Shylow is an emcee/producer from Canada’s Bomb Shelta Association; he’s also a member of the groups Pillosnatchaz and H.L.I.
Andy: ok, first and foremost, who are you and what set you claim?
Shylow: hahahha. Name’s MC Shylow, of the BSA (Bomb Shelta Association)
Andy: What about age and geographical location?
Shylow: 22, From Parts Unknown
A: Parts unknown? Is that next to the great divide just south of Atlantis?
S: Could very well be
A: hahaha, alright. Well Shylow, what current projects or upcoming projects can we expect from you and the BSA?
S: Right now I got this little thang called Please Listen to My Demos. It’s a collection of all my demos from like 95 til now. I put it all over the net, and imma be handin out cassettes n shit, to help promote the 12″ I’m aiming on putting out early 2001. As for the BSA, that’s all up in the air right now man, no definitive plans where the rest of these cats are concerned.
A: So you’re currently estranged from the rest of the BSA. Was there some sort of ugly, behind the scenes dispute? Was it the timeless argument of coke vs. pepsi that ended the group?
S: Estranged? What gave you that idea man?
A: Well, you released the album in 1997; it sounds like you’ve become completely removed from the rest of the group. You said no definite plans as the rest of the cats are concerned.
S: Let’s get something straight, the BSA ain’t no group, that’s why we’re called an Association. That compilation was just that, a compilation. Its purpose was to showcase all of the members beneath the shelter umbrella, with hopes to gain recognition as individuals, not as a group. Shit went the other way, couldn’t be helped, but the fact that we was never and never will be a group still stands.
I always was a solo emcee; I was before the BSA and still am now. Yeah, I got my thang wit the Pillosnatchaz and H.L.I, but the BSA has no intentions of doing an album, we never had an album. We all here to help each other out n shit, weather its wit cuts from one of our djs, guest appearances from one of our emcees, or beats from one of our producers, no obligations just associations, feel me?
A: Oh, well damn! I always thought you guys where a group! Sorry. What are you currently listening to?
S: Well right now I’m listening to Big Daddy Kane’s Taste of Chocolate LP. Lately, ain’t shit out that’s new that I’m feeling man? As far as emcees go, I’m feeling Copyright and the mHz crew, Encore, Planet Asia. On the production tip, well, DJ Premier, and that’s it man. Since everyone’s biting his shit, I gotta leave it at him; he’s the originator of a style that everyone wants but cant duplicate. Premo is the man, no question.
A: Do you see yourself as trying to reproduce the same vibe as a premier or Pete Rock on production or are you trying to bring a more innovative approach?
S: I see myself like a Premier or a Pete Rock, in that both have consistently kept their shit grounded to the roots of hip hop music, and their sound has always been dirty, so in that sense yeah. but when it comes to style and formula, man, you know that I gotta come wit my own shit, biting is for suckas man, that’s what’s killing hip hop today, too many mufuckaz biting shit, djs producers and emcees alike
A: For real! Which one figure do you think is ruining hip hop?
S: To answer that question imma say this, the biters know who they are, they do that shit consciously, and if they reading this, they know who they are, I don’t need to tell you.
A: who did you support during the hip hop coast battle? East/West? (Is that another bad situation question?)
S: I was impartial to the whole shit, because I got love for both coasts. At the time the west coast was mostly known for its gangster shit, and there was a lot of shit I was feeling at the time. MC Eiht is my favorite gangster rapper of all time man; I had love for the west. Of course being that I from the east my heart was always here, but on the real though I wasn’t about choosing sides man, both coasts got they shit equally.
A: From what I understand, you don’t seem to condone “name calling” to get attention. What do you think of artists like 50cent and Canibus who build careers on this “calling out?”
S: Personally man, people do what they do and they gonna do it no matter what kids think, and that’s cool, cause it don’t concern me. I let my skills on the mic do the talking for me. What’s the point of me starting up beef over rapping man, I wanna connect wit everybody in hip hop, this whole culture needs to ban together and help keep this shit alive, too much garbage out there and its killing this shit. Beef is when you fuck wit my family, not hip hop.
A: Do you have a hip hop “idol”?
S: A few man. Before anything else I’m a hip hop fan, straight up. Big Daddy Kane, Special Ed, Lord Finesse, King Tee and Ice T all inspired me as an emcee. As a producer, Marley Marl, Pete Rock, and the main man in this shit Dj Premier were all major factors in my decision to venture into beat making.
A: Who were you rooting for in the classic BDP vs. Juice Crew?
S: tracks or the real battle?
A: Both, which did you like better
S: I’d have to say that the battle was really between Krs One and MC Shan, not really a crew battle. Of course the two dissed each others crews, but the battle was never a crew thang, it was the individuals defending their respective turfs, and I’d have to go wit Krs One on that shit. It’s a known fact that hip hop was Bronx created; it was senseless to dispute that in the first place.
A: True, but KRS seemed a lil edgy. Do you think the battle was valid on KRS’ part or was he throwing one sample from “the bridge” way out of proportion?
S: man I don’t know, I’m not from NY, and I wasn’t there, so I don’t know if some shit went on or not, all I know is that when it came to the tracks that were cut in the studio, KRS One came out on top in my opinion
A: True! What’s your favourite sport?
S: I don’t watch sports. I watch sports entertainment (a/k/a wrestling).
A: My kind of guy! What do you think of the recent Benoit push?
S: I’m not sure just yet, imma wait and see how that develops, its cool so far though… lets keep this shit hip hop though man, that’s what this is all about right.
A: haha, alright. Do you buy the source?
S: Been boycotting the source since they gave Lord Finesse’ last LP 3 mics. I don’t buy any magazines, all they good for to me is posters for my bedroom walls.
A: I have to ask one more non hip hop question. What do you think of Americanization, the controlling most of the “1st world” by America?
S: Where are these questions coming from? Shit just ain’t relevant. I deal wit hip hop 24/7 man, that’s my life, its what I know and love, that’s me.
A: Sure it is man! I’m wondering what you think about domination of the world by one power.
S: A one world nation, I ain’t wit that shit, we survive as individuals by our cultural differences, without that what are we?
A: ah well, now for a wrap up question, what is hip hop?
S: Hip hop is the expression of the oppressed, hip hop is street, ghetto, black and Latino, hip hop is gritty dirty and as real as it gets. Yeah, on the TV and in your stores its bigger than that, but the roots have been forgotten, and everyday that I do this shit I do it knowing that I’m a contributor, and will never truly be that which is hip hop, though I love this with every ounce of my being, its a reality that I think most are afraid to face, one that as a realist I must.
A: Well Shylow, thanks for the interview, you’ve been great!
S: No doubt, peace kid