Marc Cabrera has nothing better to do than watch a lot of movies and television, and listen to a lot of music. Luckily, he has a job that pays him to blog about local and national arts, entertainment and pop culture. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week is officially “MC Cambio/Para La Gente” week @ The Beat, in honor of our comrade Cambio, who dropped his latest album "Or Will It Explode.”
He will hold a CD release party Friday night at Giovane's in Salinas (more info @ www.MySpace.com/Cambio).
I'm prepping a proper story for Thursday's GO! section, but here is Part 1 of my conversation with Cambio, held last week @ The Cherry Bean. Here, Cambio breaks down how he landed some of the artists who collaborated with him on the album (stic.man of dead prez, Joell Ortiz) and more:
On how he got the collaborations going with stic.man and Joell Ortiz: I had done the stic.man connection through Bocafloja. Boca is cool with stic.man. I hit up (stic's) manager at first. He said "I'm down. I like the concept. I like the beat.“He did it really nice and humble. Same thing with Joell. For that one I had to show them what I had done already. They wanted to see videos and hear the music. Then they said "We'll fuck with you." They're really picky about attaching their names to projects. The collabs are significant for someone from this area. I think when I initially tell people about the collabs, they say “Where are you from again? You're not from New York, L.A., San Fran or Oakland?” (It's good because) that way other people can recognize that there's good hip-hop comping from this area.
On repping for his hometown east Bakersfield:
“It's like saying your from east Salinas. It's a whole other thing.”
On who is releasing the album and where it is being released:
The release is straight up independent, through Quilombo Arte. It will be distributed mainly to Latin America. It's more aimed at Latin America. The Quilombo Artists collective is comprised mostly of spoken word artists and MC's. It's mostly spoken word and hip-hop. Bocafloja added myself and Para La Gentes. We're part of the California portion of that. The last two summers we've toured Mexico. We played Puerto Rico in August 2008. That's all through Quilombo.
On the process of recording the album:
I took a really long time with the album.Bocafloja's the one who randomly heard that last album (“The Bridge Called My Back”). Hopefully that worked as a stepping stone. The last PLG album was loosely associated with Quilombo Arte. The nex one is “official, official.” We're just trying to make it a big collective. When we went to Mexico (in June and July), it was really live. People recieved us really well. The album is out in December on iTunes and CD Baby. People can purchase it right now on www. myspace.com/Cambio.
(More after the jump)
On his videos:
The director is Javier Goin. We were touring with Bocafloja in 2008 and he did the video for “Astro Travellin.' ” He did “Who I Am.” He wanted to do it in the city, but I said “I want to do it in a place where you don't typically see a hip-hop backdrop, where it's a club or skyscrapers on a street. Out here, there's fields and tractors. We wanted to do it from our community (perspective). I'm just trying to show people, I try to come really hard lyrically with this song. That type of lyricism is, for this area, it's a different type of aesthetic for me.
On exposing his students at Watsonville EA Hall Middle School his music:
I give them albums, and I think they support the music. I'm trying to show them we're community people too, and my vehicle happens to be hip-hop. I think they appreciate someone can take that genre and make it intelligent, make it okay to rhyme smart and have fun.
On the evolution of his art:
Before, honestly, I wasn't comfortable in the first years of PLG. The process of creating music was different. I was uncomfortable with a certain style. I said I want to create this type of sound. A lot of conversations with Zach and Omar, we'd be in each others car and listening to something that's different from what we're bumping. I finally said let's create something we're comfortable with. Now, the crew is genuinely into the music.