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First of all as I always do i wanna thank you for letting me do this interview. I'm here with TheNewJeruPoet. Many know NJ for his great reviews & interviews. What up NJ?
You know me, working hard.... Thank you for the time. It's weird being on the other side of the interview since I am always the person who is interviewing someone else.

haha.. I know all about that. So tell me a bit about yourself man. From New Jersey?
Yes, I am from Edison, NJ. I went to William Paterson College for 2 years then, I transferred and graduated from Rutgers University. I have always been in the poetry scene, doing coffee houses, and poetry slams, and even the Rutgets Poetry festival. In college, I started my site
http://hardcorehiphop.cjb.net It was for reviews of hiphop albums. I just kept at it. I decided that I should do this on the side. I am a Data Warehousing Internet Recruiter by day. Eventually, things blew up. I began doing interviews for Punchline Magazine out of CT. My first interview was with Shabaam Sahdeeq. I just kept on calling and emailing labels and publicists... and eventually, my aresenal of interviews grew and grew and grew. I soon began to write for MVremix.com and also hiphop-elements.com . On top of that, I also do interviews and reviews for pixelsurgeon.com . Those are more non-hiphop interviews and reviews. And also, on top of that... I started 2 websites for 2 obscure bands. Trisomie 21 ( www.trisomie21.com ) as well as Close Lobsters ( http://closelobsters.cjb.net ) I am also in a group called Enkephalins.

damn.. that's very interesting man. you got a busy schedule. that's peace though. a lot of heads should learn from that and keep doin somethin. stay busy and grind. i feel that. Does it feel too much at times?

Yes, it does. My schedule is packed... bursting out of the scenes. I love getting free music. I literally get amped when I see a package in my mailbox. My reviews and interviews are so long and in-depth that it takes a long time to write a review and/or transcribe an interview from an audio tape. I get plenty done but I'm always, always working. It's better to stay busy though. Because I stayed busy and kept grinding, I have tons of interviews under my belt. In the past, I interviewed Casual of Hieroglyphics, Inspectah Deck, C Rayz Walz, Mathematics, Baatin and Elzhi of Slum Village, Tre from Pharcyde, Akrobatik, Declaime, Spooks, Dj Jazzy Jeff, Big Noyd, The last emperor, Lone Catalysts, Killah Priest, Cherrywine aka Ish aka Butterfly of Digable Planets, Camp Lo and more.

That's an impressive line of acts right there. I think everyone wishes they could say they get music packages in their mailboxes early. As fans we tend to not know so much of the work side of things. It can get very tiresome & heavy. I know about that so I can definately applaud your work & ethic.

Thank you... I applaud yours. It takes time and energy to run SOHH Unoffical too. If it weren't for dope hiphop sites like that, most of us would not be here. Althought it is a middleman site, it connects people. It's informative and also fun.

Nothing like your schedule but in fact tt really does man. I never even realized it was this much work until we got rollin. But I can't help but thank the team here. They're just a part of this as I am. Wouldn't be here without them. I agree 100% with your comments. I think that's what I wanted to bring when this all started. Just something fun with what we love & live for, Hip-Hop. It escalated & became something. I'm proud of that & our great team. Can't stress them enough. But going back to you.. Is this a career for you? Is this something you always thought of doing?

Actually, no and yes. When I was young, I always wanted to be famous. I wanted to be a movie star, a rock star, a writer, a poet, a producer... you know, a Renaissance man. (you know, I actually did some modelling? I met some hot women.) Eventually, I grew up and slowly got into the real world, the corporate world. I still have aspirations for greatness. We all should aspire for great things. Remember Raekwon's "Striving For Perfection"? Right now, music journalism does not pay the bills that much. I wish it did. I would love to get tons of money and write for a well respected and powerful magazine but there's more more for me in the corporate world right now. I'm not giving up though. I made it pretty far and like my girl says, "Who knows how far you can go?". She's right. I'm meeting so many important people in the music industry (hiphop and otherwise). I just want to keep my options open and take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way. I do believe that I will be making a living in some kind of creative way... either through journalism, music, acting, etc. I never thought that the music journalism would blow up as much as it did.

That's dope man. You should definately be proud of that. And with all the important people you meet there could be some open doors down the road. I've read your work and I think it's great. Since you're in that field at the moment, what's your thoughts on major Hip-Hop publications such as "The Source", "XXL", etc.?

They serve a purpose. It does not surprise me about that controversy with Benzino and The Source, giving his Made Men album a great review. They tried to fix that stuff. The thing is, whether you do or do not like those magazines, they are informative. I check them out to see what new LPs are coming out and I always read their reviews. Unfortunately, the reviews are pretty short and the interviews are not Q&A. I think there is an art to writing and even though some of the interviews are written very well, they should mix it up and do straight verbatim Q&A. As far as reviews, The Source do some in-depth reviews. I do agree with both XXL and The Source on many levels. I thought "Aquimini" by Outkast was a classic album. I would not have given it 5 mics but maybe 4 1/2. Also, there is more of a respect for underground hiphop nowadays. I saw a sectionw where they talked about the C Rayz Walz album. (a dope LP by the way). Also, I cannot remember which magazine does it, but there is this one section where the artist breaks down each album song by song. I love that. So, in general, of course, I think many of those magazines should cater to more underground emcees but they need money. It is a business and they have to sell copies and advertising. Unfortunately, magazines these days are filled with ads. Look at Oprah's "O", open the magazine up 3 times anywhere and I bet you open up to an ad. Still, as for hiphop magazines, they are good. They are apart of the culture and just like the websites, they are informative. Still, as a reader, I take everything with a grain of salt. I take it in and then make up my own mind about artists and LPS.

Oh yeah and that's a huge advantage for that magazine. The more ads the less work. They just sit back, press & get paid. Things have really changed over the years. And that goes for everything surrounding Hip-Hop. Especially the underground scene. Are you more of a mainstream fan or an underground fan?

I am just a music lover. I need music in my life. If I had a choice whether to be deaf or blind, I would go blind because I need music. I have to admit, I like some mainstream artists. I like Jay-Z, 50 Cent, and even some of that old Cash Money stuff like Juvenile and BG. But all of those guys were underground at some point. That's when I dug their music. They all struggled and worked hard. Basically, if you can rock a mic, produce a dope beat, or just make music with feeling, I can respect that. Of course, I love the music of Tribe Called Quest, Common, The Lone Catalysts, Five Deez, 3582, Akrobatik, J-Live, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, but I also love the music of C Rayz Walz, Atmosphere, Thirstin Howl III. The Wu-Tang is dope. Look at them. They were underground at first. They blew up and now, they are like in this weird limbo state. Not mainstream and not underground. Still, I enjoyed "Iron Flag" and Ghostface's last 2 LPS too. Gangstarr is incredible. Premier makes beats for Jay-Z, Nas, while doing his main work with Guru. I also love The Roots. That Cody ChesnuTT song "The Seed 2.0" is incredible. It's all about good music. Stil, I cannot stand country music and I cannot stand that teenpop shit. I hate the music of Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, etc. But.. I do like The Neptunes. odd, right? One thing I'm weird about is that I love an artist when they are underground and hungry. They blow up, sell a million records, and even though I still respect them, I do not blast their music as much. I think Eminen is extremely talented. The Marshall Mathers LP is incredible but the new Eminem show album just does not do it for me. Maybe it was because I constantly saw him on MTV and BET. Sure, there are some great songs on that LP like "My Dad's Gone Crazy" and "Without Me" but there's also "Drips" which is horrible. (and that's more of a hardcore song). Still, there is some horrible underground music out there too. I'm crazy like that though. Still, It's about good music. Rhythm is a major factor in life. Your heartbeat pumps to a rhythm. We need it. Music makes life easier, interesting, and just good. I love some mainstream stuff and I love some underground stuff. If it is good, I like it.

Couldn't say it better than that. A lot of people may be curious as to how infact you get in contact with acts. Was it hard at first?

Yes, it was but I started small. I first tried to get in contact with Shabaam Sahdeeq. I saw his ad in The Source. I knew he was not on Rawkus anymore and that he had beef with Rawkus. I looked up his new label on the Internet and contacted them. During this time, I set up a job with a printed magazine in CT. So, not only was the interview going to be on the Internet, it was going to be in a printed publication. It was publcity. As for the future, I learned that persistance works. A great Spanish writer once said, "More than anything, Persistance is going to change the world." That is true. I go after these labels and publcists. I do not give up. Sometimes, I call. Sometimes, I email. I collect names, phone numbers, and other contact info. One key thing I learned is that it's not always the label you need. You need to speak to the publcist. Some artists do not have publicists. But, you get in good with a publicist and you keep your end of the deal, the more interviews come. Some interviews that came to me were DJ Jazzy Jeff, Baatin of Slum Village, Mathematics. But on the other hand, sometimes, you have to dig, dig and dig. It took forever to get Sticky Fingaz to do an interview. It was not his fault. It was the label's. It was so hard to find that contact info. the email on the sites did not work. The phone numbers did not work either. I had to work hard. On top of that, you have to be honest and you have to credentials. No one will talk to you if you are just some kid off the street. The more interviews I do, the more respect I get in the field. So, I would say persistance, honesty, and hardwork is the key. Basically, I contact them anyway I can. Sometimes, it's thru the label. Sometimes, it's through the publicist. Sometimes, it's through the manager. Sometimes, I have to call the artist up myself.

Are there a lot of acts that just don't ever respond?

Oh yeah. I had interviews scheduled and they just did not call. Sometimes, I leave message after message to get a CD. The bigger labels (who have CDs to spare), take forever sometimes. They even have publicists. Sometimes, the publcists take forever. For the most part, once you start a good relationship with the publicist or label, they trust you and take good care of you. Groove Attack is awesome!!! Not only do I love their releases, but they have been excellent with promotion and interviews too. There are some publicity companies that are just excellent. Room Service, Backspin.. all incredible. Then, you have these independant publicists who are doing everything by themselves. they will give their right arm to keep the press happy. So, I feel obligated to do a good job for them. Still, some interviews that fell through and never happened were Onyx, some Hiero people, and others. Cormega was one that fell through. We had it scheduled a couple of times too. That's someone I really want to interview too. I don't know if it was his fault. I don't know whose fault it was but it was a shame that I never got to interview him. There's always the next album.

Wow those would have been great. Too bad for that. Yeah Cormega would be a good one.

yea. It's nothing against him. Time is tight for everybody these days. I don't take it personal. unless they do not try and make up for it. His people are cool. Mike Moves is especially cool.

Yeah he is (actin like I know him).. I was just gonna ask you that. Do you ever take it personal when interviews don't go through?

Nah, I do not take it personal but some people act differently

What do you mean by that?

Some publicits are very cool and they work very hard to keep the press happy, while others just do not care. I will interview someone I do not even like if their publicist is cool and they have been cool and good to me. Usually, if something falls through, I have notice BUT it sucks when I am waiting by the phone and no one calls. I am extremely busy and I could be either be making money or be with my honey.

Yeah true. I guess I should ask you about the buzz going around our culture today. The whole Benzino/Eminem craze just took another step up with teh revealing of the "Eminem racist tape" or what he calls "The Hate Tape". What's your thoughts on this matter? Did you get to hear it or read what was said?


Actually, Kiwan from The Source just emailed me the transcripts. It's odd but it does not surprise me. In a way, it is good because it shows how young white kids can be very prejudice. This enlightens people. At the same time, it's horrible because it is racism Is it really Eminem? I did not hear the actual tape but still..We do bad things when we are young. If EM says, "I'm sorry, I was young, stupid and extremely prejudice at the moment". It looks like he got screwed over by some Black girl he was dating so. He could use the situation to his advantage. Remember Richard Nixon? If NIXON just said, "I lied, I covered it up (the Watergate scandal). I'm sorry", that would be the end of it. In many ways, everybody is a racist... it's sad. I am not a racist but there are prejudice people in my family and in every family.

See i agree with that which is why I can respect that answer. I think all of us are guilty of racism one time or another.

Only through time and tolerance and an open mind, did I form my own opinions and realize how horrible racism is. At a young age, you say a joke and you do not realize how much it can hurt someone.

right

How do white people feel when people say we cannot dance? Look at Jamiroqaui. Jay K can dance great.

White people can't jump?

That I have yet to see but I'm sure it is possible. LOL

Oh cmon NJ.. you haven't seen that movie yet??? haha. well it is possible considering the white people in the NBA that have dunked I guess..

sure, I've seen the movie many times. IT made me so frustrated that the Woody character was so stupid.

LOL! Glad to see how they mixed the races up in the film though. It showed how different races weren't exactly that different.

sure. we all have heartbeats, we are all electic, we are all molecules. when it comes down to it, we are just atoms.

We are?

yes, IT's true.

Lets move on..

let's

Everyone talks about how Hip-Hop has died and all this other stuff. It's obvious that Hip-Hop has changed over the years. Where do you see Hip-Hop music & culture 20 years from now?

Wow... good question. I see it growing and evolving but at the same time, using the past as it always does. Adopting styles and tweeking them. Some of it getting extremely gimmicky. Some of it extremely underground. It can go (and will go) both ways. Obviously, the culture has not died and will not be dying anytime soon. It infected everything from techno music to rock music. I bet country stars will even get involved. mark my words.

Interesting.I can see it I guess. It's evolved into quite a large market. You think it'll eventually be a majority of white MC's. Because that's what a lot heads are saying. Even RZA at one time said that a lot of Black folks like himself will just be behind the scenes runnin shit while there will be a lot of White MC's around. You think so?

Maybe. White people have always exploited Black culture. It's just a fact so, without a doubt, hiphop will become much more white. but it won't be JUST white. Look at JAPAN they have a HUGE hiphop industry. tons of money over there for hiphop. Fat Jon and Lone catalysts released JAPAN only lps!! So, It will be much more multi-racial but as always, hiphop has been rooted in BLACK culture and the true emcees will always recognize that. white or Black or Japanese.

True.. There's a lot of ignorant heads out there though. I'm afraid of seeing them in 20 years with it so widely spread of races. Eminem fans of today get a bit ridiculous.

yeah. Still I am a fan of Eminem. He has skills and the balls too. IT's a powerful combination.

Oh and I'm a fan too. Believe that. I think he's done good things for the culture. I think a lot of Black people are ignorant towards him because he's White and that's wack to me. But let's move onto some word association shall we?

nice

The Source

useful

XXL

interesting

Japanese Hip-Hop

creative and the future

Greek Hip-Hop

unknown to me but part of the evolution

Internet File Sharing

good and bad at the same time

Bill O'Rielly

pale face

DJ Premier

DOPE... with a capital "D"

Kanye West

excellent use of vocal samples

Underground Hip-Hop

THE HEART

Horrorcore Hip-Hop

gimmick (still, there is a little goth in me). Gravediggaz are dope... RIP Poetic.

Canibus.

RIP THE JACKER!!!!!

ok.. Now that Jay has dropped "The Black Album". What was your thoughts on allegedly his last LP? And is it infact his last in your opinion?
I remember he was going to retire after "Reasonable Doubt".. I heard him on the radio "One EP and that's it." Then, he was going to retire after HARD KNOCK LIFE. Like TOO SHORT, he can't stay away. As for the BLACK ALBUM, it's actually good. It's not as dope as BLUEPRINT.. I think that's his best work. I actually like it better than Reasonsable Doubt... (I know it's crazy but that's the way I feel)

Is he done?

Nah, maybe he'll stop for a while but I think he'll continue to make music. One thing about retiring though.. I was GLAD when MA retired.

I assume you didn't like Mase.

I was so sick of him... and all of that shiney suit dance watered down hiphop. I did like "24 Hours To Live".. but because of the last DMX verse. Even though I get sick of DMX's barking, when he came out with
GET AT ME DOG, it was like a breath of fresh air... or a punch in the face of shiney suit wannabe rap.

Speaking of DMX. He also released his last LP this year which I thought was completely overshadowed by Jay-Z's retirement. Your thoughts on that.

People are getting sick him barking on every album. Still, DMX is 100 times better than JA RULE in every single way. DMX truly used to rob and steal for a living. My girl, Arianna and I will be collaborating on a review for his biography "E.A.R.L."... Even though his lps have a lot of filler, there is always one or two dope tracks. As for the new one "GRAND CHAMP", it's okay.... Songs like SHOT DOWN with 50 Cent is dope and GO HARD with Cam' Ron is dope too... but he's barking all time too. I just get sick of a man barking... all the time.. Arf! Arf! Arf!!! Is it his last LP?... possibly.. I believe DMX will hang up his hat before Jay-Z does. JAY-Z is much, much more popular and more respected than DMX so his album and his retirement will overshadow him. Ja Rule is a Dmx clone. I was surprised Dmx did not bark at him before about stealing and biting his style (which he actually bit off of Tupac). The thing is, DMX did make his style his own. He bit off of Tupac but made it his own.. There is a lot of Tupac in his style but there's also alot of Earl Simmons. Ja Rule??? ugh!

haha.. Who do you feel is the "GOAT"?

There is no one "Greatest of all time". BUT in my opinion, the best emcees are the following (in no order): Rakim, Jay-Z, Melle Mel, Nas, Guru, Biggie, Tupac, Pharoah Monch, Mos Def, J-Live, Eminem, and then, we have producers.. DJ Premier is probably my all time favorite but I also think there are others who are essential to hiphop: Pete Rock, Grandmaster Flash, Large Professor and then the new heads like Neptunes, Kanye West, Just Blaze, and Rza are incredible too.

No KRS?


oh yeah, I'm not done with my EMCEE list. Krs-One, Chuck D. Biz Markie (for humor), Big Daddy Kane, and even Kool Moe Dee. Krs-One is incredible.

Oh yes. He is. I actually prefer KRS over Rakim.

me too. especially for recent work

Right

I like the latest Krs stuff more than the latest Rakim stuff

I do aswell.. The Prophets vs. Profits album was dope.

I never got that... I liked Krystyles but I wasn't feeling Spiritual Minded that much.

I never heard that.

or even I Got Next. I did love the self-titled joint though. Krystyles is cool.... but Krs did NOT want that LP to come out

really?

yeah, he sued Koch over it

he did? man where was i?

I don't know. where were you?

For what reason?

They did not keep the tracks he wanted

oh damn.

Koch put out a different lp then the one he wanted to put out. I have both the retail version and the original promo.

is it that much different?

there are a couple of different songs and a JAM MASTER JAY tribute skit that never made it to the final cut. It's not that different. There's a couple of songs and skits that are different and the order is different.

i would've loved to hear that.

Still, as a fan, the final cut is an enjoyable and entertaining LP. much better than Sneak Attack or Spiritual Minded or even I Got Next.

True. Well.. I think that about wraps it up. Nothing better than ending an interview talking about our greats I'll tell you that much.

Sure.

Any last words? Plugs?

I have many things on the horizon....

Let em know man.

I have some writing collaborations with a beautiful and talented woman named Arianna. I have future interviews with Cappadonna, Motion Man, Prophetix, Kool G Rap, Declaime, MC Paul Barman, Akrobatik and more... For those non-hiphop readers, check out my work on http://indie-music.cjb.net as well as www.pixelsurgeon.com Then, check out my websites: The official CLOSE LOBSTERS website http://closelobsters.cjb.net and also The offiical TRISOMIE 21 website http://www.trisomie21.com Always check out hiphop-elements.com as well as mvremix.com and of course, my personal site http://hardcorehiphop.cjb.net for links to every single interview and review I have on the net. As remember, stay cool. Thank you very much for your time and interest. See you in the next one.

On that note I wanna thank you NJP for this great interview and wish you nothing but the best in whatever you do. Keep up the good work man. I'm lovin it.

Thank you very much. I truly appreciate the support. Keep on keepin' on!!!! Your site is dope!

Thanks man! Appreciate it. One love. Peace

peace





 

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