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TIME Interview #34
Album reviews will be released on the 28th! Both Newstalgia and Anti-Smiles.
“Time is a hip-hop artist from the mid-west. He has toured Europe, US and the Vans Warped Tour. He has been compared to Aesop Rock, Andre 3000, Atmosphere and Drake. He makes hip-hop music that is personal and truthful that people relate too. Unlike most rappers he uses creativity with a dash of truth”
How did you come up with Time?
Time was my nickname from playing basketball because “I couldn’t be stopped” haha, it just stuck with me through the years.
What attracted you to music as your medium of choice, how did it all start?
When I was 12 I was playing basketball in the alley and had the greatest urge ever to write a song, so I ran inside and wrote some horrible song about basketball that had a line like “me and rap stick together like sour cream and chive.” The song “Love in the Time of Rap” from my new album Newstalgia explains my relationship with creativity. Music is powerful, it speaks to everybody, it’s a universal language that can inspire emotions and convey tons of information. Listening to music gave me a political vocab that I wasn’t getting from school or anywhere, it opened my eyes to racism, classism, sexism, and other forms of oppression that I was ignorant to. Music got me in to reading too, I read “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” and “The Alchemist” because of Talib Kweli and Sole got me into authors like Scott Crow, Bob Kaufman, Gregory Corso, and Iain M. Banks.
Who’s one person you admire?
One person I admire is Arnie Carter. He works with the homeless and marginalized population in Denver. He tirelessly works with people dealing with poverty, discrimination, or addiction. He is always positive and patient with people and shows everyone love.
What inspires you?
Rain is a big inspiration for me, I like to walk around the city when it rains. Aside from rain, art is a great inspiration, writers like Kerouac, Carlos Castaneda, Subcomandante Marcos, and Walter Mosley always inspire me. Lots of coffee too.
What was it like to collaborate with so many artists on your album Newstalgia?
Collaborating with so many artists on Newstalgia was amazing. Everything fell in to place and the other artists added emotions and words I never would have thought of that made the album even more personal. K. Raydio’s chorus and verse on 5th Horseman was perfect. Ceschi had lost his grandmother the same week I did and that is how we made the song Nona. I got to collaborate with some of my favorite Denver artists as well like Katie Gold, Jason Horodyski, Man Mantis, Ron Miles, Chris Barron, Satyre, Doctype, Kate Warner, and Nonnahs from Church Fire.
Any collabs planned for the future?
I’m almost finished with a project entirely produced by Ephelant and also working on a project with Giuseppe. Sole and I have plans to work on some more songs as well. AwareNess and I are doing some engineering for Common’s new project “Nobody Smiling” right now too.
Where were some of you favorite places to perform at during your tours?
One of the best shows we ever did was in Tempe, AZ a while back, we also love performing in San Antonio. My favorite show we ever did was either in Paris or Bordeaux, shout out to Ancient Mith for making that happen.
As mentioned in the URB’s feature of your album Newstalgia, you took inspiration from video games, but also political themes. Could you tell us what inspired you to combine the two?
Video games are very political. When I was writing the song “8 BitMemories” I was reflecting on my childhood and growing up playing video games like Tetris, Choplifter, or Zaxxon. When Tetris came out the cold war was ending and everything was anti-Russia. I realized how games like Contra, Choplifter, and Zaxxon were just military arms reaching out to kids and showing death as pixels rather than the people who were being killed in the Middle East or Latin America. Even now we have games like Call of Duty that are propped up by the military gamer industrial complex. They took the army recruiters out of high school and put them in to our games.
How would you explain your style?
Personal, reflective, and high on coffee.
Could you give us a hint on what direction you plan to go with your music in 2014?
From abstract to easy to grasp, I’m trying to not make plans and let the music guide me.
What makes you happy?
Sipping coffee with my adopted tuxedo cat, spending time with my loved ones, and watching people resist and create.
Interviewed by POI