Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"The Grassroots! Campaign" on!!!

Host of the longest running NOLA Hip-Hop monthly showcase, Grassroots! (since 2001) & New Orleans Hip-Hop pioneer, Truth Universal's video for "The Grassroots Campaign" lands on & the Spike Channel! Check out the Another great look for the Mardi Grass Mecca and the "17 year overnight success" Please check out this video, shot by Larry Legaux of Onpoint Media Solutions leave a comment and spread the word!

"The Grassroots! Campaign" can be found on Truth Universal's recent EP release Guerrilla Business here:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Culture & Community Series: Interview with DJ E.F. Cuttin

SH: Aight, so for those who may not know, please let the internets know who you are...

EF: I go by the name of E. F. Cuttin, NOLA DJ, Producer, and Damn Near Big Deal.

SH: Indeed. Give us some detail about your origins in DJing. How and where did you begin your turntablin' journey?

EF: I always had record players and a collection from the time I was 3 years old. As I got older (around 7), Moms used to let me change the records at her parties and the people dubbed me "The DJ."

SH: What would you say propelled you to the next step in making DJing your life's work/passion?

: Watching Wild Style as an 11-year old kid. Grandmaster Flash had just dropped Adventures On The Wheels Of Steel and I was scratching my head trying to figure out how he was doing that. The movie gave me the visual I needed. Then when I hit middle school and started going to the dances, I watched the DJs and went home and emulated them.

: Flash continues to be a prominent fixture in our culture. With that being said, what do you consider your job or mission as a DJ?

EF: It depends on the assignment. If its a party, my job is to keep asses on the dance floor or at the bar dying of thirst from working it out on the floor. If its a show, the job is to keep the audience entertained until the show starts. If its a corporate gig/mall gig, my job is to provide the soundtrack to the activities...

: Scratching for every fashion, so to speak. That response brings about another question: how do you get your DJing style to mesh with everyone--from the backpackers to the upstart entrepreneurs at said corporate gig to the gangster rappers and beyond?

EF: Basically I have to read the crowd... The common denominator will always be solid music, even the Jeezy fan can relate to a Kweli cut and vice versa if presented in a palatable manner.

: Word, can definitely agree with that. Being an artist of any form--painter, dancer, emcee, DJ, etc--isn't always the easiest road. What keeps you motivated?

EF: Good music always inspires me, and seeing the youth embrace the purest form of hip hop and master the language of being fresh, fly, wild, and boldword to Grandmaster Caz.

: Bet. Being established in the N.O. scene for almost two decades now, how would you describe the pre-Katrina scene versus the post-Katrina scene?

: The Pre-K scene was there, albeit more scattered and loose-knit. We acknowledged each other but rarely collab'ed...Whereas now the movement is thriving due to the unity within and universal hunger to succeed without compromise.

: It's always good to have that bridge, in my opinion, between the cats (like yourself) who have been doing it and the cadre of talented and hungry up-and-comers. What's your advice for new DJs and emcees trying to rise among the elite in this industry and make a name for themselves?

: You gotta pay dues. Ask questions, study those who came before you, and really be doing it for the right reasons. This initially was not a venture you went into for financial gain, it is about expressing yourself in the best way you can, so you gotta love the crafteven when it's not paying you.

: Real talk. Continuing on with a look back, give us your perspective on the longest running Hip-Hop showcase in the city, Truth Universal’s Grassroots.

: It has truly been a blessing to be a part of Grassroots, although my Hookah gig keeps me from attending [both on Saturdays]. I was there from Day 1 at the Neighborhood Gallery when we would actually be happy if 20 people came. So for it to be almost 10 years and still going strong is truly a blessing...

SH: Word, it's a pleasure to be a part of that continued history. 20 people is hard to believe in this day and age, but it just goes to show you the continued perseverance of Mr. Self-Determination & the Damn Near Big Deal.

: know how I do it...its a marathon, not a sprint.

: One of the quotes I continue to live by daily! I think some people confuse or merge the "Twitter" E.F. with the actual man. Would you separate the two? And if so, what would be the key differences?

: I'm more reserved in person than I am on twitter. Unless I'm herbally enhanced, then I'm that twitter guy

: HAHA... many don't know about your production credits and that you most certainly have bangers on deck. Let the people know a little more on the man behind the boards.

: I actually started producing at 19 when my friend had copped an SP1200. I always had records, so when I learned to take an old record and make something new, I was hooked. I really took off when I moved here and linked with my PsychoWard fam. With the arsenal of MCs, DJs, and producers on deck, it made for fun times always. I produced half of our album,, but I think I grew frustrated of the lack of people who used my tracks, until I started working with Bionic Brown (rest in peace).

: Right on, defnitely planned on touching on those two topics. Let's start off with PsychoWard, still known as one of New Orleans' top Hip-Hop collectives that I know you take a lot of pride in. How would you explain PsychoWard and your time with the group to someone who’s not familiar?

: When we were really grinding it out it was some of the greatest times of my life. We mobbed up, partied, smoked, drank, joked, and made bangers daily. Cats like Raj Smoove, Mac, and One-Eye stayed in some public event and we had such presence due to the numbers, we were the most intimidating squad around...

SH: Speaking on that, Mac & Bionik are two of the most enigmatic and highly revered emcees in New Orleans. Give us your insight on both. Similarities, differences?

EF: The similarities were the work ethic. Both had that knack to just kill a track with little to no effort. The key difference was Mac had an outlandish sense of humor, whereas Bionic was reserved, always in observation mode...

: Woulda never expected that from the lyrical assassin. Back to the DJing for a minute, what "formula" catches your ear when it comes to your breaking a new record?

: For clubs, I look for the perfect mix of beat, hook, and rhyme/song...then I try to let the people know that I like this record whether they do or not, and they're gonna be hearing a lot of it so get ready to deal with it. Underground is 100x easierwe like good shit, and are receptive to good shit from the 1st listen.

SH: True indeed. Another thing many not know (me included)--your introduction into the GO DJs. Speak on that if you'd be so kind.

: The homie DJ Black And Mild was rocking real tough with DJ Hi C (CEO) out of HTX, and they felt it was time to have a LA he hollered at me, and me knowing HiC and seeing his grind, I was with it off top.

SH: Would you mind letting us know what's on the horizon for Team Cuttin?

: We're on a mission to rebrand how we do music, business, and networking...Bringing back the HIP HOP way as opposed to the BS marketing you see right now.... Fresh Tees are on deck, mixtape projects, all kinds of stuff...

: Bet. Any shoutouts before we depart?

: Big shouts to my Psychoward/PCO fam, my GO DJs, the GrassRoots and Soundclash families, all the people out here gettin it the right way...

: Fo sho. Thanks for this.

: Thank you famo!!!!! Be easy!!!

Catch up with E.F. Cuttin on the daily at and every Friday for A-List Fridays and Hookah Hip-Hop, Saturdays at the Hookah on 309 Decatur.

Friday, June 11, 2010

New Orleans Emcee Lyrikill Delivers Ode to the Gulf

Check out the recently released track by Soundclash host and New Orleans emcee, Lyrikill titled "Black Pelicans." Kill touches base on the recent tragedy caused by the BP oil spill that has greatly affected the Gulf of Mexico, low-lying Louisiana parishes' way of life, ecosystems and many peoples' occupations for years to come...

New Orleans, LA. – June 10, 2010 – New Orleans based artist/community activist Lyrikill delivers a heartfelt song discussing the Deepwater Horizon BP gulf oil spill.

"So many people were overlooking what I felt was such a major issue, I wanted to do my part to continue raising awareness," said Lyrikill who has been actively involved in community development in New Orleans. "I am blessed to have a base of people that listen to me and my music. I felt like those people need to be informed and making moves concerning this issue."The track, produced by Washington D.C. native 3M (who attended Dillard University in New Orleans with Lyrikill), emits a feeling of "home,"as Lyrikill speaks on the present effects of job loss and economic failure as well as the premise that his area may be affected for decades. "Its tricky with the internet and information access we have now versus during Exxon Valdez. If we were to use Exxon as a control point, history shows us that this will impact our area at least two

Lyrikill has been working with Southern Poverty Law Center on a youth music program for a couple months, creating "Song for Change" with children ages 12-17. In the wake of the Haiti disaster, he helped raise money for Konbit Pou Edikasyon, a program that pays for Haitian
girls' schooling. He assembled a crew to help Volunteers of America revitalize a playground turned FEMA trailer park in the St. Roch neighborhood. He worked with Operation HOPE to assist residents in outlying parishes affected by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. He and mentor Truth Universal, have been a symbol for positivity in the New Orleans hip-hop scene.

In addition to major media outlets in New Orleans covering this song, national and international blogs are helping publicize the call to action. Plans for a rally on the capitol steps in Baton Rouge are in place as well as performances of the song during various events in Lousiana including Reflection Eternal show at House of Blues 6/15, NOLA Summer Jam 6/19, Junteenth Splash in Thibodaux, LA 6/19 and Sadies Nightclub in Lafayette, LA 6/30 among others.

Please contact Ariel Goode at or Orriel Richardshon at for more info on Lyrikill's "Black Pelicans."

Other links featuring Lyrikill as well as "Black Pelicans:"
(Lyrikill, Prospek & DJ Jay Skillz present A Time To Kill FREE DOWNLOAD)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Impigaleaux Interview Part Two

Slangston Hughes (SH): When it comes to mc'ing what do you feel is your crowning achievement? What has given you the most pride?

Impulss (I): I think having the Head 2 Head MC Battle at One Eyed Jacks was great for the rebuilding effort because when they offered me a monthly there, I wanted people to be able to say, "hey, there's something back home cooking and I want to be a part of it." As many cyphers as I've been in, battles I've participated, shows I've hosted, giving the ability to host something that was about bringing a community together was the most important in my estimation.

SH: How do you feel the birth of your children & the building of your family have affected your music/writing?

I: I know it has made me who I am today. There's nothing like the total envelopment you feel when you create family. There was a time when I had no one else. I'm an only child. My parents divorced when I was 13. My father went to Oregon when I was 16 and I didn't hear from him but a few times until I was 26. When Rita and the boys came into my life it gave me the sense of foundation that made me want to live more than ever. It's the feeling of stability and being loved and loving in return that transfers a sense of value into everything I do. It's the greatest feeling in the world and I believe you can hear how lucky I feel when you listen to my music now.

SH: Who or what would you say has provided the most inspiration for your musically?

I: I'm not really sure where it comes from. I suppose the wisest thing I would imagine is that it's a little bit of all the events that came to pass and all the music I've heard; everything I've experienced alone or with others. I think one can have a picture in their head of what they want to project and look at those they admire and hope to display something like that and call that an influence. I think I've come across enough different influences, absorbed so much random external stimuli...

SH: You have a nice cadre of well-known and diverse emcees, producers and dj's that you have been blessed to build with over the years. What tips would you provide aspiring up and coming rappers when it comes to building that type of rapport with those who can assist in getting their name out and to the right people?

I: I guess when you're on the same path as other like minded people you will intersect. It's a big world but we tend to narrow ourselves down into small genres that gather into even smaller venues. I guess I could say go to places that those people congregate. When I was 18, I paid a grip for a pass to the BRE Convention (Black Radio Exclusive Magazine Convention) because I wanted to make connections. Don't be scared to spend money. I would fly to ATL for Jack The Rapper, stay up in the hotel and the same important people at BRE were at Jack and they'd see me there too. So to them I must have had some level of importance or I couldn't have been there at all the functions they go to. Go to shows, holla at the DJ. I was fearless and would be in anyone's face. When you are respectful about your approach and you actually have something, you make contacts. And as a conversation tip, don't just talk music, music, music. When you're talking about other things, you could make a friend. When the conversation is just about music, they know you're just trying to get put on. Talk basketball, history, electronics, whatever. Become a pal.

SH: Name one thing about Impulss that you wish people/listeners knew, but don't.

I: I'm not sure what people don't know about me. My wife says I have a weirdness about me that I don't carry outside when I'm among, say, a Uniquity crowd. I was walking like a dinosaur today with my son and a song came on TV so I started doing a goofy/sexy dance but still standing like a T-Rex. My wife was like, "Oh Lord, if those who go to your shows could see you now. They have no idea." I'm not sure if I want people to know that or not, or care not. Yay weird.

SH: How do you describe your "sound" and since you produce, record, mix and master the majority of your own music, how would you describe that process?

I: Whatever works.

SH: What are your thoughts on working with live band Fo On the Flo for Uniquity?

I: They are quick and will be kidnapped and forced to play at gunpoint behind my wife as she sings in public. Honestly, they are talented beyond what would be expected for their ages. I'd love to work with them again.

For more info on Uniquity's featured artist for the month of May including his most recent release, Marie Laveaux's Hustle, check out the following links:

* Photos courtesy of Larry Legaux of Onpoint Solutions (