Interview Slow Motion Soundz

Located in Huntsville, Alabama, the Slow Motion Soundz label bas built a solid reputation by releasing a string of quality projects. Its formula : the slow-paced, spaced-out Block Beattaz production and an open-on-the-world philosophy. Introducing the Slow Motion Soundz with label head Codie G and producer CP.

02/05/2010 | Interview by JB | Version française

Abcdr du Son: Could you introduced the city of Huntsville ?

Codie G: We call Huntsville an island 'cause it's a major interstate off in a valley. Right here is where the NASA built the rockets to send men on the moon. It has a very rich history as far as technology and things of that nature. As far as we are concerned, we represent the have-nots culture in that city that was able to spawn men to the moon. Musically, we represent for that city. It's a mid-size market, probably from 350 000 to half a million people. So it's country, but at the same time you get a little city feel. With the technology, the city is very diverse. We have people from all over the world, all different cultures. It's not just black or white like most of the cities. It's black, white, Hispanics, people from Russia , Germany… That's a very diverse melting pot.

A : Huntsville is the city of the Marshall Space Flight Center. Were you fascinated by it growing up ? Because there is this astronaut music feeling in what you do…

CP [half of the Block Beattaz]: [laughs] I guess that's a direct influence of our surroundings. From what I can remember, before I was even doing music, back in high school, the music I listened to, people like Poe Boy, always had a laid back feel to the music. It was always melodies with hard 808's. That's what separates our music from other music in the state of Alabama : our melodies are just more laidback, more reserved… We pay attention more to details.

A: How was the local scene in the past?

C: It's always been a lot of rappers around here. We got started seriously back in 99 so you can go back to 93/94, even the late 80's. You always had, like, 4/5 groups around here. You had two or three studios. Music's always been here. It's just that when we got start, we came in as the middle generation. We had the generation before us, and now we have a generation after us. We learnt from some people and it just happened to be our time to get some shine right now. At the same time, we have a generation of producers, rappers, singers and graphic artists that are coming after us. It's always been here, it's just now getting that worldwide feel.

A: Who were the people you were looking up too at the time?

C: CP mentioned Poe Boy, I'd say Rudy Deville, Ace of Spades, Mike White The Beholder, Atteze, H.E.A.T. , Tam Tam, and South Click. There are a few more groups out there, but those are the main groups that stick out in my mind.

A: What set you apart from the other local scenes in the south?

C: That's the guy on the other phone right there, him and his partner, Mali Boi. That's what set us apart: The Block Beattaz [laughs]. Everybody down here rap about the same stuff. The struggle in Huntsville is no different that the struggle in Atlanta or the struggle in New Orleans. It's just that the foundation of our music sets us apart, and it's the Block Beattaz.

"We speak from a Huntsville point of view but we try to convey the message in a world format."

A: How did you guys hook up together?

C: Me and CP, we met by 10 years ago through a mutual friend, my dude Jeff. It was just crazy, he was in Jeff's crib, a little mansion studio. When I came in, the sound that he had… what was that program, CP?

CP: I think we were using Acid.

C: Whatever he was doing with Acid was the sound I was looking for. I had the sound in my head, I don't make beats but I always heard the sound and when I heard CP making the beat, I was like "Man, that's the sound I had envisioned my whole life". And here we are, ten years later.

A: How would you described that sound?

C: [laughs] Wow… How would I say…?

CP: It's just a way of life. We take great pride in critical thinking. Just kind of slowing down, that way we don't make the same mistake twice or make the mistakes that other people who preceded us made. Critical thinking is the backbone to our mission. Sit down, even if the things don't always go as planned, but at least you can see the possible problems, you can see the world a little clearer. There's a minor league baseball team here called the Huntsville Stars. The funny thing about their stadium is that it's situated right in the center of the city, which divides great livings from the other type of things. We take great pride in their logo, in the team and what the stadium represents. I had adopted the name "Huntsville stars" for the production at the time and when Codie G came to the studio, he had a Hunstville Stars hat on. It was just crazy. Honestly, with him being a military vet, I was always intrigued by how much he knew about the world. When he would come, he was always speaking on the city from a world point a view. That intrigued me, how can somebody this young is so knowledgeable and understand this much how we connect to the rest of the world.

A: Your strategy seems pretty unique. It seems like independent labels are really self contained, whereas you are completely open-minded in your approach…

C: You have to be open-minded to an extent. It's kind of a perfect marriage between music and business. If you listen to the way the Block Beattaz make their production, people always say, like, "Why did you choose that sample?" If people are not thinking outside the box from a marketing standpoint, there's no way that I can't stay within the box. It's got to be bigger and better because the music is bigger and better. G-Side aren't scared to step out the box lyrically, too, so that's really the perfect marriage between all of that.

CP: Reallly, this concept of what we like to call "World Domination" is an old concept for us. It took a minute for people around us to grasp it, because they were like, "If we can't get no money here, how you expect us to get some money thousand miles away?".

C: Ain't nobody showed us how to do this. We didn't have nobody to set us down how to make music, how to put together a record, how to market a record. We did most of that on own, with God's help. It's funny that the first project we ever did, we put maybe 15/16 songs together and it was called "Huntsville International". It was in 1999. We only pressed a hundred copies. That was where we started at, and ten years later, with everything that we've been through, we're able to come back to that, and drop "Hunstville International". That's probably why we're on the phone right now with you.

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