Coming in earlier in the year with probably my favorite song (if not then, definite top five) was Arablak and his “The Deed” track. Having already been cool with the Social Light Sounds cats, I hit up Arablak about possibly doing a Artist Spotlight. He said he was down, but Nite People had the next album coming up so they would be the next logical cats to get at next. I was pretty excited about being able to speak with EtheReal and the rest of the cats as well as a new Nite People album. Their 2007 album, Daily Livin’, stuck out in my head a lot. True, I wasn’t getting as many submissions in 2007 as I am now (the blog world has really taken off in the almost two years) but I was starting to get quite a few albums and Daily Livin’ stands out as one of the top five submissions I got that year.
The group, coming out of Massachusetts, consists of four members; EtheReal, Tone Capone, Yohon DI and DJ Manipulator. As mentioned, not only does the crew have a new album, What Do You Mean You People, but they are also rereleasing their 2007 debut album, Daily Livin. We sat down and kicked with the guys and here’s what they had to say…..
Nite People also hooked us up with an exclusive. For the first time anywhere, here is “Strangers With Candy”, one of the two exclusive tracks found on the re release of
Nite People’s Daily Livin…… Strangers With Candy
Nite People and Social Light Sounds Online (where you can purchase their music)
WYDU: I’m trying to switch this up a bit, so instead of asking your names right off the bat, tell me what hip hop means to you, in 30 words or less……
Yohon DI: We all feel it’s just a way of life. Its everything you do. How you walk, talk, spit, its everything…
Tone Capone: Hip Hop to me was my first real teacher who understood me. Kept me out of a lot of trouble as a youth, and introduced me to all different types of music. It also gave me my passion for cutting edge tech. Imagine if Africa Bambaataa listened to people when they said “that’s not music, you don’t play instruments” where would we be now?
W: Alright, so let’s get the generic introductions out of the way…..drop the knowledge for the listeners who might be new to you and your music…
E The Real: We are Nite People. A four man unit consisting of 2 emcees, and 2 producers/ DJ’s. Ethereal Plains aka E The Real on lead vocals, Tone Capone on production and engineering, DJ Manipulator on production and the turntables, and Yohon DI with more vocals.
Tone Capone: I’ve been a DJ staple and radio jock in our fine city of Worcester, MA for the past 15+ yrs. 1/3 of the reggae sound system Urban Fire King Sound, also responsible for setting up L Da Headtoucha with Vinyl Reanimators, back in the day.
DJ Manipulator: I go by the name of DJ Manipulator. I DJ, produce, dig in the crates and some other shit, I just cant remember right now.
Yohon DI: Nite People represent a genuine love for the music and true hip hop culture. I think that we as a group, work well together. We all respect and love each others contributions to the group and the music and lyrics come from the heart.
W: There seems to be a lot more history involved with both of you as solo artists than one might realize. E, you recorded your first solo album back in 2003 and have other projects with Brass Knuckle Mentality and some others, can you drop a little background info on how you came up and your living in NYC after moving from Worcester and a fairly young age.
E The Real: I moved to the Bronx in 2000. At the time I was still learning my craft and discovering myself musically and personally. I became engrossed in Hip Hop being in the heart of it all and it basically consumed me. I connected with some heads out there who I’m good friends with till this day and we just loved making music. This was one of the greatest times of my life but unfortunately all good things come to an end.
When I moved back to Worcester I was determined to get in the studio and start making some new music. I took my experiences from NYC and brought them home with me while creating a style that no one had heard before Worcester. It eventua
lly lead to me recording my first solo album “The Overwhelm” in 03’. I had tracks that I did with my people in NYC and my people in Worcester. It was some real bugged out, abstract shit. It was a dark time in my life and the world was too. I moved back to Worcester right before 9/11 went down. I was diving deep into my emotions for that album and the material I created was pure insanity. I listen back to it and I’m like “damn I sound a lot different now”. I’m glad I did it though because it allowed me to grow as an artist.
W: Obviously you guys were in the same circles. How did the two of you (Tone and EtheReal) combine forces to form Nite People?
Tone Capone: I actually mastered E’s first solo album for release. I already seen him around, but that’s how I got to hear him. We also both worked on BKM aka Brass Knuckle Mentality (in fact one of our first finished songs on Daily Livin is on BKM). We had common friends like Arablak. I think it was inevitable though.
E The Real: During the BKM sessions me and Tone had already agreed we wanted to do a project together. We were recording songs for both projects at the same time but we didn’t have a name yet. Tone’s production name was always Nite People. If you read the credits on my first album it says “Mastered by Tone Capone for Nite People Productions.” That was in 03’. He already had logos made up so I was like, “Tone why don’t we use Nite People for a group name”. The rest is history.
W: Talk about the Social Light Sounds crew that you run with. Is it a label, a crew, both? How did y’all come together?
E The Real: It’s a crew first and a label by default. When we did Daily Livin in 2007 we needed a home base to release it. Arablak, Tone, and myself decided to start SLS and before we knew it other artists joined the team.
Tone Capone: It’s neither and both. I like to think of it as our private fight club. Support and competition among peers breeds superior Hip Hop!
Yohon DI: SLS is just a platform for us to get our music off the ground…we are all focused on the same goal just putting out good music.
DJ Manipulator: I first got in contact with E and Tone after listening to the BKM album. The music was so dope and I didn’t really know too many people around here who was making quality hip-hop so I hit them up. I let them check out a mixtape I did and E liked one of the beats on the mixtape (it was a beat for a Nas remix). He asked for it and I let him have it. It turned out to be “iRap” on the new album. Then I brought him and Tone more beats, a couple months later I joined the group during a night of drinking at a bar in Brooklyn, NY after a show we did.
W: The first Nite People album was Daily Livin, which got critical appraise when it first dropped. You are giving it the re release treatment, why the re release and what’s different on it this time around?
Tone Capone: I think we learned a lot last time around, and we feel not enough people got to hear us. We never released the first album digitally because we had so many manufacturing problems due to samples. Oasis was paid in full and actually returned the master, because they said we did not clear samples. Now we have an new online distributor and it just feels right.
E The Real: It’s all in celebration of the new Nite People album but there are many reasons. We never had it on iTunes the first time around which was our main reason for doing it. Since it’s a re release, we wanted to make it special. We added two new bonus cuts and a new album cover. We know there are people out there who have never heard the album or Nite People, so we wanted to give people another chance to hear what they have been sleeping on.
W: In the Social Light Sounds store an interesting product that I don’t think I’ve really seen before. It’s an USB stick with the Social Light Sounds album sampler on it, along with the original Daily Livin CD as well as the EtheReal solo EP from last year on CD. Why is it so important to have unique marketing strategies in this over saturated market? How do you want to use the internet to get your music and your crew’s music heard?
Tone Capone: Its really just marketing 101. Look at how the mall music store has changed since iTunes. Real music heads are collectors by nature, and they are the only ones left who care about the physical item. I can’t wait till we can design some real shit like my prototype NP bong (I can email u a pic). Everyone else can download the CD on Itunes.
E The Real: It’s important for us to build a network and a support system between artists and websites. WYDU is a perfect example because ya’ll have show us nothing but love so in return we give it back on SLS.com. We even collaborate with websites now when it comes to promotion. One site shoots a video interview with us, and in return both sites promote it and gain exposure.
We’re all about bringing people together towards one common goal which is promoting “good music”. We also try to bring new ideas that haven’t been done which is never easy. I designed artwork for every song for the new album that you will be able to download on our website for free. That way when you put the album in your iPod you have artwork for each song instead of just one album cover.
W: The new album is called “What Do You Man You People,” first off I got to know the meaning behind that
As far as the “meaning” behind it, there’s a lot of different meanings. The main idea behind it is people, and why people act the way they do. Every song on the album is a different analysis on people in the Hip Hop world, and outside of it. Some of the songs are personal, some aren’t. It’s also poking fun at political correctness. People are way too up tight especially when it comes to issues like race. I look at this title as an open invitation for people to talk about things that they might not normally talk about. “You People?, What do you Mean You People?” It’s really fun to say when you think about it. If you read the title and don’t laugh something must be wrong with you. It’s become a catch phrase thanks to Hollywood and pop culture. Sometimes the music can be very deep and complex, and it’s important that we balance that off with some humor. This album has that balance.
W: The new album seems more mature and sharpened compared to Daily Livin, yet it still contains that sound that I (and assuming others) liked. How do you walk that fine line of bringing something new to the table without alienating your original target audience?
Tone Capone: Easy our original target audience is us. We make music we like.
DJ Manipulator: We keep that “Real Hip-Hop” element in the music while sticking to that “Boom-Bap” sound. The only difference is we stepped up our game with the beats, rhymes, and the cuts.
E The Real: It always starts with the music. We realize we have a “Boom Bap” sound but we’re not trying to re create the 90’s. Everything we do is natural. Like Tone said, If we like the music than others will follow. Lyrically I feel there’s more room to experiment because you never run out of things to talk about. I could rap about walking my dog every morning picking up crap if I have a dope beat to go with it. Sounds boring, but if the beat makes your neck hurt your gonna feel it!
W: How would you compare the new album to the old album? What are some differences?
E The Real: Who contributed is the biggest difference. The first album was produced entirely by Tone and the new album Manipulator & Tone split production credits. Yohon DI also has a stronger presence on this album. Since Daily Livin dropped, Nite People and Social Light Sounds has come together more than before. Everyone on the album is from SLS. We kept it completely in the crew. I didn’t want to pay tons of money for guest appearance with half ass 16’s when my fellow crew members are nicer than majority of the wack artists out there. The topics on this album are a lot more focused too. Practically every song has a solid concept behind it that people will be able to understand and appreciate.
W: As you mentioned, both Tone and DJ Manipulator do production on this track, how do their production differ? How is it using two different producers for this project?
Tone Capone: We do have similar sounds at times, but we are both very unique. It would take a good chapter and a half to explain this one. I would like to say for the record my favorite tracks on the albums are Manips ( He hates when we call him that). Maybe that’s why I can still get excited over releasing music……I’m just a fan.
DJ Manipulator: Tone and I are kinda on the same wave length as far as beats go but our styles are still really different. It gives the record a little more dimension. Our approach is extremely different. Tone would rather bounce ideas off an emcees, where I could stay indoor all day and make beats with no one around.
W: Why should cats buy this album?
DJ Manipulator: Cause I’m broke as shit!
Tone: It’s worth the money. In fact if you break down the time involved, its like we split .0023 cents an hour. Plus we are just getting started. SLS and has a lot to offer for your money entertainment wise.
E The Real: Most importantly, cats need to buy the album if they want to continue to have quality product. Eventually all your favorite groups and websites are going to diminish if this keeps up. I know times are looking grim in the music industry and in the world but c’mon. If the fans can’t do their part, then we can’t do ours.
W: So mister wack ass record owner comes to one of your shows and tells you they want to sign you, all you have to do is record songs with Young Joc, Mariah Carey, Justin Timberlake and “production” by Puffy…do you take it? If not, what does that say about you guys as artists?
Yohon: Honestly if the money is right i’d do it… but at the end of the day i would most likely hate myself.
Manipulator: Young Joc??? yeah I’ll pass.
Tone: I’d take it if I could figure out a way to twist it so I was really just making a mockery of it. Who knows maybe it would lead to me scoring a reality show w/ Miss New York. Knock that bitch up and sell tickets to the birth and rent advertisement space on the baby’s torso. Hell yeah I could make this work, I’m game.
W: What is “real” hip hop music to you guys?
Tone: I came from real hip hop, and I keep it in my back left
pocket (unless I’m driving then i put it on the center console). So where ever I go musically, it’s still with me. OH YEAH and M.O.P that’s real fuckin hip hop right there too!
Yohon: To me if it comes from the heart then its real hip hop music.
Manipulator: Real Hip-Hop music is made by people who stay true to how they do their music. It doesn’t matter if they’re from New York, Atlanta, LA, just as long as they’re making music from the heart and not because its the cool shit to do.
W: Madame Helga with three breasts (a special future seeing breast) just read you your future, what does the future hold for Nite People and Social Light Sounds?
Yohon: More music. Arablak’s album “Fresh Heir”, Steadfast’s solo album, Yohon DI solo album, E The Real & Forth Star’s album, we stay busy in the lab.
Tone: Shit I already answered this in another question. Can I just suck on her tit so I can cross it off my “things to do before i die” list?
W: Alright, any last words for the masses?
Tone: Have fun people, if your grumpy and bitter at the goofy youth of today, please just keep it to yourself. There is just as much pop crap and dope music out today as there was back then. The only thing that’s changed is you. Yeah im talking to you 90′s cats. Stop Hating!
Manipulator: Shout out to the whole Social Light Sounds crew, Worcester, MA, our peoples, Dogbody, Spit Supreme, Paul Mighty, Frank The Butcher, Ivan Drago, My peoples at Hoverock, My homie Selfsays, JonJon for Trueradio in LA and anyone else I forgot you can yell at me later. Peace
E The Real: Big thanks to Travis and Wake Your Daughter Up. These guys have supported us since our very first release on SLS and it is much appreciated. We need more people in the game like this who want to bring people together and promote quality music.
Yohon: Cop the album!
W: Thanks guys!