Spinz is ill.. By grinding for the past 15 years, Spinz has now obtained a cult status in the underground intellectual hip hop scene… The Cali native has worked with many of hip hop’s elite including: Xzibit, Talib Kweli, Ghostace Killah, Kurupt and Guru.
Spinz is currently on a European Tour… So it was difficult to arrange an audio interview but I did manage to do a written interview…
Interview w/ Spinz
Po: Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Spinz: I am a multi-tasker, multi balanced, multi talented artist from a small town north of Los Angeles called Oxnard. I am a teacher, MC, producer, DJ, father, counselor, coach and more..
Po: How was it growing up?
Spinz: I grew up in the foster care system so you can imagine what that was like. I never knew my birth parents and was passed around to a few foster homes before I ended up in a multi cultural home, 2 of my brothers are african american and one even raps now. He was 2 years old when we brought him on stage for the first time and now he is following big brothers footsteps,but I wont tell you who he is, he’s gotta earn that part. I grew up around every culture, mexican, black, asian even the irish kids,wild asses. I think that made me aware of my surroundings and aware of social problems at a young age and much I talk about in my music today.
Po: How did you get involved in hip-hop? How long have you been in the game?
Spinz: I got involved in hip hop with some kids on my street, High Life Kingz, they are still going strong after 18 years. More than 18 years, coming on 20 now, crazy. My first freestyle sessions were with cats like DJ Babu from Dilated peoples, Kankick one of the original producers with Madlib on Tha Alkoholiks first albums in 93. Emmit Walker was the guy that got me into hip hop big time though, I really looked up to him as a kid and he was dope as hell, maybe the best I haver heard since, he passed away a few years back and his memory in the 805 is still alive in some of us, we all even took a lot from his style and he shaped a lot of artists whether they want to admit it or not, that flow we have in Oxnard, abstract, underground was really formed by him and a few other cats that were feeding off that vibe and that style, now you got guys like Madlib, his brother Ohno, Dudley Perkins, MED aka Medaphor and younger heads like Filiblunt and Epsilon Project that bring that boom bap back.
Po: Explain the difference between hip and rap?
Spinz: Rap is something you do hip hop is something you live- krs1
Po: Describe Spinz’s music? Why should one buy your music?
Spinz: My music is for the one’s with problems, the one’s that live every day lives and don’t adjust to what the masses say or do. Spinz music is from the heart and made with soul and I am someone you can associate with even if you can’t put a face to the name. Someone should buy my music because I work very hard at it and I got kids to feed, ha-ha.
Po: Who are some of your influences?
Spinz: Talib Kweli,Chuck D, Zack De-La Rocha
Po: Name of all-time top 5 MC’s?
Spinz: In no special order, Krs-1, Chuck D, Slug, Sadat X,Talib Kweli
Po: Name your all-time top 5 albums?
Spinz: 21&Over-Tha Liks, Fear of a Black Planet-P.E., Push Comes to Shove-MED, Balkonsko Nase-Edo Maajka, Life, Love & The Low End-Spinz
Po: You currently on a European tour? How is it?
Spinz: Europe is great, everywhere we go they gotta lot of love for me. We rock 2 hour shows sometimes because the crowds don’t let you off stage or they want to hear a song and they yell for it until you play it. Hip hop is alive and well in Europe. Switzerland has great spots and people and studios, Germany,Bosnia, Holland, Croatia, all great spots to rock shows and great crowds. It is cool to see all the different types of cultures and languages and no matter where you go something is always different. There are different cultures and people all together if you travel 1 hour either way, it’s amazing. I have been to some amazing places over here and I never would have imagined it like this growing up,being on tour overseas and making a living off my music even as an “unknown”
Po: What are the advantages to performing overseas that in the United States.
Spinz: I think the advantages of performing here or in the states are the same, I think in the states you have bigger markets so you can reach more people performing in America but at the shows in Europe you actually have people that want to be at the shows and actually go out to a night life so they are more responsive to your stage performance and music than in the states. I think in the states nothing is really new for people, but I will have my first major USA tour in November so that will all change.
Po: What do you like and dislike the most about being a MC?
Spinz: I like being on stage. I dislike the traveling there.
Po: Do you have any upcoming projects?
Spinz: I have a few. I also have a band called Leeloojamais and we have a new single coming out called “1 in a million” and we were just nominated for the 2008 MTV Europe Music Awards which will be hosted in Finland I think so that is one. I have a single with a house DJ named DJ UMEK coming out. I have a 12″ single coming out on DC Jam Records soon with DJ ZEP from Slovenia and a follow up album to Life, Love & The Low End (Vibra Music Group 2007) called “This is what it feels like…” (Vibra Music Group) coming out in January 2009 and I am writing lyrics and producing for a lot of bigger names right now, r&b,pop, hip hop, rock, blues, a lot of music.
Po: I appreciate you coming through and politickin with me. Do you have any shout-outs? How can the people contact you?
Spinz: Shout outs to FM JAM, Blackout and my crew back home in the 805. People can contact me directly on myspace at myspace.com/spinz805
Po: Is there any words that you would like to leave the readers with?
Spinz: Make music not war!
Spinz – Love
from “This is Life DVD”
See more of Spinz by visiting his myspace page at www.myspace.com/spinz805