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BEAT TAPE

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.

BEAT TAPE

“The Devil’s Dust” by Grime ONE “Instrumental Album”

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When you hear the name Grime One and the title of his latest work, “The Devil’s Dust” mentioned, most of your assumptions are correct before you push play. No, he’s not here to make you dance… he’s here to scare the living shit out of you through instrumentals.

    But please don’t think this is an ode to the demonic ruler of the afterlife. After all, the “devil” is prevalent wherever we go and it comes in many forms. Grime’s newest dust-themed project is the descendant of his late 2021 first quarter release, “Duste Copperfield”. However, his latest work is even more potent because of the album’s dark theme, and its arrival on “Devil’s Night”, historically an October 30th looter’s paradise in the city of Detroit. In addition, this is one of the more unpredictable beat tapes you’ll ever hear.

    That’s not a bad thing, though.

    Sure, he could’ve taken the easy route and littered the album with vocal samples as hooks. Instead, the vocals he selects are used to lure you in. The samples are pitched down to add to the eerie landscape. Classic example is the album opener, “Mischief”, which begins with a murky, inaudible vocal and quickly turns into an instant head-nodding track you could visualize the Hieroglyphics crew trading verses over.

    “Devil Horns” is perfectly titled, beginning with a newscaster talking about firefighters posing in front of a burning house in Detroit. The horns soon follow, then the drums, and what sounds like an elderly lady humming a spiritual to calm her disgust with man’s evil intent.

    More interesting cuts include “Soldiers”, with its crushing rhythms, “Flatlined”, which begins with another news reporter in the intro commenting on the annual “Devil’s Night”, and “Burn It All”, a culmination of someone frustrated with their own issues plus the problems that plague their daily living.

    Basically, you can tell Grime One really did his homework. Even though the album metaphorically paints bleak pictures of a city once in disarray, amidst the dark tones of the music lies optimism and growth. In a strange way, he finds a way to musically tell you a story for historical purposes, but he also shows you there’s hope…. As long as you don’t succumb to the most powerful dust of them all…. The Devil’s Dust.

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BEAT TAPE

“Detroit Monster” by The Davis Way

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In a highly competitive market like Detroit, you know if you even dip your toe in the pool of music you better be ready to swim. Guided by a slightly different approach than normal, frequent listeners of The Davis Way will immediately grasp he has “the right gear ready” to navigate the water.
His latest offering, “Detroit Monster”, is a glimpse into the world he describes as “cinematic hip hop”. The instrumental project blends the natural elements of that genre, accompanied by operatic themes and haunting vocals. Basically, The Davis Way serves as the maestro on this well-crafted journey.
The album opens with “Foreseen”, representing not only changes in his own music but the lack of attention some of his peers gave to the actual BUSINESS of music. That same business could potentially see any of these tracks garner attention for sync licensing. The mood continues on “Veil Of Tears”, a track inspired directly by a conversation via DM he had with someone about record labels being monsters. In a plot twist, the DM he received could also be perceived as a “monster”.
With additional titles such as the “Bully With The Beats”, the album title track (Detroit Monster), and “Breaking Hearts & Faces”, you can pretty much tell The Davis Way isn’t concerned with the “so-called monster” because he feels “we have the knowledge” to prevail over negativity. “Global Dominance” would be the perfect background music for the rise and “Resurgence” of independent artists not only making great music but empowering themselves through education of the business.
“Detroit Monster” is more than a cinema. It’s a wake-up call for producers to expand the horizon and continue to build their craft.

FB- Facebook.com/TheDavisWay
IG- Instagram.com/The_Davis_Way
Twitter- https://twitter.com/TDavisWay

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BEAT TAPE

Grime One “Duste Copperfield” Beat Tape

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Detroit Producer Grime One Drops The 3rd Installment Of “The Dust Chronicles” Beat Tape Series, “Duste Copperfield”. Grime One is Known For His Grimy, Dusty & Hard Sound, All The Samples On This project Came From Japanese Anime Soundtracks From The Late 70’s & Early 80’s. Support Dope Music And Purchase it!

 

Click Here To Stream & Purchase “Duste Copperfield”

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