Through re-releasing a later edition of his 2008 album Rap Burgular, Ill Insanity member Dashah has had a buzzing 2009. To end the year, he teamed with frequent collaborator DJ Pause for as Fresh Vetz to release Vet Status, presented by HipHopDX, which can also be downloaded here.

“The direction of this album is sick beats and dope rhymes. We wanted to take It back to the basics because that’s what we feel is missing right now. The sound on Vet Status is a lot more fresher than Rap Burgular 2.5. It’s not as nostalgic and underground as people may think. We tried some different things on this, but kept in the realms of who we are and for the most part hip hop. This album definitely has an old school feel to it while at the same time still being able to compete in today’s formulated climate.” DJ Pause adds, “With this album, we wanted the production to sound a little harder than Rap Burglar 2.5. Also we wanted a to pay homage to Hip Hop and have an old school feel as well. We tried some new styles and sounds with Vet Status but still kept it us and what we represent. Dashah stepped it up on the mic too.”

Cracking into the online consciousness helped motivate the New York duo’s desire to go for greater awareness. “Rap Burgular 2.5 did receive some great accolades from a lot of magazines and websites including I was very grateful to have people recognize what I had going on. Hopefully some of those same tastemakers will give Vet Status some love and support as well. Our next step is getting this album to the people, making it tangible which is why we’re putting out free on the Internet. We plan on doing shows, shows, and more shows. We want people to familiarize themselves with Fresh Vetz, the members, what we stand for, and the mark we intend to leave on the game.”

After selling Rap Burgular digitally and hard-copy, the veterans opened themselves up to new media strategy. Dashah told DX, “Well first were putting the project out for free download. We want listeners and fans to get familiar with the Fresh Vetz. We want people to recognize Dashah and DJ Pause. Also were going to push this project all over the Internet and hand out CDs wherever we go and at our shows. We want to establish a heavy fanbase and not limit listeners by trying to sell our music, for now.”

As Ill Insanity was a group closely associated with Rob Swift and The X-Ecutionerz, Dashah spoke on the recent death of Roc Raida, a pioneering New York turntablist that worked extensively with Swift. “Man, when Roc Raida passed I was stunned. That devastated the hip hop and DJ community!I I want to send my condolences to his entire family and friends. I had only met him maybe three or four times, the one that stands out the most is when we opened up for Ill Insanity/ X-ecutioners at the Knitting Factory in 2008 after Rap Burgular 2 dropped. We were all backstage crackin’ jokes, and chillin’ before we went on, I even got a picture in with him. It was me Raida, Total Eclipse, Rob Swift, Precision, Boogie Blind and DJ Pause. Its wild that we use to watch these dudes get busy at the DMC finals back in the day and now being able to work with them is truly an honor. Total Eclipse has become one of my best friends. Look for us to keep doing work with them in the near future, hell maybe even a tour together or something who knows.”

Vet Statusby Fresh Vetz can be streamed, or downloaded here.