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
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
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