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Recently, I Q&A’d Sam Hillmer (ZS, Diamond Terrifier) about his imprint Representing NYC and a video he made with some local Brooklyn fellahs, who are playing some of Sam’s weekly Practice! events at Secret Project Robot (one of which is tonight). Read on:
Who are the fellahs vocalizing in this cipher video?
First is Spaz, a dude who lives down the street from me, whom I met through some friends because he was recording at a studio next door to me: deep cat. Then there is Baghdad BrooK. Some of the other fellas in the cipher put me on to him and just invited him impromptu to the session. Next is Hagfish, who also lives down the way from me, and I met him at the same time that I met Spaz; they are in the same crew, same with the next dude Poet Lounge. Hagfish and Poet Lounge are separate MCs, but also sort of work as a pair and have a lot of really deep music out there, and the shit is fierce. Finally, the last three dudes are from the group Hieroglyph Thesaurus: P-Dot, Riddic.C, and Shasty (a.k.a. King Shas). I’ve been working with these cats for like five years now (they were in Nine 11 Thesaurus).
Who’s making the beats?
All of the beats are by Dutty Artz Producers, a lot by Matt Shadetek. Chief Boima, who runs Dutty Artz now, is spinning and some of the production is his as well. I think one of the tracks is from one of their newer releases by Rafi El, which is really heavy; you can grip it on the Dutty Bandcamp or SoundCloud. Dutty Artz will be helping to push out the new RNYC recordings.
What’s the scoop behind Representing NYC?
I run an imprint called Representing NYC. We push out recordings for MCs and producers who are local here in Bushwick and Bedstuy where I live. We link the MCs we work with up with producers and other musicians from the Brooklyn band scene. It’s a way for them to get totally original beats rather than them going off industry instrumentals. We’ve done two full-length records for the Fly Girlz and Nine 11 Thesaurus and put on countless events, showcases, etc. We’ve done records with True Panther Sounds, The Social Registry, and now we are working with DJ Rupture’s Beyond Digital and Dutty Artz not for profit and label respectively. We will be dropping a new track and a new artist feature once a week. As artists drop more tracks with us, we’ll build toward EP releases. When we’ve built to an EP we’ll push it out and hopefully rock tons of shows and hook up tours etc… but for now, check the blog! HA!
There are a ton of DIY venues in Bushwick and the Stuy, and they are surrounded by projects that are almost exclusively people of color and are largely low income households. Yet the DIY scene is almost exclusively trafficked by upper middle-class white people. This is a reality that is affront to the espoused values of punk and DIY communities, which are all about inclusivity and are by definition anti-racist and anti-classist. Yet here we are in the middle of the hood surrounded by white college graduates. It’s a little creepy, and I want to be part of doing something to change that.