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Thursday, April 30, 2015

[New Interview] Lowkey of the LOEGz



What part of Austin is your family from, and when did Southbound officially form?

We grew up on the Southside, a couple different spots but mostly in the Ben White/Manchaca area. I can still tell you how to get from Porter Middle School to the South Austin rec center in 10 minutes without using any roads, South Austin shit. We had a group before SouthBound when we were like 14 at Crockett High called Southern Exposure, with 2 homies named Treble & Black. We did our first shows and recorded our first songs with that group, even had our first song on the radio on 88.7 KAZI Texas top 40, haha. Then Treble and Black just kind of backed away from music for awhile so me and my bro decided to just be a duo and came up with SouthBound. My name Lowkey came from me being real quiet when I was a kid, one of my homeboy's older brother called me that and I just took it and ran. Sandman got his name from having an extremely sand-filled vagina, true story. Ask him.

You and your brother's styles are similar, yet there are definitely differences in delivery between you two. When yall were younger, what were the contrasts in how you approached music and writing and have those differences continued?

When we were kids I was always more focused on trying to rap fast, he had a more slow delivery, but we both diversified the styles over the years. He was the freestyle king though, when we were 15-16 there was nobody who could hang with Sandman off the top of the dome in my eyes. I still remember him stepping in the cypher with a young Lil Flip and some SUC cats at non-stop music and killin everybody.

What was it like working with OG from Luxury Mindz? What do you think made him different (or what did he do differently) from other videographers in the Austin area that ultimately allowed him to find the success he's had?

We met OG way back when he was still cutting his teeth doing photo shoots for rappers at the backroom, haha. Always been a cool MF and I always knew he had the eye for it, even in his early work you could see he was better than most. But there's a lot of naturally talented photographers out there, that's not really what set him apart, it was his work ethic and professional attitude that got him where he's at. He had that laser focus from the start and wasn't the type to get caught up in the local party & politics that keep most people in the Austin entertainment industry stagnant.


A lot of people know you as a member of the LOEGz. What was your relationship with COD and Dred Skott before yall teamed up on the first mixtape?

Me and my brother were cool with some of the C.O.D. boys way back, my brother used to have a homeboy who lived in Goodrich projects on south lamar when we were kids and some of them used to chill there too, so we met like that on the southside, and I used to always see Greezo (who was LJ back then) around downtown doing shows. We met Dred Skott at a Hurricane Katrina benefit concert at Ruta Maya in like 05 that we both performed at (a young Gary Clark Jr. was on the show too). Me and Esbe chilled and smoked that night and hit it off, said we liked each others shit and should work together, but then I didn't see them for another couple years, we just moved in different circles. In about '07 our manager and CEO of the label we were on (2 Da Bone Records) said he wanted us to meet this new group he was signing called Dred Skott, then from that day forward all 4 of us were together at that studio almost every day for the next couple years, hanging out and making music. When me and my brother started working on the seasons change album in '09 we got Greezo in the studio to get on a song, that was the first time he met Dred Skott I believe, then a few months later we had a party for Reggie's birthday at him & Esbe's crib in the Hogg Penn,  C.O.D. came thru and while we were all chillin, Esbe had the idea that we should all do a mixtape together, that turned into an album, which turned into a group, and the rest is history. Esbe was definitely the heart and soul of everything the League did. He just had that bigger than life personality that brought everybody together as a cohesive unit.

The League is pretty well-known for roasting each other on social media. It's obvious that there's a great deal of cameraderie between yall. What are some of the funniest times you've had with each other?

To me the 1st two national tours we did in 2011, when Esbe was still alive, were probably the most I've ever laughed in my life. We were young and crazy and on drugs out on the road in different cities for the first time, just constant roasting and jokes and pranks, it was insane.

Do you think the image of a white rapper in Texas, with the people who have made it nationally basically being Paul Wall and Riff Raff, is different then the image of a white rapper in the rest of the country (or world)? You're a father of a newborn boy as well, would you encourage him to become a white rapper?

Haha, that's a funny question. Honestly, I don't really think most hip-hop fans would consider Paul & Riff Raff to be representative of white rappers in Texas or in general, but I think at this point it's not as big of a stigma to be a white rapper anymore. The cat is out of the bag, Pandora's box is open, everybody is a rapper now.....white girls, Asians, even terrorists like you can rap now, Haris. When me and Sandman started it was more of a novelty to be a white (and twin) rapper. But as far as my son goes, I will instruct him to stay as far away from the rap game as humanly possible, the only music I play around him is Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen, and if I ever catch him saying the word "mixtape" he's going up for adoption....

The League definitely gained a lot of respect from going on national tours with artists such as Rittz, Killer Mike & Dead Prez. Not only that, but yall have worked with nationally known producers like DJ Burn One, Cyfyre, Statik Selektah, Shane Eli, DJ Nick Nack, Eric Dingus, Kydd and so on. Were there ever a hip-hop moment for you where you were like "Okay, I made it now. If I never drop another verse again, I can die happy?"

I've had a lot of those moments, where you can't believe this is your life and you're really here right now, it's a beautiful humbling feeling, then a few days later that fades and you're hungry again. I've met most of my idols in the game and they're all just normal ass people.....some cool as fuck, some are assholes, but they're all regular humans.

What's next for Austin's Lowkey?

Still taking my time on the Low Life EP, it's coming together real dope so far, can't wait to finally release it. And right now me and my brother are in the beginning stages of a new Southbound project, just emailing back & forth sharing beats and throwing out ideas, it's hard since he's in the Navy on a boat and I'm here but it'll happen. Other than that, my main focus is my son right now, he's 2 weeks old and I just want to make sure that I leave him something to be proud of and to also try to surpass in his own way. All the League kids, this is something they can look back at when we're gone and say "look at what our Dads did, that's dope, but let's go past that and make our own legacies."

You can follow Lowkey at twitter.com/lowkey512 and instagram.com/lowkeyloegz.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

[New Interview] Kydd Jones



So you worked with Kirko Bangz on his new mixtape... I saw that you and Scott Pace collaborated on a lot of the production for it, how was that process like?

Kirko and I have known each other for a while since we crossed paths earlier in our careers. Later on I submitted a few beats to him and he picked a beat called "Passion" which ended up being Trill Young Nigga. Years later, as I was finishing up my new album GR33D, I randomly woke up and decided to send him a track I produced the night before that I hadn't used for anything yet and it was just a beat and a hook. He emailed me back the next day wanting to work on more music so initially me being in the studio with Scott every day working on GR33D we soon began just working on beats and hooks for Kirko Bangz. We went to Houston a couple of times to chill with him too. Within two weeks we recorded like twelve songs and ended up with seven or eight on the mixtape, I forget.

What's your mindset as far as the production process? I know you sing and do hooks as well, is that something that you purposefully put on certain beats?

Whenever I start off making beats, it starts with the initial emotion I'm trying to release at that time through the drum and the sample. Sometimes I'll start off with the sample, lately I've been into 90s R&B and trance fusion overseas, stuff with vocals over it. It's all about the vibe, I try not to force anything. Usually the hook is done before the beat is done.

As far as song-writing and R&B goes, who are some of your influences? You've always been a melodic type of emcee, but lately it seems like you've been doing a lot more singing.

You'll definitely be hearin a lot more of that side of me. I was really influenced by Colin Munroe's early work as far as his style, delivery and songwriting capabilities. A lot of people have compared me to Kanye, Kendrick, Drake or PartyNextDoor, but all I'll say is at least they're not comparing me to somebody wack.



You're known for being a big fashion fanatic. What's a brand that you're watching at the moment that most people aren't really up on but will be soon?

Definitely my homie outta NY, Control Sector. They're really doing big things, just had a successful run at New York Fashion Week.

There's quite a few people that know you from doing the vintage clothing thing, what was one of the craziest things yall found that you had to let go for the right price?

Well one time I went to the Blue Hangar and I found a Bred Jordan 1 from 85 in mint condition, but it was only one shoe. Of course I still took it anyway. Got home, ordered pizza, smoked a blunt, went on Instagram and scrolled down, what did I see? A fellow thrifter had the other shoe cause he posted that day saying he had found one. I commented "I got the other shoe, let's meet up and make a trade." The Jordans might have been worth more but long story short, I traded him the shoe for a rare Selena shirt.

You've made an effort to include tacos in your promotion game. What made you first realize tacos could be a successful marketing tool and why do you think tacos in general have become such a cultural phenomenon? Do you think the taco represents something that you wish to embody or have your fans associate with you?

First off, I grew up across the street from a dope taco spot on the South side so I've always been in love with tacos. I feel like tacos are definitely an Austin thing, we got a lotta migos here that are my homies and that's my way of appreciating their culture as well as me just being a taco head. People love tacos and I feel like incorporating something people can taste as well as hear at your event is just a dope thing in general so call me TacoKang.

A lot of people first heard of you on Myspace when it was big back in the day. What do you feel like social networking's effect on music has been? Youtube counts too cause it's Google Plus.

Before social networking we were actually in the street with thousands of mixtapes. Now we're online doing the same thing but with links to a wider audience that you can give to people at a click of a button. But back in the day, you felt like you really knew everybody because you saw them at a show and they got their music from you or a friend. Nowadays if you don't reach out, it can seem like your fans are just a number, a retweet or a like.

Everybody's been wanting to hear your new album GR33D. I'm not even going to ask about release dates or features, but I know you produced most of it. What's the overall sound of the record mean to you? Is there anything you're trying to show or prove with this project?

I don't know. To me, it's melodic vibes on progressive beats. I guess I just want to show that I'm an innovative artist and songwriter and I just want to have people be aware of the youth in the greed of the world. You know, leaders life forever.

You can follow Kydd Jones at twitter.com/kyddjones and instagram.com/kyddjones.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

[New Interview] Phranchyze



Where did you get the name Phranchyze from?

I came up with the name after a long-list of names that didn't really work out. Aflow, Mr. Sixxx, Zero, and Chameleon were also names that I was tossing around... obviously I discovered Screw shortly thereafter and realized those names were taken. I was on the phone with NIP and just said, "You know what? I'm gonna go with Franchise." Shane Douglas and Steve Francis were popular at the time so it sounded cool.

A lot of hip-hop heads know you from your time on the national battle rap scene. What was one of the craziest moments at some of those battles that you were a part of? 

The craziest moment was at MOB in Oakland. I guess whoever was in charge didn't do a great job of planning so they forced everybody out of the venue and into the street before the event was over. There were like 500 people walking up the street in Oakland in the middle of the night with the police surrounding us. I seriously thought there was gonna be a riot.

I got to ask because your new tape is called Anime TV: What are some of your favorite animes and also what are your favorite Japanese video games?

Anime: Dragon Ball Z (of course. You're basically a snitch if you don't like DBZ) Berserk, Mobile suit Gundam, Xamd, Inuyasha. As far as games, Guilty Gear, Blaz Blue are cool. All the Neo-Geo stuff. Jade Caccoon is a cool RPG from Japan, Onimusha is another one. Shit like that. Fighting games are my shit though. Always have been.


Over the years, you've released a steady stream of projects to build up your Austin following. This year's release seems to be the first time you had a non-Austin artist (Chingo Bling) on your tape. Is that something you're looking to do more of in the future or was it something that just sort of happened to work out?

A little bit of both. It's something that just worked out. However, it's definitely something we're trying to do more of. Every rapper in Austin should be trying to do it too. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.

You're definitely knowledgeable when it comes to sports, and now you're an emcee for UT Basketball games. What do you think Smart will do that Rick Barnes couldn't?

Shaka Smart has a system, plain and simple. Barnes was a great coach but you need something to rely on when stuff breaks down. You have to be able to lean on something. Smart's "Havoc" system should be fun to watch, especially with a program that has emphasized defense over the last 15+ years.

Western Conference playoffs: Who do you think is going to make it out vs who do you want to make it? I know you're a Niners fan: when you think about Kaepernick vs Smith... Should yall have just given Peyton Manning a blank check?

NEVER sleep on the Spurs. Obviously, the Warriors are the best team and I'd like them to come out but the Spurs will probably fuck around and win the West. If they can beat the Clip show, the path is pretty easy in my opinion. About the Niners, I was actually at the game where Kap came in for Alex Smith. Kap's got the tools. As far as Manning, I'm sure that's another reason that Harbaugh was fired. They felt they could have had Peyton if Jim wasn't there. But Manning is good for 13 wins and a playoff loss. Shit, we were already doing that!

Do you think the Eastern Conference in the NBA is so trash that they should realign the NBA conferences?

Haha, naw. It won't be like this forever. In 20 years they'll be talking about folding the West.

You've done a lot of big things in Austin, but what's a crazy huge show you did out of town that most Austinites never got a chance to see?

Common in Chicago was FUCKIN CRAZY. Technically it was in Hammond, but it was pretty awesome. All the cops were just watching the show. I was like "Aren't you guys supposed to be securing the perimeter?" It was a packed house. Awesome energy. We played with Snoop (in El Paso of all places) and it was a fucking madhouse, sold out. I jumped in the crowd and I did an encore. The craziest thing about it: It was just Snoop and I. They asked me like 3 hours before the set to play for an hour. So we did it.

You can follow Phranchyze at twitter.com/phranchyze and instagram.com/phranchyze

Friday, April 17, 2015

LNS Crew voted band of the month by The Deli Magazine Austin, LNS Crew Vol. 2 album reviewed by Ovrld & The Deli Austin

Hol up mane, we got voted band of the month on The Deli Magazine Austin! Plus they gave us a dope review for the new mixtape too.

http://austin.thedelimagazine.com/21073/lns-crew-brings-spring-heat-austin

"If you were looking for the mysterious proverbial “fire” that supposedly resides in so many hip-hop mixtapes, you might think the shit is just myth. Most mixtapes are…well, they wouldn’t help much on a cold day, let’s say that. Not so with local LNS Crew’s new mixtape, which packs enough heat to stop a decent sized blizzard. LNS Mixtape Vol. 2 is the goods from three of Austin’s (okay, Denver now, in the case of Cory Kendrix) hip-hop veterans, a series of 21 tracks which feature a rotating cast of Kendrix, Kydd Jones and Tank Washington showing off their undeniable skills at producing and rapping. It’s just April, but this release is assuredly going to sit near if not at the top of the list of ATX hip-hop releases from 2015 when December rolls into January, and that’s why we’ve nominated LNS Crew for our Artist of the Month poll. Music below, and get yer votin’ finger a good workout to the right y’all."

Shout out to Trevor and all the good people at The Deli Magazine Austin, they cover a lot of cool local bands so check them out!

The homies at Ovrld also wrote up a dope review for the new mixtape!

"...LNS are on some sinister shit, twisting frustrations with Austin identity politics into a sound that rumbles and dwells, bubbling up from the corners of darkened dance floors and vomit soaked Dirty 6th.

Those dark tones get the blockbuster treatment on the crew’s new mixtape, where every member of the crew is represented in full and joined by other luminaries from the scene, including League itself. The production is equally diverse, ranging from Scott Pace’s Weeknd-influenced R&B to Kydd Jones’ frequently abstract, eccentric beats to intriguing glimpses at the future from newcomers like Anna Love and Magna Carda’s Dougie Do. This is material that defines itself rather than let itself be defined by outsider trends and tastes.

When there are contemporary influences, it’s along the lines of Kydd’s “Round Here,” a piece anchored to a glitchy, stuttering beat that ramps up the tension as Kydd goes Kendrick, documenting domestic paranoia and whispering revolution talk. Or it’s Cory Kendrix’s “Wax On,” a classic Timbaland throwback, Love throwing on megaphone filters amidst the dross of metronome percussion and synth whoops and hollers. Swindles even gives Tank Washington some kind of combo Diplo and Mr. Bangladesh beat, a chimy back and forth punctuated by reggaeton blasts, a perfect fit for Tank’s stop-start flow.

The mixtape excels at showing off LNS Crew’s bid for national attention without sacrificing any of the qualities that make them such a promising outfit. You can hear it in the twisty merger of chipmunk soul and club hip hop Kydd provides on “Blink Away” or the oddly hypnotic low end hooks of Kendrix’s “Theme Song,” where Kendrix’s signature drawl is augmented by a hip rocking bass that tangos with his checklist of items that need to be in a perfect bad bitch theme song. LNS affiliate Max Frost gets in on the action too, bringing a subtler than normal hook to the Kydd and Scott Pace collab “Let Me Down Easy,” making for one of LNS’ sexiest songs, as deliberate with the foreplay as Usher’s “Climax” but with far more street swagger.

There are some intriguing demonstrations of LNS’ collisions with other scene heavy hitters, the clearest standout being Tank and Kendrix’s “Complicated.” Featuring a neo-soul beat from Dougie Do, “Complicated” takes Tank and Kendrix out of their more synth leaning home element and sends them on a nostalgia trip, their flows granted more melodic detours than normal as a result of Dougie Do’s expert musicality. H+ gifts the entire crew with a similarly nostalgic but jazzier track on “Pot Luck” but here the narrative is centered not around romantic woes, it’s on LNS’ growth over the past year.

“The world is unkind to the dreamers,” they say, calling out Austin’s stubborn unwillingness to embrace its hometown hip hop heroes until they’ve gotten notice elsewhere. That’s fair, history is littered with dreamers who were just a little too ahead of the curve to reap financial rewards. Still, LNS Mixtape Vol. 2 is too ambitious and hungry to go left unchecked for long, and it’s difficult to imagine a crew as talented and bold as LNS not making it beyond the famed city limits."


Shoutout to Nick Hanover for the review man, that's love right there! He does a lot of write ups on local music that deserves to be heard and there are a lot of other good music writers at Ovrld doing their thing too, so check them out! They're definitely one of the up and coming music blogs representing the 512 and we definitely appreciate all the support they've given us.

-H+

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

[New Show] Kydd & DJ Charlie at Empire 5/2/15 with Phranchyze & Lowkey

Catch Kydd Jones and DJ Charlie at Empire Control Room on May 2nd with Phranchyze and Lowkey of the LOEGz! Free show with RSVP!


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

[New Album] Ike & H+ - The Paradise Lost Tapes ft Kydd Jones, Cory Kendrix & more

https://soul2020.bandcamp.com/album/the-paradise-lost-tapes
LNS Crew producer Haris Qureshi aka H+ just sent us this new album that he made the beats for. It's got the homies Kydd Jones and Cory Kendrix on it so check it out!
 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

[New Single] Kydd Jones - Vodka n Da Fiji

https://soundcloud.com/kydd-2/kydd-jones-vodka-n-da-fiji
Kydd Jones drops another audible treat "Vodka n Da Fiji" before the anticipated release of his album GR33D.  The production credit for this track includes the creative minds of Argy who is part of Element 8 Music Group alongside Scott Pace and Kydd himself.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

[New Single] Kydd Jones ft Sean Price - Blink Away

https://soundcloud.com/kydd-2/blink-away-ft-sean-price
Austin, Texas rapper/producer Kydd Jones presents “Blink Away”, the Kydd & Keef-produced new single featuring Sean Price from GR33D, Kydd’s forthcoming album. Jones’ 2012 albums The Sounds In My Head 2 featured Yelawolf, Pac Div and Skyzoo, while The Righteous LP featured G.O.O.D. Music affiliate GLC and Dallas duo A.Dd+. Jones has also worked with artists such as Kirko Bangz and Max Frost of Atlantic Records as well as Dee-1 of RCA Records. A five-time SXSW Showcase artist, Jones performed in 2012 at the XXL SXSW Showcase; at A3C 2012 in Atlanta for Red Bull Soundstage; in 2013 at Pop Montreal and FunFunFunFest; in 2014 at the 10th Anniversary A3C Festival and Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, the A3C Best In Show for NXNE 2014 and opened for Danny Brown for the Red Bull Sound Select in Austin during SXSW 2014. He has toured numerous times, including The Red Bull Skooled Tour, LRG Homegrown Tour, Yelawolf Texas Tour, Big Sean College Tour, Sneaker Pimps Tour, The Return of Screw York City Tour, The Cool Kids Southwest Tour, and The HipHopGods Tour. The Austin-American Statesman said that Jones “exemplifies Austin about as well as anyone out there. His style is laid back but clear-spoken. Funky and fun.” Jones says “I made the ‘Blink Away’ about gun awareness. I wasn’t trying to be political but its something we deal with everyday; good or bad, just don’t be naive. To put it in my point of view: life’s a blink away. I met up with Sean price in NY and he added his own cadence to the song to make it pop to another level also. When I was making the song, I grabbed the sample from another beat I had made four years earlier, and from there I just went to work.” Online press release DJ download pack. Kydd - GR33D TRAILER: www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LEUBpPFG…ure=youtube_gdata #GR33D LP coming soon @kyddjones @kyddjones @kyddjones

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

[New Single] Tank - DRUNK

https://soundcloud.com/pacboitank/drunk-ft-killa-kyleon-worldwide
Austin’s Tank Washington (aka Pacboi Tank) drops off his newest single, “DRUNK” featuring rising Texas stars Worldwide of San Antonio and Killa Kyleon from Houston. Tank will be performing alongside Kydd Jones at the Mohawk in Austin, TX for the LNS Crew SXSW Hangover Part IV on Thursday, April 9th.

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