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In Hip-Hop, if you don’t have staying power, odds are you’ll be less than a footnote trapped in the back of people’s memories.

The simple mathematics to a long and prosperous career in a business that churns out more artists than fans has always been based on creating good productand for Evan “TRUTHLiVE” Phillips, that’s exactly what he plans on doing.

The MC from California who also happens to have the titles of DJ, producer, and  record label owner with Interdependent Media under his belt has been hard at work constructing the aforementioned staying power.

With the help of contributions like his free EP, The UnLearning, and the release of his most recent project; his studio album appropriately titled Patience [click for review], which is entirely produced by beat maker extraordinaire, Jake One, the artist from the Left Coast seems to be on the right course.

So what else does the newcomer have in store? Plenty… But early retirement isn’t one of them…


iHipHop.com: For the people that aren’t too familiar with you, tell then who you are and what you represent…

TRUTHLiVE: I’m TRUTHLiVE, and I’m an MC, DJ, producer, and owner of Interdependent Media… I grew up in California, and I’m trying to carry on the tradition of Hip-Hop culture; but also staying progressive…

iHipHop.com: Also, you just recently released your album Patience, which is entirely produced by Jake One. So how did you two first hook up?

TRUTHLiVE: I met Jake [One] in a gradual setting through a mutual friend… We shared some common interests, and we talked about sports more than we talked about music…

It all just started from there, but I didn’t have a specific direction in where I wanted to go with the album…

Then I started recording over his beats, and it practically was an accident, because it wasn’t going to be that way… He started giving me stuff, then I had a whole album’s worth of material, and it came out having that feel of a MC/producer record when it was just one producer…

iHipHop.com: Do you feel like the “one producer for an album” format is starting to come back to the forefront?

TRUTHLiVE: Yeah, because before it was like people were getting “the best of” producers… I think Hip-Hop goes in cycles, and things come back around and change full circle…

On the MC side it’s definitely a benefit to working with one person, because it keeps the cohesiveness… Sometimes people trying to cover too many bases commercially, and it doesn’t fit the album…

truth-articleiHipHop.com: So out of you being a producer, DJ, and MC; which one comes more natural for you?

TRUTHLiVE: I’m comfortable with all of them, but I started as a DJ when I was 15… I would here mixes on the radio, and then try to figure out how to do that…

Then from there I started making beats like a lot of DJ’s… At the time I started rapping, I wouldn’t say that I was already an outcast, but there weren’t a lot of white kids rapping [Laughing]…

So it was a little frowned upon… You could DJ and make beats, but no rapping… I started off in freestyle ciphers, and then they turned into battles…

So from there, I started rapping to songs… As for my producing, I’m a little hit-or-miss, but my DJ’ing and MC’ing are pretty consistent…

iHipHop.com: Speaking of you saying your production is a little hit-or-miss, when you were making the Patience record, did you pick up anything from watching Jake [One]?

TRUTHLiVE: A little bit… As a producer, there’s a certain way to use things… Jake is a tactician… He knows exactly what he wants to get out of the beat…

iHipHop.com: When people hear projects like your Patience album, or your free downloadable EP The Unlearning; what do you want them to take away from the music?

TRUTHLiVE:I want them to take away that it’s honest, that it has a lot of perspective to it… I still think the state of Hip-Hop is a little f*cked up… I grew up where Hip-Hop was a positive influence versus what it is now…

It should have a little more balance to it, but when I make my music I try to make it in a way that it’s not hurting myself or my integrity…

iHipHop.com: With that said, how do you feel about yourself as an artist? Do you ever get worried about getting buried under all the other MC’s who are also trying to make a name for themselves?

TRUTHLiVE: Today, the attention spans are short, so it’s very difficult… But I’m confident that we’re going to continue to build… I have a good team around me, and I understand that the business aspect is such a big deal… Sadly, music is only ten percent of it, and that ten percent is totally lacking…

So a lot of artist aren’t going to have longevity without the whole picture… Whatever happened to supporting the artist because the music is good? But I’m confident, and out of all of these artists, I know that I’m not going anywhere…