E. Moore & Azariah @ Dub Land Undergound
foto: antonio aresco, rit, xi mag
werd: james niche
I took a few minutes before E. Moore and Azariah's show this past Wednesday at Dub Land Underground (315 Alexander Street) to sit down with E. Moore, and this is what he had to say about hip-hop in Rochester, what he's up to lately, and what's going on with him in the future.
ACT:LIVE: What are you listening to right now?
E. Moore: The new Azariah joint, "Subject To Change: The Symphony".
ACT:LIVE: How old are you?
E. Moore: Twenty-one.
ACT:LIVE: Where are you from?
E. Moore: The soul of the universe.
ACT:LIVE: What got you started in the hip-hop game? What was a defining moment that told you that you needed to be heard or that you had something to say?
E. Moore: It was a gradual process... goes back to the days of listening to Kris Kross and writing raps with my sister at the crib. Hearing DJ Premier and guys like Mos Def - the cuts, the beats.
ACT:LIVE: Who are some influences on a national level?
E. Moore: Masta Ace. RZA. Nas.
ACT:LIVE: If you have a motto or general message you like to send through your music and vision, what would that be?
E. Moore: Remain in the moment. Be part of something bigger. You and I, we're all one. That's the main thing I keep coming back to. I say that in a lot of my songs, that's what makes sense to me.
ACT:LIVE: I've heard you are known first and foremost for beat writing. Are you writing your own beats? Is there anyone else with their hands in that jar?
E. Moore: First and foremost I’m an artist. Yeah, I make beats, I sample, I play the keyboards... I might get on some other people's beats like Optix. The beats are what got it moving in the first place with the "Keep it Movin'" project with Azariah. It sort of went from there are far as recognition. The first MPC I ever had, I couldn’t save anything on it. Everything was on the fly. I might leave the machine on for three days just so I could hear the beats again.
ACT:LIVE: Who are some of your local favorites - some artists you'd like to hear more of?
E. Moore: My man Magz The Superproducer, my man Bobby Fischer, (and) Abraham. I got love for everyone, man, you know what I’m sayin'? Everybody's out there doing their thing and I hear everything. Anybody that's trying to do something and create... I prefer the guys that have some sense of roots and god. First and foremost, I listen.
ACTLIVE: Where do you think Rochester is at right now in the hip-hop world, in your eyes, especially on a unity level?
E. Moore: Rochester, to me, is having a renaissance right now. There's a lot of underground shit coming up. I see it in everything. It's an overall feel. I see new things happening everyday. I drive around, I see license plates from all over. I see Jersey plates, Hawaii plates, I see out-of-state plates on the regular. I just be paying attention. Shit is bubbling around here right now. Dudes can still find low rent places - it's an artistic environment. So, I think everything in the music and art world is having a good effect on each other.
Like here, even - Dub Land Underground. It's not the biggest thing, it's not star-studded, but it's a stage and dudes get a chance to perform. Just like going back to jazz. That's how it all went down. It was creative and small, but it had its circuit.
ACT:LIVE: What was the last hip-hop show you attended, in or out of town?
E. Moore: Last night at the Dub Land Underground. Tuesday Night Open Jam. Me and the band consisting of me, Magz, and Young Bol - we came out just to get our roots out. You know, I be going to shows, but as far as the last memorable show I went to it was The Roots in Central Park. I'll be checking them out when they come through.
ACT:LIVE: When is the album "The Symphony" expected out? Who's putting it out?
E. Moore: Soon, man. We just gotta' get some things in order. We're (making) final cuts, making sure everything is sounding right. My man, Young Bol - he helped me with the art, so we got some posters poppin' and some fliers to promote. I'm doing everything real grassroots. The CD could come out looking something like this (picks up a demo of a random artist, plain white writable CD with the artist's name scribbled on it). It could be stencils and shit, maybe some spray paint. We're working with what we got. I really like the project, though, man. It's an eleven track album and I also put the beats on there, so it's almost like a double album on one disc.
ACT:LIVE: So, you're releasing it yourself?
E. Moore: (laughs) I'm not saying I'm not open to anything else, but right now it seems like the right thing to do. I'm not trying to get caught up. I'm not trying to get caught up in the "unit" side of things. I don't care if it's just on a local level as long as motherfuckers are hearing it. It doesn't matter. I enjoy it and the people around me enjoy it. I might make a little something off it, but that's not the motive.
ACT:LIVE: I checked out your MySpace page and liked the track "Better Days" - beat and all. You make a mention of coming back from somewhere. Where did you go?
E. Moore: I was out in Hollywood trying to go get it. Trying to push my act around. I worked at Universal Music just getting my grind on in the studio. Let me give a shout out to Pam and Dez. For what it's worth, they showed me a lot of shit.
All the glam and glitz was out there readily available, but I felt someone's pulling me back here to do something. That song, for the record, when I made it, I did pretty much everything in that studio. Bobby Fischer was right there in the studio. I wrote the verse to it, Bobby came in and freestyled to it, and there it is. And I'm glad you were listening to it because this gets overlooked a lot with the MySpace shit. There's so many people doing it, it gets lost.
E. Moore "Better Days"
click to download
ACT:LIVE: Who put this show together?
E. Moore: This show? I guess God... Dub Land Underground. Provide gave us the time and space. He gave us a slot at this showcase. There's a lot of cats waiting to get in and we waited our turn. Me and my man Azariah got a little back and forth planned with some new tracks.
ACT:LIVE: Any gigs in the near future? In or out of town?
E. Moore: You know, anything is possible, man. I could be in India in a couple of months. You never know how things could shape. But I'm good to travel. I love traveling and I'm just letting it happen.
ACT:LIVE: You want to give a shout out to anyone?
E. Moore: Yeah, R.I.P. Tone, shouts to my man James for giving a fuck, and to everyone out there - peace.
ACT:LIVE: One last question... Digital or analog?
E. Moore: Both.
As for the show, the evening was hosted by Rochester local Black Sinatra - most likely subbing in for Wednesday night regular and close friend of Sinatra's, Nikal Fieldz, who is currently in China promoting his newest effort, "Lost in New York".
The show started a bit later than expected, but when E. Moore and Azariah hit the stage, the crowd that was there made some positive noise for them. Azariah started the set with his single and E. Moore followed up with "Better Days", sans Bobby Fischer.
They both worked really well off of each other, but Azariah stole the set. I was impressed with Azariah's stage presence and attention to the people. E. Moore, a bit of a softer-spoken performer, kept the set going and delivered.
Dub Land Underground is doing this city a great service by allowing these young artists to have a platform to do their thing. I have to give ups to Provide, the man handling these nights and giving these guys the spots.
Real people keeping it real and lifting the underground up. Peace to all that helped out.
- james niche, act:live
Right now we're listening to:
Nas "Represent" ("Illmatic", 1994, Columbia)