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AESOP & Eligh.

WE BROUGHT YOU the Living Legends interview a couple issues back and you craved it--here's part two. These guys have a fine taste in liquor, especially AESOP with his 100-dollar bottle of tequila he was gracious enough to share with me. I met up with Eligh and AESOP at a show they did in Berkeley to let you know what's going on with the rest of the crew. By now we've almost tracked 'em all down. Enjoy.

The new album's very clean. What did you use to get such a professional touch?

On this one I spent more money and I went to big studio. It was a long process because I recorded it in my own little box studio on a 1680. I took that and dropped everything onto ProTools at my man Grouch's house, then took the ProTools session to the big studio, pushed it all through the boards with every sound, mixed it, and put the finished product back onto ProTools. I wanted to try it for once and see how it came out. It came out good.

I know you just finished your album, but what about the new G&E?

I can't wait 'til that's done, man. We're really coming hard. I'm really excited about that. That will probably be a few more months.

How did the Gypsies form, and how did the Gypsies in LA meet up with the Journeymen in Oakland?

I've known Scarub since seventh grade and we had our own little rap crew going on back then. Then we moved onto the same high school and met Murs freshman year. We formed 3MG's in 10th grade. Then it gets crazy I dropped out, Scarub went on to finish, Murs finished and moved away first. So me and Scarub were still in LA. Then I moved to Oakland and met up with Grouch through my cousin's friend and all this weird stuff. Murs had already met them in a different city so he actually knew them before I knew he knew them. We all meet each other in different ways...meant to be, I guess.

When you're not making beats or on tour, what do you like to do?

Making beats is my number one hobby of all. I'm just now having my studio finished being built in my garage in the house I'm renting When I get in there I'm going crazy 'cause I make beats every day. I'm sitting at my keyboard, smoking weed and making beats. Besides that I'm chilling with my fiancee who I love to death. I also like being by myself. I don't mind being alone.

What about drugs?

Drugs. For me? Wow. I'm trying not to try any more new drugs because every drug I've ever tried I've liked. There's certain drugs like mushrooms or acid that I'm completely done with. I don't need to go that high anymore. But then there's other drugs that I've tried that I could never get enough of really. I feel like the world right now has a lot of bad shit going down and might explode any day. If you use drugs without pushing yourself into the dirt--in other words, doing it every day and every time you get a chance, then flick it, do drugs. Drugs are bad, but only as bad as the people that use 'em.

Grouch used to get shit thrown at him for being a white MC. What's it like for you?

It was different for me, I didn't ever have shit thrown at me. The first experience I can think of is going to the Good Life with Scarub and Murs and the first time I rapped in front of people. I was like 14, a little white kid. I was nervous as hell and started rapping, and maybe because the way I rap they were looking at me like, What the hell? That's coming out of this little kid's mouth?" They were more in awe of me, so they didn't have a chance to hate on me. There were a couple though, I'd be outside and some dudes would be like "What you doing here Vanilla Ice?"" Vanilla Ice, I hate that guy, man. He ruined my life when I was that age.

Will you make beats when you stop rapping?

I'm not trying to rhyme forever, I'm trying to earn a living off making beats for the rest of my life--branching out into commercials, movies, and bigger artists. It would be nice to bring flavor on the radio, knowing that I have heat in the kitchen back there waiting. Yeah, I'll never get tired of that. Probably the only thing I'll miss when I leave this earth is making music and beats.

When did you first really notice people were feeling your shit and knowing who you are?

Probably some of our first shows at Maritime when we actually sold the place out, just seeing the crowd go crazy for us. Seeing the people's faces and their eyes lit up looking at me. It's kind a scary for me, that's why I drink at shows. I don't want to see that. If I do I'll be too self-conscious. I'm already shy and don't like being on stage in front of hella people. Seeing those looks bothers me a little bit, even though I love it.

How does school affect people's lives?

I feel like some people are supposed to be in school. Some people can take school and make it work for 'em, get into things from education that will take them as far as they need to go in life. But some people like me can't stand school and can't be there. If you're gonna drop out, hopefully you have something else to do like skateboarding, hip-hop, or whatever medium possible. I should've forced myself to finish and just have that edge. Some people though--I hate school, I don't want to be there. Be creative and find another way to make money 'cause you need money to survive.

Why the name Poltergeist for the new album?

If you set a boombox in a room full of people and you play some real good shit, the mood of the music takes over the room. Gives the room the vibe that it has when there's music playing.

That's all I got. What are you out with?

Pick up Poltergeist when you get a chance. Check out



My age is 28; I'm an old-ass man with a young mind. I Jove hip-hop. I love punk music. I love video games, and I love women.

Where you from?

I'm from Fresno, California, where we have a very large skateboard community. We just opened up an outdoor park so the scene is getting real strong. My other crew is Bus Crew. It's actually a skateboard company my boy CT got on and we started hollering it 'cause it was a small company.

There wasn't much of a hip-hop community out there but you came up with Planet Asia, right?

Yeah, Schoolyard. I owe a lot of the fire and the way I write rhymes to Asia, 'cause when I met him I was writing a little more complex, more like Aesop Rock, The style I was doing was only for the listeners, and people that could understand what the fuck I was trying to say. I met Asia and we started writing rhymes over the phone to each other. I'd write a rhyme and then call him like "Listen to this," and I'd play a beat in the background. We had a lot of years doing that, and when I left he left right after me. We both went our separate ways and both made names for ourselves. I'm really proud of Planet Asia. He's definitely in the skateboard scene too.

I hear you're in an alternative rock group, the lead singer no less?

The band was called Natural Selection. It started from a band called Six Ounce Gloves and they had done shows around the Fresno area, a couple SoCal shows. It was becoming a very good band, they were kind of Toolish. The lead singer left and they needed a front man. I had just got off tour and in Fresno I was getting a name for myself People were like "AESOP'S this and that," and saying we should do something together. I'm not the average rap guy, you know, not going around like "YO, YO, YO," all the time. It started out where it was gonna be on some Rage Against The Machine shit. We didn't think of it that way but my first couple sessions were like that, more rappy. I started singing to a lot of the songs and eventually all the songs we made were me singing and chanting; old school punk rhythms. I definitely was flowin' in it, but with the lead guitarist going away to jail and the lead man coming back they're gonna remake a band out of the old band again. A lot of the songs I wrote I still have and I'm looki ng for a bass player right now. Anyone reading this article if you have a band in the LA area hit me up on my website at

What's up with you and Aesop Rock?

There is no beef between me and Aesop Rock. The beef I have with anybody is the fans that are not taking the time to find out the difference. I've never had a problem with anybody downloading off the Internet. I don't have a reason to; I do it. I do buy music too. I don't mind if people download my stuff and don't buy it, but I definitely don't like it when people are naming their files Aesop Rock when that's me and naming his songs AESOP I searched our names and it came up almost all Aesop Rock when at least half of it were my songs. Kids are coming up to me constantly thinking we're the same. If they think they're such underground listeners and they're so into the music, then why the flick don't they know the difference? He's Portuguese or something and I'm black, and we don't even look alike. I'm definitely tired of that shit and it has made me feel bitter towards him as much as it has made him feel bitter towards me. I'm definitely going to New York in a couple weeks to do a track with him and kill the n oise. That's something I definitely want to publicize, that Aesop Rock and AESOP are different. Plus, somebody put down some of my rock tracks on the Internet listed as AESOP-ROCK. My rock shit. So if you want to hear what my band sounded like, just go online. Keep skating and quit posing.
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Author:Harvis, Mark
Date:Aug 1, 2003
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