(1.) The album flows so smoothly and the beat selection is damn-near immaculate! How did you go about picking which tracks to include and sequence them?
I tried to pick tracks that fit the theme of global revolution best, and went with those. I ended up cutting all the songs about more personal sh*t. I tried to sequence it more thematically as opposed to aesthetically.
(2.) How exactly would you describe the overall sound (genre-wise) of A Ruthless Criticism of Everything Existing?
It's Rap music. I've been calling it "Critical Theory Rap." Some people have called the production "glassy," I don't know what that means. * THE WITZARD EDIT: "This album is the culmination of a lot of shit, I hope you enjoy it... It's funny, it's poppy, it's not poppy, it's belligerent, it's personal, it's militant, it's everywhere." (Kickstarter Update #18)
(3.) I'm not the most political person whatsoever... But how would you advise young people to go about picking a candidate to support for the upcoming Presidential Election? Which BIG issues really matter?
Uh. See, the main question is "Does this election really matter?" Sure we're told its about civil rights, the right for gay people to marry, the right for women to do/say what they want with their bodies with regards to reproductive rights... but isn't every election about that? The only difference now is that Democrats are running on those wedge issues [cause] they can't win on the economy, foreign policy, the ecosystem, or anything really. Some people are swallowing their nose and voting Obama, some are voting on local initiatives and not voting for president, some are voting Third Party. The big issues that matter, aren't being discussed.... universal health care, us imperialism, the financial crisis, green jobs, student debt just hit a trillion dollars; That's an average of $27k per student with no jobs for them. Our system is crumbling, if you REALLY want to "vote," [go] take to the streets. We are told that voting is the highest of our civic duties... Yeah, we're supposed to go out once every four years and choose between two corporate puppets who basically represent the same interests and that's democracy... that's not democracy.
(4.) Can you explain what happened with the Kickstarter campaign, for those who don't know... and how are you going to use the money to fund the album release efforts now?
I used Kickstarter to fund my album. I raised 8k after Kickstarter/Amazon took their cuts. With that money, about $2,500 went into mixing/mastering, another $1,000 went into manufacturing the CD's, I bought some new equipment for my live show, the rest of the money is going into getting the rewards manufactured, doing some marketing (ads, propaganda). If there's money left over at the end, I'm gonna get some dental work done.
(5.) "Ruthless" has gotta be my personal favourite track! It's such a strong album closer!.. Any chances of seeing an eventual music video push behind that track, man?
Maybe. I dunno. I'm kind of burned out on making music videos all the time, I want to do the minimum as far as that stuff is concerned.
(6.) Eyeying up any specific Pop Radio staples to remix on Nuclear Winter #3 or is is still going to be 90's-themed?
Nuclear Winter 3 could be a long time in the making, right now I'm really focused on a lot of other projects. When I feel the inspiration to make one I will, but for now I'm focused on working on new solo produced stuff and new Skyrider stuff.
(7.) What sort of music did you listen to growing up and how do you think those artist ended up inspiring you "Rap as Journalism" style?
Without a doubt were it not for X-Clan, Public Enemy, and Boogie Down Productions, I would not be doing what I am doing now.
(8.) You were telling me that you're currently busy editing the "Assad Is Dead" music video together. What's the general plot/storyline behind it?
I don't want to spoil it. But basically the video is supposed to be me in Syria, but the idea of "Assad Is Dead" means "Death to all dictators everywhere." There is a street fight that I'm "reporting" from where all these people dressed in black are behind a wall of tear gas and smoke grenades throwing stones... Eventually I get attacked by the police, and well, let's just say it doesn't end well for the cop.
(9.) How'd Adam "MCA" Yauch's recent passing personally affect you, and what sort of bearing do you think it'll have on Hip-Hop as a whole?
I grew up listening to the Beastie Boys, but stopped listening to them in the 90's. It's crazy all these people we grew up on dying, if there is a lesson to be learned maybe it's take better care of your body, don't abuse it.
(10.) Keeping in mind this fresh crop of young rappers, would you care to name a few of your "dream collaborators?" Any way we might see you working with these guys in the near future?
New Rappers? Not really feeling any of em. I'd like to do music with Open Mike Eagle, but he's not exactly "new."
(11.) You recorded a track called "Bad Captain Swag" with Lil B (2011). Have any CRAZY stories that you'd like to share about your time spent hanging out with #BASEDGOD?
We still haven't met. I like Lil B, he is a very unique dude. Every few months, out of the blue, I get some really friendly/bizarre email from him and I'll just laugh.
(12.) Tim, how did your time spent working with the "Occupy" effort(s) help to inspire the sheer creation, content, themes, etc. on A Ruthless Criticism of Everything Existing?
This album is a bi-product of my time spent at Occupy Denver. It literally transformed me into believing in the power of people. I was always a "[buy] ammo go to the woods, plant a farm, watch it all burn" kinda dude, but now I'm more interested in the idea of cities in revolt... which is the opposite... True social change always originates in the cities... and since I now see that as a possibility, I'll hang out in the city for a while, see what kinda dust I can kick up.