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

Interviews

2014 TedX Baltimore performance

One random day, i got a phone call to perform at TEDx Baltimore. Reeling from the fact that i was asked to participate in something I’ve watched for years i said yes and began worrying about the show till it happened. “What the F?” was the constant thought that popped in my head about it. TEDx had people that were making huge strides in society and i’m just a dude that is obsessed with music and loves to make it. I bumped into a friend at the store one day and he said he looked me up online and was amazed at everything i have done so far. The money that I’ve got from music never really registers to me cause it’s all about the love and any accolade I’ve received makes me feel good but i tend to always be stuck in the “Whats next to make” mind state. I felt like “damn i’m not a huge star so what can i say?”  As i saw the speakers lined up my sense of confusion grew exponentially, Harvard Graduates, Chess masters, business owners and……………me, crazy haha. Backstage i was a nervous wreck cause it was hard to read how this would go down. I performed “1995”, “I wonder ( remix )” and “Here Now” and the applause i heard after each song eased my nervousness. Post show my twitter blew up with people giving props and asking about the lyrics. The interview backstage really boosted the experience cause i make a lot of music but i rarely get to talk about it. This was a great experience and i hope to go back and actually speak at TEDx in the future. The dope thing is after i did it i saw that GZA, Combat jack and Comic Book Girl 19 did TEDx talks so it was dope to know that i at least have that in common with people i respect.

 

Here is the video of the performance 

 

Here’s the interview as well

 

Tokyo Cigar Rocks TEDx

By

March 12, 2014 2:05 PMComments OffViews: 27

UntitledThere are many different ways to tell a story.

At the recent Tedx Baltimore, an inspiriational conference filled with leaders of all different backgrounds and works, some speakers seemed to relive their story as they spoke to the audience. But, artist and producer, Tokyo Cigar took a different approach.The artist, formerly known as Oraza Allam, chose to tell stories through his music.

His choice of songs, “I Wonder” and “Here Now,” touched on everything from his international childhood to growing up fatherless. As the last of 18 speakers, his method of personifying his life through lyrics left the audience on a good note.

“It went from a love to an unhealthy obsession,” said the artist while speaking about his craft. Influenced by a love of music and by rappers such as Nas, KRS-One, and Jay Z, Allam was once insecure about his rapping abilities. “I felt like I wasn’t smart enough to rap,” he said. But, after hearing Jay Z’s 1996 hit “Politics as Usual,” Allam knew rapping was something he had to do.

Growing up, Allam traveled frequently but it never impacted his creativity. In fact, it only influenced him more. “Moving around played a huge part in my education,” he explains. With Nigeria’s corporal punishment, Ireland’s more relaxed approach, and America’s grading system, Allam always felt disconnected from the educational system. After three years at Montgomery County Community College, music became his “main thing.”

“I always thought of Ireland as the place with leprechauns,” he says about his boarding school experience in Ireland. But, Ireland was nothing like he expected. He witnessed rallies and protests for Philadelphia political prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal. Though he expected some racist moments, Allum says “The Irish and black have a special kind of bond.”

With fifteen years in the music industry, Allam still gets star struck. He is currently working with Wu-Tang affiliate, Hell Razah, on a new album. “Wu-tang, to me, will always be the greatest group in hip-hop,” he said “[When Hell Razah called] I had to pinch myself.”Tokyo Cigar plans to release the mixtape he’s working on with Hell Razah, “Spiritual Kung-Fu” in the spring. “’Spiritual Kung-Fu’ is for anyone who’s ever been through anything,” he says. “If you’re fighting every day, you might as well learn Kung-Fu.” Though “Spiritual Kung-Fu” is his current focus, in thefuture, Tokyo Cigar plans to write a script for a movie, work on a solo album, go platinum and hopefully work with Jay Z.


Praverb.net interview

The big homie over at Praverb.net graced me with the opportunity to do an interview. He kept the questions funky. Fun interview to do for sure.

Shout out to Praverb.net for all the fly info put up for all us indie cats on our grind. Very informative site for sure and provides a lot of great reads that sparks up the hustle right.

Peep the interview here

http://www.praverb.net/2012/06/5-ways-to-establish-your-brand-with.html


The Triple Crown of Rap part 3: TOKYO CIGAR “codename: DEVASTATOR”

Well, this is it folks. I would have posted this earlier but i wrote a making of feature for the album for the homie Menace from Conspiracy Radio ( VERY dope show ) out in London so i figured i may as well wait. Much love to everybody that repped on this album with me.

Peep the feature.

[Breakdown] Tokyo Cigar – Codename: DEVASTATOR (Exclusive)

Producer, artist and writer Tokyo Cigar recently released arguably his most important project to date, namely, Codename: DEVASTATOR (listen / purchase after the jump). A sonic reflection of his influences, from the likes of Wu-Tang, Gangstarr, Peterock and CL Smooth, with a lyrical focus on striving to become better and gripping society’s state of affairs by the throat.
The project finalises his Triple Crown Of Rap Saga (3 albums in three months!) that began last December and features guest appearances from Keb0, Nasty Nyne, Cyclops, Czarina and Teddy Faley.
Tokyo recently chopped it up with me to breakdown the outcome of his personal milestone, track-by-track. Enjoy!
The day I decided to make this album was at Rock The Bells 2010. I walked into the spot and saw KRS ONE on stage. He was talking to the crowd, dropping mad jewels and the fact that I had been listening to him for so long and was seeing him in the flesh for the first time had me ZONED OUT. He was on stage with a crew that included Supernatural and Freddie Foxx (who kicked a dope freestyle that shut it down) and I was absorbing the vibe of everything. Then Primo came on stage after Kris and had a quick DJ set. That really bugged me out ’cause as much as everyone knows that I’m a complete RZA fanatic, I also know that Primo is THE MOTHERFUCKING MAN! [cont.]

Just seeing him for the first time and flashing back to “Supa Star”, “New York State of Mind” and “Come Clean”, I was in a zone. Same thing with Tribe, hearing “check da rhime” performed made me realise how much Q Tip played a part in my production development. Without a doubt the high spot of the night was WU. I have seen them do their thing, mad times so it wasn’t the fact that they went INNNN that had me open, it was the moment Nas came thru and laced “Verbal Intercourse” with Rae and Ghost. That sparked it. The mastery of music and also the communal vibe that laces Hip hop at its essence. I left the spot in a daze and VERY hungry. I decided to round up my people and go in. I was in the middle of mixing “When Inspiration Hits” for Cyclops and producing “CoExist” for Keb0 (on top of other stuff too) and making beats for the next Plexiglass Fountain projects, so I was swamped. But when that hunger hits me I refuse to ignore it (as you can tell from my heavy musical output haha). So I started lacing joints for it and writing. The whole thing was a six to seven month process. While making it I took a break to jet out to South Carolina to unwind (and went through some crazy life changing shit), finish the Cyclops and Keb0 albums and do the “Felt 3.0 a tribute to Nancy Sinatra” remix album (which made so much noise online I was kinda shocked).



I’ll give a breakdown of each track:

Intro
Anyone that read my Kill Bill write up knows that the moment Uma was walking the desert to kill Budd, has one of the best pieces of music I ever heard. I had to lace it up even though I already flipped it for a Jay Z remix. I felt the fight Club speech summed up a running theme of the album. Striving for better and analysing life as it is. It was one of the last things I did.
Dr. Crisis

This was the last song I made for the album. I made the beat and my boy Grant heard it and he was like “You need to put this on the album”, something bare bones and straight forward. Not too musical, just rugged with some hard drums over a crazy flute. I wrote the rhyme on some let loose shit and introduced myself and my crew.

Anti Creation

Teddy Faley has been my man for years. I love the dudes music. We collaborated on a couple of songs before and I wanted to get him on this joint. I made the beat early in the album stages. Some sandpaper rugged and mean shit. I had the first verse and sent it to Teddy and he laced his, then I laced up the third verse with this rhyme I had in the stash that was ill. I added the Transformers joints in there to announce the fact that from that moment forward Devastator had been formed, plus I wanted to have the original “Alley Cats” beat on the album in some way shape or form, so I added it to the end.


Ingredients

One of my favorite beats on the album. I made it on some random shit then sat back and like WHOA!!! The organ just does it for me. It took a LOT of chopping to create that melody (trust me your not gonna figure out what it is). I did the drums differently at first but when I went back and redid the pattern it was the money. The beat had such a life affirming vibe, I wanted to touch on life in a positive but real way.


Skeleton Bent

I made this beat originally for the next Plexiglass fountain album. I just loved the fuck out of it. When I sat down to make it that was not what I had in mind at all. But when I played the pattern I was like “are you fucking kidding me?” I had a different verse to it but I wrote a hotter one and laced the hook too. Cyclops killed his verse on some wow shit. I called the dude up and said like “Yooooooooooo you killed it”


Dialogue Of Funk

Hard; that was the mind frame going into making this beat. The sample was maaaaaaad funky, up-tempo and had mad energy but when I slowed it down and chopped it up it became very mean. I told Keb0 and Nanigan to go in on some some wild out shit. The CL smooth sample was just sitting in my sound bank and I don’t even know why I decided to add it in but when I did I was like “Yep, That’s it”.


Broken Wings

A lot of people have been going crazy over this joint. I was in a very dark place when I wrote this song. I don’t think I ever will get over my sister’s death and this song represents my trying to deal with the finality of life and death. The idea is that we are all going to die, so while living I try and make things better for when I finally have kids and pass life onto them. I had a different beat for it but when I came across the record I flipped, I was like “this would fit better” because of the amount of emotion it had when I chopped it up.


Tension

One thing that tends to follow sadness is anger and that’s why this track is up next. But rather than just talk about violence happening I wanted to make a song that deals with those moments before the jumpoff. I told Cyclops and Nasty Nyne to kick a scene of being a person that is about to set it off in different situations and they came ILL with it. My verse was about a dude that robbed this one cat for hating on the fact he got head from a fly chick and the night ended up in College Park MD about to get in the mix of a big brawl with hip hop heads and some drunk truckers. The beat just represents that tight feeling in your chest, when you realise that it’s about to go down and people may not survive. You know, the big set off.

1995

I made this song to touch on Nigeria, London and Dublin because even though I post up in Maryland now, those spots played a HUGE part in my upbringing. Traveling represented a lot of my life in the 90’s. Even though cats go through these spots on tour, there is something that has to be said about living there that that tour life can never tell you. Visiting London and staying in hotels for a few days will never show you the life on that side the same way that waking up there for months on end, running the streets of West Croydon with your cousins, getting the bottle of milk the milkman left every morning, eating coco pops (I don’t fuck with Weetabix), channel surfing between ITV and Sky satellite channels, hopping the train in Victoria station to hit the city, reading Hip Hop Connection every month and taping stuff like Tim Westwood, Max and Dave etc can give you. People also go apeshit over the beat. I wanted to make something mad cinematic for this joint. Something visual in sound but also very heartfelt.


Desert

This one is for the ladies but rather than make a bubbly pop sounding joint, I wanted to take it back to the dance hall clubs I used to hit. This beat represents all the times I been in a club grinding on two chicks, squeezing asses and bugging. That’s why when the bass drops in the DROPS IN. Something dirty but sexy. The rhymes are just different scenarios I’ve been through and my outlook towards chicks. I put the homie Kebo on this joint ’cause he was always dope with writing rhymes about females.


Alley Cats Part 2

I decided to reflip this beat from the first one because of an interview I saw with Primo and Pete Rock. Man, that interview had me bugging out so much from hearing the stories ’bout all the classics they made that I went into an immediate beat-making stupor. I made like 15 joints in 4 days and this was one of ’em. I loved this beat so much but I didn’t want to add another track on the album ’cause that would have been too much ,so I decided to use the beat for this song instead. Its very different from the original but I swear this beat makes me think of 1996 everytime I hear it. I kept the rhymes the same and the more laid back nature of the track actually fit the “cool out and chill” part of the hook more.


Money Lust

I wanted to make a western sounding beat on this one. Some riding into town at sunrise type shit with some heavy drums on top. The song concept came from me thinking about the saying “it’s lonely at the top”. Life is crazy to the point that you can spend it chasing something so ferociously, only to find out that it cost you your life. Rather than kick a single story about it, I decided to get different perspectives on that idea. Cyclops and Nanigan went in on this joint. I picked them ’cause they are always incredible at breaking down subjects and really nailed it with this one.


Light

This is one of the earliest beats I made for the album. I sent it out and when the verses came back I went in and added more music to it. Nasty Nyne and Cyclops came correct on this joint with the battle rhymes. I wanted to attack the track in a different way, so I wrote a story dealing about apocalypse and used it as a metaphor for what batting Devastator would be like. One of my favorites on the album.

The Network ( D.M.V. )

The loop chop is something I made YEARRRRRS ago. I dusted it off and drummed it up for this track. I had to rep’ the DMV real quick on this one. Maryland has shown me so many different sides of life it’s crazy and I had to touch up on it. I mentioned when I used to hang with Damu the Fudgemunk at Capital City records in DC too. I’d seen everyone from Kev Brown to Oddisee up in there every week and its crazy how that one record store used to have just about every ill rapper and producer in the area up there catching wreck. Good times.


At Night

This is the point of the album where I get more complex with the music. This track is mad symphonic and emotional. My boy said it reminds him of Star Trek. The concept of the song is surviving the struggle. Mal Moe zoned out on the hook something CRAZY. Cyclops and Keb0 originally wrote their rhymes to a different beat but I ended up changing it and using their vocals over this one because I felt the emotion of the beat fitted the rhymes more.


She Gave Me Pineapple Express

This is a song dedicated to my little sis’. Everyone knows that I burn down chronic but when I found out that she started smoking, the big brother in me kicked in. Even though I puff I feel weird to know that she does it too, so I wrote a song for her on some “keep your head up” shit, giving here advice about life and telling her to be careful what she gets into. The beat is one of the best beats I ever made and it gets me zoned out when I hear it (especially when the bassline drops in and the melody switches).


Big Speaker Spot

I always liked going to spots and passing the mic around and rhyming so I made a song that captures that essence. You know, you hit a spot the DJ drops a beat and you go for yours. Simple. 3 MC’s + 3 beats = SUPER IGNORANT RHYMING. I added the background effects and played the host too to add to the scene. Nasty Nyne and Keb0 went INNNNNNNNNNNN on this joint too. Crazy track.


Cinema Life

I made this beat on some movie shit and sent it to Czarina. I named the beat Cinema Life just as a reference but when she got it she wrote the hook and her verse combining romance and cinema and when she sent it back I heard it and flipped. I wrote my verse along the concept and when the track was done, I was amazed at how ill it was. Master peice for sure. I feel with some label support this song could be huge.


The New Matrix Reloaded (The Marsha Brady Sequel)

This was made in the tradition of posse cuts like “protect ya neck”, “Scenario”, “Headbanger” etc and some MC’s going in over a barbarian stone hard beat. No fancy shit just nothing but intelligent brutality. Heads are spitting some science on this but it is covered with a very strong “fuck you” attitude, break beat drums, synths and pure evil combined to make the beat. Mad hip hop heads been hitting me like “That beat is RAWWWWWW oh my God”. I gathered all the guest rappers for this one joint because this is essentially all the MC’s forming Devastator for this track. This is the climax of the album.

I wonder

This is a love letter to music. Anyone who knows me knows that when I hear a song I like go crazy no matter if I’m by myself, at a show whatever. Music has this grip on my soul that is beyond love, beyond obsession, beyond…………I don’t know. I’m just addicted to making music. This track is pretty much like if music was a chick, this is me on bended knee proposing to her. Musically very lush and orchestrated. The homie Gray is Nanigans room mate. I met the dude in South Carolina and we kicked it puffing in some and watching James Bond flicks. Very cool dude. He played me some of his music and I was like “Yooooooo I got this one song I want you to lace for me”. I wrote the words and I sang it myself (with my grimy ass voice you can imagine how that sounded) and I sent it to him and he laced it and I was like YEAH!!!!

Well that’s it. This album represents my life up to this point and is a personal milestone. My main objective with this project was to make sure anyone who hears this album has no choice but to call me someone that truly lives by the statement, “music is my life, life is my hobby”.



http://messengermenace.blogspot.com/2011/03/breakdown-toyko-cigar-codename.html

Plus heres the artwork


Plexiglass Fountain interview on THEMOVEMENTFAM.COM

Aaaand we back with the first TMF Artist Feature on the new site, so it’s extra fitting that we kick it off with our good homies Tokyo Cigar and Cyclops of The Plexiglass Fountain. These cats are some extremely talented and dedicated artists…but I’ma shut up and let the boys do the talking…

Cee: What up fellas? Y’all are about to drop your sophomore album, is that correct? What’s changed between the making of Left Of The Scenery and this joint?

Tokyo Cigar: We pretty much just stepped it up on all levels. We had more time to put the album together so it’s way more potent overall. Left of the Scenery was a hard album to follow up cause we were on a straight mission when making it. This one is more relaxed but more focused in terms of cooking it up.

Cyclops: Not too much has changed in the actual making of the album. Since this is the 2nd time around, I’d say the group chemistry is pretty solid and we have a more comfortable dynamic. We both record in different spots so Tokyo just sends the beats and then we both start writing and recording and sending everything over email. Even though it’s an unconventional process it works well for the group.

Cee: It’s been like a year between PGF albums, but you’ve both dropped numerous solo projects in the meanwhile. Tell us about those, and how the fuck y’all get so prolific!

Tokyo Cigar: haha. For me it’s pretty much based on big bags of Bionic (shout out Sour Diesel). I’m addicted to music so when I finish projects up I get a little depressed so I stay working. The “Megaman Theory 2″ came from a blunted convo with one of my homies who loved the first part. “Frozen Flesh, Ugly Soul” was an instrumental album I was working on for a couple of years. “The Ladies In The House” was me just wanting to work with singers and testing my production with vocalists. “The 12 Fingered Musician” happened cause keb0 got at me for beats and the EP we did was crazy.

Cyclops: I dropped my solo album ‘Oceans’. That was more of a soulful, jazz infused album. It was very laid back. The album had a lot of different production including EOM, Half-Centric, Tone Spliff, Razorsharpe and Cenzo Beatz. With PGF we have a really left field sound, so with Oceans I wanted to make something more boom bap to balance that out.

Cee: Break down the new album for the people…

Tokyo Cigar: It’s a lot darker and more raw. The lyrics are more personal and the cockiness factor is turned wayyyy up. Overall it’s a brutal album. The beauty parts are Brutally beautiful and the Hard parts are brutally hard. We got songs that are probably gonna start fights in clubs if the DJ plays them. We also made more effort to get more guests on the album.

Cyclops: The new album is called ‘Midnight Hindsight’. It’s basically the same PGF sound but elevated; we stepped up our game on every aspect of the project. The beats, lyrics, and delivery are all improved. Like the 1st album, we touch on a wide variety of topics and have a bunch of different sounds. Overall, I think the whole album is even better than the 1st.

Cee: Tokyo, were you on the beats the whole time for this LP as well?

Tokyo Cigar: Yeah. Most def. I was raised on cats like RZA, DJ MUGGS, PETE ROCK & CL SMOOTH, and GANGSTARR. So I’m more in tune with the one producer thing to give a cohesive sound to a project.

Cee: Any guests you wanna reveal?

Tokyo Cigar: Well The Movement Fam is pretty much Ghostface on Cuban Linx status haha. Cee & Bekah and Notion are on 2 joints. Da Capo who did “The Article” with K Def is on a track. Mally and Cause are on a joint and keb0 came through and blessed a track. I called up Jadakiss but he was busy haha.

Cee: You guys worked with The Movement Fam’s Cee & Bekah on the single ‘Carpe Diem’. Tell us how that came about and break down the song for us.

Tokyo Cigar: When i made the beat I kept on saying to myself “We NEED Cee and Bekah on this!” I just caught a crazy vision for that. Cyclops loved the beat and then I sent it to Cee and Bekah and they loved it too. I came up with the overall concept of going for your dreams with music and when everyone did they parts for it I was like “woooooooooooooooooow!” I felt it was gonna be a great track but when I actually heard it finished I damn near shit my pants. Shout out to Notion for the incredible mixdown too.

Cyclops: We’ve been cool with TMF for a while and even do a little writing for the blog so it’s only natural that the collaboration came to fruition. “Carpe Diem” is a song about coming up in the music industry and some of the experiences that are related to that. Even though it’s about music, anyone trying to make something of them selves can relate. It’s all about working hard and making moves, so it’s a pretty positive message.

Cee: I heard y’all might be doing a video for this joint, what’s up with that?

Tokyo Cigar: Yeah I was building with the homie Cee and we came up with some dope ideas. We gonna try and wrap it up and give heads a crazy visual vibe for the song. Shit would be wild.

Cyclops: The video right now is in the planning stages but when TMF comes to North America it’s a wrap.

Cee: You also worked with TMF’s Notion on the bangin’ ‘Head Trauma Scholar’. That’s some wild shit. Tell us about that joint.

Tokyo Cigar: Yeah. I stay cooking beats so i just made that and I saw Notion going crazy over that. Actually I remixed a whole album of Notion’s a while back. I won a spot on TMF’s remix album for my remix of “New Wave” I loved dudes style and flow and charisma lyrically so I wanted to work with him for a minute. The song is straight Gorilla rap over a soulful beat so I felt he would be perfect for it. He really went in crazy on that joint. One of my favorite tracks on the album for sure.

Cyclops: The song is crazy. Notion has been helping us out with some mixing and mastering so it was long overdue that we all got on the same track. Tokyo and I had the song and we thought Notion would be a perfect fit so we just sent it over and he had an incredible verse. Basically, the song boils down to all of us spitting some crazy bars.

Cee: Do you guys plan to get some shows crackin’ to support the release of the album?

Tokyo Cigar: That’s the only complicated thing. We are in different states so linking up to perform is an issue. We’re gonna work around it. I may go up to Jersey to link up and lace some shows. But we gonna work it out. We on some Phonte and Nicolay shit right now ha ha.

Cyclops: Because we live in different locations that’s pretty difficult but it’s definitely a possibility and something we’re working on. Shows are really important so it’s one of our goals for the near future.

Cee: So what’s the plans from here? Should we expect another PGF release any time soon? Many solo projects on deck?

Tokyo Cigar: Oh yeah for sure. The crazy thing is that we are already working on our third and Fourth project. We also have a top secret project were doing that should blow some peoples minds. Cyclops also has a solo album called “When Inspiration Hits” which I produced entirely for him. We dropping that in December. That joint has some of my BEST beats ever. I’m also lacing an EP called “The Last Dragon” for my man Ra that is gonna be retarded.

Cyclops: We’re working on a few projects actually. I have a new solo album produced by Tokyo coming out in December, called “When Inspiration Hits.” We’ve been working on this album for a while and it’s definitely my magnum opus as a solo artist. Tokyo has some of his best production on that album and I have my best lyrics so the album is going to be something very serious. I also have a project coming out produced by Half-Centric. It’s a very soulful sound and is going to have collaborations with Cee and Notion. Recently, I started on another solo album that’s going to be somewhat of a sequel to Oceans. It’s tentatively titled “The Red Morning Sky.” There’s only 1 song completely finished for that project called “You Don’t Understand” produced by Razorsharpe and everyone I’ve played it for has gone nuts.

As for new PGF shit, I don’t know how much I’m supposed to talk about LOL but we are planning a bunch of different shit. We’re working on our 3rd album, which is on some take it back to 94 shit. I mean, I was only 2 then but you get the idea. We’re also planning a Trip Hop project infused with some poetry and prose. That’s not really fleshed out yet, but I’m sure it’s gonna be insane once we get the ball rolling.

Cee: Any message for the people?

Tokyo Cigar: Please support the Plexiglass click. Our motto is “Music is my Life, Life is my hobby” so we really put our heart and soul into this.

Cyclops: To everyone who supported us and listened to the music, thank you. We work hard to put out the best music possible and when people respond to that it means a lot. To everyone who hasn’t checked us out or is waiting to, please take a few minutes out of your day and listen. All of the music is available for streaming and free download so there’s no reason not to check it out.

Cee: Hit us with the science where folks can grab the music and get more info on Tokyo Cigar & Cyclops.

Tokyo Cigar: We got the website http://www.theplexiglassfountain.com/ and Bandcamp http://theplexiglassfountain.bandcamp.com/

We also got Twitter http://twitter.com/Tokyocigar http://twitter.com/CyclopsCaliberX

Anyone interested in beats get at me thought the homie Big Cee at ceefeezy@gmail.com and Tokyocigartalk@gmail.com.

Cyclops: Check out http://www.theplexiglassfountain.com. Anything that we do as a group or solo gets posted there so it’s pretty much a 1 stop type thing. If you want go to http://www.theplexiglassfountain.bandcamp.com
http://www.cyclops.bandcamp.com or
http://www.tokyocigarmusic.bandcamp.com if you want to download our
stuff.

Cee: Peace guys.

Tokyo Cigar: Peace. Thanks for the interview. AUG. 10th “Midnight Hindsight” support the album. ZOOM.

Cyclops: Good looking out on the spotlight. It’s really appreciated.


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


Producer spotlight on Kevinnottingham.com

Producer Spotlight: Tokyo Cigar

by Justin on December 29, 2009 · 19 comments

Tokyo Cigar is a unique individual. Residing in a variety of locations in life, Tokyo has experience things many have not. His unconventional path has translated into his work as a producer. Bringing a distinct style to hip hop, Tokyo is pushing boundaries and creating a impressive catalog of material. With remix albums and original compositions under his belt, Tokyo Cigar is destined for success. Fresh off his impressive collaboration album with Cyclops, Tokyo has even more planned for 2010. Here’s your chance to get to know the man and get a preview of what to expect in the coming year.

Where you reppin:

Maryland, by way of Dublin Ireland, Virginia…. you know what it’s a long story. Bump “Chase the Wind” from the Plexiglass Fountain album to hear the details.

Introduce yourself:

The world’s flyest bum haha. Producer/MC, a member of The Plexiglass Fountain with my man Cyclops. I’m just an everyday cat that is obsessed with music. Kind of a bugged out individual that just expresses himself through music type dude.

Why the name Tokyo Cigar?

It breaks down to burning trees. Say it fast five times and it sounds like “toke your cigar” get ya toke on ha ha. I’ve always been into Japanese culture, from Martial Arts to Anime growing up so it kinda fit. That’s why my alter ego is named Akira Parker too. I mean cats were watching Voltron before we knew it was anime so it’s kinda the thing that a lot of Hip hop heads were into.

Who are your musical inspirations?

RZA is like a god to me” is my personal slogan ha ha. 4th Disciple, Primo, Portishead, Prince Paul, Trent Reznor, shit anything really. I grew up around a lot of different music just from traveling and also being around my sisters. Shit my oldest sister is into everything from Bob Marley and Buju Banton to Celine Dion. My little sister is a metal/industrial fan and my niece plays the violin so I’m always around wild different types of music so I soak it all in and do my thing.

What’s your equipment setup?

Just a computer from Best Buy, a M audio Oxygen 8 my boy Skamatic gave me, Fruity loops 3 and FL studio 7

For readers who’ve never checked out your material before, what past works do they need to know about?

The 7 year theory. That’s a snapshot of my production over a 7 year period. A lot of collabs with the old crew and remixes I did over the years. It’s got verses from Mic Terror from Stronghold. We linked on some cool shit when he came through with Poison Pen and Immortal Technique. The 9 diagram Phoenix which is a remix album I did for Wu-Tang. A lot of love went into making that joint cause Wu is the greatest of all time to me. The Black Departure which is a Black Album remix I did based around the movie the Departed. God Son’s Tokyo Drift is the remix album I did for Nas.

Of course the main thing is The Plexiglass Fountain album Left of the Scenery that’s the main gem outta all the stuff I’ve done.

You just put out Left of the Scenery with Cyclops, what else is in the works for you?

I’m working with the dude Ohini Jonez. We got some heat coming up. I’m excited about that cause he’s a real individual type cat. He got his own vision and he can mesh with mine well. I gave him some abstract experimental ill shit and he was down to lace it. I’m working with Rasheed Chappell. We formed this joint called Connect Thoughts. That sound is more heavy boom bap hip hop. Rasheed is a sick MC. Very witty and intelligent and he got an ill voice. So shit i gave him is some crazy hard shit. I got a joint called The IVY League project with my man Camillo who’s a poet that’s out on the west coast. It’s straight Electronica type shit. I’m on the beats and he does some spoken word. I’m trying to get with a singer with an ill voice and make some next level shit though that’s a goal of mine. Also early next year Me and Cyclops are gonna drop a free Plexiglass Fountain EP. That shit is gonna be the companion piece to the album. That shit is gonna be crazy. We elevating the sound we gave heads on the album for the EP. Cyclops is collaborating with some producers for his “Oceans” album. I got a track on there too and when he finishes that I’m gonna produce a solo album for him too.

I can’t wait to hear all those projects. Let’s stick with Plexiglass Fountain for a second. How did the group come together?

We linked up on Myspace. You know how cats be like “check out my page.” Well I checked out his page and heard his rhymes and was like “yo this kid is mean with the pen game.” I sent him a message and he hit me back like “thanks man”. A while passed and he hit me up and bought a beat off me. He recorded to it and shot a video for it so I was like “damn dude is nice, he willing to invest in himself AND his work ethic is crazy” so I was like I can work with son. I’ve always been a dude that likes being in a group cause I hate any solo spotlight. I like to share the shine with heads and dude was just too ILL with the rhymes so we built about it and I came up with the name and we talked and came up with the concept of the album and it jumped off. We recorded a song called “Marsha Brady” to test out the vibe and it wound up sounding good. So we were like “fuck it lets do an album”

Now the concepts & sounds on this album are on another level. Was it a decision before you started making the album to push it this far or did it just happen organically?

Yeah it was. I remember stacking up the tracks and getting ready to send em to Cyclops like “Yo fam I hope you see my vision with this.” I just wanted to make something where you could only get the particular sound from us. A few of the beats were a couple of years old and they were actually beats I was saving for my solo album but once we started working on the album, I pretty much deaded my solo to use the beats for this album. So the vision was for originality and trying to put my personality in the music. It’s like if you meet me, you gonna be like “Yo he’s a cool dude but he’s weird” and I wanted to translate that into the beats on the album ha ha

Haha, it definitely comes through on the album. Now you’re obviously known for your skill on the boards but you rhymed plenty on the album too. Earlier this year, you did The Cave Kingz EP w/ GC where you strictly were on the mic. What went into that decision? Can we expect more music from The Cave Kingz?

Oh yeah GC is my boy. I been known son for YEARS. We used to chill at his crib, make beats, rhymes, watch Newsradio, burn mad izm, hit the chinese food spot up the block from his crib. I know his family type shit, so that’s fam. It’s funny cause we used to be in a crew that was like nine deep and another cat that was in the crew was Cidida Dabbage who was the most recent freestyle champ on 106 and park. Funny shit. I was talking to GC the other day like “damn son we used to be like the young Super friends” ha ha. We lost contact for a few then linked up again online. He asked me to do some shit and it was a no brainer. The Cave Kingz joint ain’t nothing for me to do cause we did so many tracks together coming up so it was like routine for me. 2010, I’m gonna do a Cave Kingz album with fam. I also really wanna do a new Black Tobacco album with Dutch Masters. Me and son linked up on the site and did the Snares and Cinema album. Dude is one of the BEST producers I’ve heard in my life. Dude is a beast on production. I had mad fun making that album too. I’m also working with the young homie Razorsharpe and Cenzo from Germany did some joints too. I love to rhyme on other cats tracks too. That’s just the MC side in me.

If you had to pick one song that defines your career up to this date, what would it be?

I guess to get all philosophical, it would have to be the remix of “My 1st Song” off the Black Departure just because of what he was rhyming about and the general feeling of the beat with the Kill Bill sample being all majestic and shit. Sorta some “damn kid you came a long way” type feeling. Back in 96, I remember having to decide weather I was gonna stay in Europe or go to America and I remember that “Politics as Usual” by Jay was possibly the one thing that fully made me decide to go back to America. Like that song had me on some “Yo fam you gotta go see what you ain’t see in life yet” ha ha. So when i made that remix and listened to it it was like an a realization like DING DING DING now it all makes sense. WOW!!! ha ha

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one album to listen to, what would it be?

Oh you know what it is already – ONLY BUILT 4 CUBAN LINX 1. That album is what albums are supposed to sound like. I always tell cats that the best movie of 1995 was Cuban Linx. From the songs to the skits to the album cover. That joint was a visionary masterpiece. Plus it has arguably the best verse in hip hop (Nas on Verbal Intercourse)

Any shout outs or last words?

Peace to all my music nerds. All my dudes that can talk your ear off about drum programming and flipping sounds. Mad love to the whole KN staff (Whut up to my main man Thomas), The Nottinghammers (GC, Dutch, Flames, Cenzo, Isbjerg, s.t.t.r.e.s.s. etc.), all people that support the kid and listen (Thank you).


Tokyo Cigar throwback interview: WYDU ( 2009 )

2009

Artist Spotlight on WYDU
I used to have fun judging the old remix contests for “I Made A Beat”, it was interesting and I learned a lot about production general just by listening to those tracks. Right now, my man Kev Nottingham has the remix contest game on lock. One cat that has risen through those ranks is Tokyo Cigar. Don’t get me wrong, he is known for more than just those remix contests, but they’ve helped him get his name out there on Al Gore’s glorious internet. Tokyo brings a very broad sound. This cat isn’t easy to lock into one sound. After talking to the cat for the past year, we finally got him in for a long overdue spotlight……

All of Tokyo’s Discography for download in the middle of the interview……

W: What’s good my man, why don’t we get the proper introductions out of the way and let the readers know who you are and what you do….Tokyo Cigar: Peace this is Tokyo Cigar a.k.a. Akira Parker a.k.a. Your future favorite producer/rapper if everything goes according to plan.

W: So let’s go back to your beginning, what is some of your history? Was there a particular moment that made you say “I want to make hip hop music”?

TC: I started messing with freestlying around 94. I was in boarding school in Ireland and I was a hip hop junkie. It was a hobby. When I moved to Maryland in ’96, I met Stix and Troublefield and started rhyming in cyphers with them. We had a heavy rep in the hood for killing cats with rhymes, then in ’98 I started messing with the beats and decided I could really do this.W: As you just mentioned, we’ve heard you both behind the boards and on the mic, do you favor one aspect over the other? How does the approach to each differ?
TC: My passion is definitely production now. I just love the whole aspect of making music. I consider myself a less than perfectly sane person with certain things I’ve been through so music has always been therapeutic for me, and making beats really helps me get my emotions out. When people hear my beats they tend to say it makes them FEEL something or that it sounds very emotional.I still love to rhyme though. I love wilding out on stage and killing a cypher but people say my best songs are my stories. This one kid heard “Halo in Reverse” from my KILL THE VIOLATOR album and said that it made him change his life on some shock therapy shit. I guess the difference is with rhyme you do it for a response where as with beats you can do it for that or for yourself. All I live for everyday is sparking an el and listening to a new beat I just made, that’s happiness to me.

W: You have kind of the dusty throwback vibe to your production. What were some of your influences. What exactly makes a good hip hop beat in your mind?

TC: Oh man RZA is like God to me. Him and 4th disciple are the best producers ever to me. Primo of course, D.I.T.C., Q-Tip, Beatnuts, Large Pro, Heiroglyphics were making a lot of incredible beats between they whole click. Beatminerz, Erick Sermon, El P just cats that made music that had BALLS. I just love shit like how, remember how Dre dropped the beat from “Straight Outta Compton” and the drums alone would make you frown cause it was so aggressive? That’s what i love.I carry on the tradition of that but I experiment with it and try and add new stuff to the table. A good beat has got to have character to me. It cant just be a beat. It should have a personal stamp on it. That’s why Rza is the best to me cause he had a sound but he made it adapt to whoever he worked with. The beats on Tical wouldn’t fit Cuban Linx because the beats had character that fit the person that got it. Prince Paul is someone else that’s nice with that.

W: Of course, we got to know your tools of the trade when making a beat.

TC: Fruity loops 3, FLstudio 7, M audio oxygen 8 keyboard, sound forge, music maker, Plugins, inspiration, water, good trees, snacks for the
munchies, 1989 ninja turtles re runs and life.
W: I think I’ve asked this question to just about every producer type folk I’ve spoken to, but what’s your take on the whole Hardware Vs Software debate?
TC: To each his own. I incorporate my keyboard to get that live feel so it’s like a bootleg Asr 10 type set up. I prefer software cause it’s easier to work with. I have my sounds ready and on Fruity loops. I can do everything I need to a beat without me having to load this disk or that disk. The funny thing is I give utmost respect to the hardware cats cause thinking of how the bomb squad made “fight the power” on sp 1200′s makes my brain hurt. Cats need to stop fronting on fruity loops though. If you don’t like it, whatever. Just don’t hate on cats that do. Everything I’ve ever put out was made on fruity loops. That shit is my rod and my staff.W: A lot of your projects and production has to do with remixes. What makes a remix difficult than crafting a new beat? What makes it easier than a beat from “scratch” so to say…
TC: I hate the actual act of doing remixes but I love hearing them when I’m done. I hate the whole matching the tempo thing. That shit’s a headache. If I had the tempo told to me then it’s a different story. I do love the aspect of putting your own vision with somebody else. It’s so ill when you can put your own spin on a song. I love the challenge of finding the right musical emotion to go with the song.

W: You’ve dropped several projects, such
as the Wu-Tang remix project (The 9 Diagram Phoenix) Your own personal project, The Seven Year Theory, the Depeche Mode tribute, Kill The Violator, and the latest P Diddy Invented The Remix Tokyo Directed It. Can you fill in the blanks with those projects along with anything that I might have missed. Especially the Depeche Mode project, which I found real interesting.

TC: No doubt I’ll do a run down of everything. Tuck yourselves in kids cause it’s a doozy.
AZ A.W.O.L remix album
This is the genesis, the first remix album I ever did. The sound is very visual and cinematic. The goal was to make a movie with this joint. Apart from vocal clips all the music is self made.
JOE BUDDEN MOOD MUSIK 3 remix album
This is my ode to emotion. Jump off was kicking real life so my beats on here are some of my most emotional ones out. A some joints are creepy (Hiatus, Secrets ) some are angry (Warfare, Ventilation) But the main point is emotion. Vocal samples and self made music.
NAS GOD SONS TOKYO DRIFT remix album
Nas had a lot of somber joints on the original so I went for a hardcore feel. This is my bar fight/secret again project. Some tracks are laid back (Thugs Mansion, I can, Dance) but the general theme is raw aggressiveness. Self made music and vocal samples.
TOKYO CIGAR THE MEGAMAN THEORY EP
This project came about from and overdose of beats and rhymes. I hadn’t put out a solo CD for years at this point so it was a reintroduction to the fact that I rhymed. The rhymes vary from stories, to dart throwing joints. Production is a split between my soulful joints and a little bit of my futuristic/electronica/rock sound. Self made music with vocal samples too.
TOKYO CIGAR & DEPECHE MODE KILL THE VIOLATOR
This was the first project I put together with sampling. I had just started sampling so I wanted to test myself by picking one album and challenging myself to make a project from one source. This chick I was messing with gave me the CD and I fell in love with the music on it. I rocked the album so much that I decided to use it. The first CD I chose to sample from in it’s entirety was The White Album by the Beatles (those beats turned up on the remix album I did for Notion ) but halfway through that I put it to the side and used the Depeche mode album instead. I rhymed on it cause I loved how it turned out. The original Violator albums is one of the best albums of all time to me, I loved how it was dark and yet beautiful. Depeche Mode really made a masterpiece and so I had to make sure this joint was serious in terms of my production cause it was a lot to live up to. The rhymes pretty much summed up my mind state at the time from living in Columbia (especially the song Clean Soul). The lyrics had more of a paranoid theme to them but it is what it is.
WU TANG CLAN THE 9 DIAGRAM PHOENIX remix album
This joint is love right here. I been such a Wu fiend that I had to bring my A game to this joint. The sound is straight caveman barbarian. I chose the songs I did cause I wanted to show the brilliance of their Post 97 work. Have them shine solo then bring the clan together on the last track. Self made music and vocal samples.
NOTION & THE BEATLES THE WHITE AUSTRALIAN ALBUM remix album
I did these beats around the same time as the Kill the violator album. I was buggin of how hot the white album was then decided to re flip the songs (whut up Danger mouse, I see you playboy Peace ) I had the beats stashed then when I saw the remix contest for Notion I checked out his songs and seen he did a joint called White Australian then the idea hit me like DING!!!! Everything came together lovely ( I won a spot on the Soul Movement remix CD for my remix of “new wave” )
TOKYO CIGAR presents THE 7 YEAR THEORY
This joint is a snapshot of 7 years of making music. It has collaborations and remixes I did. It’s a real trip down memory lane for me cause it shows the people I came up with. It shows my production from back then till now. It ranges from straight hip hop to electronica and industrial stuff too. Half samples, half original stuff, it’s more of a mixtape than a project.
TOKYO CIGAR presents THE REMIX P.DIDDY INVENTED IT TOKYO DIRECTED IT
I had these beats laying round I wanted to really make moves with. Then I saw this clip on youtube with Diddy dropping a lot of science about making albums. I was so zoned out t
hat I decided to base the album around it. I used the beats and picked the remixes I wanted to do with em. The sound is grimy but melodic. Half samples half original. Very fun to do.

W: With projects coming every few months it seems, I know you got a few shots up in the chamber yet still, what can we expect from Tokyo Cigar in the near future?

TC: I’m doing an EP with my man Camillio called The Ivy League. It’s straight electronica mixed with spoken word. I’m producing an EP for an MC called Mercy. Very grimy ill hip hop sound. I sold a couple of beats to various cats and I got a couple of placement on upcoming joints. Part 2 of The 7 year theory. An instrumental album as Akira Parker and my official Tokyo Cigar solo album which has what i consider my best production ever. I’m also collaborating with some producers on their albums too on some straight rhyming shit. I’m down to do another Black Tobacco album with my man Dutchmasters too. The Snares and Cinema album we did has some of my best rhymes on it. I had mad fun doing that album.

W: You’ve made a nice little name for yourself around the blog circuit, how do you approach getting your name out and how does the internet help you do that?

TC: The remix contests help a lot. Also cats like you that give a brother a chance. The net is crazy cause it’s a double edged sword. It makes things easier but it floods the road to the pot of gold. I stay consistent with putting out stuff and collaborating with cats. That helps me get out there a lot. The blog era is crazy. It really levels the playing field. Big up to WYDU, Kevin Nottingham (whut up Kev, Thomas, Carsten and the crew) and all the rest. Yall cats really keep the real shit alive and accessible to people.

W: Any last words you want to say to any non believers, future fans and groupies?

TC: To the non believers. Eat a dick.
To future fans. Enjoy the music. I’m a geek when it comes to the music so you gonna get nothing but the pure shit.
To rappers hit me up at TOKYOCIGARTALK@GMAIL.COM I got beats for sale. Yall heard what i give away free imagine what i charge for. Hit me up we can work together and make some classics.
To future groupies. I bring the condoms you bring yourself we can work out the details later.
And To Travis. Good looking out playboy. I wish you all the best. Good looking out for holding the kid down.
Cats should check out my blog http://tokyocigarmusic.blogspot.com/ for updates and random flyshit. Plus I’m working on making that my spot where you can buy beats from me. I am in no way as skilled at blogging as my man Travis but if you want to know what the kid is up to hit me up there.
Also I got the myspace too http://www.myspace.com/tokyocigarstyle hit me up.
Peace to my family ( Ivy rest in peace ), my crew and all the real people out in the world.