featured interview

J-Sands What is good music? It's the Lone to the Cata, Cata to the Lysts. J. Rawls and J. Sands have been holdin it down since the mid-nineties, building quite a rep for themselves on an underground level. Their debut album released in 2001, and after a few critically acclaimed solo projects, this Cincinnati/Pittsburgh collective now releases their highly anticipated sophomore effort called 'Good Music'. Between all the fuzz that the release of an album brings along, J. Sands found the time to do a quick chat with us.

So J. Sands, what is ‘good music’?

Music you like to hear again and again.

'Good Music' should've come out about two years ago, why did it take a while to release this album?

Well, we were trying to organize deals. Some of them worked out, but some didn't.

How come so many guests were involved in the new LP, compared to the first LP?

We wanted to do it different from the first LP. We only had two guests on it.

Mixmaster Ice features on the album. How and when did you decide to get him on the LP?

J. Rawls made that happen. Ice has been in Ohio for a minute. So, it was definitely like having a legend on the album.

Do you have a favourite song on 'Good Music'?

It switches time to time, have not picked one. Maybe 'Survival', but it will switch tomorrow.

How important is it to have your own label (B.U.K.A. Ent.)?

It is needed. If not, the two Lone Catalysts LP's would have never come out.

What can we expect from the other artists on the label?

Right now all you can expect from B.U.K.A. is this Lone Catalysts LP 'Good Music'. Everything else is on the back burner.

The label is called after a friend of you and J Rawls, Buka, who's incarcerated. When will he be released?

He is up to get out in 2008. Let's hope!

How important has he been for Lone Catalysts?

He has been real important as far as keeping us confident about the music we make. He gives us a lot of support from inside.

You recently signed Jack Hammer, what can we expect from him?

Don't know. Really have to find a place for him. He has a lot of raps about sex. So this has to be done correct.

Why did you decide to go for dolo with 'The Breaks' album(s)?

Well cause it was my idea, plus I get to do me.

Can you explain the concept behind that album?

It was just so I could have fun rapping of the hot breaks, just for fun.

So what are some of your favourite breaks?

Man, I like them all!

There's a 'The Breaks Vol. 2; Interlude Violator' coming up, we've heard it'll contain interludes from old records, can you give us an idea of what's to come?

Well just put it this way, it has never been done before. It will be hot. Don't want to leak too much of this.

Do you collect records like J. Rawls does?

Yes, but my collection is not as big as his. I used to collect tape cassettes.

What was the first hip-hop records you bought?

'Rapper's Delight' 12 inch and Kurtis Blow 'The Breaks'.

What artists are you listening to right now?

I like Slum Village, Dip Set, Little Brother.

The great single 'Southern Lady' released earlier this year, is it gonna be on some album?

Yes, it is going to be on my solo LP, 'The Poet Tree of Life'.

There's a lot of Latin influences in your music, and you speak a mouthful of Spanish, do you listen to Latin music?

No doubt, Latin music is so fresh. I don't really listen to too much Latin music but when I hear it, I like it. I took Spanish in school but still can't speak it.

What's the difference between working solo or as Lone Catalysts?

Nothing really, it's all making music.

You released a compilation called 'Bring It Home' what was the idea behind that?

Just wanted to show love to my peeps at the crib. A lot of people get on and forget where they came from.

Due to your deal with the GrooveAttack label you have a bond with Europe. Is Lone Catalysts more appreciated over here, than in the U S of A?

I think we are as far as fame. People over there know us more.

Talking about appreciation, 'Destiny' was played often on Gilles Peterson's Worldwide show (BBC I) it also appeared on one of his compils.

Yeah, that is crazy. Shout to the 3rd. It's an old song, but very dope.

Is there any particular reason for 'Destiny' being recovered on the Japanese version?

Well, they loved it over there a lot. So, it was only right.

Can you tell us something more about The 3rd...

Yes, they are getting ready to drop their album. One of the members of the group is my cousin Rashad. He does his thing on the R&B tip too. Check it on Rashadmusic.com.

Does your girl still listen to Common's 'Like Water For Chocolate' a lot?

Aw naw, that was just a skit (on 'Hip Hop' LP, ed.). That was my girl Afaliah. She is a good friend of J. Rawls and me. I am sure she does though, she is a big hip hop head.

J. Rawls once said: 'Sands would be in the Union freestyling and cats would just hand him newspapers and he would incorporate the headlines into his rhymes', what do you recall of that period?

Yeah, that was a long time ago. I could do that my whole life.

So you still freestyle from time to time?

I freestyle all the time. I hang with my brother Grap Luva on the regular. We are always freestyling.

Ok, time for some comments:

Talib Kweli

Dope Emcee.

The Are

Dope producer.

Dante of Mood

Nasty Nati.

Hi-Tek

Hottest Producer.

Fat Jon

Five Deez.

Usef Dinero

Stiff.

Jet Black

First song I did with J. Rawls and B.U.K.A.

Ayanna Monet

Ayanna (girlfriend from college) Monet (painting in my office).

'Pootie Tang?'

Silly ass movie, cool ass nigga.

'After The Dance'

Classic joint.

Pittsburgh

Steelers/North Side/Home.

Any shout outs?

Shout out to the Suckers!

Word! We're gonna leave you now. Thanks for your time.

 

POSTED 09|02|2005
conducted by cpf

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