Thursday, May 24, 2012

throwback thursday: lyraflip

Written on April 22, 2009

Okay, second blog-interview ever!
For my second artist blog-interview, I sat down with Lyraflip on Sahtyre's comfortable green futon for a little chat to display onto the whole world. Lyraflip is one of the members of the Swim Team, and a Project Blowdian who freestyles and rips the m-i-c. This interview was a bit more casual, because I honestly went in there with no idea on what I really wanted to talk about and ask.
Anyway, I'm a little bit late on this, but Lyraflip had an album called 'My World In A Whirlwind' a year back. I really like it; his word-choice, to me, is very interesting, and his cadence isn't hard on the ears. Very smooth.
Favorite track on the album? "Smooth Talk". Favorite line? "You may have jewelry and ices, but the mic check that I'm spittin' out truthfully is priceless."

Hi, Lyraflip!

Hi, how you doing?

I'm fine, how about you?

I'm excellent.

Are you sure?

I'm positive; I'm good.

Are you excited for this interview?

(laughs) I'm pretty ecstatic about it, actually. I can't wait to hear the questions.

Yeah, they're going to be dope.

We'll see.

If they're not dope, what are you going to do?

I'm just gonna have to look at you in...a different way. (laughs)

Sahtyre: That was question number two, (laughs)

(laughs) Well, first off, how did you come up with the name 'Lyraflip'?Well, that was in high school. I was just like, always rapping; everybody just called me 'the rapper guy'. Everywhere I went; like, I didn't have no name. And all of a sudden, my homie Tommy was like 'dude, you're pretty dope. You're flippin' lyrics all day, like shit that I nevever hear any normal person would say.' And I thought, 'I do be flippin' lyrics'. (laughs) 'You know what, I'm gonna shorten that and make it Lyraflip'. And, also you know, it can also mean 'lyrical filipino'.

Yeah, that was the first thing that came to my mind.

Yeah, yeah, it's like a double-meaning.

That's pretty cool.

Yup, it's an entendre. A double entendre; do you know what that is?


Double-meaning. (laughs)


You thought I was about to like, say something else--


'Cause the word just rolls off the tongue. Seems like I'm gonna say something crazy.

Yeah... So, how old were you when you had your first hip-hop encounter that made you want to rap?

I was about...I would say ten...about nine to ten. I started listening to Bone Thugs N' Harmony alot, and I was just fascinated by their rhythm, you know. It was, like, really fast and everything, so I just totally listened to that album E 1999 Eternal for like, a year straight, and then just memorized all the lyrics. So by the time, you know, a certain things came up like 'First of the Month'...I knew all those songs by heart, and I used to just show off, kind of, by just spitting it to people. And I thought to myself, you know, 'How is that dope? That's like, somebody else's shit!' So that was pretty much the first time I started creating my own. That's when I started writing.

When you were ten, you started writing?


Oh, shit, that's crazy.

Yeah...yeah, I'm pretty sure all of us started early. I don't know about early but--

Just like, gettting into it?


Mmmm. So how did you come across Project Blowed?

Umm, well... I grew up in Torrance, and everywhere I went, like, I knew a lot of people who were super into the Blowed; Aceyalone, Freestyle Fellowship...looked at them at a high pedestal, right?


And so, you know, I started listening to all the Blowed shit, and they just kept on reppin' it. And everyone from the Blowed is dope you know, you have Busdriver, you have Volume 10, Myka 9, the list goes on...Medusa, you know like, Pigeon John. So, it's not that far, you know? (laughs) I'm a rapper, and everybody's talking about it;I'm gonna go there. So you know, like, I think the Blowed kind of finds people.

(Insert Sahtyre's fortune cookie incident here)

So, anyway, I'm from the South Bay; ain't no rapper fucking with me out there, so I was pretty cocky. I went in there like, 'Yo, let's go! Aceyalone's here? Freestyle Fellowship? Fuck that, I'm the best!' I was like, sixteen, seventeen, in that high school mind state. And then I just got served by four people. I felt know how gangs jump you in for initiation?


I thought that was my initiation for the Blowed. They lyrically jumped me.


And I was pissed 'cause I never had that happen before. And I just went home and didn't sleep and just...wrote.

Did you cry?

HELL no!

(& we both laugh)

I would've cried.

I was pretty pissed though, and I did have my feeling hurt. 'Cause I just wasn't used to something like that, you know? And then they do that, I'm like, 'Shit I better step it up.' And I think that's how a lot of people at the Blowed...that all happened to them. Some form of 'you're not fucking with us' type shit, like 'you thought you were, but you're not; go do something to make you think you can fuck with us.' (laughs) So you know, you just keep on going back and keep on improving yourself, you know what I mean?

So you went every Thursdays from then on?

Yeah, pretty much. A lot of Thursdays. A lot. I used to go a lot back in the day. Like, say I miss a month and I go back, then people were like, 'Dude, you were missing in action!' That's how much I was going. A month was like, 'Oh dude, I haven't seen you in a while.' Now, it's like, I still go there, once in a while, but not as much as I used to. The Blowed, like, we already kinda like stamped it a little bit, so we gotta take it everywhere else too. But, I mean, I still be going sometimes. (pause) And that's how I found the Blowed. (laughs)

And what about the Swim Team? How did it come about, in your memory?

Um...Swim Team...

Like, were you guys all just chillin' one day...?

Well, all of us came from the Blowed...we seen each other grow in five, four years without even forming the Swim Team. So, without even having the Swim Team, we already had a network of...really dope rappers. We were all getting hella better... Pretty much, everybody was kind of recruited... I'd say Psychosiz and Open Mike had a lot to do with the recruiting of the members. And we just formed fucking like...Voltron! (laughs)

(laughs) Voltron?

Like, Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers just made a fucking monster called the Swim Team! I mean, everybody knew about each other personally, and then just...the real reason why I believe we needed to do this is because all of us individually are very unique, very good. Some of us might get slept on more than the others, but putting it all together? You can't ignore it. So that's pretty much why we did that. To not be ignored. (laughs)

When exactly did the Swim Team form, officially?

Um...when 'Pirhanas' was made, from Thirsty Fish.

Oh, so Thirsty Fish came before Swim Team?

Well, the thing about it is, we were actually supposed to be called Thirsty Fish, all of us. Dumb, Open, and Psycho put out the album, and then we were supposed to have another album called Thirsty Fish, and we're like, 'That doesn't make any sense, you guys already did that.' That's kind of how we turned into the Swim Team. So that's how that all ties with each other.

How did you come up with 'My World in a Whirlwind'?

Basically the songs were just like, things, experiences I was going through. Just things I were into at the time. And it's just world, in a whirlwind. (laughs) It's really self-explanatory, nothing crazy behind it. They're my thoughts about this world, and I just felt that this world is crazy, so it's in a whirlwind!

What do you think about music today?

What kind of music? Music in general? I think...I think music in the media that's out there, in the radio, it's not a secret that it's pretty much watered down. I think it's harder to find good music, just because it's so over-saturated, and there's so many people trying to do music that...a lot of them are wack. And there's a LOT of them, so it's really hard to find really dope ones. But, I mean, I think there's a lot of good music out, honestly. Just not on the radio. I mean, I don't have a problem with the radio either, I mean, some of the shit's cool; you can learn things from what you hear on the radio like, catchy-ness, or how they can pick up certain things. It's alright, you know, I don't mind it that much. It's alright, it's just not like back in the day to me. And that auto-tuner shit is kind of like, eh.

(laughs) Well, since you brought up auto-tune, what do you think about '808s and Heartbreak'?

(pause) Mmm. Probably Kanye's worst album. I mean, I see what he's doing though; he's capitalizing off of what's in right now, which is what a lot of people do. It's alright, I mean, I guess. It's just auto-tune though. Auto-tune, it's like, everything in the radio is auto-tuned, it sounds like it's the same person on every song. It's kind of annoying.

Would you ever use auto-tune?

I would, I would. But I would use it differently, than what everybody would, you know? I mean, I haven't, but I've been thinking about it, just to see what I can do that nobody else has. But I haven't really done anything. I actually have this one song that's coming out later, it's called 'Glaucoma', it's like a weed song, and I tried to put the auto-tune affect on it and it just sounded...not..tight, so I just left it out.

Oh, so, when is your new album coming out?

I'd say around August. That's like, my dead--I want to do it before that, honestly.

Mm, well how far into it are you right now?

Well, I have like about eight tracks that are definitely going to be on there. That are pretty much done from like, back in the day to now. I'm just, you know, trying to get features done...just do a lot of music.

How many tracks are going to be on it?

Uh, I'm not sure yet, 'cause I'm just doing it right now. I'll figure it out when it's all done.

And you're going on tour?

Yes, September.

What is it for?

Uh, it's an Asian Hip Hop Summit. It's going to be me, Dumbfoundead, DJ Zo, and uh, JFK.

Does this have to do with, like, Jeet Kun Flow, and all that?

It's the same guy, kind of. They're definitely tight, together.

So, how long is the tour going to go for?

Forty days. Everyday in a different city.


It's pretty tiring, but also very rewarding.

Nice. Well, what do you think about Asher Roth?


'Cause, uh, I think he sucks.

I know, I heard about that. Uh, I would say this about that guy. I haven't haerd too much to criticize him. I just heard that one college song, and that's kinda pretty much it. So I can't really judge on something I don't really know about. About that song, it's whatever, it's not that great. But I mean, a lot of radio songs aren't great anyones; it's just the catchy thing that everybody wants to hear, but when you buy the's totally something different. That's how a lot of things are. So, I don't know, he could be dope, he could be not, I don't know. I have no idea.

What do you think about normal people??

Okay, normal people are weird and crazy. 'Cause if you're not weird and crazy, then there's no point in living, dude. I mean, normal, what is normal? There's no such thing as normal. I mean, if you can find what's normal, then you're crazy. This is the thing about it; being crazy and weird, that's normal.

But when you're normal, you're crazy.

Exactly. (smiles)

So have you met any 'normal' people?

Uh...yeah, I have. But I don't know, there's not such thing as normal people. Everybody's weird, everybody has something weird. If they act normal, they got something that's weird about them, you know what I mean? They're just acting normal.

(laughs) So, um, have you made any music videos?

Nah, not yet. I'm planning on making a music video for the song 'Pancake'.

Pancake? That sounds very interesting.

It'll be really interesting.

(laughs) So, do you have people in mind you want to work with for the video?

I'm probaby gonna use OldBoy Productions. I also have other people who want to do videos, but Swim Team has been using OldBoy...we stick to the brand right now. And, you know, maybe I'll do something with someone else later, but right now I'm gonna stick with the people who are coming up with us together, instead of just going to somebody that'll charge you a lot and not really care about it, you know. 'Cause Adam, he cares about what he's doing. He puts a lot of thought process into it.

If you could work with one mainstream artist, who would you want to work with?

Like, singing or rapping? Or anything?


I'd love to do a song with Damian Marley. That fool's tight. And then after that I'd like to work with N'Sync and the Backstreet Boys. Christina Aguilera, and after that Miley Cyrus.

What about Britney Spears??

FUCK Britney Spears! (laughs) Just playin'. But Damian Marley, that would be a good one. Or someone just like, in the industry, more legendary status.

It would be dope if Lauryn Hill came out of hiding, and worked with the Swim Team.

Yeah, that'll be cool, I'll definitely take that!

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