Friday, November 9, 2012

[Hiphopplaya] The New Wave #3: Evo, Jay Moon, Oltii

Hip Hop
Evo: I listened to a lot of music thanks to my older brother in middle school. At the time, I mostly listened to rock…and I did follow my brother’s footsteps of playing the guitar also…I would practice songs like More Than Words and Tears in Heaven. Then I visited my relatives in America and I guess at a young age, I thought my cousin seemed cool looking in listening to hip hop in the car with tattoos on both his shoulders. I still remember the song that was playing in the car then and it was Big Pun’s “Still Not a Playa.” Then I officially began my digging when I returned to Korea…well, you can’t even really call it digging…I listened to 2pac. Is there more to say than that? (Laughter) You can say I started hip hop the moment I listened to 2pac…it is odd logic…but anyway, that’s what happened. And what was the determining factor for me to get into hip hop was when I was in high school when I joined the “Hip Hop & Rock Club.” It was the first and second jabs that determined my life.


Evo: My nickname in high school was Eebjeng. I was the leader amongst my friends in our hip hop & rock club, so kids called me Department Head Lee (romanized as 'Lee boojang') and I guess that was too long for them, so they shortened it to Eebjengee. A couple of years later, my friends thought even calling me by that was too long, so they called me Eve, and at times Evo. That’s how I chose my nickname.

Evo: After releasing my Ill Jeanz album and having already recorded the guide version for my solo album, I was stuck. The biggest problem was the present time where I began thinking about how I needed to sign an album contract with a company. I was at a coffee shop with Jinbo hyung and we were discussing which companies to send the album out to and that’s when he recommended Hi-Lite. It was a label I personally had in mind as well and so I sent the album through e-mail to them on that exact day. A few days later, I got a phone call from Palo himself and he said it very straightforwardly: “We don’t contract albums. Just join our label.” “Ah, yes, that’s good,” I told them. I think the conversation was along these lines. We talked more over spicy sausage stew.

Title Track
Evo: I really like the track “Get Yours” from the Paloalto & Evo album. It was a track we made with the thought of wanting to make an awesome song. Normally, the routine of making a song is habitually playing with beats here and there, then making a sampling on top of the beat, or making chords, but this song was made solely with the thought of just wanting to make an awesome song. Before we even sang or put rap into the track, the track was titled “Evo the Great” so you know that speaks for itself. But the final factor that made it awesome was Boni’s awesome line that she contributed with which was a big help. Honestly, I don’t even need to say any other words because I think I like this track since I got to work with Boni; I’m a fan of Boni’s (laughter). 

Evo: Not having my music be swayed and making music that’s very much like me. This seems like the easiest thing, but it’s also the hardest. It might be a little hard for younger people to relate to. They’ll probably think, “What is he talking about?” Wait till you get to my age.

Evo: I respect all of those who are pursuing hip hop in Korea. What I mean is that those who are really singing songs that are considered hip hop, these people are crazy. They’re completely insane. They’re not in their right minds and that’s why I respect them. This is also odd logic…

Evo: I think utopia for me is to make money while doing music. I don’t ask for a lot. I just want to live in a house in Seoul, have a car that can move, get married, have a kid, be able to take care of my kid’s education fees, go out to eat 4 times a week with my family, raise a dog, and give my parents allowance…and sometimes go on vacation overseas…just about that much…

From Now On
Evo: I plan on releasing my single in August and am holding off on my official album. The latest it’ll be released is probably the beginning of next year.

Evo: Hip hop isn’t something that anyone can do. Don’t do it…if you do, you’ll be depressed….and it’ll seem so much like a joke…what I really want to say as my last word is to a critic, specifically a jazz critic. I don’t remember their name but I coincidentally saw what they wrote on Facebook and they said that hip hop music is for kids who like cussing. I’ll say my last word to them: What do you know, you retard?

Hip Hop
Jay Moon: None of my family members are musical so I think that that the skill was acquired and influenced heavily during the prenatal education that my parents had done before I was born. Aside from my father being able to play the guitar a little, my mother had no knowledge of music whatsoever…I heard from my parents that when I was about 3 years old, I would whack on the xylophone and when I was around 6 years old, my mother sent me off to piano lessons. I remember going out to a contest a little while afterwards. When I was around 6th grade, I ran away from home once. My mother found me and asked me what I really wanted to do when we both returned home and she asked if it was music I wanted to do. But back then, I couldn’t give her a proper answer because I was on the fence about music and I wasn’t confident in myself either. Back then, my dream was to become an executive (laughter). And soon after, I moved up to my first year in junior high and I bet my grades in order for me to receive a microphone. Maybe it was because a microphone was on the line that I really studied hard for my first exam in junior high, but I ended up getting the microphone but my grades dropped horribly after that and I ended up transferring schools. It was in the beginning of my third year in junior high that I studied what I wanted and I knew I wanted this to be my job, so I studied on composing as well…anyway, if you look at just rapping, then I think I grew up rapping while listening to hip hop music with my friends starting from 6th grade and onwards. From 6th grade to my first year in junior high, a couple of my friends and I gathered up and are rapping together now under the crew name ‘PaperBlockz.’ 

Jay Moon: I don’t think there’s a specific meaning behind the penname Jay Moon that I’m using. My real name is Moon Jiwon and if you initialize it, then it turns into ‘mjw’…I thought of the penname from here. It’s also easy to remember, right? Jay Moon! (Laughter) The penname I used was originally Crackplay a.k.a Crizzy (and the name I used before this one is quite embarrassing, so I’m not going to mention it…). I felt that people would see it (Crackplay) as difficult, so I asked my hyungs who are also in the music scene for advice and they said it sucked…(laughter) So this is how I ended up using the name Jay Moon.

Jay Moon: The crew ‘Paperblockz’ that I’m in is probably known by people who’ve heard of it. The crew is made up of my close friends from elementary and middle school who did music for fun but it was around 2 years ago that we really wanted to get into the scene so we gathered up and started. 

Title Track
Jay Moon: Honestly, I didn’t put out a lot of tracks to be able to choose one as my title track. But I think the tracks “Rock This Thang,” “Expression,” and “6 Foot 7 Foot Remix” can be tracks that people like the best from me, but also think of these tracks specifically when they see me. It’s not that I hate these tracks, but I think I have more of an attachment to “I’m Cheatin’ Remix,” “Young” because it took me a long time to work on the hook making, and “Mr. Ripley” which talks about one of my experiences.

Jay Moon: I think the attitude of people who are pursuing in hip hop music categorizing it by saying things like “American hip hop is like this” and “Korean hip hop is like that” deserves criticism. Although I’m not heavily active in the hip hop scene right now, I find “actions” something for everyone to follow in the guidelines of. Those in Korea who enjoy hip hop music are already used to the sentiments of hip hop and Korea but when you actually pursue in music, there will be some troubles and clashes in between these two, and this applies to everyone – it happened to me as well…but I learned that being stuck in between those two categories, in order to define my actions, I balanced myself between "the standards the majority of people have" and "my own standards," and am now carrying out my actions based on my image and my position in society. This applies to when I compose lyrics or artists, even when I'm interacting with the public. 

Jay Moon: I mentioned 'attitude' before, but I respect those who abide by this rule of 'attitude' in hip hop music. Of course, this form of respect isn't just applied to hyungs, but also those who are same age as me, even those that are younger than I am who are active in the (hip hop) community and looking up lineups and guest performances for hip hop performances on their own. I don't believe that you have to achieve something great in order to earn respect. It's because I've been feeling this as of lately, but I think the applause one earns after presenting themselves having fun and sweating over something one really like is respect. 

Jay Moon: From now and into the future, I'm going to continue studying music. I'm not going to go into separate divisions of just studying composing lyrics, producing, or song arrangements, but studying music that I truly want to do and the studies I need in order to achieve that. For example, whether it's learning the basics of instruments if I'm using them, or doing wave samplings for a person's voice with MIDI and making use of that into a drum sample, I'm going to continue studying. Even when I grow older, I want to enjoy doing music. A lot of hip hop musicians show themselves off in their lyrics and that itself is a characteristic in hip hop; people also do so because it's fun. Although those who feel culture through the outside, listen through solely their ears, and say things like "I don't like this culture because of this, or I don't like it because of that" may not understand, but those who feel culture through their skins will definitely understand. My dream is to enjoy doing music.

From Now On
Jay Moon: I'm currently a student so I don't have a lot of free time and during the time this interview process is going on, I'm writing 5-10 tracks all at once since I'm on break and I know that I have to get out all of my featuring works, personal single, mixtape, and in-depth bootleg works finished. However, I'm not going to result in having my work turn out badly just because I'm breezing through it, so look out for me. 

Jay Moon: I'll continue to create an image of the artist Jay Moon in delivering good music and continue to look out for me. I'm always thankful to all my listeners. 

Hip Hop
Olltii: I personally think that the charm to rap music is that you’re able to use the rhythm in diverse ways. Before, I use to be more interested in how a certain emcee would deliver their message and what kind of system they implemented in constructing their rhymes. That alone shows how much rhyming was important to me and how much joy it gave me. A litter afterwards, I naturally picked up interest in freestyle rapping and started looking up videos thinking to myself, "Wow...there's really no you or me in foreign rappers and they're all good. How are they able to weave in rhymes like it's nothing while I rot my brains over just thinking of them?" After looking around for more videos, I came across the Huckleberry P episode for "Mic Swagger" and at the time, the thought "Ah, this guy's crazy" came across my mind. I wanted to be good at freestyle rapping like Huck P hyung so I would practice from the time I got home after school ended till my older brother came home from his evening classes. I would stutter out what I could on top of the instrumental playing and try to catch the rhythm of the beat. I really would rap for 6-7 hours straight. I was in my third year of high school at the time and once I found out that there would be a cypher in Hongdae, I borrowed t-money from my mom and went out to Seoul by myself for the first time, with my only motivation being "I want to have fun rapping"! I arrived at the location where the cypher would be held and at first, I hesitated under the watch of others in joining, but I spit out a rap flow, introducing myself as Olltii, came from Anyang, and how I rap well despite being that I come to think about it, I don't remember it and the context of my rap at the time is something I don't necessarily want to remember but people at the scene complimented me that for a kid so young, I rapped well. I remember the exact blissful feeling I felt then. It felt like my circulation was being cut off and I continued in wanting to feel this same feeling. That's why from then on, I told myself that "I should rap!"

Olltii: I thought the word “almighty” was appealing while I was watching the movie “Bruce Almighty” and I had originally planned to use the name “Almighty,” but the definition of almighty just seemed too bombastic so I fixed it in only using the first and last letter of the word, creating “Olltii.” I also forced on a meaning behind the combination of the two letters where “Oll” derives from “being right” and “Tii” being an analogous term to “attitude,” thus the name Olltii was born with the meaning “an upright attitude.” 

[*T/N: Koreans write out almighty as ol () – ma () – ee () – tee (), so the spelling changes of extra L’s and I’s were a preference by Olltii]

Olltii: ADV Crew. When I first stepped foot into the street cyphers, JJK hyung had a watchful eye on me and coming from someone who’ve always loved cyphers, ADV Crew was my most respected idols with the crew forming through rap attack cyphers. JJK hyung didn’t hesitate on giving me advice here and there, and he was also the person who taught me the attitudes of rap and areas of respect. This was how I began having interactions with the ADV hyungs. I was under a different crew before but because of personal reasons of the crew members then, we couldn’t be united and the atmosphere of the crew was collapsing. On my own will, I left the crew and J hyung said to me, “Hey, don’t be like that and join ADV with us.” Without any hesitation, I signed with ADV right away!

Title Track
Olltii: The beat for “Look At Me Girl” was made by Duplex Groove hyung, who’s in the crew Buckwilds, which was somehow given to me. The song had a good feel to it so I jotted down lyrics as if I was preparing for a lightning song and that was the first time I tried making a hook as well, which surprisingly turned out well in the end. At the time, I wasn’t really competent to receive such a song, to which I think that fate coincidentally gave it to me and a lot of people to this day like this track. It’s a love song I made in my first year of high school and I still sing it often. I also like “Fangirl” which was a track from my mixtape “Rappin’ OLLday,” which talks about the unfortunate sight of idol fandoms choosing underground as their alternate option for idols. I even picked at the wrongs I find in the attitudes of “fans” while describing the attitudes they should maintain. With the music industry focusing on the appearances of an artist rather than the competency of their music skills, I debated about my dissatisfaction of how appearances are prioritized over music. “At that state, you can’t converse with me. Why do you try to take in music through your eyes?” This was a line in “Fangirl.”  

Olltii: I’ve experienced it in the street cyphers, but what I’ve always been stubborn about is that “If I think it’s right, then I have the will to insist that it’s right.” Each and every moment, I'll be doing my best in stepping up to a higher place. From being high up, I'll listen to those who are below and I'll shout the sounds of the lower people high above. I'm going to continue to keep moving up!

Olltii: Huckleberry P, because he was the person who made me want to officially start rapping! I feel that Huck P hyung’s lifestyle is similar to the philosophy I drew out. In his EP “Freestyle Tutorial,” there’s a track that I featured for and in there, I said, “I’m the second Huck P and I have nothing to fear walking while looking towards the future.” This applies to how one approaches hip hop and you should treat hip hop in how you’d like to be treated in hip hop in return. That itself is the meaning of respect! Also, JJK. If Huck P hyung was the “stepping stone” to this scene for me, then JJK hyung was the “driving force” that even allowed me to step foot into this scene. Through JJK hyung, I was able to grasp the idea of producing and have the right attitude towards music. He never hesitated on giving me advice and he showed me the turf that I wasn’t able to see before. I’m not saying this just because we’re in the same crew, but he’s a figure in life that I really respect. He’s also someone who motivates me to thrive in rapping better since he’s good at rapping to the point where I’m jealous of him for being so good.

Utopia/Role Model
Olltii: Before, without hesitation, it (role model) was Huck P hyung, but now I don’t necessarily have one. Nowadays, I’m putting more anticipation in myself for tomorrow and believing that I can achieve all things.

From Now On
Olltii: I’m planning on releasing an official mixtape filled with only original beats and I’m thinking that it’s honestly closer to an EP. If I have the leisure to, I’ll plan for it to be an EP but I feel that right now it may be too fast paced for me…lately it’s been a time of a lot of thinking for me. However it ends, I know for sure that I’ll be distributing the songs officially.

Olltii: I want to be able to keep word of being able to ring the ears of others in the lowest of places from the very highest place above, meaning that in the highest place above, I’ll be representing music from the lowest place. Also, I’m going to prove that I’m able to go up to the highest place from the lowest place. Anticipate for me!


Source: Hiphopplaya


Sorry this took an eternity...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Crucial Star set to release preview track "Flat Shoes" for upcoming album "Fall'

It was announced about two weeks ago that Crucial Star will be releasing his upcoming album "Fall" sometime in November, but it was announced even further back that Crucial Star would be releasing an official version for the track "Flat Shoes," which was originally in his recent mixtape "Drawing #1: A Dream Spokesman."

In the mixtape track, a female vocalist named Lovey had featured for Crucial Star but it looks like the newer version will be rather of an acoustic rendition, touched up by Brother Su, also fellow artist with Lovey under the label Real Collabo (and he's also Lovey's older brother).

A press release was also released on Hiphopplaya about two weeks ago regarding Crucial Star's upcoming album "Fall." The title of the album takes on a dual meaning of the literal meaning of something 'falling' but also representing the season 'fall.' The album takes on a slightly different approach with being a much warmer tone and is said to include various artworks and photographs that fit with the theme of the album. According to his company Grandline Entertainment, they announced in the press release saying, "In order to carry on his own set of emotions into the prop album, he poured his affection and effort into it" and "It's a given that he took part in the lyrics and production composition of the album, but he also took time into gathering and creating the photographs and artwork on the album himself." 

The album is set to release sometime in November (release date is to be announced), but the preview single "Flat Shoes" will be released on the 12th.

Source: Hiphopplaya (1 + 2)

Soriheda releases preview track "The Owl's Night" featuring Marina Zettl & Paloalto

Soriheda releases preview track "The Owl's Night" featuring Marina Zettl and Paloalto.

In await of Soriheda releasing his tracklist for his upcoming album "Soriheda 2," Soriheda decided to give a sneak peek to fans with the track "The Owl's Night." What's interesting about this track is that the female vocalist Marina Zettl is from Vienna. The collaboration between Marina and Palo definitely mixed well and the song had a very smooth sound to it. I didn't see much "retro" as Soriheda labeled the overall sound for his album to be, but I like the fact that he added hints of brass instruments to create the jazzy-like feel. All in all, solid for a preview track and nothing too heavy to drive people away from the upcoming album. Take a listen to the track and read the lyrics below!

[VERSE 1 – Marina Zettl]
When the day goes to sleep, darkness is Alive.
I slowly start to rise  
Silence makes my heart go slow, our wishes bloom in hiding and let my mind run free

When your eyes are shut, I'm wide awake
You're lost in dreams; we'll meet along the way

Let's turn the night into day
Roam around relentlessly
The time is mine and mine alone

[HOOK – Marina Zettl]
All this fear and sorrow gets washed away into the night
They are gone until tomorrow while the owl takes flight

I find myself thinking more once the sun sets
It’s hard to understand for those
A sweet slumber is vital in the night
This important night is a sweet time for me
Heda swimming in sounds stole my sleep away
Across the seas, Marina as well gave up her sleep
Like the insides of clubs booming during the weekends, we’re busily moving in preparing to

[HOOK – Marina Zettl]
All this fear and sorrow gets washed away into the night
They are gone until tomorrow while the owl takes flight

It’s not laziness for me to wake up late in the afternoon
My night just makes others fall asleep
While others are dream after falling asleep, I head towards where? To my workroom to make my dreams into a reality
Why aren’t you still sleeping? Stop asking questions
Huck P also said once that “History is made at night”
It’s my turn to bring joy to you from my oversleeping
Feel the universal-like night with me

[HOOK – Marina Zettl]
All this fear and sorrow gets washed away into the night
They are gone until tomorrow while the owl takes flight

Friday, November 2, 2012

[UPDATES] Where the hell have I been?

I realized that updates have been very inconsistent, so a post to justify explain why I've been so MIA.

I've been working with Jerry.k in translating for his album and if you guys follow him on Twitter, he's been not only promoting his album in Korean, but also in English (courtesy of yours truly). If you want to keep up with his album teasers & release whereabouts, he has a Blogspot also where he posts both in Korean & the English translations. Anticipate his album because I got to listen to it and it's sick in the good way.

And aside from helping him out, I just got out of midterms (hellish two weeks since none of them were back-to-back) so now I'm momentarily free! F-R-E-E (for a little bit)! Also, I've lost a little bit of my motivation to translate because I've been occupied with school & work, but also because I haven't translated in a while.

I've also had people ask me through comments or Twitter on what my plans of translating are, so here's a list:
  • Hiphopplaya's New Wave Series: #2, #3, & #4 (I already did #1 & #5).
    - I think it's difficult for me to finish this because I'm not very interested in any of the artists here besides Evo, but I have started on each of them so it's a matter of me just putting effort to sit and translate through everyone talking...
  • DJ Dopsh's interview with HipHopLE
    - I started this but decided I'll break it into parts. Before I touch any other HipHopLE interview (I plan on working on Andup's recent one), I'll finish Dopsh's first. I feel so bad because I already started it and haven't touched it in centuries...
  • Editorials: Too Old, Hip Hop Kid & requests if there are any.
    - I have to find a download for the movie (if you can help a sister out, that'd be great!) but I plan on writing a review/editorial for this. It'll more so be an editorial because the documentary brings up good points that's going on in the khiphop scene right now. Also, if you guys want to request about whatever you guys want to know, I can write/explain about it for you guys (like I did with the Rimi case).
  • On the Charts Interviews: Jerry.k, someone requested J.kyun, & I don't know who else LOL.
    - Jerry.k is confirmed! I'll be making a post after this one goes up in taking questions to ask him. I still have to find a way to contact J.kyun, and I don't know who else asked for whom...sorry...terrible memory...
Anyway, this is the plan and this isn't really in order...the first out of the New Wave series to go up will probably be the Evo one since I'm almost done with it. Thanks for sticking around though guys. It's really appreciated when a person leaves a comment, anonymous or not, or to see you guys retweeting from me. The khiphop community internationally is starting to grow a little and there have been people trying to break through with providing English translations, but none I've seen stuck around. I don't want to become those sites and really provide translations for those who want and perhaps need it.

This isn't supposed to be sappy but it's getting there so I'll cut it off. Thanks for everyone supporting this blog, even if updates are slow as hell. If you have questions, let me know (via commenting here, Twitter, or e-mail)! And feel free to cuss me out for being slow as hell because I deserve it lol.