Aloe Blacc of EMANON (DJExile)
Reppin’ (What city you reppin’?):
Affiliation (What crew or artists you roll with?):
Stones Throw, EMANON, Do Over
Influences (Who inspires you? )Not limited to just hip-hop): Family and
friends. Cat Stevens, Nat King Cole, Joni Mitchell, J Dilla, Nas, Blu,
Exile, Georgia Anne Muldrow, OH NO, D’Angelo, Ambrosia, Antonio Carlos
Jobim, Astrud Gilberto, Ruben Blades, Willie Colon, Fela Kuti, DJ Rodgers,
Frou Frou, etc.
Backstory (How’d you get in the game? How did the group form? What work did you put in before getting signed to a label?)
I started working with Exile in 1995. We made a few mixtapes with some
original music on the b-sides and that helped us develop fans. Then a fan
offered us money to put out our first 12" and since then we have been
releasing EPs and singles on vinyl. We performed all over Southern
California and toured
Waiting Room." In 2006 we both released solo efforts on different labels.
I signed to Stones Throw and he signed to Sound In Color. My album is
called Shine Through and DJ Exile released Dirty Science. This was a big
year for both of us. Shine Through was received well internationally and
Exile worked with major label acts producing for Mobb Deep and Jurassic 5.
Current project (What are you pushing right now? What can people expect from it? Feel free to just hype your album here…why did you name the album that name? Was there a theme? Any funny stories during its creation?)
Right now I am just trying to get the world to hear Shine Through. I am
working on a series of music videos for as many songs from the album as
possible. I am also going to complete an acoustic version of the album so
that people can hear the songs in a different way. I really like to be
diverse with the sound and express thoughts in multiple ways because that is
really how my life is. There is always something different happening that
is exciting so I just want to share that with my fans.
Purpose (What kind of impact do you hope to have on the game? Do you just want to go platinum or is there something more?)
I need to go plantinum. Not for the money, that would be nice, but more for
the messages. I have learned over the years that I have something special
to offer the world and for me to keep it to myself or try to only share it
with a limited few in the indie scene would be a waste. My purpose for
music is to help people celebrate life and be positive as well as spread the
love. There are so many artists who have no health insurance and it is a
shame that when someone gets sick or hurt they don’t have the resources to
help themselves. I want to establish an organization that helps subsidize
healthcare for artists.
Is hip-hop really dead? (Wax philosophical here, break down what you think of hip-hop today or compare it to when you were coming up. Good? Bad? Break it down!)
Hip hop is dead as we once knew it. The recent corporate focus on certain
types of hip hop has ruined the culture in the commercial media and has
brain washed the youth. In a way it helps to make what we do on the indie
level stronger and better. I am sure that commercial hip hop will have to
change pretty soon because it has eaten itself away like a cancer. When I
was coming up, there was a lot of variety and what made an emcee special was how unique he or she was compared to the rest of emcees on the scene.
Nowadays it seems like the commercial atists are all the same with the same
tired flow and sorry beats. Come check the underground, especially LA. The
heat that is coming out of LA is ridiculous but the cats bringing it are too
humble to shout it.
Three wishes (If you had three wishes to change anything within hip-hop, what would they be? Bring someone back to life? Get a Kanye West beat? Make snap music disappear?):
I would bring Dilla back, and if that takes all three wishes then so be it.
I would bring Unity events back to LA, and if that means bringing Bigga B
back then so be it. I would own a television network to give hip hop proper
representation. So be it.