Wednesday, November 28, 2007
whaddup ladies and gents,

today I'm back with another "wax 4 da headz" post - and I'm sure I can call this one very special. What I got for you is a holy grail staight from the private crates of the man of a few words himself, Dj Premier. Pressed in a limited quantity of approx. 50 to 100 testpresses, the "daily operation instrumentals" testpress is a holy grail for every record collector. Premier pressed them up to use them at Gang Starr shows and to promote Mobb Deeps upcoming debut "Juvenile Hell". While the A,B and C-Side contain the Gang Starr Instrumentals, Side D is what makes this record really interessting as it contains Dj Premier's Remix for Mobb Deep's never released, cop-shooting joint "Cop Hell". Yes dudes, this testpress is the only way to own this masterpiece on a legit vinylpressing. Boooom! This one turns up on ebay from time to time and sells for serious loot - but beware of the bootleg - a whitelabel with the same tracklist as the original's C/D-Side but with the missing "Gang Starr Instrumentals"Runout. Enjoy listening to it and show some love back!

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posted by Maze@DiggersSpot at 3:55 PM 13 comments
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
First of all: I just became an official contributor of www.cratekings.com and put my first interview on the page. Two weeks ago I met superproducer Black Milk for a little talkdown...

During the last years, producer Black Milk representin’ Detroit turned out to be an insider due to his unique production style and sound. While other producers focused on synthesizer sounds and recycling of used-a-hundred-times-before loops, Black Milk was still getting his fingers dusty while diggin in the crates, always looking for some gems to chop up. Together with Guitly Simpson and Sean Price, BM was in Cologne, Germany, to heat up the crowd for the upcoming Pharoahe Monch gig. He took some time before the performance to answer some questions about his person, his new album and his productions...(read on)

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posted by Maze@DiggersSpot at 4:56 PM 1 comments
Friday, November 09, 2007

Labelsboss, Rapper, HipHop's good conscience. Braille is quiet busy these days. Born and raised in Portland, he turned out to be one of the most honest, creative and unique artists our beloved culuture offeres these days. When he was in Cologne, Germany, with Theory Hazit and Ohmega Watts we met for a little talk down...

You're on tour with theory hazit and ohmega watts rite now, how's the tour been so far?
The tour is just incredible. I've been to Europe 6 times
now and it seems like it gets better each trip. A lot of heads came out to the shows and overall we just enjoyed checking out the scenes and sharing our music with people.

You've been gushing for european audience several times on your myspace-blog. Is there anything special you feel about heads from europe or any difference between them and
those dwelling in the States?
I don't really separate the U.S. heads from the Europe heads. There are hiphop heads all over the world. Because the U.S. hiphop market has so many artists, sometimes it's hard to get connected to larger audiences. None the less... it's always an honor for me to perform in front of people. Big crowds and small crowds... I appreciate everyone who comes out. Traveling
Europe though has been a special experience for me. I've learned a lot....seen so many new things and I'm really thankful for the opportunity.

I've also read that you've prayed with some of your fans after a concert. Is a personal contact between you and your supporters very important to you?
I just try to be faithful over situations. In the situation you read about, someone who watched the show asked me to pray with them after I performed. That doesn't happen all the time, but I love hanging out with people after the show. Sometimes I just get to shake peoples hands or take pictures. But other times I get to really talk with people about life. I just try to make myself available after a show and let the people know that I truly care about them.

It seems like there's nothing too personal in your life to not to share with your fans; I was very suprised reading your blog-entry regarding your father's death....
So many artists talk about being "real" but they are often playing "charectors" in music. As an artist, I am just communicating my true thoughts, life experiences and so forth. A lot of people who listen to my music have become friends to me. I try and keep everyone updated with
what's going on in my life and just be open. I got nothing to hide... and maybe by sharing what I was feeling during my fathers death, it might help someone else who will experience the same thing later on.

Do you think you can show people that they can be strong during hard times
with presenting your own strength?
I think we all need eachother in this life. My family and friends really help me during my hard times. I try to tell stories and share things from my personal life to encourage others. It all relates to caring about people. I know that we all go through pain in life. If I can cope with my
pain in public... it might help someone else cope with their own pain as well. Even during the hard times, I still think life is beautiful!

It's no secret that you're very religious. You often talk about god and ask people to pray. Were you ever accused to force people on your belief?
Every rapper talks about what they believe on their records. In a time where we have guys talking about guns and influencing kids with violence - I think it's important that other artists show a different side. I don't have guns and I'm not a thug. I'm not forcing what I believe on anyone... but I'm not ashamed of what I believe. I love God and I definitely want to share his love with other people. For me, being a Christian wasn't something I did because I was forced. I wasn't even born in a Christian family. I really counted the cost, searched my heart and chose to follow Christ out of my own free will. I respect people who have different beliefs, and I love the "melting pot" of humanity. Ultimately, we can all learn a lot from eachother - I'm just trying to be honest in my music and share my heart.

How and when did you start doing music?
I have been rapping for 13 years now. I first started scribbling ignorant lyrics... just mimicking what I heard on the radio. But eventually I became a "hiphop head" and started embracing music from Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul and others who influenced me to be myself. I started writing songs about my life, my feelings, my thoughts and that's when I feel I started
growing as an artist.

Wasn't it hard to come out and get respect / attention in portland, which is known as the capital of indierock?
Well, I was born and raised in Portland, OR - but I actually went to high school in New Jersey. When I left high school, I started traveling all over the U.S. My music has never really been stuck in one place, I've always traveled and used the internet to spread music to new places. I've
never felt limited at all.

Beside being an mc you're also a label boss for your label "hiphop is music"- please tell us a lil bit about that label!
Back when I was 15 years old I wanted to start my own record label called "Lung Mechanik". I always heard rappers complain about how the industry was shady... and I was just a young kid making music for the love. The foundation of the label is really just partnering with artists who I
believe in and working hard to spread their music. We don't have big budgets or anything, we are just making the best records we can and sharing them with the audience we have. It's been incredible so far... and we don't intend to follow the industry trends. We just make music we love - even when a lot of people are discouraged about how CD sales are going down and stuff. We aren't worried about it. We are just happy to be making the music we love.

What about its name? do you think too many people forgot about the creative aspect of hiphop as such?
The hiphop culture, with all four elements contains almost every form of art. You have dancers, painters, musicians, poets and so forth. We are taking different aspects of self experession and artistic expression and putting them togehter in different forms. Sometimes people assume that
anyone can rap or anyone can make beats. I think it takes just as much talent and skill to succeed in hiphop music as any other genre.

Something quite obvioud is your "positive" art of doing music: there aren't any bad words or stories in your tracks... did you always do it like that or did you change your style of writing
rhymes at one point?
The first rhymes I ever wrote had a lot of curse words. when my life changed, my writing changed. I've always just spoken from my real life. When I stopped cussing in life, I stopped cussing on record. Braille as an artist is just communicating the life and heart of Bryan Winchester. So whatever is going on in my heart, that's what I put in my lyrics.

Does Bryan Winchester never curse or say "shit, fuck that" when he's alone?
I kind of answered this above. But yeah... I pretty much never cuss. It's not like I'm offended when others cuss. I'm not a little kid... or super sensative about it. It's just a personal choice I make. I don't cuss, I don't smoke or do drugs. I'm a pretty strait edge guy and that's something I've chosen to do based on my relationship with God.

You became a father nearly a month ago - are there any problems regarding sparetime for here which make you think of doing less music or business?
My daughter is actually almost a year old now. I always spend a lot of time with my family.... but it doesn't interfere with my music. I'm blessed to be doing music full time as my career. So when I work... I work hard. But when I'm done with work, I'm kicking it with my family and I love those times.

There was a special edition of your album "box of rhymes" which was sold in Japan exclusively. why did you do that?
The album came out in Japan first and I was actually on a rushed deadline to finish it. So once i turned in the final of the record for Japan... I wanted to make some changes for the worldwide version. I felt rushed by deadlines making that album... so I've decided from now on never to create music under deadlines. I want to take time with my music and make sure that I always give my best.

What do you think makes Japan a special market? A lot of mid 90's acts released japan exclusives since the japanese heads are still stuck on that sample based, soulful music..
One of the reasons Japan gets so many exclusives is because they are willing to pay money for it. The labels will pay artists good advances to do exclusive material. I think the Japan market is changing right now... they are really wanting very mellow jazzy stuff lately. I think Japan was going through a "golden era" over the last 5 or 10 years where they were kind of re-living the hiphop of the early 90s. They are starting to move to a new phase but I agree that the market has really helped and supported quality hiphop during a time when a lot of other places weren't showing support.

Who are your favorite musicians?
There are a lot of musicians I enjoy. I've never been good at picking favorites. I enjoy all types of music, but lately I've spent most of my time listening to new releases for Hiphop Is Music and searching for new producers.

You also toured with James Brown, which is a quite impressing thing...how did you get in contact with him and who came up with the idea?
James Browns manager discovered my music at www.purevolume.com and after talking a couple times they invited me to open for Mr. Brown. It was a perfect fit because Mr. Brown wanted opening acts that didn't cuss in their music. He had old school values... and he had rules like "no cussing", "no wearing blue jeans" (his band would be dressed in suits).... so I kind of fit into that side. I can never really explain how everything worked. I did 20 shows with James Brown before he passed away. It was such an incredible experience... beyond anything I could have imagined happening in my career. I learned so much from those tours... and above all it just taught me to keep being myself and to keep working hard. Mr. Brown was a hard worker, and he paved his own path. He didn't let the industry tell him what to do. So that's what I learned from him.

Any special story or experience with the godfather of soul you would part with us?
Mr. Brown watched me perform in Latvia while we were on tour. Tee next day he saw me in Denmark and said "You sounded really good. I thought it was Run-DMC out there(laughs).

You're running several remix contests through your label's website. Is it important to you to boost unknown but talented dudes?
There are so many talented producers and even young producers looking for opportunities to get their music heard. The remix contests have been a way for young producers to work on their skills and also for talented producers to be discovered. Some of the guys from the contests have ended up producing for Hiphop Is Music releases. Overall, it's just a fun an productive contest. I get to meet a lot of new people and hear new music.

Did you get in contact with any talented producers due to their contributions you look forward to work with?
A guy named 4Sight one the first remix contest and Theory Hazit rocks to his beat in concert every show. A guy named Sebbtember won the second contest and he ended up doing a beat for my new album. We are definitely working with producers that we've met from the contests.

You're currently working on your new album called "IV" - what aims do you have for this?
The full title of the album is called "The IV Edition". I'm just trying to make the best record I can. I was able to work with some of my favorite producers and artists. It's my forth record and I really just wanted to make a record that represented where I was at right now as a man
and as an artist.

While working on it, was there anything you did in another way then during the productionprocces of your last LP?
I built a home studio last year and this is the first album I'm making from start to finish in my own studio. It's really made a difference because I'm spending more time on each song. I'm re-writing my lyrics, re-recording my vocals and just adding extra detail to each track.

Could you state some facts like features, producers?
The album features contributions from Rob Swift, Marco Polo, OhNo, S1 of Strange Fruit Project, Ohmega Watts, Kno of CunninLynguists, J-Zone, DJ Spinna, Speech from Arrested Development and many more.

Are there any upcoming projects you could state?
Newest records from my label Hiphop IS Music are Othello "Alive At The Assembly Line" and Poems "Blooming Sounds". Much more coming

What's your aim for the next 5 years?
I'm just going to keep working hard. I can't predict the future... but for right now I just plan to stay close with my family, raise my daughter the best I can, stay commited to growing as a man and growing closer to God. Making the best music I can and supporting other artists with the record label.

Any last words?
Thanks for taking time to read. Check out www.hiphopismusic.com and sign up for the mailing list to keep updated. I am planning to tour Europe again in April of 2008. My album "The IV Edition" is dropping April 15th. We will also be putting together a free download mix called "Box of History" which will blend portions of over 25 songs from me. This free mix will be available for download at www.hiphopismusic.com by December of 07.

If you want further information on Braille make sure to check out his Homepage.

At the end, check out my contribution to Braille's second remixcontest for his track "Survival Movement", which can also be downloaded at my Music-Myspace-Page.

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posted by Maze@DiggersSpot at 7:24 PM 1 comments