Interview with The Plumbline Collective (part 3 of 4)

HR: Okay so you’ve been a group for about 2 years now, tell me about your releases and where you see Plumbline going moving forward after the release of new mixtape?

Kevin: The first mixtape (Semper Reformanda Vol 1.) we did had almost 50 songs on it (2 discs). Looking back, I think we’ve matured as artists and as believers and I think it’s evident when you listen to that and our latest material. Most of our friends really loved Vol. 1. I think that it was ok. Honestly, I’m not too sure about where we would go after this. I’m actually moving to San Antonio, TX to join a church down there in the end of April/beginning of May (Lord willing). I’m not sure if there’s anyone down there that has recording equipment for me to use. The music has never really been a passion for me, it’s always been something I did on the side. I think it will depend on the reaction we get from this mixtape to see what will happen after that. I don’t know if we will just continue to do mixtapes with beats off soundclick for free or if we’ll do professional albums.

Alex Faith: Not sure about the answer to that, we have all been wondering the same thing. I echo Kevin, it is kind of dependent on the response from this mixtape…. to a degree. I know everyone is going in different directions, but if it were possible to continue, I would certainly love it. I enjoy making music with a group more than i do making solo music… but I think i will continue to make music to some degree no matter what. Production and engineering for others and my own. Whatever that may look like.

Omri: Thus far, as a group, we’ve only released Semper Reformanda Vol 1. Alex and JG recently released a collaboration project called Songs of the Redeemed that featured iSix:5, Plumbline, and several other solid artists. As far as the future of Plumbline, I don’t think any of us are really sure right now. We are all in very different seasons of life right now and pretty scattered throughout the country, so it’s kind of hard to say at this point. I’d love to continue making quality, doctrinally sound music for little to nothing for people in the future though.

HR: For those who don’t know, talk real briefly about the different types of hiphop; what is west coast, east coast, crunk? Where does Plumbline fit into all of that. What style is Lamp Mode? What about Reach Records?

Alex Faith: West coast has always been funk influenced, guys like Dr. Dre, Tupac and Ice cube are examples. East coast has, for the most part, been based around drums and sampling. Not always, but you’ll hear a lot of strings, and heavy drum and bass pattern. Crunk music came from the south and the midwest, heavy arpeggio, and synthetic sounds, very chanty with heavy bass. It is slowly dying out, or taking other forms with more influence from other areas. A lot of present day crunk guys are getting more and more lyrical, but there are others who continue making noise. Plumbline is funny, we don’t fit in. We can do it all, but more than anything we have found a good home with the east coast sound. Some other sounds get fused in at times, but the new mixtape is very consistently east coast. There are other sub genre’s present, but they have some influence from the east coast sound.

Kevin: It’s pretty hard for me to put into words what each of the different styles are like. I would just have to let someone hear an example to show them. Not really sure where we would fall under. I think we’ve brought out things from the east coast and the south in our songs and styles. LampMode would probably fall under east coast, because their beats are pretty rugged and underground and they put a strong emphasis on rhyme schemes (except for J-Son, he would fall into the southern category). Reach would definitely be south/crunk.

HR:  So in light of that, what do you look for in a beat?

Alex Faith: Good timing with a Kick and Snare, Snare gotta hit, Kicks gotta knock….. I’m straying further and further and further away from commercial production, not that its bad, but I feel like I’ve found my niche with the Justice League, Dilla, 9th wonder flavor. Find some good strings; a nice cut up sample goes a LONG way when it has the right bass line and drums attached to it.

Omri: I’m starting to get into strings a lot more these days. A good snare hit, some strings, and preferably something not too busy. Beats that allow for creative lyrics are my favorite.

HR: What is lyrical theology?

Kevin: Sound doctrine and good theology that’s put together in rhyme schemes and rhyme patterns that exalts and glorifies the Triune God.

Omri: It’s a term that shai linne coined. It’s “theology”, the study of God, put to “lyrics” in the context of hip hop. i.e. a ton of gospel truth over a fast rhythm.

HR: Alex, I know you do a lot of production and beat building, take a minute to talk about that. What other projects you got in the mix?
Alex Faith: Well, I have been working part-time in my studio in south Atlanta. It is very fun. I’m working on a guy named Redd Lettaz album. I am executive producer on that project, got my finger in the beats along with Redd, I’m recording, mixing and mastering his full album. I recorded and edited 9 songs on Sho Baraka’s new album Lions and Liars, I did the single from Lecrae titled “Far Away”. I do countless things for random people here and there, this week I am mastering an EP for a girl by the name of Kiwi. I’m working on my second solo EP, DayLight. Random other projects all the time.

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  1. April 24th, 2010
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