featured interview

DJ Pocket Activated With three albums in nine months, the duo of DJ Pocket and Count Bass D are releasing even more records a year than Kool Keith did in his glory days. On 'Activity', their third collaboration of 2010, they knock out some serious bangers. Expect no radio-activity though, unless on college networks: this one is for the heads that dig for that golden underground sound.

What's the secret of making 3 records in 9 months?

There's no secret. We just set our mind to a common goal and did what we had to do to manifest it. We didn't let work (9-5) or family or anything else get in the way of achieving our goals but we still took care of home and made sure everything kept running smoothly. I guess the answer you want is we cut out all things that didn't contribute to our goal and focused on the end result.

Were you on a diet?

Yeah, we diet. Count does a better job than I do. My diet is no beef or pork and lots of beer!!!

Do you exercise?

We do sets of push ups in the lab and hit the gym, plus I got a weight bench set up in the studio, but Count uses it more than I do.

So before starting to record, do you divide the work, like both do so much beats and so much rhymes, do you make a blueprint, or does everything comes naturally.?

Yeah, we have a blueprint...there is no blueprint! Whatever beat I have on deck, Bass D has on deck, we bring them together and start writing. I may have an unfinished track that sparks something creative in Bass D and he will add on and vice versa. Once the beat is done we write bars!

Throughout the last collabos, what were some of the 'rituals' you definitely want to hold on to before recording?

Mentally we were both in a good space so I guess that's the first step. We both wanted to make music and next is some good food, beats, drinks, and a crew to come through when needed. Just an all around good vibe! We just go in the lab and have fun. We try not to think too much about it (which is hard for me) just go in and have fun. The next time I want to be able to dedicate like one straight week to just recording after having a stock pile of beats and see how that goes. I mean leave the lab for nothing but food and...you know!

Ok, ok, besides the actual LP there will be a 'Activity' DVD too?

The LP doesn't come with a DVD but we are working on a "Activity" DVD which contains footage from our sessions starting from 'In The Loop' to the present. Hopefully the DVD will be ready before the end of the year. We are still checking out editors. All editors out there get at us!

Rumor goes that a lot of the recordings on the 'Activity' record were done live at the spot, how much of these rumours are true?

Yeah, that was the plan for this project but unfortunately we fell short with the features. Rayna Shine and Dent were unable to make it to the 'A' (Atlanta, ed.) but all other verses were done in the 'A'!

The working standard of live recording is becoming rare in this internet day-and-age, are you trying to keep away from emailing beats and rhymes back and front on purpose?

I believe...excuse me I know hat the chemistry is better when we, artists and producers, can vibe together in the lab. The energy that we emit can't be produced via Ethernet cables

Are you getting used to rap on a stage yet?

Honestly, I need more practice but I am getting more comfortable with it. When I started rhyming I didn't take into consideration that I may have to hit the stage!

What are your plans with Serious Knock Out Ent? Tell us a little more about how this got together.

My plans are to create a successful independent entertainment company that will exploit its artists, true and natural talents. I want artists to perform straight from the heart and not from a financial standpoint. Rhyme about what is natural and true to you. I want the same from a production standpoint too. I want Count to sound like Count Bass D and DJ Pocket to sound like Pocket and not try to imitate Dilla and Premier like so many producers do. We keep it real with each other and ourselves 100% of the time!

What's the difference between a rapper with kids and a rapper without kids?

Time and money I would say! You have less time and gotta get more money! You have to really be able to balance your time and money and know when and what to sacrifice base on your time. Sometimes you have to sacrifice time with the family to make the music work and vice versa!

Name five things that influenced you guys while composing this record.

1. Have Fun: we just wanted to have fun again doing music so we set that as the main parameter 'have fun' and started there
2. Practice: the more we create, the better we get so it was also practice for us. We have to be able to perform on the spot and not waste time especially when it's on someone else's dime so it was also a way for us to practice while coming up with a product.
3. Family: we need money to feed out families so that was a large factor.
4. Timing: Count and I have been wanting to do a project together for a while but it not be forced and the time presented itself and we took advantage of it.
5. The game needed us: we also did this to show cats that one LP every 2 years is not enough. That's unacceptable in today's society. We live in the days of fast food rap so you gotta be able to produce music like some people flip burgers at McDonalds...how people make 'Donuts'!

'I grind day and night but it's still not enough'...explain the grind game in your case.what does your 'grinding' exist of?

In my case grinding is taking care of the following things on a daily basis: myself, my family, ske biz duties, e-mails, Twitter, Facebook, website, bloggin', producing music for SKE/MTV/etc., mixing, mastering, producing artists (getting the best out of them in the lab), executive producing LP's (overseeing the vision of the LP), listening to music, staying inspired, and I'm sure I forgot a few things...

You can't go through this album without JAX being mentioned...it's been two years now since his passing, in what way did he influence you guys?

In Atlanta JAX was the centre of the independent movement. He connected me with just about everyone I deal wit' in ATL now. He broke down the scene for me and helped me carve out a lane for myself and he did the same for so many others. When I first got to Atlanta I was at a club and said who do I need to get with to get things poppin' here in the 'A' and my man told me you need to talk to JAX...so I did and he was right! Thanks Shag!

Do you guys still listen to Y'All So Stupid 'Van Full Of Pakistans' album- an Atlanta classic- still from time to time?

I haven't heard the whole LP in a long time but I watch the video on Youtube frequently (laughs)

Actually, Atlanta got a great history in hip-hop right?

Atlanta has history in the hip-hop game. Not like New York history but some great artist have come out of Atlanta. Atlanta pretty much runs the rap game right now.

Do you hope that people will grasp back to these albums after noticing the features on your albums?

I do hope that people recognize the talent on the LP, but we really wanted to create a platform for these artists and hopefully spark something inside of them to want to create more and show them it don't take years to make an LP.

What other new talents can we expect from the area?

Walter Lee and Black Folk Inc.! They are my peoples and I vouch for them. They on the come up. We have a LP with them that will drop this year. The rest of the crew you should check for but they been grindin' wit us H2O (Kid Captain CoolOut), S.T.I.N.K. Fest, Hot Sauce, FluxWonda, Eddie Meeks, Count Bass and DJ Pocket.

What books have you read recently?

'Think and Grow Rich' was the last one I read

Do you get inspired by books to write a diatribe?

I get inspired by haters to write diatribes! They keep me on my grind! I need some more haters. Hurry up and hate! (laughs)

What records have you been listening to lately?

Count Bass D and DJ Pocket, H2O (Kid Captain CoolOut), Walter Lee and Black Folk Inc., S.T.I.N.K. Fest, Hot Sauce, FluxWonda, Eddie Meeks

In a car system, a cassette deck, a CD-player, on a turntable, an iPod, an iPad or on the phone?

In the studio, phone and iPod.


DJ Pocket: I got one shout Out and that's Count Bass D!

(At this point of the interview Count Bass D appears.)

Count Bass D: I got one shout-out and that's DJ Pocket!

What's next for you guys?

More music, less talk! Big Up H2O! Kid Captain CoolOut LP coming soon!


POSTED 11|01|2010
conducted by Cpf

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