HHS: First off, how’s the tour going?
Tame One: It’s going real well!! Brycon, Dusted Dons and I have been tearing spots down; the crowds have really been feeling us.
HHS: After a brief hiatus in between your Artifacts split and solo-debut (When Rappers Attack), you’ve really been on the grind lately, first the collaborative project (Waterworld) with Cage and now not even six-months later you’re releasing your second solo-LP, OG Bobby Johnson, your really putting in work!
Tame One: I never really stopped recording. I’ve been experimenting with different producers and over time compiled a strong body of work in the process.
HHS: Gauging by the title of your LP, you’re obviously a fan of the movie South Central?
Tame One: It’s a “hood” classic, right up there with the Menace 2 Society, Boyz In The Hood. I used O.G. Bobby Johnson as a personal comparison of my status in the industry to that characters hood status. He did all kinds of dirt early in life, but changed for the better (and he didn’t die in the end).
HHS: Your solo-debut had a bunch of high profile names attached to it from the production end (RJD2, J Zone, Mighty Mi, Reef), but with OG Bobby Johnson, sans Mighty Mi, your working with relatively obscure beat makers, what prompted the switch?
Tame One: In my never ending search for “the perfect beat” (shouts to ZuluNation) I don’t care WHOSE name is on it, for me it aint about “famous” producers it’s about whose music I feel. Boom Skwad, Face Valyoo and The Dusted Dons literally GAVE me music for this LP! I was trying to reflect my “DIRTY-JERSEY-ness” to the fullest.
HHS: You bring a classical element of style to the hip-hop culture (graffiti/bombing roots included) that few artists can rival, in your own opinion, do you feel that you are one of the best emcees putting it down?
Tame One: Thank you for your opinion. And yes, I do think I’m one of the best (as every lyricist should)!
HHS: The Waterworld LP with Cage was very well-received, but even though it was a conceptual LP, did you have any apprehension of releasing a CD that contained so many drug references? I mean there’s getting wet and there’s getting “wet”?
Tame One: Some…. But Cage and I know our listeners aren’t slow or stupid. As The LeakBros, we lyrically painted pictures of situations, emotions and experiences. We agreed from the beginning of the project if we were going to run with the concept we weren’t going to stray away from the original idea; basically for those that know. But make it equally entertaining enough for the perfectly sober as well.
HHS: Your last three projects have been released on Eastern Conference Records and it seems like a good fit for you, will you continue working with them?
Tame One: I’m currently weighing my options….
HHS: The Hiphop industry has changed considerably since you entered the game and there are an entirely different set of rules now. Would you agree that the younger Hiphop fan becomes blinded by what they hear on the radio and does not recognize the attributes that makeup a dope emcee?
Tame One: 100%, unequivocally the answer to that question is—YEESSS!
HipHopSite: You’ve never bitten your tongue for anyone, with that said, would you consider someone who calls themselves a writer, or a critic, who is not necessarily as well-versed in Hiphop’s past as they should be and the contributions artists like yourself have made too be irresponsible?
Tame One: Not exactly, I’ve almost bitten my tongue clean off so many times its ridiculous (laughter). But no, I personally can’t blame someone’s lack of knowledge on my lack of exposure; various generations in HipHop each hold their perspective era’s as sacred. When I first made it to wax it was an ill time in HipHop; Redman, Naughty By Nature, Lords Of The Underground were all doing it for Jersey. Black Moon was out strong, Wu dropped and Stretch & Bobbito’s radio show was feeding heads that starve for “that shit”. It was a special time!!
HHS: OK, but do you feel that this leads to a lack of wide spread coverage and interest in projects from artists who deserve to be heard, but don’t have the machine behind them?
Tame One: As an end result, unfortunately, yes!
HHS: Here is an interesting quote lifted from the new LP “In order to be an Artifact/something has to be dead and buried/apparently no one told Tame One that.â€ Can you delve further into that and break that down for us?
Tame One: It’s just a little reminder for those who only heard about Tame One “from Artifacts,” but might not have actually heard my music. It’s merely saying I’m still at it!!
HHS: I know you’re tired of fielding Artifacts/El Da Sensei questions, but you mention El on track from the upcoming LP, how is the relationship between you both now?
Tame One: Haven’t seen him…
HHS: I know the break-up was hard, and you have moved on with your solo-career, but is it not somewhat gratifying to know that fans are still interested in what you did in the past?
Tame One: Of course, very gratifying, I’m super proud of my past recordings! I just want to top whatever I’ve already done and show progress and add on to my song catalog.
HHS: What’s next for Tame One after OG Bobby Johnson?
Tame One: The Spazmatic LP, which is produced by DJs Xing n Fox. The Slow Suicide Stimulus collabo LP with The Dusted Dons, Weathermen collaborations and a long over-due Boom Skwad LP.
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