June 15, 2012

Machina Muerte Part 2: Lush One + Cadalack Ron

Machina Muerte Part 2: Lush One + Cadalack Ron
If you haven’t heard of Machina Muerte yet, you’re missing out. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back with the second installment of our three-part Machina feature, hosted and interviewed by co-founder Isaiah Toothtaker. This section features two of their longstanding members, Lush One and Cadalack Ron. Lush One, not to be confused with the Australian graffiti writer, is straight West Coast, and proud of it. He reps his hometown of West LA and his current home Oakland with each breath of his smooth flow, and sprinkles his raps with battle-rooted cleverness. On top of his rapping and production skills, Lush is also beyond busy in the behind-the-scenes of hip hop. He’s the co-CEO of the Grind Time Now battle series and one of the King of the Dot managers, bringing battle rapping to Canada. He even tours Europe with Chinese Man Records, DJs all over, and is signed to LA-based Ever Ready Records. Another prolific Every Ready Records rapper is Cadalack Ron. Although he is also a Cali rapper, his music is Southern-inspired with a gritty twanging flow, and he has maintained his scumbag aesthetic despite chopping off his signature long greasy hair. His album Times is Hard drops on June 26th on Machina Muerte and Alpha Pup Records, featuring a slew of MM members. We had Isaiah Toothtaker interview both rappers, so check it out and learn a little more about these crucial and unique Machina Muerte members.

Introduce yourself, location & affiliates

L1: That mackin-azz playa known as young Lush One… if ya need me holla Uuuunnooooo when ya see me.

CR: My name is Cadalack Ron; I’m from Hollywood, California. Although I currently reside in my homeboy Rhyno’s kitchen on 9th and Normandie, an area I recently discovered is the most active MS13 neighborhood around. I’m from the mighty Machina Muerte family and I am a recording artist on the Machina Muerte label… I also have worked extensively with Blunt Boogie Records, and the Production team known as the Arch Druids… Any other affiliations will not be validated at this point.

What got you interested in rap?

L1: My older brothers showed me Eazy-E, Too $hort, and Ice T as a youngster. I’ve always been immersed in music and grew up in an artistic household.  I’ve always had a knack for writing and creative expression so it was natural that to want to add my voice to the tapestry of the art form that defined (and continues to define) my generation.

CR: My redneck cousins in Memphis, Tennessee were all bumping Easy-Duz-It back in the late 80’s and I learned the lyrics to Eazy-E songs from them before I had ever even heard the records. I think it was mainly the profanity, vulgarity, and misogyny that really got me interested in rap music as a 6 year old.

What makes you want to rap?

CR: Self-loathing and suicidal ideation are definitely my biggest motivators when it comes to rap music. The only way to convey to the masses how dark my psyche can get is through lyrics over beats. Otherwise I would just hang myself but I’m afraid the message would be misinterpreted. I started rapping when I was eight years old, writing shitty rhymes with my older brother about Anarchy and shit. I still feel the same way today when I see whack rappers on the mic I want to smack the shit out of them and show them how much they suck, show them that they have no life experience or concept of true pain and suffering.

What makes you hungry?

L1: I am motivated by the incessant and somewhat irrational desire to leave my mark on the planet. I want to tag up the annals of history.  And since I lack a formal education and many fundamental life skills, being an artist and involving myself in creative endeavors is the only alternative to selling dope and hittin’ licks to stack paper which is the only other thing I’m good at… besides pleasing women.

Do your parents & family know you rap or is it a dark secret you hide in shame?

L1: As previously stated, I grew up in an artistic household.  My parents see me perform regularly and are big supporters of my music.  They even went to see me on the Vans Warped Tour a couple years back which is way out of their element.  My older brother is a film maker and I have 8 songs on the soundtrack to his new film Dragon Eyes with Jean-Claude Van Damme.  I try to explain them the meaning. They obviously aren’t thrilled with all of my content but they respect it non-the-less.  I’m 30 though and have supported myself since 18 so its whatever.

CR: My family has always known I rapped. I think my father just thought I was a wannabe gangster that was infatuated with African-American culture. I was the definitely the black sheep of the otherwise all white family. Later in life, when I started getting arrested and getting into hard drugs I think my parents blamed my involvement in rap music to a large extent. They were probably right.

What’s the name of your current project & can you give a perfect description of it?

L1: I am working on a project called Walls of Gold Pain, it is the follow up to my previous release Gold Bricks in the Wall.  It’s that soulful fly stony music for fast talkin’ hustlas with heavy thoughts.

CR: I just wrapped the new project Times is Hard which will be dropping on Machina Muerte Records very soon. This record has been a long time in the works. It’s collaboration with my blood brother Briefcase (also from MM13) who produced all the beats for the project. This project basically focuses on a 3 year period of my life when I was either incarcerated, homeless on skid row, or in a rehab somewhere. It is kind of a throwback record to hardcore drug raps, street shit, scum fucks, and the streets of Los Angeles in general. It is even more pertinent now I feel because the majority of the last year ended up sucking really bad too, and culminated in a nasty dual Methadone/Heroin habit…

Who was involved with this current project, producers, features & etc.?

L1: I am working with producers who I am shaping my unique gritty yet smooth sound with. Most of them are up and coming and lesser known geniuses who shit on some of the cats getting’ hella burn now a days.  My young patna Matthew Houston from Cleveland is a problem, f’real.  My patna Da Ace from Texas who laced some of the Gold Bricks joint too is super slept on. I find the shy geniuses. I don’t like fuckin’ with cats who work with too many people, I like my own steez.  This cat Perpetuum who is highly respected in the drum & bass realm got some bangers on there. Also GKoop who is Jake One’s guitar player and has an amazing catalog of credits ranging from 2Pac to Nelly to George Clinton I work very close with as well.

CR: As aforementioned this record is primarily Cadalack Ron and Briefcase, but I was super stoked to get to work with most of the Machina family on this one too. Some of the more notable features include: Toothtaker, MURS, and Mestizo on “Dead Horse”, Awol One on “Jackknife” and Luckyiam and Existereo on “Desert of Death”… Although the album features: Rapewolf, Serp…, Hollywood Holt, Inaspace, Lush One, Kap Kallous to name a few. One of the final tracks is the now legendary “Machina Posse Cut” which clocks in at an epic ten minutes and thirty seconds.

What’s different about this project from your past works?

L1: Walls of Gold Pain is similar to Gold Bricks but it is considerably more polished.  My flow is greatly improved.. I’ve worked real hard on being less wordy.. adopting and revitilizing classic song writing techniques to make my at times abstract messages more direct.  Saying more with less syllabyls.. I am also incorporating more of the turfed out and gangsta styles of my earlier works back into the mix, since Gold Bricks and Music for Dope Runs were considerably more boombappy.  The beats on Gold Pain are larger as well.. it has a more epic feel to it.  Alexander Spit and I have been talkin about doin some work for a long time, that would be trill as hell.

CR: The last album I did was Space Cadalack and although I loved the record by the end of the project I was totally burned out on it, and I had pissed off a lot of people, including crew members. I just wanted it to be released so I could move on creatively. I feel disconnected from a lot of that record, even though I love the songs. This record is way more personal, so much so that it gets hard to listen to for me because it brings up so much real life shit. It’s like I had a camera crew with me in my darkest hours of loneliness and desperation. So now I don’t have to commit suicide I can just listen to this album.

How did you get linked up with Machina, what brought you to it?

L1: My introduction to Machina came very organically. It was based on friendship, a mutual respect for one another’s work, and a similar outlook on music and life in general. Even though I am a fan of every artist in the clique, my musical aesthetic and sensibilities are at times far different from the other members. We come together because all have a certain trillness about us and we put family first. Originally Mestizo, Cadalack Ron, and Rheteric who was on the set at the time brought me in but you know you ain’t finna get down period unless Isaiah respects you.

CR: I met Mestizo back in 2007 when I booked him for a show at some monthly I was throwing back then. I had only recently started getting super active in the LA underground scene following my release from Rehab in 2006. He recognized my skills and more importantly my grind. I was putting in overtime in the scene, booking shows, playing shows and sending myself on tour a few times a year. In 2008 me and Stizo toured the Northwest together and really clicked on some real life shit. I was one of the “rougher around the edges” dudes in the scene in LA at the time. Really back then the only other shit out was like Swim Team and they could all spit, but I wasn’t from the Blowed and I wasn’t a punch line rapper making conceptual records about fictional shit, ya feel me? Swim Team is all homies by the way, but I clearly wasn’t part of the typical rap scene at that time. I was fucking with Blunt Boogie Records super tough and working on side projects with the Arch Druids (Don Chalant and Animoss) and that’s really where I wanted to be. Animoss produced most of my 2009 record Last Known Photograph of Robert Paulson. it was right before some battle in 2009, when Mestizo asked me to join Machina Muerte, and I didn’t even know what it was, but I knew I would ride for the homie, so I was like “fuck yeah.”…

Describe Machina Muerte and your role as a crew member?

L1: Machina Muerte is a family, movement, artist collective, and state of mind.  We are based on the principles of integrity and honor, and everyone in the clique has gone thru some crazy life experience that define them as incredibly powerful people.  We got that gangsta-ass punk rock psychobilly 1970s horror film vibe. We will kill you, and you’ll like it.  I’m the one who keeps the party crackin’ with insatiable appetite for debauchery.  I’m the professional sinner with a heart of gold of the crew. Plus I’m kinda famous and kill posse tracks every time. Me and Plex hold down the Bay Area for the clique, got all the young turf patnas in the OAK reppin’ MM13.

CR: Machina Muerte when I joined was just like the illest new crew ever. I mean people were getting their feelings hurt because they weren’t getting asked to be in the crew. We had OG’s in the scene asking us to join, we didn’t have to recruit. We had fake ass fuckers claiming MM who had never got put on, it was buzzing super tough. Everybody got Machina Muerte tattoos, most of us got more than one MM tattoo hahahaha… I have 3 I think. Wait no, 4 actually. It has since evolved into a family, a record label and a true brotherhood. I think Isaiah Toothtaker has really led us into a great new era of Machina domination, where we just refuse to tolerate whackness, bull shit and mediocrity. All releases from the label this year especially are guaranteed super tough. I mean I feel like that old school Wu-tang interview segment and shit, you know, “ This is the shit I’ve been waiting to hear” type shit. My role as a crew member is to represent in everything I do, every battle, every track, every appearance, just to live Machina Muerte. To be there for my comrades, whether at album releases, copping their records on iTunes, making sure they don’t die, or in battle when necessary. I’m an OG from the crew and it is my responsibility to conduct myself as such, and to set an example for future MM’s or for other kids in general.

Now that you’re a member, If you could choose anyone else in the universe to join Machina who would it be and why? 

L1: Fuck man, Trent Reznor would be raw. Him or Juicy J.

CR: Pretty much like everyone I would want to be from Machina is already from Machina, but if I could get some of my favorite rappers to join Machina it’d prolly be like, Bun B, Kool Keith or Nico Claux…Bun is an obvious choice as a super OG in the game and someone that steadily puts out dope shit, Keith is an all-time favorite rapper of mine, and Nico Claux is a vampire serial killer from France and sick artist who actually helped me sell my soul to the devil in 2004. If that’s not MM13 I don’t know what is.

What’s your dream music collaboration?

L1: Not on an all-time level but for right now I know for a fact that Clams Casino and myself would make one of the trillest albums imaginable if we did some work..  I’ve always wanted to work with The Neptunes too. Sade.  Mac Mall is a dream collabo that will come true some point soon.

CR: I’ve always wanted to do a track with Kool Keith, just because I’m a huge fan, and he influenced me the most as an aspiring rapper because he was always doing different shit. Keith was rapping about prostitutes on Sunset and LaBrea when other people were rapping about clothes and shit. These days though I’d be super geeked on working with Project Pat and Brotha Lynch Hung as well.

What’s your worst or shittiest experience with rap or rappers?

L1: Dealing with Grind Time Now. And battle rappers in general. The shitty ones and the ones with false senses of entitlement especially.

Favorite rap related movie, why?

L1: Rhyme & Reason is classic as fuck.  I love the old school E-40 footage and I like to make fun of how pretentious KRS comes off ahaha.  No diss, but he just be soundin’ like a boring college professor or some shit, I respect him and all but his voice is funny when he lectures people and gets all serious and into it.  And fools can’t front of Juice for the simple fact of how impeccable that soundtrack was.

CR: Tales from the Hood was pretty fresh. There’s this documentary I was just watching called “rhyme and punishment” which is all about rappers in prison and shit. As clichéd as it sounds though I really liked 8 Mile… I was at a Phish concert in Ohio and I had just gotten arrested in the Columbus Airport for drug possession I ate a bunch of LSD and 8 Mile was on pay per view at the Holiday inn, I was like “ oh shit this movie is about me”…HAHAHAHA…fuckin’ Acid.

Who’s your favorite actor slash rapper?

L1: Pac was an incredible actor, let’s be serious now.  Watch Gridlock’d if you don’t believe me.   T.I. was real good in ATL too.  Macy Gray don’t count but she was extra ratchet in Training Day and I loved it.

CR: None really, but I’d like to see Gucci Mane in a high budget action flick. Ice Cube in Anaconda, “You mean they snakes out here dis big!!!!”

Who’s the ugliest female rapper and why?

L1: I have an odd fetish for female rappers, it’s very disconcerting. Most of them are pretty damn hot.  I’ll say Missy on default, but I feel bad for saying that cuz she’s dope. She’s one of the only ones I can think of that I wouldn’t fuck tho.

Name two rappers and the animals they look like?

L1: Mike Jones, Chamillionaire, Slim Thug, Paul Wall (aka all the Houston rappers who blew up in 04) and The Lox ALL look like Ninja Turtles.  Mestizo looks like Chester Cheetah.

CR: Snoop Dogg literally looks like a Doberman to me always has. The Grouch looks like David Carridine from Kung Fu.

Out of all the dead rappers which one made the worst music?

L1: Dolla. Sorry, no offense…RIP. “Who the Fuck was That”

CR: Dead Rappers…Heavy D. Even as a kid I wasn’t a fan.

Which rapper has the longest musical future?

L1: Too $hort. He started at 16…he’s like 46. He gon go ‘til he like 96 on some BowFly shit.

CR: That’s a hard question to answer; the scene evolves and changes so frequently. I really try and stay focused on my own longevity as an artist. I think Machina Muerte rappers are set to dominate for years to come.

What will we see in the future from you? 

L1: In the future you will see me everywhere.  I’m still not stopping ‘til I get my real estate of Jupiter. My place in the sky.  But before then I’ll be on tour in France for a month and a half this summer with my electro trip-hop homies Chinese Man Records who we rock star giant festivals in Europe with every summer.

Any last thoughts or shout outs?

L1: WEST up, Machina is the set ‘til the death. I love you Peachez.. .roll somethin’, po’ up some syrup, or pop some molly and get on.  We out this beyotch.


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