Thursday, May 28, 2015

[New Interviews] Cory Kendrix || GoDJ Knowledge

Cory Kendrix

As a singer-songwriter, producer and emcee, what is your mindset lately when it comes to making music? What are some of your recent influences?

Lately when I go into creative mode, I've been taking a lot of influence from the people I surround myself with in the studio and the vibe that's set while we're working. I have a tendency to not listen to much new stuff (outside of the crew shit) while working on a project so I can stay as original to our sound as possible but I'm always bumpin the oldies in the car (OutKast, Little Brother, J-Dilla, Do or Die, etc). I've been on some weird indie shit lately, jammin Anna's vinyl collection in the mornings with my son so that's opened my mind to different soundscapes for sure! Shoutout to Modest Mouse and Radiohead for gettin my day started off right, haha.

Who were some of the first people in the game who showed you love when you started rapping? 

MAAAAAYNE! So many people to name and so many stories to tell, haha! First and foremost, my brothers Kydd and Tank really showed me the ropes to the rap shit in like 8th or 9th grade but probably even more importantly was their little brother Slim (Randy); he was my right hand man when I first started out! Me, Slim, Dijon and Staci Russell use to sit in my walk-in closet at like age 14 and record all day on Acid Pro over industry beats on a shitty ass computer mic with a sock wrapped around it, haha... that's where I really first got my feet wet. We were going by Southern Boy ENT back then way before it switched to LNS and my old rap name was Yung Dru, haha. Then Staci introduced me to Y2JJ around the same time back when it was still Phillies Beats (before Pick Ya Poison) and I would basically just sit in his studio all day and stand over his shoulder and watch this fool make beat after beat and that got me started on the production side of things. He's always been a Super Producer so that really helped me figure out how to manipulate sounds and try different shit. Soon after that Kydd, Scott Pace, Wayne Stax and myself started working at an old local studio ATX Productions (Shoutout Chris and Tommy) over by The Landing Strip and T-Flo's old studio, they would always let us record for free because we brought them so many paid clients just from word of mouth so it was all love. They really helped me figure out the more professional side of the recording process. It wouldn't be right if I didn't shoutout Mike C and the whole MA$H movement, that's where I really got the performance side of things down. We use to rock on allllllllll the shows and that's really where I started to find my sound and started playing around with the singing and songwriting aspect. Then after that we started the LNS movement and the rest is history!

You've lived in a lot of places before moving to Denver. How do the Oregon and Texas hip-hop scenes compare to Denver's? 

So the Oregon Hip-hop scene is dope, it's definitely more on some backpack rap type shit as opposed to Texas where it's more or less Screw, trap & street shit hahaha. But there are a lot of dope artists and producers out there in Oregon. I actually have a super dope boom-bap project coming out soon with an incredible producer out of Portland named 5th Sequence so look out for that soon, as well as another EP I'm currently working on with accredited producer Stewart Villain (who is also nice with the raps too which we plan on showing people with the project we got) coming out in the distant future. Shoutout to Cool Nuts, Epp, Myke Bogan, Tope, Ill Mac, and everybody at We Out Here Mag for always showing love! Also, shoutout to little bro Max and everybody else that stayed buying beats from me during my travels and Q for always keeping a roof over my head and food in my stomach while I was out there, haha. So far, Denver has been waaaay different then Texas and Oregon. On one side of things, the backpack rap is super strong out here which is cool and then there's an EDM scene that's crazy out here but I think me personally being a well rounded musician (being that I rap, produce, sing, write, and engineer) has really helped me progress quickly out here that along with the fact that my Texas influence and West Coast sound stands out among the crowd out here. Most recently, I've been working on a lot of super dope content with my new-found bros Catch Lungs and Hustle Man so definitely stay tuned for that stuff it's fire! Also I was nominated for Solo Hip Hop Artist of the Year by the Denver Westword so you can vote for me on their website!

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GoDJ Knowledge

A lot of people remember you DJing for J.Kapone back in the day before he got locked up. You also did a lot of gigs with Wes Sanders as The Dynamic Duo. How'd you meet them?

Man, J.Kapone was that artist that was really out here doing it. It wasn't a question about it, he had the street fame before the rap fame. It's that 50 cent thing when someone has some skills and the background to perpetuate it, it goes hand in hand so the city embraces it.

We had tons of mutual friends and had met him multiple times. I'll be honest, he dissed me twice before he started fucking with me. Me and my homeboy Power Paul were at Rosewood Park and J.Kapone heard he should fuck with me but was like "Nah I fuck with DJ Big Baby" who was part of the Screw Shop. At the time, I was just starting and was like "Fuck everybody." If you were a well-known DJ, I was coming for your spot. Kapone was like "I'ma holla at you when you get poppin. When you poppin, I'ma holla at you." I had done shows with COD and KPaul and Pimpin were getting their grind on, What A Hustle was poppin. Back at the Karma Lounge I remember we'd get it so crunk they had to shut it down. I remember one time Kapone saw me and was like "You really out here." The first project I did with him was "All In My Deck" with Tosin and we just kept it moving from there.

Black Mike was needing a DJ and Wes Sanders was going to borrow my equipment. I had been trying to work with Wes Sanders since he was working with What It Dew.   I went over to his crib and just kinda fucked around on the tables and cliqued up. We both clicked with personality wise. He was doing a lot of shows with Devin and other concerts so we were going to each other's shows and we been gettin money ever since. He been layin back with the birth of his kid but we got more gigs comin up.

What's one of the crazier gigs that you played?

It was an MTV party. It had the cast from the Hills, the dude from Rob and Big. I was nervous cause they said they don't want no hiphop.  I was already on serato so it wasn't no thing. I downloaded some dance stuff, I had a good collection of songs that everybody loves. I just made it groovy. But once everybody started coming in, I had it going into some dance shit. Fuckin Britney Spears and shit, DJ Kurupt gave me a bunch of dope timeless records too. Once everybody started getting drunk, you had stars coming upto the DJ Booth asking for hiphop. They all wanted to hear "Pop Bottles," I played that song seven times that night. I ended up playing nothing but rap for the last hour, closed it with a singalong of Sublime's "Santarita" the club owner told me it was rocking and they had a good night. I got invited to do another MTV party too, it was dope. I walked out feeling like I was the champ, on cloud nine. Protege got me the gig and was like "I don't know what you did, but you killed it..." Another dope show was Crissette Michelle at MJ's.

What you describe your DJ style as? Who some of your influences as a DJ?

B-sides and ghetto shit. Those were the records I had, Slick Rick, KRS, Rakim, jump into some NWA, 8Ball and MJG, Fat Pat, Lil Keke. I wear so many hats, when I bring out to quinceneras, I'll play some cumbia or some Brooks and Dunn "Neon Moon" or some shit. Some AC/DC. But that's just how a real DJ is. I don't care if you got knobs or some tables or even some reel-to-reels, I'ma have to do my job. I came up under real cats that were like "Nah, you not a real DJ." I came up as a student of the game. Talkin bout Grandmaster Flash, Kid Capri, Doo Wop, Tony Touch, DJ S&S, that old school New York shit. Jazzy Jeff, DJ Cash Money, take it back to DJ Brucie B on Paid In Full. Down here, it wasn't down like that.

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