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Tableek Science in rap: the pyke strikes back September 20 is the release date of Maspyke's sophomore album 'STATIC'. It'll be released on their own Bukarance Records in conjunction with ABB Records. For all y'all who haven't checked out their music; the time is now! Since many years they have been makin dope music on different labels. But troubles with some of those record companies, not always made it easy for the group to release the things they wanted to be heard... Maspyke's very own Tableek explains.

Wassup Tableek?

Things are good, staying in grind mode till the lights are turned out!

You're in a group called Maspyke. For those who don't know, who are they?

Maspyke is Roddy Rod, Hanif Jamiyl, and myself Tableek

So how did y'all connect?

Hanif lived down the hill from my parents in Amherst, MA, while I lived there briefly upon leaving Brooklyn (Fort Greene) as a youngster, so I've known him since way way young. Roddy Rod is my cousin, so we've always know each other too. It's a fam thing for real.

DJ Roddy Rod has done a lot of things in hip-hop. Could you give a short overview of some of his accomplishments?

We actually all have got a few projects under our belts individually. Roddy of course has his production for cats like Freddy Foxx, ED OG and Cy Young dropping soon, a new 12 inch dropping on Up Above and an LP with somebody coming soon too. Hanif has an LP called 'Hydro', waiting to drop as well as some features with our peoples from Rude Movements and Nikki Cheeks compilation, and I just did a 12 inch with Jazzy Sport, a 12 inch with this cat Kero, joints on this UK cat Kistas new EP, and I'm recording my next LP 'American Terrorist' this summer.

Aight, dope. The Maspyke LP, 'STATIC', is about to drop soon. What can we expect from it?

STATIC is exactly what people need to hear right now. We had to hold on to it for so long to make sure that it wasn't going to be fumbled like the re-release of the Blackout was. And we also wanted to make sure that, at the end of the day, we would still own our records, which we will be able to do in this case. Of course there is a sacrifice you have to make when doing such deals, but we know there are people waiting to hear this LP. The promo that dropped a while back 'Step' just proved that we're headed in the right direction, and STATIC has songs on it like 'No Big Deal', 'The Summon' and 'Lightly Anxious' that I know Maspyke fans will feel, and also bring along some new heads. ABB Records will allow for us to bring the music to the right people this time out, no more fishing for fans on some random cheap shit.

Actually, the album should've been released in 2003. What happened?

We took time away from Maspyke for like 6 months, and honestly could not accept the kind of bullshit numbers people were showing us. I mean $10,000 for an LP! In 2005! Nonsense! Plus they want to own our shit! We basically recorded exactly what we wanted and then stopped. Some cats make like 30 songs and dwindle down to 15. We made 14 joints, and made sure they were right the first time. There's no filler on this LP. We got all the major food groups so you leave feeling like you got a meal! The record also was a victim of a few leaks, and we needed to 'address' those people immediately before things got out of hand. I think that when it finally reaches the North America, Europe, Australia, Africa, etc. cats will understand it was worth the wait.

Is it the more or less the same album. If yes, are there any extra cuts?

We took nothing away, but we did add like one or two cuts. 'Lightly Anxious' was the last joint recorded for this LP.

The album's released through your own label Bukarance Records in partnership with ABB. Why did you start your own label?

We have been involved with this industry since leaving high school. We got signed to Head Up/Elektra, and so over the years, working with Rawkus, Om, 7Heads, Buds, etc. we were able to get through many doors and gatekeepers of this music business. We always wanted to be able to release joints as we saw fit, and I am hoping this arrangement works out well for ABB and us. I mean honestly, I like to know that we are all able to make loot off of a project. I have no problem with a record label making their dough, I do have a problem with a record label not taking what we do serious enough to invest the kind of money it takes to make some decent change from the situation.

When did you found it?

Bukarance Records was an idea back in the late 90's and became a reality of sorts with the release of the "Gong Show" in 2000.

What do you hope to achieve with your label, will you sign other artists also?

For the label, I would like to see us definitely release a small handful of artists. Maybe like 3 additional acts that are dope. We already got Reef as an almost un-official member of the Pyke, so we would love to get some of his music out. I have my draft pick, Hanif has his, and Roddy has his. What we're going to do is put out a compilation at some point in 2006 and see how the people react. We really want to get the heads that feel what we do to be involved with what happens.

Maspyke featured on the Sound Providers album. How was it workin with them?

San Diego stand up! They allowed for us to take shit back with that record. We wanted to do something that was reminiscent of that style from like the mid to early 90's. Real digestible rhymes, simple hook. It was fun. I only met J from the SP's in Orlando of all places a few months back. That was the first actual contact I had with them.

Is it through them that you got in contact with ABB?

Actually no. Benni B had known about us through a mutual friend. Benni got interested when he was at a club somewhere (dude gets around!) and when 'Step' came on, people were going bonkers apparently. He called up Walt '427' (the 'mutual' friend) and wanted to see what was up with us doing a new LP. As things progressed he offered us the label situation through their RPM situation, and here we are at a September 20th release date situation! (ISA)

You guys were also on a single with R&B singer Chante Moore. How did that happen?

Like I said, we were signed to this label through Electra that had us doing all kinds of guest shots and shit. That was one of the more exposed joints. There some other shit that never got the light of day. Some of it was real dope, like the joints we co-produced for Ronny Jordan's LP. We had to get out of that situation though because they wanted to sound like the shit that was hitting at the time, like Method Man eg. That and some other shit that went down and we stepped off.

The first time I heard of y'all was on the Superrappin vol 2 album with the smashing track 'Truth In Position', the Superrappin albums are a good promotion for new and talented groups. Was that a breakthrough for Maspyke?

I mean, everything that we have been apart of has been a 'breakthrough' in some sense. I have good memories recording that track in D&D Studios, it was a cool two nights!

You guys go way back you even recorded with Doug E Fresh?

Just a remix, but we got to chill with him and all that, which was a real learning experience. When in the right company, he can get real open about shit that he's seen and is into.

Last year, you re-released 'The Blackout'. When was it recorded originally?

It originally was recorded in like late 98, initially for sale at shows. We never intended for it to be in stores unless it was handled with some sort of respect, as it took a lot to get that LP finished! In the end, we settled to put it out with Boiling Point, which was a big mistake, as they didn't really have a plan, didn't allow us to have some control of where the monies were spent, and then we got caught up in some bullshit that ended with that 6 months break I told you about. In the end the LP suffered, but as we own it, peeps gradually have come to hear and respect the project. It is a quality LP in my opinion, but doesn't compare with the new shit we're doing, and the direction we're heading toward right now musically. You will see and hear some truly different and dope shit from all of us in the next coming year (ISA).

Why didn't it come through in the past?

RIght before we recorded 'The Blackout', we didn't have a pot to piss in. Roddy had broke out with his wife to Japan, and we were doing shit like slipping into this dorm room that a friend of ours was staying at in Amherst College, and trying to record as much music as we could till the police came!! It was on some real down and out shit. How things in life are written though, we ended up hooking up with someone who was down to record the LP for us after hearing what we were working with. Upon its completion, we wanted to sell things ourselves to see what the response would be, and it ended up landing us into all sorts of situations.

It was re-released on vinyl in Japan, is it available on vinyl elsewhere?

It was re-released on CD in Japan too, and is going to be on vinyl this summer for the first time! Hit up www.jazzysport.com for details, if anyone is interested.

A lot of your music came out in Japan, you made a song called 'Far East' and I heard you have also lived in Japan? Why this special bond with the country?

'Far East Politics' no doubt!! That's somewhat a slice of the fact of Roddy Rod being there for those 3 years, and us having met some real cool cats in NYC that can push those doors open for us in Japan. I think they also have more appreciation for things that are not thrown down your throat 50 times a day, and many more Japanese tend to dig a little deeper in terms of learning about the music. Here in the states we take the music for granted a bit it seems.

What do you think of the hip-hop scene in Japan?

We just released the Blackout, Static, did joints on this group Breakthrough's LP, put out 12inches, etc. etc. etc. ONE LOVE!!

How is it different from the US?

Money is not the prime motivating force. Don't get me wrong, they're going to make some chedder, but there's also the appreciation of the music itself. Mutual respect and admiration is important, as well as people believing in what we're doing, and showing that respect by paying you accordingly.

You worked with British hip-hop artist Digga. How did that come together?

Digga hit me up and said he wanted to meet me when and if he would come to NYC. Come to find out he wasn't bullshitting, and soon enough I had him chillin with me and some of my peoples in Park Slope and all that! Dude is a true trooper! WHAT UP DIGGA!!!

Is there anything else you do, besides being an MC?

I'm going to keep organizing this tour around the country called 'Video Trapped The Rapper' once a year to expose new music to heads, and showcase some quality name acts. I had so much fun doing it for the first time this past spring with Earatik Statik (Chicago) and Ciencia Fixion (San Juan, Puerto Rico), that I will be doing it again (ISA). I like the idea of internationalizing this hip-hop shit that much further, having dope acts where you might not even know what's being said, but you feel the vibes! It was a beautiful thing!!

How important is political awareness for an MC?

This shit is entertainment. Can't forget that. We are supposed to be making people feel something. I don't know if our shit is so much about being 'politically aware', I mean a song like 'The Recipe' is on some straight hip-hop rhyme shit. At the same time, we like to bring something that will make the listeners think with joints like '54th Regiment' or 'No Big Deal' on STATIC. Hip-hop the culture is adapting to the climate of the political reality we are living under, and will undoubtedly get more aware as time rolls along. At least in some circles.

You're touching a lot of religious issues in your lyrics, being a Muslim and American citizen, how's it life in the US of A anno 2005, four years after 9/11?

It's hard to say exactly where and when things have gotten deep for me personally, as my whole life I have seen and heard about the prosecution of my Muslim brothers and sisters in the states and worldwide. Now, shit is basically becoming hard on everyone, as they begin to enforce this bullshit police state. Those that 'think' they are pulling the strings on this earth (and their servants) are blinded by their arrogance, and the whole world is realizing just how far these people are willing to go to see their vision manifested. I don't claim to know the future of this nonsense, but it can't be good. Shit, they're using nuclear waste in Iraq, and it's devastating Iraqis as well as US soldiers! A political leadership that will bring their own military into harms way leaves regular citizens just about worthless.

Your music has a lot of jazz elements. Do you listen to jazz often? Who are your fav jazz musicians?

I grew up with Jazz being a big part of what our family listened to and took part in, so definitely you will hear that to some degree in our music, but it's just an aspect of what we do. If you like to hear different sounds and landscapes with your hip-hop, that's what we represent. Without jazz, without be-bop, how could we have gotten to hip-hop? For that matter, without the drum, how could we have any popular music? It's all 'black' music. Any 'popular' music has its roots in Africa and the African-American experience. Cats have been making those connections, and I would like to see myself and Maspyke make a contribution to the evolution of our forefather's blood, sweat, and tears.

Do you buy a lot of music?

I try to listen to everything I can get my hands on, hip-hop wise. I think it's ridiculous for cats to be on some 'I don't listen to hip-hop'-shit but they want to make the music. You won't hear a metal artist, or a roots artist, or a punk rocker saying no bullshit like that!! I was a fan before and a fan I will always be! I like a lot of stuff outside of the hip-hop too, obviously!

Who are your influences in hip-hop?

Damn, so many! Tribe, De La Soul, Gang Starr, Kool G Rap, Kane, P.E., N.W.A., Dre. I like Vast Aire, C Rayz, J-Live, Cy Young, Dilated Peoples, my Maspyke crew, Saigon, H the Great, etc. etc. Like I said, I LISTEN to hip-hop/rap!

Who are your influences in life?

My biggest inspiration is the baby's man, for real. They are the light that keeps me going sometimes definitely. The 'fans' (for lack of a better word) too. I feel like I have some things that need to be said and heard in this game. Once I say what I feel will be a contribution, I plan on stepping out.

Top 5 hip-hop albums:

Tribe - Low End Theory
De La - De La Soul is Dead
Main Source - Breaking Atoms
Nas - Illmatic
Maspyke - STATIC
(and my LP American Terrorist when it's finished)

Top 5 non-hip-hop albums:

Too many to name, I'll just give you the artists. Pick an LP, any LP is flavour:
Stevie Wonder
Miles Davis
Last Poets

What's next on the menu for Tableek and Maspyke?

More shows, more dope conceptual LP's/EP's, more 12inches, more music coming in general. I definitely want to be in a position to put out some real dope talent. That's important for me at least.

Shout outs:

All praise to the most high!! Peace to my Maspyke/Bukarance brethren, the DJ's, and the people worldwide checking for us!

Thanks a lot!


POSTED 09|10|2005
conducted by cpf

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