PHOTO CREDIT: ONEOFUS
(SC) Tell us about yourself. How long you've been making music, where you're from, etc...
I'm just oneofus...a beat maker, crate digger, and mic messenger residing in Dallas, Texas. Originally from Peoria, Illinois. I feel like I've had a connection with music my whole life. Like most kids, I think it started with the discovery of my parent's record collection. Growing up I joined the school band and after a brief stint with the alto sax I switched to percussion before eventually quitting. I went on to play drums in a couple different punk and hardcore bands, then in the mid 90's I went over to a friend's house and watched him mix records. I said "I gotta get some of those." So I saved up and eventually purchased a pair of Technics 1200s. I really got into DJing hip hop from listening to the mixtapes put out by Eddie Ill and DL. After several years of DJing I eventually grew tired of playing other people's music and wanted to really create something of my own. I had already been digging up jazz records for years and I decided it was time to start investing in some equipment. I'd say it was around 2002-2003 when I became more serious about making beats and wanted to contribute to the classic boom bap sound that inspired me. Music is just something that I have to do. It is the best way that I can express myself and inform people about things that are going on around them they might not be aware of.
ONEOF US IS KNOWN TO SET UP IN THE WOODS AND GET BUSY.
There were a few, but I'd have to say the main one was my love for the cassette tape. Growing up it was the main format that I purchased and listened to. I didn't get an allowance or anything, so I would save my lunch money all week and try to get a new tape every Friday. When I started DJing I would make mad mixtapes all the time. I've always wanted to make a tape that was all my own original production. Also, I kind of wanted to remind people of the important role that cassettes have played in the history of hip hop. As the sample in the Forgotten Relics intro from Fab 5 Freddy states "In the beginnings of hip hop, the way the music was spread around the city was by cassette tape." DJs would record tapes right out of the mixing board at parties or somebody in the crowd would record straight to their boombox, and those cassettes would make their way around. A few other things I considered...it seems that people aren't really even interested in CDs anymore so I decided to just put it up for download and release physical copies on cassette. I want people to listen to it more as one entire piece instead of skipping around from track to track. I feel that listening to a whole album has been lost in the era of digital downloading. That's why I left the download version in tape form...side A, and side B. I wanted to take hip hop back to its purest form and I felt that the cassette tape was the best way to achieve that.
(SC) What has been the reaction to your cassette?
There has been an overwhelmingly positive response to the project so far. People seem to dig that it has continuous sound from beginning to end and that I am releasing it on cassette. I have just begun the distribution so physical copies are starting to get into people's hands. Some of them are pretty stoked to go find a tape deck and start jamming cassettes again, so I think that's cool. Every once in a while I meet a true tapehead who gets big-eyed and starts describing their collection to me- they almost seem grateful that new tapes are being released. I plan on doing some more cassette releases in the future.
(SC) Walk us thru the process of making "Forgotten Relics."
The process starts like most other projects. Many hours spent in record spots and odd shops, mining out dusty, forgotten vinyl samples. Digging is a very important part of the process for me, one that I feel has been somewhat lost with the times. I pretty much do everything on samplers- the computer doesn't enter the picture until it is time to put everything together. My main weapon of choice is the Roland mv8800. I also dig the rugged sound of the asr10 and the battery powered portability of the sp404. I make beats in the woods, in the middle of downtown, wherever... When I first envisioned this project my goal was mainly to just put out a beat tape. I had lots of stuff that never got used or released, so I just kinda wanted to clear everything out and get on with new beats. Then I decided I wanted to get some emcees on it as well as some songs that I made and never really put out. I think that everyone really delivered and I'm happy about the way it turned out. It was like a giant puzzle that I had to piece together. Spent lots of time going through spoken word records, finding bits and pieces and rearranging until I liked the flow of everything. From there it is all done by hand... the cutting, folding, and getting the tapes ready to distribute. It truly is a labor of love.
(SC) Last comments/shouts?
I gotta give a shout out to all the emcees involved with the project: Gumbo Styles, Poindex, S. Good, F.t. Dub, B. Swift, Toby Brock, Ill Factors, Heir Max, Ko49, and Drew Bullets, as well as the DJs Metronome and Furious. I couldn't have done it without them. Thanks to Mr. Earbuckets for helping me out with everything. Shout out to Hologram Dagger and Grimp with Waxtooth Records. Definitely check those dudes out- oneofus 7" coming soon! Props to DJ Remode for hooking me up with phat wax and telling me about you guys. I also gotta give a shout out to all the crews working hard in the D/FW scene. Big shout to Strictly Cassette for what you guys are doing and all the tapeheads worldwide!
You can listen/download the album at oneofus1210.bandcamp.com. Physical copies available online at Waxtooth.com and Flippedbeats.com...stay analog!