Interviews on a computer are dope. Here’s the latest one with Guelph’s Noah23. His recent Neophyte Phenotype is a wonderful mix between technological hiphop lyrics and a hybrid of jungle/hiphop beats. Enjoy.
Andy: I first heard of you (Noah23) about 1 or 2 months ago. So, how old are you, when did you get started in hiphop, and where have you been hiding?
Noah23: Well, I’m currently and coincidentally 23. I was born in Natchez Mississippi and moved to Guelph Ontario Canada when i was 4. I’ve been making and recording music for 10 years, and writing even longer, but have been seriously involved with hiphop for about 7 years. I’m an Aquarian too.
A Yank? Do you claim Canadian or American citizenship? Where do your allegiances lie?
And the journalist swings! I just consider myself perfectly in balance like the Aceyalone track. Haha, I’m a dual citizen, but we all know where the sickest music is coming from.
Yep, the magnolia projects of baton rouge. Bia Bia! The journalist isn’t a very smart one, because he didn’t read up on Noah23 beforehand, so who’s your producer?
My main producer is the Orphan. He is actually a transplant Canadian too. We both live in Guelph. Orphan produced half of my album Neophyte Phenotype and is responsible for much the motivation that gets songs done. I produce as well and have a big grip of guest producers.
How do you make your beats? Do you keep it old school with mpc/sp1200 or are you a new jack with beat programs on the computer?
We here at Plague Language are audio pirates and have no interest in the petty rules of recording. We are hella broke and get the job done accordingly. I suppose I can’t completely dodge the new jack label since we do use computer programs, but we’ve messed around with lots of machines before, but no mpc’s. I personally play guitar, drums and bass and have for a while. I’ve only been a computer nerd for a year.
New jack was a bad choice of term, I more meant new school. How long was Neophyte Phenotype in production for?
Well, some of the tracks were done last year, then there was a break in recording, and then most of the it got finished in autumn to winter last year.
What do you want to do with hiphop? Is this for money and a career, for personal expression, to spread a message?
I’ve always been into making music and always will be. Right now, I’m having a lot of fun meeting people I consider my peers and trading works if you will. Guelph is a hotbed of hiphop talent and I definitely want to and will help bring it to the world. Plague Language is my record label and we have a lot in our forecast.
Who else is your label supporting out of Guelph?
The Plague Language as crew consists of Noah23, Orphan, Baracuda72, Lovely & Hangnail (ShelfLife), Treevortex, Naval Aviator and Hilarious Livestock (Twin Sisters Sound Symbol). Twin sisters have made a few cassettes and the Shelf Life 12 song album will be done in a few days!
We’re going to release a compilation called the Idiot Savant Guard with a few out of town guests, a 12″ of some new Noah23, a 5 song concept EP involving a theme of chakras, colours and vowels called Andy Warhol and the Orphan, and the Baracuda solo album will the be the icing on the cake. W are very very busy. Treevortex dropped a 12″ for is own label Pulse a while back. That’s dope.
What would be the ideal place for Noah23? Where do you want to go, with music and with life?
I’d definitely like to travel the world. i’ve only ever been in North America. Someday I’d like to move to British Columbia for the better air. Guelph’s air is awful. I just want to keep making music and meet different people. I’m also a jungle/ drum and bass emcee and i take that very seriously. A lot of cats trash talk jungle emcees out of ignorance, but its an amazing art. I’d like to rock jungle sets around the world.
What’s the difference between a jungle emcee and hiphop emcee?
To me, nothing. There’s a lot who suck in both categories!
Haha, word. For all those unfamiliar with jungle, like me, who are some credible jungle mcs?
Well, I’d say Fearless and Skibadee, and of course Stevie Hyper (r.i.p.), all from UK. Most people in hiphop don’t realize the skill these cats possess in freestyling double time with melodic undertones, flow change ups. its like sexy math for the armageddon, the cadence I mean. Its all accent, phrasing – shit jungle emceeing is like jazz. Its not all “lighta! blah blah.” I like hip hop rhyming over jungle as well. In the words of Orko “jungle is hiphop fool” . Phoenix Orion and German producer Panacea drop some interesting hiphop jungle.
Orko and Phoenix Orion are as far as I’ve moved into jungle, and I really enjoy it, so I’m looking for some more of that. Thanks for the suggestions. Who would you like to meet?
Oh shit. Sun Ra, r.u. Sirius, Hakim Bey, Genisis p Orridge, Burger Pimp, hahaha, and um like 100 rappers. I think i’ll start meeting a lot more people. I’m gonna peep Scribble Jam this year.
Sun Ra? Dope! We need more Sun Ra appreciation. Are you entering Scribble Jam?
Luckily for the other competitors, no. I freestyle all the time, so it would be fun, but entering was made more strict this year, which I think is good. Battles are so dumb that they’re funny. I entered one in Toronto last winter and went out first round to this cat Bishop (lots of cats named that). It was fun, he was dope too, because it wasn’t on some ‘i fucked your mom’ tip. I saw him the next week freestyling on muchmusic with Michie Mee!
Do you take more influence from the east or west?
You mean like Buddha? He reps the turquoise stones. Well, I’m a horse in the east and an Aquarian in the west, so i’m a seahorse worldwide. I love both coasts equally. Project Blowed to Def Jux.
You’ve mentioned astrology more than once, are you into spirituality and astrology?
Yeah, I’m pretty heavily into astrology. Today, right now is a Full Moon in Aquarius. That happens once a year. I am an Aquarian, today is a good day. Saturday is my shit. I even get to rock a show in Toronto tonight. I’ve haven’t been gigging very much, minus the odd jungle or rock show set, so i’m hype. Its all about synchronicity. Shouts to the Leos trailblazing right now!
Life is a fascinating gift. Simple, complex and precious. I’m NOT religious. I forget about my name sometimes.
That’s really dope. I’m starting to get into that a lot. I’m doing a lot of studies into the divine, souls, and the afterlife. Its fascinating.
I’ve tried to study at least something from all religions. It always goes back to the goddess for me. We are Gaian Bacteria. we live on her. Its neat how most faiths have the same patterns in them. Crystallization of thought and consensus reality get the bozack!
Exactly. How can one standardize religion when spirituality is completely individual. Religion is the biggest bozack getter of them all. Taking faith to create funds.
Why is hiphop important?
Communication and heartbeat. Hiphop is millions of years old and nobody can tell me different. Hiphop is synonymous with life, and life is important because – its dope.
So, where can hiphop take us?
I heard that the word utopia means ‘no place’. I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie Slam, with Saul Williams, but in the courtyard scene, he over comes violence with the power of words. Think about this on a larger macro scale. That’s where hip hop can take us.
So, hiphop can transcend physical violence and confrontation and take us to communication with the mind?
Communication with the Heart. The Mandelbrot heart, haha.
Why is hiphop the way to bridge the gaps between our differences?
Its just universal. All in together, green polka dots and all that. When I was 16 I had a dream that I was in this mansion and in every room there were different aliens playing music. I couldn’t tell the beings from the instruments. The point is that it was a party and we’re all aliens.
Any famous last words?
“Everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes”