Apr 29, 2009 - 2:09 AM
Listen to "I Been Hustlin'"
Oh Dang!: You call yourself Curt@!ns which is a pretty audacious name. Who's it curtains for?
Curt@!ns: Every every every body! It's Curt@!ns. It's a wrap.
OD!: So after you there's no one else?
Curt@!ns: There's going to be stuff left. It's just not going to be good. (laughs)
OD!: So how did the name Curt@!ns come to being?
Curt@!ns: Basically it means the show stopper. Just some young cockyness.
OD!: The songs you have videos for are distinctly un-formulaic. Most of them are just verses. What was the idea behind doing that?
Curt@!ns: I just wanted to bring it back to the rapping. There is too much "coolness" going on in the music, and it's very formula based. I wanted to cut two records where there was no hook. Nothing fancy, nothing smooth. Just hard rapping for 48 bars. I think I got my point accross. The videos just added glossiness. Most people just paid attention to the visuals and eventually they caught on to the raps.
OD!: Those videos had some slick visuals. It seems that it is essential for an emcee to have a visual component that hooks people and reels them in these days. Would you agree?
Curt@!ns: Yeah, I think being visual is imperative for any artist trying to get they stuff out. It's not like back in the 40's and 50's where all you had was radio. Where people were like, "Ok that's a hit" because they heard it all the time. These days people don't listen to music no more! They look at music. So i think being visual in general, whether it be a blog, performing and posting videos, or taking pictures and putting them up on Twitpic.com and posting it on Twitter. People gotta see you to understand your whole movement, and it can only be done visually. I felt that doing music videos for my songs was a better way to get the music heard, but everything has to visual.
OD!: Speaking of people being too "cool" these days. Do you feel like the hype formula being pushed through the internet is resulting in the fact that we have more artists out now than ever but hip-hop still kind of sucks.
Curt@!ns: Yes ... The internet makes it possible for everyone to be a "star" or "artist." There is this mass influx of artists that are like, "My sneakers are newer and cooler that yours!" "No wait, mine are older than yours. So I'm cooler!" It's too much of the same thing and it confuses listeners because people are being bombarded with garbage. But I think the recession we're in now is forcing consumers to put an end to that overload. A recession separates great product from bad product because only great product is going to last through this hard economic time. Record companies aren't going to put out music that there is no market for. A couple years ago if you had a hot single, oh, your album was coming out! And because of that single people would buy it. Now it's like, if you have a hot single, cool...now you have to make three more. You have to make an album that people care about. This recession is going to change the scope of how people create.
OD!: On the track "Night of the Living Dope," you have a line that goes. "I birthed your style/ I'm the ovulator." I just thought that was really interesting because you took a hip hop cliché and made it dope again by hitting people with vocabulary that's almost never used. Who says "ovulator"? Is that a method you bring to all your rhymes?
Curt@!ns: Education. Nothing's new under the sun. It's just that a lot of stuff isn't said cleverly. I usually find ways to slip those type of words in. But it's usually in the context of something ignorant. So it didn't go over your head and instead you say, "Yo, what does that mean?" I speak to people in their language but at the same time I slip them something new.
OD!: Dope meng, let the people know what's new from you that they should look out for.
Curt@!ns: Great Adventures of Dope Boy C, which is out. Dope For President is my new mixtape coming out. First single, "Black Folks," is out now and it's been making it's waves. The video's dropping shortly. We just got verse of the month in XXL. Which is a big a deal because XXL is a magazine I've read since I was a kid. It's in the edition with Eminem on the cover on stands right now. All the times I've been in XXL actually Eminem has been on the cover. I don't know what that means.
OD!: It means you're in good company.
Curt@!ns: Oh man, I stay in good company.
Chasen The Crate is a 24karat Milkcrate. More coming soon. .
Jan C. Ferrer is a freelance contributor to Oh Dang! Check out his blog here.