While scrolling through Bandcamp one day, I saw a few like-minded listeners had copped a new EP from Rozewood. With Roze being one of my absolute favorites right now, I was instantly intrigued. It was at that point I delved into ‘GXD’, the collaborative effort with the Ghxst God himself and Chicago beatsmith Krushlove. After one lap around this masterwork, it became clear that this was not only a man with ill beats but a vision to match. His instrumental albums take you to all kinds of places in the mind, and he sports collabs with many dope emcees including Denmark Vessey, Main Flow, All Natural and many more. Something tells me he’s going to be a force in this thing of ours for a very long time.
RD: Let’s get into your latest work, ‘GXD’ an EP with Rozewood. How did this project come to be?
KL: I learned about Rozewood through his work with The Winners. Saw him in a few videos with Hus and liked their style. I randomly saw Rozewood a few months later, then we started talking about work online and reached out for a song.
RD: Was it originally going to be a single?
KL: I actually only contacted him for a few joints, got the songs back and decided to try and knock out an entire EP. Rozewood is very mysterious, sometimes deactivating his social accounts (rightfully so), so SoundScience and myself jumped on the opportunity when it came.
RD: How long did GXD take to complete?
KL: Whole process took about a year and a half end to end, the project moved from a couple songs to seven, so it needed more time overall. I had songs in mind for Rozewood, but when we wanted more I took the time to craft a sound around him that worked with my own at the same time. Anyone who has heard Rozewood freestyle knows he’s a blessing to rap. To catch some of that on record forever was a must. I like the way it turned out, definitely going to pursue this EP style format with more artists.
RD: Saga is a compilation of work with some artists from your hometown of Chicago. For me it hearkens back to Molemen’s series of tapes that showcased lesser known over their brand of production.
KL: Those Molemen tapes definitely had an affect on me growing up. I used to roll to Gramaphone for those. Learned it was ok to focus on yourself as producer. I think SAGA, or I at least hope it followed those spiritually. Those projects brought a lot of the cities styles together in one album. I wanted to do something like that, exhibit as much of the city as I could. Since this was a compilation of guest production + few unreleased features, thought is was cool to showcase my style & work with different parts of the city and their styles throughout the years. Very cool you know about Molemen, btw.
RD: What’s your take on the scene up there in the Chi?
KL: Hometeam is doing great right now. Some of the best music in the world is being made in the Chi. I love being in a atmosphere so supportive for artists, lot of space to perform and grow. The city as a whole has taken a lot of chances on artists and their music plus their ideas, and it’s paid off.
RD: You’ve produced full projects with emcees as well as a number instrumental projects, is it difficult to go from having full control to collaborating? Or is the key finding the right collaborators?
KL: It was harder when I was younger, learning to work and share ideas with those around you is better than always secluding & producing. Those beat tapes let me establish my sound first, so I know more of what I want when in lab with someone. Try to understand what they want too. Working with people is always gonna work better naturally when you know yourself as an artist more. You have lines you will and wont cross.
RD: What qualities do you look for in an emcee that is a potential collaborator?
KL: This is tough because everyone offers something different and its weird to judge one emcee off the next but I like consistency and ingenuity the most if I had to pick. Everything plays apart into it, being consistent lets your art grow and fully mature. I just look for that overall vibe, I like storytellers or emcees who make the track feel like a one on one conversation. The ability for them to bring you to their world before I even get the track out. Think we all like to avoid cringe bars, where its too much or not enough, a fine balance is always fun to work with, your more inspired that way. Can’t force work.
RD: Clearly your a film buff, what are some titles that have inspired your discography?
KL: Working on it, not a buff yet. I like too many shitty movies. The Blind Swordsman, Zatoichi (not a shitty movie) was always ill to me any of those, there is like 70 of them. Carmen Jones was one of my first musicals I saw, Mom’s put me on to that gem. Vertigo messed with my head as a child, any Hitchcock is always on deck. Black Caeser of course, as I kid that one stuck with me. Never saw a black man act that on film and that alone represents how much I love that movie. The original Night of The Living Dead in black and white still has a creepy vibe no matter how many times I watch it, that ending. Honorable mentions have to be SuperFly, Coffy, & House Party. I could name names all day. I like to have studio sessions with a nice flick on silent in the background, sparking some visual inspiration.
RD: Do you actively shop beats for outside projects, or mostly keep things for your own?
KL: Right now no, I don’t turn down work either. I still make music with the intention of keeping it instrumental, so some stuff is always going to just stay with me. I think fans want to know you can do it alone sometimes, at least I would like to know an artist could hold down a project on their own. Some of the independent producers and the entities they created spoiled me. Creating their own production houses and naturally working with who they wanted too. In my opinion the work is the shopping, its kind of a ‘go where your celebrated not tolerated’ situation.
RD: What emotions do you want to evoke in listeners when they hear your music?
KL: As many as I can. How I’m feeling at the moment is what you get production wise. I don’t have any set way I want people to feel, just to feel something. I get the emo label sometimes, and I just run with it. Music that has a lasting effect on me almost always has some sort of emotional connection, and I wanted to convey that to listeners.
RD: What’s your next move? How quickly do you start your next project after wrapping the previous one?
KL: Next move for the duration is more music. I think ears today need to get used to your style, your sound, fine level between flooding and not enough. I like to have music on deck so the next project is usually ready or at least panned out, I get restless in the lab. Definitely more vinyl on the way. I’ve always been jammed up with music, don’t really know what it feels like to have a clear plate. I make beats with beats still unfinished, bounce back and fourth. Kind of a cascading situation, so I keep working.
RD: This has become a standard, I’m cutting a check for a Krush album featuring whoever you want. What’s the first 5 calls you make?
KL: I always leave people out on these, at the moment I’d have to hit up Anderson Paak, Y.O.D., NoName, Hall & Nash and Nas. Little something for everybody. The second 5 would be Roc Marciano, Denmark Vessey, Hus Kingpin, Ankhle John, and Chris $pencer (Chris Crack & Vic Spencer). I want to name fifty more. Think that lineup would make me push the work in directions I’ve never been.
Krush’s Bandcamp is https://krushlovely.bandcamp.com/music where you can find physicals and digital versions of the GXD EP
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