HipHopBreath NY Edition w/ AWKWORD, Talib Kweli, Joey Bada$$
France’s Hip Hop Breath features Talib Kweli, Joey Bada$$, Papoose, The Kid Daytona, Kris Kasanova, Aasim, Jeury San and AWKWORD in its New York Edition.
Click here to download the magazine FREE and read the exclusive interviews with today’s New York rap superstars. Or, see below for the English translation of the AWKWORD feature.
This emcee originally from the Big Apple through his music represents the deprived people of their rights, oppressed, hard-working, unheralded, these unsung people worldwide.
1. Can you introduce yourself?
My name is AWKWORD. I am The People’s Champ. Hip Hop/Rap Artist, Activist and Sociologist. Lifelong troublemaker and perpetual rebel rouser.
2. Where does your nickname come from?
I grew up feeling alienated and uncomfortable in my surroundings, but instead of crawling inside myself I took ownership of awkwardness, announced that it is #oktobeAWKWORD and represent through my music for all my awkward, alienated, disfranchised, oppressed, hard-working, unheralded, unappreciated people worldwide.
3. Where does your style come from?
I work with producers from all over the world, dozens of countries and every continent. I am inspired by the music and my pen flows from there. But I grew up on Public Enemy and Run DMC and was heavily influenced early on in my career by fellow tough Jew ILL BILL, so my sound is probably recognizable as New York City boom bap.
4. What do your tattoos on your forearm mean? Do you have any other tattoo?
On my right forearm is the AWKWORD tattoo, representing all the AWKWORD men and women out there. On my left forearm is a slightly modified version of a Banksy stencil: a Hip Hop fallen angel, like me.
Yes, I do have other tattoos. I have a Star of David on my upper back/lower neck, with the Hebrew phrase for “carrying the Sh’ma”, which is the prayer that my people chanted on the way to the gas chambers during the Holocaust. On my left shoulder is the Chinese symbol for “Eternity”, an ironic gesture from my teenage years that I plan to cover up with an homage to my mother (RIP).
5. Can you tell us about the project “World View”?
World View is the first-ever 100% for-charity global Hip Hop project.
Hosted/presented by The DJ Booth (DJBooth.net) and also sponsored by The Morgan Stanley Foundation, The Red Tag Society and End of the Weak (EOW), in addition to Dope Music Blog and The Mad Bloggers, my “highly anticipated LP World View” (The Source) is designed to connect us worldwide through Hip Hop music & culture. World View features contributions from every continent, approximately 20 countries and every U.S. region. The album boasts production from the likes of Harry Fraud, Domingo and Numonics, and guest emcee appearances from Joell Ortiz, Sean Price, KRS-One, Slug (of Atmosphere), Chino XL and more.
All proceeds from World View are donated to Guns 4 Cameras, a 501c3-registered nonprofit that goes a step beyond the gun exchange, working to educate and empower at-risk youth in our communities.
World View is designed to connect the Hip Hop community globally; give back to the community locally; and demonstrate for all the haters out there that Hip Hop can be a force for good.
6. Who did you work with?
For additional information on guest emcees, producers, etc., please visit AWKWORDrap.com.
7. Are you working on some other projects?
I will begin work on my next solo album as soon as World View is finished. I plan to work with only one producer on this not-yet-titled project.
While working on World View, I did release a fre(EP) with Italian producer Cletus, called ‘Remnants & Rejects’. More info and free stream/download here: http://www.awkwordrap.com/remnants-rejects
8. What do you think of people who think that Hip-hop is not from NY anymore?
I tell them to pay better attention. I’m thrilled Hip Hop is expanding, but New York City is still the epicenter.