Conchance: Calm Kids! Calm Kids will be the death of me. It has been mastered for over a year now, and the only reason it's not released is because of label bullshit, in all essence. First, my homie from Slumber Party Records fell through. Next, it was another homie who said he'd put up money for 300 12-inches. After that, it was a label [which] dropped their ambitions due to me not having a national fanbase. If I'd known that I would have had to jump through hoops of flaming cat shit to release this project, I would of put it out myself through drug trafficking. Shit is so wack. Now, thanks to some good friends — Rick Carson from Make Believe Studios and my boy Keith Rodger — we, collectively, are putting my record out under the Make Believe name. Test pressing should be back any week. It will be released on a 12-inch and come packaged with a CD and MP3 download card. All DIY, sucker free, like it should of been from the start. FUCK!
Are there difficulties being an independent rapper?
Being an independent rapper is cool. Money is an enemy for me. I want all my projects to be released in tangible forms. All vinyl and accompanied with digital capabilities as well. I could just release my record right now, this second, but it means much more than that to me. I collect records, I love records, and I want to make records. Besides that, being an independent rapper is humbling. I love it.
You're nominated for another Omaha Entertainment and Art (OEA) award for "Best Hip Hop." Having won in 2010, what do you think awards like this offer musicians?
I won the OEA last year for "best hip-hop artist" and the year before, as well. I am truly honored to have won these awards. I don't know if they offer anything for a musician, though. I support the OEAs, but I know there are artists doing major work here in my city, and they receive no love from the OEA committee. I don't think I'll win this year. In 2012, I'll have projects to explain what I do and what I stand for.
I got hooked up with oh!mr. from mutual peoples: Team Bear Club and all the Lawrence homies I have met through shows I've done out there. I love Lawrence. There's a lot of hungry people out there pushing projects, words and parties. I want to stay involved in everything they do.
It used to be that skateboarding was equated with punk rock. Now, with songs like Lupe Fiasco's "Kick Push," the connection between skating and hip-hop gets more and more solid every year. As a skateboarder and rapper, why do you think skating and hip-hop are so intertwined?
Skateboarding introduced me to rap/hip-hop (whatever you like to call it), punk rock, and an assortment of other genres. Before skateboarding was a billion-dollar industry, and before it was cool to be a skater or look like a skater (because it definitely wasn't at a time when I was growing up), Transworld, Girl, Toy Machine, Lakai, Emerica, Baker, etc., released skate videos with all different types of music, introducing me and my peers' ears to everything — from Nas to Depeche Mode from Mos Def to the Faint.
At times, hip-hop and skateboarding have had a different relationship. Some people like to exploit skateboarding as an image, and some like to exploit hip-hop. The outcome? We have some bastards who take the exploitation of them both for marketing and general perception. They know skates have a different style, and they know hip-hop is beautiful, so they slut the image out like an American Apparel model. This is on a corporate and independent level. I know some of these kids don't get busy on a board. They just shoot videos with their friends' friends who do. I know Lupe can't skate that well, but that joint he did was good. Fashawn can skate, though!