Two of the most talented emcees in all of hip hop have come together and collaborated on an LP. Artists that have built a fan base on being authentic and steadily putting out consistently dope music. Termanolgy hailing from Lawrence, Mass who was “Unsigned Hype” in The Source and cut his teeth working with producers such as DJ Premier and Slaine from nearby Boston who is arguably more known for his roles in movies such as The Town, but has perhaps one of the most slept on catalogues of music in hip hop and pens rhymes based on his personal experiences from his struggles with addiction and frustration of being miscategorized in hip hop because of factors beyond his control. The album titled Antihero has production from DJ Premier, Evidence, The Arcitype, Psycho Les from the Beatnuts and guest appearances from Everlast, Ill Bill, and Bun B. They recently released their first video off the project called Land of The Lost which is a gritty and crispy visual accompanied by hardcore rhymes and manages to have a slight social message without being overly preachy, which if it’s any indication of what the new album has to offer, fans of hip hop should be ecstatic. This could potentially be the best thing for hip hop this year since Jay Z dropped 4:44. I caught up with Slaine and Termanology after a photoshoot as they prepare for their US and European tour to promote the new project which has a release date of October 6th. Available for Pre Order at http://smarturl.it/SlaineAndTerm
How long have you guys known each other and when did you become familiar with each others music and how did you guys decide to collaborate?
Slaine: Me and Term were coming up in the hip hop scene in Boston. The first time I heard of Term I was doing a song with Krumb Snatcha in the studio and he was telling me about Termanology, “you gotta hear this kid Termanology” he’s dope.” I think then I saw some stickers of his “Politics as Usual” around Mission Hill back in the day. After that he was more competition, I viewed him as competition and we didn’t really become cool until years later he invited me to his “Watch How it Go Down” video shoot and then we started kicking it here and there and I forget what the first joint we recorded was but we started working together and we just became friends. Also we both started poppin’ at the same time around Mass and just were related on a lot of different levels, we both were getting like a lot of hate and a lot of love at home. The whole experience about really making a name for yourself and all the love and the hate that comes with that was something we kind of bonded on early, I remember having conversations about that early and our experiences in the game. And were both good guys to at the end of the day so we get along on that level.
Boston in general has this kind of hardcore reputation, like I remember reading in the 90s that hip hop tours would skip over Boston and how Benzino knocked Nas’s hat off his head…what is it specifically about Boston that makes it such a tough place?
Termanology: Speaking on that, Boston is a lot like New York City, you know it has that ain’t fuckin around attitude. It’s really rough in a lot of areas. So the way it’s portrayed in the media people think its a college town, people think its real soft and its full of yuppies but its really not its a lot of ghettos over here, its a lot of places where people are in poverty, a lot of gangs and violence. When its like that when your trying to come through here with a bunch of money and jewelry and trying to shine when its people that don’t really got much, they not really having that. So back in the days people used to get beat up, robbed, all that. Me and Slaine we kind of missed that wave, were a bit younger than the people that came before us but we still kind of encountered it, more just seeing that Boston is a real rough city, it can be real rough at times even though in the media its portrayed like its not.
Slaine: I think in general Boston is close to New York. Its only a 3 1/2 hr drive away and New York is the biggest city in the country. One of the predominant cities, culturally the premiere city in the world. Boston being so close and being cast in the shadow of New York which always got shine, almost like a kid brother mentality like fuck New York; but at the same time we admired New York. I think like the kid brother mentality when it comes to New York, Boston isn’t trying to take a backseat to no one, I think that attitude lives in all Bostonians like that. It’s a hard-nosed blue-collar city man.
You guys are white emcees coming into a black art form, so in a sense you guys are essentially the minorities of hip hop, on the artist side at least, did you guys ever experience prejudice or unjust criticism because of your race?
Termanology: So I experienced that a lot cause I’m half Puerto Rican and half French. I came up in Lawrence, Mass which is predominantly a Latino city so people tend to view me more as a Latino artist. So many times they would shout out the white emcees and I would never get no love even though I’m half white, I would be like wait hold on, why don’t I get no love but at the same time I had to realize that once you’re a minority now you’re a minority, I can’t just claim the white card because I’m Puerto Rican. Then I got boxed in with he’s good for a Puerto Rican rapper. Then like you said it’s mostly known as black culture so obviously we felt a lot of racism. With that being said I grew up my whole life around people of different races, my moms white, my dads Puerto Rican, and my moms boyfriend was black so I grew up never being racist or hating other races. My bestfriend’s are all different races and colors so I didn’t look at it like that but unfortunately other people grow up different. So I encountered a lot of prejudice speaking for myself.
Slaine: Of course I’ve experienced prejudice. It’s to be expected coming up in hip hop. It’s almost like you had to earn your stripes extra coming up as a white emcee and that’s something that I embraced. Thats something that other white emcees that I looked up to and admired…who I eventually ended up in a group with Everlast, I looked up to Kill Bill. I had House of Pain posters on my wall growing up when I was a kid. The first hip hop show I ever went to was House of Pain and Cypress Hill. I aspired to be in that mold to be a respected lyricist or respected hip hop artist. Their also comes another side to that because I feel like when your coming up people will try to punk you or whatever and right off the bat I was never having that. There was a lot of physical altercations and you just gotta punch the right people in the face at the right time and then that stops happening. I still think it’s definitely prejudice or you have the discount tag on you or whatever being a white emcee by certain groups of people. You’ll get put in a certain box like he’s dope for a Puerto Rican or whatever. Slaine is dope for a white dude but you don’t really get classified by publications or websites in the proper lane of hip hop that your actually in. They try to classify everything as white hip hop or white rap. Some more mainstream kind of thinking writers will try to lump me in with ICP, God bless them, they carved out their own niche and own lane. I think anyone who is well versed in hip hop culture would see a distinction in somebody like Apathy and Kid Rock.