My man Ryan Pangilinan started up new online mag, "Totally Crushed Out." We did an interview last week and it was posted up along with a NEW track from the as yet untitled follow up to "Basement Sessions." The track is called "Process" and my man Just Another DJ produced it. Peep the links, but I'll paste the interview below.
The Meeting of Minds: Dawhud vs. Totally Crushed Out
by Ryan Pangilinan
The story of white suburban kids discovering hip-hop is a pretty tired tale at this point. For all Asher Roths, Snows, and Brian Austin Greens that pass through pop culture infamy, there’s guys like Miilkbone who are relegated to the dollar bin. Then there’s guys like Indiana-transplant-by-way-of-Seattle, Dawhud (nee: Dave Thomas) who have cultish sensibility and exist in a backpacker limbo of sorts.
Dawhud’s self-released debut album “Basement Sessions” came out last year to critical acclaim, landing on top 10 lists and heralded as another return to the boom bap. Since his 2008 record, Dawhud has been hard at work on the Revisionist Project, a record that covers classic jams with underground emcees.
Recently, Dawhud chatted about his start in hip-hop and gives a little detail on hip-hop in the Hoosier state.
Totally Crushed Out: Okay. So the first time I remember hearing about you, you had the radio show in Olympia and you used to take a bunch of pictures of events and what not. What made you want to stop observing and be an actual participant?
Dawhud: Well... hate to break it to you but I didn't take too many pictures. Maybe that was Aaron. HAHA. But, I got interested in doing music since I was about 11-12.
I remember coming home from elementary school to see Yo! MTV Raps and I'd try to write some party raps like Kid N Play.
In sixth grade I got a Casio Rapman keyboard. It was this wack little keyboard that had a fake jog wheel that made "scratch" sounds and a mic that you could change the pitch of your voice with.
I remember those. My kid has a similar one
Yeah... I still got one. I've even used the mic effects on a couple of the tracks I've been working on lately.
Fast forward to high school, the group I was in with my friends I'd dig up records and we'd go over to this guys house and have him make the beat on his EPS-16. I'd give him the samples and tell him how to make the beat, but he'd actually do it on the sampler. About a week later, duke would say he "lost" the disks and then we'd find out that one of his boys was using the beat that I basically made.
So then you started going for self?
Yeah. I never originally thought I'd go into making beats, but it just ended up happening because we were sick of dealing with cats that would steal our tracks.
My senior year, I had my parents lump X-mas, B-day and senior grad presents into a Gemini mixer, a 4 track, some belt drive turntables and a Yamaha SU10 sampler. That was the real start for REALLY getting into making beats.
Were you already collecting source records for sampling?
A little, mostly getting stuff from people's parent's collections.
That's the way to do it. What was the first break that you copped on your own?
Grover Washington's Mister Magic. Found it in a free bin at one of my fav spots. I threw that LP on and was like, “WHAT?!” Oh... there's another... but this is more sample source than break, Bob James “Westchester Lady,” and here's the story behind that.
My man's dad had a big porn stash and one time I was over at his house and he put in this "comp" porn video. It had a ton of old 70s porn and there was this one where they were playing that Bob James track. I was like, "Oh I've got to get this." I ended up recording the porno onto tape so I had the sample.
Haha.. That's fresh.
I still probably got it somewhere
That's got to be a serious hidden track
You could hear mostly the music, but in the background you could hear some deep throat action. Ha.
On the “Basement Sessions,” you reunited your radio crew, Late Night Marauders, for a skit, which was hilarious. id you ever think of doing a podcast with the old crew?
Yeah, I've thought of stuff like that, but just recording those skits was kind of hard. They were trying so hard to sound professional and the whole thing about our show was that we were just phawking around.
So what made the LP were really the outtakes.
Carlos (aka DJ Say Ten) sent me a HUGE box of our old shows and I've been meaning to digitize them.
That's awesome. Will that be recurring in Dub Styles or other projects?
We'll see. Dub Styles will have a DJ/host vibe to it. [Dub Styles is] the mixtape that is referenced on [Basement Sessions]. But, it'll be me on the mic, as host, djing, etc.
Are you going to do multiple voices?
Naw, it'll be like B-Mello doing a mixtape.
You should get B-Mello to do it with you!
Yeah... I originally was going to have him on the version of "Dub Styles" that was featured on my LP. He said he was down, but it just never ended up happening.
He's a busy guy. He's still grinding and being a dad.
What you actually hear at the end of the track was the demo I did for B-Mello so he would know what I was wanting him to do
Are you still working on the Revisionist project?
Yeah, it's just taking time. I want to do that project right and well... MONEY
Do you have any semi-completed tracks?
Yeah, a Prince Po, Moka Only track over a flip of “I Got Cha Opin,” a flip of “Microphone Fiend” with Wildchild, Frank (Fash-1) and Verbal Math from Dolla Bin. A track with Rusty from the Mudkids on a collage of several classic tracks
Have you ever thought of shopping what you have to a label to get some support that way?
Yeah, I just haven't kissed the right babies. But, yeah, I've been wanting to shop it around, but just haven't gotten that far with many people.
I know Ubiquity said they thought my LP (Basement) was good, but not the type of music they wanted to do, so to speak. I think the issue is more... what labels are interested in some DITC type boom bap.
Ubiquity is mostly downtempo. Have you thought about being a true Seattlite and head towards Massline?
Never really thought that because I thought that my sound and subject didn't fit in with their general vibe.
I like those guys and Ra actually said he was down to work on Revisionist History.
That's cool. What's Indiana's hip-hop scene like?
It's like Seattle when [Tribal Records’ compilation] Do the Math dropped. Like there's stuff going on, but it just hasn't clicked. Rhymefest was originally from Indy
Then he abandoned it to roll as a Chicagoan, eh?
And Rusty from the Mudkids battled Eminem at the 97 Skribble Jam.
I remember that
Yeah... but I understand, Chi is 2 1/2 hours away and a MUCH bigger city. But there's stuff going on here. The thing that DOES suck is that most tours skip over Indy. They'll hit Chi and the next day be in Columbus, OH or Cinci.
But, there are some dope acts here. Mudkids, Twilight Sentinals, Ace-One, and some real dope producers here too.
That's cool. You can lead the scene, my man. So what's in the works for 2010?
I'm hoping to have Dub Styles out by the spring summer. A lot of it is done, just trying to finish up a couple tracks. Dub Styles ended up also creating another LP, which will be more of a true follow up to Basement Sessions. On some good old fashioned boom bap.
That's the best. Are you going to press Dub Styles yourself?
Well, I'll probably do a preview/leak online and see how that goes. The WISH is to do a promo pressing on tape. I am also thinking about doing a pressing on CD as well, but we'll see.
Aiight man, I gotta rap this up, so last question: what's your favorite Group Home lyric?
HAHA That's dope. "Yo, I'm coming up with mad rage/ 18 and hittin' the front page/ You know I'm makin' it/ and if I can't have it... I'm takin' it
Your pick is much better than mine, D.
"Hit your moms over the head with a metal pipe"
Oh, I think yours is better.