featured interview

Spends Quality: 'A lot of MC's think they are God's gift to this world.' Bay Area lyricist and Sonicbloom member Spends Quality's music is a bulk of positivity. Filled with tips to enhance your life quality -'pay attention to that inner voice', flirting with nature -'when you reach the ocean's pure emotion'- , and a zest of escapism, Spends Quaity lives up to his name. In a swirl of inspiration, the rapper, whose humbleness is exemplifying, made two albums; 'Time Peace' and 'Flight Music'.

Two records at the same time. Why so ambitious?

Couldn't choose which one to release first. They were finished at the same time and written over the same time period as well. They compliment each other. One is produced by me, and one is produced by my homie Mr. Tay. I had time and budget to release them both at the same time, so I just went for it. Who says you can't do that? Rules are meant to be broken. Figured it would either work for me, or against me. Was hoping for the former, and not really caring if it didn't work.

How big of a difference was it to make a solo album from making albums with Sonicbloom?

It was much much different. In the sense that I could write songs about what I wanted over specific beats that maybe only I was feeling, sing hooks in the way I wanted, and write multiple verses for each track instead of only getting one verse. It was a much more personal process.

It's good to see Brycon on 'Time piece', Brycon & Equal's album 'World's Deadliest Assassin' was one of the first LP's we ever reviewed. How did you get with him?

Brycon is the homie. We've been hanging for the past few years. He has DJ'd for me for a bunch of shows, and I have made some songs over his beats. I had him on a single I put out last year as well. Good dude, very talented at what he does. One of those cats that keeps inspiring me to push this hip-hop thing.

You've been making music for over ten years, why haven't we heard of you before?

Probably because with Sonicbloom we didn't do a very good job of branding each of us individually. We treated it as a band, and even though I was making a lot of the beats, and doing a lot of the behind the scenes type of stuff, I wasn't looking for the spotlight or to shine any more that anyone else.

You share the same positiveness as The Grouch. A lot of influences there?

The Grouch was definitely a big influence and inspiration for me, no doubt.I don't think our styles are that similar, but he is one of those artists that proves people are down for positivity in hip-hop, as well as shows you can be successful as an independent artist if you play your cards right and hustle hard.

Is there a lack of positiveness in hip-hop?

I don't think there is a lack of positivity in hip-hop. It's out there, just not everywhere. It's such a dynamic genre, and a true reflection of our culture. It reflects all sides of this world. Whether it be positive or negative, and there is a time and place for all of it.

Is there a lack of self-criticism in hip-hop?

I definitely think that a lot of MC's, producers, B-boys, and graf writers think they are God's gift to this world, and the best to ever do it. I think it's funny. I know I'm good at what I do, but I also know that I can and will get better at what I do. I haven't reached my peak yet, and hopefully never will. With that said, I try to stay humble and I'm my own toughest critic.

Hiphopdx called 'Time Peace' a spectacular listen. How much do you care about reviews?

It's great to have your music critiqued, and appreciated by journalists and industry folks, but I'm not hung up on it. I'm flattered and honored when I get positive responses, and I always take into consideration people's feedback whether positive or negative. All in all, it's just cool to be recognized for my music, and have people listening.

In a world with a lot of rushing, lots of exposure, information, competition, less privacy, How do you achieve inner peace of mind?

Write these songs. Make these beats. Eat good food. Kick it with supportive and enjoyable people. Breath deep, and enjoy what this life has to offer. It's all about perspective. If I didn't have trails to hike on, rivers to swim in, and sun to soak up on the regular, I think I would lose it! But you can find your peace in the city as well. Beauty surrounds us everywhere.

So what's your idea of spending some 'quality time'?

Ha! Everything I do.... I live up to my name. Whether it be in the studio, with a lady, or with my family and friends, I just like to make sure my time is spent wisely and productively.

You have a label called CFO Recordings, what's its mission?

To put out the music that myself and my friends make, basically.

You're in the midst of recording two EP's. What can we expect of it?

I am currently producing an EP for an MC from Oregon named Nomadic Storyteller, as well as an EP for Brotha RJ from the CUF. Plus, eventually we will finish this Work.Play project, which is a group comprised of myself and Adam Fission. I'm doing an EP of me rapping over Brycon beats. Plus I'm producing the majority of the Hunter Blackwell (of Sonicbloom) album, and the Adam Fission (of Sonicbloom) album. Gonna do another full-length self-produced album as well. I have my hands in a lot of projects that you will see hit the scene over the next 365. If they didn't know Spends Quality before, they will soon, feel me?

What else can we expect from you?

I'm going put out an instrumental project that is more on the electronic spectrum, and start hitting the scene DJing that stuff. A lot of my beats haven't seen the light of day because I typically choose my more hip-hop sounding stuff to write to, but have been making all sorts of types of beats for the past decade or more.


POSTED 06|08|2013
conducted by cpf

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