Out Da Box TV recently caught up with underground Hip Hop veteran J. Rawls to talk about his latest album The Hip Hop Affect. The Black Star and Beastie Boys producer talked about his latest offering, explaining that he was inspired to give listeners an alternative to the standard of Hip Hop music with his album, both intellectually and soncially.
“The Hip Hop Affect is really about how Hip Hop affected my life. I’m from a generation where we had a lot of different styles of Hip Hop,” he explained. “We had Luke [from 2 Live Crew], to Peter Rock to OutKast, so everything was there, but the difference was we had a variety. I think today, we don’t have as much of a variety. Everything sounds the same.”
He added, “[The album’s message] all came out of a conversation with my son. He didn’t really know what Hip Hop was. He didn’t really understand what Hip Hop was about, and [the album’s theme] came from that conversation. I said, ‘That’s a great concept for an album,’ so what I did was with The Hip Hop Affect, I took all the people that influenced my life. You’ve got Casual as a representation for the Hieroglyphics, you’ve got a group called Spirit from Columbus, Ohio, who was actually one of the first groups out of Columbus doing music, and they actually put me on my first talent show.”
Rawls also dicussed his other vocation: teaching. He explained that after spending years as a computer analyst, he switched over to teaching, a job that he has pursued ever since. Now, he says that he’s been attempting to combine education and Hip Hop to the fullest extent.
“I used to be a computer analyst,” he said. “But my problem was it wasn’t exciting. I didn’t deal with people…my cousin said, ‘You should try teaching.’ I laughed at her, like ‘Nah, I’m cool, I’m not messing with anybody’s bad kids.’ But from there, I was so unhappy with what I was doing that I decided to try it, and I fell in love with education…I’m currently teaching, trying to help the youth. That’s a real important cause…I’m trying to figure out a way to infuse Hip Hop with education and take it to the next level.”
The full interview can be seen below.