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Encore - conducted by Hugo Lunny  


October 2003

These are the transcripts of an interview with Encore. The interview was conducted by Hugo Lunny on October 26th, 2003.

MVRemix: A lot has gone on in your life in the past couple of years. Tell us about the change from 75 Ark to Hieroglyphics.... Really, the life of Encore hasn't changed that much. I'm a little more rounded as far as my music goes. I'm trying to explore more facets of my personality, more concepts and different sound schemes as far as what I'm used to. That's what has changed the most.

MVRemix: What's the status between you and Automator?

Encore: I did something with Automator for a movie with John Leguizamo. It ended up coming out and going straight to video. With the label 75Ark and it folding, we're still working out some kind of deal. But we're still cool with each other but I had ideas and concepts for the new album and I felt I had to move on. The timing wasn't good for us to do another album just yet.

MVRemix: What exactly went on with the 75Ark/Hiero transition?

Encore: Well Domino (who runs Hiero), we're friends. We hang out, watch football together so we've always been cool. He's always tried to work with me, and vice versa but there has always been a weird dynamic before us. So, we just came to an agreement. "We can do this, we'll be able to make this work and not worry about anything." I'm a fan of Hiero, I've always been a fan of Hiero and consider myself a descendant basically of the whole Hieroglyphics click. It's kind of a natural progression. It just worked.

MVRemix: The Bay Area stereotype isn't the sort of music you hear from Hiero and yourself. How would you compare/contrast your music, to that which typically is identified with the Bay Area region?

Encore: I listened to everything, so I consider myself a Bay Area emcee. My whole thing is I make my music for myself and hope that everybody will like it. I'm a descendant of Too $hort, a descendant of 415. All of us may not be rapping about the same thing, but we use the same slang as we're all from the same area. So, I don't see much of a difference. When I grew up, in High School, I was listening to Too $hort, KRS One, Rakim. I'd listen to 415... I've talked to cats, like Richie Rich and they listened to the same music that I was. They talk about their life in the Bay from their standpoint and I talk about it from mine. There's no difference for me in my eyes, my ears sorry.

MVRemix: What are your thoughts on the new transitions of successful independent artists to the mainstream. For example Mos Def and Kweli being aligned with the likes of Jay-Z and 50 Cent...

Encore: I think as long as the music is good, the outcome is. I don't mind these collaborations if they're done for the right reasons (for making good music). If Kweli and Jay-Z are gonna make a good song together, that's all that matters to me. I don't like dividing into sub-genre's and stuff like that. Hip Hop is Hip Hop.

MVRemix: So tell me a bit about the new album...

Encore: The new album is called "Layover" it's coming out in March. It's a progression from where I was at in 2000 to where I'm at now. What I do with my albums is to basically give you me at this time in my life. With this album I've tried to bring forth more facets, like my love life, my likes and dislikes. General introspection. It's also about having fun and my history, just an overall vibe of where I'm at during this point in time. I got stuck in a category with my first album that all I like is dark music and that's not the case. I don't dislike dark music, but sometimes I like it to be more colourful as far as the sound. A little more funky, more melodic, more soulful in some aspects. There's more of my personality in this album, I feel. But each album, considering "Self Preservation" is an extention of where I'm at at that point in time.

MVRemix: What about production credits or guest appearances?

Encore: Production credits - I've got some stuff produced by Jake One who's based out of Seattle. He's doing some stuff with 50 Cent right now and with Busta's crew Flipmode. I got my man Vitamin D also from Seattle and my man Architect who was on the last album. He did some tracks on this too. I have a few guest appearances. My man RC who's based out of Toronto, Ladybug Mecca (Digable Planets), Opio and A-Plus from Souls Of Mischief and Pep Love from Hiero. I have a couple of guest vocalists too.

MVRemix: Have their been any collaborations of guest appearances that you've done that we've yet to hear?

Encore: I did something with Rakaa Iriscience from Dilated recently, produced by Joey Chavez. I'm not sure when that's being released. I have a lot that has been going on but it hasn't yet been formulated or finished. I'm probably going to be doing some more stuff with Hiero. Casual probably. I did something with Planet Asia and Turban. Turban's part of my crew (The Executive Lounge). That's either on his next album or his mixtape, definitely check for that.

MVRemix: If there was one thing that you wished people knew about you that they don't, what would it be?

Encore: [Encore ponders] Probably that at this point in time I like mainstream music more than I do underground.

MVRemix: For example?

Encore: Freeway, Jay of course, Nas. Jazzy Pha's production and yeah, some Lil' Jon stuff. Don't get it twisted, I still like the underground stuff, but at this present time the quality is not at the same level of that in the mainstream.

MVRemix: Do you have any other creative aspirations aside from rapping?

Encore: I've had suggested to start producing. But as far as things go, I don't think I've done everything I can with rapping just yet. Right now I'm trying to do my best and to focus on one thing. If I keep my mind on a variety of things, I never really focus. So, right now, this is my career. This is what I want to do, so let me put everything I can into it. Then maybe get into other things like producing, possibly acting.

MVRemix: Anything going on with Peanut Butter Wolf?

Encore: Right now no. I mean he lives in LA, he has his own little thing going on with producing and running a label (Stones Throw). On my next album I definitely want to start working with Madlib. It's just the timing, it's hard. Some time in the near future I'll probably hook up with Stones Throw.

MVRemix: Any last words you'd like to say?

Encore: Definitely cop the album in 2004. Ladybug Mecca, Pep Love, Opio, A-Plus, RC. Keep checking for Executive Lounge and Hieroglyphics when we're on tour. And keep the faith, every album you'll hear something new from me and learn something new about me. Like everybody, everybody's life changes. So definitely keep it locked to my music.

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" this point in time I like mainstream music more than I do underground."