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An Interview With A Hip-Hop Blogger and Re-Ups

by Travis on May 23, 2007

(Edit Note: I actually wrote this a three weeks ago, before the “Crisis” posts, which uses some of the same ideas as this post.)

Sharing and swapping music amongst ourselves has been around since the dual tape decks on our home stereo systems. One person would buy a new release from a retail outlet, then sharing it with other people, who would dub it. At least that’s how it worked among my friends. My generation would also sit by the radio, sometimes in the middle of the night, listening to the radio with our fingers on the pause button, waiting for that one special jam so we could have it at our disposable at any time. For the most part, this would last through out the late 80’s and most of the 90’s.

It wouldn’t be until the invention of the CD burner and the popularity of the internet that things would change. At first, we were stuck with 8x speed burners. It wasn’t much, but it was something. We could make our own disks on our computers. When the internet started to really take off in the late 90’s, it wouldn’t be long until “file sharing” sites would pop up. Sites such as Napster, Audio Galaxy, and Soulseek would allow us to find tracks and albums at a few mouse clicks. The file sharing sites had it’s advantages and it’s disadvantages, depending on what site you used.

The file sharing sites stayed fairly popular until the RIAA started it’s rampage on them, charging people with copyright infringement like they were detainees at Guatanamo Bay. Soon, people were looking for new ways to share music with each other, it might not be the moral thing to do, but it’s something that is always going to happen. Besides, the RIAA isn’t exactly the good guys in this whole battle, but we won’t get into that whole argument.

The next in the line of evolution concerning music sharing would be the message boards. Depending on who’s board and their policies, you could find some good material on them. Soon there were message boards dedicated just to the act of sharing hip hop and other kinds of music among it’s community members. Places like Boxden, Gorilla Arms, and the legendary Cocaine Blunts boards were places were like minded people could get together and share music with each other. Their novelty though, would be short lived. Wading through posts of absolute crap that only the wannabe suburban gangsta would want to listen to and it made it difficult to find those illusive, hard to find gems. The message boards wouldn’t be the answer either.

Step in the blogs. The first ones I would find would be in Feb of ’05, although some had been around since ’04. At first, it would only be a few blogs out there that would post up a few single tracks. They were more into sharing the knowledge, getting the rare history of Hip Hop out there for the masses to hear. They were the archeologists of the art form, bringing tracks like the first ever Jay-Z recording from ’96 and other jewels to all who visited their domain.

In today’s “Blogosphere” among the Hip-Hop themed blogs, there are many different kinds of blogs. You still have the single track blogs, you have the blogs who still offer up the albums, and you have blogs that concentrate more on the critical analysis of today’s hip hop music. We all have our own audience out there. You have blogs and blog authors such as Dallas Penn , Jeff Weiss, Noz and his XXL gigs, and Bol aka Bryan Crawford who get (I’m guessing) thousands of readers. These bloggers are more into the commentary point of view when it comes to Hip Hop and they even cover other topics and events. They are the bloggers who would be the closest to “professionals” as there can be. Their regular readers follow their blogs because of their knowledge and the fact that they can plain out write well.

The second tier of bloggers are those of us who are not up there in the upper echelon of the blogger universe, but we hold our own when it comes to visitors and dropping knowledge. I would classify WYDU in this category along with sites like “Bust The Facts”, “From The Bricks” and others. The blogs in this category are more into it to share music with others and to prolong the history of hip hop. Some sites like Bust The Facts offer up some rare jewels, others drop knowledge on the lost jewels of yesteryear, while others do a little of both. Some of the blog authors in this category are a little more open to the readers. The visitors can connect to the blogger. Other bloggers, you really don’t know much about them, which is fine as well, I mean shit, all most of us are after are some lost album from our youth or an album you slept on from ’91 or something, but don’t you wonder about your favorite blogger? After all, you read our blogs a couple times a week, we spout our knowledge about what we know. Some of us you know better than others, I’m probably one of the more open bloggers, others are mystery’s to us.

I hope to change some of that over the next month or two. Once a week or so for the next few months, I hope to interview some of the other bloggers out there. I honestly got the idea from reading a blogger interviewing Jeff Weiss and thought that it would be kind of a cool idea if I did it for some of the “local” blogs like mine. I already have “behind the scenes” communications with some of the bloggers out there myself, through emails, myspace messages and the such, so hopefully getting some of them out of their shell will be interesting. Another reason for the interviews is to get some practice for what I hope will be future interviews with artists….fingers crossed of course.

To lead off with our “Get To Know Your Favorite Blogger” series, we’ll do like KRS and interview oursel
ves. Yeah, you all probably know as much as I want you to know about me, but what the hell, I think I’d be a damn good interview regardless.

Interview with Travis from WYDU

WYDU: What got you into Hip Hop music?

Travis: Hearing too much whiney, screaming, make up wearing glam rock from the 80’s, that shit was horrible. It was either get into Country or Rap and I didn’t look too good in a cowboy hat.

W: Is Hip Hop dead or alive?

T: It’s on life support. There is some good music out there, but you have to wade through the muck to find it. The music is never going to be what it was in the late ‘80’s to the mid ‘90’s, I think once people my age understand and have that golden revelation, they’ll be more content with the state of hip hop. Plus, Hip Hop isn’t over until Vanilla Ice has another platinum album.

W: Why did you start blogging?

T: I still hate using that term, but I’ve come accept the fact that that’s what I do, I blog. After reading so many good blogs after discovering Cocaine Blunts early in ’05, Polarity and I thought we had what it took to do our own blog. Personally myself, I had been helped so much by others on the internet, I wanted to share the wealth and help others out there find the lost gems from their past years or discover something they missed the first time around. Plus I had dreams of being the first blogger to ever gross over a million dollars blogging, so far I have $999,975 (my mom sent me $25 to not ever post another post like our first one).

W: Do you get any naked photos from your fans?

T: Sadly enough, not from the women and thankfully enough, not from the guys either. There was the one time that I thought I received some racy photos from an admiring female fan, but then I realized it was just one of those porn sites sending me an email to renew my account. For any hot chick out there that wants to send me photos, this one is a good example of what would be expected. A guy can dream, can’t he?

W: What are the perks of blogging?

T: Well I can’t say I’ve gotten concert tickets (edit note: I have received concert tickets since this interview was conducted because of this blog) or have had XXL or The Source knocking on my door to have me come write for them. I haven’t gotten any ass due to my “star status” either. I’ve even used my favorite pick up line of “Girl, what do you mean you don’t recognize me? I’m only the most famous blogger in your apartment complex!” (thanks to Phonte), but alas, no dice. What I do get is the false sense of confidence and having my ego pumped up because over 200 people read my blog and thinking I’m more important than I actually am. I have received a few promo copies here and there and one or two “famous” people like MC Big Star or MC Whats His Face email to thank me for an album they have been looking for. The names, of course, have been changed to protect the innocent, or just to hide the fact that even big named stars download music as well.

W: So chicks don’t dig the Rap Blogger?

T: It’s hard to believe, but no, they don’t seem to care. I think you have to be a soul/funk/jazz blogger, I’ve heard of those cats get chicks stalking them and the such. It’s amazing what a lil’ Miles Davis does to the moistness level of chicks panties.

W: Who was your favorite Fat Boy?

T: I always kind of partial of Buffy myself.

W: What is y
our favorite “Guilty Pleasure” hip hop album?

T: Hmmm, I have a few of them. Redhead Kingpin’s “A Shade Of Red” has always been one of my favorites, but I still have some hope that people see that as a legit album. Both Kid N Play’s “Funhouse” and MC Hammer’s “Let’s Get It Started” hold dear memories of corniness gone amuck in my past, but I have to go with Kwame’s “A Day In The Life”….oh those crazy polkadots.

W: So if you had to pick a producer not named DJ Premier, Pete Rock, RZA or Dr.Dre, who would it be?

T: I’ve always been big into The Bomb Squad, except they haven’t produced anything in probably 15 years. J-Zone ranks pretty high up there as well, lots of bells and whistles involved. Frankenstein was good as well, but again, nothing from him for awhile. Noise is good when it comes to production though.

W: If you were on a road trip and could bring one NON Hip Hop album, what would it be?

T: Since I don’t have “The Best of Poison” on CD, I’d probably go with Steve Miller’s Greatest Hits from 1974-1978.

W: Are you much of a drinker?

T: I’ve been known to toss a few back in my day.

W: Beer or Liquor drinker?

T: I stick mostly to the suds, but I’ll do some shots every now and then.

W: What’s your favorite beer?

T: Well if I’m out just drinking to get drunk or sitting with some friends watching some sports, I’ll usually go with Coors Light, but if I want a “special treat”, usually my favorite beer is Newcastle. If I’m broke as fuck, then I’ll snap up some Tall Boy Keystone Ice’s, cheap (only a buck) and have that kick you need.

W: You are at your favorite bar and want to start drinking the hard shit, what do you order then?

T: Hmmmm….if it’s a mixed drink, usually Capt Morgan rum and coke. Straight shots, then usually Jager or Tequila. A mixed shot, usually Redbull and anything but Vodka, that shit is like liquid crack or an occasional Irish Car Bomb.

W: In the Hip Hop atmosphere, it’s important to be “Hard”, have you put in any work? Have you ever been arrested?

T: I’m not going to lie and say I’ve done some crazy shit, cause I haven’t. I haven’t sold drugs, I was never in a gang, shit I didn’t even do much shoplifting as a kid. One thing we would do when were under aged was a thing we called the “Running Man”. We get four of us, one person who would go in first and buy some stuff and start asking the clerk a bunch of questions. Two other people would come in later and go to the beer chest. While the two people were getting beer, the original person has the clerk preoccupied. Let’s face it, most people working convenience stores on a Friday/Saturday night aren’t exactly the smartest people in the world. The two beer heisters would grab a couple 12 packs each and walk swiftly out the door and then take off running. There would then be a “get away” driver waiting on the other side of the store. Mass confusion would strike and the decoy would later walk out of the store and go the opposite way where his friends would pick him up down the street. I was usually the “decoy”.

I have been arrested once for “Disturbing The Peace” after getting into a fight outside a bar one night when I was 23. I was working as a doorman that summer. I had the night off, but we were able to drink at the bar I worked at for free when we weren’t working. Me and a friend had met a couple girls and after the bars were starting to close, one of the girls told us she was a manager for a restaurant down the street that she had the keys for and we could go drink there some more. Boise is a college town and all the bars are basically right next to each other. When they are emptying out, there is a lot of drunk, testosterone influenced guys out there. We were all standing in front of the bar talking and this guy bumps into the girl that I had been working and he said “Get the fuck outta the way, bitch” and I wasn’t having that. I walked after him and said something to him and he looked at me and laughed. The dude wasn’t much over 5’7 and pr
etty small. I, on the other hand was probably in the best shape of my life and lifted a lot at that time, I probably had a good 50-75 lbs on him. He started walking away, I turned around to walk back to my friends. I heard someone scream my name and see something coming at me out of the corner of my eye and got cloc
ked in the face. I don’t really know what happened next, but when the cops came, I was on top of him beating the shit out of him. I looked like the bad guy at the time, but it happened in front of the bar I worked at and my co-workers told the cops what had happened and I got off with the Disturbing The Peace ticket, so not too bad. I was shocked though, it did come up on my background check when I applied for a job in ’04 and it happened in ’96. I felt pretty bad ass. So yeah, I’m pretty “hard“.

W: Do you have any kids? Are you married?

T: I have a beautiful soon to be nine year old daughter. I don’t get to see her as much as I’d like, but she’s always on my mind. I’m not married, but I’ve been dating the same girl for approaching eight years now, although the future is kind of up in the air at this time.

W: What other hobbies do you have?

T: I love sports, mainly baseball and football and I play a lot of fantasy baseball and football. This year I’m playing in four baseball leagues, but I’m getting my ass kicked in three of them, including the Bloggers Invitational League, where I’m dead fucking last, which is rather embarrassing. I am also a weather nerd and love to go storm chasing. I don’t have all the fancy equipment, so we are usually stuck with using some radar on a phone a blackberry or calling a friend that is back home near a computer. I’ve seen a couple tornadoes doing it and it’s a rush. It’s also beautiful seeing what nature can do. I like playing poker, mainly Texas Hold ‘Em as well. I don’t have the lavish lifestyle to play too many money games but I have a game in Colorado Springs I play. I used to have one up in Wheat Ridge, Colorado I’d play on a weekly basis, but that one got closed. I play some on the internet, although I don’t win a ton of money, I do well enough I don’t have to put much more than 20 bucks or so in every year or so after I do some stupid move and lose it all. I also play some of the free games around Denver at the bars and stuff. I usually do well enough to get on the final table until I’m too drunk and do something stupid.

W: Who are your favorite sports teams?

T: Baseball, it’s the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates. I believe in loyalty and nothing
pisses me off more than sports fans jumping teams every other year, so I’ll never change, but damn, they challenge that loyalty often. Just don’t bring up Sid Bream or Fransico Cabrera up around me, I’m still in counseling over that ’92 NLCS. I picked the Pirates because it was the name of my T-Ball team when I was six years old, so I’ve seen them suck more often than not. For football, the Pittsburgh Steelers. I got to see them win the AFC Championship a couple years ago here in Denver and I would classify it up with the day my daughter was born as one of the greatest days in my life. Before the Super Bowl with the Steelers and the Rams in ’80, my mom bet me .50 cents that the Rams would win, I took her up on it and they won. I figured any team that wins me money is alright in my book. Oh, and “fuck the Cowboys” goes out to my man JR Rider. As far as basketball, I’m more of an NCAA fan, but I watch the NBA during playoff season. I tend to go for the Jazz, but I’m no where near as gung-ho about them as I am my other teams. Hockey, I really don’t care. I yell for the Av’s since I live in the town and also tend to follow the Pittsburgh Penguins, since I must have lived in Pittsburgh in a past life or something. I used to be a big Mario Lemiuex fan until he hit on my girlfriend and a charity golf tournament a few years ago.

W: What’s in the future for WYDU and yourself?

T: As far as WYDU, I hope to get the others involved a bit more to take some of the weight off of my collection, most of which has been seen on here or others sites by now. Polarity is probably a better writer and has some stuff never seen on the blog circuits, but he’s a big rap star now a days, so he doesn’t have the time (hahahaha, you my man Po). Brian has knowledge and music in areas I don’t have, so it’s awesome when he drops the knowledge as well. But he’s a busy Dad, something I can wholly relate to. Clap and Phatsoul offer some over seas knowledge and I think it’s important to be well rounded and I’d like this blog to cover everything, overseas included. I’d like to do more writing in the future, not only for the blog, but in other areas as well. Meteorology is a degree that requires a shit load of math and I’m not the most mathematical dude in the world, so I’ve been debating on changing my degree to journalism or English. What’s another two or three years when you’ve already been going to school off and on for 15 years? Also a big thanks to Chris for hooking up the design and giving me my first big “break” when he had me write reviews for Bombfirst.

W: Thanks for sitting do
wn with me, you multi-personality freak.

T: Up yours, eat shit…thanks……


Here is a couple re-ups people have asked for in the past couple days. I tried looking for that Three Times Dope – Sequel album, but I didn’t see it on my computer or in my copied disks, so I’m afraid I might have missed it myself or it got accidentally deleted. If someone out there has it, it’d be much appreciated with a re-up.

First Priority Music Family – Basement Music (First Priority Music, 1988)

1 Alliance (2) Get On Down (3:48)
Producer – King Of Chill, The
2 Audio Two Many Styles (4:55)
Producer – Audio Two
3 MC Lyte & Positive K I’m Not Havin’ It (3:29)
Producer – Audio Two
4 Michie Mee and LA Luv Victory Is Calling (5:29)
Featuring – MC Lyte
Producer – Beat Factory (2)
5 MC Lyte Survival Of The Fittest (3:58)
Producer – King Of Chill, The
6 Positive K Tramp (3:22)
Featuring – Milk Dee
Producer – Audio Two
7 Audio Two Peer Pressure (4:06)
Producer – Audio Two
8 Michie Mee and LA Luv On This Mic (5:42)
Producer – Beat Factory (2)
9 Alliance (2) Kibbles And Bits (4:24)
Producer – Alliance (2)
10 Positive K Impulse On Three (4:35)
Featuring – Barsha
Producer – Audio Two
11 Soulshock Break The Limits (4:54)
Featuring – See-Que

J-Rock – Streetwize (Ghetto Groovez Records, 1991)

A1 Let Me Introduce Myself
Producer – Easy Mo Bee
A2 Segment One: Under Arrest
A3 Streetwize
A4 Brutality
Producer – DJ Premier
A5 The Pimp
Producer – DJ Premier
A6 The Shakedown
A7 Neighborhood Drug Dealer
A8 Don’t Sleep On Me
A9 Root Of All Evil
B1 The Messiah
B2 Ghetto Law
Producer – DJ Premier
B3 Segment Two: Street Scene
B4 Around My Way
B5 The Real One
Producer – DJ Premier
B6 Another Tough Guy
B7 Segment Three: Dead
B8 Save The Children
B9 Cazanova
B10 Let’s Get It Together

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Lil Dee March 6, 2010 at 5:57 pm

definitely needs a re-upping


Lil Dee March 6, 2010 at 5:58 pm

definitely needs a re-upping


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