Browse Category

Interviews

InterviewsMusicMusic News

Get To Know Angry Blackmen, Chicago’s newest feel-good rap duo

posted by Alejandro Hernandez September 9, 2017

One of the newest acts in the ever-growing Chicago Renaissance is a duo that goes by the name of Angry Blackmen. Despite literally having the word angry in their name, the duo made up of Brian Warren and Quentin Branch are actually one of the most easy going guys you’ll ever meet, and their music is reflective of that. Their first single “OK!” was released in March and is an upbeat, easy-going track and their most recent single “Smile” is an ode to Black Boy Magic.

I had the chance to speak with them last week, and despite their limited body of work together as a duo, they show a lot of promise and I was sold on their potential. It’s time that you should get know the Angry Blackmen:

Question: How did you guys first decide to form a duo?

Quentin Branch: Basically, we met at a music video shoot by my friend Eric, and we exchanged info and just stayed in contact. This was in 2014, so it kinda happened naturally. At first, I really wasn’t fucking with being a part of duo, but I thought about it and decided that we make good music together. Plus as a duo we can rebrand ourselves as artists so we just did it.

Brian Warren: Late last year was when I brought up the idea that we should do a duo, and he was like “No! Let’s just stay solo since we’re just already doing our thing,” and I was like if you say so. Then it was in December that we got on the phone again and decided to do it, and literally as we were on the phone talking about it, he was drawing the logo. Then he sent the pic, and I was just like, we need to get that to be official, and then he sent the logo to this dude named Wesley who added his own special thing to it. Once he kicked it back to us, we decided that we were going to rock with it. So we really became official in January. We made “OK!” and got Ric Wilson to mix it, and then we dropped it in March.

Q: Who are your musical influences?

QB: Tyler for sure. I love him, he makes great production. Childish Gambino was the one who really got me into rap. Like I liked it before, but he really got me into it. I also really like Pharell’s production and try to infuse that poppy sound he’s known for. Then The Internet, Steve Lacy, and recently, Brockhampton

BW: For me, I gotta shout out the man Chance The Rapper. He’s just goes so hard. J. Cole, Kendrick, Eminem, he’s just so magical with his metaphors and punches. Then also Meek Mill for his punches. I’ll also say, and a lot of people really don’t say this, but battle rap. I don’t even know if they write their bars, but it’s just so creative with how they do it.

Q: What’s the reception been like to your music? Did that help reaffirm your decision to be a duo?

QB: When we first released “OK!” the reception was actually really good. I surprised actually because although I expected it to be popular, I wasn’t expecting it to get it tweeted by EARMILK or Ric Wilson, even though he said gonna do it, it’s one of those things where you never know. Then Rich Jones retweeted it and his manager retweeted it, so it was just getting a bunch of love. It was then that we definitely decided to keep this going. We knew we had something.

BW: I’ll say that when we created “OK!” we actually made it in a Krispy Kreme parking lot out in Homewood. We were just out there playing the instrumental, and then we just vibed off it and went off the type of energy we had. When we hear a beat, we basically freestyle to see who will sound better rapping on it and who can do the chorus. With the reception though, the energy of the people who reacted to it kept us going since we just had people talking about “This is really dope! This is hot!” Everybody was loving it, so we kept going.

QB: When we dropped “Smile” though, I was definitely scared a little just because we made something that was getting a lot of great feedback, but you never know what their expectations are like for the sequel. It’s like how it is with movies, you know? Like the original is usually always better.

BW: Yeah, we were definitely a little nervous just because we were like “damn, people are just gonna want something OK! related,.” When we made “Smile,” it’s more different since we made that as result of what’s going on with this whole racist, KKK, white supremacist stuff going on. “Smile”  is something we made to kinda talk about that because as much as what’s going on in the world and how hard it is for a Black man, we still need something to smile about. That’s where the chorus comes from, “Let me see that Black boy smile.”

QB: With “OK!” it’s definitely a song for everyone. It’s like asking are you feeling okay as a person, but with “Smile” we definitely made for Black people, which makes it more more political. All of our songs are for sure going to have those type of messages.

Q: Hip-hop is going in a new direction. Traditionally, it’s always been very aggressive and gangsta rap has been probably been the most popular subgenre of hip-hop for a while, but now we have guys like Tyler, The Creator and Joseph Chilliams who embrace a carefeee nature and you guys have a sound similar to that. How do you feel  this new direction?

QB: Yeah, you know when I was young, it was like if you weren’t about that life, it was like “you’re not Black enough.” I hate that. Like, I love anime and listen to bands, and dudes would look at me like “Really?” But now it’s cool because now we got dudes like Tyler rapping about being cute and shit and it allows us to actually be ourselves.

BW: I actually love it because hip-hop is finally not boring anymore. Like not that it was ever bad, but it got to a point where it was like “What else is there?” Now though, people can finally talk about other shit. Like maybe I don’t want to rap about stealing your girl or getting money. Like it’s cool if your getting money, but how’s your day going? What’s going on in Chicago that we don’t know? Bring that up and put some flavor on it. If you don’t have enough knowledge of what you look like, you basically a misfit in the world. How are you doing just as a person? People are rapping about that finally. There’s a lot more variety and we can finally talk and listen about things that weren’t really talked about, and it’s dope to be a part of that movement.

InterviewsMusic

Video: Desus & Mero Interview Zane Lowe

posted by Oscar August 23, 2017

Listen up, ballbags! The #1 show in late night‘s most recent guest was none other than (the GOAT) Zane Lowe. Desus & Mero interviewed Lowe about his move to Apple Music for Beats 1, his biggest interviews to date, interviews that didn’t see the light of day, performing at Wembley Stadium, delving into creating his own dance records, and more. Lowe also had some dope lines in his talk with BX’s finest that would’ve been great “rainbows,” but at the end you’ll see he still delivered one worth remembering.

Check out the extended cut of their interview in the video above.

InterviewsMusic

Video: Desus & Mero Interview Vic Mensa

posted by Oscar July 26, 2017

The #1 show on late night, the great Desus & Mero welcomed Vic Mensa as their latest illustrious guest. The Chicago rapper, on the show to promote the upcoming release of his debut album, The Autobiography.

The pair talked to Vic about his new album, his non-Facetime relationship with Jay-Z, falling 30 feet from a bridge trying to sneak into Lollapalooza, and his thoughts on how people talk about Chicago and its recent infamous reputation. Not only that, but we also got an update on his beef with DJ Akademiks, capped by a fitting “rainbow.”

Check out the interview above.

InterviewsMusic

See Vic Mensa Talk New Jay Z Album, Call Out DJ Akademiks on ‘Everyday Struggle’

posted by Oscar June 19, 2017

Vic Mensa was the featured guest on today’s episode of Everyday Struggle to discuss his latest release, The Manuscript, and share some details on his forthcoming debut full LP (due out this summer), while also going into topics concerning the Hip Hop landscape including Jay Z’s new project, the latest XXL Freshmen class, the 2Pac biopic, and more.

One of the biggest moments in this interview came when Vic confronted Akademiks over the latter’s approach to covering Chicago’s Hip Hop music scene, and all that it reflects and influences. The heated discussion saw Vic call him out for making light of the serious situation affecting the city, dismissing Drill music and joking on the lives lost due to violence.

Check it out above.

InterviewsMusic

Video: Vic Mensa Breaks Down The Lyrics and Meaning of “OMG”

posted by Oscar June 13, 2017

Vic Mensa shared his new “capsule” The Manuscript dropped last week and one of the tracks that have gotten the most attention is the undeniable “OMG.” The song, featuring Pusha T laying down a verse and Pharrell lending his talent on both the chorus and the song’s production, is the subject of the latest episode of Genius’ Verified, the series through artists break down and detail their tunes.

“I was a skateboarder as a kid before I was ever into hip-hop,” Mensa tells Genius. “Pharrell really opened up the doors for me to feel like that was cool, because on the Southside of Chicago there’s not a lot of skateboarders. Before people saw Pharrell skating and people saw Lupe skating, you didn’t have hip-hop, black examples of skateboarders. Fast forward however many years and now I’m jumping out of the Bentley with the dirty Vans.”

Check out Vic talking about “OMG” above.

Interviews

Meet Elliot Montanez: One Of The Hardest Working Bloggers In Chicago

posted by Miguelini June 10, 2017
Our friend, Ahad Kamran, recently got a chance to chat with Elliot Montanez, one of Chicago music scene’s hardest working individuals that you may not know by name but I assure you have definitely seen his work in action. From working a full-time job, to running the entire writing department of Lyrical Lemonade, to managing rising Hip-Hop artists such as Femdot and IsaiahG, Elliot really does it all. You can read more about his introduction to music, the journey to get to where he is today, and more by checking out the Q&A below!

Continue Reading

EventsInterviewsMusic NewsNew Music

Listen to Episode 27 Of 93′ Til: T-Pain Appreciation Week & an Interview w/Luke Almighty

posted by Miguelini May 24, 2017

This week Miguel and Luis discuss:

00:00-08:50 – Chicago Spotlight: We Talk about new songs by Rockie Fresh, Monster Mike, Ran$ah, & Oddcouple. We also review Memorial day weekend events by Phero, Femdot, Smokepurpp & Navarro.

08:30 – Vince Staples new single

09:18 XXXtentacion new songs and official project

12:13 Travis Scott’s New Songs

14:59 Matt Ox taking the rap world by storm

16:55 Thoughts on Filthy x Lil Yachty collab

17:50 T-wayne Mixtape Review

24:03 Buddy x Kaytranada EP Review

25:35 Producers have always been a staple part of rap music and it is important to recognize the ones who are putting in work and allowing rap artists to make some of the best songs in their career. This week I had the opportunity to interview up and coming producer Luke Almighty who has been making hits for tons of local artists including Supa Bwe, Roo$ki, Monster Mike, Freako, and Adot. We talked about Luke’s background, his creative process, some of his influences and favorite artists, as well as how he feels producers are valued in this day and age of music. You can read some excerpts from the interview below!

Name: Luke Almighty

Hometown: Aurora,Illinois

Genre Influences on Production: Soul, Oldies, Rock

Artist Influences: Nirvana, The Doors, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye

What inspires your creative process? “I personally have ADHD so I feel like I deal with this on a daily basis. Listening to all types of music, especially artists like Lucki who are young and doing it. That inspires me other people on the same level as me doing it, it keeps me going.”

Local Collabs you would love to be apart of in the future: Lucki, BigbodyFiji, Qari and Mulatto, Plu20 Nash, Ran$ah, Femdot

Dream Collabs? Chance, Kanye, Migos, Frank Ocean, Smino, Wifisfuneral

Future goals/ambitions: “Have my own label, have my own studio in Chicago, build on that. Not so much a label where I take a percentage of the artists money, more so a collective of artists. I just feel like a team is so powerful in music. Moving to the city would definitely be helpful. I would love to eventually branch out to LA and New York, I don’t want to stay in one place, I don’t want to stay stagnant. I want to be everywhere and always be improving. Always seeking out new talent, staying true and passionate to music. That’s always been my first passion before producing, music. (Essentially) to really make history, make shit that lasts and to never be forgotten.”

How do you feel that producers are treated in this day and age of music? “There’s always room for improvement. Definitely an improvement from the past, back when I became a Hip-Hop head in 4th and 5th grade I personally never knew who the producer was unless they really had a loud tag which was pretty rare back then.  Now producers are more appreciated because you do get that credit. Financially and monetarily they still aren’t respected as much. It goes both ways, I think it’s important to show love, whether it be financially or just show love and support each other. I just think it needs to be mutual… if you don’t appreciate the beat or producer do you really appreciate your own music? It’s all about having integrity in what you do.”

Upcoming music? “I don’t want to speak too much on the big stuff but there is always new music coming. New music coming with Supa, lotta new shit with Freako, Adot, and Roo$ki, got some shit with Nina Tech, me and Monster Mike got some new stuff too. Me and DuffleBagBuru are going to have a song coming out really soon.”

Be sure to stay on the look out for more from Luke Almighty, his name will be popping out a lot more often so get in tune now. You can listen to the full interview below!

 

InterviewsMusicPOD ExclusivePOD Interviews

Video: Check Out Our Exclusive Interview with Marian Hill

posted by Oscar May 16, 2017

Another one!… The latest POD interview we’d like to share with y’all was one of the 10 we held down in Austin, TX, this time being the Alternative Pop group Marian Hill.

Our conversation took us many places, including discussing the making of their video for “Down,” the added value in having their music featured on an Apple commercial, their appreciation and use of Jazz, and why they’ve partnered with the Plus 1 for their latest tour.

For the “Speed Round” they answered our signature questions like first album they ever purchased, fave music video, and the ATX-specific pulled pork vs. brisket debate. My favorites were their take on “old Kanye vs. new Kanye” and Samantha’s response to my cheeky question that references their “One Time.” See that short clip below. Continue Reading

InterviewsLive PerformancesMusic

See Gorillaz Perform “We Got The Power” w/ Jehnny Beth and Noel Gallagher on ‘The Graham Norton Show’

posted by Oscar May 6, 2017

Gorillaz are in full promo nowadays after the release of their magnificent comeback album, which ended a 7-year hiatus, Humanz. For that promo tour, Damon Albarn and his band headed over to The Graham Norton Show to perform their track “We Got The Power,” accompanied by Jehnny Beth and one-time rival Noel Gallagher (Oasis).

After playing the track, Albarn and Beth walked over to the couch to take part in a short interview in which they discussed the upcoming Humanz Tour and some fancy (gorgeous) bell.

Check out both the performance and interview in the video above.

InterviewsMusicPOD ExclusivePOD Interviews

Video: See Our Exclusive Interview with Joey Purp

posted by Oscar May 4, 2017

Joey Purp was easily one of our favorite artists to interview down at SXSW 2017. The man took his own approach when speaking to Pursuit Of Dopeness on iiiDropsforthcoming EP Quarter Thing (which he previewed at the festival)and his love for Sean Paul and Lupe Fiasco. You can see the mega entertaining interview above.

Purp also participated in our “Speed Round,” answering questions like what was the first album he ever bought, his favorite music video of all time, and which SaveMoney member needs to be around in case shit goes down. See that below. Continue Reading

InterviewsMusicPOD ExclusivePOD Interviews

Video: Peep Our Exclusive Interview with Kap G

posted by Oscar April 22, 2017

The latest POD interview conducted in the dope city of Austin, TX  is with none other than Kap G. The ATL star known for his appearance on DOPE and who’s currently touring with Chris Brown, sat down with us to talk about the inspiration behind his track “La Policia,” touring in Mexico City for the first time, his new album and more. You can see that above.

For the Speed Round, Kap G revealed what was the first album he ever bought, his favorite music video of all time, artists he’s listening to lately, and more. Check that out below. Continue Reading