featured interview

Ta'Raach The lovelution will not be televised A product of the Detroit scene and now chillin under the Pasadena sun, Ta'Raach, formerly known as Lacks, has recently released his sophomore album 'The Fevers', an effort that not only confirms Ta'Raach's exquisite producer and rap capacities but also introduces the world to the Lovelution Prosper, his group, but also a movement, a vision and a statement...

Wassup Ta'Raach? First of all should we still call you Lacks?

Naw, actually I prefer Ta'Raach.

Why did you 'kill' Lacks?

I killed the idea of Lacks because of what it affirmed in my life. Ta'Raach means 'He who submits to the will of God'. Anyone who truly knows me has known me as that name since the beginning. So this is my second life if you will. Lacks reincarnated as Ta'Raach.

Let's go back to the beginning, you've toured Europe with techno legend Carl Craig...

He was one of the few who was always supportive of my growth and developing technique and sound. He taught me much more about business but he exposed me to quality routes of capturing full sounds. If nothin less he is a primary contributing factor to my texture in the studio. I learned a lot of little tricks and what not from the places he guided me to.

So as a hip-hop artist, how was it workin with a house producer/DJ?

When I first linked with Carl, he wanted me to be the face of his hip-hop imprint Antidote. But to promote that, he featured me on his album 'Programmed' with his band Innerzone Orchestra. They had planned a European tour but because it was primarily a producer's record I was put on the tour as the lead vocalist. With that, I headlined all the major jazz festivals in the world including the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. We performed with Incognito and Alanis Morissette that night. Mimosas in 90 degree weather overlooking snow caps...What more could you ask for coming in as a new artist?

Are there any more collabos coming between you and Craig?

I hope to have him executive produce a future album for me in the future. Kinda play the role that Dr. Dre would play for someone. I'm also interested in forming a live band with him but nothing is finalized as of yet.

Hookin up with J Dilla must've been a crucial moment in your music career, how do you remember the sessions for the WelcomeTo Detroit track 'It's Like That'?

That's simple. Myself and Tone went to his home where his studio was in his basement. He played some random beat for us. We wrote the verses and what not. Cut em in like 10 minutes or so maybe less. A week later he had reworked the track, mixed and mastered it. When I heard the final version, it was at studio A while he was cutting mixing and mastering 'Shake It Down'. The boy didn't play and he was good.

It was J Dilla who got you started producing, is that correct?

Naw, that's a total misconception. Me and my crew at the time was always in the studio working before we had ever heard of Jon Doe (aka Jay Dee.) When I first walked into R.J. Rice Studios (Barak, before it was Barak), they told me I sounded kinda like JON DOE who had left a couple days before working for Q-Tip in the Ummah. They literally threw me into a small room with a MPC, an SP 1200, and a S950 with no manuals and said 'If you can't make a beat with no manuals you shouldn't be makin' beats cuz u don't love it.' After a bunch of beats, a couple releases, and a lot of hype J (Dilla) got at me and Big Tone about doin' a song on his album 'Welcome to Detroit'. That was in like...What 2000. I was 23-24 by then. We had been fuckin' around in the lab since we was 15-16 years old.

Did you have affiliations with Wasted Youth?

Naw, not really. Big Tone was really my only affiliate in the whole Wasted Youth campaign. I love what they do though and their theme.

Who and what was The Breakfast Club?

The BreakFast Club was an artist support group started by myself and Big Tone then later Elzhi (Slum Village). It was never really a rap group. In our city, a lot of talented people would go to the studio but no one really had the ear or the sound to complete a decent song. I mean mixing and editing and sequencing for projects and all of that. For some reason me and Tone had it. We did it and it sounded good. Plus we had incredible training from men who I still consider to be the best. So Breakfast Club...Ta'Raach, Big Tone, Elzhi, and Dwele would do songs together, help each other on solo joints and perform whenever we felt the public would appreciate it. That's the crew no more or less. After doin' College radio at MSU I returned to Detroit and helped Tone mix and sequence his first album 'Ear Candy'...Dwele loved how it came together. In fact he was so inspired he did the 'Rize' album. Later we took some random joints we had and sequenced The Breakfast Club album 'Really?!?!' We only sold like 20 copies on cassette. Really on some lazy shit but the craze hit and muhfuckahs in Japan Germany and everywhere else had a copy. Last I remember copies of the original tape on CD where selling for $80. I guess we did something people loved.

There only was a limited pressing of 60 cassettes...any CD/LP re-issues coming of that? Can we still hear that music somewhere?

We are negotiating for doing a repress of the 'Really' album. Vinyl, cd's, and all that. It's a set-up move for our new album we workin' on now. Crazy right, after Dwele on Virgin and Elzhi in Slum Village and me and Tone cultivating independently...after all these years we finally taking over with a new BreakFast Club album. I really don't think the world is ready for real artists writing recording mixing and doin' they own beats. It's like Dre, Dilla, young Quincy Jones, and Marvin Gaye doin' an album together. I'm anxious to see how this release turns out.

How would you compare The Lovelution with The Breakfast Club?

The Lovelution is a publishing company I started with a staff of designers, writers, musicians, composers, beat makers and what not that work around the clock at what they love. These people are innovating the times with an obscure but undeniable quality. They or rather 'we' are raising the level of standard of the average consumer to match what they have faith in. Success. Even better freedom is defined as having the choice. All we really want is quality achievable choices. So instead of sitting back and complaining, we decided to supply the demand ourselves. With that being said there is no real difference between The Lovelution and The Breakfast Club. I think Breakfast Club is really just the outsourcing of some of the works created by The Lovelution Staff.

What's your meaning behind the name 'Lovelution'?

The Lovelution...first of all, the full name is The Lovelution Prosper. It's an audio-visual design company. I noticed everyone talking about revolution and how we can revolt. The only solution is Revolution. But realistically no one knows what revolution means. I figured out for my life anyway that the love you put into what you do is the only to turn things around...or make a bad situation good or a good situation better. So instead of 'Revolution' it's a 'Lovelution', feel me? And we are the Prosper of that Movement. The Lovelution Prosper is more of an affirmation. It's literally the title of the company we keep. For us the only solution is Lovelution. Hence the motto: LUv SUmthin.

Thelovelution.com: what can we expect from it?

TheLovelution.com will be a lifestyle-marketing site with a focus on the portfolios of the unnoticed unacknowledged pioneers of our culture.

How much did it take to complete this album?

To complete this album, it took 2 years a lot of patience and plenty of love to keep it goin'.

You recorded a song in Cologne, how did that go down, through Groove Attack?

Yeah, Lovelution has a label through the distributor Grooveattack in Germany. I went out there to record a couple of joints and mixed and mastered with Kut-L. Of all of my experiences I enjoyed it the best, Kut-L and Todd Fairell at studio A are my engineers of choice, hands down.

You have quite an affiliation with Europe...

Yeah, I guess it just works out that Europe appreciates music that suggests depth in perspective and vintage Feel, more so than America. But we are working on that.

There are a lot of guest features on the album, in some reviews I've read critics thought they were even putting you on the background, but was this on purpose? Like as supposed to your first album, to let the producer in you take over a part of the album?

Well 'The Fevers' was my chance to show that I wasn't just a rapper. It's pretty hard to get respect for doing both. I've read critics that felt the beats were cool but preferred to here me rap more, and others that thought I was just a producer and felt my raps was mediocre. It's crazy, I even heard some that say Dilla can't really rap?!?! After the 'Re:Lacks' album, which was a bunch of old joints that I let surface as a mixtape, I felt the world needed to know how we get down in the D. Beats and vocals done lovely. I just wanted the chance to premier some of the Lovelution's writers and musicians. So I put them on my back and carried the theme. Expect to see more of it too.

What's the biggest advantage for an MC to be also the producer of the album ?

The time to perfect whichever. I can cut as many beats as I want and write as many raps as I want and don't have to wait for anybody or have a beat snatched from me. I'm payin' myself for doin twice for doin' one thing. Can't beat it.

How much and in what way has moving to LA changed you as an artist?

It stretches my perspective from a greasy industrial one to a 'beaches and tanned women' one. It's also very culturally diverse in LA. So I get a chance to get exposed to lifestyles first hand I wouldn't have access to in Detroit .

Would you have made the same album if you still lived in Detroit?

Not at all 'cuz a lot of people on the album I met in LA travels.

Over there you connected with Aloe Blacc to do the Nathaniel project, are you workin on any new material together?

Yeah me and Aloe got like 9 songs done for the project but they playin the back burner so he can promote the Stones Throw album.

How much do you go back to the D?

I try to go every few months and stay for a minute to keep grounded and see family. I really miss the people.

How did you get with Sound In Color, the label mostly known for Steve Spacek and Sa-Ra releases?

My mans Blu linked me up with the CEO, Louie. We got along well and I didn't even submit any demos, we just inked the deal and I started cutting. Good looking Blu, you my Brother for real, forever.

You also started your own Earth Angel Records label, have you encountered a lot of bad experiences with labels?

The only bad experiences are the run-ins with the distributors, but it's common that most companies are afraid to take music and marketing risks to campaign. Earth Angel is a cutting edge label for Lovelution. We do all music for all genres. I think Grooveattack had different ideas.

The latest release is 'Elovee' tell us about that project..?

I been messing around in the studio for years but never on my own feeling or time. Always on someone else's. Booking time working during open hours and what not. I finally bought an MPC in May of 2004. So ELOVEE pronounced L-O-V, short for LOVE, is my first batch of beats from my heart. Lovelution's first official release through Earth Angel

What else can we expect on your imprint?

You can expect 'The Mickey and Malorie' compilation, and the band Dirty Love. Their album is called 'Cumming 2 Amerikkka', also C.R.A.C. Knux.

Tell us more about C.R.A.C. Knuckles...

When we started the group C.R.A.C. Knuckles everyone had a drink of choice so we just exploited that idea on some Wu-Tang shit.

Why are you the Grand Marnier of the group?

I'm Grand Marnier because I prefer top-shelf treatment with a little kick. Still smooth but with a punch. You know.

We have a few names to comment on, please go ahead:

Cris Prolific:

Innovative

Dabrye:

Futuristic

Hodge Podge:

As a matter of factly.

Blu :

Below the Heavens.

Platinum Pied Pipers:

Industrial Soul.

What's next for Ta'Raach?

I just gonna do as much as I can within our culture and community until the walls come down and then keep moving. I think I'll start with a real solo album.

Shout-outs?

I wanna give a shout out to all of the people who are a part of the Lovelution and its affiliates and all of the people who know and don't know: the Gods are back again.

Thanks!

Thanks for your time. It was my pleasure and purpose. and P.S.: LUv SUmthin.

 

POSTED 04|01|2007
conducted by cpf

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