Music, Writings and Art live from the twisted mind of Tokyo Cigar

Plexiglass Fountain interview on HAILMEGATRON.NET

Inside The Mind… The Plexiglass Fountain (Tokyo Cigar x Cyclops)

Wow, it’s really been a while since I’ve done one of these. Expect more from dope artists here soon. But why not come back with a bang, eh? This Inside The Mind if from two of the dopest artists in the underground scene right now. Tokyo Cigar, an amazing producer who has produced for Cyclops and Ohini Jonez and also made a Blogger Soundtrack which is definitely dope. Cyclops, on the other hand, is one of the most lyrical rappers out there and showcases it every time he laces a Tokyo Cigar beat with narration. In this interview they let us know who their influences are, what they do in their spare time, and what they think about the music of today. It’s definitely a great read. So check it out after the jump and let me know what you think in the comments.
- Mega
1. Tell all us Decepticons out there who you are and what you do.
Cyclops: In the world of Hip Hop I go by Cyclops, I’m 1/2 of The Plexiglass
Fountain, and I make music.
Tokyo Cigar: Tokyo Cigar. a.k.a. Akira Parker. Producer, MC, 1/2 of the Plexiglass Fountain. I pretty much lay down the musical canvas for heads to paint on.

2. We are all in love with music so I ask: What made YOU fall in love with music?
Cyclops: Since I can remember, I’ve always loved music. Even as a kid I used to
sing. It’s always been a part of my life and once I was introduced to
Hip Hop I became obsessed. I was really into writing poetry so being
able to combine that with music was huge.
Tokyo Cigar: The feeling it gives me. Music has made me laugh, cry, get depressed, feel appreciative etc The shit is literally life expressed through sound. Shit is crazy. It’s Like yo, I was at a WU show in 97 when they came through with Rage. Deep in the crowd. RZA was talking for a minute. Then Math dropped “4th Chamber” and the fucking place exploded with a combined energy that i have not seen since then. All from a fucking song. Shit is beautiful.

3. What was the first album you ever heard and did that impact your life in any way?
Cyclops: I think the first CD I heard was Peter Gabriel’s greatest hits because
my dad played it all the time. I still like that album to this day. As
for Hip Hop, the first album I bought was Lloyd Banks “A Hunger For
More.” At the time I was really into the more mainstream stuff but
that album was still dope. I think the albums that really changed my
life are ones I heard a little later on like Brother Ali “Shadows on
the Sun.”
Tokyo Cigar: I don’t remember the first specific one that started it off cause i always used to listen to different shit depending on where i was and who i was with. But i do know “The Chronic” was the first album i bought. It stayed in rotation. It’s funny cause the first time i got blunted i was kinda like “Whatever” But the second time changed my life cause i was in whip getting blasted and dude popped in a mixtape he made of all his favorite songs from “The Chronic” and “Doggystyle”. When i heard the music for the first time while blunted IT WAS OVER. That was what eventually turned me into the cat i am today. Irony is a muthafucka.

4. I know from experience artists are always working and making moves. What are you currently involved in and can we expect any new projects/features soon?
Cyclops: I’m working on my solo album “When Inspiration Hits” which Tokyo is
producing. We’re working on finishing that up and releasing it in
December. The album has some of my best rhymes and Tokyo’s best beats.
It’s very conceptual and atmospheric. We’re also always working on new
PGF music so you can look forward to some new projects in the works.
Tokyo Cigar: No doubt. PGF is back in the lab already working on some new shit. Plus we twisting out the Cyclops solo album for December. Me and Ra lacing an EP. And as we speak keb0 and i are lacing up an album that will be crazy.

5. We all know you make music but what do you do in your spare time?
Cyclops: I’m also a poetry and prose writer. I’m planning to write a novel
sometime. I’m a big fan of watching TV and movies. I spend a lot of
time on school too.
Tokyo Cigar: I’m either watching tv, reading, hitting a bar/club/show, playing computer chess, playing Airsoft, working out, playing pool, taking trips, whatever.

6. Who would you cite as your biggest influence in music?
Cyclops: Wu Tang is a big influence, specifically GZA. He’s so intricate with
his rhymes it always makes me try to spend more time writing.
Tokyo Cigar: Arrrgh. Too many to name. But my most obvious one is Wu tang. Them cats are the last of the TRULY great ones. Lyrically and production wise their music was the most remarkable shit of all time in hip hop.

7. Who is your favorite artist out right now and why?
Cyclops: I have a few favorites. As for people rapping right now I have to say
Brother Ali. Whether it’s the battle raps, personal songs, or stories,
the music is always incredible.
Tokyo Cigar: As far as new cats I fuck with Fashawn for his rhyming ability. Dude gave me that Nas in 94 feeling when i heard “The Antidote”. As far as overall being out i gotta say Roc Marciano. I been a UN fan for years but “Marceberg” made me wanna punch a hole in the wall. The shit was so RAW it was crazy. His rhymes and production are an incredible update of the boom bap era.

8. Everyone has their own opinion on music in the 21st century but what is yours? Does it impact your music in any way?
Cyclops: There are a lot of great artists out there and so many people are making music. It’s good because anyone can record music and you don’t need to go to an expensive studio. You can record in your house and the sound can still be pretty damn good. The negative side of that is because there are so many artists out there the amount of music is crazy, so you never know what to check out. Mixtapes and albums come out everyday and that keeps people from really appreciating a project. Instead of sitting down and listening to something, people will just skip over it and move on to the next mixtape. It’s tough for us because we try to put out quality albums that you can sit with and that’s not the climate that’s out there. Regardless, that’s the type of music we’re going to make because we know there are people out
there that still enjoy it.
Tokyo Cigar: Generation X is at a crazy crossroad right now. We grown enough to know the Greatest era intimately but we young enough to still be in the mix of whats going on now. I do miss the experience involved in going to record stores and hanging out with people there talking about music. I was in College Park with Cyclops and i saw that one of the classic mom and pop music stores by the university was closed. That shit was fucked up cause it’s really a dying culture. The internet has given so many incredible opportunities to make and promote music, our group is living proof of that, but at the same time the ease of it makes it harder for good music to stick out. 21st century music is more singles driven but i’m forever a believer in the value of making a complete album

9. Twitter and Facebook are huge social networking sites right now. How have they helped/hurt you in promoting your music?
Cyclops: They are great for getting your music out there but the internet cab
really consume peoples’ lives and they lose contact with reality. The
internet is a valuable tool but when it replaces real social
networking, that’s a problem. It’s like people forget how to sit down
and have an actual conversation because they are used to a 140 word
limit.
Tokyo Cigar: It helps a lot cause you can reach so many people with it. If your in a situation where you cant put in some face to face time to perform or play your music for cats you can post it up for people to hear.

10. Do you ever listen to your own music when you’re not recording it?
Cyclops: Yea. I love listening to my own music. It gives a great sense of
accomplishment plus I study it so I can make improvements in future
songs. It’s all about progress.
Tokyo Cigar: Here and there on some reminisce shit. I dont really fall in love with my own shit too much except for certain albums like “Left of the scenery” and The 9 diagram phoenix”. I normally just smoke out to something i made for like a week after it’s done then i’m on to the next project. I’m more in love with the making it aspect. When it’s done i stay depressed cause i miss the act of just reaching out into oblivion and pulling a fucking song out of it.

11. Everyone is looking to improve on their musical sound. Is there anything you would change about your music and why?
Cyclops: I wouldn’t straight up change a certain aspect but I’m always looking
to elevate my sound. I’ve made a lot of improvements in my flow and
delivery but it’s never the end. Everything I do I try to make better
than the last. Nothing is ever perfect. Listen to your favorite
classic album and there are small imperfections. It doesn’t take away
from the music. It adds a personal aspect. Even the best artists
aren’t robots.
Tokyo Cigar: I wanna change the fact that the music is so fucking slept on. haha nah, I would like to have more of a budget to get better mics and shit. Just polish up the overall sound. Get on some tracking the whole shit out in the crib but then mixing it down in the studio.

12. Do you have any last words you’d like to say to the Decepticons out there?
Cyclops: Big thanks to Mega for the spotlight. We appreciate the support. Thank
you to everyone who has an will listen to our music.
Tokyo Cigar: Music is my Life, Life is my Hobby

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