Elias is the multitalented
artist with a fresh singing voice and sharp rap verses, which are spit with
such intensity that it sends shivers to the spine. Elias had a made a name
for himself from several hard hitting collaborations with notable artists.
Elias’s highly anticipated debut “Scraps of Paper” goes on sale
How many songs have you been featured on?
I have been featured on a ton of songs
because it was my policy to never say no to anyone who asked me to emcee. I
believe hip hop as a culture is all about building and so I want to be about
building positivity, cooperation, and the advancement of the art. So, most
of the songs I've been on are songs from emcees that have never been heard
of by a larger audience. Of the albums that people might be familiar with
I've been featured on at least 8. I also have many more collaborations in
the future lined up. I can't be as open to working with "anyone" as I was
before because the requests and my time commitments cancel each other out,
but I do my best to stay in the same spirit of building.
What inspired you to make a solo album?
Luke Geraty and I were doing a song together
on a beat a made by a cat named Fat Chicano. The song was called "Success"
and it was about the capitalistic and materialistic view of 'success' that
so many in our country have and it's incredible shortsightedness. He got
excited about the song and decided to put it on his EP. He then heard a
song of mine called, "Breath of My Life" and he encouraged me to submit it
to the Syntax Records "Night Owls II" compilation. That was the first time
that I thought, I really should share my music with a larger audience. I am
a prolific writer and I have hundreds of songs but I was content to share
them on a very small local scale. Night Owls II helped me realize that
perhaps their existed an audience willing to listen to what I had to say.
What is your favorite song off Scraps of
All my songs are my children and I love them
equally. However, if I was to give my inheritance to one it would probably
be "Sunday Morning Comin Home" because it is a song that I wrote about and
for my daughter. She was born on a Sunday Morning and so many things I
never quite clearly understood made sense to me that day spiritually. The
other song that I love is "Color Outside the Lines" about non conformity and
the rejection of group think. The beat on that song is made by Know1 and is
one of the most complete beats I have on the album. I love how the beat
evolves as the song goes along.
What was the first song you were featured
Signed or Unsigned? The one that most
people will probably know of was "success" on Luke Geraty's "Before I sold
out" EP. However, before that I did a song with Id Obelus, Noah23 (Plague
Language--Canada), and noitall a signed rapper in the UK.
Any there projects in the works right now?
I'm in a crew called Scribbling Idiots that
features, JustMe, Ruffian, Cas Metah, Mouf Warren, and Kaboose as emcees.
We are doing a crew album together. I'm also planning to do projects with
Cheap Cologne, Cas Metah, Absent, TomFoolery, Understudy, and JawnyQuest
among many others. Often I do just one song but with TomFoolery I plan to
do an entire album that will be political in message.
What gives you inspiration for your songs?
Honestly, the beats speak to me. What I
mean by that is, that music evokes an emotional response from the
listener. I listen and as the beat evokes a feeling, I write. I write to
fit the 'mood' of the beat. I write to weave my words with the pull of the
song. Music moves me so I simply articulate that feeling.
What do you enjoy better rapping or singing?
I love them both. However, before this
album, I generally did not sing in songs. This album and its precursor,
the unreleased album "In the Midst of the Melody" were simply forays into
melody. It was an experiment so to speak. What I found before was that
underground rap fans who listened to lyrics, felt me when i didn't sing.
What I found after I sang and used melody, is that many folks who
didn't hear the lyrics felt the singing and later came back to ponder the
meaning of the lyrics and the underground cats still liked me. I do not
consider myself to be a singer. However, I have a 1 year old daughter that
sings all the time---I think that shows that singing is just a human thing.
All of us innately want to do it. It's just the people around us that
discourage us from it when we do it badly.
What artists have you not worked with but
would like to?
There are a ton of talented artists in the
game right now. Production:Pete Rock, Madlib, J rawls and a few others.
Emcees: J-Live, Common, Kanye, MfDoom, Gift of Gab, MarsILL, Pharoahe, Talib,
Slug, and I'd like to go back in time and record with Tribe Called Quest on
Low End Theory, and with NWA on their first jawn because i was growing up
in LA at the same time and what they spoke on was relevant and true.
What do you see for yourself in the next
Incredible Success. Of course, I define
that as seeking God and serving the poor community that I decided to move
to. I would love to see the programs and services I have started for kids
and teens really blossom and grow. I would love for my music to catch on
but I do a lot to assist and coach other young emcees so if I can help some
of them develop into good young men that experience success in life I will
feel that I have succeeded.
What do you feel is the toughest part of the
The toughest part of the music industry is
that it is an industry. If it was free to make music and get it to as many
people I wouldn't care about making money. However, to continue to 'make'
music you have to 'make' enough money off of it to fund continued
distribution and manufacturing costs, among other things. But let's face
it, if you want people to hear you, you have to pay for it.
What would the ultimate reward for you be?
Musically? I sometimes think it would be
great to have a fan base that always bought enough records from me each year
to fund an LP per year from me and fifty solid shows. I would love to have
the respect of my emcee peers so that I could get some of them to come and
help me with the mentoring I do with pre teens and teens teaching hip hop.
I run a program that teaches kids to emcee, dj, make beats, and b-boy. Kids
make their own beats, write their own songs, record, and perform. It would
be a great reward for me to be able to bring them even more people that care
about them as kids.
Who do you feel is your biggest influence
My biggest influence as an emcee would
probably have to be the fact that I grew up in the hood in LA during the
killa Cali 80's when crack was king and the heat walked the street looking
for someone to beat. More than anything growing up in poverty helped give
me a sense of Justice and Injustice and passion for the poor. This affects
everything I have done ever since...especially hip-hop.
you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
I used to want to change poverty. Growing
up lacking many basic services, I developed a strong sense of
justice/injustice. I saw people "with plenty" and people "without" and the
gap was egregious and uncrossable. That sense of justice is still with me
today. It has affected my profession, where I chose to live, and it has
caused me, in Christ to dedicate my life to serving the poor and standing
for justice. My music reflects that.
you could have one superhuman power, what would it be?
I would be able to slow time down. I could
use this to become the fastest dude on the planet.
What is the worst job you have ever had?
Data entry at a Accounting firm. The work
was mind-numbing without the satisfaction of a completed project, as in
What can we expect from you in the future?
I'm a prolific writer and I can't stop
making music, even if I wanted to. You can expect many more albums and
continued elevation. I'm already working on my second album, Scribbling
Idiot's cd, Mark1's solo, Absent, JawnyQuest, there are talks concerning
Kaboose and Elias LP, TomFoolery and Elias LP, and an EP with a European
band.. . You can always expect soul and a heartfelt message. I love what I
do and I do what I love.
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