Photo courtesy of Leodis.
Those who believe hip hop is a dying breed have reason to bust out their turntables and MC Lyte cassettes. Giving classic rap a modern didactic, rapper Loedis may be the next (or only) great thing coming out of the Poconos right now, at least in the form of beats and rhymes, and he stands to further his natural flair across the worldwide hip hop community. The 28-year-old emcee, originally from the Bronx and now living in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, has been feeling the good vibes since his debut mixtape, Live from the Graveyard, was released in 2011. Currently, he’s featured on a number of compilations and is in the studio at work on a second mixtape for the summer. From there, he’ll bring his signature slang to the streets, aiming to tour in the fall and tackle the festival circuit.
BreakThru Radio talked to Loedis and his producer, Frank Bolden, during their recording session last week.
BTR: So, where did the hip hop thing begin for you?
LOEDIS: I actually got started rapping maybe about five years ago. My brother used to freestyle a lot and it got me interested.
BTR: How would you describe your style as an artist?
LOEDIS: The return to boom bap. Basically, a return to ‘90s styles of hip hop… Artists like MOP, Wu-Tang, KRS-One…
BTR: What’s your opinion on the lyrical content of popular rap acts?
LOEDIS: Me personally, I think rap is going to shit. There’s a lot of redundancy. Everybody wanna talk about jewelry and money, but I wanna hear someone talk about paying bills, having bad credit, eviction, stuff that I relate to.
BTR: How would you describe a mixtape these days? Does it have the same connotation as it did back in the day?
BOLDEN: I don’t think so because when you look at people like 50 Cent, he was the innovator for the mixtape. It used to be you create your own songs on other people’s songs. Now, a mixtape is like your introduction to the world. You’re giving it away free. It’s an album that you can’t put out yet. You know, I think a mixtape, until you have that audience, is a way to stay relevant. People have such short attention spans nowadays, a mixtape is more of an advertisement. It’s a flyer. There’s no paperwork involved, none of that business stuff has to happen…It cuts out all the bullshit.
BTR: Being in Pennsylvania, you’ve got a smaller home base than places like New York and LA. Does that even make a difference now, the internet being what it is?
LOEDIS: The internet is good and bad. It’s a way to market yourself without having to be everywhere all the time, but it also makes artists lazy. They think they can just post a track on Twitter or Facebook and next thing you know, you blow up. But you still have to go to shows and conferences. The internet does make things a whole lot easier though.
BOLDEN: When you live out of New York, there’s a new kind of goal and the key is to maintain a home base where everyone where you live knows who you are. The internet helps you grow from there…The perfect example is Wiz Khalifa. He’s only hot right now because he and Mac Miller established themselves in Pittsburgh then graduated to Brooklyn.
BTR: Who are some artists out there now doing what you want to do?
LOEDIS: Not a lot of up and coming artists. I don’t listen to new music. J. Cole maybe would be the exception, but even he’s now starting to experiment more with that space age stuff. We’re more on the underground…I can’t really say that what we’re doing translates to anything mainstream.
BTR: Thoughts on how the careers of Jay-Z and Kanye West have evolved?
BOLDEN: I’m a big Jay-Z fan. The kind of music he’s putting out now reflects a change in his lifestyle that forces it to be that way. I’m not really one for flaunting or bragging…but at this point in the game, he’s like a god in his own world…The lyrical content and word play is still there. I’m a producer, so I like what’s happening.
BTR: How about that Tupac hologram?
LOEDIS: Dope concept. Not sure how I feel about dead people running around though.
BOLDEN: I absolutely love Pac. We all love Pac and hold him in high regards.
BTR: First album you ever bought?
LOEDIS: Outkast ATLiens.
BTR: If you could perform with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
LOEDIS: Big Pun.
BTR: What about alive?
BTR: Best news you heard all week?
LOEDIS: That I was getting interviewed by BreakThru Radio.