“Skills are great but with dreams I can get hills to bay
..Who needs the money, I wish my will’s in slate” – Smokey
This Indian rapper needs no introduction. He’s been in it from the start, right back from the Orkut “text-battling” scenarios, to the new and improved M.W.A. take-over of the southside. Following his versatile style of rhyming and his facetious personality, I had the opportunity to interview Him. His new song, “Basketball Story” will be releasing this month end.
Q. So, from “Smokey the Clown” to “Smokey the Ghost”..why the transition? and what do the fans need to know about this new persona?
A. “See, Smokey the Clown was a phase where i was trying to justify to myself about this person whom i miss a lot… I lost my 1st girl to cancer, whom i loved a lot. Thats what ” Return of the Clown ” was all about… After that, i sorta got over all of it. Suddenly, wanted to do Happy stuff. Concious stuff, Silly stuff… Make people laugh… Diss somebody…Smokey the Ghost is that side of me thats MAD… Real crazy, a personal alter ego thats a serial killer tryna spread awareness.
Q. Its been a long time since We heard You last, what impact are You looking for in “Basketball Story”? What do You want the fans to expect?
A.Basketball story is Not the average song, not everyone is gonna like it… Its got a deeper side to it than just ” Basketball Story “. Its a play on life… Here, im inviting listeners to IMAGINE.. Use their creative side, if u put urself in the place of the ” Kid “… Treat Basketball as LIFE ( metaphorically speaking )… The villan in the song as obsticles.. ull see what im talking about… Its got a secret message hidden inside… Im bringing hip hop back.. Especially Underdogs in this game.. who feel left out n stuff… this is my msg to them..This is me”
Q. Give us insight on Your crew, M.W.A’s upcoming Debut Album “Red + Green = Brown”. Will we see a whole new Smokey persona in the album too?
A. “RED+GREEN=BROWN, there is a reason why we are so quiet about it… BIG COLLABS.. trust me.. Shit goes world wide.. M.W.A got HUGE gigs lined up and its gonna be BIG soon.. I dont wanna break the ice as yet… But all I can say.. shits gonna be HUGE…Smokey the ghost what.. Smokey the what what Ghost”
Q. What is the next big move?
A. “The next big move… After brodha V’s Aathma ramma and my Basketball story… WE GOT ” MAKING OUR MONEY ” and… WE GOT ” WHEN IM GONE ( a collaboration song bywith byzeroproductions )… And another song.. then BOOM… the album will drop early next year!”
Q. A message before signing off.
A. “Get a life ahhahahahhaa”
I love my fans
hopefully girls will scream my name when their boyfriends are doing them one day, wait wtf am I saying…
GET A LIFE AGAIN”
After a 2 month long break from the Indian Hip-Hop scene, Mumbai rapper “Divine” releases the teaser to his new video – “NO HOOK”, and it sure looks more than promising. A whole east-coast ambiance on the beat, and Divine, staying true to his style is spreading street knowledge and wisdom. This song is sure to be the whole package, not to mention Mumbai heavyweight lyricists, Cynical Phantom [formerly known as Kinga Rhymes] and JD [of Mumbai’s Finest] included in this one of a kind underground banger.
When asked on what Divine feels the effect of this song will be, He replies:
“This song is going to be fire. Its about time these rappers stepped their game up.”
For those new to Mumbai Hip Hop… Divine is among the elite Hip Hop artist in Mumbai and he has performed at nearly every night club in Mumbai. That’s saying a lot.
Divine (Vivian Fernandes) is a multi genre MC, ranging from Gospel to Activism. His brand of lyrics and relentless drive to keep Real Hip Hop alive is truly inspiring. Although, there are multitudes of artist in India, only but a handful are staying true to the roots of Hip Hop and not selling out for a quick buck. Anyone can make some money, but Divine is in it to be a Legend.
So, nuff said, below is the link to this fire hot trailer.
Q. So, how did it all begin for you/what was your first show?
A. I did my first show at our church when I was 13, I grew up in a Baptist church so we were always celebrating music.
Q. What’s the music scene like in Cali and Austria?
A. Our scene in Cali is popping off in a major way without those major labels included. I think now more than ever is a great time to be a part of the West Coast Californa music scene because of the creativity going into everyone’s work these days.
The production is at an all time high in every studio, there is a lot you can do with not much of a budget and cats have been sharpening up there swords on the west and are cutting the industry deep these days.
As far as Austria, I am out here finishing up my album with our producer Erik Bogdanovics who is from Vienna, Austria and working with us in California on projects for CA$HIS, Rikanatti and Bogish Brand Entertainment, UndaCatz, the Spinz / 1992 (EP) and my new album Spinz “1992” dropping in January and many more projects in the future.
He also just finished mastering the Ca$his “Art Of Dying” dropping on October 30 with production by Eminem, Rikanatti and featuring Rick Ross, Game, Slim the Mobster and more. We have included an Austrian DJ as well into our shows in Europe DJ Smoke Dogg who is from Graz, Austria from Tornado Lifestyle Records as well as our friends like MTS an all girl group from Austria, ZmeeD aka Instinct who is being promoted by Vibra Music Group, Soulcat who is an amazing female producer-rapper who I share bars with in my group UndaCatz which is Spinz & Soulcat, that album will drop soon as well with Erik on the boards. Kayo, Canice, they are all great Austrian artists that we have performed with on festivals while touring in Austria.
Q. Is Hip hop big in Austria?
A. Hip hop is bread no matter where you bake it. There are a lot of talented hip hop artists that appear in the media and there are great stations like FM4 and record shops like Rave Up Records, Friendlyhouse and others that keep hip hop moving in the right direction.
Also crews like Four Elements from Graz, Austria are making a difference by educating the youth on hip hop culture with free workshops hosted by Austrian and International artists such as myself.
Q. What is your favorite group and solo artist?
A. My favorite group is House Of Pain of course and my favorite solo artist is Sean P
Q. What was your first song that you dropped?
A. My first song that I dropped was straight to the streets recorded in a garage to a Eric B. beat when I was 12.
Q. What were you before a full fledged artist?
A. That was my past life and we are not doing that interview
Q. Who inspired you and pushed you to become an artist?
A. Artists from the 805 like MED, Nevamind, Dudley Perkins, Madlib, Ohno, Roc C all the guys that I grew up around in Oxnard.
Q. How many songs do you have completed?
A. Over 1,000 in genres like rock, pop and of course over 500 in hip hop.
Q. How many shows have you performed?
A. Over 1,000 shows in over 35 countries.
Q. What is your song writing process? How do you get inspired?
A. I’m inspired by everything around me, I also read a lot of books and meditate a lot so I can find inspiration in my thoughts in general. I can write anywhere at any time. I am a writer for many other people as well, so I write 5 ideas a day minimum just to pay my rent.
Q. What is your real name?
A. Scott Lykins
Q. Where are you from and how is the music scene where you are from?
A. I am from Oxnard, California and we have a legendary hip hop scene in the 805. We have many artists that are now grammy nominated and have worked with everyone in hip hop. We have built a scene for almost 30 years now in the 805 and we are much different than bigger places like L.A. we are still thriving off creativity and that is important in these times when there is really no more money in music, its being recycled by hard workers now.
Q. Who would you like to work with?
A. Rick Rubin, other than that I have worked with everyone I want and I have Rikanatti and my band now. I really don’t need anything other than a pen and a pad.
Q. What would you tell youngsters trying to break into the business?
A. Don’t make it a business, keep it simple.
Q. What was your greatest accomplishment?
A. Being a father, being nominated for an MTV Europe Music award as “Best Act”, breaking a record for most people at a show in Slovenia 30,000 with DJ Umek among many other great memories.
Q. Do you think that music with a meaning will emerge again?
A. I think if your not making music with a meaning, you don’t matter.
Q. If you had one wish, for anything at all in the world, What would you ask for?
Q. Any links, media players any song we can highlight right now for you? Any shout outs to anyone?
A. Visit www.Spinzhiphop.com and watch Spinz TV. We are having a 24 hour concert on October 25-26 so make sure to tune in for that. Shout outs to Mojca, Ben, Erik, Lovro Ravbar, Jerry and everyone holding me down these days.