Smoovth

Smoovth

For Episode 4 we catch up with a Smoovth, a veteran MC who is making not only some of the best music of his career but some of the best music in all of underground hip hop. From MySpace to Soundcloud, the man has stood the test of time and did it his way. Your not going to find any cheesy hooks or weak punchlines in Smoovth’s music, just a detailed look into the streets of Hempstead. We talk to him about his early days with The Connection, and what he has in store for 2018

RD: How did The Connection with Hus Kingpin form?

S: We met through a mutual friend and started to hang out, and found out that we messed with similar music. He introduced me to recording, I was always into emceeing but had not laid down any music yet. We linked with with my guy Marvelous Mag, then started doing shows. Eventually we moved in together, and explored Myspace for beats to record to. We used an instrumental from a Swedish producer, and when he heard it he ended up sending us more beats.

RD: You and Hus are notorious for using foreign-born producers, what are some of the most obscure/rarest place you’ve received music from?

S: Finland, Sweden, we’ve gotten beats from Africa. I don’t know what would be considered the rarest, but there’s been stuff from all over the globe. In my opinion a lot of these guys have more heat than American producers.

RD: Talk about recording with the legendary Roc Marciano for The Connection’s ‘Strive’

S: That was a natural fit, Roc is from my neighborhood and we share some family friends. He grew up with my uncles, same school as Busta and Leaders of the New School. He actually laid his verse first, then Hus and I finished it off.

RD: Is there a different approach writing for group/posse cuts than solo songs?

S: Big difference. A lot of times with Hus he’ll already have the concept laid out and the beat has been selected. In an instance like that, its just about writing to the track and completing the song. For a solo, your on your own. Song concepts, beat selection and song formats are all on you. I prefer to be be myself recording solo songs, just zoned out and focused. Usually start in the morning, just use that fresh energy and throw the beat on to write. Once the first few lines get on the page, its on.

RD: Giallo Point is your most frequent collaborator, you guys are working on album #3. How did that relationship come about?

S: Heard a couple joints on Soundcloud, reached out and as it turned out he was fans of what we were doing as well. After a couple songs were completed we kept going and it eventually turned into Portrait of a Pimp. The chemistry was there, the styles were very complimentary. The response for that is what turned out to be Medellin

RD: The sequel to that is in the works, correct?

S: Working on that now, I’m 11, maybe 13 songs deep. That’s up next.

RD: How did it feel to see Medellin get pressed up on physical formats, and be met with so much critical acclaim?

S: Feels great, I always felt that respect from cats about what I do, but to see them reach out again for that physical copy of it is special. I stay humble about it, but its great to see stuff get sold out. We’ve had so much positive feedback, I don’t want to use ‘overwhelming’ but its been crazy to see all these pics and posts about our album.

RD: What are some of your biggest influences?

S: Hip hop wise, Ghostface is up there. I throw on Supreme Clientele often, It Was Written-era Nas. Reloaded is my favorite Roc Marc album, thrown that for inspiration often as well. I listen to a lot of different music, from soft rock to some other things. Pretty much everything but country and things of that nature.

RD: What’s your dream collab?

S: Premier, RZA for a beat. Any of the Wu members would be a dream, Ghostface obviously would be up there.

RD: Once Medellin 2 is completed, whats next for 2018?

S: An album with Bronze Nazareth, that’s my main focus after that’s done. I’m trying to continuously drop dope music

RD: Shouts?

S: All the Winners, Gold Chain Music. Tristate, Killa Kali, Supreme Cerebral, Big Twins, I don’t wanna leave anyone out, i mess with a lot of dope people! Roc Marci, Planet Asia cant forget them

Be on the lookout for Medellin 2, coming soon. We attached the albums single ‘Rotten Apple’ which features Crimeapple and Eto. We wish Smoovth well in all his endeavors, he was easily one of the nicest people we have reached out to thus far. Cop the music, support dope shit.

Twitter @smoovth

IG smoovthcalhoun

Winners twitter @thewinnersworld

Buck Dudley

BUCK

Our guest for Episode 3 is producer Buck Dudley, who represents our home state of New Jersey. His production helped catapult CRIMEAPPLE to the forefront of underground hip hop in 2017, and the duo is building momentum with each release. Metrelleta is one of the most revered releases of 2017, and the duo also dropped the Perfect/Perfect 2 and Sweet Dreams EP’s. Buck paints with everything from jazz to Danish rock, so you never know what he’ll come up with next. We had a chance to chat with him about a variety of topics, this is a print summary of the convo.

RD: What’s the ideal setting for creating beats?

BD: I’m not the most mobile, generally I work from a dinosaur desktop computer at my apartment. That’s where I’m most comfortable. That way when I sit down and get to it, I know where everything is and can get some good work done.

RD: Do you make beats in one sitting, or start and finish many other drafts?

BD: Im sample-based, so I just follow where the sample takes me. There are times where I’ll trash something, go back to it and it sounds fresh again. Sometimes your ears can betray you, you fall in and out of love with material. When I know one is a sure shot, I’ll just run with it and try to figure out what I want to do as far as drums/secondary samples and others little touches. There no process that I could point to, the samples drive the track and then we add to it as time goes on

RD: You guys had some of this material for years, what was the process like when it was time to get these projects out? As far as song placement, etc

BD: With Metrelleta we wanted that strong body of work to re-introduce ourselves with something you could play front to back. We were sitting on a lot of material, and wanted to drop something that would garner attention. Perfect and Perfect 2 have the Street Fighter theme, its pretty raw all the way thru where Metrelleta had a mix of jazzy and harder songs. For Sweet Dreams we wanted to add the horror theme.he beats fit for it and it coincided with Halloween season.

RD: House Shoes reached out for a release on his Street Corner Music imprint, can you expound on that at this time?

BD: Think a deluxe edition of Sweet Dreams, he loved the EP and wanted to know if we wanted to expand on that body of work. That’s in very early stages, we’ll divulge more as time goes on

RD: You guys sat on this music for years, garnering near the attention it should have gotten. How rewarding is it to see this pay off? Metralleta is being sold on every physical format, and it sells quickly

BD: It’s super flattering for myself, as a lifelong hip hop head from humble beginnings to getting this amount of love feels great. I’m still wide-eyed about the whole thing, but at the same time we been dope. We always felt that, and now the returns are coming in.

RD: ‘Crab Cakes’ is something that shows a different, playful style. How important is it to display different flavors of beats?

BD: Very, I mean when I was growing up you had that variety.  We try to bring that to the table. Not everything has to be hard all the time. We had Wu-Tang and Tribe to balance things out and that’s where stuff like Crab Cakes comes from. It was a sample I thought was funny, it was a perfect canvas for Crime to display his wit, so we put it out for the heads.

RD: Hypothetical, your doing a ‘Buck Dudley Presents’ style producer album, give me 3 MC’s your hittin up?

BD: That’s tough! I don’t think I could do that, if I’m swinging for the fences the possibilities are endless but ultimately I’d stick with my guys. Crime has been a friend for a long time, we’ve been working together for a long time. Love what Daniel Son is doing. Love the music, love the charisma and wordplay he brings to the table. The guys we’ve had as guests would work, we wouldn’t have had them on our shit if we weren’t feeling what they were doing.

RD: There’s been hints at a Perfect 3 to complete the trilogy?

BD: Crime is mostly focused on his Big Ghost Ltd. album among other things, so that’s more down the road. It’s gonna be hard like the first 2, nothing is set in stone with that project at this time.

RD: What current hip hop are you bumpin?

BD:  I spend most of my time listening to weird samples. I’ll force myself to turn away at times, shit gets weird. I just went thru some Danish, progressive rock shit it gets strange. I often have to play catch up on new music, but of course you have the Griselda’s and Roc Marci’s that are must-listens. Huge fan of Roc personally. Mach-Hommy is dope. Guys that we’ve been working with; Hus/Smoovth/Vic Spencer. I don’t pay as much attention as I probably should, when your working non-stop its hard to keep up.

RD: Outside of the Crime stuff, is there anything else your working on for ’18?

BD: I definitely want to do a beat tape this year, that’s been something I’ve wanted to do for awhile now. There’s a few cats that I’m interested in working with, nothing I can really announce at this time but lets just say you’ll be hearing from me this year.

 

We thank Buck for coming on, and wish him well as his name grows in the culture. We will be joining him for Crimeapple’s New Jersey Drive Live show on March 28th. Daniel Son, Ill Conscious and Sauce Heist will also be performing.

Buck Dudley projects can be purchased here: Bandcamp: http://crimeapple.bandcamp.com