Blaze Rock: Arizona Hip-Hop Veteran Shares Words of Wisdom
The Man With the Iron Fists OST, Skyfall OST, Alicia Keys' Girl on Fire, Freddie Gibbs' BFK, E-40's Block Brochure Triple, Marvin Sapp's Here I Am and Thirsty, JJ Doom, Aarabmuzik's Electronic Dream, a bunch of other stuff like the score to The Dark Knight Rises, Curren$y's Stoned Immaculate, Flying Lotus, every Wu-Tang Clan group and solo album -- you name it.
Which artists, if any, from the Arizona hip-hop scene do you listen to?
It's kind of a small list, especially right now; I spent so much time away from the scene that it is taking a lot to pull me to an artist. I listen to Random (MegaRan); I think he's one of the most talented cats in Arizona. I like Gods and Monsters, The Society of Invisibles, the Writer's Guild has some dope stuff. I still listen to Cinque, Mic Devious, and Big Meridox. There are some songs from different Tucson cats like the Starstruck Collective that have got me really wanting to spend some time down there as well. I guess my taste in music is so strange that it can be hard to FIND artists to listen to. I'm hearing dope songs all over lately.
Nas or Jay-Z? Any particular reason why?
Both. I know that's not the popular answer or the direction the question took but they are such completely different artists. Both incredible...but very different in purpose. For what it's worth, there aren't many artists that I have every album in their catalogs - I have every Nas album and every Jay-Z album. I consider both of them to be essential hip-hop listening material...even Nastradamus... and even In My Lifetime, Vol 3.
What advice would you give to a young lad trying to start his career in hip- hop?
Learn business. Not "hip-hop business" but sustainable business. Profit, cost, revenue, promotion, marketing - be knowledgeable about as many aspects of your business. View yourself and your music as a brand - not a catch phrase. Work hard... connect with like-minded individuals not just who's in the in-crowd. Learn your craft, love your craft. Be honest in your craft and in your business.
What's next on your agenda?
I'd like to say I have a huge 2013 ahead. The Misery is the lead off and is doing well as we start up our promo work, next I have a collaborative mixtape with DJ Big Serg, a full-length with Gods and Monsters as Black Talon, a collaborative project with Lost Perception and Judgment called Ghosts of Sparta centered around the God of War video game series, a new Western Block album, the follow-up to The Misery called The Victory, a collaboration with designers The Clink Room, as well as a guest stint in Span Phly's Spy vs. Spy series and two other projects that are still in the building stages. Should be fun!