20 QUESTIONS TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ACOOSMIK’S MUSICAL WORLD (Version française disponible page 1)

The 5 members of Acoosmik (Le Havre) are true Hip-Hop activists. Behind a mic, turntables or a sampler, these black music lovers offer through their beats and rhymes, a funky and energetic rap with plenty of old school references and a touch of fun. Since 2010, they produced an album Trop Fonky, an EP Power To the People, a 7″ Hey Yo MC!! with The Real Fake MC, a concept LP Acoosmik vs Les Rimailleurs and have more projects to come. For this 2nd episode of Oncle Ben wants to know!, Kesta, Masta Moon’s and Djar One have searched in their memories to share with us their passion for this culture and for records in general.

http://acoosmik.bandcamp.com/ 

01. First record(s) bought?
Kesta: Public Enemy Muse Sick-N-Hour Mess Age (1994 – Def Jam Recordings)! I was 12 or 13 years old, and I bought this record for its sleeve because I didn’t know a lot about rap at the time except MC Solaar. It blew my mind! This album was awesome and special because they played with a real drummer which gave a live and chaotic aspect to it. Bomb Squad rules!
Masta Moon’s: Michael Jackson Bad (1987 – Epic). I think I was 9 years old. It was an original tape that I don’t have anymore!
Djar One: I think that the first CD I bought was Public Enemy Muse Sick-N-Hour Mess Age (1994 – Def Jam Recordings). I remember listened to it in a supermarket where they had some kind of jukebox. A revolution when you haven’t a lot of money and you want to make the right choice. Then, MC Solaar Prose Combat (1994 – Polydor) and IAM Ombre est Lumière (1993 – Delabel) albums followed.

02. First concert(s)? 
Kesta: I think it was Cocoa Brovaz in a Paris’s nightclub. I went there with some old-timers from my town Le Havre and I remembered that there were some French rap celebrities in the place that night. I saw Maurizio from the Rock Steady Crew and The Vagabonds crew who dance all night long. In 2000, I went to see DJ Krush at l’Elysée Montmartre, it was captivating. But the best show I ever saw, was Jurassic 5 in the same spot. Big!!! DJ Format with Abdominal opened the concert… It was for his first album release. With my group Acoomisk, we’ve opened for Chali 2NA. It was cool and at the end of the show, my man (Inkredibl’) Chapo made a joke to Chali: « Hi, my name is Daniel Guichard! You don’t know me?!!! I’m a famous french sampled artist! ». I have this caught on tape…
Masta Moon’s: I’m not sure that was my first concert, but I remembered seeing the Scratch Pervert in Glasgow in 1996/1997. At the time, I   discovered the DJ and scratch culture.
Djar One: I remember that when I was young, I went to see Johnny Clegg and Bernard Lavilliers with my parents at a free outdoor concert.  In my teenage years, I saw Jamiroquai with my oldest sister and then I went at DJ Vadim show by myself.

03. First mixtape(s) bought ou downloaded mix(es)?
Kesta: I don’t know if it’s the first ones but Cut Killer’s Hip Hop Soul Party 3 and The Cut Killer Show hits me. At the time, I listened over and over a mixtape by Shorkut in which he recreated some Hip-Hop joints by scratching the original breaks! DJ Keem’s mixtape (the first DJ from Le Havre) Hip Hopée Vol.1. Awesome! My man Inkredibl’ Chapo’s Fastly Feet Music. The perfect combination between musicality, technic and selection.
Masta Moon’s: I don’t really remember but it was a Cut Killer mixtape for sure. Maybe Hip Hop Soul Party 1 or Hip Hop Soul Party 2.
Djar One: I think I had the Opération Coup de Poing and IV My People Mixtape Vol.1 at the same time, and also the Stop The Violence mixtape by DJ Keem and the B.I.Z. organization which reunite some groups from Le Havre.

04. Last record(s) bought?
Kesta: Hip Hop Momo (2013) by Yoshi, Tipper Instrumentals (2004 – The Dog House Recordings), Skim & Tone (2013) by DJ Freshhh! I have a little notebook full of records to buy but I don’t enough money for all of that. It make me bad!
Masta Moon’s: Marco Polo PA 2 The Director’s Cut (2013 – Slice of Spice) deluxe edition. 4 limited vinyls (200 copies). Nice object and good music too!
Djar One: DJ Format & Phill Most Chill The Formost (2013 – Project Blue Book), a DJ Numark 7″ with some Brazilian flavour Oyá Indeburê/Tough Break (2013 – Hot Plate Records) et some 7″ from Resense.

05. Last concert(s)?
Kesta: The Beat & The Voice, Kohndo, Raashan Ahmad, Loréa, Dee Nasty & Kozi, Archéolg’Hip Hop. All these people were at the 40th birthday of the Zulu Nation in last November!
Masta Moon’s: Dr. Outer (Mattic + band): We (Acoosmik) were opened for them. The benefits of an artist’s life.
Djar One: The 40th birthday of the Zulu Nation in Le Havre with Loréa, Kohndo, Yoshi, Dee Nasty…

06. Last mixtape(s) bought ou downloaded mix(es)?
Kesta: The Akhenaton (IAM) special mix by Phuncky Doyen! To be honest, I haven’t heard it yet but the collector packaging is great! In a pizza box printed by Tizieu, with a little poster et a digipack inside. With some remixes from my man Djar One!!!!
Masta Moon’s: I never download mixes. 3 weeks later, I bought a real tape of MF Doom The Hurler with remixes and rarities. Big hit!
Djar One: The ABCDR du Son mix with some underground gems from last year… Not listened yet but the last editions had some nuggets I missed.

07. Last favorite record(s)?
Kesta: Honestly I can’t tell. I haven’t heard a new project that I can listen many times from the start to the end. I know! the Mattic The Adventures Of Doctor Outer (2014) album is cool. A return to the boom bap sound with nice productions, scratch and Mattic is always perfect on the mic!
Masta Moon’s: Dam-Funk! I’m a fan. So fresh and innovative!
Djar One: DJ Format & Phill Most Chill The Formost (2013 – Project Blue Book). Simple productions (not really) which score with Phill Most old school flow best symbolize why I love Hip-Hop so much!

 

IF YOU WERE…

08. A emcee?
Kesta: Gérard Baste because he makes me laugh and his simple flow is so easy to understand but always with style. I also like Kohndo for his musical flow and he’s humanely very cool.
Masta Moon’s: A French rapper will be Fabe. This guy kills everybody on the mic and he never disappointed me. A US emcee will be Rakim without a doubt. For me, he’s simply the best on the mic!
Djar One: Redman. His flow is so funky. He can rhyme on any beats. Much respect for his (not outrageous) fluid diction. Rap seems so easy when you hear him (sic)…

09. A rap group?
Kesta: Public Enemy! My first rap love. Massive sound but still funky. Engaged and crazy (Flav’ is the perfect sidekick for Chuck D). Jurassic 5 too because it’s a true B-boy’s group. DJ’s and emcees are killers, some dance or make graffiti. That’s my vision of a Hip-Hop crew (not just a rap group)!
Masta Moon’s: 2Bal2Neg or La Cliqua, two classic French groups! And GangStarr! The best duo of all time!
Djar One: EPMD. Funky loops, perfect simple flows and scratch sessions that blow your head off. For me, their rap contains everything!

10. A Dj?
Kesta: Wow! There’re so many! I would like to have the technique of Q-Bert, the musicality of Jazzy Jeff and the knowledge of Dee Nasty! When you’re with him, he tells you stories about the record he’s spinning! Knowledge at its best!
Masta Moon’s: A French DJ will be Crazy B: A pioneer and great technician but so ignored. For the US, I will choose DJ Revolution: I love his turntable skills. Great inspiration.
Djar One: DJ Format! Digging skill, great party sets and a sharped production technique. Every release is a banger!

11. A rap producer?
Kesta: Spinna, Premier, Jay Dee from the 90’s, Q-Tip, The Beatnuts, DJ Lethal, T-ray, Large Pro, Marley Marl, K-Def, Pete Rock, Muggs, Buckwild… Hard to choose! Jimmy Jay!
Masta Moon’s: I won’t be very original but I will say Jay Dee! He was a precursor. Lots of respect for DJ Premier’s work too.
Djar One: Young Einstein of Ugly Duckling. Melodic loops and often up-tempo. Great productions enriched with a lot of breaks, bridges and nice chorus.

12. A rap 12″?
Kesta: The Funkiest by Funkdoobiest (1992 – Immortal Records), The b-side with the T-Ray remix.
Masta Moon’s: Fakin the Funk by Main Source (1992 – Wild Pitch Records). Hard to find!! I’m still searching and this track makes me mad!
Djar One: Fatal Timber (1993 – Atlantic). Suprême NTm and les Psykopats freestyled on the instrumental (On the first VHS of the group in 1996). I went crazy about this song because I didn’t know where it came from! The only clue I had, was the Atlantic Records logo. After many years of searches, I finally discovered the record’s title and that it was produced by T-Ray!

13. A rap album?
Kesta: Illmatic by Nas (1994 – Columbia). On top of all classics.
Masta Moon’s: Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) by Wu-Tang Clan (1993 – Loud Records). A must have in your record collection.
Djar One: Les Sages Poètes de La Rue Jusqu’à l’Amour (1998 – Edel Music). Everything is perfect on this album! Jazz beats, peaceful lyrics, DJ Logilo’ scratches… This Double LP never get me tired!

14. A featuring?
Kesta: Posse cut like Scenario (original and remix) by A Tribe Called Quest (1991 – Jive), Show & Prove by Big Daddy Kane (1994 – MCA), The Graveyard by Big L (1995 – Columbia), Don’t Curse by Heavy D & The Boyz (1991 – MCA). L’NMIACCd’HTCK72KPDP by MC Solaar. (1994 – Polydor)…
Masta Moon’s: Sorry, I really don’t know what to choose.
Djar One: Method Man and Redman. This combination seems so obvious.

15. A sample or a breakbeat?
Kesta: There are so many… At the time, Scrabble (1972 – Chappell) de René Costy. Original samples are my shit! Only One Can Win by The Sylvers (1972 – Pride), 40 Days by Billy Brooks (1974 – Crossover Records). For the breakbeat, Impeach the President by The Honeydrippers (1973 – Alaga Records)! Rap brings me to Jazz, Soul and Funk…
Masta Moon’s: Funky Drummer by James Brown (1970 – King Records). The foundation!!
Djar One: Melvin Bliss Synthetic Substitution (1973 – Sunburst Records). My favorite breakbeat, sampled many times, by myself too.

16. A label?
Kesta: Cold Chllin’
Masta Moon’s: I will say Stone Throw. It’s the label I will love to have! No wacky releases on it!
Djar One: Stax. The dream team, A kind of Motown less consensual…

17. A record sleeve?
Kesta: The sleeve of our 7″ Hey Yo MC !! (2013). The work of our friend Ratur is so dope! Go check his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/raturone?fref=ts
Masta Moon’s: The Body Rock (1998 – Rawkus) by Mos Def. The artwork is so powerful!
Djar One: A Tribe Called Quest Midnight Marauders (1993 – Jive). This famous picture directory with all these rap activists, a so esthetic way to pay tribute to Hip-Hop. Peace, Unity, Love et Havin’Fun!

18. A music video?
Kesta: Drop by The Pharcyde. The reverse mode is cool! Beastie Boys videos too like Intergalactic or Body Movin!
Masta Moon’s: Oooh by De La Soul. It’s my joint!
Djar One: Instinctively, I will say Bring Da Pain by Method Man that traumatized me when I was young.

19. A rap lyric?
Kesta: Blessé Dans Mon Ego de La Rumeur, (1996 – FUAS Music) Ça Ne Vous Rendra Pas Le Congo de Baloji (2009 – EMI)… Mmmh, too serious ! Bis Bis du Klub des 7 (2006 – Vicious Circle)!
Masta Moon’s: Demain C’est Loin d’IAM (1998 – Delabel). Nothing to say. Still relevant!
Djar One: Les Sages Poètes de la Rue Bouge Tête Seuf (1998 – Edel Music)
[Dany Dan]
« Suprême vocabuliste, noctambuliste, somnambuliste
Lyriciste linguistique funambuliste
Note mon nom sur ta liste, après analyse mes vers
Car une fois ma rime apprise je ne peux que te plaire
J’rappe depuis un bon moment, j’ai commencé je ne sais plus comment
Qu’importe j’ai plein de sortes de stars sonnant
Hip-Hop pour les masses, lascars et tasses
Rendant grâce à ma zic par ce magique paragraphe
Mon rap est aussi clair qu’un regard infantile
Des posses d’blairs vocifèrent contre moi
Mais faut s’y faire, je reste tranquille
J’suis ce gus qui est bien plus dans le style
Faisant des cumulus avec les spliffs que mes lèvres ventilent
Même mes ennemis pompent mes méthodes
Ma lumière noire jaillit comme du pétrole envahissant la métropole
Ça vient du souterrain de Paname
Ma syntaxe balaye keums, droite madames
Verbal impact »

20. A Hip-Hop object or accessory?
Kesta: Un big Reynolds marker full of Corio ink dripping in your pan’s pocket!!!
Masta Moon’s: A boombox! Essential and very useful!
Djar One: A LH Original baseball cap!

SPECIAL DJ QUESTION: A scratch?
Kesta: I’m not a technician but love the Transformer scratch! In New York with Moon’s and some other guys, we had the opportunity to watch some big US DJ’s names improvised a big scratch freestyle, making incredible tricks then Cash Money came and killed all of them with a simple Transformer scratch. With so much style and groove!!! And the famous question: Who create the Transformer scratch? Jazzy Jeff or Cash Money?
Masta Moon’s: Q-Bert and Mix Master Mike. 1992’s DMC Championship final. Incredible!
Djar One: DJ Premier’s DWICK intro. So much feeling (this track sampled the famous breakfast cited above).