werd: james niche
“I make hood-soul music. I’ve come to the realization that I make hood-soul-block music.
I took the advice you gave me in my CD review and have tried to explore more of Destroy on the new songs.”
So, are you saying that these songs are little bit deeper, or that you are going more towards the female audience?
There are some ‘shorty’ songs, but they’re DESTROY ‘shorty’ songs. I can’t be anybody but me, so you’re going to get how I get down with the ladies.
You might get a smut song, but you also may get my version of romance.
I try to make broad music that can have that radio appeal, but it also has that street edge to it. I play the line. That’s just me as a person, too.
What are the beats like? Who’s producing them?
Coach is on there, Midnite, Jay Quest and Sight should be getting me some beats, too.
The vibe is like, that mid-nineties hip-hop feeling. It’s hood-soul music, it rides that line and has an edge to it.
I’m really into trying new sounds.
Is this music going to be released onto a CD format?
I’m actually working on three projects right now.
I’m working on a mix-tape, that’s more of a Go Gettaz Union thing. I’m also working on the second part to the ‘Soul of the City’ album and also my version of the ‘Best of Both Worlds’ with Jah Breeze.
I keep myself busy. I think I have A.D.D.
So, CD or no?
These projects will definitely be in CD form. But, in the long run, it will be a collaboration of internet and street promotion.
You have to have both, because not everybody out here has internet access and even if they do, they don’t know where to go to access music.
There’s nothing better than product going directly to the hands of the streets.
No matter how many people I reach on the internet, I can’t just walk by people on the street and miss out on that opportunity.
(Artists, take note: Destroy makes a great point that I often forget about…The streets are a GREAT place to get your product off to. When you give someone your music, you’re not only breaking bread, but even better; the hood won’t lie to you. If it sucks, they will let you know and if they like it, they will also let you know and quickly. I suggest getting some CDs out on the street. I know I’m taking Reece Q CDs out to the streets.)
In the hood and around the world now, everybody raps. It’s like saying you breathe air.
You have to be so much better than the next man for people to give you the time of day.
In some ways, it harder on the streets, but the pay off is greater.
Working hard and establishing positive relationships within the city will get you far. As long as you’re consistently sending out music and information to people to grab and you’re making a difference, there’s no reason local artists shouldn’t be performing at large city events like the Rochester Music Fest.
Yeah I work that game as best as I can. I’m always trying to hit up WDKX.
WDKX is a bitch to get a hold of. I don’t understand what’s going on with them. I have tried getting Tariq involved with a number of things and they just never respond.
I’m not naive, I know that they have their pockets filled with corporate cash cows, but they are missing out on a lot of opportunities to expand their listening base and base in Rochester, as well as diversify the hip-hop audience here.
But you know what, fuck ‘em. I’m going to put on this radio show and let them wonder.
The last thing I want to see is one of our local artists opening up for Lil Wayne’s High School Musical.
WDKX is a perfect example of this monster we are all involved with in the music industry. Once you get to a point where everybody is looking at you, then they will start paying attention.
It’s time for you to either play the game with them or say, “Fuck You.”
I don’t need to play their reindeer games, and won’t. So, what do you really want out of this crazy game of music?
Man, there are a million things I could do for that paper, but none of them will make me truly happy. I have mouths to feed including my own, I could be happy as hell just being a B-level artist, if it would just pay some bills. I would be ecstatic.
I just want to be able to provide and maintain.
Part 2: The Go Gettaz Union
What is the Go Gettaz Union?
That’s me, Ollie North, B-Easy, Chick Bacardi (CEO & partner) and Nasim, who is currently over in Iraq fighting this war. Music is not really a priority to him right now, survival is. Joe Franchise, he is also a member, but recently moved back to Seattle.
Jah Breeze and Coach are also at the core.
So, between all these cities you guys are linked up in (Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Rochester) you should be able to distribute your music pretty well, no?
Some of the guys are still new to the game, so they have to learn the process of locking themselves in the studio and putting out music regularly.
That’s what we’re working on as individuals and as a whole.
We’re young, we’re growing, we have the drive and we have the talent.
Part Three: Chick Bacardi & New Creations Barber Shop (Jefferson Ave. & Columbia St.)
What’s up Chick? How long have you been open at this spot?
Chick: This shop has been open for six years.
There seems to be a positive connection to the neighbor with your shop, as well as with the local city government…
Willie Lightfoot works here and owns the building, so there are a lot of city programs we get involved in, for the kids in the community especially.
(We are then interrupted by the ‘Gucci Man’. This man pops the trunk out front and the cash comes out the woodwork. Chick proceeds to buy a new pair of Gucci sneakers. I am also told stories of the ‘Cake Man’. The Cake Man stops by weekly with an assortment of delicious cakes with absurd flavors, leading the locals to believe he is quite the stoner. Why can’t we have more cash flowing on the east side like this? Why doesn’t Park Ave. have a cake man? I’m dead serious. Why not? If you were to walk down Park Ave. and do that, you would need a credit card machine. This leads me to the next point….don’t think for one second that the black community is any poorer than the college community of Park Ave. The difference is, the white community just overspends every dime they have on a credit card and spends beyond their means. Just because you see some kid with a new whip, doesn’t mean he can afford it. Odds are that kid can’t even put gas in his car and the proceeds to blow every cent he/she doesn’t have, on drinks at some wack club to pick up women/men. He then cries himself/herself to sleep at night because of debt. Now you’re definitely cool, Mr./Mrs. ‘I desperately need society’s approval so I buy pointless shit’. Cheers.)
Tell me something about the block party that goes on here. I’ve heard good things.
For the last four years, we’ve had the Jefferson Ave. Block Party. It used to happen every year for years, but there were a lot of problems. When Willie (Lightfoot) was elected as a County Legislature, he decided to step back in and make some changes.
Next year, it’s going to be even bigger, with two stages. One is at the corner of Frost and one at the corner of Bartlett.
Last year, there were no problems at all. Everybody had a ball. There were old folks jamming with the young folks and vice versa.
Is the party open to everyone in the city, or just neighborhood residents?
It’s open to everybody, just come in peace and have a good time.
That’s awesome. A diverse crowd is always a plus.
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