True hip-hop will never die. But if the people want to rescue real rap music, they're gonna have to fight.
That's what Miramar producer Hazardis Soundz is doing with his latest mixtape, Save the Culture, which is a battle cry of lethal verses, head-cracking beats, and OG rappers from the underground.
Here's what he has to say about fighting Iggy Azalea, going back 15 years with Gunplay, and becoming N.O.R.E.'s engineer.
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New Times: How'd Save the Culture come about?
It's a prequel to my next album, Hazardis Materials III. I wasn't planning on dropping Save the Culture for the end of the year, but there were certain events in hip-hop that I wasn't really in agreeance with. All the stuff with Iggy winning best rapper at the American Music Awards. That inspired me to drop something. It isn't right. And it just inspired me to put the tape together and release some real hip-hop coming out of Miami with artists from everywhere.
What's your problem with Iggy Azalea?
It's not about color or who you are. I'm a big Eminem fan. I come from the era where you gotta have skills to make it in hip-hop. You gotta be dope to shine and be at the top. There's no reason that my kids should have to look up and see her as the top rapper. Not Iggy, and not Young Thug.
What are you looking for?
I wanna hear dope lyrics, dope beats. Don't call what they do hip-hop. Call it pop or make a new genre. So that if you're at the damn Grammys and they say best hip-hop album of the year, they never say Iggy. I'm a firm believer in the music and I take that to the grave. The spirit is alive and well. We just want to rep right so that it lasts forever.
See also: Five Signs You Might Be a Shitty Rapper
Where did you record Save the Culture?
I've got my studio called Hit House. The majority was recorded there. Some was done in studios in New York, L.A., and Atlanta while I travelled through the year. But all production and mixing was done in my studio. I work real close with N.O.R.E., Gunplay, Reks, and all through the album they helped me with whatever I needed, verses, hooks, whatever.
How do you know Gunplay?
Me and Gunplay go way back, like 15 years, being from the same neighborhood, same streets, same friends, same clique. I used to rap. I remember going back and forth with him. We always kept the friendship, and to this day, he's right there. I'm from Queens, but I grew up in Miramar. I go back to New York a lot, but I always rep South Florida.
What about N.O.R.E.?
I've known N.O.R.E. since 2006. I met him through DJ EFN. I was working with him and Garcia when he was poppin' on the radio. When N.O.R.E. first moved to Miami, he didn't have a spot to record and when he went by EFN's spot, Crazy Hood, I was there recording and engineering. He liked my beats, we did "Cocaine Cowboys," which was big, and it was real organic. The chemistry was there and it's been history ever since.
And from being N.O.R.E.'s engineer, I met so many artists. It's a real blessing. He's a legend in the game. So when I go different places, I've met and worked with Pharrell, 2 Chainz, Bun B, and many others.
LMS, I got a project unreleased with him, but look out for that too. He's a superdope MC reppin' Hialeah and I been working with him for years. Shouts to him.
How did you get with Crazy Hood?
They brought me into the game. My first placement was with Cypress Hill in 2004. I won a contest where B-Real picked a joint I produced to rap on. I wanted to get a Miami MC and put it on my HazMat, Vol. 1. I reached out to Garcia, he introduced me to EFN, and we been working together ever since. That's family right there.
What do you use to make beats?
I use the MPC2000 or the Maschine. I use a lot of keyboards. Motifs. Inside the computer, I use Fruity Loops. I like different things. I'm not constricted. I have things laying everywhere. Whatever I get inspired for using that day.
Hazardis Material III. If you like Save the Culture, you're gonna love it. Just staying true to the roots of hip-hop, but bigger names, bigger beats. Just musically, another level. I'm also working on the new CNN album, DrinkChamps Compilation with N.O.R.E. and EFN, and EFN's Another Time album. Keep rocking with me.
Can up-and-coming independent artists buy beats or work with you?
Where did you learn to produce, mix, and master like that?
You defintely gotta hear my music in the whip or some big speakers. I went to SAE in North Miami, learned the fundamentals, and just been working non-stop to get better ever since. It's a work in progress. This is what I love to do. This is what I'm here for.
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Any shout outs?
Yeah, man, shout out Thugged Out Militainment, Crazy Hood, and everybody that supports the movemement. I appreciate, y'all. It's gonna be a big year.
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