From a top the mountains of Colorado to the sunny beaches of LA, it’s finally Deux Process time to shine. Originally from Colorado the long road has not been easy for emcees Viceversa and Chief Nek along with their DJ, Shawn Dub. With their debut album “In Deux Time” dropping in January and people already talking, these kids are about to become a household name. I had a chance to chat with them about their humble beginnings and how they got to where they are today.
What’s up y’all, how are you?
Viceversa: Things have been good, real good
Chief Nek: Things have been going well, trying to keep warm and shake these colds we caught.
Before we jump into all this, for those that don’t know you, please introduce yourselves.
Viceversa: I’ll go first, born and raised in Colorado. I’ve rhymed since I was about 14, started off as a DJ before I took my rhyming seriously. Then moved towards getting equipment so I could get into production and I was a founding member of “The Procussions” and the I linked up with Chief (Nek) and we formed “Deux Process” about 3 and half years ago.
Chief Nek: I’m Chief Nek, I was born in Virginia but pretty much lived in Colorado all my life. Started rhyming when I was 13, before that I was dancing and doing other stuff like that. I was originally in a group called “The Intelligent Ones” with two of my siblings and Maestro from “The Procussions”. I took a break from music and went to college and then hooked up with Vice to form “Deux Process”
That leads me into the next question. Sto (producer for Procussions) produced a track on the album, we know you guys are boys or crew with The Procussions, explain the relationship since you both are out of Colorado.
Viceversa: It’s definitely a family as far as anything goes. I went to high school with Mr J of “The Procussions” which is how I met Stro and even Chief because they were working on music. It’s been a family ever since then, they have their musical identity and we have ours. We both have the same aspirations as trying to take this hip-hop thing nationwide. Nobody had really been able to make out of Colorado, our main mission was to get our music out to the world.
Chief Nek: We love our hometown and all, but there is only so much that you can do in Colorado. There isn’t a big entertainment scene in Colorado, there is a nice local scene but there are very few venues to perform at and what not. We thought the best way to take it to the next level was to move out to LA
Viceversa: We feel it was the best move we could have done. We hit the ground running out there, we finished the album and we were doing what we could to pay the bills. We were trying to get plugged into the scene, it’s been real supportive and it was a really good move for us.
So what have you guys been working on lately?
Chief Nek: We have been doing a lot of shows and doing a lot of promo type things. We are just waiting for the album to drop on January 10th. We are back in the studio and we have a studio going at the house so we are hard at work on the next album, making mixtapes joints and staying busy.
The album “In Deux Time” is set to drop on Avatar January 10th tell what this album really means to each of you individually.
Viceversa: It’s huge. It’s something that I have always wanted since I was about 14 when I first started doing this. Plus, this is our first real album, we have been in groups but we never really got to put anything out. That wait has really made it that much sweeter because we got to do it our way and so far it has been met with critical success. We tried our best to make a great album, we really gelled as a unit and I think the music really speaks so we are really proud of it.
Chief Nek: I feel the same; it’s something I have been waiting for my whole life. I have been a part of 2 groups before this. We have been close to album deals and have done a lot of shows, but we have never had anything officially come out, even on 12″. To me everything is coming full circle now, this is my baby and I know how much sacrifices everybody involved have made and I think we put out a great album and it couldn’t be any better.
The single “Take the Dance” is produced by Vice Versa; he is your core producer correct?
Viceversa: Yes, for the most part.
How would you describe your sound?
Viceversa: I would say my sound is different. I grew up on all the great producer influences like everybody else, DJ Premier, Erick Sermon, DJ Quik, JayDee, The Ummah. Being in the Midwest we got to grew up on a lot of different types of hip-hop. Those producers all taught me a lot about melody and the power of drums. I strive for a real clean but still gritty sound and still making it sound authentic. I really try to make new songs out of samples, not just looping something up.
So what equipment do you use?
Viceversa: I use a Triton keyboard for everything, for sampling playing the notes, bass lines, everything. A lot of producers think the MPC is the only way to sample, but with the Triton you can do anything. Hip-Hop was born on making something out of nothing, it doesn’t matter what equipment you use as long as you know the equipment you have and you make good music. If you listen to Black Sheeps first album, the whole album was made on a Doctor Sample, its live loops being put together and for the drums to sound so clean and crisp Mr Lawg was really freaking it.
Avatar is an independent label, and we all know why independents are better than major labels when it comes to indie hip-hop, but why Avatar over say a Babygrande or Nature Sounds?
Chief Nek: The main reason is that they approached us, we were getting ready to shop the album and they came to us. But that would have been with us pressing everything up on our own, doing our own promotion and mailing everything ourselves. That becomes really expensive when you live LA, since cost of living is so crazy. The A&R over there approached us about how they like the music and wanted to sit down. Plus, they have distribution through Universal who is the biggest label in the world. We figured we would have control over the music but be able to reach the nationwide market with the distribution.
So this album has no label influence at all?
Viceversa: Actually there is label influence. There are two songs that they cut off of the final album. The didn’t want to try to clear the samples and as an artist you have a vision of what your masterpiece will sound like and when it turns out different there is some regret. Unfortunately I wish those two songs were on the album.
You guys have been on the grind for a while now, dropping a 12″ here and there. What would you say is the hardest part of being an independent artist?
Chief Nek: Getting recognized is definitely the hardest part. You are your everything, you are the A&R, and you’re booking agent, your street team, and usually the financial backer. You have to be that much more on point, getting recognized in more than just your home state is a long hard road.
Viceversa: Overcoming the promotion aspect is so much harder. When you are indie it is so hard to get promotion. People don’t know much about you, if you drop on a major, you at least get that big promotion blitz initially. With indies and their budgets we aren’t going to do first week numbers like Mariah, you know?
Hip-Hop is saturated with independent artists from all parts of the globe, what makes Duex Process unique and stands out in the sea of emcees and producers?
Viceversa: I think the album speaks for itself; we really strove to make really complete songs. Back to how hip-hop is supposed to be, of course there are the “singles” on the album but every song is a part of who we are. We didn’t plan on contriving a song for a certain market, we just made songs. I think the raw honesty and the sound quality of the music really speaks. People tell us that musically this sounds like major label “hip-hop”
The feel I get from the music is early Rawkus, when the indie boom really hit in 97-98.
Chief Nek: That’s exactly how we feel, we wanted to make music that when you saw it on the shelf you know it would be good. Like back then when you saw Mos Def drop a 12″ you knew it was going to be good, there was no question in your mind. If you bought somebody’s album it wasn’t going to be a compilation of guest appearances.
Viceversa: That’s the thing Rawkus’ birth was also its demise. They were one of the first indie labels to have major distribution and after that everybody had an indie label. By doing that they opened up the market and they kind of beat themselves at their own game. It really opened the market up a little too much.
I’ve always wanted to ask this…..Any beef you guys want to air out? (Laughs)
Viceversa: (Laughs) Not at all we stay pretty much beef free, if you don’t buy the album thought you might get it in the face (Laughs)
Your career is just beginning, even thought you have been doing this for a while. What can we expect from Deux Process in the future?
Chief Nek: Just more good music, when you see our music on the shelves you know that it’s going to be good. We are here to work hard and try to bring it back and set an example that you don’t have to follow the mold of what is going right now. Get back to doing good music.
Viceversa: The Do-It-Yourself attitude. You don’t have to get a track from so and so or be discouraged because there is no money behind you. I mean we have made something out of nothing. Other than us leading the free world in the future (laughs) we are just really bring great music and break down the ever changing hip-hop climate.
Any last words?
Chief Nek: Check out the website www.deuxprocess.com , the album drops January 10th “In Deux Time”, we appreciate all the support, all the spins and radio play we appreciate everything.
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