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Pigeon John - conducted by Todd E. Jones  

Pigeon John's Pool Party Never Ends

November 2006

Parties are significant benchmarks in people's lives. Everyone remembers their first real party they attended. Do you remember the party where you met someone you had a relationship with? In hip-hop, concerts are commonly referred to as "parties". For Pigeon John, his music is a party of unique and eclectic proportions.

Pigeon John's 2006 album is a meaningful party. Originally signed to Basement Records, Pigeon John changed labels and signed with Quannum Records. Home of Blackalicious and Lyrics Born, Quannum Records offered Pigeon John a larger market and more financial backing with the same creative control. Pigeon's first album for Quannum, "Pigeon John And The Summertime Pool Party" features a thicker and cohesive sound. The music, lyrics, and overall sound have been stepped up. Production is handled by Great Jason, Chris James, DNAE, Rjd2, and Rhettmattic. Guest appearances include Brother Ali and J-Live. The album is diverse enough to inspire repeat listens, but cohesive enough to maintain a complete listen. On the song "As We Know It", Pigeon John borrows from "It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" by R.E.M. Instead of just listing multiple names and things, Pigeon interrogates Jesus during the Armageddon. The angelic ending creates a feeling of peace because everyone is in heaven. "I Lost My Job Again" and "Freaks Freaks!" are two tracks that offer an astute comic relief. "Weight Of The World" has a terrific use of a vocal sample. J-Live contributes vocals to Rjd2's production on the ethereal, "The Last Sunshine". Fans of the rock group Pixies, will notice the interesting use of the song "Hey" on John's track, "Money Back Guarantee". The album's finale, "Growin Old" is a poignant track where Pigeon uses band names to mark the time periods. Pigeon John sings the hook, "...The Pharcyde, Souls Of Mischief and the Wu Tang Clan / Oh we didn't have a plan / Oh we growin' old oh we growin' old, / Oh we growin' old / The Freestyle Fellowship and MC Shan / The wind blew away the sand / Because oh we growin' old oh we growin' old..." The song captures a feeling of our generation by using music and groups as timestamps. Pigeon John maintained his grasp on independence and creative control, but finally has more financial backing and distribution. His previous album, "Pigeon John Is Dating Your Sister" was excellent. "Pigeon John And The Summertime Pool Party" has a stronger intensity and a thicker sound.

Pigeon John is the epitome of an eccentric artist. He has the potential and artistic creativity to become a legend in hip-hop. Consistently evolving and walking his own path, Pigeon John creates an excitement for every new release. Pigeon John's pool party is an event that is not to be missed.

MVRemix: What goes on?

Pigeon John: Chilling! You know, NBA Live 2007

MVRemix: Your new CD, 'Pigeon John & The Summertime Pool Party' is your first release on Quannum Records. Tell us about it.

Pigeon John: It's a soup bowl of an album. I love it and I had a lot of fun recording it with be and my buds over the course of, pretty much, a year. That is as part of demo-ing songs, doing a song in Australia, and doing a song here and there.

MVRemix: Which song was recorded in Australia?

Pigeon John: 'Weight Of The World'.

MVRemix: 'Weight Of The World' is an incredible track.

Pigeon John: Thanks, sir. That was recorded in Australia, in 2004.

MVRemix: 'Tell us more about the new album, 'Pigeon John & The Summertime Pool Party'.

Pigeon John: It's been like a nice, long road working with musicians from around the world and getting beat makers and vocalists. For me, it's been the biggest project I have ever been apart of. I got to work with a lot of different people. For me, it's become a bigger and fuller album.

MVRemix: How did you get involved with Quannum Records?

Pigeon John: I was touring with Lyrics Born, opening up for him, in 2003 on the Calicomm tour. I got to meet him and hang out. It was a real natural thing. We were touring for 3 months. I passed him 'Pigeon John Is Dating Your Sister', my first record that was in stores. He liked it and saw potential and stuff. So, we started moving towards that. In the meantime, I had a second album to do for my deal with Basement Records. That was 'Pigeon John Sings The Blues'.

MVRemix: What are the main differences between the two labels, Basement Records and Quannum Records?

Pigeon John: I would say just experience. Experience, with Quannum, simply because they have been around for a little while longer. They have an international mind state. That's really cool. They know that they are making and selling music for the world. That's a big, big change. Also, the level of professionalism. The crew at Quannum has a bunch of musicians and stuff. With Basement, there were artists signed to the label. They weren't so much of a crew. We are from the same area though. Crown City Rockers are from the Bay Area. People Under The Stairs are from L.A., but they, kind of, roll in a different scene. Basement is kind of a virtual label and Quannum is more of a physical label.

MVRemix: Roc from Basement is real cool. When you left, were there any problems or bad blood?

Pigeon John: Roc was cool. He was a little pissed though. I pretty much let them offer a counter offer. But in the long run, I know it was a better move for me, as an artist. Like, for People Under The Stairs to work with Basement is a good move for them because they are big fish in a smaller bowl. Now, they get all this attention, as opposed to their old label, Om Records. They had attention, but it wasn't solely on them. Now, with Basement Records, there is a lot more focus on them. If I was a brand new artist, Basement Records would be a premier record label because they have People Under The Stairs and Crown City Rockers. Back when I was signed to them, they were a record store and a label. It was kind of spread thin. When you are a store, you can do an in-store and blow it up. It kind of feels like L.A. is behind you, when in essence, it's just your local scene. It's kind of like when you go on tour. You feel like you are really blowing up. In all reality, you are not knowing them.

MVRemix: On your track, 'Money Back Guarantee', you sample 'Hey' by Pixies. Was this your idea?

Pigeon John: Yeah. I made that beat originally. Then, me and Chris James replayed it, added it, and elevated it. We made it our version of the song.

MVRemix: When I heard that loop, I was like, 'Damn! I should have thought of that!' I love the Pixies.

Pigeon John: I always think that there are so many different loops. I am a loop-minded guy. I come from a hip-hop background so, all music can be looped. Anything! I could be in the supermarket and hear a song. I would think to myself, 'Man! If I can just repeat that part. It only happens once on that song.' That's really a hip-hop kind of thing, using someone else's music is hip-hop. It's the only kind of music that does that. That's the one cool thing that it held down, samples. Beats! This is what pretty much led to our culture of the Internet, what's instant vintage. That whole thing is what is rooted in hip-hop sampling, simultaneously creating something new. No other music does that.

>> continued...

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"The crew at Quannum has a bunch of musicians and stuff. With Basement, there were artists signed to the label. They weren't so much of a crew."