How would you describe the dynamics on stage being that you’re a producer and a rapper?
“For the most part I’m MCing and performing the songs and I might kinda conduct what’s going on between me and the band. That’s pretty much it, and I just let the band jam out at different parts of the show too. So there’s a lot of back and forth between me and them and some call and response between me and the crowd. I didn’t get the chance to bring my MPC out on this run.”
Some fans might be disappointed you didn’t bring it out with you…
“Nah, they ain’t gonna be disappointed. I’ve got my little drum pads on stage. But that’s pretty much it man. There’s a lot of high energy and many different styles of music we’re going through but of course hip-hop is the foundation but we’re going from that to soul to a little bit of rock to a little bit of uptempo electronic, so you’re getting a little bit of everything.
How did you meet the band?
“Well, I met them through Ab – he is the keyboardist of Nat Turner. He’s been with me since we started working together on the Tronic album. Around that time I was working with a lot of live musicians for the studio recordings and I decided I kinda wanted to take that element to the live shows so he helped me put together a band. We took what we were doing in the studio out on the road and took it to the stage. Then once I got a taste of that – you know, musicians around me on stage and being able to improvise and be spontaneous – I didn’t wanna go back to just me and a DJ. So I’ve had the band since 2009. We’ve been building the chemistry up for a while now.”
What actually came first for you, the rapping or producing?
“Rhyming was actually first for me – MCing, writing songs and all that. So that was first but then I guess I got exposed to the process of making beats and all of that through people that was around me. That then kinda took over and I fell in love with that even more than MCing. Production, producing and the whole process – like digging for records – that whole process still has my heart to this day.”