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interview // bone circus

Bone Circus is the old school influenced hip hop duo consisting of Eric Craddock and Sean Patrick. Their EP entitled The Locals has a guest production and guest appearance from super crew Deepspace5 alumni Playdough and Sivion respectively. Bone Circus has proved they are worthy of a spot in any hip hop collection for fusing old school hip hop with new approach.


What's the logic behind Bone Circus?


Eric:  We got it from Ezekiel 37 where God leads Ezekiel to a valley where a battle was once fought and there are bones scattered all over.  God asks Ezekiel if he thinks the bones could rise up and live again.  Ezekiel wisely answers "You alone know." Sure enough the bones start swirling around and connecting until a vast army is standing alive and ready.  I picture in my head weird carnival music playing as this is happening and it's sort of a 'bone circus' or something.  I love the metaphor of Christ found here with that fact that we must die to our flesh like the bones and through his grace we are made whole again and find eternal life...


Sean:  Word...in addition to that, we're two guys that love God and Hip-Hop.  We understand how music can be used as a tool to inspire and spread truth. God truly brought us together.  We're pretty different people, which makes whole thing more dynamic.  I praise God for his mysterious plan that's bigger than our small minds.   Honestly, it's very comparable to a marriage...wait...i probably shouldn't have said that...
How did you beginning rapping and who was your inspiration?


Eric:  I was in the 5th grade when I heard Melle Mel's "Step Off" on the radio and I taped it.  This was about 1984 or so and I became a rap fan.  I started writing raps in the eighth grade at summer youth camp where I wrote a cheesy rhyme about the camp counselors.  Through high school I kept writing raps and started performing then.  My inspirations mainly were Christian rap groups of the late 80's and early 90's, like PID, SFC, Freedom of Soul, DC Talk, Dynamic Twins.  D-boy Rodriquez was a huge inspiration to me and those early raps were probably patterned after his style more than any other.  I'm from Dallas, close to where he was from and I was able to meet him once at a PID concert shortly before he was killed. I also drew inspiration from secular groups like Tribe Called Quest, Run DMC, Naughty by Nature, House of Pain, and D-Nice.

Sean:  Eric is truly old school...you know he's actually like 52 years old!  Anyways.  If I think about it, I've been writing songs since I was a little kid.  I feel in love with Hip-Hop as a skateboarding teenager and naturally started writing rhymes.  I'm actually listening to the album that inspired that love right now (atcq--"beats, rhymes, and life")!  I my first inspirations were my crew of homeys that I skated and rhymed with in high school.  I love the early and mid-nineties hip-hop from both coast...hardcore to abstract...you know who they are.

How did you guys form Bone Circus?


Eric:  I had been rapping for a while, performing solo with CD tracks and really lame beats that I had made.  And I was struggling to really command the stage by myself.  I did a show at a youth club that was a ministry of Sean's church.  That's where we met.  A little later, I heard from someone that Sean had purchased turntables and started deejaying.  This was about 1999.  I then heard sometime later that Sean had quickly become a skilled turntablist.  So what could I do but call him up and ask him to deejay some shows with me.  We started doing shows and somewhere along there, we were suddenly a group.  He had been writing raps all along, with a very unique style and we morphed what we are now.  I have learned so much just from him and he has really been the catalyst for bring our sound to where it is at now.  

Sean:  Thanks Eric.  He said it all, but it would be nothing without the vision that God gave him.

What is the logic behind the title of your release "The Locals"?


Eric:  During those three years that we have been a group, we never released anything.  We were strictly a rap group for live shows.  That was our focus and we didn't want to put out sub standard product.  We were fortunate to gain connections with clubs that the 'big time' Christian rap groups would play at when they came through.  We kind of became the group that always opened up for these groups.  We played with La Symph, Redcloud, KJ52, Grits, Ill Harmonics, Mars ILL, Pigeon John, Fred Bruno..etc.  We were the local rap group and that was fine with us.  So we crafted this project with that in mind.

Sean:  Thatís true!  Those are great times.  For a minuet we had a really fresh show that we were performing.  It was better than the shows we're doing now!  But, we're working on that...though the songs are a lot better :)

What will listeners hear on this release?


Eric:  Sean has become a great producer.  Listeners should enjoy the variety of production, with each song sporting a different vibe and mood.  We are reminded as we listen of old vinyl records one might find in their parent's record collection.  The lyrical content ranges from our local status, to beats and rhymes, to urban and suburban perspectives, to insecurities of a small time rapper.  We hope this album gives you a taste of some great music to come.


Sean:  People will hear our hearts.  It something we can all relate to.  I think that the most important thing about music...something you can feel.  That's why your mom and dad will like this album too.
What do you feel is your favorite track off the album?


Eric:  I really like how "All I Need" turned out.  It's got my favorite Sean Patrick verse on it.


Sean:  "The City," hands downs the best song on the album.


What inspires your songs?

Eric:  Usually I find that my struggles of doing God's will and not falling into an apathetic Christianity are what I write about.  I'm so imperfect and are only made righteous because of Christ's righteousness in me.  Lately, we'll come up with a concept to a song, maybe a hook or something and then just vibe off of each other.  Sean really inspires me with his writing and he production.  He makes very specific beats that all have a personality and the songs are really rooted in that.


Sean:  God and pursuing His will.  This is life.  Along with that...when I hear another song that gets me excited or touches my soul, I just get to work and write or make a beat while i have that inspiration in my veins.  It funny, because when i make a beat and Eric writes to it, then spits it to me, I'm like, "there's no way I'm touching that."  Because when he spits that deep, wisdom stuff I feel like I can't touch it (MC Hammer style).  I love it.

Sean Patrick, how did you get into producing?


Sean:  I love beats and i love music.  I had been deejaying for a while before i started, so i think its like a natural progression.  I got my dads old computer and Eric gave me a copy of Acid 4.0.  At first i just had my parentís old record collection and I started going at it.
Which artists have you produced for?


Sean:  Bone Circus (obviously), Point5Covenant (another group I deejay in), my extended family Blunt Force Crew, and Playdough.  Playdough is so freakin dope and down to earth.  Hopefully this list will grow.
What can we look forward to in the near future from Bone Circus?


Sean:  The future looks very good!  We have a functional home studio now which help 200% in the song writing process.  There is nothing like being able to record freely without any pressure of time restraint.  Lyrically, Eric and I are meshing at a whole new level and the result is much more soulful and unique.  The beats are head and shoulders above "the Locals" (in my opinion).  Everything is just getting better...praise God...honestly; we are seeking to follow God's will so he can continue to lead us.  We also want more colabs with some of the artist we look up to, so we are trying to make that happen on a shoestring budget.  But, we want our music will carry itself.  I've always admired artists that made a name for themselves with out relying on star-power colabs.
Any last words?


Sean:  I love you Laila...hi Mom and Dad.

Eric:  Just want to give you props for such a great site that promotes not only the music and the culture but promotes Christ...God bless you in what you're doing for artists like us...


For more information on Bone Circus check out http://www.bonecircus.com 


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