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HHS: What’s up Stan? What’ve you been up to the last few months?

Substantial: Doing a lot of spot dates in the D.M.V.(DC,Maryland, Virginia) and New York. But now I’m just getting ready to head over to Seattle to do a performance with my partner Marcus D, who won the Red Bull Beat Battle in Seattle.We’re working on an album called Substantial & Marcus D Are Bop Alloy that’s set to drop out in Japan.The two singles off that have already dropped, so we’re basically going out there to promote that and the re-release of his solo project that I was on.So just keeping busy,man. Keepin’ real busy.

HHS: Dope.

Substantial:I’m also working on a project with Oddisee right now.He’s the executive producer of my next album.

HHS:Nice!

Substantial:Yeah, man it’s definitely a good look.He’s a good brotha.We’ve been building a lot off and on just gearing up for this record.We probably have about half of the beats laid out now, we’re just finalizing what else we’re gonna go with as far as topics and whatnot.The next album is going to be crazy.

HHS:Have you started recording for the next solo yet?How about the release date?

Substantial: Yeah, I started working on it a little while ago. We’re dropping it later this year.

HHS: You’re real big in Japan. Your first album, To This Union A Sun Was Born, did very well out there. Can you talk about how hiphop is viewed overseas as compared to how it’s viewed in the US?

Substantial:Yeah, well basically I was discovered by Nujabes, my man who just passed away back in February.He reached out to me in ’99 and by 2000 I was out there recording the first album with him. He believed in what I was doing and just helped to push the record to make it a huge success out there, in terms of what independent hiphop was doing.The major difference between indie hiphop here and indie hiphop there is; out there, it’s the jazzy hiphop that dominates.

HHS: Do you prefer the overseas market more as far performing, etc? You get a lot of love overseas.

Substantial: I love it here too but I’ve definitely been blessed with the huge amount of fan support I get in Japan. It’s amazing.

HHS: The label that you’re on, QN5, has a lot of lyrical, dope emcees on it. Does having a group of emcees like that, with you, give you added motivation when you’re writing?

Substantial:Yeah, and not just with writing lyrics, but also with flow and other musicality that they put into their presentation.I listen to everything, but just listening to my label-mates is inspiration enough, as far as forcing me to try and push the envelope and find new ways to approach my craft.

HHS:Well with that said, is there anybody outside of your crew that you really want to work with?

Substantial:Yeah, I’ve been in talks with Kev Brown for awhile. I’ve been pushing him to try and get some beats for the album, but nothing is official as of yet.Ken Starr and I have been in talks. I’d love to work with Blu, definitely, and there’s this amazing group out of Atlanta called Jaspects.They’re doing a lot of sick stuff musically.I’ve been looking for folks doing some new-age jazz stuff and they’re the closest representation of that that I’ve found.I’d love to do something with them or someone like a Janelle Monae…

HHS:Yeah!

Substantial:Yeah man, there are a lot of artists pushing the envelope right now and I’m all about that.If you’ve heard anything from my man Chew Fu, he’s blowing the hell up on the house/dance music vibe. He’s doing stuff for Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey and Rihanna right now.He constantly gives me tracks that are out of my lane, but I’m always looking for someone that will challenge me with the music.

HHS: Do you see hiphop going in a different direction with all of the experimentation?

Substantial:Yeah man, every couple of years you hear different styles pop up.Some you feel, some you don’t.But I’m not the type of person to hop on what’s hot, but if it’s something I feel, I’m about that.So wherever it goes, if I feel it, I’m definitely going to be making my contributions.I’m always trying to find new ways to approach things.

HHS: You’ve been independent for awhile, do you see yourself ever going to a major or are you satisfied?

Substantial:I wouldn’t say satisfied.I’ve been in talks with majors before and it never really worked out the way that I wanted, but if the right contract came across, I’d listen. But yeah, if an opportunity pops up and it’s right for my career and my family then I’ll definitely make that move.So we’ll see.

HHS: Speaking of which, I know you’re married now and have a kid as well. Has that changed things for you as far as being an artist?

Substantial: As my man Pumpkinhead said, once he had a kid, it made him work harder.I’m doing music fulltime now and it’s definitely been a challenge, but having a family keeps me motivated. I have people that respect and support what I do.My family supports me constantly and now that I’m doing this full time, the opportunities keep coming and the blessings keep coming.Having my family with me and supporting me through this has definitely been a blessing.

HHS:Can you talk about Extended Famm and The Plague?

Substantial: All the members of E-Famm are working on stuff. Pack FM’s album, I Fuckin Hate Rappers, is amazing, so check that when it drops. Tondeff and Kno are working on the Chico and the man album.My man Session is still on the grind, working on a mixtape and dropping his album soon.As far as the Plague, everybody has a lot of different things going on. Hydra has his own company.Me, Pack and Mecca are working on a lot of songs.We’re working on an album due out sometime next year.Pumpkinhead is touring hard right now.Everybody is making moves man and it’s a beautiful thing.

HHS: Any last words?

Substantial:Yeah, check us out online at QN5.com and support my man Pack FM when I Fuckin Hate Rappers drops this year. I’m on that. And check out the new album when it drops this year, it’s called Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood.

HHS: Alright Stan, thanks a lot homey.

Check out Substantial’s release Substantial/Burns on itunes and also check him at:

http://www.substantial-music.com
http:www.QN5.com

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