Thursday, May 17, 2012

throwback thursday: sahtyre

In the spirit of Throwback Thursday, I decided to repost all the old writing I've done over the years. Some of them, I've noticed, aren't quite finished and I just might rekindle the old flames in past stories and characters.

Anyway, this first throwback post is the first interview I've ever conducted. Hope you all enjoy!

"MCs try to battle me but I strip 'em naked like fucking Adam and Eve."

If you haven’t heard of Project Blowed, or even The Good Life, for that matter, then this is the time to educate yourselves. Many great hip-hop artists were a part of these two functions, honing their art every time they grabbed the mic.
Let’s start from the beginning.
The Good Life Café was a health food center in South Central and in December 1989, it offered a workshop-like atmosphere for aspiring MCs, poets and musicians; this was all promoted by the owner B. Hall and her son R. Kain Blaze. These workshops went on every Thursdays from 8-10pm, and artists were allowed to perform one song, either prewritten or by freestyle, to entertain the café audience. There was a strict rule to the performances, though: no profanity.
Among the artists who attended the open-mics, to name a few, were Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, The Pharcyde and Kurupt. The Good Life regulars Rebels of Rhythm and Unity Committee came together to form the group Jurassic 5.
In 1994, Aceyalone and Abstract Rude brought the open-mic aspect to the KAOS Network, which was an art workshop founded by Professor Ben Caldwell of Cal-Arts. It was located in Leimert Park (on 43rd and Leimert), and like The Good Life, open-mics occurred every Thursday, with no restrictions on profanity.
How is this all relevant, you ask?
Well, it’s relevant because for the big debut of my blog artist-interviews, I interviewed an MC who has been attending Project Blowed for most of his life. His name is Sahtyre, and he released his debut album just last month. And I just want to thank him for giving me a push into this interviewing idea; if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have actually gone through with it!
High Saht Album Review
Sahtyre, a 6'2", size-14 wearing twenty-two year old has been in the Los Angeles underground rap game for almost half of his life. At a young age, he came across Project Blowed, which has been running for fifteen years, and has since contributed to the genre of music. Sahtyre is one of the members of the group Swim Team, a group that is composed of eleven people that met through Project Blowed.
His debut album High Saht is a very well-balanced listen, with a heavy-yet-pleasing sound that’s complimented by clever lyrics. To name a few favorite tracks of mine, I loved the intro, the single ‘J O B’, and ‘Always Say Never’. The first twenty-six seconds of ‘High Saht Intro’ is reminiscent of a 70’s action movie soundtrack until the bass comes in, kicking your sub-woofer’s ass. Favorite line from the intro? “I have no problem being myself; MF DOOM DO!” (No disrespect to MF Doom; he’s great!) And don’t get me started on the ‘J O B’ song. I came across it when I was dead-broke and had no job with mounting bills; this song made me go “Yeah, seriously. Fuck a job.” Favorite line from ‘J O B’? “I’m too unorthodox to break my neck for your paychecks. I do my best to collect mines when I exit stage left.” GENIUS! Each song in High Saht has its own personality, and it just…hits.
I especially love the album artwork, which was done by Swim Team’s own DozTres.
Overall, High Saht is great. I totally recommend it!
The Interview
The sky is gray, and the clouds are threatening to cry as I hop on the bus, headed for Sahtyre’s abode. I admit, I wasn’t quite ready for the interview that was about to go down in approximately half an hour. The night before, I was desperately trying to come up with questions to ask, things to say, just like any good interviewer would do. It was hard, seeing how I’ve hung out with Sahtyre a few times before and have already asked the questions that were running through my mind through casual conversations. Nearing the apartment complex, I thought to myself, “Screw it. I just really need one question and go from there.”
Because, that’s all an interview is, really. A good conversation.
I couldn’t help feeling a little weird at the thought that he lived within my vicinity; musicians and artists always seem so out of reach and so unlikely to come across, let alone hang out with. Imagine my surprise when Lyraflip opened the door to Sahtyre’s apartment: two artists in one day? (:
After exchanging greetings and sitting on his extremely comfortable green futon, we decided to go eat pho, a devilishly appealing Vietnamese dish. Or bowl, rather. Although I couldn’t do a little photoshoot with Sahtyre, I got a lot of candids and, well, candids kick ass. I have to say, Sahtyre and Lyraflip are pretty dope cats to hang out with. It seemed Lyraflip was interviewing me while we were eating; it’s going to be my turn soon!

Anyway, when we got back to the apartment, Sahtyre and Lyraflip had a little freestyle session, which is always interesting to have happen right in front of you!
After making himself a cup of tea for the interview, he sat down on the chair next to me, getting into the zone (haha).
Alright, before we start off with the “official” questions, let me start off by tell you that I love your name.
Thank you.
Sahtyre… It’s a very clever choice of alias. What’s the story behind it?
I actually have a cool story behind mine. A lot of people pick their own names, but for me I kind of just got it. It was in the 11th grade, and I was in English class, the only class I ever went to. I never paid attention though, but I was just always in class. (laughs) I was talking to a girl, and a word came up. I guess the teacher was putting up the vocab or something, and she said “Hey, that’s you!” The word was ‘satirical’, and you know, it means ‘ironic’, ‘sarcastic’, and I thought, “Hey, that is me!” (smiles) I had a couple of wack rap names before. I’m not going to tell you though (laughs). But yeah, I was like “that word is fucking sick and it rhymes with lyrical!” And I never heard of the word before then. So, it was Sahtyrickal, but I cut it short to Sahtyre. You know how when you’re young, you spell shit weird…I kept the spelling.
Yeah, that’s pretty cool.
I've heard of another Satire, and he’s an LA dancehall cat.
Yeah, but apparently on YouTube, no one can have my name since I’m the “better known”. (laughs)
(Laughs) That’s pretty cool. Now I’ll be asking you some basic questions, just so the readers can get a better sense of who you are. Where are you from?
All over Southern Cali. I was born in Bellflower, but lived everywhere in LA county.
When did you come to Koreatown?
Well, like...June 07. I was homeless and just quit college. Well, I actually quit college a long time before, but I quit living there then. (laughs) I was just tired of hiding mischief.
Do you have any siblings?
(nods) I have an older sister, and a younger brother. My sister's 25. Brother's 17.
Oh, really?
Yeah. We're each four years apart. My brother thinks I'm the shit but he'll never say it (smiles).
When was your first memorable hip-hop encounter?
(thinks deeply) Damn. That's a hard one. What do you mean? Ever?
Well more specifically, what encounter made you want to be in hip hop?
Around time I was listening to Ruckus Records, Eminem. I was in the basketball team at the time, and we were on the bus. There was a guy who was sick. I don't know if he was sick to me or just sick, but he was always rapping and battling. That day, he was freestyling and clowning on everyone on the bus... I was always a clown, and he was talking hella shit in rap form to me, and I just clowned him with two jokes that happened to rhyme. It probably was wack but everyone went crazy. (laughs) And I always liked poetry, writing. I was always into writing.
Who were your favorite rappers growing up?
Growing up? (sips tea) If I take it way back, E-40, Tupac, Jay-z...that was before rapping. I used to listen to Cash Money. To Lyraflip: Cash Money was the shit back then. (laughs) When I started smoking weed, he's not a rapper but, Bob Marley... When I started rapping, I started paying attention to Freestyle Fellowship and East Coast cats like Em and Wu-Tang, Jedi Mind Tricks, DJ Quik, Xzibit...
That's a lot.
(sips tea) That was my shit. OH, Big Pun dude. That fool changed my life. (pause) Big L.
When & how did you come across Project Blowed?
It's funny because to this day, even me and Kail remembers how we met each other. I remember he thought I was dope when I rapped, 'cause I was hella young! But he told me to come out to the Blowed to be even better. We would be at the Blowed until 4am just posted and rapping.
(Lyraflip: Those were good times!)
(smiles) Yeah, they were.
How old were you?
I was just turning 13.
Damn, that's a long time.
I've been there half my life. That's crazy. (turns to Lyraflip) I've been rapping for almost a decade, and that's weird; I don't even feel like it's been that long. My purpose in life is to write words, who the fuck does that? Music does some dope shit.
And what about the Swim Team, how did the crew come about, to your memory?
They call it the Big Bang Theory. There's a lot of energies in between space and time. Molecules were getting warmer as the days went by. And then suddenly, electron wildly jumped out of place, colliding with an oncoming proton, which ignited the nucleus...causing a massive explosion of talent and energy, resulting in the entity you may have heard referred to as 'Swim Team'.
That's dope!
(smiles) Thanks.
Did you write that down?
(puzzled) I thought you did!
(Smiles) No, was it prewritten?
Oh, haha I thought I had to repeat that. (laughs)
Now, I understand that your album High Saht is your debut as a solo artist—how did you come across the album concept?
HA, this one's easy. Uh, I was smoking weed. I was getting high. (smiles)
That's it?
(thoughtful) Yeah. I was high. That's really how I can put it. I was high.
So like, were you high from beginning to end?
Of my life? 'Cause I was about to say, kind of (laughs). I was definitely high throughout the writing, recording, mixing, conceptualizing, and 4-5 years before that.
(Laughs) So, you're album is quite heavy. What are your thoughts on that?
Heavy as in deep? What kind of heavy?
Um. It was all of them put together; it depended on the song.
Isn't life? (laughs). I just fucking react to stimulus, so, it's easy. It reflects.
Does High Saht have any, like, biographical aspects?
(thinks) Yeah. It definitely exemplifies my character.
And what's your character?
A lot of different things. I think I definitely show that on the album.
Yeah, it's a well-balanced mix of comedy and pretty deep shit. And it's kind of dark too.
So, what are your thoughts on music today?
Uh. (thinks deeply) Everybody's worried about what everybody else is doing. That's not gonna get nobody nowhere.
And you don't worry, not in the least bit?
(shrugs) The universe does what it does, it's fine. I don't worry about shit, it's fine.
As long as you're holding down your own, huh?
That's all you can do, really.
And what about Asher Roth? (laughs)
(thinks) I have to work this very carefully. (thoughtful, chuckles) he is what he is. (laughs)
And are you currently working on anything new?
I'm working on slaughtering motherfuckers battling. (laughs) Nah, I'm about to work on a new mixtape. I was going to drop it this year, but I think I'm going to wait.
Do you have an idea of when it's going to drop?
I want to say by the end of summer.
Is that a promise? (laughs)
Uh, sure. But remember, I didn't say the end of WHICH summer (laughs).
*All information regarding The Good Life and Project Blowed is credited to and No plagiarism was intended.
Hope you guys enjoyed that as much as I did. Now, here are a few extras (:
lyraflip doing the stanky leg.
lyraflip writing.
at the pho restaraunt!
ice cream cake?
which, lyraflip loved (:
and here's the cake i bought since i was seriously craving it.

Stay tuned for my next interview with Lyraflip!

No comments: