Hop community at the time, but I have to admit I kinda felt the same way (laughs). When Rodney King came on TV talking about “Can’t we all just get along…” I remember thinking that he must’ve been paid off to say that after what had happened to him. But Willie D was very good at playing that loud, offensive character in his rhymes but at the same time you knew he wasn’t a dummy because he could also give you some social commentary and there were definitely some of those kind of records on “I’m Goin’ Out Lika Soldier”. I remember playing that tape in the car with my father and “Rodney King” came on and he almost fell out laughing. He had to pull the car over he was laughing so much. But I remember at the time The Source only gave the album two-and-a-half mics and one of their main criticisms was that Willie D screamed too much but that was also his appeal (laughs).”

He did sound like a retired WWF wrestler who decided to start rapping but that shouting style really worked for him….

“You could tell he was the type of guy who used to wear his pants up way high (laughs). He was almost like an ex-Army vet with his general demeanour because even back then he seemed like he was in his forties or something and probably had some extra advanced mack game that he used to put on girls in their twenties, like “I don’t have sex baby, Willie D makes love!” (laughs).”

It was the fact that he was so serious and deadpan on tracks like “I’m Not A Gentleman” from the Geto Boys’ “We Can’t Be Stopped”  album that made the lyrics even funnier. I mean, everyone knew Willie D wasn’t really throwing old ladies out of their seats on the bus so he could sit down but there was still something about those sentiments that you could relate to even though they were so wrong (laughs)…

“Because at one point or another we’ve all felt like doing things like that or saying some of the things that Willie D was saying (laughs). I was having a similar conversation recently with a girl I know who was telling me she’d noticed that a lot of the guys who’re really into J-Zone music are like stodgy, Ivy League conservative type guys and she couldn’t understand why. I was trying to explain to her that even though those dudes are probably really polite around her and other women, at one time or another there’s a mini J-Zone in every one of them that just wants to start cursing someone out when they get upset (laughs). Society has taught us to repress that type of stuff, so when you were listening to an artist like Willie D you could tell certain things really aggravated him in everyday life and he just let all of that out through his music. I mean, I still go to the gym and work out to this album all the time. If I’m in a bad goddamn mood I’ll still throw “I’m Goin’ Out Lika Soldier” on and play it from “Profile Of A Criminal” all the way through to “My Alibi”. It’s one of the best albums to listen to for stress relief.”

Willie D – “Clean Up Man”

3. Odd Squad – “Fadanuf Fa Erybody” (1994)

This is one of my all-time favourite albums from the Rap-A-Lot catalogue…

“This is self-explanatory really because I worked with Devin The Dude and obviously I’m a huge fan. But what stood out to me about this album at the time was that it sounded like nothing else that had come out on Rap-A-Lot either musically or lyrically. Obviously, they had a lot of sex rhymes on this album as well, but with the Odd Squad it was less alpha-male than the other Rap-A-Lot artists and more playful. To me, an album as humorous as “Fadanuf Fa Erybody” coming out on Rap-A-Lot was the equivalent of The Pharcyde’s “Bizarre Ride II…” coming out on Death Row Records. The Odd Squad album was the one Rap-A-Lot record that was entirely fun.”

I remember when Odd Squad dropped and I had friends who weren’t really feeling Rap-A-Lot like I was who still enjoyed this album…

“I think that was partly down to the production on the record because although it had some of that Southern gumbo funk on there it was definitely more of a New York-sounding album beat-wise than any of the other Rap-A-Lot releases up to that point. I mean, “Smokin’ Dat Weed” clearly has that gumbo feel to it, but then a track like “I Can’t See It” is a pure East Coast / New York record and has a real kind of Pete Rock flavour to it. I actually remember hearing “I Can’t See It” for the first time and not really like it that much because at that point I actually thought they were from New York and to me it kinda sounded like any other group out of NY at the time like a Mesanjarz Of Funk or somebody (laughs). Then my friend told me they were on Rap-A-Lot and it bugged me out. I borrowed the tape off him, thought the rest of the album was incredible and never actually gave it back (laughs). But I definitely remember thinking that as a first single “I Can’t See It” really wasn’t a good representation of the group.”

I think you’re right but it was probably chosen because it sounded so much like a generic NY record of the time and the label were perhaps hoping to catch the ears of the traditional Hip-Hop fan…

“Maybe. I mean Devin wasn’t even on that track it was just Blind Rob, so I also think part of the strategy was to use the fact that Rob was blind as a sort of marketing ploy. But really thinking back on the album there really wasn’t any sort of perfect single on there. Maybe they could have dropped “Here To Say A Lil’ Somethin”….

Musically “Fa Sho” would have probably worked but not if they were hoping for radio play even though that track has one of the greatest hooks in Hip-Hop history…

“Yeah definitely. I mean, that hook is so classic that Devin actually re-did it on one of his later solo albums. But overall I’d put Odd Squad’s “Fadanuf Fa Erybody” in the same category as that first Pharcyde album and even early De La Soul and KMD. They’re all similar in that they were all playful, inventive groups that were a little out of place in terms of what else was going on in Hip-Hop at the time they came out. Plus, I have to say that “Fadanuf Fa Erybody” was my favourite rap album of 1994, “Illmatic” and everything else that came out included. I believe it was the best Hip-Hop record of 1994 and you can put that in quotes.”

With the exception of the Scarface albums, “Fadanuf Fa Erybody” is probably the only Rap-A-Lot album from that period that could still stand up today as good music even without any of the nostalgia attached if that makes sense…

“I think you’re right because as much as I love albums from 5th Ward Boyz and Ganksta N-I-P, if you played those now to people who didn’t already know them from back in the day they’d probably just laugh at them.”

Odd Squad – “Here To Say A Lil’ Somethin'”

2. Too Much Trouble – “Player’s Choice” (1993)

I remember thinking nothing could be as raw as the Geto Boys until I heard Too Much Trouble…

“Too Much Trouble were probably Rap-A-Lot’s most entertaining act just because I’ve always had an adulation for that over-the-top, extreme pimp sh*t (laughs). Ever since I was a kid I was just fascinated with that way-out-there pimp stuff. Their first album was probably funnier than “Player’s Choice” because it was similar to the Convicts debut in that it was so over the top with tracks like “Invasion Of The Purse Snatchers”. But on this second album they just went 150% pimp. They had one track on “Player’s Choice” about family issues and another one about people not fist-fighting anymore, but the rest of it was allllll pimpin’ (laughs). They had the greatest female emcee of all-time Big Black rhyming on “Pimpin’ Ain’t Dead” which also contained the very first hook Devin The Dude ever sang on a Rap-A-Lot album. But the pimp talk on the album was crazy. I mean, the recording engineers who were in the studio working with these guys must have thought they were buggin’ (laughs). A lot of it was so foul and misogynist, but in a real pimpish way. The production on the album was a little more polished as well because Rap-A-Lot had the distribution deal with Priority by then. “Player’s Choice” wasn’t funny in the same way that the Odd Squad album was funny, but in terms of my sense of humour it really appealed to me. I mean, if you played the average person the Rap-A-Lot catalogue they would probably say Odd Squad was the funniest, but to me “Player’s Choice” is the funniest album Rap-A-Lot ever put out because I find that pimp sh*t hilarious.”

This album is funny in the same way that an old blaxploitation flick like “Willie Dynamite” is funny – it’s offensive, over-the-top and morally corrupt but you can’t help laughing at elements of it…

“Exactly. I mean, even my father likes this album and will still listen to it in the car today (laughs). You know it’s going to be over-the-top just from looking at the cover with the pistols and the pitbulls and then they’ve got that old-school Rolls Royce with all the girls. Aw man, it’s so bad (laughs). But as far as my sense of humour goes, it’s the most entertaining album Rap-A-Lot put out.”

Do you think the comedy element in some of Rap-A-Lot’s most extreme tracks was unintentional or do you think the artists were aware of it?

“That’s a good question. I really believe that the Geto Boys guys knew and were saying a lot of what they did purely for entertainment and shock value. But when it comes to acts like Too Much Trouble and 5th Ward Boyz, they didn’t get enough exposure for you to really know what type of people they were so it’s hard to tell. I’m sure someone like Ganksta N-I-P must’ve known that a lot of what he was saying was funny because it was so extreme. It would be really interesting to talk to someone like a Mike Dean or an N.O. Joe as producers and engineers who were in the studio working with these guys to get their insight into that question. ”

Too Much Trouble – “Pimpin’ Ain’t Dead”

1. Scarface – “Mr. Scarface Is Back” (1991)

This release would definitely make it into my top ten Hip-Hop albums of all-time. “Mr. Scarface Is Back” literally blew my mind the first time I heard it…

“”Mr. Scarface Is Back” is almost like the Odd Squad in that it’s a Rap-A-Lot album but it was totally different from anything else they’d put out at the time. It had that Rap-A-Lot sound to it and it was raw, but there was no novelty element to the album like most of the label’s releases had. Scarface was literally just rhyming his a** off on this album. I mean, the other guys on Rap-A-Lot might have been able to rap but there was often an element of campiness to it, but Scarface was just all about straight rhyming on this. You knew you were listening to a dope emcee and not just an entertaining rapper. I mean, to me “Mr. Scarface Is Back” was on the level of Ice Cube’s “Death Certificate”.

I remember the review in The Source saying that musically “Mr. Scarface Is Back” was how “Death Certificate” should have actually sounded in terms of that sonic rawness…

“Mr. Scarface Is Back” is the only album on Rap-A-Lot were literally every track was lyrically dope and I’m talking objectively here not just talking in terms of my adulation for off-the-wall extreme sh*t (laughs). But what Scarface was doing on that album as an emcee could sit next to Rakim, Chuck D, Ice Cube, Kool G Rap, artists like that. Every artist or label from another region has a record that breaks in New York and for Rap-A-Lot those records were “My Minds Playin’ Tricks On Me”, “A Minute To Pray…” and “Mr. Scarface Is Back” and two of those three records were on this album. Those were records that I heard at parties in high-school. I mean, one of my best friends is a stauch supporter of New York rap and even now he will still say that “Mr. Scarface Is Back” is one of the greatest songs of all-time. This was the album that you could use to prove Rap-A-Lot wasn’t just a novelty label when you had those arguments with people who really wanted to get into it about artists with lyrics and skills.”

Plus, production-wise tracks on the album such as “Born Killer” and “Body Snatchers” were largely based around familiar breakbeats which probably widened its appeal in comparison to other Rap-A-Lot albums…

“Yeah, it was an album that could appeal to every Hip-Hop fan at the time. “Mr Scarface Is Back” really validated Rap-A-Lot as being a serious label and made them valid on a general Hip-Hop scale.”

I think part of the brilliance of the album is that Scarface’s talent forced potential critics to discuss the album on an emcee level without him ever really rapping about how dope he was at rapping…

“That album was one of the ultimate story-telling albums in Hip-Hop because every song had a concept to it. I mean, even Slick Rick had straight up braggadocious rhymes. But “Mr Scarface Is Back” was conceptual from beginning to end and I know that record definitely had an impact on me as an artist and inspired me.”

Scarface – “A Minute To Pray And A Second To Die”

Ryan Proctor

J-Zone’s book “Root For The Villain” will be available via all the usual online outlets or catch a preview and order directly here.

Dead Broke! – J-Zone

dead_broke

Zone-Loc is back with a new mixshow to put us all in the seasonal mood – download here and check out what the man himself had to say about the latest instalment below:

Gator$-n-Fur$ is back! But for how long?

J-Zone & Chief Chinchilla took 2 months off from the Gator$-n-Fur$ Mixshow to promote their “Live @ The Liqua Sto” album and while the record was fun and fresh, their current situation isn’t. Like anything else, money (or lack thereof) has created a rift between these two knucleheads. The economy is screwing just about everybody at the moment and Zone and Chief are just 2 of millions of…screwcipients. In December 2008 they’re Dead Broke! But will their financial woes and ensuing beef permanently destroy 21 years of friendship and 18 months of musical partnership? Is this the end of Gator$-n-Fur$? Highly possible. Can they reach an understanding? Let’s hope so.

If they don’t reconcile and this is the last show, they both want it to be known they greatly appreciate your support over the last 18 months. If they do reconcile, hopefully we’ll see them back in the studio together soon. Survive the hard times or suffer with them with the Dead Broke! mixshow.

Can I Get A Sip? – J-Zone

The fourth and final trailer for the J-Zone / Chief Chinchilla collaboration album “Live @ The Liqua Sto” which is out now.

Bluetooth & B-Ball – J-Zone

The third of four trailers promoting J-Zone’s upcoming album “Live @ The Liqua Sto” – pure comedy.

Liquor Lyrics – J-Zone

The second trailer promoting J-Zone’s forthcoming “Live @ The Liqua Sto” project featuring Captain Backslap talking about the concept behind the album.

“Live @ The Liqua Sto” Cover Art

The White Castle Onion Ring Taste Test – J-Zone

The first of four trailers promoting J-Zone’s upcoming album “Live @ The Liqua Sto” – hilarious!!!

Dry Spell – J-Zone

Zone Loc returns with a new mixshow especially for those who’re “having a little difficulty with the opposite sex” – download here and get some quality relationship advice from the likes of Positive K, Willie Dee and Digital Underground.

Hip-Hop Drunkies – J-Zone / Chief Chinchilla

I’m not usually the type to post up entire press releases, but the big homie J-Zone always writes such good promo material that I thought I might as well throw this up in its entirety:

UPDATED PRESS RELEASE 9.4.08!

J-ZONE presents…CHIEF CHINCHILLA: LIVE @ THE LIQUA STO

As promised, we’re keeping you in the loop with the debut album from rap’s favorite soprano, the Commissioner Of Crass, P.E.T.A’s worst enemy, The Furglar, the Onion Ring Pimp himself, Chief Chinchilla!

For those that missed last month’s initial press release (look through your inbox, I ain’t re-pasting it), Chief Chinchilla -J-Zone’s off the wall sidekick on the Gator$-n-Fur$ mix show- has finally recorded an album, but this is no ordinary rap album. The entire project -titled Live @ The Liqua Sto- revolves around malt liquor advertising and is based on the popular St. Ides Malt Liquor commercials of the early 1990’s. Everything from Colt 45 to that nasty Crazy Horse gets an 80 second advertisement (the album is only 40 minutes long). Even fictional malt liquors -Pimp Potion, Hillbilly Beer, Calvin’s Hard Lemonade- get a funky jungle. Produced entirely by J-Zone, Chief enlisted the help of some of their friends to drunkify -is that a word? ok, intoxicate- the party including RA The Rugged Man, Prince Paul…ah f**k it, here’s the album track list and special guest info…

1. BEIN’ A MENACE
2. A MESSAGE FROM E-SWIFT (of Tha Alkaholiks)
3. AT THE BODEGA
4. REAL MAN DRANK (THAT BILLY D)
5. MILD RIOT (ft. Al Shid)
6. CAN I GET A SIP?
7. M.A.D.F.U MESSAGE
8. FACELIFT MALT
9. NO MO’ CISCO (ft. The Farmers Blvd. Liqua Sto Quartet)
10. HILLBILLY BEER (ft. Jethro The Rappin’ Redneck)
11. HI-N-ERGY!
12. TOWN BIZNE$$ (ft. Ammbush)
13. CALLIN’ EARL
14. LEAVE THAT HORSE ALONE! (ft. Louis Logic & The Farmers Blvd. Liqua Sto Quartet)
15. O’DOULS IS FOR FOOLS!
16. CALVIN’S HARD LEMONADE (ft. Breeze Brewin of The Juggaknots)
17. HARDEN THE F*CK UP!
18. ZODIAC
19. 8 BALL SCRATCH
20. HEY MON BREW (ft. Creyesis- Jamaican MC)
21. A MESSAGE FROM PRINCE PAUL
22. BO$$ HOG EGG NOG (ft. Dick $tallion)
23. PIMP POTION (ft. Celph Titled)
24. PROJECT PARADISE (ft. Poison Pen)
25. LINDELL THE WINO
26. FALL DOWN BREW (ft. RA The Rugged Man)
27. BIGG BUZZ BEER (ft. Crazy DJ Bazarro)
28. THE PISS TEST
29. POUR OUT THE SUDS
30. THE DRUG SONG (Instrumental- Bonus Track)
Funk, Ol School Rap, Doo Wop, Disco and of course straight comedy…its all there!

The album will drop on Old Maid/F**k P.E.T.A Ent. and will be available on itunes in early October (September 30 is the actual release date). It will also be accompanied by a VERY limited CD release (those things are Frisbees these days).

Speaking of Gator$-n-Fur$, the show will be a week or two late this month. Besides completing the album, J-Zone is going back to school and has been on the road. Chief has been dealing with rehab, probation, finding a new White Castle to pander in front of and fall shopping for fine endangered fur and reptile clothing at the Bronx Zoo with his crossbow…time has been tight. Give us a late pass and we’ll get you the September show soon.

PS. The picture above is not the album cover.

Regards,

Drank Collins (J-Zone & Chief Chinchilla’s publicist)

Zooted! – J-Zone

After a brief hiatus J-Zone returns with a new mixshow for your blunted listening pleasure – download it here and check out the message from Zone Loc below.

“Welcome back to the land of Gator$-n-Fur$! I took July off to tackle other obstacles life chose to throw at me, take a needed vacation, fix my mailing list (I hate gmail) and let you catch up on past Gator$-n-Fur$ shows you missed. But my co-host Chief Chinchilla just couldn’t stay out of trouble. I never did smoke much weed beause a) I was too cheap and b) you never can tell what else is in it these days. Chief didn’t get that memo and he’s actin’ a damn fool (more so than usual) as he’s become a temporary drug addict due to some ruthless player haters that want to see his onion ring pimping come to a terrible halt. If you do drugs, then do em to this mix. If you’re a boring straight edge like me, enjoy one hour of music dedicated to the world of narcotics, for better or worse…and watch the story unfold!” – J-Zone

Behind Bars – J-Zone

behindbars_mixshow.jpg

Some comedic criminology to download from Captain Backslap as he takes it to the big house for his latest online mixshow.