Awol joins us for this interview to talk about his inspirations behind the project Insert Coin.
RD: What was your inspiration behind Insert Coin project ?
AWOL: The inspiration came from a lot of different places. Mainly because of my irresistible love for the style of Hip-Hop being what I grew up on and of course SEGA. With countless references and mentions of titles such as Virtua Fighter, House of the dead, as well as retro and modern day video games in general. The 90’s inspired me very widely as well, though I felt that I didn’t go in to depth with 90’s culture too much on this record, but I’m sure people will get the idea.
RD: What can you share about the process of creating this project?
AWOL: I can share a bunch of things this project comes with backstories like a timeline of sorts. A tale of vengence, as told in “Return of the Death Egg” which is about me rebelling from a rap group I was once part of some time back that no longer exists. Being in and out of love explained in “Cheat Codes”, “91%”, and “Night Trap”, to partying it with the happy ending of “Birthday” EP which The Doppelgangaz gracefully blessed his presence on the record. There’s a lot of things I can express on this record, but I got you next time though. (Laughs) Stay tuned
RD: Who are your hip hop icons
AWOL: Honesty there’s a lot of icons tons some to whom I wish were still here. Starting off with Sean Price because that man has taught me how to be real grizzly and not give a fuck, Guru, Prodigy, Chinx, Craig Mack, Camu Tao who I’ve gotten a lot of my steel from, a fuckin’ legend, an underrated one indeed, ODB, Heavy D, DJ Roc Raida, Big L, Big Pun, Nas, AZ, Raekwon, GFK, Method Man, DJ Premier, Chuck D, Cypress Hill, Wu-Tang Clan, Killer Mike, El-P, Outkast, Pharrell, Peanut Butter Wolf, Madlib, Samiyam, Tyler, The Creator which dead serious is like my lost younger brother, Earl Sweatshirt, Hodgy beats, GOLF, Alchemist, Kanye West, Sway, Busta Rhymes, Rapsody, Eminem, Cage, the list goes on… RIP to our lost greats in Hip Hop
RD: Did you produce as well as rhyme for this project ?
AWOL: Nah. AWOL Da Mindwriter is just a writer however the entire project was made by The Doppelgangaz. I love their production, their sound it’s one of the main reasons why I started the project, not to mention it was the cartridge sound that I couldn’t let go out of all the games I played. Producers I’ve listened to that equally fitted to what I wanted. #SHARKNATIONAFILLIATION
RD: What is your favorite track from the release
AWOL: I don’t know that’s a hard one. Considering that there’s a lot of classic joints on the EP, but I think mostly “9th Floor”. That record built my foundation and is the reason why I started the idea of “Insert Coin: The Sampler”. It may sound bias, but I don’t give a fuck
RD: What would you like to see for the underground hip hop scene?
AWOL: What I would like to see is more consistency. More open minded artists, people who are actual artists, not just rappers who are in this for a quick check. More action, less bullshit. More real motherfuckers, and less clout chasers. Less toys, more playroom, can you dig it?
RD: Anyone you would like to work with for future projects?
AWOL: There’s a bunch of people I would like to work with on future projects, including people from my side as far as One Take Carter, Maui Mac, Adam Maxwell, Passport General, WGWS, Llewkritive Sly Wolf, True Freedom, Grandmilly and Shozae, Midnite Society. Members from my crew Divine 9 such as Ant Pablo, Numeral Numbers, Emanyouill and much more from #TheLostBorough (Long Island Artists). As far as outside of that, Bodega Bamz, Norm Regular, K Burns, Widowmaker, Rigz, Jamal Gasol, CRIMEAPPLE, Asun Eastwood, Daniel Son, Saipher Soze, Phyba, The Winners (Hus, SmooVth, SageInfinite, etc) Sadhu Gold, Blimes and Gab (Which are the best female duo thus far) Atar’e Godspeed, Sydetrack Imperial, AG Da Coroner, One Be Lo, Roc Marciano. Bishop Lamont he’s been a real dude throughout the process too, shouts to him and Hillie Hill, Action Bronson, Tyler The Creator (one day), Jean Grae, Despot, Vast Aire, Vordul, Ill Bill, Vinny Paz, MF DOOM, Elcamino, Westside Gunn, Conway, Benny, A$AP Twelvy, Nuclear Garden, Dj Al (Cubilas), CF Word (aka DJ Clark After Dark, Al’s good friend), Bad Seed, SCVTTERBRVIN, Dj Enyoutee, Constrobuz, The infamous Tito Sanchez, Mr. Muthafuckin’ Exquire, King David Beats, Revnxnt, THRVD (“The Ravada”), BuBu the Prince, Illconcious, R.A. The Rugged Man, Mayhem Lauren, Al Divino and others I can’t think of at the moment, but damn….that’s a lot of collabs I’d like to do.
RD: Do you enjoy listening to any praticular UG artists?
AWOL: I do enjoy listening to a lot of underground artists, especially today with some of the most gracious talent I’ve seen from lyricists such as Al Divino, CRIMEAPPLE, Daniel Son, Rome Streetz, Falcon the Outlaw, SCVTTERBRVIN but mainly gritty, traditional, lyrical. Anything that doesn’t rupture my listening experience I listen to a lot of stuff from high school too like Little Brother, Justus League, El-P, Aesop Rock, Cage, Tame One, Camu Tao (RIP), Copywrite, Y@kballz, BCC, Buckshot, Murs, Despot, Jurassic 5, Rob Sonic, Hangar 18, artists that people don’t speak of, or know about anymore. It’s rare I can even find people to have conversations with about things like this…it’s rare.
RD: Any producers that you would like to link up with
AWOL: Where do I begin? Alchemist, Black Milk, 9th Wonder, Roc Marciano, King Beats, Pete Rock, V Don, Dj Muggs, Fortes, Eto, DJ Fred Ones, Rob Sonic, Aesop Rock, El-P, Constrobuz, Graymatter, Revnxnt, CF Word, Dj Al, Mr. Len, Statik Selektah, Large Professor, Vinyl Villain The Marty Scorsese of Hip-Hop , Nef, Dokbrass, Khrysis, Ka$h, Nottz, Dj Premier, Jake One, Widowmaker, The Custodian of Records, RobDiner0 (shouts out to both of them and I got some work with them for you guys soon), Fitz Ambro$e, Illm!nd, MDSGN, Madlib, it’s endless honestly
RD: What are your plans for the rest of 2019 more music, shows etc ?
AWOL: My plans for the rest of 2019 is to do more shows, largely widen my fanbase, make more music, make a household name for myself, and establish what I stand for. There’s more stuff in the works I’m not gonna say much let’s just say my light gun’s loaded. (Laughs)
RD: Shout outs
AWOL: Shout out to God first of all for making this possible and for my existence! Big shouts to those that held it down during before and after the time of this record! To my mixing engineers Jason “JD” De Rienzo, and GoldMind of Space Age Entertainment LLC(I love both you and Beesh and everybody in the squad), my family at Divine 9 of course most of all Betty The Producer for The Bakery Studios and all his wonderful works. Ant Pablo for never giving up on me and riding with me. Numeral Numbers and Emanyouill for killing it at aiding almost every show and helping me along the way as well as riding with me every step of the way!! Sean Muknowz (that’s the gawd), King Who (Nuclear Garden), My heart Charlyn (mi Amor, thank you for holding me down, Love You), Quelz for always being my brother, thank you for everything gawd, brothers for life!! Teri Strouse for being the BlondeBomb and a great friend and mentor. Killa for being my brother from another UG for life!! 6 feel better bro, peace gawd, Mary Jane Lindquist for being the greatest mother figure ever! Love you! Justin Fischetto, Grandeye Creative, JewelzintheRaw Films,Kas Kazmere. Atar’e Godspeed for speaking incredible knowledge. GUNDAMNERD for being the illest custom Gundam modeler in the World, 1000words I cant wait for the legendary Pic Rome, Tanboys forever baby. For to all my hardcore SEGA fans, from Master system, to Dreamcast. Especially fans of SEGA Genesis. All my 90’s babies. The party at Respect Due for having me, my fans, Dj Enyoutee, Abstrak(SKMZ) Rhythm Junkies, J57 Yo you’re the man bro!! My mother for birthing me (miss you and love you dearly I will meet you when God calls. Aaron Fredrick, Adam Maxwell, Sivan Jacobs, Queen Mylene and Spec the Kid, Bigg Dogg, The owner of Joes Pizza for helping me during the time of employment to make this record possible. Dmac, Doms, Frankie, Aaron”Yakballz” Biramian, Oliver Lee (free Oli, hope to see you soon) “Free Aaron” aka “Ji-on”, Scrambler$ Gang (TO family, I’ll see you soon!!) Sono Godbody (Free Sono, that’s the fuckin’ gawd, Summer Ave, all my siblings, the family at Groggy Pack ENT, and last but certainly not least, My mother on Earth, who put up with me since young till adult hood, a big lifetime shout-out goes to Tina Jackson, I love you dearly and wish you many more years. Hopefully not pissing you off and picking on you! (Laughs
Follow AWOL on Twitter @ https://twitter.com/AWOLMindwriter