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interview // playdough

Playdough is the extraordinary emcee of the Deepspace5 collective and one-half of the well-known hip hop group, ill harmonics. Playdough brings his solo debut Lonely Superstar to the table on Uprok Records. Blending sharp fresh lyrics and ill beats makes a winning formula which makes this artist stand out against all others. Playdough makes sure that his art form is of the fullest quality if he is producing or rapping.

 

What is the logic behind the name Playdough?

 

He's the potter and I'm the clay.

How did you begin rapping and who was your inspiration?

 

I started in 6th grade at a school puppet show. The rhymes were written and got me an A in the class and came so easy to me that I just kept writing. About the only thing I had been exposed to at that time was DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince "rock the house".

You are a member of both hip hop crews ill harmonics and Deepspace 5, how did the groups come together?

 

I met Blake when I moved to Dallas in 1995. We both did rap music and had both experienced crews that fizzled out due to lack of commitment by the other members. When we talked and realized our same influences and commitment level we formed ill harmonics.

     With ds5, Manchild called me to be on "Black Market" for their "Raw Material" album. We hooked up in Atlanta to record and really hit it off. I also met Dust and Sintax while I was there. I was really impressed with their hearts and their music. After building a friendship with them, Manchild called me and asked if Fred B and I wanted to be in the crew. It was a no brainier, and one of the best decisions that Iíve ever made.

Your debut solo release is entitled Lonely Superstar, what does that title mean to you?

 

It feels lonely sometimes when you make music to be art and not just a money maker. There's a lot of pressure from different areas to make a certain type of music, when you don't it's easy to feel like the only one in the world that's making it differently than the next guy. The superstar thing is obviously sarcastic.

How was it to be left without a label when Uprok Records was terminated?

 

We actually bought ourselves out of our deal before Uprok folded. I can't say that I didn't know that it was coming, but we spent a lot of time and money to get out of that deal. Once I was free I felt just that. It was one of the best and most liberating feelings that Iíve had in a while. No disrespect to Uprok, it just felt good to not be tied down anymore.

How did you hook up with 7spinmusic Records?

 

They approached me to do a record with them. After they explained their plan and their vision, I decided to do an album with them. They really respect their artists and treat them well. It feels good to be associated with a label that actually cares about their artistís families and well being. They offered me a great deal. Iím thankful for what they've done for me.

Tell me about your upcoming album, what will listeners hear on this release?

 

Iím still growing as an artist. What my strengths and weaknesses are. I think Iím a little more mature. Seeing the world has opened my eyes to a lot of things and perspectives that you don't realize when you're only in one place.

You also produce, how did you get started producing?

 

I fiddled around on Blakeís equipment when he first got it. Fred ad I used to go to guitar center and look at the mpc's dreaming of having one. I made a lot of sacrifices to buy my mpc in 98 and that was it. Iíve been using it since. I love it.

What artists have you produced for?

 

Mars Ill, Redcloud, Freddie Bruno, bpm, E-Roc, Bone Circus, Sintax the TerrificÖ I know that Iím forgetting some.

What can we look forward to in the near future from Playdough, Ill Harmonics, and Deepspace 5?

 

Ill harmonics "Monkey Business" just came out. Playdough "Don't Drink the Water" will be released this winter. Ds5 is doing a record produced by only Beat Rabbi; he's teaming up the emcees he wants to do songs with each other and dj's adding cuts and doing one song together as the whole collective. Weíre still recording that so I don't know when that releases, but the beats are ridiculous!

 

For more information on Playdough check out http://www.playdoughonline.com 

 

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