NEF THE PHAROAH x CARDO BRING BACK THE FUNK

 

 

E-40 is from Vallejo and has been releasing records for years. He is also the founder of the Sick Wid It record label. One of the most recent additions to Sick Wid It roster is Nef the Pharoah, a new up and coming MC from South Vallejo. I recently stumbled upon Nef’s music video  HYPERLINK “https://youtu.be/H3EPYFrBaoQ” Big Tymin’ while surfing YouTube. From there I found an album he released last month called Neffy Got Wings.

 

Vallejo is a suburb of the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s not really a happening place. Somehow it seems to be the most fertile ground for hip-hop, and not that traditional boom bap style of hip hop either, nope, this is central hyphy ground. What is hyphy you ask? Hyphy is a style. It’s funky with long drawn out bass beats, and uses synthesizers for that club banger feel.

 

Cardo produced Nef’s mixtape with superb quality. The tape has ten tracks and can easily be listened to in one sitting. Like Nef, Cardo is also flying high on this one. The tape also features the likes of Deltrice, Mozzy, Philthy Rich, Ty Dolla Sign, and Eric Bellinger. I suppose all these guys also hail from the Bay. Unfortunately there’s not much of a female presence on any of the tracks.

 

The Neffy Got Wings album is available for $8 bones on  HYPERLINK “https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/neffy-got-wings/id1077941864” iTunes. You might also find a free stream but that’s on you. And maybe while your at it check out Ezale’s  HYPERLINK “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gENtYiBy4qE” Too High. He’s another up and comer. There is a new generation of Bay Area MCs and producers who carry the same torch that fellas like Mac Dre, E-40, and Too $hort once carried. RIP Mac Dre.

-GLOSS ONER

 

THE UNDERACHIEVERS: Evermore: the Art of Duality 

TheUnderachieversEvermoreTheArtOfDuality

Issa Gold and AK gave the beast coast a boost last month (not that it needs much of one) when they dropped their second studio album titled Evermore: the Art of Duality. Together, Issa and AK are the Underachievers who are far from underachievers since they have each dropped solo projects of their own while keeping the Underachievers afloat. Their new album is a duality of sorts. While the first ten tracks are melodic the second half is like skating down a New York street; the flow is quick, hard, and gets gritty. But overall the album maintains this sort of dreamy psychedelic sound that leaves you wondering if your arms are still there.


Duality is a strange notion explored by many of the greatest philosophers as well the Underachievers. Shankara, a great Hindi sage, once explained our dualistic nature with this metaphor: your walking down a path when you spot a coil of rope. At first you mistake that rope for a snake because, well, they look alike. But as you inch closer you realize that its just rope. The idea is that we have dualistic tendencies, which often lead us to perceive objects in ways that they are not. For Shankara, enlightenment could only be reached by casting away the shackles of dualism. Issa and AK preach a similar sort of philosophy albeit in mellower way. In their words, “put your hands up if you live for love!”.
It’s hard to say who the Underachievers worked with for this album. Like their Flatbush contemporaries, the Underachievers like to work with many producers. For the Indigoism project just about every track had a unique producer. Nevertheless, both Issa and AK are talented MCs. Their flows are a compliment to each other and when the beat gets heavy neither have trouble keeping pace. That being said, AK’s flow can be monotonous at times. He’s not one to change his tone much yet on certain tracks it works well.

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Q & A WITH B.WHITE(THE 58s)

WHILE PARTS OF PITTSBURGH LIKE LAWRENCEVILLE AND EAST LIBERTY ARE STARTING TO FEEL THE EFFECTS OF GENTRIFICATION, OTHER SECTIONS ARE STILL FEELING THE SLOW BLEED OF THE ONCE VIBRANT STEEL INDUSTRY THAT HAS ALL BUT ABANDONED THE AREA.
NEIGHBORHOODS LIKE BRADDOCK AND MCKEESPORT ARE FILLED WITH EMPTY MILLS AND SHUTTERED BUSINESSES THAT CATERED TO THE WORKERS THAT INHABITED THESE BOROUGHS. THE LACK OF JOB OPPORTUNITIES AND THE BLIGHT THAT GOES ALONG WITH IT MAKE THESE PLACES THE PERFECT SOIL FOR BREEDING CRIME. IT IS ALSO THE PLACE THAT ONE OF PITTSBURGH ‘ S MOST SKILLED MCs CALLS HOME.

BORN AND RAISED IN MCKEESPORT, B WHITE WEARS HIS CITY’S NAME LIKE A MEDAL OF HONOR. OVER THE LAST DECADE B HAS BEEN BUILDING A REPUTATION OF MURDERING BEATS. WHETHER IT’S A CLASSIC EAST COAST BOOM BAP TRACK OR A CLUB BANGER, HE SHOWS NO PREJUDICE WHEN HE’S ON THE MIC.
WITH SOME PRETTY BIG MOVES ON THE HORIZON, WE SEIZED THE OPPORTUNITY TO ASK B SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT GOT HIM TO WHERE HE IS AND WHAT MIGHT BE IN STORE FOR THE FUTURE…

 

1. How long have you been taking mcing seriously? What’s motivated you the most to grab the mic?

I guess I’ve always been serious about making music but my mid 20s I really realized the gift I had so I gave it a run. Been running ever since. The motivation comes from hunger. Simple as that. Im hungry as ever so thats the motivation.

2. Most rappers often get pigeonholed as a street rapper/battle rapper/or lyrical rapper or whatever may be the hyped term for the moment. You have been able to avoid that by basically encompassing all of the above. What influences as a mc has impacted this?

Well of course the usual suspects Jay-Z, Scarface, Tupac & so forth were my influences because I grew up in that era. But I would say my neighborhood and the city of Pittsburgh have more influence on my music than anything or anyone ever could

 

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3. On the production side you have worked with dudes who have made a long list of hits as well as cats who are just beginning to get some shine. Who are some producers you’d like to work with? Is there anything in particular you’re looking for when listening to some instrumentals?

When I listen for beats im really just checking for something hot. Or something with potential to be dope. I know my lyrics and style can add a whole new flip to a beat that the naked ear doesn’t hear on a “blank” canvas. As far as who I’d like to work with, I’d say whoever got heat. Im not biased at all. Famous or nameless I’ll rock with you if its good music.

4. Your catalog is one of the more consistent collections of alot of mcs putting out releases these days. Do any of your albums stick out as a favorite? Which one would you tell someone who hasn’t heard b.white to check out first?

For a first time listener I always recommend my latest work. It just seems natural. But in my opinion, “The Verdict” is my best album.

b

5. Any words on your next release (date/title/features)

I’ve been working alot with the New York based label Deep Concepts Media (DCM) who signed Nature and also working alot with Hubbs. New song with Nature coming soon. But im not sure on any dates or titles. In time, in time haha.

6. How has your creative process changed since you first started recording?

It’s remained pretty consistent. Write in my free time and record EVERYTHING with Big Jerm. Im just alot more confident due to my experience.

7. If you could go back 10 years what advice would you give yourself when it comes to this music business?

Don’t do it. Buy real estate instead.

big jermID LABS producer BIG JERM

8. Any monumental moments you’ve had from being an mc (any stand out shows/recording sessions/discussions)

My last show @ the Rex Theater. We sold it out. Everyone came. Easily my greatest moment in music. Also, I record with the best engineer in the world. It becomes normal after working with him for so long but it’s not, its a blessing. I thank Big Jerm all the time.

9. This day and age a good chunk of artists have been able to find success  without a label. This also means taking on many different roles besides just being an mc. In an ideal world do you see yourself taking this route or finding a home on a proper label?

I would like sign as long as my creative control isn’t interfered with of course. Theres alot of parts of this business I dont like doing. I just want to make albums and tour. In a perfect world the label would handle the rest. But we all know that’s not the case.

10. What have you been listening to lately?

Lynyrd Skynyrd, Etta James, BB King, Bob Seger, Al Green and the list goes on. Rap, not so much. Im easily bored. I listen to Skynyrd’s “Mr. Banker” everyday. I know, im a weirdo haha.

11. Wax or flowers?

Both. I call it making a salad. The rig been dropping me lately though, so I been resting……..for now.

12. You take being from the Mon valley very seriously. ..explain to outsiders what McKeesport is like

Its a steel mill town with no steel mills. Just a fading history. It encompasses what America is turning into right under our nose. No work and alot of crime. So we get cornered into making bad decisions. Thats gonna produce grimey people, its simple. Im the epitome of the Mon Valley and I’m gonna rep that til I’m gone. It feels like my duty. In a strange way I’m proud of that.

13. Where would you be without hip hop?

I dont know. Probably exactly where I am now. But I wouldn’t have been able to do this interview and for that, thank you hip hop. Thank you too Iggy. You’re a stand up guy. Salute

http://http://www.datpiff.com/The-58s-The-58s-mixtape.222483.html

 http://http://www.datpiff.com/B-White-of-The-58s-The-Evidence-mixtape.266411.html

http://http://www.datpiff.com/B-White-The-Verdict-mixtape.364896.html

http://http://www.datpiff.com/B-White-The-Anomaly-mixtape.482351.html

http://http://www.datpiff.com/B-White-The-58s-Present-The-Blizzard-Of-93-mixtape.563298.html

HAVING WORDS WITH GAMBLE(HIGHER LEVEL ART/BENCHERS UNION)

gamble int 2

1. When did u start getting into graffiti?

I started painting for real in ’96. But, really got interested around ’94. I had a couple friends that grew up in Chicago that would geek out on my comic book drawings and would always tell me how I should be painting graff. They had mad freights and full blackbooks already, we we’re all like 14 to 17. Basically, I appreciated it a ton as a kid, and got into it on the side without them knowing at first. Me and my other friends used to run around bridge spots and ride our bikes all around abandoned shit, so we had spots, and found spots, it was only natural that we got into painting those spots. My favorite thing about coming up then compared to now is how it was so natural, of course we racked and found our own fats and skinnies off of other cans on the shelf. You had to develop style and techniques off of who you actually painted with and the few heads you saw around. Things have changed a lot since then. Now a days, it’s not even close, it’s entirely a different game. Not even the same at all. 

2. Back in the day magazines held it down when it came to getting fame nationwide…you got any favorites you’d like to see make a come back? Video series?

Yeah the old magazine/video hype was a big deal. The names I remember are like VideoGraff, Gtv. The FX video. A lot of Philly and east coast stuff. That shit was just cool to see. I was living in the PacNorthwest for much of those years. So as the magazines go, CanControl was a great representation of that community. The KYT guys had “Indecent Exposure” which was full of street shots and politics. The Euro scene had Backjumps on store shelves, there were so many mags in the late nineties. But, the best movies ever made are WildStyle and BloodSport tho!!

3.Did graf get you into art or did you already know you could paint before you caught the fever?

I could NOT paint before graff. I could draw better than anybody I knew till I moved out west. But painting the right way is a whole ‘nother thing. As painting goes, I did it the right way ( I think) … 1000’s of hand styles over the early years, mostly bad, until I could hold my own. Not to mention, to even be relevant you had to go out every night, and cover a ton of ground. Then doing terrible outlines, fill ins, and wack pieces, trying to gain can control. I think you can see everything you need to know in a hand style. Hands show your fundamental skill. If you can do a gorgeous piece with terrible hand, you probably never did real shit. I know plenty of people who’s pieces aren’t that great, but their hands are solid as fuck. Hands equal real graffiti. Pieces are eyecandy and fun. It’s an ongoing study. Anybody who says different is either not challenging themselves anymore, or not as good as they think they are.

GAMBLE AT LEGENDARY PRODUCER, HI TEK'S CINNCY STUDIO

GAMBLE AT LEGENDARY PRODUCER, HI TEK’S CINNCY STUDIO

4. Your company HIGHER LEVEL ART has allowed you to explore the more commercial side of graffiti. What are some projects you’ve worked on?

HLA started as my portfolio for freelance work and gradually I added people to it to encourage it to be bigger than myself. Having a solid team has allowed us to get national and international work. My favorite gigs have always involved travel. I love to travel, but hate to pay for it, so anytime I can travel to work the better. The UFC house for their reality TV show was a personal favorite. I grew up doing Japanese Jujitsu/Judo, and remember when the Gracies’s put on the first UFC’s and the Brazilian craze started in martial arts world. Plus moving on from that into graff, only to 15 years later meet Dana and be offered the house gig. It was worlds colliding for me. I felt like it was a great completion to a circle. My best childhood friend is a BJJ blackbelt and runs several schools of his own. Some of his students were some of the biggest names to ever come off that show, so it was really satisfying to be able to get back into that world for my art. I feel like in ’97, I went towards pushing my painting, and my dude went to BJJ. It was an honor for sure, even if it was just a reality TV show. 

5. HLA has painted a number of schools. How did that come about and what has the response been?

About 5 years ago, we received a handful of emails from individual teachers that had been given a budget to get their rooms painted. We then got ahold of the superintendent so that we work out a deal to be the sole painters of the project. That first round was 13 rooms. We’ve since done over 50 in that one school district alone. Also we’ve spread to other schools who’ve adopted the same curriculum. The kids and the teachers love it. We encourage the teachers to incorporate their teaching lessons into the themes they choose. Priority number 1 is getting the kids excited to get into the classrooms, in competition of the stimulating, constantly entertaining world we live in. When not in school, they are inundated with such vivid images and stimulation, to be asked to sit in such a sterile environment as a traditional classroom, it’s ridiculous to expect them to fully engage in learning, for real.

6. Explain the #besomebody project and your involvement

#besomebody. is a motivational movement and developing network/platform to connect people of various interests in sort of a teacher/student or mentorship program. At the time of the tour, the founder was looking to do a global activation of his idea. The basic idea was to go to 16 developing markets and impact the city or town in a way that was unique to each location. I was the only painter, along with, a videographer, the founder, and manager. The 4 of us had to acquire paint, hit media, find spots, and edit the video of each spot in about 3 days. The tour was about 6 weeks long, worldwide. It was a really great opportunity, to good to pass up, to travel the world and not only paint in each town, but actually connect with people. If you want a list, here it is, in order.. Austin, Dallas, Mexico City, Cincinnati, NYC, London, Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Casablanca(Morocco), Shirati (Tanzania, Dubai (UAE), Manilla (Philippines), HongKong, SanFrancisco.

gmble int 4 dubai

  gamble tattoo pic

7. In the last few years you have taken tattooing pretty seriously. Is this something you could see yourself doing full time?

Absolutely. It’s a craft I’ve always enjoyed, but years ago, didn’t want to do it, cause I wanted to paint signs, murals etc. At the times I wanted to take it on, those I’d like to teach weren’t interested, and at other times, tattooers would approach me when I wasn’t interested. But finally the stars aligned for about a year and a half in Erie, PA with my big homie, Suga. He’s got a solo shop, Steadfast Tattoo Parlour, in Erie. He’s the best, fuck whatcha heard.

8. Do you have a favorite medium when it comes to art?

Not really, tattooing is awesome, I wish I had the clientele at this time to do nothing else. Aerosol is fast, and fun, but you can only take it so far down in scale. And brush painting is really satisfying to do, but not really a viable way of life. So, as my old boss used to say, .. “You gotta sing, you gotta juggle, you gotta dance.” Meaning, don’t think you’re gonna get away with only some of your efforts.

9. Did 20y.o Gamble ever think graffiti would take him around the globe? 

Hell no. I did drugs and went to jail too much to think about anything past the end of my fingertips.

 

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10. How did u get involved with the MODERN URBAN LEGENDS comic book and is it going to be a full on series?

I have want to do a true graffiti comic book forever. I’ve had stories written and started too many times over the years. But, what actually made it happen was my man Teel of the MUL’s. Teel was talking about it among some people and he was bullshitting with Jaber about it. Jabs said he should talk to me, the rest is future history. Teel and I had already been working together, but he didn’t know about my comic drawing stuff. So this comic we’re doing, Modern Urban Legends, is memoirs from Teel, myself, and others told through the eyes of our lead character, RazeOne. We fully self produced the first issue, and are working out the details on future expansion. I am currently drawing the 2nd issue, and 3rd is written. So, yes it will be a series. It’s truly a for us, by us operation, so we require people pick it up and support so we can take it to the level we all collectively want to see.

11. ) Give me a good chase story

This one’s just funny. A few years back, we were 9 deep in a yard in Louisville. The same weekend the Kentucky Derby was being run. So there’s alot of people from all over the world in town. Just so happens we had a lot of the team in town as well.

So we’re painting, usually it’s a pretty chill spot, but 9 heads at noon in the daytime, taking there sweet ass time, can always be risky. We were clowning around chilling did 3 or 4 end to ends, everybody going pretty large. One of the homies is taking flicks, we’re kind of wrapping it up. When I notice, he’s talking to somebody through a gap in the auto racks. I look under, I see shoes, typical cop shoes. He’s telling my dude to put down the camera and stand still, everybody splits down the tracks, while he’s chatting with the copper. Then he breaks out the other way. I didn’t want to run forever the direction everybody else went, and I didn’t know the route out the way he went, so as the cop climbed through, I rolled under. I watched his feet walk towards our scraps, and I skipped out down the tracks, silently stepping on the ties, on my side of the line. When I got a few cars down, I split through a path in some trees. As I came out of the trees, I was going to casual walk down the street, but there was a cop car staring head on at me. 

I realized that car was empty, but could hear more coming fast. I hit the deck. The grass I was laying in was only 2 or 3 feet tall and not very thick. It was a terrible hiding spot, but I couldn’t go anywhere else. So I just pressed myself as low as possible into the dirt. I could hear the other cars crunching and pulling up behind me. They got out, walked down the little grass trail. I could see them all, entirely, all they had to do was look at me, they couldn’t miss me. It was fucking Noon, on a sunny day. They were oblivious. I layed there and could hear them all talking with the first responding cop. They asked him “So, you had some kids tagging the trains, huh?”. He was like “Nah! , These guys were good… Professional… Real Professionals”. It was hilarious! They walked by me, again! They didn’t even glance the slightest bit to the left. I was right there, like 20 feet away, laying on the ground. I heard them spread all the paint and shit they found on their car hoods. They bullshitted for a few, loaded up, and took off. I called the homies, got swooped, and we cracked up over the “Real Professional” line. We had a cookout and clowned. 

12. Where would you be without hip hop?

It’s definitely my foundation or starting point, but don’t at all think it all fits in the same box anymore. The good ol’ days for me.. Tribe, Freestyle Fellowship, Hiero, DasEfx, KrsOne, Old Wu, all that shit. Taking hard copy flicks. Having to actually go places to see things in the real world. I think Hip hop, like graff, is totally different than what it used to be. The internet has both bettered and worsened all of this, as it has most things, and people, in the world. I digress.

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