Real Talk w/ Jim Hurdle

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Talk about your recent experiences on stage specifically opening up for Danny Brown and Action Bronson.

           
Opening up for Danny Brown was awesome. I love that whole “Turn Up” kind of atmosphere! My music fits right along those lines so for me & my DJ Tittahbyte, It was a Blast!! We both rocked for both Major acts but I myself had a lil bit harder time at the Action Bronson show. Feeling a bit under the weather, having such a stressful day, & making last minute changes in my set left me not as happy with my performance at the end of the show. I still received praises after my set from the crowd & promoters but I guess I will always be my worst critic. I felt like I didn’t leave my heart out on the stage. When I perform & wanna rap my ass off & give the best show I could give. That night I didn’t feel like I did that. Shows like that pump me up for the next ones though. It makes me mad that I didn’t kill it like I wanted to & how I know I could have. Can’t kill em all I guess, but the next one I’m gonna leave in a full body cast for sure. Getting to be an opening act for BAMP Projects & RVCA is amazing. They put on the best shows in Hawaii. It definitely gives us local artists great opportunities so huge mahalo to them for giving us that avenue.

What examples can you give me that show the sacrifices you make to do hip hop?
     
    When I think about the sacrifices I have made to be where I am at it kinda gets me choked up. I feel most won’t ever get the whole story from me & this interview isn’t gonna want my book long response for this question either. For those that know where I grew up, how I grew up, & to be here doing music now, know how much was sacrificed to make this happen. I could’ve been anything, yet I chose to pursue the hardest dream ever. 11 years invested & I’m still doing it. 11 years alone is a huge sacrifice, after 2 years of doing something it isn’t a hobby anymore, this is for real. I’ve lost connections with friends & family because I get so caught up in chasing this dream of mine. Sleepless nights, long hours & endless days of trying to create something from nothing. All I know is I hope it brings me something at the end of it all, even if it’s just a smile on my face. Regret is something I would never feel for chasing something I love. That is something I will pass on to my daughter & make sure she understands that. Love More, Hate Less, Give Your All, Dream Big, & Believe In Yourself!

You put in enough time and effort there will sure to be a reward. Talk about the rewards you have received from the hardwork you put in to hip hop?
         
I’ve gotten to open up for numerous major acts, a lot actually when I start to think about it. I even flew out to Cali to open up for Bambu & Blue Scholars. I just opened up for Danny Brown & 2 weeks later Action Bronson since 2014 has started. From also opening up for legends like Nas & Dead Prez, those kinds of rewards are the ones us up & coming artists dream of. I got beats sent in to major artists for hopeful placements & have made contacts with directors of A&Rs for Atlantic & Interscope. Even if nothing comes from it, the fact that people know of us out here in Hawaii now, people that call shots in the industry know of our scene, our movement. That alone is a huge reward not only for me but for all of us here in Hawaii’s hip-hop scene. I am very proud to be a part of that & to contribute in any way I can.

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Did you retire the “Pro” moniker or is that your producer alias? When and why did you decide to go by Jim Hurdle?

           
I ended my alias “Pro” mainly because when people would ask who I was & how to look me up they would google “Pro” and they would get the most random searches & it would never lead people to my music. Not to mention there are already artists & producer’s that go by the alias “Pro”. So I figured there can’t be another “Jim Hurdle” trynna rap & make beats right?! Surprisingly there are a lot of “Jim Hurdle’s” lucky for me, none of them rap or make beats too! Alias names are cool but I felt like people needed to know who I am & what I am capable of doing. So now it’s just me, Jim Hurdle “Mr. This What a Hit Sounds Like”.

Talk about your worst moments in hip hop and how you got through it.

         
   Worst moment in hip-hop for me & probably K-Luv too lol, it was when we almost had our EP done which was originally going be a full length album. My external hard drive crashed & I loss everything we worked on, GONE!! Only a few tracks that were spared were the ones that I had sent out via email (which were mostly rough mixes) which then turned the project into an EP instead. My heart broke lol it was such a sad moment that I can barely chuckle about now, the wounds cut deep lol. We made it thru & like everything bad in life, we see them as learning & growth opportunities. Look at us now, We still “Rollin”.

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What is more important to you constructive criticism or genuine praise?

          
  For the most part I stay pretty humble. It’s just how I was raised. I do get more praises than criticism but both never get me feeling any kind of way. I politely listen & say thank you, but quickly forget about it or brush it off. Both can alter ones thinking so I try my best to not let any of it get to me or my head, positive or negative. I think it’s most important to not let any of it affect your thinking or creative approach. No one believes in you like you do, so most people may not understand it at first anyway.

Not including the present, when was the most exciting time in Hip hop for you?
          
  I would say about 6-7 years back, when Tropics was the spot to hang out. Bones would be hosting the Hip-Hop @ The Trops events. DJ Revise would be cutting it up behind the tables. Kwali & Ill Hill, Perfect Median, K & Mox them would be in a cypher. Prie & I were just starting to collaborate (back in myspace days) & Me & Jerm were trynna show the local hip-hop scene how dope we were/are. Back then we weren’t accepted at first (Jerm & I) the scene looked at us like straight outsiders & curious as to why we were there. Low & behold eventually the scene came around & realized that we weren’t leaving & that we were gonna be here doing our music, like it or not. The persistence, our talent, & the head nod approval of some of the scenes most respected is what started our acceptance out here. It definitely didn’t come over night, this has been a working progress for years now. It was such a great moment in time though, for myself & for the scene I feel like.

How important has chopping it up and learning from artists, djs and hip hop lifers over the age of 30 been to your mindset and appreciation for hardwork?

          
To be honest I don’t converse much with older hip-hop heads. A lot of times I feel like they cherish the old times too much & it’s hard for them to accept the new music or sounds now. Not taking away from our history & the sound that we tend to love more, it’s just that what our generation is making now, old heads consider it to just be noise. Funny because that is the same thing people thought of them & their music back in their times. Life always comes full circle & things will always make its way back around, we just gotta embrace what is going on NOW because it’s all gonna change real soon. But I really appreciate our OG guys like DJ Jimmy Taco, & his grind that he has been on for years. He has seen all the changes & growth from our scene & the industry. I hope to still be around and still involved in music like him & still have that passion after seeing so much change thru the years.    

Back in the day, big shows would feature the same two or three artists opening up for every show. Things have changed a bit in that regard where more artists are getting the opportunity to shine on the big stage. It’s definitely good for the culture. What are your thoughts?

        
    To be honest the scene is still like that. I just so happen to be making my way into that “lil bubble” so to say. Everywhere you go in the world it’s like this though, Hawaii isn’t exempt from it. Most the time the promoters or people that put these big events together don’t have a clue of who is who in the scene or what it has to offer. Majority of the time they couldn’t name 3 local hip-hop artists if you asked them. All they know is business & money & they got a major act coming out to perform & are in need of an opening act. I have been very fortunate to rock with guys like K-Luv & Prie, those two brothers alone have put me in positions to open up for major acts. They got my foot in the door & got these promoters familiar with me & my work. As much as I wish it was my talent or work ethics that got me those opportunities it wasn’t. I owe that to those brothers. At the same time though, they opened those doors for me because they know how talented I am & how hard I work. My objective though is to open up doors for others, just like they were opened for me. I am a man of my word when it comes to things like that, everyone that works with me knows. If I make it, WE make it! I’m a package deal.

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Explain your approach and mindset before you go on stage, during and what you feel after?

         
   As long as I been doing this I still get the craziest butterflies before I go on. I don’t think you can ever shed that feeling. Once I hit that stage, my heart drops right when the beat does, then its GAME time!!! I literally zone out & lose myself in that moment. Out of nowhere my confidence just sky rockets & I feel untouchable. Like a champion. It sounds funny but it’s true. When I get on stage, give it my all, get off & immediately get praises from the crowd, it really puts all of this into perspective. All the hard work & sacrifice leads you to moments like this. I get off stage & I thank God for it all.

Where is your favorite place to write and record?

        
    In my studio, late night/early morning, after a drink or two, smoking some goody, in the dark, just the glow from my monitor & the blinking lights from my recording equipment always sets me in the perfect creative vibe. That’s the beauty of having your own studio or creative spot. Just so happen mine is on the next floor of my apartments that I live at.

Upcoming Projects. Plugs. Shout outs.

          
  Im slowly working on my next solo project “Southen Aloha 2” and myself & DJ Anrky are putting together a collaborative project that is all produced by both of us. We been working out of Blue Planet Sound in Kalihi where he actually manages. Klarke & I plan to do a follow up project after such great response from his “just Klarke” album. The  return of Jim&Jerm coming soon too. Im also doing a lot of mixing & mastering for some local artist in the scene as well as making sure my beats are getting around. You may not always hear my voice but I guarantee you my music is getting around one way or another. I just recently did some work with I.A. & Jordan T so it not just Hip-Hop I’m making out here. I got my bases covered & I’m still expanding & thinking outside of the box. I wanna make a rock/Indie type project to test my skills as a producer as well. I’m always looking for ways to bring something different. I wanna send a Big shout out to my brothers. Prie, I’m so proud of you & all your accomplishments. K-Luv, keep getting it bulleh, Miss you, I’ll see you soon! Klarke, get back home so we can get back to cookin #GripShit!! My brother Jerm, We the best bro, never forget that! Shout out to my brothers Big Mox, S1da & BB/RunnTheStreetz, All my 24Block Brothers, shout out to all the camps out here as well, WorkHouse, Ill Hill, Angry Locals, FTB, Tsunami Mobb, 4Walls, Trackbaby & many many more. Hawaii’s hip-hop scene is so amazing & I feel it doesn’t get the cred it truly deserves. Hawaii Hip-Hop is a great thing to be a part of, I know Im proud to say I am Jim Hurdle & “I am Hawaii Hip-Hop”.

Real Talk w/ Kwalified #ListenandShare #Hzup

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What was the highight from your performance last night at the Blu and Exile show?

Man, just being able to share the stage with my brothers, The Horror Show, Cookbook, and seeing Blu and Exile rock shit from Below The Heavens. Also there was this girl with glasses and this scarf thing and every time I was dancing or something on stage, she started doing her own moves and stuff. That was fun. I’ll give homegirl a high five if I ever see her. Haha. It’s cool having people who will personally interact with you at shows like that. I like connecting with the people, you know? That’s one of the best parts of all this shit.

What behind the scene stories would you like to share that took place OR led to the final product that is “Listen and Share.”

Well, I went in to record the song “Sometimes” and my homegirl came through because she had the green. So we go ahead and get lifted, and I was all out. So I kinda just forced her to give me the rest of hers. Haha. I gave her 10 bucks tho. Haha. Then I put her on the song. She’s the voice saying sometimes with me in the hook.

Briefly about your roots in Hawaii and your first memories as a performer and supporter of Hawaii hip hop?

My father retired from the military here and I graduated from Kapolei High School. I first started performing when I was 15, but didn’t really start dipping my toe into our actual hip hop scene til I was 18. First time I went to a show was at a spot called Bliss Cafe. It’s something else now. Used to be called Grumpy’s. I went to go see LA Symphony. It’s funny how this all comes full circle, Cookbook of LA Symphony rocked the same show as me. We both rocked at the Blu and Exile show. It was crazy packed and too fun. Anyway, that was my first 18+ show and Creed Chameleon, Kavet the Catalyst and Amphibious Tungs opened. I was stoked on the whole show. I thought it was hilarious that Creed yelled out “Fuck Myspace!” when the show was actually sponsored by MySpace and there was a huge banner or theirs behind him. Haha.

First time I actually stepped on a stage was a little later that year, I believe. Sharlock Poems also of LA Symphony and Propaganda of TunnelRats came down and did a show. The Perfect Median and Bless opened. They killed it. Then at the end Prop invited up emcees to cypher. So I went up and that was the first time people in the scene really heard me rap. Bless knew though. Bless been the homie since ever since. Haha. I met Grip H that night. And that was the first connection I made to someone in the scene. Eventually that led to me performing more and making more music and then I linked with my homie Joncozy. We kicked it in high school. He was already making a name for himself as a DJ, and he was starting to rap. We linked up and did a couple mixtape tracks over some Blue Scholars beats and then we did another one with his homie that he introduced me to named Christian Viernes (RockZa) they made a couple songs together too and we made one with all 3 of us. From there Ill Hill was born. We met Bone, he gave us our first show together ever at Tropics and it was a wrap after that. Really grateful for that chance. 


How often do you write rhymes, where do you keep them?

I write pretty often. Maybe not whole songs or even whole verses. Just bits and pieces I’ll want to remember. I’ll keep that in my head, then when I have beats that I’m gonna actually put songs to, I’ll finish the verses. I’ll write’em in my phone usually now. Just because it’s convenient. I never have pens anymore. (lol) I write in my rhyme books still too. Sometimes you just gotta write it out though.

You end of shirtless on stage a lot, is that intended from the jump or does it just kinda happen?
(lol) Definitely wasn’t intended from the jump. One night Ill Hill was rocking a show at Nextdoor and it was hot as hell. Like super hot. So I made up my mind to rap without a shirt on. I decided that I was just gonna go hella crazy on stage and do it shirtless. Haha. I started doing it more because it was better than always sweating up my shirts. Haha. Then it became like a joke amongst me an the homies kinda and then even something I was known for. Haha. So now it’s almost expected at shows. Haha. When I don’t do it, people ask why I didn’t. (lol)

THIS IS THE GOOD STUFF. CHECK OUT THE HONOLULU PULSE (WWW.HONOLULUPULSE.COM) THIS WEDNESDAY FOR THE BEST STUFF!

Na Hoku Talk w/ Shawn Moseley of Evasive Species

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How did you all find out you were nominated. Were you sent a letter, did someone from HARA call you?

When the final Ballot came out, being voting members of HARA we saw our name on the ballot. We also received a nice letter in the mail congratulating us and giving us details of what to expect the night of the event should we win.

What member of the group submitted the album to HARA?

The band leader, Shawn Livingston Moseley, after full approval from the other members which include Navid Najafi, Stephen Inglis, Jon Hawes, Jason Segler, Kanohowailuku Helm and also special guest The Broke Moke’s, Punahele, Scott Othoro and Erika Elona.

Being nominated for anything is a sign of respect would you agree?

It really is. Knowing that the community of musicians around you care enough to get behind your efforts is one of the most respectful things any artist could hope for, ever.


How familiar are you with the other nominees and the history of the category?

Very intimate with both the nominees and the history. Navid, our main emcee is a strong and active member of the local Hip Hop scene performing and supporting almost all the different Nominees at some point along the way. Shawn put a lot of energy behind the local Hip Hop scene since 2007 after making Hip Hop albums in New York City for years prior. Shawn, alongside a couple other friends put a lot of time into getting the Hip Hop category that was for years paired with R&B separated and on it’s own. It really did not make a lot of sense to be grouped with R&B and sadly created ill feelings for a few people within the hip hop community. Thankfully that is a problem that has been fixed and the community has no good reason not to grow.

Is it truly a Hip Hop category?

Yes. Hip Hop has evolved into many forms over the years and they all have presence here in Hawaii. Some focus on using a live band, which is what Evasive Species and the Deadbeats do, others make beats, use samples and otherwise. Both approaches are great expressions of the art form and deserve equal credit to sustaining the musical style locally.

In all seriousness, how badly do you want to win?

We already have, we made a great record. As far as the award goes, it’s not going to make us any more proud of what we have accomplished as a band and the support we continue to receive and provide to our local Hip Hop community. Evasive Species is thankful for the nomination of course, but more thankful for the other artist that submitted in the preliminary round showing their support for the category and keeping it alive. Who ever wins will get our full respect no matter what.

Beat Root Talk w/ Kavet The Catalyst *Part 1

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I would imagine that you hold Beat Root close to your heart, in many ways almost like a child. Like a child the event has grown from a number of different standpoints. Talk about the growth you have noticed from the inaugural event finals to now?

The growth has been exponential more and more producers are finding out about Beatroot and we are getting alot more exposure from the mainland. We still have so much space to grow, i feel that the MCs are not utilizing Beatroot. As an MC why wouldn’t you want to come to a place where you can hear 6 producers for 2 hours play beats? Mos of the time these producer will be down to work with and MC. Its beyond me why, but maybe i need to promote harder?


– Talk specifically about the growth you’ve noticed from a talent and interest perspective.

Honestly the talent has varied, since its super easy to make beat because of computers we get the real basic, just starting beat maker, entering not knowing what the heck is going on, but on the other hand we have the producer that has been following Beatroot for a few years and comes out of know where and amazes everyone. It really varies.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YamcmXQF5sE%5D


– How much more energy have you put in specifically, sound, improving the experience of the people in the crowd, prizes..etc.

-I make sure the sound is on point, not just loud but clean, i want the producers and the audience to hear the producers audio art. Since i MC the event i try to bless the ground with free giveaways from all our awesome sponsors. I also make sure to explain What Beatroot is about and what the producers are going to be doing, just in case someone never came to a beatroot they can be included in the experience.

– How are you trying to CHALLENGE the producers more so than ever.

Its a challenge but this is the GRAND CHAMPIONSHIPS and this is for all the marbles!!! For the Grand Championships I give the producers a Sample pack. So for the first round they have to make 2 beats, one beat you can only sample and use – George Clinton’s “Computer Games” and the second Beat you have to remix Old Dirty Bastards – “Shimmy Shimmy Ya”. I have them do the same thing for the next round but i change the album you can only sample to and old funk fusion record – The Soul Searchers “Salt of the Earth” and they have to remix Dialated People w/Kanye -“Get By”.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeHCnc1uV3U%5D

Na Hoku Talk w/ @IA808

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Do you think the voting committee is finally taking the award and genre seriously or at least more seriously than they have in years past?

After years of sharing the award with R&B artist, I do have to give HARA props for recognizing that Hip Hop deserves its own category in the Hokus.

Are you a member of HARA?

I am not a member of HARA nor have I attended any meetings but I do see how their program can help the music community. I don’t think it should matter if you are a registered member to win the award though. But I do understand the politics of the recognition. Its the same for the Grammys on a bigger scale.


Is it really truly cool just to be nominated?

This will be my third nomination and at this point I just respect the fact that I have the opportunity to be in the final ballot and that I helped in a way somewhat by putting out albums to get our own category. I just want to influence the next generation to keep our genre alive and keep our scene going.


Any last words on this year’s set of nominees and the Hip Hop Album of the Year category in general?

On a final note, I am truly honored to be on the final ballot with incredible artist/brands. I would’ve love to see Mo Illa Pillaz, Pou Jackson, Jerzy Ric, and C Gutta on the final ballot. They all had great projects and deserved to be here too.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2S7nkRpnfFw%5D