Some of the blog authors 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 a mystery to us.
I hope to change some of that over the next month or two. Once a month or so for the rest of the year, 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.
Next in our series will be a somewhat of a relatively newcomer to the scene, but one that has made a huge splash in his short three months on the scene. Known for it’s pink back ground, “When They Reminisce” has sprinted out the gates and probably one of the more popular sites out there at the moment. Armed with thoughtful insights and a large collection to school the youngsters, Eric and his blog have been a welcomed site in the blogmosphere. I had a chance to sit down and talk with him…..
INTERVIEW WITH ERIC FROM “WHEN THEY REMINISCE”
WYDU: Good afternoon, tell everyone your Social Security Number and checking account numbers….or just let everyone know your name and the blog you represent. Care to give any personal background info? Location, family, ect…?
Eric: No doubt, currently my wife Tara & I reside in Cabot, Arkansas (which is about 20 miles North of Little Rock) with our two daughters…Linden who is 17 months and our newest addition Kellen who is now 6 weeks old. Originally, I was born and raised in Dry Run, Pennsylvania and Tara is from Louisiana but Tara (who is an ALS instructor in the Air Force) took an assignment here in Little Rock about 2 years ago and it has turned out to be a pretty good career move for me as well.
W: What got you into hip hop?
E: You know, thinking back I can remember hearing Run DMC’s “Walk This Way”, Kurtis Blow’s “Basketball” and DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s “Parents Just Don’t Understand” at an early age, but I truly think it was the first time that I heard Run DMC’s “You Be Illin’” that it struck me like….damn, I kinda’ like this! It didn’t hurt that my folks along with most of their close friends used to turn our living room into “Soul Train” every Saturday night. So needless to say, I received a heavy dose of Michael Jackson’s “Off The Wall” as well as get this…mad Billy Ocean stuff!!! Now, the actual first Hip Hop related purchase that I made was indeed “He’s The DJ, I’m The Rapper” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.
W: What do you think, is hip hop dead or alive?
E: Most definitely alive!!! As I’ve mentioned countless times at my site, my faith in Hip Hop has been renewed due to some of the most recent stuff that has been coming out. If you think that 2007 has been a shitty year for Hip Hop, you’re fooling yourself….but, I’ve really had to search “underground” to find that “itch” that I’d been having for some good music. I really think that we’ll look back on this year and realize it was indeed filled with originality, uniqueness and quality Hip Hop. Admittedly, if your doing nothing but listening to top 40 or Urban Radio I can understand why you would feel that “Hip Hop Is Dead”, because the majority of stuff that is being spun is BOOTY!
Why did you get into blogging? Was it the money, the fame or the women?
E: Really, it was another one of those sleepless nights, wide awake at about 3 in the morning where I was jumping from blog to blog binging out on some Lucky Charms and I thought…man, how hard would it be to just do this myself? Plus, a few times per year I’ll fly back home to PA to catch a Villanova basketball game or to even play in a tournament myself, and prepping to head back home is when I really get back into my “Golden Age” mode. So I had another trip coming up in March and I wanted to bring that “feeling” back, so I just started writing my thoughts on a few albums that I’ve adored over the years. Essentially, that is what I want to do for the visitors of “When They Reminisce”. If you hear a particular cut like “Mind Playin’ Tricks On Me” or “Don’t Believe The Hype” you tend to visualize the memories that accompany that certain song or album. “Where was I when I heard this?” kind of feeling. While the majority of the stuff that I post isn’t necessarily “rare”, I do hope that it serves as a “time machine” for the majority of our readers. I want you to see an album an be like….”Damn, I completely forgot about that!!”
W: What’s been the best part of blogging, besides the internet celebrity status?
E: The absolute best part is the “Let’s Talk About…” series where I try to bring light to recent releases or albums that may otherwise go unnoticed and it gets me excited to write when I hear quality stuff from an artist that I may have not expected it from i.e, Blue Scholars, Ill Poetic, Uncut Raw, Buff1,etc. Really, it’s sort of a “release” for me as well, I usually compose most of the post when the rest of my family has “hit the sack” and it’s just me and my thoughts winding down for the evening.
W: On a bad day, what makes you think “Why the hell am I doing this blog”?
E: Sometimes the “write ups” are the most time consuming and to be honest there’s day’s where I’m like “damn, let me just throw up a couple joints” and call it a night, but my “obsessive compulsive” nature (thanks to the US Army) prohibits me from doing just that. Also, us “bloggers” do love the comments, and when I take some time and effort and I feel that I’ve done a pretty dope post only to see 1 comment below the post you’re kinda like “WTF”…but that’s just being selfish. Realistically, I don’t see how dudes like Dart Adams @ PoisonousParagraphs (who’s incredibly talented if you ask me) @ Mike Dikk @ Dumpin.Net (likewise) do it, because they HAVE to spend a shitload of time prepping some of their post and I don’t feel that they sometimes get the credit that they deserve. Finally, as you’ve said Trav…this is like a JOB…for real, we need some compensation for this stuff! haha! If you leave your site unattended for a few days “blogger’s remorse” sets in and your left saying “damn, I need to update my shit!”
W: On an estimate, how much time do you spend on your blog per week?
E: Oh Lord, I’d have to say 12 Hours….damn, it is that much.
W: In your perception, what makes a blog a good blog?
E: Originality,(which is getting so hard to accomplish these days), Efficiency and Promptness (frequent drops). I also feel that honesty is a big thing, meaning just because everyone and their mama loves Jeezy and Lil Wayne…if you ain’t feelin’ em….you ain’t feelin’ em, and don’t be afraid to say so. Something that I feel is most important as well is you have to be a decent “writer” or at least be like me and barely suffice. Oh, and a little sense of humor doesn’t hurt matters either.
W: You seem to follow carefully thought out theme’s and series, how do you come up with your ideas for blog topics?
E: I’m a retirement adviser so during the day I’m on the road quite a bit driving to spend time with clients, so I do have an abundance of time to just “think”, but you have to do it carefully cause your music can only “stretch” out so long. Also, some of the themes that I‘ve posted are what I’ve wanted to see on other blogs before I got into “blagging” (damn, I hate that word)
W: How would you describe the blog scene these days?
E: Over saturated, everyone thinks that they can do it until it hits them “Damn, this really IS a job!” and they fade outta’ the blog scene. Don’t get me wrong, I have stumbled into a few nice additions recently like “Time4SumAksion” & “Too Fat, Fat You Must Cut Lean” though.
W: You are some what a “newbie”, debuting in March, did any blog or blogs influence you in the beginning?
E: Well of course I fell in love with “WakeYourDaughterUp” after I scrolled through the archives once or twice, but honestly the first blog that I ever peeped was “MusicThingz” (who has a very nice archive) as well as Crooklyn’s site (damn Crook, where are you??) and BootisConnection (which hasn’t been updated in months). Shortly thereafter I was hipped to “Bust The Facts”, “From Da Bricks”, “Cold Rock Da Spot” and “Mosh It Up” (all of which I love).Any significance in the name “When They Reminisce”? Most Definitely, Pete & CL’s “T.R.O.Y.” is my favorite song of all time and “Mecca & The Soul Brother” was my first post as well. Essentially, since WTR specializes in Hip Hop from the Golden Era when I, or the reader goes back and listens to one of those particular albums we all “Reminisce”.
Alright, you know I have to ask it, what’s up with the pink background?
E: Damn, I knew it! I’ve been thinking about changing it but that is how everyone seems to identify the site. When I first set up the blog, I always wanted to include a picture of my daughter Linden. Since she’s a girl, she’s always got something on that goes with pink and it was a “good look” I figured. I mean C’mon, who else has a picture of their daughter on their page (actually the one on there now is she and I at the Zoo) and a pink background. Since Mike Dikk hooked me up with the color coordinating header I doubt that it’s going to change anytime soon. Do you have any goals with the blogging?
W: Any chance of wanting to expand more in writing or music critic type of thing?
E: Not really, I don’t feel that I’m up to par with the likes of Trav, Dart Adams, Dan Love or the boys at Dumpin.net…but if were to happen I’d welcome the task with open arms.
W: What do you look for in an album? What makes you say “Daaaayum, that’s the Shit!”
E: THE BEATS……first and foremost. I grew up on Pete Rock, Primo, Howie Tee, Dre and so forth so that type of quality is what I’m looking for in an album as well. You wouldn’t believe how long it takes me to memorize 16 bars from a track that I’ve heard, but originality and flow are important qualities in MC’in as well. Also, I think alot of albums aren’t’ properly engineered nowadays that’s one reason I love Ill Poetic’s new joint “The World Is Yours” so much because the production and overall sound of the album is so damn crisp.
W: Do you listen to anything other than Hip Hop?
E: Ahhh, a little R & B here and there. I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I kinda’ like Maroon
5′s new album a bit too. Back in 2000 there was a time where I was like “to hell with Hip Hop, ain’t shit out here for me anymore” but it reeled me back in.
W: How do you sit down with a “new” album, meaning new in nature or just new to you?
E: When I’m by myself I always have headphones on. Plus, I’m a workout freak so whether it’s in the gym or outside running I’m always listening to music. Like I said earlier, I do spend quite a bit of time in my car listening to music between appointments and so forth so I’ve put a lot of dough into my system to enjoy each album like it should be enjoyed. Lastly, I’m a big “NBA 2K7/College Hoops2K7 freak so I like to listen to music while toying with the XBox as well.
W: How much time would you say you listen to music a week?
E: Wow, maybe 15 hours or so, as you can see in the question above
W: Do you get away to many shows?
E: Hell no, it’s been quite some time I think the last group I saw perform live was the Roots.
W: Who would be the best show you’ve seen?
E: That would have to be the first show that I ever saw…..I won tickets on a Radio Show back when I was 12 to see Public Enemy & Digital Underground perform at City Island (where the minor league Baseball Harrisburg Senators play) in Harrisburg, PA and needless to say…I was blown away!
W: If you had to pick a favorite artist, who would it be?
E: That’s a tough one…my favorite “group or duo” would be Pete Rock & CL Smooth as far as my favorite artist goes I’d have to say…oh man, that’s tough….as much as I hate to say it..Jay Z is one dude whose lyrics I could always recite after one listen, very intricate…but I hate him as a businessman
W: Any upcoming albums you are looking for?
E: I’m looking forward to Common’s new joint, and as big as an asshole as he may be Kanye West is prone to drop a good album with his upcoming full length. Oh, and I’m a big Little Brother fan as well, Madvilliany II and I’ve given up on Rae’s “Only Built For Cuban Linx II”
W: If you could eradicate any hip hop group/artist drop from the face of the earth, who would it be?
E: Jim Jones has been annoying the hell outta’ me lately, and I’m not big on Lil Wayne either, there’s just “too much” of him everywhere.
What’s the typical day in the life of Eric?
E: Well, with my job I can pretty much work the hours I want but I do have close to 800 clients so it can become a bit overwhelming at times. But, I’m usually up by 6am my oldest is awake shortly thereafter and after feeding her and taking her to day care I’m off to work around 8am. My wife handles the majority of the parenting “duties” with our youngest Kellen, whereas right now Linden is “all mine” more or less. I usually visit with my first client between 9-10am, around lunch I’ll lift for about an hour then it’s back on the grind until about 5pm. Then, it’s home to help out with the kids (bathing,dinner) until both our daughters are asleep by 7pm. My wife is a helluva’ cook, but she really has her hands full right now…so it’s usually dinner for she & I with a few episodes of our favorite series we’ve been catching up on “King Of Queens”….maybe a little “sexy time, it’s nice” here or there, but she’s usually beat from the day’s events and in bed by 9pm, which is the time frame in which I usually “update” WTR. I’m in bed by 10pm and “we gon’ do it again” the next day.
W: What do you like to do outside of blogging and helping people plan for their retirement?
E: I played a little College B-Ball, so I try to play quite a bit..although not as much as I would like lately. Also, I….much like my wife enjoys spending money….I’m a huge sneaker “fiend”, I think I have more shoes than she does. Most importantly, I just love being a Father & Husband, I have a beautiful wife & two beautiful daughters that I’ve been blessed with that really take up any “free time” I may have. Don’t get me wrong though, there are times when both of the aforementioned duties can add some wear and tear to my ass! But, I really do enjoy my family.
W: So a basketball fan? Who is your team and player?
E: I’m a HUGE Villanova basketball fan, I’m not real big on the NBA as a whole. Although, I did catch a good bit of T-Wolves games this year just because they drafted a former Villanova Wildcat Randy Foye who also happens to be my favorite player. Hell, when Nova’s on the tube’ it’s “leave me the hell alone” time.
W: What is your beef with the NBA?
E: I mean, there will never be another Jordan/Nique’/Barkley/Magic/Bird era but I think Stern’s got a firm hold on the NBA and while he can go overboard a bit, he does a decent job of being a “regulator”. Plus, it’s improved a bit since the DWade/LeBron era
W: Do you think the new rule in place that requires kids to go to at least one year of college before declaring for the draft is a good one?
E: I really don’t know where I stand with this. I mean, everyone has their own “situation”. I DO think that one year of college will not benefit the kid ph
ysically, but just the overall college experience will give you a tremendous mental boost as well. It gives you a year to become a “Man” rather than be pushed into the high speed lifestyle of the NBA instantly. On the other hand, what if you get hurt or your family can’t pay the gas bill? So, I really haven’t taken a firm stand on this one yet.
W: Great, thanks for your time!