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Bandcamp Featured Artist

Posted by: Yameen on November 23rd, 2011 in Press

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My Bandcamp page was featured in the Bandcamp Gallery:

Behold! A few of our favorite examples of bands who treat the eyes as well as they do the ears.

Big ups to the Bancamp crew for the props! We appreciate it!

And be sure to checkout my Bandcamp page for music!

Light of Love Video Director, Jamie Vickers on Catsuka

Posted by: Yameen on November 23rd, 2011 in Light of Love Anime Video, Never Knows Encore, Never Knows More, Press

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French anime website, Catsuka recently featured the Light of Love anime video and its director, Jamie Vickers on its pages, giving a bit more insight into the origins of the video (which was in fact a pilot for a television show). From Google Translate:

Jamie Vickers is one of those rare leaders foreigners working in Japan in the background. I had already relayed his demo tape, which allowed to realize that he hosted for people like Koji Morimoto (on Dimension Bomb in Genius Party Beyond) or Masaaki Yuasa (on Kemonozume). And doing research on anything else, I came across a video clip passed unnoticed, he realized, design and animation in the (fire) Daisuke Nakayama Studio Realthing: Light of Love to Yameen and Lady Alma. We could already see the clip in his demo tape, with a new name – The Sound of Fire – and presented as a pilot.

The Light of Love anime video was in fact a slice of a pilot called “Sound of Fire” originally based on the song “Fire” from my album, Never Knows Best. The video was designed, directed and animated by Jamie and produced by Japanese anime studio, RealThing in the Shibuya Ward of Tokyo, Japan. The video’s executive producer was Yujiro Funato. And of course there was a cast of talented artists who have helped bring the video to life:

Production – Realthing
Executive Producer – Yujiro Funato
Producer / Creative support – Norifumi Fujita
Direction / Animation – Jamie Vickers
CGI Direction – Mayu Hirano
Animation / Color Design – Yuko Ueno

Thanks to Catsuka for featuring the video.

Check out Jamie’s 2010 animation reel directly below, and the Light of Love video follows.

All Talk: E3 2011 Podcast featuring Yameen

Posted by: Yameen on June 22nd, 2011 in Press

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Well, that’s me and Ed Boon of Mortal Kombat fame at E3 2011 in that pic above. I had a great time at E3 this year, and was invited by the All Things All Things podcast to stop by and talk about the show.

We get into Bastion from Warner Bros, Nintendo’s Wii U but of course, Sony’s Vita & Microsoft’s Xbox. As well as the hunt for niche titles like That Game Studio’s Journey and Last Guardian.

Check it out here:

All Talk: E3 2011 – All Things All Things

One Of Swords: Let’s Talk About Yameen

Posted by: Yameen on September 20th, 2010 in Press, Thangs

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My good, good friend from back in the day, Dan Amrich — who goes by the nom de Web, One Of Swords — is the self-described “social media guy” for videogame juggernaut, Activision: the publisher of Call of Duty, DJ Hero, Guitar Hero and many more.

As you may have read on my site in the past, I am a contributor to his weekly podcast, both as a guest and as a music producer.

Dan recently posted a very gracious article detailing which tracks he specifically uses of mine on his podcast and gave me a ton of dap in the process. Just like the olden days of the Interwebs, I felt it appropriate to share links in exchange for his kind words.

So QUICK! Hit the link and check out the One Of Swords website! Tons of behind-the-scenes news and features on some of video gaming’s biggest titles. And Dan is crazy knowledgeable and hilarious, so download a podcast or two as well!

DJ Hero 2 Shows Yameen Some (T-Shirt) Love

Posted by: Yameen on September 15th, 2010 in Press, Thangs

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While I’m still waiting for my official-official invitation to contribute to a DJ Hero video game set ;), I was pretty stoked to see Dan “One of Swords” Amrich — Activision’s social media guru and liaison — rocking one of my old, old SupremeEx t-shirts in this new DJ Hero 2 promotional video. Check it out:

And while that shirt has been sold out in men’s sizes for quite some time, as of this blog post there’s still a few women’s sizes left at The Giant Peach!

Interview with Wake Your Daughter Up Magazine

Posted by: Yameen on March 29th, 2010 in Never Knows Best, Press

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Here is an interview with Wake Your Daughter Up hiphop and audio blog. It originally ran right before the launch of Never Knows Best on June 15th, 2008.

WYDU: For those out there in the blog land that might not know who you are, can you give us a brief introduction?

Yameen: Sure. My name’s Yameen aka “Stinke”. I’m a producer born and raised in Philadelphia, presently living in San Francisco. I’m also a huge fan of the site. Thanks for having me.

W: Man, I already gotta questions your taste, liking this site…hahaha. You got an interesting start in the “game”, coming up on the infamous Heiro boards from back in the day and working with them, how did you hook up with that and do you think it’s benefited you as an artist?

Yameen: In 1995 while I was still in high school, I started a little website called Tha Threshold. It had a graffiti section, a video game section, a links page (which were really big back then) and a little section about my favorite crew at the time, Hieroglyphics. I originally made the Hiero page to see what was going on with all those guys because it was like the “Hiero Hotline” just dried up and no one knew where any of those guys were, or what they were doing.

So, you know, I had this cool little website. And it was getting a few hits. But the video game section was kinda popping…So I decided to shut down the Hiero section of the site and focus on the games part. Ironically, the day I decide to do this, I get a beep on my pager (1995, y’all) and it’s from the “510″ area code…I’m like, “Who is this?”. So I call the number back and it’s some guy claiming to be Tajai from Souls of Mischief. He wants to make my website, “Official”, he says! “Sure, sure buddy….”, I had assured him. “Well, why don’t you send me some stuff to prove you’re actually Tajai and then we’ll take it from there.” No joke, this is how it went down. So a week or two goes by and oh shit! A huge package arrives with all kinds of Hiero press photos, Souls of Mischief “No Man’s Land” promotional water flasks, stickers, all this stuff. I mean, I’m still in high school. So I take all this stuff back to school and I’m flossin this shit like, “YEA MOTHERFUCKERS!” Haha…

So yea, through Tajai’s connection we made the website official in 1995. A year or so later we acquired the “Hieroglyphics.com” domain name which cost $180 a year back then. In 1995, you could pretty much count all of the hiphop websites on both of your hands. We all knew each other too. Aside from Mystik Journeymen, Hiero was the first hiphop group to have a huge online presence. And we dominated between 1995-2001. We funded the entire recording of 3rd Eye Vision through the website and our burgeoning e-commerce initiative. We won tons of awards and established a lot of the web practices adopted by many other sites in the intervening years.

But yea, as far as benefiting me as an artist, definitely. My first music EP commercially-released was with Tajai of Souls of Mischief in 99′. And it was released on Tajai’s label through Hieroglyphics Imperium. So right there, that was a great jump-off. I also got to tap into the Hiero fanbase since I had Hiero members on my records. And likewise, that worked in different scenarios: When I did Aesop Rock’s website in 1999, we were able to hit up the Hiero fanbase and turn them onto him, for example. It all worked cause I think all the Hiero Heads were on more or less the same shit. It wasn’t like I was posting up links to Doritos like, “OMG, check this shit out, blood!”

Also, if I can just mention this…The time I tried to interview Kwest Tha Madd Lad from a payphone in Queens was one of the more bugged out memories I have from this era. I really wanted this interview to go down, but it just rang and rang. I still want to do that interview, Kwest. Hit me up yo.

W: There is always some weird shit going on with interviewing Kwest, I think that he makes that a prerequisite. The Heiro website was basically one of the first of its kind on the web and you are somewhat credited for that, as you mentioned, being the webmaster and all. How was it working on something those days that was still fairly new? How did you create the “blueprint” for indie hip hop on the web?

Yameen: My official title was “Webmaster and New Media Coordinator”. I was spearheading ideas that would take the entire crew and indeed our fanbase and online community further. “Yo, there’s this new technology called RealAudio that lets you stream audio we need to get that;” or “Let’s document the entire production of 3rd Eye Vision from start to finish and post it online each week;” or “Let’s release albums like Del’s shelved 3rd studio record online-only.” I was also designing the site, and we got bit quite often.

But I think it was about being original and pushing new ideas and rallying the online community and charging ahead. The entire Hiero website, the record label that spawned from the web initiative, everything that Hiero became in the mid-to-late-90′s up until today can be single-handedly attributed to the worldwide Hieroglyphics fanbase. They were the ones buying the web-only cassettes, the t-shirts, spreading the word, coming to the shows. Essentially, making sure Hiero survived. Our “blueprint” was exciting the online community and keeping them engaged.

W: Never Knows Best is your first album as being known as Yameen, how long in the making was this project?

Yameen: Word, Never Knows Best is my first album under the name Yameen. It took about two years to finish.

W: Describe the album, how did you come up with the concepts and what influenced you?

Yameen: The album is me on production with a bunch of great guest artists including Shock G, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Maylay Sparks and Lady Alma from Philly, Azeem is on there, Casual from Hieroglyphics and DJ Icewater.

When I first conceptualized the album, I was going to do a full instrumental album with a running musical narrative, much like I’ve done in the past with some of the concept records Tajai and I worked on. But then I was like, “You know what? People like lyrics. People like remembering songs, and humming and singing them to themselves.” And so I dropped the full-on instrumental idea. Then I started to think about the instant-on internet generation and how attention time is precious, and how you really need to grab people and entertain them quickly because there is so much access to instant media now. And so I experimented with making what little instrumental songs are on there short. And they kindof bump right into each other, as can be heard especially in the beginning of the album. I try to just get right to it and make a record that is fully enjoyable from start-to-finish.

W: The sound on this album is rather unique, how would you describe your music on this album?

Yameen: Man that’s a great question.

W: Why thank you…

Yameen: I’m really not sure. Of course I call it hiphop and soul, but I have dance influences as well. It’s different. I’d suggest anyone interested should peep the sound clips on my site or on iTunes and make your own decisions. If anything, I think it’s exciting.

W: Playing devil’s advocate here, what would you say to someone that would say that “this isn’t hip hop”?

Yameen: Well, I mean, I grew up listening to all the dope artists covered on this website, know what I mean? I love Kane, I love X-Clan, I know who the fuck 3X Dope and BWP is and shit, hahaha…If you’re reading this, most likely we have the same exact influences. Some of my stuff might push the BPMs a bit faster than your normal boom-bap, but shoot: in my opinion I’m still making hiphop. Soul music.

It’s tough cause as much as I would love for everyone to be into it, I know my music’s not for everyone. But I have a lot of different sounds on the album. I have battle MCs and r&b crooners. Got some blow-your-speakers-apart rap shit and I have some housy-r&b shit. I can’t help it!!

W: How do you see the state of hip hop in general changing in the future. With the experimentation of sounds, such as whats your album, it’s something that some the hardcore extremists might have a problem with. For those calling for more creativity in the genre, they might praise the expansion of the sound such as found on your album? How do you walk the fine line between being to experimental and keeping those hip hop roots close by?

Yameen: I don’t think I’ve ever worried about losing my hiphop roots. This is my life, it’s intertwined, it can never leave. But I do think about accessibility in my music, and how people will receive it. Especially as I have gotten older. At the end of the day, when I’ve made a song, I only need to consider: Do you like it? Is Yameen happy with what he has produced?

I am always interested in hearing how people respond to the album and the music: What songs did they enjoy, what did they absolutely hate. I am already starting to get some great feedback. Truth is, I never know until it’s out there.

But as far as the future of music and the future of hiphop in particular, I am more-so interested in the changing media landscape. Before Never Knows Best, the last album I released was “Nuntype” with Tajai in 2005. In those three intervening years, there has been a tremendous change in the way music is sold and distributed. Look at how many of our online vinyl stores have fallen since then: HipHopSite, Sandbox…Everyone downloads music now. There was even a bit of resistance from the label when I wanted to press CDs this year. It’s changed so fast and so dramatically. The distributors too have been heavily affected. Everyone has.

I mean, I’ve been pricing my CDs at $9.99 for years. I think all artist should do that. It doesn’t make sense cause most cats is gonna download your stuff anyway. Either to get a taste or from iTunes, etc. But my point is soon I see CDs becoming just a promotional tool cats give away. Gotta give it up to Prince, Radiohead, Trent Reznor…These are artists trying new things. It’s good to see.

W: You have an interesting line up of guest artists that you worked with on this album, how did you choose who you wanted to work with?

Yameen: For each song I had each artist in mind. I was lucky to work with so many professionals, too, in the Leon / Jean Reno sense of the word. Everyone was laser-sighted, precise. I had never worked with any of the artists on the album before so that was a lot of fun.

Also have to give shouts to Matt Kelley, my engineer, and Ken Lee who mastered the album. These guys are two hiphop legends. They’ve worked on so many classic records, it’s ridiculous. One of the reasons why I recommend the CD version are because of these two guys, it just bumps. Oh and peace to Doug who laced the album artwork. That shit came out really sick as well.

W: Was there anyone you wanted to get on the album but couldn’t? Any artists you want to work with in the future?

Yameen: Yea, I’m lose-mapping the next album in my head and pretty much know everyone I want to work with. I get a bit superstitious, tho, so I can’t name drop anyone until it’s recorded.

W: Understandable, don’t want to jinx anything. What does the future hold for Yameen? World tours, cars, women? haha

Yameen: Yea, all that shit man! Hahaha…Lifestyles of the rich and infamous, word up. But definitely more music, more media convergence ideas: music mixed with visuals and interaction. Synesthesia. We are, to quote a song title from my record, Sifters In The Land Of Fun, after all. More so now than ever before.

W: Any last words for our fine readers in the blogosphere?

Yameen: Yo, go cop Never Knows Best on Ropeadope Records, in stores everywhere. Amazon.com, iTunes, yameenmusic.com. Download the free album sampler at my website mixed by DJ Statik. Big ups to Travis and the entire Wake Your Daughter Up crew. I love the site, keep doing what you’re doing. And to all of YOU! Thanks for supporting. Peace!

W: Thanks man, this was most enjoyable and best of luck with the album!

• Check out the Wake Your Daughter Up HipHop & Audio Blog

Yameen Photos from Thailand!

Posted by: Yameen on November 1st, 2008 in Never Knows Best, Press

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My homeboy, Travelin Matt hollered from Bangkok with some fresh new pix of the Yameen album making its Thailand debut:

“I shot these at the Grand Palace and Wat Pra Kao (The Temple of the Emerald Buddha). The most sacred place in Thailand.”

"Yameen in Thailand" - Submitted By Travelin Matt

"Yameen in Thailand" - Submitted By Travelin Matt

Word, duuk. Came out slamming!

Check out more pix from Travelin Matt in Thailand in the Photos section of the site.

And be sure to check out Matt’s internet radio station, Underground Bangkok Radio, broadcasting live from Thailand, at www.ubradio.net.

Projecto 2501: Yameen & Tajai Interview, XLR8R Magazine

Posted by: Yameen on October 1st, 2008 in Hieroglyphics, Press, Thangs

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In August of 2000, Tajai and I met with journalist, Peter Babb in Oakland, California to publicly debut our first collaboration together, Projecto: 2501 for a special feature in XLR8R magazine. We sent Pete an advance copy of the album and below is the full, unedited interview. To read the article as it was printed in XLR8R magazine, click here.

XLR8R: So I gotta start off about the basics, about how this project started to come together, what the timeline was.

Yameen: It was March of last year [1999] and my boy approached me; he was putting a compilation together for Bobbito’s Footwork Illadelph. And he was like: “Why don’t you get one of the Hieros to rhyme over a beat for a little interlude?” Of course I was like, “Cool,” so I asked Tajai if it would be cool and he said yea. So I sent him two beats and it was supposed to be just a skit but he sent me back a whole song. And that song would become “Authentic Intelligence” [off of Projecto]. Tajai called me back a couple weeks later and said: “Let’s do a whole album based off of that song,” and we started doing that in, like, April?

Where did the whole concept come from of The Entity and SupremeEx?

[spontaneous laughter ensues]

Y: “SupremeEx” has been a conceptual musical alias of mine for two or three years now. So the beats that I sent Tajai were already “SupremeEx”. In the beginning of Authentic Intelligence it has a little vocal sound clip [prefacing the story], so we sprung off from that. Shing02 and Major Terror came in later on and we began to adapt them into the storyline…And then I think we were mixing-down and we decided to do trading cards?

The trading card thing is kind of dope too…How about the idea of making the full package of the artwork and the trading cards, or how everything contributes to the source? Nobody’s really done that yet.

Y: It just seemed intuitive to me…

Tajai: Yea, it just kind of went along with the whole concept. It’s like: the music is vivid but we still wanted to enhance it, you know, make people understand that it’s more than just the music. Hopefully, eventually, we’ll be able to expand beyond trading cards into actual figurines and stuff like that.

So, Yameen, you did all the beats. Who did the scratching on the record?

T: JayBiz from Hiero. Then DJ Nozawa, he’s Shing02′s DJ. And then DJ Low Budget, from Philly came in and added some stuff to it.

So what was it like for you, Tajai, writing rhymes as a character instead of just writing rhymes as Tajai?

T: It’s more…Man, it’s fun. You get to…not experiment — I mean, I experiment a lot just in general — but it’s just fun because I try to have so many characters that I am never out of character doing something. So, being The Entity is fun because he’s not human. He’s like a new life form taking new stuff in. Getting into that perspective is fun. When we first started developing the storyline, it helped me figure out what his perspective is. Yea, I like messing with characters.

So the storyline, you just took it from that sound clip and messed around with it?

Y: Yea, as we progressed in the development of the record, we took a lot of time to fully develop the back stories for each character, most of which you will not even know or hear about on the actual music part of the record, but we list some of their fictional histories on the trading cards. And this is where [illustrator] Colm [Doherty] helped out a lot too in developing the characters’ stories. And that was just important for us to understand where these characters are coming from while we were drawing them and developing the characters. In all, it was a very involved process. The artwork took a very long time. I think we kind of perfected what we wanted to do in that regard.

So talk to me about A.I. now — about the whole idea of artificial intelligence taking its own physical form instead of being locked into circuits.

T: I thought about it as thought energy where the right “things” combine, and the right elements combine, and the right sequence of events happen and you get Creation. And so that’s what I think of as “A.I.” It’s not really a big database or something where you ask it a question and it refers to a database. There’s an extra element that is added. I mean, if we could figure it out we’d be making them…But that’s sort of how I want The Entity to be. It’s like what I say on the second song, “Origin of Fable”: Things you would call genies or ghosts or viruses or anything, they have their own sort of consciousness. And they are basically energy that has converged at the right time and created itself, or rather defined itself.

Do you feel we are actually moving in that direction with technology today?

Y: Especially with nanotech. Here’s something we cannot visibly see, but it can replicate itself. For instance, if you drop a nanotech shell over in that corner, theoretically, it could build a structure or a building by itself.

T: Yea, you may have to provide the raw materials, like drop it on a pile of rocks and it’ll make concrete out of it and starts filling in a structure. That’s on a level you can’t observe everything. So even the parts where you can’t observe or control, there’s some other stuff going on. Even how they say computers and networks talk to each other when they’re not being used. That’s stuff you can’t really control; it’s beyond your control.

Do you feel A.I. will eclipse human consciousness at some point? It seemed like that was where it was going on the album.

T: When you look at just how you need a car to get around and things like that, you know what I mean? It has sort of incorporated itself. Basically, everything we do right now is technology-based. There’s a few things — like martial arts and stuff like that — based on human power. But with the other stuff we are sort of controlling it, but it’s not our power. So it hasn’t eclipsed us but it has integrated itself into our being. Regardless of if we are cybernetic or anything. But to an extent, you have to hop in a car to get food. Or, more bluntly, people don’t grow their food. You have to transport it through machines, harvest it by machines, and all that kind of stuff.

Are you going to promote this online too?

Y: Yea, now that the album is wrapping up we’re going to do a whole web onslaught and formally announce it and take it from there. We don’t really know what’s going to happen.

Right, because there’s the reputation now, with Hiero and everything, that it’s the new generation of the internet rapper and all of that.

T: We’re going to have it in stores too. But we’re going to also try and make sure its presence is felt online as well. That’s where a lot of support is going to come from: A lot of people who are open to different kinds of music, who would be down to come and pick it up.

So do you think you’re going to continue the story after the release?

[laughter]

Y: We’re working on the next one right now!

T: It’s a full-length though, a full-length. We’re trying to make it like chapters.

How many?

T: Maybe like 10…I’M SHOOTING FOR 10!

[laughter]

T: That’d be a good body of work. But then with all of the characters — we’ve got Cowboy, and Shingo and Terror — and Shingo and Terror are artists too. So we could have like, you know how Wolverine will have a separate graphic novel? Stuff like that.

Did you have your rhymes in mind already before Yameen sent you the music?

T: I sit with the beats for a loooong time. There are so many elements, you have to have a framework before you just do a song. So, I sit on the beats for a long time. And then execute it.

Y: We kind of knew where we wanted to go when he said, “Let’s do a whole album,” so I took the beats I had and added additional vocal elements to them to push the narrative along. At that point we didn’t really know where it was going to go, we had no concept of the characters or anything. But we knew our theme or motif based off of, “Authentic Intelligence”. We wanted to embed a sort of…sinister overlook of technology. So I found vocal samples that related to that theme and placed them in-between each song to push the narrative along.

How do you feel about the immediate future of multimedia and music? About music starting to incorporate visual art and different artistic elements?

Y: I’m all about immerse worlds, that to me is like second nature. That’s how I have always perceived it. Especially coming from all the web design stuff. I don’t want to just make a web page, I want to make a whole world that people can come to and inhabit. It just seems normal for me to do that. Nowadays, I can make a DVD on my computer. That technology is now readily available to people [ed. Note: DVD technology was released just a few years earlier]. Now that we have so much creative power and control over the technology, we can basically do what we want, artistically. So it would be dope to take everything and make it more interactive. I feel like Tajai and I are moving in the right direction introducing trading cards with our album: Just sucking people into this world we created, as opposed to them simply listening to it. Obviously the music is also very immerse by itself but combined with those visual elements, it’s another step further.

We can make technology do what we want it to now but maybe not later. It sounded like there was Chaos Theory going through the whole album. For instance, “We have shit in order now, but eventually it will escape our grasp.”

Y: I think eventually we’ll all just synchronize and turn into pure energy.

[laughter]

Y: We forgot how to telepathically speak to each other, we’ll eventually remember how to do that soon.

T: And they’re trying to develop it through technology too, you know? Like trying to develop an eye that plugs into your brain and sends a signal so they can make blind people see. It’s only a matter of time where they’re going to be able to put this electrode here or there. I think they even have computers now that can read your brainwaves? I don’t know what the saying is, but we’re going all the way around to get over here. But maybe, eventually, we’ll be able to develop our own senses again to where we can do all of that, through the use of technology. People have this idea that technology is what is making it possible, but the raw materials are out there. All the technology is doing is channeling it.

Y: DNA too has a big part of what is coming up. To truly cybersurf, it’s like…DNA is strictly information. And now that they have it mapped out, you can turn it into binary code. And then when it’s in binary code you can upload it to a computer. So theoretically you can map out your DNA, upload it to your computer, talk to yourself on the computer and be like, “Self, go get this piece of information.” And he’s like, “Alright” and jumps on his surfboard and surfs the net. And maybe that’s when he “clicks” and gains consciousness himself if he doesn’t already have it.

[laughter]

Damn, do you think it can go too far though?

Y: I mean, what’s too far?

T: Yea, that’s the real thing: What’s “too far”? It’s the use not the technology. Like nuclear energy is energy. We just decide to make bombs with it. To me it’s a matter of use. There’s got to be some sort of — I don’t want to say human, but — spiritual kind of element that governs the way we use these things. If you come across an energy source that’s almost unlimited, and you decide to make bombs with it, then there’s something that…If you want to destroy that bad, there’s something wrong with you. The use, you can’t go too far with. It’s the application where you can mess up. But hopefully when people realize we have this power it’ll be used for — I’m not gonna say good — you know what I mean? It’s all abstractions when you get to that point. When you’re splitting atoms and shit, even, you’re just like, damn…

Do you think technology will be able to encompass that spiritual affect?

T: I think that’s where the human/animal/natural element comes in. But, I don’t know…It’s too hard to determine. I mean, look what we have done so far: everything we have done so far is kind of fucked up, so…But we have this long body of information that says, “Yea this shit is fucked up,” so we know, damn, we’ve destroyed this, we destroyed this, we know how to destroy this, we can get here and blow this up. So maybe we’re going to be like, “Let’s start using this for other reasons.” Or maybe we’ll be able to travel to places where we say to ourselves, “Damn we can’t fuck this one up. Let’s do this one right.”

But that’s what a lot of people were saying about the digital age, like OK this is our chance to start over: Take the technology and do it right this time.

Y: But even so, now that everyone has all this freedom and access to information, they’re trying to govern it and create laws.

T: Make money from it, really….No free email?? I mean that’s just dumb!

But that comes back, again, to the human restriction of technology , or efforts to try and box it back in again.

T: It’s too late…

[laughter]

T: Just look at the idea of a hacker: Like pirates and the open seas. And these seas are vast and the hackers could control everything that we use. It’ll be crazy when they start hacking into satellites. The same way Orson Welles did the thing with the radio and said aliens were attacking? Somebody could produce a film of an alien attack, upload it to the satellite like it’s The News and broadcast it and just scare the shit out of everybody. I’d like to see that actually.

[laughter]

Do you think there is such a thing as having too much information?

T: At one time, yea.

Y: But if it’s stored and readily available, no.

T: You just have to get it at the right time. If not, you’ll be crazy. Most of the people that are crazy, that is probably what they are suffering from: too much information at once. You know, someone will be like, “THERE WILL BE….MACHINES! THAT FLY! CARRYING PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD! AND THE EARTH IS ROUND!”

[hysterical laughter]

T: THE EARTH IS ROUND!!

I think a lot of people have that fear of technology, though, much like if you said the earth was round back in the day you would be burned alive as a heretic. Some people don’t like computers or some people think computers are cool but don’t fuck with cell phones…

T: It’s kind of healthy. Caution is healthy, fear is dumb; there’s no point in fearing it. I can foresee stuff getting out of control. Or maybe it’s already out of control and we just don’t know it yet. But, this stuff is readily available and it’s about the use. The information is there. Just like the idea of tapping into different parts of our brains to use telepathy: our brain is not different. Maybe 20, 30, 40,000 years ago it has evolved since then. The hardware’s still there, we just don’t know how to use it — 89% of it so…The information being there, that’s the raw material. It’s what you do with the material. And that’s what is really scary to me. What we have done with the materials so far is make weapons, that’s it! Make weapons and make a money-based system and people will hunt after money instead of — not things — but real shit. People are content to be billionaires, like, “I’m a billionaire. I can’t ever possibly spend all of this money, but I have it…Somewhere….On paper.” People be millionaires on paper and be happy with that.

Right, but nowadays, the tech millionaires, according to all the 1′s and 0′s in the bank’s database, they’re millionaires but tangibly-speaking they don’t have much.

T: Yea…When that busts? That’s going to be crazy. Because we’re going to feel it out here [in the Bay Area]. All these houses that are selling for ridiculous money, they’re going to be foreclosed. Unless they pay cash up front…Right now. Even then they may not be able to cover the taxes. It’s going to be crazy. This area, the Bay Area, we’re going to feel it the most.

How about the technology of hiphop music? A lot of the music is still made on old-ass technology.

Y: Hiphop has always embraced technology. We even went so far as to make our own technology to do what we wanted like the turntable mixer. HipHop is no foe to technology. Tajai and I were just talking about advances in music like digital recording and MIDI; ripping open the void of what artists can now do in music. You can make music out of anything, you know? It’s whatever you have access to, you can make music with.

T: As far as hiphop, it’s always been technological music. It started with the DJ: The turntables, then the mixer, the mic, sound systems. There’s hiphop bands too, but even they use technology to add to their sound. I don’t think with most music there is a fear of technology…Classical is perhaps the main human-powered music. But the idea of needing a big hall for the right acoustics, you need technology to build an enclosed environment like that. It’s just going to continue. And I think more stuff will be regarded as music too. Like crickets and things.

Y: What I like about it is how many sub-genres hiphop has spawned from its technology. I would even go so far as maybe calling hiphop, “Electronic” know what I mean?

T: It always has been, really. Except for like the cipher and beatbox, you know what I mean? And that’s like the raw form. But you’re not going to get on the stage and start to huddle around…

[laughter]

It seems to me hiphop has changed the way other forms of music are made. Pop music nowadays, they make it like it’s a hiphop record. Which is weird because Pop musicians have million, million dollar budgets. But still they sit down with the hiphop producer guy and make a beat.

T: Add some scratches…I mean, hiphop has changed the face of a lot of music but you have to look at Reggae before that. Listen to The Police, they just made reggae songs and added a little rock to it. Even hiphop culture comes from Reggae: just the sound system, and the idea of dub and selecta, and all the crazy air horns and sounds. They build from each other. They build a lot from each other. But it’s not linear, it’s like a web.

The world wide web.

T: Really! It’s just Soundface instead of computer interface. We really travel the planet — it’s the same crowd even — because of these sounds…and that’s crazy…

Speaking about traveling, is there going to be a Projecto tour?

T: We gotta figure out how we’re going to do it, man!

Y: I want to get a robotic ant that comes out with the turntables on the top.

T: I wanna be on a screen or something, and be backstage rhyming to a camera, with just a face on the screen on-stage.

[laughter]

Like some Wizard of Oz shit.

T: Yea, and just have the shit be tweaking with camera effects. But it would be just a big face on the screen. I want it to be live, but when I say certain things maybe images pop up behind the face…I’m there [at the venue]! I’m just backstage rhyming to the camera.

[laughter]

T: We want to get some chapters done in the whole saga first, just so we can have a lot of material to draw from. So it would justify going and doing the whole shit.

Y: And it would be on ice too.

[laughter]

T: Choreographed, have some bunnies on ice!

That’s trail blazing right there, man!

T: Even project the face onto the ice…

[laughter]

T: There’s some shit you can do, dude…There’s a lot of technology available. But it starts at
the music.


Additional Links:

Projecto:2501 on iTunes
Tajai Mixing Projecto: 2501 on YouTube
“Cowboy” — Projecto: 2501 Hidden Cartoon
Projecto: 2501 Website (1999)

Yameen Featured on Jazzy HipHop + Cool Design

Posted by: Yameen on September 16th, 2008 in Never Knows Best, Press

Tags: ,

Props to Jazzy HipHop + Cool Design; a dope music+design journal based out of Japan. They gave me a huge feature on their site, I took a screenshot below:

Here’s a link to the Japanese-language version of the page (the original) and here is a link to the Google Translate English version (does a pretty-pretty-good translation imo…)

Juxtapoz Magazine Full Page Ad

Posted by: Yameen on July 6th, 2008 in Never Knows Best, Press

Check out the full-page ad for Never Knows Best in the July 2008 issue of Juxtapoz magazine, hitting newsstands now: