Nick Huff Barili of Hard Knock TV, in collaboration with sits down with Wiz Khalifa for in-depth interview. In part 1 Wiz talks to Nick Huff Barili about the meaning and inspiration behind his new album Blacc Hollywood, working with producer Detail on We Dem Boyz plus getting Nas on remix. As the interview continues Wiz shares his creative process for coming up with songs and talks about balancing music, being an entrepreneur and raising a his son. Wiz continues by shedding some light into twitter back and forth he had with critic Brandon Soderberg of Spin Magazine. Wiz also walks us through his inspiration behind one of our favorite tracks on the album: House On The Hills. “Its really hard to escape the stereotypes that people kind of think are old school…its still the exact same way. If you see a black kid whether he has tattoos or whether he has baggy clothes or whatever a lot of people feel threatened…We are in a day and age were that should be completely over with Continue reading

Exclusive in-depth interview with Logic, his Father and Brother. In part 1, Logic and his half brother share the story of how they found out about each other when Logic was 10 years old and what happened the first time they hung out, including Logic getting high for the first time. Logic goes on to describe how he went down a different path than those around him and didn’t get caught up in the street stuff. “When I was young, yeah, in the household there was narcotics, there was violence, Continue reading

Nick Huff Barili of Hard Knock TV, in collaboration with sits down with Common for in-depth interview. In part 1 Common talks to Nick Huff Barili about working with some of Hip Hop’s greatest producers J Dilla, Kanye West and No I.D. Not only does Common share some of their similarities and differences, but he also tells us stories of working with each of them. As the interview continues Common gives us insight into the inspiration for making the track Rewind That, which is one of our personal favorites from Nobody’s Smiling. Common opens up about living with J Dilla in LA and their close friendship. Part one of our conversation with Common ends with Common, who has accomplished a lot in his career, talking about what he is most proud of. We are just getting started with Common, tune in Friday for part 2 of this interview. Continue reading

Exclusive interview with Vince Staples. Vince talks to Nick Huff Barili about a variety of subjects including his up coming EP Hell Can Wait, friendship with Mac Miller, not smoking weed, meaning behind his new single Blue Suede, how he feels about the police and much more! Continue reading

Exclusive interview with TI. In part 2 TI talks to Nick Huff Barili about Iggy Azalea stating that her influence in music should be attributed to “Her work ethic. [and] Her artistic views…She has a vision for herself. This vision for herself she will not compromise…I think she should be kind of judged based on that. Rather than her creed, her nationality, what country she’s from…Those are stereotypes.” With The Grammys around the corner Nick asked TI if he thinks Iggy should be in the Pop or Rap category. You will have to watch the video for TI’s answer to that! As the interview continues TI talks about acting and states that he and Andre 3000 have mutual respect for each others acting skills. TI goes on to say that Outkast is like his RUN-DMC. Continue reading

Joey Fatts and A$ton Matthews Interview: The Cutthroat Boyz

Friendships can stem out of the most unusual and unexpected circumstances. Joey Fatts and A$ton Matthews, two parts of the SoCal-based clique, Cutthroat Records, were brought together by coincidence and, well, a MacBook.

“Cutthroat was something that I was doing myself. I met (A$ton) at a burger king, cause I sold him my laptop. I heard his stuff, and I liked the way he was writing. So I was like, let’s just rock,” Joey Fatts told me in an exclusive interview right after their Sunset Strip Music Festival performance. “We were brothers first. Then I moved into his garage and we started this music thing.”

One with Blood affiliations, and the other claiming Crips, the rappers explained that the set you claim doesn’t matter as much as it used to. According to the LBC natives, the younger kids coming out of their neighborhood are stepping back, putting things into perspective, and gravitating towards similar mindsets–regardless of race or gang affiliation.

Joey: “It’s never even been an issue. Even when I first met (A$ton), he didn’t even bang on me. Times is changing, man!” Continue reading

Exclusive interview with TI. In part 1 TI talks to Nick Huff Barili about his up coming album Paperwork: The Motion Picture. TI provides insight behind the inspiration for album as well as what it was like to work with Pharrell who is the Executive Producer behind the album. While explaining what you can expect from the new album TI goes on to say that over 200 songs were recorded for the project which is going to be broken into a 3 part trilogy. This segment ends with TI talking about the inspiration for his new single New National Anthem which was written as a response to the Trayvon Martin shooting but sadly is relevant again after Michael Brown was gunned down in Ferguson. Tune in tomorrow for Part 2 with TI! Continue reading

Exclusive in-depth interview with Jhene Aiko. In part 3 Jhene talks to Nick Huff Barili about why she chose to only have one rap feature in her album as opposed to her ep which featured many rappers. Jhene details that the only rap feature on Souled Out was Common on the albums final track Pretty Bird. After talking about how she made Pretty Bird, Jhene goes on to share her thoughts of Childish Gambino’s recent statement that Rap is done. “I just fell like the lines are being blurred. There is no such thing as a rapper any more. Every rapper sings now. Every singer raps now. They play the guitar. I think everyone is just experimenting and sort of drawing from all the things that we are exposed to which is everything.” While stating that she doesn’t find herself in competition with any other artists in particular, Jhene states that she is inspired by male rappers like Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Jay Z more so than R&B artist. “I consider myself a lyricist and so I am definitely inspired by a lot rappers because all they have is their words….The lyrics are the most important thing to me.” When asked about the current state of R&B Jhene states “Specially with female artists it’s all about selling sex and selling your body. The emphasis is not on the music or what you are saying.” Continue reading

Exclusive in-depth interview with Jhene Aiko. In part 2 Jhene talks to Nick Huff Barili about the cathartic release of recording and performing her new album Souled Out, which deals with such personal matters as heartbreak and the passing of her brother from cancer. Jhene states that connecting with people is what makes things bearable stating: “It just makes for an easier existence. I’ve never been afraid to just talk about what I’m going through and be honest…When I complete the song that means that I have an understanding of whatever it is I’m talking about in that that song whether it be about heartbreak or a life lesson or whatever. The fact that I was able to turn it into a song for me, that’s when I’m over it or I feel good about it.” Jhene states that reading books by Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh and getting lost in movies like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind help her deal with heartbreak. As the interview continues Jhene lets us into her writing process, inspirations and working in the studio with her daughter Namiko for her new album. In particular Jhene walks us through the making of two stand out tracks from Souled Out: Promises and W.A.Y.S.. Jhene gives us insight as to how a tweet from her brother Miyagi, which stated “Why Aren’t You Smiling?” inspired the song. Part 2 of our interview with Jhene ends with her describing how everyone’s favorite mentor No ID helped shape the sound of Souled Out. Continue reading

Exclusive in-depth interview with Jhene Aiko. In part 1 Jhene talks to Nick Huff Barili about growing up in a Mixed-Race household in LA, first music memories, performing 702’s Steelo at talent show and being influenced by Tupac Shakur. As the conversation continues Jhene explains why she chose not to sign with TDE and opted for signing with NO ID and Def Jam instead. Part 1 of our interview ends with Jhene sharing a story about how a meeting with a record label inspired the concept for the titles of her last three projects. We are just getting started. Stay tuned next week for more with Jhene Aiko. Continue reading