I’m into quality hip hop. I can appreciate a party anthem from a studio gangsta every once in a while, but usually I’m looking for MCs who are ill on the mic, socially aware and educated, with some nice beats/production to match. Yes, this type of Hip Hop does exist (it was the stuff I grew up on) I promise you. If you weren’t aware, let me point you in the right direction and suggest the awesomeness that is The Away Team. You might recognize the name from a few weeks ago when I did the review on their (amazing) Scars and Stripes album, when they were dropping some of my favorite tracks from the project, or their JAMLA affiliation. Well, I lucked out and had a chance to talk with the awesome Sean Boog and Khrysis about their latest album, additional nerdy questions, and a bit about the future. You enjoy that below.
Music Nerdery: Thanks for sitting down with me guys. Really appreciate it. So let me get to it. When it comes to Hip Hop, who do you think inspired and influenced you the most?
Sean Boog: No one person or group influenced me, The era in hip hop from ’90 to about ’98 is my biggest influence in how I approach what I do. That and my family and my team.
Khrysis: Of course I was inspired by the production of that era. DJ Premiere, Pete Rock, RZA, J Dilla and so on.
Music Nerdery: So now for the good stuff: Scars and Stripes. Can you tell me about your newest project? Production, appearances, your favorite songs. Also, this project is marvelous at maintaining high levels of hip hop awesome while addressing some important social topics. Can you speak on what the inspiration was behind it all?
Boog: This is the album I feel me and Khrysis have been trying to make since we formed the Away Team. Its a more mature Away Team. This album explains us and our views on everything from hip hop to world problems to economic issues in America etc. There’s so much shit going on in the world today and since we are blessed to be in a position to put out music and have the world listen to it I thought it was only right to address real issues. Everyone goes thru their trials and tribulations to become better people and move forward. It’s what you learn from those issues that make you who you are (Scars and Stripes). My favorite songs on the album, Picture This, See U Later, Paid and Road to Redemption… if I had to pick.
Music Nerdery: Speaking on it, the video you released for Road to Redemption was pretty amazing. Any other plans for videos? Any touring? We’d love to see you on the west coast.
Boog: Thank you! As far as videos we definitely want to shoot a couple more. It’d be dope to work with some new hungry directors too so if your interested and reading this hit us on twitter @ItsTheAwayTeam. As far as touring we are working on that now and should have something in the works for 1st quarter 2012.
Khrysis: We love the west coast too! (Laughs)
Music Nerdery: I actually might know some folks… we’ll see where that goes. So let me get a bit nerdy for a minute. Tell me all about the music are you listening to right now. And just for fun, name an artist in music you love that you think, would shock people (no, not a guilty pleasure, but thats allowed.)
Boog: My favorite new artist is Big Krit. To me he embodies the 8ball MJG, Kast, UGK sound and carried that torch incredibly. Not to say they are done, I just mean he is carrying on that tradition. Someone people might be shocked…. as I get older I fuck with Dave Mathews Band. They are dope to me.
Khrysis: As of recent, I’ve just been following the producers I enjoy (Nottz, Madlib, Oh No, Alc, and a few others). Other than that I’m listening to stuff the team (Jamla) is making or the Gil Scott-Heron station on my Pandora account.
Music Nerdery: Nothing wrong with a little DMB, Boogs. Now for the fun and pointless questions: Since John Buccigross sent you a shoutout via ESPN, I think its important to figure out who your favorite sports teams are. Know that I am silently judging you. lol.
Boog: YES! Highlight of my fucking decade! Shout to Bucci-Mane for that! NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers. NCAA Basketball: UNC! Don’t watch baseball until the playoffs and never had an NBA team but like every other dude my age I was a huge Jordan fan so I did watch the Bulls A LOT as a kid.
Khrysis: I actually don’t watch sports. It felt good to see that tho. I’m the type of person where if I get into something I want to know EVERYTHING about it. Nobody really took the time to teach me the science of these games so I lost interest as I got older. I went to Boog’s crib for a Super Bowl party a couple years ago and got bored and ended up in the other room making beats by the end of the first quarter (laughs). You can judge me from there…
Music Nerdery: You are a music nerd, so I won’t judge you at all for that, Khrysis. But I will say thanks for your time. Really appreciate it.