2 November, 2010@6:05 am
HHS: What’s up dude? How’s it going with you?
Von Pea: I’m pretty good man, just gearing up. I have show with Exile coming up and I have a release party coming up, so I’m just taking a break right now.
HHS: So your album dropped on October 12th. I know it’s a bit of a concept album. Can you get into it a little bit?
Von Pea. It’s funny, I’ve been telling people that it’s more of a theme album than a concept album, but I’m starting to realize that there are a lot more stories on there than I thought. You kind of lose sight of it when you’re making an album, because you don’t sit down and break down your songs. I would say it’s more of a theme album though, and the theme is coming of age in Bed-stuy, in Brooklyn. But it’s not so Brooklyn specific where people outside can’t relate. It’s just about being a young person growing up. I wasn’t on the streets selling drugs or anything, so it’s not hard knocks, cuz I was in school. So I just decided to make an album about being in school. You can’t avoid that, but there enough people that do that better than me. So I didn’t want to come out doing that shit. I just wanted to do a coming of age album and that’s what it’s about.
HHS: What track on the album is really special to you?
Von Pea: If I had to break down the album, I’d definitely say “The Yorker”. At first I wanted a different song as the leak track, but the label was pushing for that one. At first I didn’t really see what they saw, but thinking about it, it almost sums up everything about me. I speak about New York, but I try to speak about it from a place of price, not arrogance. It just speaks to the past, present and future of me.
HHS:How is being a member of a group and then doing a solo album. How do you balance the group image and then your image?
Von Pea:In some ways it’s frustrating. We never took the fact that people know the group. People don’t necessarily know who’s who or who’s from NY or Cincinnati. We never took that into account until this year, when DonWill put out his album and we saw that you basically have to start from scratch. I’m lucky because I got to watch him do it and even though it was a bit of a surprise to him, I’m glad that I was able to see him and learn that I had to introduce myself to the people. I’m Von Pea from Tanya Morgan. I’m part of this group, so remember me. People think that something must be wrong because you’re doing a song by yourself when you’re in a group, like “what happened”. People don’t know that Tanya Morgan started out as a super-group. We were inspired my MadVillain. We didn’t grow up together, we weren’t teenagers in school [nor] did we meet in college. We were just making music, the same way that Madlib and Doom decided to just get together. But we didn’t realize that people didn’t know us like that before the group. People didn’t know us as solo artists. They got introduced to us as the group. That wasn’t expected. Those kinds of things were growing pains, as DonWill would say.
HHS: That’s usually how it works. When Big Pooh dropped his solo album and Evidence dropped his solo album, the first thing fans thought was their respective groups were breaking up.
Von Pea: It’s just us stepping back into our solo roles. We did the group thing and are still doing it and will continue to do it. Now that going solo is a side project, we just both want to really do it and give it real effort and a proper push.
HHS: Let’s get into the album. Who do you have on there as far as producers, guests, etc?
Von Pea: The record started out with me just working on the same solo album for years. So I got tired of doing that and decided to just do something fresh for this album, Peas Gotta Have It. I’m the producer for Tanya Morgan, as far as doing half the beats and producing the album. So while I was doing that, I was getting beats from friends and colleagues. One dude I really started to work with was Aon out of Philly, he produced 6 tracks on the album. Another dude from Philly named Grizzo did three, Brick Beats did two and I produced 3 tracks. The album is more based on me as an emcee. It’s not really me on the production side. I didn’t want to do the producer/rapper thing this time, so the production is handled by a lot of people and as far as my beats; I just picked some of what I had. As far as the features go, I worked with my team of people. I just wanted to holler at my friends and make good music. And by my friends, I mean actual other artists that have their own shit that I happen to be friends with. I have Danny out of South Carolina, Rhapsody, Keisha Shontelle and people that I’ve known one way or another.
HHS: So what’s your plan after the album drops.
Von Pea: Once it drops, I’m looking forward to it catching on probably next year. I don’t expect it to be the sleeper album of the year or anything like that. We all know that everybody is going to check out Kanye’s joint and whatever Wayne does when he gets out and those will be the shit of the year. I’m banking on my album having a slow build. Fans will get it now, but new people will get it in December, January and maybe February, so I’m counting on that. After that, we’ll work on the new Tanya Morgan album and from there probably just touring and promo.
HHS:Dope man, well good luck with the album and thanks for your time.
Check out Von Pea on twitter @VonPea and online at www.vonpea.com .
Peas Gotta Have It is available on Amazon.com and also at www.imculture.com .
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