PHOTO: COURTESY OF EXILE | INTERVIEW BY LAST MANIf you are on this site then I shouldn't have to introduce the man known as Exile. For those who are just getting hip...just ask Aloe Blacc, Mobb Deep, Slum Village, Rakaa , Blu...wow, the list goes on. Exile has been lacin the blappers for years. He's accumulated a catalog that name checks the who's who of mc's. He recently pressed up a few of his new projects on cassette as well and even admits that he holds the medium in high regard. Again my good colleague Last Man comes thru in the clutch to catch up with Exile and talk about his cassette releases both old and new.
(SC) The first time I heard your music was on tape. What's the story behind the Emanon cassettes?
It was 1994 when I first decided to press my tapes and sell them. It was a mixtape called Dream sequence, just me cutting and scratching over 4 tracks beats and what not. I first brought these tapes to Beat Non Stop (La record shop) and I played the tape to the homie Dj Coco and he went nuts and had my back to help push them. I would also sell them myself outside after shows and what not. I remember asking my boy Jelly Bean (LOL funny ass name) to get serious and rap over some of my beats because we used to freestyle alot. He was like na thats not for me man, but I know this kid who's pretty nice with it, It was Aloe Blacc. So me and Aloe met at some food spot and we ended up having a little cypher outside and right after that we made our first song called "isolated format" on a four track. So we built up a nice collection of songs and I was like "yo Im gonna make a mixtape and have one side be me Djing and have the other side be all these songs we've been making. I figured people would cop our tape regardless because of my mixtape but then they could also get to hear all these songs we were making. This tape was called Stretch Marx. Aloe was 16. I was 17 or 18. So we kept dirt hustlin' these tapes at mom and pop shops and outside of Hip Hop functions till we did our first show In Long Beach. Dj Josh One and J Rocc were spinning and I showed up with my 4 trak hahah and made sure Aloe's Raps were turned down, pressed play and would scratch along with the tape. Anyhow,we just kept it moving the same way with our next tape "Imaginary Friends" and this one really kinda took off. A fan had called the number on the tape 714 364 6759 and was like yo I wanna press a record. So we did and it got played on Friday night Flavors out here in LA and we just kept it moving ever since. Also we pressed more tapes, shit I still press tapes. Press Play
PHOTO CREDIT: BANG2000XL
(SC) Is it safe to say that there are piles of Exile beat tapes laying around? If so, will any of those see the light of day? Maybe even on cassette?
There are piles of beat tapes and many beats that will never see the light of day. But then there is some that will. And to those few that will see the light of day I say Fly! Fly to the ears of young and old beat heads alike and shine! Shine like ear wax glissening in the sun! Dont use the Q tip of our for fathers use the the Q tip of a Native tongue and speak to the world of what you have heard!!! Na but I do have a project I will be releasing called ZIP DISKS AND FLOPPIES that will be on cassette and they will be beats.
(SC) What made you decide to release Radio and AM/FM on cassette?
I still have a tape player in my car and wanted to bump it in there haha. Well that and just to have it on tape for me is nastalgic. As much as I am a record head I am a tape head and love me some cassette, so I just had to do it.
(SC) Your recent release (4TRK MIND) was recorded on a 4-track recorder. What inspired that idea vs. using recording software?
Well I started this album before I had Protools at the crib. I Used to just record at Sound In colors Studio or at Mainframes crib both in Long beach. Well that was when me and Blu were recording alot for Below the heavens. But I also had been recording my raps at home on 4-track. I like to record them shits by myself and that was all I had at my crib at the time aside from my mpc. I liked the way it sounded on tape tho it gave me a grimier sound and shit. So as I recorded I was like "you know what? Im just gonna put this out with these tape recordings to pay homage to my past and to show these cats what I can make without protools and with just 4 tracks."
PHOTO: COURTESY OF EXILE
Yes I found a couple boxes of my fathers reel to reels from his old band Lost and found and more. I will probably call the album family tree or something. I have already made like 4 beats from it but I need to get my 4 track repaired. I will tell you more info about it when it gets closer to a release date.
(SC) Let's hop into a time machine and go back to 1994. What 5 cassettes would be rotating in the walkman?
Dj Magic Mike
(SC) Any last shout outs/comments?
Well in the eyes of this man the tape generation was way doper than the internet generation. There was more appreciation of the art. Now the mystery is taken out. Everyone can have anything without the magical hunt for it. Bunch of spoiled brats out there. Not all of them but damn near. Shout out to all the tape slangers mixtape dirt hustlers!