Thursday, January 15, 2015

TheThrowAwayDays issue #3

     So I was going to scan in issue #3 of TheThrowAwayDays that came out in May of 2014, but I took pictures instead. I couldn't install the scanner that I bought a few months ago because I don't have enough free space on my computer right now. After I took the pictures on my cell phone, emailed to myself, then started uploading them I realized they were blurry. So then I decided to bust out my external hard drive and find the files that I sent to print. I feel like something gets lost in translation when you're looking at a zine online, so I wanted to at least scan or show pictures of it so you could see that it's a real thing you can hold. But I blew it. At least for now. :/

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

interview with Raymond Strife as seen in TheThrowAwayDays issue #2

TheThrowAwayDays: Have you ever bought groceries? I feel like I've never seen you eat food at your house before.
Raymond Strife: (Laughs) I don't think I ever really have gone grocery shopping unless it was with somebody. That's the funniest way to start this. Yeah, the only time I ever did was when I lived with one of my ex-girlfriends. We would go to Wal-Mart, and I would definitely eat her cooking, but I still would be like I'm not buying anything from Wal-Mart, fuck them. So I think that's the closest I've ever come to grocery shopping.

TTAD: A lot of dudes want you to bang their girlfriends with them or for them. Why do you think that is? Do you think it's all the gay jokes in your songs?
Ray: Maybe.

TTAD: This has happened more than once, yanno?
Ray: I don't know, I think maybe it's because I'm really not judgmental. Or maybe I just seem gayer than I am. I dunno maybe I just seem like I'm a weirdo. (Laughs)

TTAD: What's the difference between a bio and a description?
Ray: I have no idea.

TTAD: Oh yeah, Ben (Luckman) was telling me to ask that. I thought you were gonna get all bent outta shape.
Ray: Yeah, I was all bent outta shape in the car, cause I put down my description then what the fuck do you want from me? Why would you wanna know where I was born and shit? Do you care when you go download music? It's like, "well he lived here for 10 years, then he lost his job," like no one gives a fuck about that shit man. I mean maybe if it's interesting, but I'd rather just hear the music and then find out. I don't think anyone goes to a website and goes, "oh that sounds interesting, I think I'll listen now." I dunno, wouldn't you just listen first? Read the little snippet about what it's about.
I dunno, I just hate all the fucking music websites, I hate it. I don't think it's that cool. I hate doing it. I feel lame but you like have to do it to let people know about your shit.

TTAD: What's your best Roebus One and Dinz tour story?
Ray: I don' know, man. I don't know if I can tell any of the Dinz ones because they all involve real fucked up shit with him.
But maybe, Roebus probably the time I met him. It's not the craziest story but like the first time I ever did a show with him outside of New Jersey, was here. It was in Pittsburgh, and we stayed with John and them. It was like me, and Roebus, and GDP, and Shape, and Frank(TMFSE), and them and we were in the kitchen talking and making jokes about some bullshit. And all of a sudden Roebus makes this face like someone walked on his grave, and we're all laughing so we're like what the fuck, what's wrong? And he's like, "I just swallowed me tooth!" I thought that was like the funniest thing.
Almost as funny as when he was always tell Farricker and Dinz on tour he could end their career with one phone call.
And then when we were in Florida we did some like college video interview. I have no idea what they used it for, because none of the people who shot it stuck around for our show. But like the whole time we were trying to talk about our music, and Roebus was piss drunk for like three days and like he just kept yelling shit that didn't make any sense and his pants kept falling down. And he kept pointing at me and going, "This guy's the realest dude cause all he does is drink Pabst Blue Ribbon everywhere he goes no matter how much money he has. It doesn't matter." And his pants are just like around his ankles while Dinz and Farricker are trying to answer questions and he's just yelling. And they put a garbage can in the middle of the apartment for him to like throw up in because he just passed out on the floor. And I put a bagel on his chest to try and get him to eat some bread. And in the middle of the show he just woke up and peed in the garbage can in the middle of the living room.
That was pretty good, man. I miss that kid.

TTAD: When's the last time you didn't drink a beer in a day?
Ray: I dunno, maybe like, ugh, I think like two months ago I took two or three days off and I had nightmares every night. I don't really sleep very well even when I do drink so it's hard to sleep at all when I'm not drunk. Like even last night when we went to bed I was pretty sober and I had nightmares all night.

TTAD: What's your favorite comic book?
Ray: The Amazing Spider Man. Superior Spider Man is what it is now but it's still a great book. It's written by Dan Slott, it's just like really solid. It's all about Peter Parker, yanno, barely scraping by but doing the right thing and I like that kinda character.

TTAD: Last questions, wanna say something about your music?
Ray: Is that the question? I been thinking a lot on this tour about why I still do this, and is it even worth it.  I'm trying not to concern myself so much of where I wish I was and try to enjoy where I am even though I'm just getting older, and poorer, and shit.
But I don't know. I think my live set is the only reason I do music. I think my recordings come out ok, but like people seeing me live is the real reason I do it. And I think like there's a lot more substance in my performance than in what I write to be honest. I dunno what people are gonna take away from that, they should still check out my music. But yeah, I dunno.
Oh yeah, maybe one more thing is I think punks piss me off just as much as rappers now. Everyone's just a fucking asshole all the time. Like every time I go play a cool house show somewhere I haven't played before now, even if most the people are cool there's always a couple dick heads who are just like trendy beard, borderline metal douche bags who just like hate on the hip hop factor at a punk show. And it's like who the fuck are you man, I been here. Whatever, so I dunno. I was trying to do more hip hop shows and less punk shows because I thought it would help me get more in that crowd cause it's so hit or miss with punk shit. But I'm just getting back to being like, "ohhh this sucks, no ones gonna pay me, and I came the farthest, and I have to open." And it was just like exactly how all the hip hop shows are, and I started doing punk shows again and they're just like that now. I dunno if that's like a different era that's coming up, or just because I'm doing hip hop I should have to open or whatever. I dunno, half the time I wonder why people even book me.
There ya go. End it on a positive fucking note.

Raymond Strife

interview by Cody Jones/Stillborn Identity

interview with GDP as seen in TheThrowAwayDays issue #2

In most publications it would be pretty uncouth to tell the reader this, but considering I'm printing less than 100 copies of this issue and I don't give a fuck about being PC or keeping it posi for the kiddies I'll let you know that GDP ate some mushrooms right before this interview. Another reason some "journalists" might not inform the reader that is because it could be damaging to the artists reputation, but if you're reading this chances are you already know GDP has dabbled in his fair share of recreational drugs. I don't think the drugs affected the answers, although we did occasionally get off course. But more than likely that was because of me talking like a drunk yinzer.

TTAD: When you were a kid would you rather have been a pro skater or a pro rapper?
GDP: Up to a certain point it was a toss up. And then I probably realized like late middle school, my buddies brother opened up a skate shop called Division East. Which ties into what we were doing if you've been paying attention some shit that we were working with earlier. About then I started meeting some really really good skaters and I realized skateboarding is gonna be something i always did but i accepted that it would be a hobby. just rock with it. I was better at making music, so I thought. So I still think.

It's almost nicer now. Like I know some people, so many friends of mine are trying to get on. And it becomes this fucking chore where like "now I have to get a trick." It just looses it's taste. Music to some degree it's like, now I can't just make the songs. It has to get out there to people. I have to tour on it. Make a stab at paying the bills with it. Where skateboarding we still have the beautiful relationship where it's only fun. When i'm on my skateboard it's no pressure except to enjoy myself. It's good, it's like therapy. In that regard I'm almost glad I chose music. Skateboarding to me is almost more sacred, I haven't had to lean on it like I have with music. There's sort of expectations I have with music where skateboarding is strictly skateboarding.

TTAD: What did you go to college for and are you ever gonna work in that field?
GDP: English, creative writing, and music. And I think it's safe to say yes. Not in a traditional sense, but certainly.

TTAD: Does have a college degree get you a higher guarantee?
GDP: Definitely (laughs) and student loans will also up your guarantees. Take your student loans, try to defer them, and you'll definitely getter a better leg up in the rap field.

TTAD: What is the last real job you ever had? not even like real big boy job, like just a job.
GDP: Yeah, like a joe job. Waiting tables. Like literally I quit when we were moving to the Bronx to record useless eaters. So the last real job I had I dropped that in June of 2010. I've have odd jobs, wild shit like that definitely kept me afloat. Like, that was the last time I literally had a time card. I'm not above that that. I know one day I might have to do that shit again. I'm just striving to not have to, cause I feel like I have more important things to be worrying about. I respect anyone doing that to get by, but try to use that money to get your leg up. So many of my friends are gonna be a bartender forever, not that there is anything wrong with that, but if you have aspirations use that as a stepping stone to go wherever you need to go. No disrespect but it's like I took that money and got my ass to New York to record a record and I've been trying to tread water ever since.

TTAD: Here's a stab at your new record. Who finally taught you how to count bars?
GDP: I've always known, I just don't care. And I still don't. In the future you'll be even more aware of that.

TTAD: Your new stuff is mad depressing, are you pretty much over the braggadocio?
GDP: Hell no. I haven't even tipped the ice berg of my braggadocio this is just like another record I wanted to make. I'll get away from the braggadocio again. You know what I mean. I just wanna be able to write whatever. I'm like an octopus, More than that though. Every tentacle being another octopus.

TTAD: With how depressing your last record was do you ever feel like through all your touring shit you were just running from something? Instead of you graduated from college and were like, "now I'm a rapper."
GDP: The answer is yes. I had been trying to be a rapper. But like it just came to a point where things were shaky in my life, pretty much the whole time I was in college every weekend I was outta town playing shows.

My parents are fucking cool. They really scrimped and scrapped their whole lives to save enough to put me through college. When I was 17 and said I didn't wanna go to college. They weren't mad but they were heart broken. You know what I mean? They weren't trying to guilt trip me or anything they were just legitimately upset. I had never seen my dad cry before. At his fathers funeral and when I told him I didn't wanna go to college. I was just like ok what are they asking me to do, give it a shot, and then it was just like whatever. I just saw the shit through. I got out and start touring and going hard I'm like, "oh wait, maybe no one gives a fuck, maybe the whole time i was in college i could have actually gotten an education instead of worrying about being a rapper and putting all my eggs in this basket." Around then in my love life things started falling apart. Holla was actually super cathartic for me. It's not depressing, it's the least depressing thing I've ever done. Its like my next lease on life. And when #$ (Hash Money) comes out in a  few months, you'll see Holla is like half a bridge so to speak. You'll see the whole picture when the #$ (Hash Money) record come out.

The Wrong Address: You were thinking about stopping rapping before, right?
GDP: Yeah, when we (GDP & The Wrong Address) started hanging out I was over rapping. When Useless Eaters came out I cancelled a Europe tour I cancelled like so many fucking shows. My girl and I were breaking up. I was just like I've put everything in my life to put GDP in front of my personal life and for what? I'm 23 years old and I'm barely getting by and I've just put all this negative energy out there in the world. There's music videos of me fucking girls and shooting cops. And what has it done but like fuck up everything I actually cared about as a person. Like where does this lead me. Like I'll google my name now let me try to get a real job. At this point I'm like, fuck. And then we (The Wrong Address) started hanging out more and he was also going through the same thing. You wanna talk about it?

The Wrong Address: Same type of shit you know what I mean.
GDP: The opposite actually. You had some sick fucking job and making a ton of money.
The Wrong Address: But I hated it, and the girl shit too.
 GDP: Yeah we won't go into it. Sorry girls, I love ya. But you understand, and girls go through guy shit.  It's just like I'm a guy, I don't experience the world as a woman. I'm a feminist at heart.

TTAD: What Europe tour did you drop off of?
GDP: I was gonna go out there with my friends AOI and Mr. DNA. They threw me like $1,000 on my ticket and I was gonna cover the other half. It was also kinda cause like the money was seeming like I was gonna come out of pocket. They ended up killing it and it was a great tour, so I was like fuck whoops. But I was just going through so much shit, dude, I was just like not showing up for shows. There was a bunch of shows I was supposed to play on Useless Eaters and I literally just didn't feel like calling them. I was just like in bed. Not some faggot like I'm so depressed artist thing. It was just like I don't care, but I got off that.

TTAD: When you were depressed and not gonna make music anymore, what did you want from your life instead?
GDP: Some finical stability, cause I was traveling around, and at that point I was kinda staying at my parents house. I was living with a girl for free, not that that was why I was with her, but I fucked that right up because I just broke up with her. And then I was like bouncing around, staying with friends. I almost moved to Oakland with my bud Jake. I did a Cali run and ate an edible and just lost it and I stopped smoking weed for almost a year and a half. I just wanted some sort of stability. I loved nothing in my life. Like my music shit that was suppose to hold me down, it was like I don't have a booking agent everyone that is reaching out to me doesn't understand what the fuck to do with me. Like they're offering me tours that suck, my friends are like "Why don't you just do it?" Cause I work too hard to go on some shit tour where I don't fit in the lineup. I don't wanna do that bull shit. If it's not putting my best foot forward career-wise and finically, it's like my integrity is worth more than that. But it's gonna be a real fun year for me I promise.

TTAD: What's the rest of the year got going on for you? Or beyond that if you know?
GDP: I'm launching a record label called Smokers Cough. ( It's gonna be myself, The Wrong Address, Shape, The Man From Somewhere Else, AOI, DOS4GW, #$, Schlang, the Slangcorp camp kinda redistributed/repurposed and a bunch of other people you haven't heard of before. Maybe you have but didn't realize we were friends. I'm also working with some other labels. I've just been given a really nice plateau to get me and my friends music out and that's what I'm doing this year. And play a bunch of shows. I just release a record with The Wrong Address called Holla,  I'm releasing an ep with Space Jesus in February under the group name #$ (Hash Money), then I'm doing a solo record called Permanent Vocation., that's what I'm doing this year. Go there and you'll find out all about it.


interview by Cody Jones/Stillborn Identity

interview with Sole as seen in TheThrowAwayDays issue #2

     I wanted to interview Sole at the show he played in Pittsburgh a while ago. Before any of the acts went on I asked him to do an interview for my "shitty zine" and he was down. Since I was nervous I decided to wait until after I tied on a few cold beers. I ended up drinking too much to work my recorder, and I think Sole was three sheets to the wind as well, but I have a habit of thinking everyone is equally as drunk as me.  So I'm not sure if he was actually drunk or I just didn't want to feel like the only drunk asshole so I told myself he was to drunk to do the interview too.
     Sole agreed to do the interview via email. When an artist says that they'll do an interview through email it usually means they agree not to hurt your feelings by telling you your "shitty zine" isn't worth their time because you don't even have enough clout to write freelance for anyone but yourself. But Sole held true and returned my questions is less than 12 hours.
     I prefaced all my questions in the email by saying I was terrible at spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc, etc, so any mistakes he sent back I more than likely wouldn't catch. I send this to most artists I interview through email, but I felt like Sole is pretty smart so I wouldn't have much proofreading to do. However, his answers were filled with mistakes, and me being the disillusioned paranoid fanboy I am I assumed he only did this to test me to see if I really was going to fix any of his mistakes or not. Well I'm not a god damn liar, so here is the e-mail I got back from Sole in it's entirety, word for word, mistake for mistake.

TheThrowAwayDays: Any idea what happened with that kid, Manny, and Lord Grunge during your set last night? What the fuck are you supposed to do as a rapper when the show promoter is about to get in a fight during your set?
Sole: seriously that was wack as fuck.  it was especially pissed off when manni straight shut my sound off and didn't even say anything to me about it.  if the goal is to put on a concert, then its best to put on a concert.  in those situations, you have to make a decision, is what im doing going to escalate a conflict or de escalate?   yes the dude allegedly did some fucked up shit, but two or three wrongs dont make a right!

T-TAD: Who are you top three favorite red headed rappers?
Sole: none of them.

T-TAD: What happened with Serengeti and Open Mike Eagle who were supposed to be on your tour?
Sole: its not my tour, its Jel's tour.  Things with transportation got fucked up so there was no room for mike eagle in the vehicle.  i don't really understand serengetti's situation or his excuses.  I think Jel would be better suited to answer these questions then me ;)

T-TAD: Got any good tour story gossip from "Old Oakland Reunion Tour"
Sole: the best/worst stuff i can't repeat.  to be honest though, not really.  it was a pretty smooth fun tour with little drama.

T-TAD: What is one pro and con about Anticon/Fake Four/Black Canyon Music?
Sole: i am not on anticon anymore.


anticon  pros: awesome, authentic history, strong brand.  cons:  the brand remains
fake four pros: great label, community,& artists  . cons: ceschi is in prison
black canyon: pros: not really a label, just a mode of doing music work, getting paid in full and releasing what i want when i want.  con: so much fucking work and i need help with booking.

T-TAD: Why does Pedestrian write some of your songs/or you play his or whatever? (ex Assad is Dead, Banks of Marble)
Sole: because he doesn't enjoy rapping as much as i do, and he writes in my voice better then i do sometimes.  theres stuff i can get away with saying that he can't.  he doesn't care about fame or careers or any of that shit, he just enjoys writing and i enjoy rapping his lyrics.

T-TAD: Not that I really want any juicy details if this still does exist, but is there still a beef with El P? Or does rap beef kinda just fade away about so many years, or maybe once you hit 30?
Sole: no it doesnt exist anymore, we've squashed our beef.  that shit cast a huge black cloud over my career though, so although its gone there are a lot of people i'll never be friends with.

T-TAD: In an interview you did with Above Ground Magazine you said something about how helpful Lil B was when you worked with him. How did that collab come to be, and in what ways was he helpful?
Sole: i think regardless of what you think about his music, he revolutionized the game.  he shows you that in the 2010's all you need is a youtube account and a website to host music on, and if you worked hard and did interesting/compelling shit people will support you.  thats revolutionary, it puts labels out of a job but forces artists to work harder!  so when i wanted to make videos i was talking to lil b about cameras, he gave great advice, he also gave me some great advice on how to run twitter bots effectively.  most people dont give out trade secrets, but lil b doesn't give a shit.  

: Say something smart about that smart shit you do that I'm too much of a dumb-dumb-dummy to ask about. (yanno, your fancy diet, your podcast, occupy Denver)"
Sole: prairie dogs have one of the most advanced languages in the animal kingdom.  they have over 72 words, they use adjectives like "big" nouns like "human" or "fox." they lived in a heirarchical society, almost like a monarchy.  a male and a female have babies, those babies then form colonies along the borders of the alpha male/female.  this creates security for the elders and allows them to keep building out.  not saying i support this sort of model for society but prairie dogs are still dope as fuck


interview by Cody Jones/Stillborn Identity

interview with Height from Baltimore as seen in TheThrowAwayDays issue #2

TheThrowAwayDays: Recently you've had some coverage in national publications. How did that come to be and was it to any real advantage or just another thing to add to a press kit?
Height: Good question. People come up to me at shows and say, "I heard you on the Shark Tank album," or " I saw you open for Dan Deacon" but no one ever says "I read your track review on and decided to check it out. That's never happened once.

The only positive effect I've been able to detect is that getting press has made long time fans happy for me.

TTAD: I feel like you're always rapping about wooden spoons. What's the deal with that? Are you to wooden spoons and rap what Salad Fingers us to rusty spoons and internet cartoons?

TTAD: If you didn't tour pretty much full time what would you do?
Height: I always wish I had more time to write and record. Being on a deadline can be good, but if I was just posted up in Baltimore for 365 days a year, I'd like to think I would grind even harder on the music-making end.

When I played in places like Ukraine, I met groups that are not able to tour at all, due to their financial reality and the cultural reality of their world. You either win the music business lottery and make it big or you just stay in your hometown. It would be nice to not have this pressure to be going everywhere all the time. Still, it seems like it would be hard to devote yourself so strongly to your music, knowing that only your ten friends around town will ever hear it.

TTAD: How would/will you know your time on the road is done if it ever comes to that?
Height: I never want to stop touring. I didn't get into it on a whim. I do it because I see it as my calling. On the other hand, I'm at a crossroads in regard to how hard I want to tour in the immediate future. I'm questioning how much touring is helping me right now. I'm still doing well in the cities where I do well, and I'm still playing to empty rooms in the cities where I've always played to empty rooms.

I'm starting to think that the whole cycle of an indie act self-releasing music and doing DIY tours is losing relevance. It's not that important to press up physical media, and it's not that important to physically appear live in a certain city on a certain day. It's seems like being willing to tour the country and press up your own records used to be more of a self-empowering thing, but it's been rendered obsolete by the internet. I'm not mad at it. I'm just trying to figure out how to adapt.

TTAD: When  you wrote parts for other people in your new album did you try to write something fitting for each person specifically? Or did whoever just get whatever part?
Height: When I initially wrote the rhymes, I had on rose-colored classes as to how it would work. I expected Mickey Free to just be able to make himself sound like Grandmaster Caz, or Gavin Riley to sound like Busy Bee, or whatever it was I wanted. I didn't put much thought into what each person's voice sounded like naturally. It took a lot of trial and error, and almost every single bar on the album was recorded by eight different people until it felt right. It forced me to work with people I never really worked with before, like Eze Jackson, who has become the main guy helping me make these old school songs and sets a reality.

TTAD: Any other off the wall album concepts coming up?
Height: Yes! The next two albums will be equally off the wall sequels to my recently released period-peice album. Part two will take place in LA in the early 80's, and I'll be paying homage to acts like LA Dream Team and Egyptian Lover. Part three will be another east coast style album, also taking place in the 80's, paying homage to Crash Crew, Fearless Four, etc. I aim to release them in winter and spring, respectively.

The third Shark Tank album will be coming later this winter, and will be equally insane.


interview by Cody Jones/Stillborn Identity

interview with Proseed as seen in TheThrowAwayDays issue #1

TheThrowAwayDays: You told me before when you were starting to working out the kinks in "Depth in Shallows" that you were going to do it right as far as promo went. What all does that entail and how has that worked out?
PROSEED: Well it's more than just putting it on a myspace page and blowing up peoples profiles up, man. I never really understood marketing, I never really understood that there was a distinction between exposure and retainment. I spent $2,900 on city paper ads back when I put out "Quintessential," and that's when I had website. I don't even think I had much of a mailing list, I may have had some sort of a mailing list program that came with my web-host, but I didn't know what the first thing I was doing with it. So right there is a big loss. With all that money I spent on a city paper ad, and number of unique visitors at that time, who are those people? I have no idea at this point. So to answer your question it's just really about understanding. After 10 years of performing in the city of Pittsburgh, I'm finally understanding the things I need to do as far as micro-marketing of getting your music out. I understand it at this point. Which is a shame because I've been doing this for 10 years now. But at the same time I feel like my music is quality now. I always had a confidence about what I was doing but I can look back at every album I've put out including "Broken Body Walkman Shop" and know the flaws, know the mistake I've made, but I don't feel that way about this album. I'm perfectly comfortable about this album, there's not a moment where I cringe, it sounds great. I'm happy with the content, I'm proud of it, it's a mature album. Really it's the first day of my new life so to speak as being a hip hop artist.

TTAD: So what are some of the things you've done, I know you went and made some videos to hype it up, what else?
PROSEED: Well prior to this storm I was in the process of doing the whole cd baby thing, so I'm doing digital distribution that way. As far as other things it's really a word of mouth social networking. Then for the show we have coming up the 27th I'm gonna do small budget for a Reverbnation promoted thing and to try to an ad trying to get the whole promoted blanket. Which is them hitting up Youtbue, they hit up Facebook, and try to promote the show for a week. That's the other thing that I've learned, and this is partly my fault, and it's also party the whole shift in the music industry. When I started out there wasn't a Facebook, there wasn't stuff like that. That's the whole learning process right there. The fact that micro-marketing is where it's at now. You don't spend thousands of dollars to get it in print based media, you spend tens and hundreds of dollars if that to just get word of mouth and spread it like wild fire like that. The other stuff does not work, you need to aggregate what you doing in multiple places.

TTAD: When we filmed "Depth in Shallows", you were like thaw worlds biggest nancy boy, with like walking around the steps and stuff. What did you do your entire childhood? Did you have any hobbies that involved the out doors?
PROSEED: (laughs) That's funny dude, my friend is always making fun of me for that. He's actually tearing down a den for an old lady, and his mother actually asked him who can he get to help, she said, "what about Derek?" He said, "nah mom, nah, he's not really the laborist type." I get made fun of all the time for that. I dunno man, I mean we had a farm, my grandfather had a farm up in the Meadville area. We still have land up there but outside of that, no I guess I was never an outdoorsy person. I was a boy-scout for a little bit.

TTAD: How far did you get?
PROSEED: Oh not far. It probably wasn't past 5th or 6th grade. Definitly wasn't past grade school.

TTAD: Yo your child hood group Solid Ground Entiertainment, you're about to be last of the Mohicans. You hear Kid A is hanging it up?
PROSEED: I know man, but you know what, I don't honestly believe he's hanging it up. He goes through these depressing stages and then he comes back, He's said stuff like this in the past I think. Maybe not as blatant and as explicit, but I don't think he's gonna hang it up. He just needs something to re-inspire him.

TTAD: How much more you think you got in you? You're about to be done with school pretty soon right?
PROSEED: I'm done with school. I got my masters last spring. I'm working with kids in a school district out my way, it's in an after school setting. But hanging it up man, that's not soon. I'm definitely at my point where I'm like, "man, I'm getting tired of this. " But every artist has probably gone through that, especially when you're not receiving the attention you think you deserve. But at the end of the day I'm still doing it because it's fun, and I'm still doing it because it's fulfilling to me, and it's art and I always wanna do something art related. So hanging it up, I'm not ready to do that, man. Especially with this album, I'm so confident with this album. Especially if the right ears hear it, it's gonna spread a heck of a lot more than anything I've ever done in the past in the past. I'm not saying I'm gonna blow up with this. But I think it's finally gonna hit something. It's hopefully gonna spread through blogs and everything. I'm trying to get into podcasts, of course I'm not trying to get it on commercial radio or anything like that but I'm trying to make some impact this time around.

TTAD: What are your goals for this album, it seems like you're pouring a lot into this album, what do you expect out?
PROSEED: to be brutally honest with numbers, I'd like to see can I do 200 cds within a year. Can I do 400 downloads within a year, and a good chuck of that is something with payment. With Bandcamp I'm doing the pay what you want price on it. It's a small goal, but to be honest I've never hit that in the past. I put 1000 cds out with "Quintessential" and I have 7 or 8 boxes with dozens of copies in my parents den.

TTAD: Are you gonna do a lot more shows to try and get it out?
PROSEED: Well to do shows, I wanna do outside of the city. They been talking to me in Fortified PhonetX about a bi-monthly thing, but I don't like the idea. Not to ids their idea, but I wouldn't like the idea of doing a bi-monthly. I think you really soak up quickly the turn out of doing something like that. I think I would be more effective in Pittsburgh if I did a show every 3 or 4 months.
     Yeah, I wanna do shows do shows outside of this city. It doesn't have to be large cities, I'm doing a show in Erie in May. I wanna go back out to Youngstown, I did a show there last May. I'm down to shows I just don't wanna do a show once every month in the city of Pittsburgh and see the same 15 faces. That's really where you have to take it if you're gonna get anywhere. And I know you been doing that a lot, you been grinding on the shows going all over the place. And that's really what it takes man. But the fact that you gotta go on this one month tour, I'm not sure if that for one, is absolutely necessary for everyone, and two it's frankly not feasible for me. I have a full time job. But I'm more than happy to go out on the weekend and drive a couple hours out. There's plenty of people in PA and it's surrounding cities and states.

TTAD: What's up Surface Level Records, that's something you started with FPX right?
PROSEED: Yeah, I'll be the second release out on that label. Honestly it's still not officially a label. I'm gonna do trademark and start out with that for protection purposes and because it's kind of cheap to do it that way. But yeah I'd like to see that as a slow road long term sort of a thing man. If there is ever a time when I hang it up maybe it will be the time when I decide to do something else but still related to the music. When I'm helping some younger act get their music out, publish it or something like that. Yeah, that's a learning process too. Everyone has their logo and their name, but not everyone has the logistics down on what really makes a label. And I think we're all kind of on the same page in working towards that. And trying to create  brand, because once you create a brand you create that label and you create that name. And like everything else, your combing networks, your combining the peoples you've reached, and that's a sure shot way of growing the audience as well.


interview by Cody Jones/Stillborn Identity

Mega-Busk tour story as seen in TheThrowAwayDays issue #1

     It's hard to leave for tour at 5:30 in the morning, but flopped shows need to be rocked, personal hygiene needs to be ignored, bar tabs need to be bailed on, hardwood floors need drunk guests to sleep on them face first, mega-buses need to disappoint punctual patrons with their overly relaxed time schedule, and so on. So needless to say I was on my way for my 'Mega-Busk tour' at 5:30 am. This is my story from a short run of out of state shows all done by bus, train, lengthy walks, and bumming rides.

     In my experience saying you're playing NYC has always been cooler than actually playing NYC. When you tell someone you're going to The Big Apple for a show they imagine you playing to a packed crowd filled with up and coming actors, record label scouts, and attractive models hurling themselves at you after the show, however that's not the case. The fact is NYC might be the most over saturated place to play. The chance of my show being anything more than dime a dozen to any NYC native is slim to none. Either way I was pumped to play a show with my friends Jack Wilson, Mike G from People with Teeth, Cornelius the Third, and Done 4.
     Considering I caught a bus to Manhattan super early in the morning I knew I was going to have time to get lost on some public transit and lurk around the surrounding area of the venue with Cornelius and Done4 once they got in from New Jersey. From where the mega-bus dropped me off, I took the train to where I thought the venue was in a pretty nice part of Brooklyn, only I accidentally took it a bunch of stops to far. I first started to notice I might be headed in the wrong direction when the amount of super hip people you hear about in Brooklyn/Bushwick started to dwindle down to fewer and fewer until there was none. Another indication of I might be going into the ghetto was from the sleeping homeless man who spends his days passed out riding the rail with a baby sized bottle of Vladmir tucked safely away in his lap. Just seeing this man in his natural habitat was only one way I was able to assume that the ground above me was becoming more and more dilapidated, but another way I was able to tell was by how close other commuters got to him. At first this guy had an entire bench to himself, no Brooklyn "hipster" would go on either side of him! As time went on and we neared the end of the route people became less and less "hobophobic" if you will, he slept shoulder to shoulder with riders, squished between them like a homeless man sandwich sprinkled with the best filth the city had to offer in the last two or so months.
     A few stops from the end two police entered the other end of the train car I was on. I debated asking them for directions. As I was about to approach them with all my gear in my back pack they got a report on their dispatch,"…suspect last seen on 52nd street, white male, blue pants, black backpack, and red hair," I stopped dead in my tracks as they turned towards me, the only red head on the train. I was afraid being the only red head on that side of town might automatically make me guilty so I got off the train at the next stop before the long arm of the law accused this model citizen of committing whatever crime.
     After I backtracked two miles on foot to the venue I met up with Cornelius and Done4. We decided to go check out the area. Instead of going up and down the main strip Done4 wanted to go behind the venue. A few paces behind the saloon and he was deucing his blunt and Cornelius handed me a beer with a brown paper bag while we scouted for a good stoop to pose as our own for a while. "Doing the good ol' New York city trash thing," I thought to myself, "I'm in!" And so we went to stoop after stoop, front steps after front steps, leaning on trash cans like we owned them while practicing comedy bits and drunkenly kick flipping in front of old women, until a resident of each building asked us to move on.
     Before long we returned to the venue with a healthy buzz and tried to fight the urge of buying over priced PBR, but eventually caved in. Jack Wilson and Mike G from People with Teeth (better known as 'Person with Tooth' that night since he rocked a solo set) came and we played the show for a small/fun crowd. I crashed with Jack that night and he gave me a small tutorial of how the public transit works to try and prevent me from getting lost again.

     The next day I took a bus to Hartford, CT where my aunt picked me up at the convention center to take me to my show in New London later that night with Skobie Won, NME the Illest, Chum, Dreadpool Parker, Erik Lamb, and The Lopez. After I got off the bus and walked around aimlessly for a while I decided to ask where the convention center was instead of assuming my intuition 'man compass' would get me there. The first person I saw was some business looking male, I asked for directions but he didn't respond. I asked again and he acknowledge me in the form of speeding up his walk and refusing the look back. It seemed he must have heard about my shenanigans the day before, and now that I had been christened in the way of big city trash hip hoppers, square business looking people like himself no longer felt safe talking to me.
     At my aunts house I stored as much food in my belly and cheeks as I could like the little chipmunk I am. When my aunt asked me what time I had to be at the venue I reluctantly told her they wanted me their an hour early to get set up. Before I could tell her that being an hour early for load in at a hip hop show was completely unnecessary she was already getting her coat so we could be on our way.
     When we arrived at El'N'Gee Club at 6:45 (we were definitely on Aunt Leslie time and not rapper time)  no lights were even on. I had a brown storm brewing in my belly from all the food I tried to inhale at my aunts house and remembered the bathrooms being pretty rough and not somewhere you would want to poop in while other people were there. So I rolled the dice and tried to door to the venue anyway. Luckily it was open, and I saw the silhouette of the bartender standing behind the counter looking like he was in some noir film listening to Trap Them.
     As I'm in the bathroom I hear my aunt walk in the bar looking for me. She asks the bartender if he knows "Cody Jones" because she, like most adults I'm related to, is embarrassed to say Stillborn Identity out loud. I come out of the bathroom and find her inspecting overly graphic metal flyers on the poster board and tags on the wall. As we walk outside she asks me if I would be offended if she didn't stay for my set. Somewhat relieved (rapping about being a drunk fuck up in front of your relatives can be weird) I say that I wouldn't be. She goes on the say that maybe it wasn't so "divey" she would stay and that if I'm playing somewhere a bit nicer and cleaner in her area to let her know. Fat chance, I think to myself.

     Princeton, NJ, along with having the best record store I've ever been to, also is home of the fanciest restaurant I've ever played in. I've never been under dressed for a show before, but at The Pind with Raymond Strife, Wade Wilson, Cornelius the Third, Urban Shocker, and Stephen Brown we all looked like such scrubs to the staff that getting served at the bar was going to be near impossible. If only my aunt was with us she could have ordered the drinks then passed them off.
     I didn't want to be the guy who goes to the bartender and asks what the cheapest beer is right off the bat, typically doing that sort of thing doesn't bother me, but I feel like this place was just looking for a reason to cut me off before I even started. I started asking local patrons what their draft was to avoid this problem. After asking five or so people who all answered Bud Light, my chances of getting a buzz were gonna be gone, but at least I could look cool holding a beer for a reasonable price.
     As it turns out, Bud Light was the only beer on tap at this bar. If that isn't weird enough, the tap wasn't even in the room with the bar. The bartender had to keep getting the busboys to run to the other room and get it for her. The busboys then would pass the beer to the bartender, the bartender to me, then I would go to pay, but by the time I got money out of me pocket she was gone.
     I decided the reason I was getting hooked up on drinks was because the bartender either wanted to help bury my bone, or she was the worst bar maid on earth, either way I was going to take total advantage of the situation. I found out it was the latter when word started to circulate in the show room that she was looking for me to pay my tab. By that point I was already 6 or so beers in with no buzz to show for it, only feeling bloated. "Forget that," I thought to myself, "those beers aren't worth paying for nor was the service," plus I had tried to pay directly after the first few rounds and she wasn't having it. So when I left the venue at the end of the night I waited till a herd of my friends left and ducked behind them.

     Trenton, NJ might be the funnest place on earth for all the wrong reasons. Raymond Strife put me up, and luckily he had the day off. After lounging in his living room for far to long watching soap operas, we decided to take the day in and actually got outside before 4pm and see what was happening at Championship bar.
     After a few rounds on the bar, Ray and I made tracks to his girlfriends dads birthday party. I was pretty weirded out by the situation, but before I even made it beyond the living room at the house I already had a fistful of pretzels and a Black and Tan Yuengling to wash them down with. After an hour or so of eating every type of finger food the party had to offer; pretzels, chips, hummus, shrimp, cookies, brownies and drinking every beer I could never afford on my own while mingling with all of Ray's girlfriends distant relatives we decided we had to go to the show where another mountain of beer was waiting for me and the other bands/rappers.
     The show was great thanks to Greg Klein, but the night really started to become more memorable as Ray and I got closer to being black out drunk. After the show we decided to go back to Championship bar for last call with our friends Griffen and Rusmir. Ray walked in a few minutes before us, and when we finally made our entrance, I saw Ray standing at the bar counter with two pleasantly plump women while his pants were at his ankles, boxers and all, flopping his dick around like a fish out of water.
     Worried that he might get in trouble from the bar for indecent exposure, or from the women for sexual harassment, I rushed over to help him pull up his pants like he was some sort of paraplegic that fell over mid-crap in a bathroom stall. Until I realized that the bartender was purposely looking in the opposite direction, and the women were giggling and standing up for him saying that his pants were only off because they asked to see his flaccid cock as I was about to scold him. For a second in my drunken stupor I started to believe them, then I had a moment of clarity and realized no girls are going to bars just to try and see some random dudes limp dick.
     The bartender broke us off with a six pack against his better judgment as we started to walk back to Rays and crash for the night. Griffen, Rusmir, and I were all downstairs finishing our last beers of the night, trying to figure out how Rusmir and I were going to catch the train out of Trenton in the morning, as Ray walks past the balcony on the top of the steps just barely in our peripheral vision. Griffen takes notice of him and looks up the steps as he passes by and whips his dick out one last time for the night. Griffen, nearly blinded by seeing Rays wang again decides to head out then and leave Rusmir and I to fend for ourself trying to get a ride off the sleeping/streaking giant to the train station in the morning.

Written by Cody Jones/Stillborn Identity