The Blue Scholars - conducted by Sam Cameron  

The Blue Scholars

January 2007

Geologic: We had connections in the scene from that. Yeah, so immediately when we started making music and looking for shows to rock, our friends from promoting shows with, they started putting us on every once in awhile, so we consistently did some underground shows with Sage Francis and then moved up to Lyrics Born and Idea and Abilities and then at that point two things happened locally. One was the Bumbershoot spearhead De La Soul period of 2004 where we finally started getting visible to a different audience other than the underground local hip hop scene and two: college radio, particularly KEXP (90.3 fm) playing the shit out of our music and exposing us to larger audiences. Those two things happened spontaneously. It took us a year to sell our first pressing, and then two months to sell another 1,000.

Sabzi: In retrospect, when you do something like this and work related to this for like 6-7 years it all kind of blends together and you start to see things happening. But the fact is that radio play really had a big part in it and I think that's really important to know. Because even on this underground independent group that has come up and done it all on their own, tooth and nail, we needed that radio to get to that point.

MVRemix: The first time I met you guys you were on the street passing out flyers for your show. Do you still do that?

Geologic: Still doin' it. We have to until we can pay someone to do it for us.

Sabzi: Right now there's an experiment at the Common Market camp. We have a girl that's stepped up to be street team captain. And a lot of these people that we are helping in the community are helping with the music.

Geologic: That's why we make the music that we do because we know we'll attract people that want to do things for the community too. They'll be fans of the music and they can come to us and, not that we'll tell them what to do, but if they have questions we can point them in the right direction. A lot of them deserve more credit than they get.

Sabzi: It makes the music something that's not just owned by us, but it belongs to everybody. So with the Common Market camp you have kids that are passing out flyers to promote the show and then they come out for free and then we have barbecues and then the music really does belong to everybody.

Geologic: Quite literally, sometimes they'll even be chilling in the studio in large numbers when we're recording.

Sabzi: Right. They'll be like you're about to blow up, which is cool (both laugh).

MVRemix: What effect does your music have on listeners?

Geologic: On a very basic level, just maybe feel inspired to take action. I mean if you're around me and Sab enough and have enough conversations with us

Sabzi: You'll get sick of listening to us talk.

Geologic: Or you'll start developing your critical listening and critical thinking skills, and we're still working on doing this ourselves. Dialogue. Dialogue is one of the biggest things. People talk about when you write a song you open up a dialogue and all this abstract dialogue. I'm talking about real dialogue like two, three, five people in a room talking, building. That is some shit that I'll never take for granted man because I write my best rhymes after having a really good session chilling with some folks talking about some real shit. Maybe not even talking about some real shit, just talking.

Sabzi: Human beings need to be in a community, but the way this economy works and particularly the spirit upon which countries like this have been founded is to separate every individual. Pursue your individual path and be alone.

Geologic: Have friends but have friends that are also on their own individual path.

Sabzi: That really only makes for a very disconnected and disorganized public that is then susceptible to anything that the government wants. We'll basically rely on television and the purchasing of commodities to fulfill any need we have, be it material, mental or spiritual.

Geologic: We're just trying to bypass that. Not saying we can ignore all that and create our own pocket of society, but we all want something better than this alternative that we have now and if we can start creating that on a micro level, than more and more people start slowly rejecting on what's going on. It's all based on dialogue. Myself I'm definitely interested in liberation movements and political economic structures but you can't even begin to address those issues if you can't have a regular conversation.

MVRemix: So what does it mean when someone says a musician is politically minded?

Sabzi: Raw politics, not politically party minded, to reclaim the real meaning of the word.

Geologic: Anytime that I get a chance to call something politics that's different from your mainstream definition I do. Your average person will be like 'politics, I don't fuck with politics,' but what they really mean is they don't fuck with democrats and legislatures and bills and all that shit.

Sabzi: If you want to be not politically involved like that, great (both laugh).

MVRemix: An Oregon paper said You don't need a message to make great music, and Classic hip hop albums don't have social messages. What do you say to these statements?

Sabzi: One is an opinion and the other is absolutely false.

MVRemix: Do you think it reflects on today's society?

Geologic: Not to be a Sith and deal in absolutes, but for real, when it comes to art you're either leaning toward art that you seek for a higher purpose than just existing as art or looking at art as just something beautiful that not necessarily has to say anything, it's just art. Most people will acknowledge that there needs to be both to be considered great. It has to be dope and it has to have a message.

Sabzi: Yeah, there are a lot out there that have a message and the music sucks.

Geologic: You definitely lean one way, you either think the message is more important than the form or the form is more important than the message. It's all about the message don't get me wrong, but if the form that the message is taking is whack than no one is going to listen to your message. It's all about finding that balance. To me you can't deny the fact that art serves a purpose beyond just existing. Even people who are all about art for art's sake, they cannot escape the fact that art in this economic system is commodified. Whether you as an artist choose to fuckin' commodify it or not, someone else will. Someone will offer you money for your shit. If you're a full-time artist and you have no day job, you can either sell that to sustain you're fuckin' life and purpose or be like, no art has no price.

>> continued...

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"Anytime that I get a chance to call something politics that's different from your mainstream definition I do."