Queens, New York Blaq Poet has embarked on a strong solo career in his days since seminal hardcore Hip Hop outfit Screwball. Known for his extensive work with DJ Premier's Year Round Records and Marley Marl, the microphone bully is at work on a third solo project, titled Blaq Poet Society.
A follow-up to 2009's Tha Blaqprint, this project pairs the gun-toting, borough-defending lyricist with Massachusetts producer Stu Bangas. To be released on Brick Records this July, the work upholds a rich Rap tradition, and bridges the gap between one of the voices on vinyl since the 1980s and a production crew on the rise. Speaking with HipHopDX, Po gave a bit of insight towards Blaq Poet Society and the newfound chemistry.
HipHopDX: Can you tell us about the theme and concept behind Blaq Poet Society? Obviously, we catch the film reference to Dead Poet's Society, but when and how did this project come to fruition?
Blaq Poet: Me and Stu Bangas was pollying about doing a project, and Stu and I have a lot of different artists that we fuck with. So we started recording song after song, and we decided to reach out to a lot of cats that we both fuck with to jump on the project. I decided to name it Blaq Poet Society because everyone on the project is new, extended fam, except for R.A. [The Rugged Man] and Capone, whom I’ve known for a while. The album ended up like myself and a combination of niggas I respect with, new dudes Stu introduced me too, who I am fuckin' with.
DX: Tha Blaqprint was one of the HipHopDX staff's favorite albums of 2009, and something our editorial staff still plays and talks about. With the success you found with the group throughout the '90s and early '00s, what are the new challenges you've noticed in making this music you work so hard on, stick to the ribs of listeners?
Blaq Poet: It’s all about going further, going ahead, taking shit to the next level, Screwball was one thing, Blaq Poet as a solo artist that’s something else, Everything I do is always gonna be hardcore, I’m just trying to take it to a new level, same me, but trying to bless Hip Hop with some fresh new joints.
DX: Fans associate you from work with O.G.s like Marley Marl, DJ Premier, Pete Rock and Godfather Don. That said, tell us about the appeal in the sound and the chemistry you found with Stu Bangas enough to go into this project? How much do you think a key veteran stamp will elevate Stu's profile and get that deserved recognition?
Blaq Poet: I go back with all them niggas, Marley [Marl], [DJ Premier], Alchemist, Pete Rock, Rockwell Noel, I think Stu Bangas got his own style and hes gonna cut his path through this Hip Hop shit rather easily, and hopefully I can bring some light to my man. Word.
DX: Screwball worked extensively with Mike Herron. How does it feel to see the Screwball legacy bleeding into the success he's having with Joell Ortiz?
Blaq Poet: Mike Herron put his work in on the game, Screwball don’t have nothing to do with his success or with Joell [Ortiz’s] success. Joell, that’s my boy he’s my nice, Royce [Da 5'9] is my boy he is nice, I don’t know Joe Budden or Crooked I, but they’re both nice with it, the fact that Mike Herron is down with them and helping them do things….. there will never be another Screwball, on that note, I’m happy for everything Joell is doing, [Mike Herron is] one of my Queens dudes, one of my bad guys.
DX: "Hood Talk" has such an ill concept, to narrate all the shit in the projects. Pun intended, but that's poetry. Tell us about how that style or concept came to you? The opening two bars go so damn hard.
Blaq Poet: First off, when you on that sour [diesel], you know you start zoning, I start zoning when I’m on that sour, and that’s something I always wanted to do though, I always wanted to make a joint about buildings and shit talking to you, I spent a lot of time by myself at night on the blocks on the benches and there was nothing else but the building and the grass there, and I always thought about making a joint about objects just speaking to you how they see things, I always wanted to do something different.
UPDATE: The tracklisting has been revealed to The Blaq Poet Society by Blaq Poet. That will release on June 21, 2011.
2.) Power Music (produced by Stu Bangas)
3.) Butcher Shop f/R.A The Rugged Man (produced by Vanderslice)
4.) Charles Speaks
5.) Daytime Shootouts f/Jaysaun & Chief Kamachi (produced by Stu Bangas)
6.) Hood Talk (produced by Stu Bangas)
7.) Bushmaster Music f/Vinnie Paz & Lateb (produced by Stu Bangas)
8.) Guns N Ammo (produced by Vanderslice)
9.) Mortuary Music (produced by Vanderslice)
10.) Bill Speaks
11.) New Age Villain f/Reef The Lost Cauze (produced by Vanderslice)
12.) Blood Pool f/Wais P (produced by Stu Bangas)
13.) Life Of A Hustler f/Capone (produced by Vanderslice)
14.) Nighttime Shootouts f/Apathy & Celph Titled (produced by Stu Bangas)