Saturday, October 9, 2010

Interview: Self

I remember when Onyx's "Shut 'Em Down" album came out.  I had just graduated high school and I was officially on my own.  I was working full time at a sneaker store on 125th street in Harlem and the now closed Harlem Music Hut was a few doors down from my workplace.  I would go in almost every day to peruse the seemingly endless array of CDs. 

There was a lot of hype for this album as two of the groups members, Fredro and Sticky, had been doing movies more than music.  This was supposed to be the definitive Onyx experience as well as a reminder to fans that they were still some of the illest MCs on the planet.  The hype was spot on and this album IS the definitive Onyx experience.  Classic.  I bought the album on release day and I was blown away by the raw energy captured on this album.  It was signature New York grit when the "shiny suit" era was at it's peak.  It mirrored my life at the time, too.  I was young, black and angry and this was my soundtrack;  loud, aggressive and not to be f****d with.

The title track was produced by Self and I went out to his brand new office/studio in Queens to talk about his experiences in entertainment industry, his community work and his plans for the future.