Friday, September 18, 2009
Earlier in the week I had a chance to interview one of my favorite MC's....Tunji. I interviewed him back in 2007-08 when Inverse was just starting to make some noise...what more do I need to say?
me: Last time I interviewed you was the end of 2007, tell us what's been goin’ on with you and your crew?
Tunji: Well, a lot has changed since then...My group Inverse put out two projects - So Far (The Collection) in early '08 and and So True EP in early '09 - and a music video this summer that won a big contest on MTVU. But we're actually working separately now, on solo projects. So I'm pretty much just focusing on getting my solo stuff out there in the near future and building the Tunji name and brand.
me: Solo project? Is that what you've got on deck next? Tell us about that!
Tunji: Well, I can't really tell you too much about it because I'm still very much in the beginning stages of planning and writing, but it feels really good right now. I'm working with a lot of the same people who we worked with for Inverse, and a bunch of new faces as well. I'll probably actually end up releasing a free project first, with some stuff people have heard and some new exclusive music, and then follow it up with a more official EP or album soon after. I'm still figuring it all out, but I'm pretty sure I'll put a project out before '09 is over.
me: Definitely excited about that. We've seen you feature on a few prominent LP's such as Keelay & Zaire's debut...what is the process you take for making collaborations happen?
Tunji: Man, honestly, I just work with my friends...I'm a pretty social person, and I actually work in the industry, so I just meet a lot of people who make music and end up becoming cool with them. Then they might hear some of my stuff and think its dope, and a collaboration comes out of it. I'm not the type to collab with people I don't know. There has to be some sort of personal connection with who I'm working with or it just doesn't feel right.
me: On that note, what kind of advice can you give to a fledgling rapper who's trying to make it in the business these days?
Tunji: Basically, work hard as hell. Both at your craft and your promotion of the music you're making. Meet every single person you can in your city, on every level of music. That's producers, promoters, other rappers, other musicians who don't even make hip hop...just meet EVERYBODY. Make connections, and get online. The internet is the greatest marketing tool in the history of indie music, but you have to take advantage of the tools provided and present yourself in a unique and professional way
me: Definitely. What are some of your highlighted albums of 2009?
Tunji: This has been the year of the mixtape. Drake, J. Cole, TiRon Pac Div and Diz Gibran all put out incredible mixtapes. Drake's is easily my most played and favorite hip hop record of the year... Some of the veterans came back with good stuff too. I liked Em's album, Rae's album is insane. I enjoyed the Slaughterhouse and Fabolous albums a lot too. Jay's album really disappointed me. But yeah, as far as my favorites...it's all those mixtapes from rookies. I know I'm forgetting something... Oh, I forgot about Brother Ali's EP. That was great too. and Mos Def's The Ecstatic. Right now I love this group from Sweden called Little Dragon...it's like really quirky trip hop, but superdope. Maxwell's new album is really dope. Mayer Hawthorne's album is absolutely wonderful.and I'm late, but The Wire is the greatest show.....EVER
me: I tried w/ the wire, but couldn't do it.
me: Slept through the first few eps!
Tunji: :-o!!!!!!!!!!! :-/
me: I heard it picks up around s.3?
Tunji: Dude, season one is the ish...Season 2 was the boring one.
me: Forreal? Everyone was saying it was dope so I copped the whole series…couldn't get past ep 3
Tunji: man, are we talking about the same show?
me: The wire, right?
Tunji: cops drug dealers? in baltimore? hahaha
me: I have to recheck then
Tunji: You like Entourage, right?
me: Yeah, only show I'm following
Tunji: okay, we agree there then. haha
me: lol. Nah, i thought something was wrong ‘cause I was the only dude who didn't feel the first few eps…and I really like gangster flicks AND drug dealer entertainment. Anyway, thanks for the interview fam! Always fun.