The Stop

"I spit that uptown-body-rock-rolley-hop, and will a nigga ever shut me down? prolly not. Cause ever since I was a young lad I crushed emcees, kickin' ass takin' names at the trolley stop."

- Jay Electronica

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

"They think they got the whole story 'bout the brotherhood"

Canto I; A duo based on everyday life, Street Fighter 2, and most importantly, the love of music. I got the chance to talk with these cats, and let me tell you, they are some cool ass ninjas. "Straight out of the middle of no where," Canto I gives The Trolley Stop the time of day to answer a few questions that may interest you guys. Check it out:

First off, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to interview you guys. I love the music you guys make; it’s what I call real hip hop.

Danny (Effect): Why thank you sir. We appreciate your support for the sound.

Joe (Joe Fury): Word man thank you we appreciate it. I mean we don’t really try to classify ourselves as anything, really, its just Hip-Hop. Whatever way you want to look at it we just want to make good music.

To start could you give us a little breakdown? Who you guys are, where you’re from, what you do, you know that kind of thing.

J: Well I’m Joe Fury, younger brother, born and raised in “The Flats” aka Las Vegas, NV kid! What I do… Uhhhh… I don’t want to tell you if I have a real job or not so lets just say I murder mad people in Street Fighter 2 all day and occasionally write a bar or two.

D: A wondering thinker finding my path through life. Hope to somehow make this world better by contributing to the human evolvement of peace. I enjoy sex, gadgets, music and ping-pong. I own a Chameleon named ‘Tits’ and can’t wait ‘til the Yankees climb back to complete dominance.

What do you guys call Hip Hop? Can you give us your own unique definition(s)?

D: The first 2:23 seconds of "Section" by The Roots. I call Hip Hop an incredible way to express ideas about how to bring people together. The people are tired of fighting, man. We’re tired of being fed reasons as why we should hate and commence war on one another. Hip Hop is truly the voice of the ordinary person, with extraordinary abilities to relate and connect to those around them. Ridiculous beats and having fun doesn’t hurt either.

J: Hip-Hop is Hip-Hop dude. For me Hip-Hop comes from the heart and soul. It represents life in the everyday person, the struggle, and the hardship of living. Its what you feel at that very moment in your life with so much passion and strength in your voice, everyone will know what you’re talking about. Shhiiitt there are plenty of times where I’m borderline singing on tracks. And my voice is ugly! Haha…its just like I’m having a conversation with the beat, like I’m letting the music know how my day was. That’s Hip-Hop.

So I know you guys were brought up in Vegas, how does it feel to be basically one of the few Hip Hop artists to come out of Nevada?

J: It’s cool, real cool. I mean Vegas is a crazy ass city but I love it. Hella people get caught up in the hype though; I mean we weren’t about the glamour and flashing (lights!) too much, but I think growing up there really put a unique spin on our music and personalities. I just turned 21 a couple of months ago too so I used to get kicked out of casinos all the time because of my fake ID you know?! Hahaha.

D: We are merely the first ones to jump in the pool. There are plenty NV acts chillin’ on the edge waiting to see what are reaction to the temperature is.

Canto I, what does that mean? I know Canto in Spanish means to sing haha, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what you intended it to mean.

D: Yea, we get that all the time, but it definitely has absolutely nothing to do with singing in Spanish. Its root meaning is actually Latin-Italian. In Renaissance literature, a “Canto” was a break or chapter dividing a poem or piece of written work. More specifically in The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, he used Cantos to separate his writing. Dante’s story involved a fictional interpretation of non-fictional characters and events that he was involved with personally. We’re applying our interpretation of the life we live in, giving our insight on current and future events, while using Hip-Hop as our canvas to display the picture. The “I” comes from being a human; as in, a single person traveling through each chapter (or ‘Canto’) in life. We apparently think we’re extremely deep.

J: Word. Plus “Insane Clown Posse” was already taken. I was pretty disappointed about that.

What sparked your interest in Hip Hop? And how did you get started?

D: Hip-Hop was obviously a part of my music life as a kid, considering I was an 85’ baby. But I was also raised on the classic Led Zeppelin, Beatles stuff also. I was just infatuated with music in general and had an obsession with it since before I can remember. As far as being involved in Hip Hop, it wasn’t until high school. Friends would battle around school, and I would jump in every now and then to stake my claim, just for kicks though nothing too serious. After I started writing though, it was over. I loved creating songs, rather than just self-boasting my image and “skillz”, haha. Making that classic song everyone could vibe too was my ultimate goal. It’s what I love doing. Contributing quality songs that any music fan can enjoy.

J: Word, Oh! I Agree. Lets be serious though my first Hip-Hop album I bought myself was Biggie’s Ready to Die. I bought that on a cassette tape too I didn’t even have a CD player yet. Haha, I’m old school. But yeah I had all the old Led Zeppelin albums on tape or CD for the house. And our Dad really had everything you can think of. He gave me the actual Led albums on the original records from the 70’s, which is ill as shit. But we grew up on 90’s generation Hip-Hop, and as soon as Danny asked me to pick up the pen and put down the beats I fell in love with writing and creating Hip-Hop as a whole.

If you were to collaborate with any artist(s), who would it be?

D: I really wish I could get the chance to record with Jimmy Page; I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a miracle to happen for the time being. But anyone from Lupe and Common to Incubus and Ziggy Marley would be dope. I’m throwing ridiculously popular names out there to boost my self-esteem. Fuck it, I’m going to pretend I’m a big deal.

J: I’m a Huge deal… kind of. Nah, but I would like to kick a song with Nas or Common or Pharoahe Monch even. And Kanye can make me a beat but he’s not allowed to rap on it. Hahaha nooooo, I kid… you think he’ll see this?

I have both of your albums (Entry Level/Elements and While You Were Sleeping), and I would like to say that they are two of my favorite in my entire library; instant classics. But from listening to these albums, I’ve noticed that you guys have more to say than the average artist, what influences you as you are writing the lyrics to your songs?

J: Just life son. To be brutally honest with you I write about things that I have kept bottled up from everyone for a really long time and the only way to get those things off my chest is to tell the music. Like things about love, or not being in love, a beautiful day, school, having to get up early as fuck to go to work, shit like that. I write about everyday events that affect me directly. Like on Entry Level | Elements the song “Day Dream” came from me being at work hella fucking early, like 5:00 AM. I kept freestylin’ like “..and it was early in the morning / gots to thinkin that I need a breath from stress…”

D: You gotta pretty good library too man, I’ve seen your taste in music, so thank you. That’s a pretty powerful statement; glad we could contribute. My goal is to not be another cliché self-boastful rapper. I have a philosophy about life, about the world, about people. I want to share that as best I can, however not forget the essence of what Hip Hop is about – flowing, motivating, and most importantly having fun. I write about things that should matter to people in the long-run.

What are your personal favorite tracks off Entry Level/Elements and While You Were Sleeping? And why?

D: I enjoy “6:00 AM” and “One Two” on the new one. “The Shining” and “Fear and Loathing” are my favorites on Entry Level | Elements. I tend to like more of our smooth, positive stuff.

J: See I’m more of the in depth type of guy. On the new one my favorites are “Progress,” “P.S. (Note to Self),” and “I Do Still Love H.E.R.” On the old one I’ll have to say “The Shining” and “Fear and Loathing” as well. They’re just mad chill.

Can you explain to us a little about your new record label, Outbox Records?

J: We are just trying to think outside of the box. We have been working with some of the illest people in the game right now, as far as I am concerned. People like Jape, Chadlee, Galley, Tree Woodz, Has-Lo, and Lacy Redhead are all up and coming on the label. Just trying to promote good music that we like and enjoy. Go to!

D: Outbox Records is great outlet for great music. Whatever genre it may be, if we put it out, we think it’s ill. We’re putting out stuff of our own style and musical taste. I know people will enjoy it. We’re not trying to be anything else but ourselves and create a positive image while having a good time with good people. We make sure to connect with our artists on a human/mental scale first, and then hopefully help them out by getting their music exposed to the masses.

I read that you two weren’t always a duo. How is being a solo artist different from being a group?

D: I hated being a solo artist, haha. In fact, I really wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for us forming Canto I. I wasn’t truly enjoying the music I was making, and kind of just messing around as a hobby when I was bored. I honestly never thought it would turn out this way, but I’m stoked that it did. Now I’m fully focused on really contributing to making good music. And by good music, I mean perfecting our sound to what really defines us as people, not necessarily claiming that I’m the “dopest n shit.” Just “rapping” is kind of pointless if you think about it. I want to create something new and innovative that nobody has ever done before. I’m merely holding on for the ride.

J: You know I never really was a true “Solo Artist,” I made solo tracks all the time but I never put out a solo album. Plus I was always making music with my peoples, I always had someone else to kick it with. But I definitely want to venture out into the solo realm one day, but for now we are chillin’.

Is there anything else that you would like to say before you jet? Any concluding statements about Hip Hop today?

J: Hip-Hop will never die, and if you have something to say don’t be afraid to tell the music what’s up. And uh… Outbox kids!

D: As far as “Hip Hop today” goes, as long as cats are being real with themselves, I support their cause. We’re here to help contribute to bringing positivity back to Hip Hop. Nothing more, nothing less. Well, and maybe grab some free drinks along the way.

Once again I would like to thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to do this for the site, and for the readers. We appreciate it greatly.

D: Worrrrrd up Optimus Prime. Fuck Megatron!!!

J: Haahhhduuuukennn!!

Just a little Sidewalk Cypher with my boys Effect and Joe Fury. Be sure to go out and buy BOTH of their albums, Entry Level/Elements and While You Were Sleeping. Like I said, instant classics.

"And now-a-days these rappers just dont have the heart, no brains, no skills, man they're just fallin' apart"