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Return of the Real: Putting blctxt contxt’s Dopenees in Context (Exclusive Interview)Posted by ThroatChopU on 11/09/11 | Filed under Features, Return of the Real, blctxt contxt
I don’t sing. I don’t rhyme. I can’t produce tracks. I’m often the only non-rapper in a room. But I’ve always had an ear for good music and because of that, folks have respected my honest opinion. I don’t hold back. I’m also a fan of music. I actually remember when that meant something. RefinedHype has given me the opportunity to showcase a dope artist weekly, someone who is on the rise that has caught my ear and that you should definitely check out. This is "Return of The Real". Chea!
It was July 2009 when I first heard blctxt contxt, the Atlanta rapper whose name I struggled to figure out for about a minute and a half. I looked at his name with my head cocked to the side like I was staring at one of those vanity license plates. And then I got; it was black text context.
The track I was listening to, "The Special", found him rhyming over a King-I-Divine produced beat. It was a heck of an introduction and that cut is still one of my favorites from his catalog.
I’ve been vibing with blctxt since 2009, right around the time he dropped Acknowledgment. With a few features between then and now, he’d been on a bit of a musical hiatus until his latest project A Smart Black Boy: The Sonic Inception. His newest work is a bit of a journey, from being a boy to a man, and the trials and tribulations in between. Lyrically he’s grown too. I dig blctxt’s sound and the honesty in his music.
The dude is dope.
Just before the release of his project last month, I reached out to him for this interview. We talked about his feelings going into the new project, the origins of his stage name and more. Check out the Q&A.
ThroatChop: I can imagine that blctxt is often mispronounced. Where did you come up with the name?
blctxt contxt: (laughs) Yeah Q, I don’t know why I didn’t choose a simpler name like “Lil’ Big Young Your Local Thug, Got Them Yams For Da Low-Low.” My name actually started out when I was writing poetry and performing spoken word in high school. I came up with it as a small tribute to my evolving love of words and language.
ThroatChop:: Ah, very dope. So, as an artist with a bit more of a conscious edge to your music, do you feel that it's an uphill battle for you to get folks to listen to the music?
blctxt contxt: The uphill battle starts when I think of lyrics for a song but it’s always a war to get a person to press that ‘play’ button. If music has a message, it cannot be forced. Therefore I already know that certain speech only reaches those who possess knowledge about the subject. For real though bruh, I don’t see my music as “conscious”; not because I don’t want to but because the tag associated with it is one of holiness in a listeners mind. So if they see me eating a Double Stack, sipping a Blue Moon or doing anything that isn’t “conscious” then I’m wrong. If what you mean by “conscious” is “observant” than yeah, that’s me all day. However I am human and I do have a life of my own, so not every political or social happening comes to my attention. Really, I’m not political at all. The social climate that I was raised in (single mom, working class family/friends) has bred me this way.
ThroatChop:: Word. I respect that. You had taken a hiatus from music a few months back. Do you feel more focused now that you are back?
blctxt contxt: I feel more focused in my vision but maaan the hiatus I took was MUCH needed. To be honest, I don’t like dropping truckloads of music in a year because it seems like it’s without purpose. My creative process takes a while ‘cause I’m searching for the purpose and working on manifesting the vision in sound. There are plans to drop more music after A Smart Black Boy is released though. Really don’t like when there’s too much space in between the projects.
ThroatChop:: I hear that and it’s good to have you back. I know you're in the final stages of putting together your new project, A Smart Black Boy. What's the concept behind your upcoming work? Who are some of the people you worked with on it?
blctxt contxt: Concept-wise I just really wanted to give people my head and my heart, my thoughts and my feelings. King I Divine, Free Phareal, Illastrate, Venus, J Haze and Naira (to name a few) are all fam I worked with on this project. There’s a sense of community I wanted to bring to the table that I hope people feel when they listen.
ThroatChop:: So, after the last track fades out on A Smart Black Boy, what do you want listeners to walk away with?
blctxt contxt: I want listeners to walk away with two things on their minds: “Where is the repeat button?” and “Who can I share this with?!” My thoughts influence my mood and my perspective is just as heavy. Once they’re done listening, I feel like people will have a better idea of the type of person I am.
ThroatChop:: Having heard the new project, it seems a bit more personal. Probably a hard question for you but what track on A Smart Black Boy speaks to who you are as a person?
blctxt contxt: Hmmmm ... it’s gonna be “god Bless...A Smart Black Boy”. The older I get, the more my ideals change to fit the skin I’m in; this song represents that best.
ThroatChop:: What about the track on A Smart Black Boy that speaks to who are as an artist?
blctxt contxt: That would definitely be “Plight of A Smart Black Boy”. “Plight...” is a pledge to my listeners, my family and my art. A pledge that that I wrote for myself to listen to when I’m off my square so I can get back focused.
ThroatChop:: As you continue to put out more music, what impact do you want to have on the people who listen to that music?
blctxt contxt: Memory is medicine and I want my music to be a soundtrack for people’s lives; music they play when they want to basically do better at being good. Cliché as that may sound, it’s more important to me that my music be loved by the people, than to be celebrated for a trend.
ThroatChop:: So, we've talked a lot about your music. So, what are you listening to on your iPod/MP3 player?
blctxt contxt: Off the top, two words: Clan Destined (DT and AmDex). Clan D’s “Self Titled” LP dropped early 2011 and I have been playing it since. These guys are so creative and I think that this LP is one of the year’s best. Other than them I haven’t been able to stop listening to Thurzday’s “L.A. Riot” LP either, dude went in on that one. On the non Hip-Hop/Eclectic side I stay bumping Carlitta Durand’s “Nostalgic Nights” EP, Ghostpoets’ “Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam” and Muhsinah’s double EP “Urban/Suburban”. Of course I don’t do anything without mixing my homies John Coltrane and Marvin Gaye in a playlist.
ThroatChop::And last but not least, a question I ask everyone featured on Return of The Real, what's next for you?
blctxt contxt: C’mon Q, we can’t let the cat out the bag now bruh. I’ve just got more music in the works for 2012. Some ideas to be more visible and make blctxt contxt a name synonymous with quality. For now, y’all check out my new project A Smart Black Boy: The Sonic Inception, out now.
For more from blctxt, connect with him via Twitter and check out more music via ContxtClues.com.
For more from ThroatChopU, follow him on Twitter and check out TheMadBloggers.com.
Play blctxt contxt - Blue Collar Anthem