Some artists drop their first album after months of rapping, or less. PackFM has had to wait several years for his baby to grow to the age where it is ready to face this cruel world, and it's definitely ready.
From being affiliated with the graffiti scene and graphic design in his younger days, to being featured on video game soundtracks, DJ'ing Hip Hop radio shows, and spreading himself very thin - Pack has garned the reputation to bring him to the forefront of Hip Hop, and is releasing "“whutduzFMstand4?" at just the right time - this August. He will also be performing at this years Rocksteady.
MVRemix: Do you feel that you can completely approach your music as an artist or because of today's industry and Hip Hop being so competitive and more so a business?
PackFM: Um, "Hi, how are you too, long time no hear from?" You wanna just skip the chit chat and get right down to business? I'm just messin’ with you [laughs]. Even though business has become a bigger part of the picture than the actual music itself these days, when I get in the booth to make music I don't have anything in mind other than making the hottest music possible. That way I can stand behind my product with some real integrity. People get that shit twisted; they think that because you gotta play the game a certain way that the music has to change, but really people just want to hear good shit, not formulated marketing schemes.
MVRemix: And what does the hottest music possible mean? Catchy/creative?
PackFM: Hot just means hot. There is no one definition. But creative music can be catchy and that results in it being hot. But you can't go into the process of making music with any formula in mind. You have to make music from what's inside. It sounds cliche but it’s true.
MVRemix: With there being so few fans in the culture, is that a good or bad thing and why?
PackFM: That's a horrible thing
PackFM: Well, what is the point of making music if there's nobody to appreciate it? Everyone wants to participate. Who the hell is down to appreciate? I'd say more than half my fans rap. It's funny I look on MySpace and I deny all my comments because none of them are fans saying, "Hey Pack I like your music." It's all, "Yo check my page out I got a new song up." Get the fuck out of here with that shit. I understand people want to promote, but I want to reach true fans - not people who are waiting to take my spot.
MVRemix: What differentiates you from "them"? Why is okay for you to rap?
PackFM: Rap isn't meant for everybody. I'm not the person who decides who can rap and who can't. But there's a difference between people who were meant to do something and people who should just appreciate. I love movies, that doesn't mean I should start trying to direct.
MVRemix: Okay... Now, last year was billed as "Qthousan5" - "The Year of QN5," but the only release we really saw was "Archetype" - are you disappointed that this album didn't see its release last year?
PackFM: In some ways yes, but for the most part I am fine with it getting out now. I've had a great year so far leading up to it and the timing is excellent. The video game track, the 2006 Preview, the QN5 Tour, etc. All these things help the buzz of the record and put me in a better position than I was in 05.
MVRemix: Why did it take so long for “whutduzFMstand4?” to come out?
PackFM: For the most part it was me making sure every track was perfect and handling a lot of side projects. Then once it was complete I went through mad shit trying to find distro. Labels kept talks going for months so it just dragged on for another 6 months after. But I finally got all of that straightened out and have orchestrated a damn near perfect situation for the release; it couldn't have dropped at a better time.
MVRemix: At an estimate, how many songs have you recorded for the album? As in through seven years, how many would you say have been left on the cutting room floor so that this lot could form "whutduzFMstand4?"?
PackFM: Well I recorded a lot of tracks that may have been originally planned for my album, but I've never recorded a song that didn't get used somewhere. I usually put songs that don't fit my standard of a good "album track" on the Featured Material series. Volume 3 had about4 songs that I originally meant for my record. But no song has ever went to waste.
MVRemix: So, the "lost tracks" don't exits - they're already out there? Or are you sitting on a pile?
PackFM: Nope every song I've done has been released in some way shape or form. They just didn't all fit the theme of the album. I don't even have enough songs to do a "Featured Material Vol. 4."
MVRemix: With the polar opposite responses to "A.P.O.S." and "Archetype" - with people either loving or hating the albums, what do you predict the response to "whutduzFMstand4?" will be?
PackFM: I think for the most part people are gonna love the record. I can't please everyone, but over all its got a vibe of what people want from an album. This album has qualities that most records lack in that there's something on it for everyone to relate to in one way or another and yet its still entertaining. So I hope that's what people get from it and love it, but there's always gonna be people who don't get it, so we'll just have to hope for the best.
MVRemix: Are you aware the album has leaked online?
PackFM: Yeah, I'm surprised it took so long [laughs]. I was tellin’ my boy that I'm not even excited about it hitting the stores; I wanna download it like everybody else. The shit's ridiculous man.
MVRemix: So it doesn't bother you at all?
PackFM: Nope, I mean people who buy, will buy, downloaders are going to download. If it doesn't leak chances are the downloaders wouldn't even check for it. But it’s sad, I was talking to Apathy and he made a good point. These kids are spoiled, when Illmatic and Ready to Die dropped, we didn't know what it sounded like before it hit the shelves. I remember when Lauryn hill Dropped Miseducation it was a huge deal that she had snippets on her website. Now these kids think it’s their right to check shit out before they purchase and only waste a click and a drag instead of $12. They’re spoiled. We all know that if an album leaks one month before the street date, if its dope you're gonna pump that shit ‘til you get sick of it. Then when it drops its old news, why bother purchasing an album you're already tired of - to get the CD cover? It’s already in your ipod, you don't need the CD. So forget about it. I'm aware that if heads are gonna check for a record, now a day its through the bootleg, it’s just the nature of the game.
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"Rap isn't meant for everybody. I'm not the person who decides who can rap and who can't. But there's a difference between people who were meant to do something and people who should just appreciate. I love movies, that doesn't mean I should start trying to direct."