Greenhouse Effect conducted by Todd E. Jones  

The Blueprint To Successful Indie Hip-Hop

September 2005

MVRemix: How have you changed as an emcee?

Blueprint: I'm pretty much the same. I think I've just figured out how to get more personal music out of myself. It's not just battle rap and what not.

Fess: How I write to a song? I think about how a particular song might go over in a live setting and adjust it accordingly. Also, the confidence level has increased dramatically.

MVRemix: What pisses you off?

Blueprint: Inconsiderate people.

Fess: Women who front on buying me drinks.

MVRemix: What do you like to do to relax?

Fess: We'll since I don't work, I don't have a whole lot of stress so I'm basically relaxed all the time. But when I'm breaking from music, TV and Movies come in handy.

Blueprint: Absolutely nothing. I'm all for doing things that take no brainpower whatsoever, like video games or watching dumb TV shows like Maury Povich.

MVRemix: Blueprint, you put out a solo album, '1988'. How different is recording an album as a solo artist?

Blueprint: It takes a little more to find the direction in a group because you have to make sure the other person is able to write about the same things you are. When you're solo, you can write about anything you want without compromise, even if the other person can't relate.

MVRemix: Tell us about 'The Weightroom' LP.

Blueprint: I rhyme and produce. I wanted to do a record like Pete Rock's 'Soul Survivor', where I'm in control. Usually, as Rappers Greenhouse Effect Interviewa producer, you work with an artist and they tell you what they are writing about.

MVRemix: That last hidden track on 'The Weightroom' uses a sample from The Godfather. Did you get into any trouble about sampling?

Blueprint: Nah, I'm still under the radar. 9 times out of 10, I disregard ethics when it comes to sampling. This is in terms of fear of people coming at me. Sample it now and worry about it later. Maybe later, I won't.

MVRemix: How did you hook up with Eyedea?

Blueprint: I met Eyedea in 1999 or 2000. Back then, we were doing shows. Rhymesayers were coming up. That was the tour. I met those guys through Illogic. Those guys are dope. Eyedea and I always talk about doing records. Whenever they came up to Ohio, we end up playing with them?

MVRemix: Blueprint, you are in a myriad of different groups.

Blueprint: Yeah, these groups have been around for a while. Within my circle of people, we always have a bunch of different groups. As an artist, it helps you approach things differently whenever you collaborate with different people.

MVRemix: What is the meaning behind the name Greenhouse Effect?

Blueprint: Back at the time we chose it, we just pulled it out of a hat. We had 10 other names and just thought it was cool. It is more than just the environment. There's so much you can get out of it. I don't think we really thought about that sh*t.

MVRemix: Although your emcee names may seem obvious, are there personal or deeper meanings?

Fess: Basically, I heard the name in a Political Science class, in college. I decided to take it. There's nothing to deep.

Blueprint: I chose Blueprint because I wanted something that stood for the style that I think I do, which is being really good at the items that the art form is built on. Granted, I am not going to say that I do progressive music but I think that I will always be grounded in the foundation. I used to have this wack name like, Universal. One of my first shows, I needed a name before I rapped. I wanted a name where the word or words would represent a basic approach to hip-hop. I didn't want something that was too far out there, that people could not understand. But, I did want it to be a little challenging

MVRemix: Krs-One's album didn't influence the name Blueprint?

Blueprint: No, actually, no. I listen to that album a lot too. The day I chose it, I heard the Mad Skillz album, 'From Where?'. He said the word 'Blueprint' on that. I had it on this mix-tape and I just loved the song. I was driving my car. As soon as they said it, I thought it was a dope name. I knew that it was going to be my name.

MVRemix: Were there any problems or opportunities with Jay-Z coming out with the 'Blueprint' albums?

Blueprint: There hasn't been either. The people who are checking for me now knew I was going by that name before. Of course, some people who love Jay-Z and may get confused. I may have gotten some new fans.

MVRemix: Years ago, you were named in Urb Magazine's 'Top 100 List'. Did that change your career?

Blueprint: I don't know. There are some people who are definitely checking for that magazine. Maybe, some people were on the fence or didn't want to take a chance on me. Now, they are. It definitely helped but it's hard to imagine exactly how.

MVRemix: In one phrase or sentence, describe growing up in Ohio.

Blueprint: Not that different from anywhere else, just a lot less going on. There's just more space. People are a little more polite.

MVRemix: What are the 3 best things about living in Columbus, Ohio?

Blueprint: Buck eyes, football program.

Fess: The cost of living.

Blueprint: Yeah, the cost of living is the #1 right there.

Fess: The cost of living is cheap. People are nice.

MVRemix: What are the worst things about living in Columbus, Ohio?

Fess: Winter.

Blueprint: Yeah, Winter. No one takes you seriously. Well, a lot of people don't take you seriously when you tell them you live in Ohio. There's a lot of talent here, but on a national level, there are certain places where you come from that people give you a better ear. If you say that you are from The Bronx, people love it. If you tell someone you are from L.A., people are like, 'Word!?'

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