featured interview

L.i.f.e. Long Living In Full Effect (2) On his latest album 'The Waiting Game', Stronghold rapper L.I.F.E. Long deals with 'waiting'. Not waiting tables, but a rapper's waiting after his album is released. Waiting for the next deal, the next offer, the next door to go open or to remain closed. Because life of a rapper is a struggle, the waiting is long.

We spoke back when 'Longevity 1.5' just dropped. You said you just bought a new pair of dunk trainers - black and orange with a lil camo. Just out of curiosity: what's the last pair you bought now?

Yes I remember! Yeah, the kick game has gotten up since then! (laughs) The newest to the kick edition is a pair of low top ACG's that I got brown and orange. Pretty sick, although my favourite pair of kicks in my collection is the Tribe Called Quest Jordan's. I got a few more pairs since the acg's and the Tribe Jordan's but nothing too sick but I'm always looking! I fell off a little bit but plan on going hard again soon. I think I laced my girl recently. Copped her some exclusive silver Court Force! (laughs)

Your album 'The Waiting Game' recently dropped on Domination Rec. Tell us more about it?

It dropped July 20, and it is available everywhere. I got a video for the first single 'Veteran' off the LP and two other video's dropping real soon for the song 'Lash Out' and 'As The Sand Sinks' ! If fans haven't heard: download the free album sampler 'Pieces of the waiting Game' on http://tinyurl.com/lifelongsampler. This is pretty much a nice sampler with snippets off the album and it also has an exclusive never heard before track. You can also go to Dominationrec.com and check out my free mixtape 'Still Waiting' which is also a good freebee to check me out. The LP basically is the everyday struggle all indie artists deal with and how you have to have patience and good things come to those who wait. I have all types of tracks that deal with the concept of 'waiting'!

A fitting concept for indie artists.

Indie artists are always waiting for the next thing to pop off with their career! Everyone play's 'The Waiting Game' it's pretty much self-explanatory, waiting for the next move!!

While 'Longevity' boasted some kind of never-ending dynamic, 'The Waiting Game' insinuates more of a status quo. Did perspectives switch or.?

They switched because I felt 'Longevity' was basically me finally releasing a solo LP, after releasing only EP's, singles, and being featured on other artist's projects! So 'Longevity' was more like showing you my length in the game! 'The Waiting Game' is the process of what happens after the music is recorded. You begin to wait and you never know when the wait will be over! (smiles)

Black Sparx already had a beat on your 'Cuts and Collabo's' 2 (which we do have in our CD stacks). Tell us more about your personal and artistic connection?

Black Sparx is a friend that I met from a mutual friend of ours! We met in the early nineties and then regrouped in 2006. I basically heard his production and knew that it was meant for us to work with each other! We recorded the track for 'Cuts and Collabo's' and I loved his production style so much we began recording more songs. We recorded a lot of material and decided it would only make sense to do an LP! Black Sparx is the truth! Look out for his solo LP 'Summer Haze' and his production on Infinito 2017 LP, 'We are Dark' and also Blame One's LP 'Days chasing Days'. He also has music on an indie film that was put out. Check Black Sparx on Facebook and Myspace for more info!

How would you describe his production style?

Black Sparx has a real Golden Era-style, jazzy boom-bap, real hip-hop! He samples but also does not sample! Like the track on 'Cuts and Collabos pt 2', no samples! He has a real signature sound!

What makes you decide to ask some other MC to hop on the project? Shine a light on some of the guests.

To be honest with you, I feature with my peoples who you see on the LP. It's Iomos Marad who is my brother from another mother! Me and Iomos are in a group with a French producer Aneeway from France. We form the Allies crew! I got my other brother from another mother on their Elohem Star, who is in another project I'm in with C-Rayz Walz called Area 51! Elohem is my man from way back he had to be on the LP! I got my sister from Atlanta Impress Stahhr on there who I knew for a long time, we always talked about collaborating so I had to get her plus she is a dope female emcee! I got Respect tha god of Perverted Monks on there who is fam from BK, I got Hastyle and Rashan on the project who are my fam from Queens! Preacherman who is also family and is a talented soul singer! Of course, D,J, JS1 who is a legend and a friend. I appeared on his 'Ground Original' LP with Immortal Technique! Rich Porter who was featured is like Sparks brother from another mother and also a dope emcee I had to have him aboard too. I care more about talent then names! I don't care if you don't have a huge name I let people's craft speak for themselves and that is what i was looking to do with this project!

In the same interview we did in 2008, you stated: 'I have a lot of music that needs homes! I feel I have something for any label.'. Stating you was looking for a label for a lot of your material? Since Domination Records is one of the most creative labels in the game right now: do you feel like you found a home for a bunch of your material?

Yeah I feel like I did find a home now! DJ Fisher who runs Domination is good peoples! He also knows what he is doing and has experience in the game and experience with Indie artists! He definitely has my back as well as all of the other Domination artists he is constantly on the grind! My next release will be on Domination and hopefully more projects in the future!

With Breez also releasing an album on Domination, it seems like two of the Strongholds have found the same home. Coincidence?

Definitely. I spoke with Breez about the label although I knew about Domination before however, Breez had nothing but positive things to say about Domination so I figured it would be a good fit!

What's up with Stronghold?

Stronghold is mainly a support team right now. It's complicated with a lot of our solo projects. However me and C Rayz are doing the Area 51 project. I'm also featured on Breez's upcoming LP. I doubt there will be a Stronghold LP, but we all rep each other and push the name whenever we can!

I have to congratulate you with 'The Veteran' clip. Hot joint. Your shirt got my attention as well: what interpretation is that off the ATCQ album cover?

Yes sir definitely. I got the kicks to match those were the ones I was telling you about in the beginning of the interview! 'Midnight Marauder/Low End Theory' LP! The Jordan's are not new but not everyone was up on them! Wait till you see my next video for the song 'Lash Out' feat Elohem Star!

The artwork and drawings on the walls in the video are impressive and inspirational, tell us more about them.

Thanks man! Big up Methods Clothing! That is where we shot the video! Methods Clothing NYC (www.Methodsnyc.com) is a clothing outlet. They have a store in Greenpoint, Brooklyn that showcases a lot of the art from artists who have done some of there t-shirt designs. Big up Ben Argotti on some of the illness on the walls, you gotta check out Methods man, they have some of the illest designs! Those are my peoples! Shout out Methods!

You've also been down with the peeps at Creative Juices Music for some time now, you did some nice features lately on their projects. We feel like the label is really steppin up, right?

Yeah, no dubt! The Juices camp is stepping it up! I did a lot of features with them, definitely part of my N.Y.C. fam! Shout out the Juices crew!!

The background image of your Myspace page is a collage of most of your releases. Did you collage them yourself and/or what did you feel, think or conclude while doin' so?

My girlfriend actually designed the page for me! Props to my baby Naomi aka Impress tru! It has a lot of my releases on there. There are a lot of current projects that need to be added like 'The Waiting Game' LP and single cover, plus so more I need to revamp my Myspace page, it's been a minute. Everyone seems to mainly be on Facebook and Twitter lately, but I still check my Myspace page!

In a little bio on the Creative Juices Music pages says you're 'from the edgier avant-garde hip-hop that emerged from the lower-east side of the late 90's'. What is meant by edgier avant-garde hip-hop, and what aspect of it do you personalize?

Edgier meaning a little bit different than the standard hip-hop! I try to break boundaries and push the envelope with my music!

While doin' some research, almost everywhere they talk about your feature on the Cannibal Ox album. How changing was that appearance for you? Was it really a turning point in your career or was that only the perception of the fans?

It was huge for me at the time. Cannibal Ox was a huge movement being a part of that LP showed people my connections in the industry! I think both that record and me appearing on Anti Pop Consortium's LP with Pharoahe Monch were both great turning points for me. It helped me to reach people who never heard of me!

L.I.F.E. stands for Living In Full Effect: what did that mean in your life the past few years? How does this motto find its way to your daily life?

Living in full effect in the past years has meant to me to always strive to be effective in everything I do! To live in full effect is to always be in a state of being aware! I feel especially in the past years I am more aware!

What was the last album you heard that made you go straight to the pen and pad to write?

I don't know, not really one new LP. To be honest my friends who do music are more my inspiration! I listen to a lot of old stuff. I mean there were some great LP's that were just recently released I could say Nas and Damien Marley's LP was very inspiring to me, i also loved Raekwon's 'Cuban Linx 2' LP also!

Closing questions...

What's up with the Writers Guild?

Me and Loer Velocity just recorded a new joint for his new solo LP and talked about getting back in the booth! Writers Guild is definitely in full effect! What up Loer!

Which album is in your iPod or car stereo right now?

My Ipod has mad music yo! I'm listening to a lot right now from Dj Ronin mixtapes to 'The Best of A Tribe Called Quest' I got a lot of Prince Po's and Pharoahe Monch's solo LP's in there too, I gotta put my Organized Konfusion LP's on my iPod but I have all of there LP's on cassette only! (laughs)

What's next for L.i.f.e. Long?

Area 51 project with C Rayz, Elohem Star, Hybrid and Sterling dropping soon the project is sick that is all I can say and that humans will not be ready!! Pssshhhkkkk! Allies crew, me Iomos Marad and Aneeway, we are in the work's also its coming out crazy check out our single Winter floating around and also our mixtape check out Facebook page Allies crew! I did alot of features too I think we will be seeing 'Cuts & Collabos Part 3' dropping soon and of course 'Crossing The Globe', the LP is sick and will be out this winter! Besides that: World Take Over, purchasing more fly kicks and gear! Marriage, yes, Naomi if you're reading this: marriage!!! 2011! (laughs), recording, recording, recording!! No Sleep Till Mars! Yo thanks for having me!


POSTED 10|01|2010
conducted by cpf

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