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Put your hands up for the city of Pontiac! I made a post on my Instagram the other day where I mentioned celebrating the wins of others. Well, this one right here deserves a huge celebration as the team over at Street Gang Productions secured the production behind this certified banger. ILL WILL, METHOD MAN, & BLUE RASPBERRY coming together on one record, needless to say, the replay button might be seeing a fair amount of service with this one. Spreading like wildfire the brand new record has the two legendary emcees sandwiched between the soul spearing vocals of Blue Raspberry in this Pontiac repping 2019 standout! I don’t even have to talk too much on this one, you already know what kind of quality is associated with these artists. Soak in the Shawny Marie visuals of “GOAT” above & get lost in your headphones to this one.

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World Premiere: Semi Six – “Beauty”

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Semi Six - "Beauty"

Wasting no time after unleashing his last banger “DIRT” and appearing on the recently released album from super-group “People Under Detroit” (Illadope + L.A.Z of Clear Soul Forces) is some brand new heat from Semi Six. With a deliverance of clean-cut visuals of himself alongside one beautiful lady for accompaniment the aptly titled “Beauty” offers another sampling of the emcee’s refined abilities. It’s a record that has Semi Six doing what he does best as he illustrates with true lyricism in a fashion that had me reminiscing of Nas style-wise while brandishing his own definitive touch in top-notch form. Shot on location at La Casa Cigars and Lounge, located in Detroit’s Harmonie Park take in the views of “Beauty” above and enjoy!

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Big Gov brings us a Nipsey Hussle Tribute “BLUE TEARS” feat Pierre Anthony

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Blue Tears

Starting off with a piece of the talk Lauren London gave for the beloved Nipsey Hussle, “STAY 10 TOES DOWN, ITS NOT ON YOU ITS IN YOU, AND WHATS IN YOU THEY CANT TAKE AWAY!

Few artist have the ability to take a situation and write a song that makes you feel like your living it. Thats a gift of a true artist/songwriter. This is one of the many gifts the late Nipsey Hussle possessed. It was only fitting that one of the best artist in Detroit express himself over the loss of NIP!  This wasnt any fanboy song, nothing against those but Gov knew Nip and was inspired by his actions. The words from Lauren sounds like what we have come to know and love about Big Gov. With all the tuff guy ill whoop sombody ass in our music today, its great to see there is some emotion left in Hip Hop. Check out this heartfelt song “BLUE TEARS” featuring Pierre Anthony on the hook.

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THE HIP-HOP LOCKER ROOM With Rod Wallace + “At The End Of The Day” Beat Tape

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Welcome to The Hip-Hop Locker Room! After shooting me a submission for his latest beat tape “At The End Of The Day” I had the chance to chop it up with Rod Wallace about the release, his story, & the Detroit hip-hop scene. I’ve been familiar with Rod Wallace for some time now and he without a doubt contributes in many ways to the local scene and beyond. With “At The End of The Day” we get his latest instrumental offering packed with eleven powerful records. Take in the sounds of his latest below and dive into the interview to learn more!

THE HIP-HOP LOCKER ROOM WITH ROD WALLACE

COMMi$$ION:  With your latest release “At The End of The Day”  you mentioned when reaching out to me that it allowed you to tackle a lot of tough situations in the last year. What was it about this project in particular that aided through rough times?

Rod Wallace: Just being able to process change. One of the only constants throughout my life has been music, so I turned to it to help me start processing some of the tough issues and choices I faced. As you get older, relationships change, your expectations of people change. You question your purpose. The only way to deal with some of it is to really become an evaluator of your own thoughts and emotions and how you interpret the things that happen. So I went into a cocoon but didn’t realize these were the records I was making until I looked at them as a whole. I came to realize that making this album was me processing the pain that I hid outside of the studio.

The reason that it is called “At The End Of The Day” is because you have to be really, really honest with yourself and your perception of yourself. It is what it is. There are truths that are inescapable, but living and flourishing within them and giving that to others can help you see the other side.

COMMi$$ION: For those just stumbling across your music or even longtime fans what’s the backstory behind Rod Wallace and when did you get your start in music?

Rod Wallace: I was born and raised in Flint and I grew up around plenty of music. I was in my father’s records on the daily. I started recording music in 1989 and was always more curious about that process than being an artist. I went to Eastern Michigan University and wanted to become a professor, but I continued making music. I put out my first album in 2000. I went to Recording Institute of Detroit and met @MicNotes and we started Double Negative People by bringing our crews of artists together. At the time, I was also a teacher in Detroit, and I used hip-hop as a learning tool in my classroom and eventually as a school administrator. I came back to music in 2013 thanks to my wife, and I founded a music production program for kids at River Rouge High School with Travis Beane called RRAMP that has helped hundreds of kids get started in production and making music. Now, I am back at Eastern Michigan University studying hip-hop pedagogy and urban education as a doctoral student. In the process, I get to work with young people AND advocate for hip-hop and producer culture and the creators in the area. I get the best of both worlds.

COMMi$$ION: Throughout “At The End of The Day” elements from the classroom seem to be sprinkled throughout. Is there, in fact, a theme you were following during the creation process?

Rod Wallace: Since I wasn’t working in the school anymore and that was what I did everyday for a long time, I think I went through a withdrawal to a point. I felt guilty about not being on the frontlines helping kids  everyday, and even though the program I direct at EMU works with high school students, a part of me was missing.

I think that you have to be a good leader first in order to be a good teacher. The problems that exist in education are not necessarily new, especially when it comes to the gap between teachers and kids. Teachers have to realize that being in front of a classroom is not about power, it’s about service. The same is true of life overall. Soon as you think you can exert power over it, you find out quick that you really can’t. If you listen to the teacher, he figures out that he is making the situation way worse than it needs to be.

I think its also about education in general. “Teacher Teacher” is about a teacher that is overwhelmed…..kids going through changes, trying to understand society in general while developing. Teaching can be chaotic, and that songs represents that chaos. I try to convey things through music without having to say it.

COMMi$$ION: You recently were the executive producer on “Phuckenum” by The Dirty Ol Men, a group of producers that meet in a city once per year. This time around that city was San Francisco, Ca. What was the most memorable experience well working on that release & is there any future plans to join them again?

Rod Wallace: The Dirty Ol Men is a group of producers from all over the world. Many of us meet in a city once a year and buy a bunch of records and make music for a weekend or so. We do a weekly vodcast with Digital Hustle Films called the Scratch Magazine Hangout every Friday night. We talk about music and gear and all that, but we spend alot of time laughing at how we interpret life. We have released over 20 projects in the past three years or so. I usually mix the projects.

COMMi$$ION: I’ve noticed that you constantly are contributing to the hip-hop scene both as an artist and as support. Amonsgt the Detroit area are there any particular artists you look up to or have been influenced by either past or present?

Rod Wallace:  I’m a curator of hip-hop. Always have been. I would never disrespect DJ’ing by saying that I am a DJ, I can’t do what Los or Uncle P does. To be honest, I am inspired by the unity and support I see people showing each other more than anything.

I appreciate the music and the culture itself because I critically study its actual power and influence, and because of that I have grown to love and respect the process and people who are hungry for it around me. They deserve unadulterated support because I feel like they are doing it for the right reasons and not only chasing a bag, but adding something to the conversation. Merch Music deserves support. I think Swoop is a star. Street Gang could be the Wu of production teams. Tru Klassick has my favorite record on the planet right now, and I told him that.  Middle Finger Music and Big Gov and Supa and Team Money Hungry, so many different styles. I think knowing that somebody is in their corner is sometimes just enough for an artist to keep plugging in.

I think the most inspiring thing is how many of my former students are making music now and on the come up at the same time. Milfie, E Baby, Jonnie Morris, E-Man Bates, so many others. I mixed a whole album for Damn Jamz called Math In Ink, I was his fifth-grade teacher! To be told that I helped to inspire them is the best feeling in the world because I will always be their teacher.


Thanks for tuning into the latest edition of DetroitRap.com’s Hip-Hop Locker Room with Rod Wallace.

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