Abstract Rude.jpg

Longtime Los Angeles underground rapper Abstract Rude is in town playing a show in Seattle tomorrow night at Nectar in support of his new album,


Idols Series: Gabriel Teodros Interviews LA Rapper Abstract Rude

Abstract Rude.jpg

Longtime Los Angeles underground rapper Abstract Rude is in town playing a show in Seattle tomorrow night at Nectar in support of his new album, Rejuvenation which came out this week. Interestingly enough, there's a strong Seattle connection on the disc as Vitamin D produced the entire thing. The album was five years in the making and, from what I've heard, was well worth the wait.

Local MC Gabriel Teodros has been a big fan of Abstract Rude's music for years and the two have developed a musical admiration for one another's projects. I reached out to Teodros and asked him if he'd be interested in interviewing Ab and he said yes! After the jump, check out a candid conversation via email in a new series called Idols where local artists interview music figures that they've admired.

If you could bless us with a story Abstract, how did you & Vitamin D hook up, what is this Rejuvenation album all about... how was the process... and what took so friggin' long for it to drop?

We hooked up years ago ('95) via Underground Superfest, an event that Project Blowed/Bboy Kingdom used to throw where underground crews from NW/SW and all over Cali would unite for a 3 day hip hop exchange. Fast forward to late 2003 and Siddiq at Rhymesayers approached me about doing a record with Vita, now here we are. The Rejuv album is about the resiliency of a seed that thrives out of meager conditions. Moreover, it's the rejuvenation of my career and a forward step in the Project Blowed & Rhymesayers independent hip hop movement. The process of making the record was me flying up to Seattle to record & vibe with Vita about once every 3-4 months, in between touring internationally. We made close to 40 songs and it took a long time to sort through and mix the ones we wanted, frankly we liked most of em.

You were a part-time Seattle resident while working on this album, after spending so much time up here, what's your impression of the Town? and if it has, in your eyes, how is it changed since your first couple visits?

The Town is a West Coast town with East coast weather, LOL. Hip Hop thrives there with Vita's Beat Battles, you got cats like Jake One & BeanOne on beats, there's writer crews, dancers, bboys, MCs like Oldominion, A-Son & D. Black that I love, also Blue Scholars hold it down. That Music Museum is dope that's for sure. The town appreciates passion & cats who stick to what they're doing. I'm sure it's changed a little bit, mainly in that all the above mentioned cats are way more famous than 5 years ago.

Being from L.A. "where gang ties are just a part of life", what effect did the Good Life Cafe and later on, Project Blowed have on your community beyond just music?

The same effect playing sports and being into activities had - an alternative to idle time. Idle time is the devil's playground. And art changes kids for the better period so The Goodlife & Blowed weigh in to keep alternatives open for youth.

You came up in a crew, Abstract Tribe Unique that consisted of one emcee and two dancers, I hear you constantly giving it up to graffiti writers in your songs, and featuring different turntablists on all your projects. How has coming up in a crew with dancers affected your approach to music, and why is it important for you to represent every element of Hip Hop culture?

Tribe Unique made me wanna be visual with my lyrics & my music, so they affected what we chose to sample, the kinds of things I wrote about, and also Fatjack & I will leave little instrumental breaks for them to dance, already thinking of how we'll perform a song as I'm writing it. So I tend to write as if it's already being done live. Every element is important to me because that's the way hip hop always was and if it aint broke u can add to it but don't fix it, feel me?

You are on tour right now with Myka 9 & Aceyalone to form the mighty Haiku de'Tat. Myka & Acey both have albums that dropped in the last few months as well... for people that don't know, do you want to take a moment to talk about Myka and Acey's newest projects? And what can people expect from this show?

This is the firstt time ever that we've each had a solo record out in the same year - all three of us. Myka w/1969 & Acey's Lonely Ones are both different style projects where the homies are pushing the creative envelopes once again. U never know what to expect from those two and I ain't about to give up more than u going to buy the lps will do - just go cop 'em. As for the tour, we each come out solo then we reunite after my solo set at the end for a Haiku-Ateam-FF-Project Blowed finale set. We brought along one of our most deserving young MCs from the Blowed, Nocando, to host the nights & perform an opening set. Of course, DJ Drez is on the wheels so heads can expect to be dancing all night long.

Any final words, thoughts, shout-outs?

Shouts to Irie Lion King, Kenny Segal, Shaka Man, Sammi Omar, Choklate, Reggie Watts, Vitamin D & The Stayhi Brothas, K Stiel, Sleep, Grey Skull, Jasiri, the Pharmacy crew, Mad Krew, DTC, KYT, Jake One, Gabe & Damien the fighter homie from Seatown... see y'all Saturday.

There were more questions I could of asked but didn't, because Abstract answered them himself on his video blog - RudeNationTV. Also wanted to say that Abstract Rude, Myka 9 and Aceyalone are all featured in an amazing film called This Is The Life which is the first documentary about the Good Life Cafe and the underground west coast Hip Hop movement that all three of these artists had a role in starting; it's available now at www.goodlifelove.com, Netflix, and airing on Showtime as well! Seattle - L.A. connect!

--Gabriel Teodros

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