Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Journey to Hip-Hop ... Milwaukee: Dylan Thomas

We continue on our Journey to Hip-Hop through Milwaukee, with Dylan Thomas up next. The emcee turned producer has an impressive discography and many of the artists we've featured so far and some of the artists coming up have a track produced by Dylan Thomas. That says a lot about his influence and talent.

His tracks, dope. I dig his style, a lot. I reached out to Dylan Thomas for a Q&A. Enjoy.

The Mad Bloggers: Where are you from? Where did you grow up?

Dylan Thomas: I was born and raised in Racine, WI (25 miles south of Milwaukee). It’s a small city with a big city feel. Racine is located between Milwaukee and Chicago, so most people head north or south on the weekends.

TMB: How long have you been producing?

DT: I was an emcee before I started making beats. I really wasn’t feeling the beats that were being made in my area. My guy Robert Hollingsworth hooked me up with a computer program in the fall of 1999. That computer program was Mixman Studio Pro. I was away at college at the time but I would make a point of going home on the weekends to sample my pops extensive record collection. Me and my guy Phraim, from Chicago, pretty much freaked the program way past its potential and later graduated to Fruity Loops in 2000. Around the same time I bought the MPC 2000XL. The rest is history.

TMB: What equipment do you use to create your tracks?

DT: I still use the MPC 2000XL, Fruity Loops, stacks of records and a MicroKORG.

TMB: As a producer, who are you influenced by?

DT: I have been influenced by the greats: Dilla, Primo, Madlib, Pete Rock, Dre, and the Rza. I am also influenced by my peers that are making good music: Haz Solo, Adlib, Phraim, Dima, Lex Luthor, Trellmatic and the Ricanstrukta.

TMB: What's the concept behind All Jokes Aside?

DT: It started off with me sending beats for Haz to work on. I had done work for him on a couple of his albums prior to the All Jokes Aside album. Anyone that knows us knows that we spend a lot of time ribbing on each other and anyone around. I would always joke around that I could spit better than a lot of emcees in my area. I finally penned something, recorded it and sent it to Haz. He loved it, wrote and recorded his verse and that ended up being the first track for the album, “Don’t Turn Around.” After we played that joint for a couple of people and got some positive feedback, we basically said fuck it and decided to make a loose feeling album centered around our love for dope beats, fresh lyrics and comedy. Anyone sitting in on our studio sessions saw the chemistry was there and nothing was forced and that feeling is captured in the flow of the album.

TMB: How many projects have you worked on before And It Was Good

DT: Man, I’ve worked on tons of projects before AIWG. Some of the most significant projects were “The Vero Project” (an instrumental album 2003), “The Collective” (an album featuring six emcees 2003), “The Street Scholar” (Adebisi’s solo album. I produced eleven tracks 2005), “The Racine Stories” (Tom Wood’s solo album. I produced seven tracks 2006), “Life is a Heist” (Element’s solo album. I produced two tracks 2007), “Mo Profit, Mo Progress” (Prophetic’s solo album. I produced five tracks 2008) and all of Haz Solo’s albums (too many to count). I most recently did work on JC Poppe’s “Sleep Therapy (four tracks 2009), The House of M’s “The Alternate Reality of…” (two tracks 2009), Kash’s “Black Bauer mixtape (two tracks 2009), and One Self’s “I of the Storm (ten tracks 2010).

TMB: What projects do you have upcoming?

DT: In the near future you can hear my work on albums from Tay Butler and Frankie Flowers. I’m still working with Haz, Proph, JC Poppe and Element. I’m also working on a solo album (recorded the first two tracks today.)

TMB: If there was one thing you'd want people to take away from Milwaukee Hip-Hop what would it be?

DT: Its diverse. Its fresh. Its bubbling. Its…oh…that was three things, my bad. One thing … hmmmm … Milwaukee Hip-Hop is untapped, therefore any astute listener can pick up on how hungry we are.

"Crills" Haz Solo and Dylan Thomas [All Jokes Aside]

"Phone Sex" Haz Solo and Dylan Thomas [All Jokes Aside]

Purchase "All Jokes Aside"

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1 comment:

  1. Nice interview. Shoutout to Mr. Thomas,WI's most versatile producer. Cop that "All Jokes Aside". Fun album to listen to! Crills sucka.