May 04


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Blockhead is the man behind many of AesopROCK’s beats, and was one of four members of New York City’s Overground which also consisted of Dub-L (The Controls, AesopROCK, etc.). The Peach caught up with Blockhead on a Spring afternoon in 2001 and ended up in a grapple battle for dominance of the cookie tray! Here’s the conversation.


Blockhead: Nuttin…Chillin like the internet villian that I am.

P: So, yo. AesopROCK’s “Float” was the shit. How much did you produce of it?

B: I did 8 joints and the three little instrumental interludes…

P: And you’re doing some work on the next joint too?

B: Of course. I did 9 joints out of 16. Movin’ up in the world…

P: Haha. Does the next one have a name yet?

B: Yup, “Labor Days”. Ironically enough, that’s about when it’ll be dropping too.

P: Hot. How did the El-P teamup come about?

B: Well…Aesop’s publicist is also El-P’s. I think she gave him a CD and he liked it enough to what to put out his new record on Def Jux. Also, being down with Canibal Ox and the Atoms Fam is a bonus.

P: As a producer, I know, equipment can be kinda like the secret formula in the musician’s arsenal. Do you wanna talk about the kind of equipment you use?

B: Sure…I use an Asr 10. No more, no less. What do you want to know about it?

P: How long you been rockin it?

B: Hmmm…about 5 or 6 years now. I just paid my last installment a year ago though.

P: Have you been able to perform live? Do you bring the asr out with you to shows?

B: Nope…that would be hell. The Asr is like a big ass keyboard. It weighs about 80 pounds. I’m not trying to move it anywhere. I think DATs, records and CD’s work better for live shows anyway. I’d look like a dickhead on stage pressing buttons.

P: What’s the process in which yourself and Aesop work? Do you make a ton of beats and Aesop picks the ones he digs? Do you setout with a kind of sound in mind, or does form come out of chaos?

B: It’s different. Most of the time Aesop will come over and just listen to my new beats. If he likes something, he takes it. Sometimes he will actually write to the beat but most of the time he just picks a beat that suit whatever mood he’s written for. I got mad beats too so it’s not like he’s limited to just a few kind of tracks. He suprises me sometimes. Sometimes he’ll pick a beat I would never think he’d be into. Other times he’ll not be feeling a track that Iwould assume he’d be feeling….You never know with him…


P: A little background history if you’d please: Age, residence, preference in female anatomy?

B: 24 years old. Downtown NYC and and round ass with a flat smooth stomach connected to some nice titties

P: Word. Now a lot of cats may not know this, but you’re a sick freestyler and rhymer in your own right. Do you still get down?

B: Hah! Sick rhymer…that’s funny. Nope…I gave up mcing a while ago. I realized that my voice just wasn’t there for mcing. Too bad more mc’s don’t realize that…I will tell you this though: Me and my boy Jer (you know, from the Overground) are working on a parody album. We rap on that. We got a bunch of tracks so far but we just need to fine tune them. It should be dope. We did the illest R&B song ever.

P: What was it like working with Dub-L (The Controls) and the rest of the Overground crew. Do you guys still hang out?

B: Of course. We chill all the time. It’s just now we’ve seperated musically. Dubs is doing his own thing. I’m doing mine. Jer is doing instrumental work. And Niles is going to be a famous filmmaker. But we do shill on the regular. That’s my party crew. We get fucked up together.

P: The thing that always struck me about you guys was just the heaping helping of talent within the crew. Ya’ll dripped with originality and creativity. How long have you known Aesop, and has your past experiences with Overground and having fun with hiphop transpired into worthwhile knoledge of how to handle hiphop business in the new, Do-It-Yourself age?

B: I met Aesop in 94 at Boston University (where he graduated from and I dropped out). I think the Overground was a dope thing. I will always be a silly person. Ii’m not serious about much. Some heads take life too seriously. The Overground and Baby Show (Overground’s NYC public access show) really put that in me. As for indy hip hop business…man I have no clue. When it comes down to it, unless you’re the boss, you’re getting fucked one way or another. Indy or major.

P: Haha. Word. So what’s up with your solo record, “Let A Player Be A Player”?

B: Well…it’s pretty stagnant right now. Ii got like 6 or 7 joints done (Aesop, Illogic, Slug, Percee P, Chase Pheonix, Beetlejuice) but the rest I’m just waiting on. I do all my recording at Aesop’s crib so with him being the busiest man alive (believe that!), I haven’t had a chance to record. It’s be a while…let’s just say that…

P: You’re, in fact, one of hiphop’s o.g.’s as far as the Internet and Usenet are concerned. Has feedback been good regarding your production or feedback to the album as a whole? Do you feel the net serves any true advantage to the artist beyond promotion?

B: Well, as far a album feedback, it’s been mostly good. People’s biggest problem with me is that apperantly I have weak drums. Who knew? It’s funny to me how people can go out of their way be like “he’s ai-ight but his drums suck”. I’m a pretty realistic person. My drums ain’t the illest but they’re good enough. Other then that, it’s been mostly positive. As for the net helping…oh yeah. Man, this whole shit wouldn’t have gone down if it were not for the net. But at the same time…sometimes I think the net is too much. Like, I never imagined Aesop or my fanbase would be what it is. For better or for worse. The net’s got it’s fare share of newjacks with opinions that just piss me off. Other then that, it’s all gravy.

P: A lot of cats on the net, you have to remember, keep to themselves and don’t express their opinions. For as many cats that do there’s perhaps an equal or greater amount that does not. Nahmeen?

B: Of course…I just wish the vocal ones would pipe down once in a while and instead of talking shit, maybe learn the history of the music they think they know everything about.

P: But that’s now within your power to do through music! The net is a forum. People will talk shit. You have a veil of anonyminity that shields you. But true movement and power will be delivered through the music.

B: Yup yup…you are right. As much as I talk shit about the net I can’t deny what it’s done for me. Not just me but a lot of good music that would otherwise go unheard.

P: And with that: your thoughts on mp3s? launched a successful guerilla attack and shot “Obedience” to number 2 on their charts. Do you feel mp3 empowers artists such as yourself and Aesop or does it detract from a larger potential?

B: Well…in the case of Aesop’s early shit, it did nothing but good. It’s because of shit like that we’re where we are now. But nowadays when some new Aesop joint leaks on to Napster, that’s money out the pocket.

P: But you’re entering new territory being signed to Def Jux, huh?

B: Oh yeah…Def Jux is real deal.

P: Will you guys be touring?

B: Aesop will. I won’t. They asked him to go in June but he works a full time job, has a serious girl and has mad bills to pay. Hopefully it’ll work out for him. I’ll be chilling in the cut regardless. Hehe.

P: So next up for Blockhead: More ass, more videogames, solo joint and new Aesop joint?

B: Hmmm…hopefully more ass (as apposed to the same ass, ha!). I’ve been steady playing Nba2k1. That’s my shit. Ii challenge anyone. My solo joint will come out but when iI have no clue. Also keep an eye out for this breakbeat record i did for Mush Records, “Blockhead’s Broke Beats”. That should be out soon. And of course Aesop’s shizzle will be heard by all. I swear…heads ain’t ready for his new shit. Oh and I’m working with a bunch of different mc’s that will be named later…

P: Hot man. I appreciate the interview!! Any final shout outs??

B: Peace to Stinke! Aesop, the Overground…Anyone I’m down with.

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