Tag Archives: Soulspazm

New Joint – Methuzulah / Casual

Methuzulah ft. Casual & Q – “Heru’s Garden” (@Methuzulah / 2017)

Soulful and funky Alter Ego-produced flavour from the Atlanta-based emcee’s “Crystal Ball” release.

100 Best Albums & EPs Of 2016 (Part Five) – Westside Gunn / De La Soul / Booda French etc.

Fifth and final part of Old To The New’s overview of 2016  – check Part One, Part Two, Part Three and Part Four.

Westside Gunn – “FLYGOD” (Griselda Records) – Having spent recent years steadily building a reputation as one of the underground Hip-Hop scene’s most promising talents, 2016 saw Buffalo, NY emcee Westside Gunn solidify his position as a go-to-artist for that gritty-yet-understated street ish, packing the heavily-anticipated “FLYGOD” with densely-woven verses of verbal violence delivered in his signature vocal tone.


Jigmastas – “Resurgence” (BBE Records) – Revisiting the creative chemistry that made their string of 90s singles immediate underground classics, Brooklyn duo DJ Spinna and Kriminul effectively showcased their trademartrue-school sound on this solid collection of beats and rhymes.


Enlish – “Slumdog Hundredaire” (Enlish.BandCamp.Com) – Packed with cocky bravado, politically-incorrect punchlines and moments of personal honesty, this thoroughly-entertaining album found UK emcee Enlish stomping all over the competition in his own inimitable fashion.


De La Soul – “and the Anonymous Nobody…” (A.O.I. Records) – Following a massively successful Kickstarter campaign, Strong Island legends Plugs One, Two and Three returned with this highly-anticipated album, a project which masterfully balanced the group’s ambitious creativity with their golden-era roots.


DJ Rude One – “ONEderful” (Closed Sessions) – Chicago-raised, NY-based producer Rude One tapped the likes of Conway, Your Old Droog and Roc Marciano to lace his moody, atmospheric lo-fi beats with their respective brands of street-savvy wordplay, resulting in an album that was undeniably raw to the core.


Da Flyy Hooligan – “Ray Winstone” (Gourmet Deluxxx) – Formerly known as Iron Braydz, London’s Da Flyy Hooligan served up a hefty helping of “gourmet rap” in the form of this nine-track release, displaying razor-sharp microphone techniques and a strong sense of individuality over production from Micall Parknsun, Beat Butcha, Ded Tebiase and more.


Jakk Frost – “The Beard Awakens” (BeardGangClikk.Com) – Whilst technically a ‘mixtape’, this project from Philly’s Jakk Frost was so dope it had to be included here. Featuring the Illadelph emcee getting busy over self-produced loops of classic material from the likes of Donald Byrd, Keni Burke and Ronnie Laws, “The Beard Awakens” was a captivating blend of street smarts, raw humour and genuine lyrical skill. The beard is still in the building!


Benny Diction & Blue Buttonz – “Button Up” (BoomBapPro.Com) – Backed by the soulful boom-bap of South African producer Blue Buttonz, Benny Diction one again proved himself to be one of UK Hip-Hop’s most consistent emcees throughout this album, delivering relatable rhymes in his usual down-to-earth style with memorable results.


Agallah – “Bo: The Legend Of The Water Dragon” (Propain Campaign) – The Rotten Apple-raised producer-on-the-mic was joined by the likes of Hus Kingpin, Planet Asia and the late Sean Price on this expertly-executed collection of hardcore jewels.


Classic Material – “Classic Material” (ClassicMat.BandCamp.Com) – Meticulously-crafted, sample-driven true-school flavour from UK producer Ill Treats alongside Soundsci members Oxygen and Audessey (with the project also featuring liner notes from yours truly).


Booda French – “Awesome Is Everyday” (BoodaFrench.BandCamp.Com) – Produced by Brown Bag Allstars member J57, Jimmy Green and Apatight, this EP from UK emcee Booda French was arguably the artist’s best work-to-date, with his unique delivery and likeable, somewhat world-weary personality meshing effortlessly with the quality beats on offer here.


Apathy – “Handshakes With Snakes” (Dirty Version Records) – A strong addition to an already rock-solid discography, the latest long-player from Connecticut’s Apathy found the Demigodz member delivering his usual high-standard of rhymes over polished self-produced beats, with the likes of Ras Kass, O.C. and Spit Gemz offering worthwhile lyrical assistance along the way.


Babylon Warchild – “War Journals” (BabylonWarchild.Com) – Known for their politically-charged, uncompromising Hip-Hop, Canada’s Babylon Warchild crew offered more of the same on their latest effort, crafting a fitting soundtrack for the everyday struggle faced by many in an increasingly volatile world.


MindsOne & DJ Iron – “Phaseology” (IllAdrenaline.Com) – New Jersey’s Ill Adrenaline Records added to the label’s ever-growing catalogue of quality releases with the brilliant “Phaseology”, a sublime, understated blend of intelligent, personal lyricism from Tronic and KON Sci with top-notch production courtesy of Belgium’s DJ Iron.


AG Da Coroner – “Sip The Nectar” (Man Bites Dog Records) – Personifying the term ‘New York straight talk’, Rotten Apple emcee AG Da Coroner’s long-awaited debut album didn’t disappoint, with its gruff rhymes and drama-fuelled beats carrying on tradition and proudly flying the flag for East Coast Hip-Hop.


Kyza Sayso – “Miverione: Vol. 1” (KyzaSayso.BandCamp.Com) – London lyricist and former Terra Firma member Kyza made a welcome return to the mic with a potent mix of vivid street-related rhymes and competition-crushing barbs, proving once again why he’s long been considered one of the nicest emcees to have emerged from the UK Hip-Hop scene.


Airklipz – “Single Speed” (Airklipz.BandCamp.Com) – The UK emcee delivered vivid, captivating verses over a varied selection of soundscapes from producers such as Session 600, Jimmy Screech and Illternal Beats on this project, mixing both traditional and contemporary Hip-Hop flavours throughout.


SmooVth – “SS96J” (Fat Beats) – The Strong Island representative definitely lived up to his name on this impressive release, which found the talented emcee weaving intricate narratives around mellow, melodic production, accompanied by the likes of Hus Kingpin, Milano Constantine and Sage Infinite.


Big Toast & Sofa King – “Save Yourself Kill Them All” (RevorgRecords.BandCamp.Com) – UK flavour from the always-reliable Revorg Records camp, which featured producer Sofa King and emcee Big Toast delivering seven tracks of rough, rugged and raw homegrown Hip-Hop with a socially-aware edge.


Estee Nack & al.divino – “Triple Black Diamonds” (TragicAllies.Com) – Dropping just before the end of the year, Tragic Allies member Estee Nack and fellow Massachusetts microphone fiend al.divino joined forces for this ice-cold collection of winter mood music, with the pair proving to be a formidable partnership as they spat rewind-worthy darts over laidback, and at times melancholy, production.



New Joint – Booda French / Carnell Cook

Booda French ft. Carnell Cook – “Cut Off Point” (@BoodaFrench / 2016)

Mellow dopeness from the UK emcee’s “Awesome Is Everyday” EP.

New Joint – Booda French

Booda French – “Easy, No Hands” (@BoodaFrench / 2016)

Taken from the UK emcee’s forthcoming EP “Awesome Is Everyday”.


New Joint – Booda French


Booda French – “Easy, No Hands” (@BoodaFrench / 2016)

The UK emcee teams-up with Brown Bag Allstars producer J57 for the lead single off his forthcoming Soulspazm EP “Awesome Is Everyday”.

New Joint – Craig G

Craig G – “W.F.W.T.” (@MC_Craig_G / 2016)

Taken from the Juice Crew legend’s recent album “I Rap And Go Home”.

100 Best Albums & EPs Of 2015 (Part Five) – Life MC / Ghostface Killah / People Under The Stairs etc.

Check Part One, Part Two, Part Three & Part Four.

LEX – “Break The Pattern” (LEXOfSinistahCircle.BandCamp.Com) – Frantic and fast-paced, this fourteen-track EP (yes, fourteen tracks!) found the Queens, NY emcee delivering short, sharp displays of lyrical dexterity over bursts of dusty breakbeats. Raw, rugged and fuelled by the essence of old-school Rotten Apple park jams, “Break The Pattern” showcased LEX as an artist who is as passionate about respecting the culture of Hip-Hop as he is about  knocking out his competition.

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Equipto & Otayo Dubb – “Baby Steps” (Solidarity Records) – The West Coast has always had a rich, creative underground scene and this collaborative effort from Bored Stiff’s Equipto and fellow Cali representative Otayo Dubb is a worthy addition to a musical timeline that includes the likes of Freestyle Fellowship, Likwit Crew and Hieroglyphics. Poignant life observations and verbal showmanship were combined here with expert precision, resulting in an album that was as sincere and earnest as it was entertaining.

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Thaione Davis – “Donald Mayhem – Skywritters” (ThaioneDavis.Com) – Taking on the character of Donald Mayhem for this captivating self-produced concept album, veteran Chicago lyricist Thaione Davis blended street-savvy bravado with an insightful social conscience as he took listeners on a guided tour through the Windy City.

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Life MC & Badhabitz – “Deep In The Trenches” (SplitProphets.BandCamp.Com) – Longstanding UK lyricist Life proved once again why he’s considered one of the most consistent emcees to have emerged from British shores with this uncompromising release produced by Split Prophets’ Badhabitz. Accompanied by a sample-driven selection of radio-unfriendly beats, Life flexed his trademark punchline-heavy flow with the type of confidence that only worldly experience can bring, covering topics such as Hip-Hop stereotypes, misguided celebrity worship and institutional racism.

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Daniel Son – “Moonshine Chemist” (CrateDivizion.BandCamp) – Toronto’s Daniel Son teamed-up with the Crate Divizion production squad to spit vivid, action-packed rhymes over quality, sample-laced beats from Giallo Point, Vic Grimes and Kurse.

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Figub Brazlevic & Teknical Development – “The Everyday Headnod” (Vinyl Digital) – This joint effort from Berlin producer Figub and London lyricist Tek was easily one of the most well-crafted releases of 2015. Combining jazzy, full-bodied boom-bap with intricate, intelligent verses, the two Man Of Booom members delivered an album with real creative depth that was both life-affirming and speaker-rocking.

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DJ Pressure Presents The Old Boys Club – “Revival Of The Real” (DJPressure.BandCamp.Com) – Manchester, England’s DJ Pressure pulled together a huge global collective of true-school representatives for this epic compilation project. Featuring appearances from Chuck D, Ruste Juxx, Da Buze Bruvaz’ CleverOne and more, this project truly lived up to its title by delivering a hard-hitting collection of beats and rhymes from individuals totally disinterested in pandering to mainstream trends.

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R.A.W. (Problemz & DJ Skizz) – “Right Amount Of Wrong” (Soulspazm) – Having been a fan of Brooklyn’s Problemz since his 90s work with the likes of DJ Honda, Al’ Tariq and Black Attack, it was a real pleasure to hear the NY emcee sounding like he hadn’t missed a beat on this dope EP, lacing the moody production of DJ Skizz with a barrage of gritty BK wordplay that was both hardcore and refined.

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Adrian Younge & Ghostface Killah – “12 Reasons To Die II” (Linear Labs) – Although sequels are often known for not living up to the impact of their predecessors, this follow-up to West Coast music man Younge’s 2014 collaboration with the mighty Toney Starks actually improved on the formula of the original “12 Reasons…”. Set in 1970s New York and based around a crime-riddled cinematic plot, “…To Die II” found the Wu warrior once again attacking an impeccable selection of live, analog soundscapes with his detailed story-telling skills.

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Denmark Vessey – “Martin Lucid Dream” (Rappers I Know) – Displaying a brilliant artistic mind, Detroit-raised Vessey mixed a gritty, realistic worldview with an eloquent delivery and the thump of soulfully distorted production on this eight-track masterpiece. Featuring appearances from Guilty Simpson, Tanya Morgan and Black Milk, there was a genuinely timeless appeal to this EP which was both inspiring and thought-provoking.

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Aim & QNC – “The Habit Of A Lifetime (And How To Kick It)” (Atic Records) – Veteran UK producer Aim and NY duo Q-Ball & Curt Cazal built on a longstanding sonic chemistry that dates back to the 90s with this long-awaited project. With both Aim and JVC Force member Cazal sharing production duties, Q-Ball had plenty of sample-based flavour to take advantage of, with both a Grand Puba collaboration and a dope Guru tribute ensuring this album’s true-school value was through the roof.

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People Under The Stairs – “The Gettin’ Off Stage, Step 1” (Piecelock70) – At this stage in their career, West Coast natives People Under The Stairs surely deserve to be classed as one of Hip-Hop’s greatest ever duos. Having remained consistent in terms of both quality and quantity since their late-90s debut, Thes One and Double K’s already-extensive discography was further expanded with the release of this quality EP. Packed with more of the feel-good funk the pair have become known for, this project proved that, almost twenty years since they first dropped on wax, the pair still sound as fresh and enthusiastic as ever.

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Public Enemy – “Man Plans God Laughs” (SpitDigital) – After Melle Mel in his 1980s prime, Chuck D ranks as arguably the most authoritative voice in Hip-Hop of all-time. Showing no signs of letting-up their attack on the establishment almost thirty years after Public Enemy’s Def Jam debut, the legendary group returned in 2015 with yet another dose of potent edutainment, proving that Strong Island’s self-proclaimed rhyme animal still isn’t ready to be caged.


Conway – “Reject 2…” (Griselda Records) – Hailing from the home of late, great funk-rock legend Rick James, Buffalo, NY’s Conway delivered his own collection of street songs on this captivating Daringer-produced project. Joined by WestsideGunn, Roc Marciano and Skyzoo, the East Coast wordsmith wove nimble-yet-grimy verses around moody, hypnotic soundscapes, resulting in a gripping listening experience.

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Illinformed – “The Mould Tape” (Real Life Drama Records) – Whilst this album contained a lengthy list of talented UK emcees, including Leaf Dog, Sonnyjim and Verb T, it was music man Illinformed’s impeccable work behind the boards that really elevated the project above being simply just another producer-based release. Heavy drums, obscure samples and dense b-lines were the order of the day here, ensuring that, regardless of its title, “The Mould Tape” was anything but past its sell by date.

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Hus Kingpin & SmooVth – “Splash Bros” (Splash Bros) – The Hempstead, NY homeboys showcased their undeniable rhyming chemistry on this effortlessly dope EP. Backed by a selection of mellow, melodic soundscapes from the likes of Audible Doctor, J57 and Twiz The Beat Pro, the duo shot straight three-pointers throughout this release, with SmooVth’s sharp barbs and Kingpin’s more ominous flow creating a captivating combination which demonstrated why they’re considered two of the best emcees to have emerged from the East Coast in recent years.

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Dell-P – “A New Beginning” (WhoMag Distribution) – Clearly an emcee with something of substance to say, Philly’s Dell-P packed this lengthy album with plenty of food for thought, touching on a variety of social issues with both maturity and insight. Yet to simply label this Illadelph lyricist as a ‘conscious’ artist would be too easy, with this project proving Peezie to be a truly well-rounded artist, grounded in the traditions of Hip-Hop culture and bringing something genuine to the game.

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OC From NC – “Higher Learning” (OCFromNC.BandCamp.Com) – Bringing his own brand of street knowledge to the forefront on this soulful-yet-rugged album, North Carolina’s OC rhymed like a man with real purpose here, grabbing the listener’s attention with a mix of authority, intelligence and wit. Personal and passionate, “Higher Learning” was quality down-to-earth Hip-Hop that hit you in both the head and the heart.

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Severed Tongue – “Gentle Katharsis” (Inner Peace Records) – A collaborative effort from UK emcees Elliot Fresh and Tang The Pilgrim, “Gentle Katharsis” was a melancholy, meditative listening experience, with the two lyricists delivering poignant self-reflection and absorbing wordplay over solid, and at times moody production from the likes of EarthOne, Said Zu and King Boyden.

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Sean Price – “Songs In The Key Of Price” (Ruck Down Records) – Although this release was neither an official album or EP, as a nod of respect to the late, great Brooklyn emcee, it’s only right that the final mention in Old To The New’s best-of-2015 list goes to Sean P’s  “Songs In The Key Of Price”. Thirty-tracks deep and drenched in grimy New York attitude, this mixtape showcased everything that was brilliant about the Heltah Skeltah member’s unapologetically hardcore approach to his craft. RIP Sean Price!

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New Joint – Juan Deuce

Juan Deuce – “El Oh Vee E” (@Juan_Deuce / 2015)

Upbeat vibes from the Rhode Island rhymer’s J57-produced EP “Sock Money”.

New Joint – Dirt Disciples / Torae

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Dirt Disciples ft. Torae – “Panoramic” (@DirtDisciples / 2015)

NY duo Rome Clientel and DJ Concept put their stamp on a classic sample that will be a favourite with Wu fans off their forthcoming Soulspazm release “The Ambition EP”.

New Joint – JR & PH7 / Willie The Kid / P. Blackk etc.

JR & PH7 ft. Willie The Kid, MaLLy, P. Blackk & Fabrashay – “We Do Our Thing” (@Soulspazm / 2015)

Smoothed-out posse cut from the German production duo’s new EP “Noir”.

New Joint – Theory Hazit

Theory Hazit – “Optical Illusion – J57 Remix” (@Soulspazm / 2015)

Brown Bag Allstars member J57 crafts a dope reworking of a track from the Portland, Oregon artist’s recent album “Fall Of The Light Bearer”.

New Joint – R.A.W. (DJ Skizz / Problemz)

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R.A.W.  – “Herbal Intercourse” (@RAWnycOfficial / 2015)

Atmospheric beats and rhymes off the new “Right Amount Of Wrong” collabo EP from NY producer Skizz and former Missin’ Linx member Problemz.

New Joint – DJ Skizz / Reks / Maffew Ragazino / Rasheed Chappell / Liza Colby

DJ Skizz ft. Reks, Maffew Ragazino, Rasheed Chappell & Liza Colby – “Day In The Life” (Soulspazm / 2013)

Soulful boom-bap from the NY producer’s new album “B.Q.E (Brooklyn-Queens Experience)” which also features Tragedy Khadafi, Roc Marciano, Torae and many more.

New Joint – Hannibal Stax & Marco Polo

Hannibal Stax & Marco Polo – “46 Bars Of Death” (Soulspazm / 2013)

Gritty lead single from the Brooklyn-based Gang Starr affiliate’s forthcoming Polo-produced album “Seize The Day”.

Kam Moye / Supastition Interview (Originally Posted On BlackSheepMag.Com)

What’s in a name? Quite a lot if you’re North Carolina’s Kam Moye, also known as veteran rap artist Supastition. When the thirty-something rapper decided to ditch his widely known alias in favour of recording under his real name, Moye thought he was taking a simple step forward in his evolution as a maturing artist. Yet since the 2008 digital release of his ‘Self-Centered’ EP (which clocked up 4000 downloads within its first 24 hours online), the rapper has repeatedly had to explain the reasons behind the name change to both fans and media alike, some of whom have been left slightly confused by the move.

Having worked with the likes of KRS-One, Royce Da 5’9″ and fellow NC representatives Little Brother, Kam Moye first endeared himself to die-hard boom-bap fans as Supastition in 2002 with his debut album ‘7 Years Of Bad Luck’, a project filled with the kind of aggressive lyricism and raw attitude you’d expect from a young rapper attempting to leave his mark on the hip-hop world. Further releases, such as 2005’s Soulspazm / Rawkus album ‘Chain Letters’, cemented the place of Kam Moye’s alter-ego in the underground hall of fame.

But whilst Supastition’s reputation for fierce battle raps may have served him well for the best part of the last decade, in 2009, Kam Moye, the man behind the microphone fiend persona, is ready to move onwards and upwards with his new album ‘Splitting Image’. The question is, are you with him?

An obvious first question and one you’re no doubt bored of answering, but why did you make the decision to start recording under the Kam Moye name instead of continuing your career as Supastition?

“It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for awhile because with the Supastition thing, that’s pretty much who I was when I was 21. I was known as that battle emcee and that’s what I used to do back in the day, I just used to sit around rhyming and every chance I had to rap, I was there. But I grew up, and I’ve got a family to take care of, and the one thing that changed my life was when I had a car accident back in 2007 and I saw my whole life flash before me. I thought it was over for me and afterwards I thought to myself that if I’d have died that day would I have been happy with everything I’d done in my life. As far as my music was concerned, I was making music a certain way as an artist, but feeling a completely different way as a person. My life had changed and my mentality had changed about everything from music to politics to family, everything had just matured, but I didn’t have an outlet to show that progression in my music because people wanted what they were used to hearing from Supastition. So I was like, what do I do? Either I could tear down the house and build something new, or I could force all the Supastition fans to go with me in a different direction, which I felt wasn’t really possible. So with ‘Splitting Image’ I wanted to do a Kam Moye album and be one hundred percent me. I mean, I can’t be one hundred percent me if I’m using a name that doesn’t represent one hundred percent of who I am. So now with everything, from the music to the interviews I do, I don’t feel like there’s a persona or that I have to be a certain way for people to accept what I do, I feel like I can be the person that I am. As Supastition I made some angry music, but I’m happy with my life right now and I want to make music that’s reflective of that. I’m thirty-plus years old now, so I can’t make music that a teenager is going to applaud. I’m trying to make music that people grow into, not grow out of.”

Why do you think it is that some hip-hop artists of a certain age don’t seem to want to embrace their maturity and instead continue making music primarily aimed at younger fans?

“I think a lot of artists are afraid of maturing because they feel it puts an expiration date on their music and their career. There are people who look at dudes like Jay-Z and KRS-One like they’re a hundred years old. Hip-hop has always been known as a young man’s sport, so nobody really wants to embrace their age. I mean, without calling any names, you take a look at some of the top hip-hop artists, you have one who is an ego-maniac that whines like a kid, then you have another who’s a bully, then another who’s a drug addict and having children by tons of different women. That’s the example they’re putting out to the world?! I just felt that instead of pointing fingers I had to change myself. As underground hip-hop fans we spend a lot of time pointing the finger at the mainstream but never really point the finger back at ourselves because we don’t feel like the world is watching. But we have just as much responsibility as a 50 Cent or a Jay-Z, because as much as we might be happy to be making ‘real hip-hop’, are we really adding anything of substance to the game while we’re doing that if we’re not really talking about anything in our music. I mean, you have a whole genre of artists who scream about the underground and how they rep the 90s and the real stuff, but there has to be some progression.”

Considering the personal nature of the album, did you approach this album differently in terms of the production you were looking for?

“I definitely took a different approach this time. Usually, I’d just pick out the hottest beats I could find from a producer and then put an album together based off of that. But for this album I pretty much had all the concepts and ideas in my head already, so I picked the music that I felt best represented what I was saying in the lyrics. I didn’t want this album to just sound like a hot beat tape with verses over it, I wanted to take a more organic approach to it. I mean, if I’ve got a song dedicated to my wife, you can’t expect me to be making that song with something that sounds like a DJ Premier beat with a scratch hook on it (laughs). I really didn’t want this album to sound contrived, I wanted it to sound completely natural. I mean, people know I can rap now, so why would I want to spend every album repeating myself and telling people that. But musically, I wanted to work with a select few producers who I really respect, but at the same time I didn’t want to use a Jake One beat that sounded like a Jake One beat, or an Illmind beat that sounded like an Illmind beat. I was more concerned with establishing a Kam Moye sound and that’s one thing that I never really did as Supastition, because most of the beats I used sounded like each producer’s signature sound. So I wanted to carve out my own niche on this project.”

Do you think you were misunderstood as an artist to some extent as Supastition?

“I definitely feel there’s been a stigma that’s haunted me for most of my career because people saw me as the rapper that had gotten jerked by a lot of labels, and then for years after that they saw me moving around from label to label, so the biggest misconception is that I was never happy at labels, which isn’t true. The thing is, I learnt a lesson back in the 90s when I signed a bad deal, so after that I always signed non-exclusive deals and I bounced around because I had the freedom to. Everything I’ve done has been a one-off deal, so I own all of my masters and things like that. But I definitely feel that people got the wrong impression when they heard the ‘7 Years Of Bad Luck’ album and now I look back I wish that hadn’t been my first album because that’s how a lot of people have judged me for the rest of my career for the most part. I was young at the time and I’ve learnt a lot since then, and I can’t really be mad at the music industry anymore because it’s gonna be what it’s gonna be regardless, so you just have to accept it and move.”

Was their real-life inspiration behind the album track ‘Imani’?

“It was a completely fictional story. The whole point of the song is to end it with an open question to let the listener decide for themselves what they’d do in that particular situation. So in the song I’m talking about meeting the perfect woman, but it turns out she’s pregnant by another man who has completely abandoned her, so what do you do? I really wanted to draw people into the story as it’s being told from a certain perspective and then right at the end put a twist on it so then the listener has to think about what they would do.”

‘Give Out, Give In

deals in part with your struggle over the years with depression – was that a difficult song for you to write?

“‘Give Out, Give In’ is a record I needed to do for myself so that I could have a song I could go back and listen to anytime I’m feeling down or feeling like life is getting a little hard. Depression is often brushed off and the person going through it is told to suck it up, so a lot of times you can keep a lot of things bottled up which can lead to feelings of animosity and other things. I wanted to give people a side of me they don’t really see. I wanted people to stop and think about how you never really know what a person has going on in their life. I had to feel comfortable with the idea before I even wrote the song because I knew once I sat down to write it there would be no punches pulled. I actually wanted to write that song a long time ago but I had to be at a point in my life where I was comfortable putting it out there. It’s crazy how many people have sent me emails and spoken to me at shows thanking me for writing that song because people who suffer from depression often feel like they’re the only one going through it.”

So what’s next for you?

“My next album is a group project with a producer named D.R. who’s from out here in North Carolina. He did some production on ‘Splitting Image’ and we decided to do something together. I’m challenging myself again on this next one and it’s going to be another different direction, like some electro soul boom-bap. A lot of people think of Common’s ‘Electric Circus’ when I say that, but it’s going to be something else entirely. I’m done playing it safe with hip-hop and I feel it’s time to start doing the Outkast / De La Soul thing and just keep reinventing myself, reinventing my sound and staying fresh with it.”

Ryan Proctor