14 years ago view-show 517,077

By: R Tha BlockStaR AKA Rainier T. Garcia



HHC:  I got your Survival Mixtape Vol. 3 , and it’s a nice mixtape, but when are we going to see an album?


Izreal:  Well that’s coming in the first quarter of 2007, we’re in the middle of putting the final touches on it, and securing which avenue we are going to do distribution, we have digital distribution already, but we’re working out some stuff for physical distribution as well, so we’re just preparing the album, so we’re looking around April/May, lord willing’ it depends how things work out, its’ going to be a banger, so we’re excited. 


HHC:  Are you guys going to stay on the independent route? Or are you shopping majors right now?


Psalmz:  So far, we’ve been independent thus far, and it’s working out just fine, and as we gain more leverage, we are going to consider the independent route, but work along side with the major, for distribution and promotions or what not.  Independent is definitely the way to go, its’ the future, you know.  For example, our label is called Defiant Entertainment, so it may be like a Defiant/Universal we’ll definitely have our hands all over, and it’s getting our hands onto a bigger level, and the reason we haven’t done it, is because we’ve been able to maintain our independence, now its time to take that next step.  We still want to remain independent, so its’ going to be a combination.  We don’t want a label to just come along, after we’ve put in years of our hard work, and grunt work, and just come in and put their name on it, and act like they built us, when meanwhile it’s like Nine years in the making.


HHC:  Who will you guys collaborate with for the album?


Psalmz: We actually like to keep it in the house, and do it ourselves, to show people that we didn’t need a bunch of artists to make a good album.  Besides, there are three of us already.  We do have some collabos, like Pitbull on “Mira Mira” Trae from Rap-A-Lot records.  There’s so much of us already.


HHC:  Do you guys produce your own music?


Izreal:  We produce some of it, but we also work with a few producers around the country.  Our homey Fingazz out in I.E., Southern Cali.  He works with a lot of the Chicano rappers like Lil’ Rob, Diamonique, etc.  We also have a homey in Atlanta, Sam Traxx, by way of Texas, it’s a combination really, we don’t’ just drop our rhymes, we coordinate, orchestrate the song, intro to the end, it’s more like composing.  With producer’s we can build a beautiful chemistry, and we know where we can meet, and I think the music will reflect that.


HHC:  I’m Latino also (Honduran) and I have this issue with Latino ARTISTS being typecast as one dimensional, that everyone is a Reggaeton artist, simply because they’re Puerto Rican, or Cuban, or whatever, how do you feel about that.


Arkitek:  First, in New York, that’s what introduced the Latin Hip hop.  On the West Coast, you already had established Latin Hip Hop artists, then in New York, “Mira, Mira” was looked at as a Reggaeton track, so at the end of the day, we still get recognition as artists, and we just need to break the mold of that label, and let you take away the adjective as being an ill “Latin” rapper, or an ill “Latin” artist, to just an ill artist.  You don’t see them say, “Yo, Jay-Z is an ill African American rapper” or, “Nas is an ill African American rapper” so we should get that label out there as well.


HHC:  Example, as far as press goes for you guys, what was sent to me was info on a blog for a website that I’m not endorsing, but the blog was on _______ Latino, or record labels making a whole new label catered to Latinos artists, such as Rocafella with Roc La Familia, I don’t know if you’re familiar out here but Thizz, The late Mac Dre’s label, has a Thizz Latin offshoot, do you still feel a segregation?  Because they separate everything when it’s a “Latino” artist?


Psalmz:  We talk about this all the time; you do have the Wu Latino, the separate floor, or another roof.  I feel that there are just so many of us in this world period, you got Puerto Rican, Ecuadorian, al these races and the influences from all over, and what do we do with it?  There’s always two ways to look at it.  It’s still breaking through, before we get into that level, this level has to happen.



HHC:  I like your remix to E-40’s “tell me when to go” I’m from the Bay, and some Dj friends of mine would spin it at parties and people like that, does NY get Hyphy?  Cuz I’ve been getting and hearing a lot of hate from The East coast when it comes to Hyphy, mainly because of a lack of understanding that it’s not a type of music, it’s a way of life.


Izreal:  I happen to be out in the Bay right now.  It depends, New York for a while we were stuck in the movement and the birth of hip hop, but all that as ourselves, we’ve been able to travel, and we see the unity in a lot of these markets, whereas new York has a whole different understanding, that used to be our mentality in hip hop.  We had a tribe called quest, we had all that stuff.  To me, being an artist is being a diplomat.  Hip hop, the artist is so short changed because the artists don’t realize how big it really is.  That’s one of our essences is we come to show that hey, all new York is haters, and the same time, we like to bring our influences back to New York so it becomes a broader scope.  Hip hop is bigger than only one region, hip hop is international.  You got Korean people rapping’ you got Chilean’s rapping’ Honduran’s rapping.  You’ve got all of that,a and that’s one of the things is that even though we’re from new York, our album is more and the way we make music and the way we grind, we look at it as a global level.  We want to be known all around the world, not just New York, not just The Bay, and our job, if it’s good, is to bring it back.  That’s going to happen with any kind of music, you’re not going to like all of it, but there’s definitely hotness in everything, and our job is to be diplomats from New York and show New York there’s more than just what’s around.  It’s not just New York Music.  That’s one of the points that is lost in hip hop.  Hip hop was created cuz it was our voice, we didn’t have a voice.  So we had to fine a way to put it on record, for djs to spin it.  Just the culture in general.  It’s like the hierarchy in hip hop forgets just how it started, you feel me?  I honestly think that in the next few years, with all the digital invasion and all that, it’s going to come back a lot to the Indies which is good because independent music is more controlled by the artist, where all the big entities have a certain formula and criteria that they want to live up to like how they want to market their projects.  I think you’ll see a lot of Indies in all regions and they will have more an impact towards the music and eventually break down some of the radio stuff, because that might not just be relevant in the future.


HHC:  What do you guys prefer, rapping in Spanish, English, or spanglish?


Izreal:  We’re really mostly n English, but we never forget our heritage.  Growing up, we grew up in a predominantly black neighborhood.  East New York, was predominantly black you know?  No one ever said “you’re Latin” cuz coming up, we were just nasty, it was just about being nice MCee’s .  The Latin’ thing didn’t really come up till we got bigger.  When we were on the come up, we were just nasty mc’s from Brooklyn. It had nothing to do with being Latin or black.  As we got closer to the more corporate side of the game, and now especially with the reggaeton thing, like before, you didn’t look at Cypress Hill as “Latin mc’s” it was just hip hop.  Beatnuts etc.  Because of reggaeton, it did segregate to an extent, but that’s how I feel why T-Weaponz was set for, to break those molds, you know, and sometimes it takes longer for the people to listen, cuz they automatically assume, they’re so stuck in that mentality like “oh, they’re Latin’ they must be doing that reggaeton “  But this year and the last year, we’ve been breaking down those doors, to show that Latin’s can do much more than that.


HHC:  Do you think as Latinos, we need to be more united?  The reason I ask that, is that a lot of people, and I’m not putting any names out there, but a lot of people example, rep like Cuba, or Puerto Rico, or Mexico or whatever, and go to concert’s and scream like “Puerto rico!” or “Mexico”, don’t you think we should be more united by representing Latinos period?  I mean we all speak the same lengua (, we all like tortillas rice, chicken, and beans, Do you see how Latinos segregate themselves also.


Arkitek:  It’s crazy and sad in a way that there’s so many of us in the world and it’s so hard for an artist to even go gold.  We can all try and unite, what needs to happen is somebody in power, or someone on a higher level to be able to start to be the flagship of that and to push that.  Latinos, we don’t’ have ah pi hop voice.  It’s one thing to say unite all day, but if you’re not doing it and you’re not doing anything for Latin people, than how you going to make that happen.  It has to start up top.  We need organization.  Most Latin people are poor.  Look at how many Latin’s are in the United States.  We’re the biggest minority in the u.s.  It’s also the artists’ fault also. 


Izreal:  Here’s an example, on our records, you have Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, white Italians, black, it has to start somewhere, and I agree with you and pslalmz and us working towards that that will happen.  In New York like 10 to 15 years ago, it was a large influx of Dominicans, and at first, they was at odds with the Puerto Ricans and Dominicans and as the years passed that got put aside.  It’s still a little bit there, but now it’s more open minded.  Latinos in hip hop, we still haven’t had that, R.I.P. pun, he didn’t finish what he was set to do.  We need something else, and I think T-Weaponz is that.  Once we start infiltrating that, artist wise, I think that it will happen.  To be honest, the Reggaton movement wouldn’t succeed without the Mexican support in America.  Like in Cali, and Texas, its’ predominantly Mexican out there, so the Latinos supporting are Mexicans, but they’re still supporting latins in general.


HHC:  How do you guys feel about immigration?  I’m in Cali, and it seems like everyone just hates on not just Mexicans, but Latinos as a whole, and we’re starting to see the backlash, any of that out there in New York?  I know that Puerto Rico is a commonwealth, and is considered the United States, so they’re already Americans.   Is there any resentment to Puerto Ricans or Latinos in general about immigration out in NY?


Arkitek:  It’s crazy cuz I read about this all the time.  I realized that Latin’s do stick together in things like this, you had Puerto Ricans marching, lots of NY residents are from different descents, and you had Japanese and Chinese marching.  I know that L.A. they took it to another level, but out here they did their marches and stuff.  I think America does a good thing of covering up things like this.  Issues as big as this.  It takes our focus off of one issue than to avoid a bigger issue.  It’s one things to not let that happen, like Bush sending 20,000 more troops to Iraq.  They throw more things there to take our focuses off.  As important as it is in L.A. but it’s bigger than that.   WE got friends who are Mexican, and friends who are illegal.  You got to understand the history, Latinos built this land, we were the ones to build something from nothing.  Every time we get a chance, we always address it.  If you have 3-4 minutes in a song, to tell the war what you feel we should do, what are you going to tell them?  To shoot someone?  Or to unite and come together in this music. 


HHC:  Any Promo tour? 


Izreal:  We have a lot of that planned.  Once the spring comes, T-Weaponz is going to be all over Texas, and Cali, northwest as well.  We’re working on that right now to perform as many places as we can.  Our aim is to touch down and get out to everyone. 



HHC:  No Doubt.


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