Before we begin, I have a confession to make. I’ve been following this Kon Boogie guy for a long time now and am a certified fan. There it is – done – signed, sealed, and delivered. Let the cries of nepotism, favoritism, ism-schism, or whatever fly. I’m here for all that smoke Papi! Me nah care cause the boy is BAD.
See, Kon Boogie is one of those “Renaissances” type of artists – you know the ones that wear a couple of hats and rock them with finesse, aplomb, and an ease that belies the hard work, frustration, and bitter climb to mastery that they’ve endured. In other words, they make the fly shit look easy. Don’t believe me…well let me break it down.
First and foremost, he’s an MC’s MC. You know the type that slings the top shelf propane raps that’ll make you dance, write a movie, and start a revolution while smoking unfiltered cigarettes outside of a Soho gallery. The pen is unquestionable but just the tip of the Dutch.
Second, he’s one hell of a producer. Nah, I really mean it. His beats don’t just knock….they envelop, they cajole, they soothe, they agitate, they inspire, and they live. His aural soundscapes will have you making babies after you had a shoot out in a Fellini movie. Check off box number two ‘cause now your ass is moving.
Lastly, you round things out with his singing, photography, sound engineering (He mixes his own shit for Christ’s sake), and graphic design work and you have the full package. How do you think he makes those full packages? I know…I told you he’s a bad man.
Right now, he’s got a new project rolling out called “Animus” that’s shaking shit up from the streets of Queens to the Canals in Venice. We took time out the other day to catch up, trade war stories from our stints in the Foreign Legion and talk about this latest work and where he sees himself in today’s current landscape. Take a few seconds to enjoy our back and forth.
How did growing up in Corona/North West Queens help you in developing your style/sound?
As you know, Queens is the world’s borough! Growing up around so much culture will definitely affect you in some way. For me, it added to my sound and allowed me to play with different rhythms and styles early on. In a broader sense, it showed me that most of us (children of immigrants) are more similar than we are different… and that has shaped my lyrical content in a major way.
You have an eclectic aura that harkens back to eras past – yet still sounds fresh. How do you put that together?
First, I appreciate that, thank you! For me, when making music it’s always good to have a solid foundation to build on. Being born in the 80’s and growing up in the 90’s made me very cognizant of song structure and cadence. Maybe not for everyone, but for me, every song I heard was like a puzzle that I had to figure out. In doing so (and without knowing) I kind of imprinted this structure into my soul. Fast forward to present day… I absolutely LOVE new music, and it really inspires me to no end. So, with that new inspiration and the foundation I built, it seems to come out in that way… A kind of perfect marriage if you will.
Where and how do you see yourself fitting in the current musical climate? NYC & the world?
I don’t think about it much to be real with you. If I fit, I fit. To me it’s not about really fitting in with other music (NYC or worldly) that’s currently out. It’s about fitting into the lives of the listeners in a deep and profound way. I’ll let the critics place me in whatever neat lil box they deem suitable, I guess.
You are a full-fledged creative with many different skills that you apply in your work. How does that enrich your music and artistic presentation to your listeners/fans?
I’m like the “Farm to table” musical equivalent… *chuckle* Mostly all that I do, gets done in house. I do have a vast network of other creatives that I bounce ideas off… But being this way has allowed me to have full creative control and push the boundaries as far as I see fit. People only get to see the final product. They don’t really see the process of how a song can go through 10 different versions… or get remixed at the last second. Not having to go back and forth from the studio really allows me to keep exploring… same with the artwork. Sometimes a single or album may have had 3 or 4 different covers before I landed on the right visual. Imagine having to keep going back to a graphic designer for more artwork for the same music. Just the cost alone stifles the creativity of most independent artists.
Tell me about this Animus project. Who, What, When, Where, & Why?
Who? It’s the brainchild of me and my main producer Somatic.
What? Without giving you the long drawn out version… The ancient definition of *ANIMUS* roughly translates to “the breath of life” or the soul… Where all your hopes, dreams and passions live.
When? The process for this started about 3 years ago and is kind of a chronological journey through my life in and around that time. Which is why I decided to release it 1 song at a time… 1 song every week as “chapters” to give the fans time to digest every one, like a great book.
Where? Corona, Queens Baby! Hah!
Why? Why not?! I’m in such a great space in life and creatively… It’s just time.
Your topics are very current and, dare I say, politically charged at times. Do you feel this is your artistic responsibility?
I don’t know if it’s my *responsibility* really. I see art and music in a very spiritual way. As creatives I feel as though at some point in our lives, we open a conduit between ourselves and that divine energy that holds everything together. Some messages are sent to certain artists because they have the power to translate them in a way that’s very specific to their style. So, to answer your question… My responsibility is to spirit. Wherever it leads me, I shall follow.
What’s next and where can your fiends/fans find more of your material?
I try not to plan too far ahead… But right now, ANIMUS is being released 1 song at a time. I also launched a record label (Vibras), and we’re gearing up for some really fun and unique collaborative releases very soon.
WORDS: Greg Cee (aka Slick Flair)
IMAGE SOURCE: Kon Boogie
Sign up for Scientific Inquirer’s Steady State Newsletter for the week’s top stories, exclusive interviews, and weekly giveaways. Plenty of value added but without the tax. http://bit.ly/2VEF06u