They love to smoke weed, but that is not the only thing they can rap about. Consisting of UnderRated & 1 Ton, Potluck is out to prove that the West Coast is not completely dead just yet. The duo brings that fun loving style popularized in Hip Hop's golden age back to the forefront with their depictions of everyday life that every person can relate to. With their latest album "Harvest Time", Potluck looks to break the stigma that weed is the only topic they know about.
MVRemix: Let's start off with the basic introductory questions. Can you tell us who Potluck is and what you guys are about?
UnderRated: Potluck is a rap duo consisting of 1 Ton and UnderRated. We are a couple of guys who have loved hip-hop music forever. We listen to every type of hip-hop there is from underground to mainstream. We don't like everything we hear but at the same time we try to not to discriminate if the music is too "backpack" or too "gangsta." We try showing this on our new album as well. We have so many different styles it’s hard to put us in one category. We have lyrical songs, club songs, racial songs, political songs etc. 1 Ton: We are also from Humboldt so we like to talk about the Chronic
MVRemix: How did you guys meet and form the group?
UnderRated: We both started out as DJs in Humboldt and a club out here held a DJ tryout. We met there and the owners decided to put us both on the same DJ night. So we started DJing together. Then we progressed to making beats together and then rapping'.
MVRemix: You got the new album "Harvest Time" out now; so tell us about it and what fans can expect to hear on it? What type of concepts/topics do you have on it?
1 Ton: This album is the most accurate representation of us. We talk a little about smoking, sports, women, hip-hop, and life. UnderRated: This album has a lot of different topics. There are 20 full-length tracks on the album. I think our fans are going to love this CD a thousand times more than our older ones. "Harvest Time" is a thousand times better than our old CDs.
MVRemix: Who do you have on the album as far as guest appearances go? And how did you hook up with them?
UnderRated: We have Tech N9NE, E-40, Bosko, The Mystik Journeymen, Cool Nutz, and Equipto for the features. We hooked up with Tech by doing shows with him. His show is off the hook. We love to rap fast like him so we came together and made the song. We got E-40 and Bosko on the album from messing with Portland rapper Cool Nutz. We've done a bunch of shows and studio work with Cool Nutz and we met Bosko and E-40 through him. The Mystik Journeymen song came together again from just being on the road with the Legends a lot. They were in Humboldt doing a show one day and they came over to our studio and laid it down. We also got a sports song with Bay Area rapper Equipto. We love sports and so does he so we did a collabo that came out real tight.
MVRemix: Underrated, you do almost all of the production on the album. So how did you first get into producing? What equipment do you use?
I got into producing by just gradually progressing in hip-hop. I started DJing then heard so many beats and songs that I wanted make my own.
I'm using mostly the MPC for drums and sometimes I throw the old SP1200 into the mix. I use the Emu E4xt Ultra to sample... That’s what I love the most. We also got about 5 or 6 keyboard modules hooked up and it’s all synced with Sonar.
MVRemix: Can you describe how the song making and recording process goes down between you guys?
UnderRated: I'll play a CD of beats that I like and 1 Ton will let me know which ones he wants to use. Then we smoke, let the beat play, and try to come with the idea, then the hook usually comes and then we go off and write our verses. Sometimes we come with the ideas for songs separately but we usually combine thoughts on each song idea.
MVRemix: Do you guys find it hard to break through the misconception that weed is the only thing you guys rap about?
1 Ton: For all of the negatives of repin Humboldt County Ca. there is a positive and that is where we live so we got to represent.
MVRemix: Speaking of weed, how much do you guys smoke on the regular? (Daily, weekly, whatever)
1 Ton: I am scared to keep track in fear it might scare me into rehab. UnderRated: I quit like snoop. Haha.
MVRemix: What is your favorite type of weed?
1 Ton: Fresh Humboldt County Outdoor, done right, almost any strain is wonderful. UnderRated: Good stuff.
MVRemix: . Blunts or bong?
1 Ton: Both UnderRated: We don't discriminate.
MVRemix: I live in Jersey, so obviously I have no clue how Cali weed is. But, I have always been curious about how much stronger it really is in Cali. So is there that BIG a difference?
1 Ton: To be honest you can get good weed in Alaska if you got the right hook up. But the farther away you get from the source the less fresh it is.
MVRemix: Tell us about Lost Koast Productions?
UnderRated: Lost Koast Productions is a partnership between 1 Ton, Jefferey Simmons Jr, and me. Jefferey Simmons Jr. also makes beats and adds flavor to my beats by playing the guitar, trumpet, and keyboards. He also mixed the album, dude is hella talented.
MVRemix: Let's talk about the current status of the West Coast. A lot of people make the claim that the West is dead. You have a couple of new artists starting to make some noise (Game, Guerilla Black, etc), but for the most part the West has been quiet on a mainstream level for the past couple of years. In your opinion why is that?
1 Ton: I will rep the west until I die, but the west is dead! As far as the mainstream is concerned. To many people want to blueprint the style that was hot with Death Row 10 years ago. That is not what’s hot it has already been done it is time to change! The funny thing about this is I believe the West has the most open and versatile Hip-Hop fans. This will ultimately breed the new west coast sound. Hopefully sooner then later.
MVRemix: What do you think the West needs to do to get back to that golden era it once had (early 90's)?
1 Ton: There is a West coast civil war right now between underground “Gangsta” rap and underground “Backpack” rap. The resolution of this war and the acceptance of people’s individual tastes will bring mutual respect. Which will lead to a new sound that is embraced by both sides, unites the west, and then dominates the mainstream.
MVRemix: Obviously the West is a big market for you guys, but how do you feel about the East? Because I live there and I can tell you first hand that East Coast bias does exist.
1 Ton: I think Bias is a form of ignorance. If you are truly Hip-Hop you can appreciate the differences of all styles of Rap. If I only listened to west coast rap I would be missing out on a lot of great music. Right now in my rotation are: (in no particular order)
Talib Kweli, Jada Kiss, T.I., Zion I, Loyd Banks, Kanye West, Twista, Tech N9NE, Dialated Peoples, and The best of Sade
MVRemix: Overall, what do you want out of this Hip Hop game?
1 Ton: Respect UnderRated: Exactly
MVRemix: Are you guys going to be voting next month in the Presidential Election?
1 Ton: NO (I’m not a citizen) UnderRated: Hell yeah! There gotta be some changes made.
18. What do you think about the current political state of our country?
1 Ton: Choosing between 2 old, rich, white Fraternity Brothers? What’s the difference? They both don’t care about my issues. UnderRated: Bush has to go in my opinion.
MVRemix: 1 Ton, who is your top 5 emcees of all time?
12. Jay Z
I think Tupac is at least 10 spots better than the second best.
MVRemix: Underrated, not to ignore your emcee skills, but for the sake of diversity in this interview, who is your time 5 producers of all time?
MVRemix: What else do you guys have going on in the future?
UnderRated: More music making and selling. The next level hopefully.