MRC INTERVIEWS AWKWORD
Q. MRCPROMO: Big Up Awkword! How are you?
A. AWKWORD: Living the life. I got an amazing wife and two beautiful little girls. It’s like the greatest form of revolution I can bring about. Raising them to be strong, confident, savvy women.
Q. MRCPROMO: Where is home?
A. AWKWORD: My ancestry goes back to Palestine and Russia. My grandparents were immigrants, who settled down where they landed: in New York City. And my family has remained there, for the most part, for generations. My little sister and I were raised mostly in Connecticut. We each migrated back to the City after college, she at Syracuse and myself at Vassar in Poughkeepsie. I lived in Brooklyn and the East Village for about a decade, lived in Hell’s Kitchen for a year, and then met my wife and moved upstate to join her crazy band of divas.
Q. MRCPROMO: Your first memorable hip hop experience?
A. AWKWORD: The one that always sticks out in my mind is meeting ILL BILL and DJ Eclipse at Fat Beats in Manhattan when Non Phixion was just releasing “I Shot Reagan/Refuse to Lose” on ‘Hebrew National’. They were only starting out, but BILL was already my biggest influence: a tough Jew from Brooklyn, with leftist and conspiracy politics, down the street from where my grandpa ran his gang as a youth. As Eclipse played records, I had the opportunity to ask BILL a litany of indie DIY how-tos, and he was exactly what I expected from his music. He was inspiring. It was mad cool years later getting to interview BILL, Eclipse and Necro for Elemental Magazine. And even cooler working with BILL on my World View album and getting interviewed by Eclipse on the Halftime Show.
Q. MRCPROMO: How do you feel about commercial radio?
A. AWKWORD: It’s horrible to listen to, and it will eventually become passé if the corporate devils refuse diversify their playlists.
Q. MRCPROMO: Any new projects in the works? What was your latest release?
A. AWKWORD: My critically acclaimed 100% for-charity global Hip Hop album ‘World View’ dropped in February 2014, sponsored by DJ Booth and The Morgan Stanley Foundation. I managed to finagle my way into a grant from the Foundation which helped me cover five years of pro bono work to executive produce a two-disc, 38-song project spanning six continent and 16 countries, with me rapping alongside rap legends on every record. To close out 2014 and start off 2015, I released the standalone single “Headlines”, produced by Beyonce’s “7/11” producer Bobby Johnson, with HipHopDX. My next record is being premiered, along with an exclusive interview, by BLUNTIQ. Produced by Malawi’s Dominant1, it’s an ideal example of the #ProtestMusic for which I have become known: “The Ivory Tower” — an impassioned attack on the inequality and injustice of America’s educational system. As for what follows, I have a few more BIG records planned for 2015. And I’m hoping to finish up an EP as well.
Q. MRCPROMO: Do you produce your own beats? Who does your productions?
A. AWKWORD: While I executive produce all of my own music, I do not make beats. I work frequently with Harry Fraud, Domingo, Steel Tipped Dove, Numonics, ATG, Trilian (Serbia), The White Shadow (Norway), Cletus (Italy) and Dominant1 (Malawi).
Q. MRCPROMO: Upcoming tours or shows?
A. AWKWORD: There are some conversations being had about a worldwide tour of artists from all over the world who are working together with CultureFix and Chuck D’s Planet Earth Planet Rap to join us globally through Hip Hop — a concept my album ‘World View’ helped spark.
Q. MRCPROMO: Where can fans purchase your music?
A. AWKWORD: AWKWORD.Bandcamp.com ,djbooth.it/wrldvw ,iTunes, Amazon MP3, Google Play, Spotify, iHeartRadio, etc. Info@AWKWORDrap.com for a personalized, autographed copy of ‘World View’ CD.
Q. MRCPROMO: If you could pick one, what would be your all time favorite hip hop track?
A. AWKWORD: Amongst my records, “Go!”, because it’s one of my favorite full songs I’ve done, one of my favorite verses I’ve spit, and one of the coolest collaborations I was able to pull off for World View: Rapping over Domingo production featuring Joell Ortiz, Slug of Atmosphere, and Maya Azucena. Amongst all records of all time… Non Phixion – “Caught Between Worlds”. But this is an impossible question.
Q. MRCPROMO: Any last words or shouts?
A. AWKWORD: In solidarity with my comrades uprising worldwide. Shout out to all the bloggers, journalists and DJs who support indie music. Thank you to my peoples at BigNoiseRadio and MRCPromotions, and thank you to my fans. And salute to my general Mr. Chuck D. Hit me on twitter or text me at +1 203-564-6281.
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INTERVIEW: MRC Promotions