If you stay up to date with content here on GYBU, you’ve more than likely heard about Chicago’s 7oddz. If not, here’s a quick recap for 2016. The fellas are already underway with their “Out For Blood Vol. 3” series of mixtapes which will consist of four separate chapters throughout the year . As if that wasn’t enough, the crew is also set to launch an EP series that features beats from other parts of the world. Enter “Old Fashioned Hip Hop”, a nine track presentation featuring Ukraine Hip Hop producer ALF as well as a few guest emcee features from the region. Today, we get to speak with the collective on how the EP came about, the concept behind the releases and what it was like for ALF to produce tracks for OFHH from halfway around the world. Join us as we present our latest BuzzN iNterview with 7oddz and ALF.
We recently spoke about the “Out For Blood Vol. 3” series and the first chapter in our last interview. With four projects set to drop this year, you guys will also be debuting these internationally produced EPs as well. What was the concept behind formulating these projects? After listening to OFHH, I think it’s safe to say it was a wise decision.
DreamTek: We want to really get on our overseas shit. Not only do we want to go there more often and perform but we figured the best way to go about it was to plant seeds prior to putting together tours. What I mean by planting seeds is by the time we end up traveling through these different countries, we want to already have existing music released in those areas. What better way to do that then to collaborate with cats that are already there and are respected in the scene. We have been steadily building connections and reaching out to cats we feel are dope and we would like to work with.
Prior to this, we already released “The Takeover” EP completely produced by Giallo Point of Crate Divizion in the UK. This current release “Old Fashioned Hip Hop” has a home in Ukraine. It will keep going like that. Germany. France. Australia. Columbia. Mexico. etc. etc. etc. I personally find these projects extremely fun and challenging to do in ways.
Before we get feedback from ALF, let’s focus on some of the songs that are featured on the EP. The concept behind “Dilemma” is legendary. For our viewers who may have not heard the joint yet, the song pays tribute to the classic storytelling songs that made Hip Hop so incredible. The more I listen to it, the better it becomes. I love the way you guys incorporated Chicago and the lifestyle into the song, brilliant. The song features Doomsday and DreamTek. How the hell did you guys write and record this joint?
DoomsDay: Tek and myself were vibing in the lab, we were running through the beats for the album while talking about how we wanted to put a wider scope on these international projects we’ve been working on. The beat came on and we both were really digging it, so we got to work. Initially we just thought about writing a back and forth track about trying to hit the lab and having trouble getting bud. At some point during the smoking and writing, we each started adding little twists to the story and it took on its own life. I remember at some point we stopped and realized that we were way off our original premise. Pay attention to the story kids, marijuana can kill.
The instrumental for “Fake Ones” features a sample of Dice Raw from “Clones”, a classic Roots record. By the sounds of it, the lyrics and chorus of “Fake Ones” seems to pick up where “Clones” left off. There’s a very large time span in between these tracks, why do you feel this is still a problem within the music industry twenty years later?
Roy Hobes: Before, there were stages that you had to go through before people would give you a pass. You had to learn about the past before you could try to change the future. You weren’t given respect, you had to earn it. You had to pay dues. People these days seem to have forgotten this. It’s no longer about history, honing your craft and trying to communicate the story of your community. It’s about gimmicks, image and YouTube views. You can be the illest emcee, but unless you got hundreds of thousands of views, people won’t care. And because of this, variety is no longer wanted.
You have to fit the fad and sound like the people who are big in it. People seemed to forget that this culture is a contact sport. Not everyone is supposed to be an emcee, a DJ, a B-Boy, a graff artist. You have to be selective in order for the talent to mean something. Not hold each others hands and singing kumbaya.
A song I never would have expected to hear from the oddz was “Keep Ya Head Up”. I don’t mean that in a bad way either, it’s one of my favorite songs from OFHH and features Tek, PozLyrix and Clever One speaking about real life.Was it tough to open up and share lyrics that personal?
PozLyrix: I wouldn’t say it was tough but in my opinion when you hear certain beats they pretty much write themselves. The feel of the sample sets the mood and you already just know where you want to go with that joint. The fact that we’ve been down at some point in our lives and have overcome certain obstacles are pretty pertinent to the people we are today and I feel it’s pretty major to let the listeners feel that. I can’t speak for nobody but myself and with that being said, unfortunately it’s pretty common that a lot of people can relate to that type of upbringing. In a way I think it can give hope to whomever is listening because maybe right now you are in that kind of situation and we obviously want you to keep your head up and fight through it, anything can change if you want it to.
At this time, let’s shoot over from Chicago to Ukraine and speak with the beatsmith responsible for producing such a solid EP, Alf aka Aromoman. Glad you could join in on the convo sir. So, what was it like producing such a diversified group as Seven Oddities?
Alf: Big ups from the Ukraine GYBU! I really enjoyed working with the guys. I sent demo beats directly to DreamTek. He was the one who took my beats to the oddz crew. The process happened rather fast. I sent the beats to Tek and he’d pass me back recorded vocals. For the mixing stage, my aim was to present a clean and fat sound. This is my first U.S. project, I’m really happy with the results, it was a great experience for me.
The beats are old fashioned, staying true to the EP title. What is it about that specific era of Hip Hop that inspires you so much? Could you name your top 3 producers for our viewers?
Alf: I grew up in the nineties. The only music I was listening to was classic Hip Hop. I`m really proud of getting to hear almost all the classic albums of the Golden Era at the same time they dropped. So, I can say, I was inspired directly from my childhood and youth.
As a result of that, Im always producing the the kind of Hip Hop I’ve always felt strongly about. I also draw huge inspiration from Jazz music. For me, if there wasn`t Hip Hop in my life, it definitely could be jazz.
As for my favorite producers, I’ve always liked what DJ Premier was doing, Pete Rock and Buckwild. Actually, there are a lot of very dope new producers around the world making fat classic sounds inspired by those producers I named.
The intro track, “Definition of Hip Hop” is the epitome of what a true Hip Hop record should sound like. The beat, lyrics and overall vibe were the perfect ingredients to kick OFHH off with. How did that song come about?
Roy Hobes: This track came about because of the beat. We were sitting in the lab listening to it and all of a sudden, the three of us just started writing. What is really nuts is that after about 10 minutes, we went over what we wrote so far and everyone was on the same page. That was the beauty of this whole project… We had to approach all the tracks differently than usual and yet we all stayed on the same page with subject matter.
The classic cypher inspired “Oddities Philosophy” was the debut single/ video. With that said, is that why this song was a no brainer to lead the campaign off with? Also, can we expect any other videos to be released?
DreamTek: Yeah, I think we felt like it was a good representation of what the album is. A classic cypher scenario gives you that feel of that legit Hip Hop we all miss. That feeling you get when a cypher just breaks out in the middle of some shit and it actually turns out dope. We wanted to make a fairly simple straight forward video that focuses on whats being said and how it’s delivered. I think we pulled it off.
As far as other video’s we have also JUST released a second video for the track “Definition Of Hip Hop” (click here). Def worth checking out. I would’nt be surprised if you were to spot another one down the line as well. Thats the great thing about all this music. It’s never too late to do a video for something. Brings light back to previous releases. Breathes new life into it.
Social media links – Where can new fans and media locate both 7oddz and ALF at? For business related inquiries, do either parties have an email they can provide for shows, features and production?
DreamTek: As always, you can find all things Seven oddities at www.7oddz.com, , @7oddz on Twitter and on Bandcamp sevenodditiesrecords.bandcamp.com. Also generally all over the dark corners of Youtube acting buck and shit.
Alf: I`m always ready for a new joints, especially internationally. If you guys have dope verses, you`re always welcome to contact me. I`m easily accessible, just hit me up to speak more about it. My Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/Aromoman and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, it’s a pleasure chopping it up with you guys. Before we bring things to a close, would you like to add anything in about the EP, upcoming shows or shout outs?
DreamTek: Extra huge shoutout to the brother Alf for all his hard work making this release what it is. He inspired us to deliver something great and the outcome is nothing short of amazing. Be on the look out for future work with the man, we have built a strong relationship over the course of this project. On a separate note, the camp is dropping “Out For Blood Vol. 3 (Chapter 2)” on April 8th with a release party at Moe’s Tavern in Chicago the same night. Make sure y’all come out and support the fam as we continue the #YearOfTheOddz. Peace to all the supporters out there, we do this for y’all and without your constant support we are nothing.
From Chicago to the Ukraine and in between, 7oddz can adapt to their environment and deliver nonstop, classic material that gives any Hip Hop fan a sore neck from nonstop head nodding. We’d like to once again thank the squad for falling by and a special thanks to ALF for checking in all the way from Europe. Make sure to stay in tune with both parties via social media and grab a copy of “Old Fashioned Hip Hop” below.