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HIPHOP / RNB Issue 58 / 2013 IEW V R TE N I 23 7 BLACK MILK! This producer and rapper out of Detroit recently dropped his fifth studio album entitled No Poison No Paradise since his Sound Of The City record in 2005 and it is every bit as good as his preceding albums. It's the type of hip-hop that smacks of class, thought and an unequivocal understanding of beat making-it's brilliant! Chenda | So Black let's talk about when it all started? My first official album came out in 07 but I put out a project in 05 so I have been doing solo things for a whiledamn I feel like a veteran or an OG already especially when these young cats are coming up to me saying 'yo man check my mix-tape'-I was one of those younger cats so it's crazy! Now young beat makers and producers are saying-'I was listening to you when I was at high school' shit! Now I feel that I have really got push my shit because I have loads of shit that I want to do before I am thirty five. Is it too much to assume that when you started out you had some over-riding wish to be some hip-hop god-or was it simply: "let me put out my music"? When you start out you are just happy that you are putting music out there and people who aren't your friends or your family are hearing it. As you get into the industry more and you see all the antics and things that can go on, when you start to get some form of popularity you start to see the type of artist you want to be and the legacy you want to leave. I want to be seen as an artist who was consistent who did not try and follow anyone else-more than that I want to inspire people to create. Talking about inspiring people and affecting people to be drawn into music what about your label? I own my own label [Computer Ugly] and I'm trying to bring in other artists under my wing. I feel that it is the right time-I know how to put out albums and I know the game in don't we do a project where each other's art inspires creativity in the other? We came up with this group Fuzz, Freqs and Colours and we dropped a project this year called Synth or Soul. We did limited vinyl release, little over a thousand and they all sold out. Ok before we get onto No Poison No Paradise your banging new album-you are a Detroit emcee so everyone expects you to collabo with Em but I heard you say artist in the world. He's on Michael Jackson status so I can't just get to him! I would defo be down for that but I have to keep it realistic. So No Poison No Paradise remains as soulful as ever but it's a bit of a concept album-was there a different approach from your other releases? It's funny after I recorded the album I realized it was like a concept album. It is a story about this character who is going through his ups and downs " I want to be seen as an artist who was consistent, who did not try and follow anyone else. More than that, I want to inspire people to create. " the underground and commercial world. I still do my artist thing but I am stepping into that role where I am more behind the scenes. So is the label part of this Black Milk macro strategy? Early this year I worked with this visual artist and we were looking at each other's art. I would send him instrumentals and he would send me his visual art and we thought why somewhere people think it is too easy for you to do that. Well yes-what people do not understand fully is that Eminem as an artist, as a celebrity he is bigger than Detroit he is bigger than rap music he is basically not accessible. I know he knows who I am he mentioned my name in an interview a little while back but he is not just from Detroit he is like the biggest in his life and I was trying to think about the way to explain good and bad, ying and yang, so the no poison no paradise explains that whole idea-you have to go through the bad in a way to get to the paradise. And the differences in making this album……. Most of the time my processes start with the beats and for this album when I banged out like three four beats I realized that the beats were already making a story. So when I started writing to the first two beats I was like 'damn the beats and the stories are connecting". So I started to make it like a literal album of my life and I created this character called Sonny Junior who I used to tell my life or people's life. It sounds like you really enjoyed making this album and indeed felt creatively fulfilled. I feel that out of all the projects I have done and I have put out that this one where there was a concept and a thread to the tracks-that really helped me write a lot better. It was not just bars I was writing songs which made it was easier for me to write. This is definitely a way forward for me because I enjoyed it and so much more and I think that comes through for the people that like my music. Follow @black_milk

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