Interview with DUS and Eloh Kush by Mike Scheumeister
So I’m going to post up something a little different than the norm for “The Essence of Rap and Hip-Hop” in the form of an interview I conducted with two New Jersey based hip-hop artists, DUS and Eloh Kush. As you all know, I mainly focus on writing reviews and such on this site, but the opportunity presented itself to get the word out about these two artists and I just couldn’t pass that up. So, without further ado, check out the interview below.
DUS: Peace to all of the readers out there. The name is Dus and I’m an up & coming HipHop production artist from New Jersey. The small borough of Spotswood to be exact. For those that may be familiar with the Turnpike, that’s Exit 9.
Mike: Who/what inspired you to become a producer?
DUS: In the past I may have been able to direct the answer to your question towards a certain HipHop producer. Whether it would have been a DJ Premier, RZA or even Dr. Dre. But, in hindsight, I’ve learned so much and have been inspired by so many. I truly think it’s a combination of a few different ingredients. Subconsciously, I believe both of my parents played a huge role because of their musical abilities. My father played the trumpet and mother played the guitar. So, I was always surrounded by music while growing up. And, I wanted to be able to create music like they did. But, when I had made the decision to begin producing… times had changed. I was more interested in new ways to make music. So, that brings me to the second part of my answer. The capability to construct music digitally.
Mike: Dope. So, who is DUS as an artist?
DUS: Someone who puts their best foot forward everyday and tries to stay innovative. One that creates music which makes a difference. Whether that difference is for me or for others. Someone who is dedicated to their craft and not afraid to take risks, sonically. An artist who’s not scared to take chances.
Mike: Your album “Ambassadors” was one of my top albums of 2013. What was your inspiration for the album?
DUS: Yes, I had noticed that “Ambassadors” had made your list for “Best Rap Albums of 2013”. We truly thank you for the acknowledgement. I believe the album itself may have been inspired by the talent that thrives within East Coast Hip-Hop this day in age. I wanted to capture, to the best of my ability… the raw energy and hunger I felt existed within all of these artists. Whether they were newcomers or a vet. I also wanted to prove to myself that I was able to create a single, cohesive album.
Mike: You sampled a wide variety of genres on “Ambassadors”. What is your process for making beats and finding samples?
DUS: My process is fairly simple believe it or not. I suppose it begins with something I’m in the mood to listen to. Whether it be Soul, Funk, movie soundtracks, Progressive Rock… I’ll just sit or lay there for hours. Once I hear something that catches my ear, I then have to see if its something which is workable. In the sense that, it may not always be something I can pitch the way I’d like to. If not, the search continues. Sometimes I’ll start with drums, percussion or strings. Other times I’ll begin with the sample. If I’m not certain of the route I’m going, within say, ten minutes or so, than I move on to something else.
Mike: How was it working with some veteran emcees like Tragedy Khadafi, Roc Marciano, Killah Priest and Shabam Sahdeeq?
DUS: It was an absolute honor. I mean, these are artists that I’ve been listening to for close to 20 years. To even be mentioned in the same sentence as them still seems surreal to me. Tragedy, Roc Marci, Priest & SDub, all of them were extremely easy to communicate and create with. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get into the studio with all of them. Killah Priest was in California recording “The Psychic World Of Walter Reed” at the time and Roc was also in California recording “Reloaded”. In the end though, it proved to be an immeasurable learning experience. Their positive feedback on my material also gave me confidence that I’m heading in the right direction.
Mike: Very nice. What was it like working with Eloh Kush?
DUS: I’ve worked with Kush on various projects in the past so, we’ve been able to establish a very solid rapport with one another. I knew what we’d be able to accomplish together had the potential of being nothing short of exceptional.
Mike: Speaking of Eloh Kush, I hear you two are working on a collaboration album titled “AngelDus”. Can you tell us anything about the album?
DUS: Like I had previously mentioned… Over the past ten years, I’ve had the opportunity of working with Kush on an assortment of different Angelz Inc. projects. With that said, I believe “AngelDus” is an album that’s long overdue. The album itself is 8 songs and features appearances from Angelz Inc members Giffy da God, Lord Sun & Glorious. We also have John Robinson, El Da Sensei, Stahhr and A.G. And, an onslaught of vocal talent, with assists from Khamisi, Desiree Castro, Redd and The Poet Seshat Ali.
Mike: That’s a crazy line-up. What kind of sounds can we expect to hear on the album?
DUS: From a phonic perspective, I haven’t strayed too far away from my original formula. Although, together, Kush & I did take somewhat of an unorthodox approach to the instrumental selection. Perhaps, there are even a few tracks that can be viewed as experimental.
Mike: I’m definitely looking forward to hearing what you guys are cooking up. As a side note, I also hear you have an untitled album in the works with Willie The Kid. Can you tell us anything about the album?
DUS: Yes, yes I do. Much gratitude to Willie for taking the time out of his busy schedule to make this album happen. This is an EP that I’m also incredibly excited about. Willie & I began recording the first song during summer time of last year. And, ever since we’ve began.. it almost seems as if the project has taken on a life of it’s own. We’re roughly half way complete at this point and plan to release the effort before the end of 2015.
Mike: Very nice. Whats next for DUS outside of those two projects?
DUS: One of the next projects I’ll be focusing on is “To Live & Die in N.J.”, which will be a collaboration album with New Jersey’s own, underground Hip-Hop juggernaut, Pryme Prolifik. I’ll also be dedicating time towards the followup to “AngelDus” with Eloh Kush.
Mike: Dope. Any final thoughts?
DUS: It’s said that digital music has no shelf life and that your music will always be new to someone. To the reader: We’re hoping that someone is you. Mike, thank you for taking the time out to conduct this interview with Eloh Kush & I. We greatly appreciate it! Thanks for your time!
Mike: To start off, tell us a little bit about yourself for those readers that don’t know. Where are you from? Who/what inspired you to get into rap? Who is Eloh Kush as an artist?
ELOH KUSH: Peace. I’m a writer/emcee from New Brunswick, New Jersey. I was born into the culture of Hip-Hop and took to emceeing because of great wordsmiths such as Cab Calloway, Howling Wolf, XClan, Poor Righteous Teachers, Public Enemy, B.D.P and Intelligent Hoodlum a/k/a Tragedy Khadifi .
Mike: You just dropped a dope track called “Initiatez” a few weeks ago. Is that song going to end up on any specific album or is it just a loosie?
ELOH KUSH: Thanks for the listen. “Initiatez” is a song from a forthcoming EP I have on low simmer right now which, should be done this year. The song was produced by and features id4windz & John Robinson of Scienz of Life .
Mike: Speaking of John Robinson, you were also featured on his “The Path of Mastery” album with Kyo Itachi. What’s it like working with him?
ELOH KUSH: Sci (John Robinson) is my comrade and brother in this journey. We’ve been making music together for almost 20 years. A very humble, selfless God he is. His work ethic and knowledge of the music biz is priceless. A great team leader and player when he has to be and I’m glad to be family with him. His darts are guillotine.
Mike: Do you have any more collaborations planned with him in the future?
ELOH KUSH: Indeed I do. We’re working on an EP where he is doing all of the production and myself, the rhyming side of things. There is also finished album I have with Scienz of Life which we’re getting ready to release as well. I’m always creating, so stay in tune.
Mike: Both of those sound crazy. Can you tell us anything about your upcoming album with Dus, “AngelDus”? How did the album come together? What sounds should we expect?
ELOH KUSH: “AngelDus” is the name of the 1st EP from Dus & I. We’ve been working together for a while and have great chemistry. Dus has done previous production on my group Angelz Inc LP’s and is great to work with. So it was natural for us to just start forming ideals and getting into the lab to make new music. Answering your question in regards to expectations. I would say the title of the record is heavy on the influence and the direction we strived to create musically, lyrically and content wise. Totally mind altering, head nodding, out the box Hip-Hop.
Mike: Sounds dope. So, whats next for Eloh Kush?
ELOH KUSH: Well I’m constantly creating. For instance, Dus and I are already working on a follow up LP. I have an upcoming project with John Robinson titled, “Words, Sounds, & Power” by Carol Lynn Ford. And, the good brother & producer Ray West and I are finishing my EP to debut on his label Red Apples 45. An EP with West Coast beatsmith Dibia$e is in the works and much more!
Mike: Sounds like you got a lot of good stuff on the way. Any final thoughts?
ELOH KUSH: You need to network for your net worth. Live golden. Create a quality music catalog.
And, keep ya’ wallabee clarks fly. Peace! Thanks for your time!
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