Monday, February 20, 2012

Artist Interview: Shag

Back in March of 2011, Oh.G had a "Fresh Talent" article focusing on buzzing producer Shag that can be read here. Just 2 weeks ago (Febuary 10th), Nazzy featured a beat tape that the beatsmith prodigy released entitled Wake Up and that can be read here. I decided to get to know the beatmaker a little better.

Me: If someone was to ask you "who the hell is Shag and why should I listen to him?", what would you respond with?

Shag: I'd start off with, "who the hell are you?" first of all. Then I'd tell them that I like to think I bring something fresh and unique to a world full of over-produced beats. I infuse as much soul and emotion as possible into my music, and I don't think people do that enough anymore.

Me: Is there a project that you have in the back of your mind as your "dream album"?

Shag: I have more dream albums than I can even list. Most of them involve working with MCs who I'll probably never get a chance to collaborate with; people like Common, Elzhi, DOOM, etc. In the end, I'd like to work with someone on the come-up. Someone who has the potential and drive to be like one of those legendary artists. I guess my dream album is just to work with someone who's on the same mental plane as me creatively and ideologically.

Me: Have you attempted to reach out to those artists at all like through Twitter or Facebook? Have you ever gotten any recognition from any "big" rappers?

Shag: Honestly, I try to make one attempt every day at least. I've sent tweets and e-mails to people like Blu, Asher Roth, hell even Lil B. Most of them don't ever respond. I'm guessing they never even listen to the music. The furthest I've ever gotten with an artist is Erykah Badu e-mailing me back telling me she couldn't listen unless I attached an MP3 to the e-mail. Never got anything back after that. Celebrities suck.

Me: Do you have any plans to produce an entire album in collaboration with a rapper?

Shag: I'm working with an artist at my university locally, but we don't really have a timeline down for the album. I'm working with an artist from Connecticut named Jigz though. We've been talking back and forth and I think a 7-8 track EP will be coming out shortly. Other than that, no, but I'm always open for collabs if you know what you're doing!

Me: You've been entering numerous remix contests, would you consider making a remix album in the vein of MF Blends or maybe a whole album remixed like all of the Black Album remixes out there?

Shag: I totally would, and I consider it at least once a month. The problem is, there aren't many good acapellas out there anymore. Artists quit putting them out, and that's sad to me. They think it's hurting their image or something, but it's really keeping true to the spirit of hip-hop. If I could find 11 acapellas I LIKED I would definitely make an album like that.

Me: I know you made a Dilla tribute, I think a DOOM tribute with his acapellas over your stuff would be extremely awesome.

Shag: I've only found about 3 quality DOOM acapellas, but I like that idea too. I think his voice would suit my beats pretty well.

Me: You music is very sample based. Would your craft be effected in a way by the moves the government is trying to make on the copyrighted music on the web?

Shag: I worried about that for awhile (fuck the government for the whole SOPA/PIPA thing by the way), but recently my stuff has been getting a little more experimental/less sampled. Wake-Up was about 50% sample free I think. I COULD do it without samples. Do I want to? No. Would it force me to be better as a musician? Possibly...

Me: Last question and I'll let you go. If Stones Throw emailed you right now and it said "Yo, send us your 5 best tracks", what would you send them?

Shag: 1. Yo
2. Listen
3. Overflow
4. Electro-Snap
5. Crime
And I would tell them to return the bad-ass envelope I decorated as an MPC when I sent them my demo, bastards.

Me: Wait wait, you really sent them a demo in an MPC decorated envelope?

Shag: Yep, trying to stand out. I sent them Keys in it's entirety, slightly edited so the strongest tracks were first.

Me: Hopefully all the hard work pays off dude. You deserve it. Good luck with all your future endeavours and know that anything you put out has a home at Oh.Globe!

Shag: Thanks man, you guys rule. I'm gonna go eat shitty cafeteria food with my roommate now.

Shag's Bandcamp: 

Like him on Facebook here:!/shagbeats

Grab his latest mixtape here:


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