Alexander Spit - Interview

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- You just released your first solo album, before that you were a member of the Instant Messengers. Is that group officially over? If so what made you decide to pursue the solo route and how has stepping out on your own as a solo artists been so far?

As of right now, The Instant Messengers are not working on any music or doing shows together. It's the result of all members agreeing that what we were doing was at its end. And what we had done together from the age of 15 until now (22) was huge. Before I was even legally able to buy cigarettes we were performing in front of a huge audience. Before I was old enough to be at bars, we were performing at them for sold out crowds. We toured the country crammed in a van playing gigs for free! Being in that crew taught me the art of paying dues as a musician.

During that time, I was always working on solo music. I was a solo artist before the crew had even started.

Now that I've gone solo, its forced me to work ten times harder. Whereas before, the workload was divvied up between four members, now it’s all in my hands. The metaphor I always use to describe the hustle is that now I'm "spinning plates". It's hard as a solo artist. But I feel that the reward is more fulfilling. I've always been big on the DIY (Do It Yourself) method of work.

Luckily, I do have a team of homies that ride for me. They help me get a lot done. I ain't able to pay these folks so their work means a lot. I think it's important for listeners and people to understand, that most great works of art, are the result of several people's helping hands.

- Your new album Open 24 Hours was released by The Hundreds. How did you hook up with The Hundreds to release the album? With The Hundreds being one of the top urban lines out right now has their involvement helped the album be a big success?

My Clark Kent is at The Hundreds store in SF. It's funny... Cause I kinda got the job itself at random through a friend. I barely knew anything of The Hundreds until a year ago... and now they're putting out my debut solo album.

I met the owners Ben and Bobby Hundreds a few months into being at the SF shop. A conversation began came up that I make rap music. That night I sent them what I had been working on as well as footage from live shows and what not. A few days later, Bobby hit me back completely ecstatic about what I'd been doing. He pretty much explained that he would be fully supportive of what I was trying to do with music. The rest is kind of history.

In regards to what its done for my success... It's done huge things. I've never had much appeal in the so-called "street wear" demographic. So, being that they are arguably the biggest "street wear" company out right now, it put my music in front of a lot of people. These fans of The Hundreds, trust in what The Hundreds put out as being dope. Plus, "street wear" cultures thrives off Hip Hop music.

My involvement with The Hundreds has boosted my fan base. It's also brought in the haters. It's all kind of crazy to me. I dig it. It's kind of made me speed up my hustle. Cause now that there's attention towards me, I can't be stagnant anymore. People's attention span doesn't last long nowadays. So it's important to not rest on the success of one project.

- The one thing I notice about this album when I listen to it is that it captures the California vibe. It has a lot of sunshine and easy living vibes, but there is also a lot of grit? Was that something you were trying to accomplish with this album?

I've lived in Cali my whole life. Currently in San Francisco. This city has the brokest of the broke to the richest of the rich. It's a blend of so many cultures and people. So the "sunshine and easy living vibes" with "a lot of grit" is a result of my surroundings.

So that sound is something I'm trying to accomplish with everything I do in music. There's beauty and there's ugly. That's life. That's what I try to portray in my songs. Luckily, Hip Hop is the perfect genre for this. You can utilize beautiful melodies to create a mood. Then add heavy drums to get people's hips moving. Then, finish it off with raps to create the classic Hip Hop energy we all love.

- The album title is interesting and I’m kind of wondering what the meaning is behind Open 24 Hours?

It's like... Who are you when no one else is looking? Are you the same person that you show to your friends and family? The same person on the bus headed to work? "Open 24 Hours" is my painting the effort towards being a "real" person. The person that you are 24 hours a day. I tried to do it all through the elements of being a young person in an urban city. Bars, sex, drugs, etc. All of it helped me paint the concept I was trying to get across.

- The Westcoast is producing a lot of hip hop artists right now and some are calling it a new West Coast renaissance kind of thing. I think your album kind of fits along with some of those other artists (U-N-I, Pac Div, Fashawn) in the way that it feels like a real hip hop record. It has top notch production and lyrically it is just top notch through the entire album. Can you tell me about who did the production and kind of where your head was at lyrically?

I did all the beats. In regards to the raps... I just wanted to drop science but with steez and energy. Have folks dancing to the beat cause they feel it, then pause and be like "this kid is actually saying something!" I like Top 40 music. I just think most of it can be saying more. So lyrically, I wanted to get real on these kids. But at the same time, come correct. A lot of the album has braggadocios raps as well. I think a rap record needs that. Rap needs to feel and sound dangerous. I'm just trying to say things that relate to me and make y'all think it's dope.

- You released a video for “Beat In The Street” can you tell me a little about how you came up with the concept for the video and what the filming process was like?

The Eazy E sample immediately made me think it needed to be a video with driving scenes in it. It's a high energy song and I wanted to portray that in the video. Rap videos are one of my favorite things in existence. Seeing rappers rap in front of their homies and at parties. That's my shit. Simple but energetic. In my video, I wanted those elements, but with my lifestyle. There's no ice being flashed. No video hoes. The girls in my video are quirky; artsy chicks that ain't trying to look like strippers.

We shot the video in LA. Mainly because that's where we'd get the most for our dollar in regards to hookups we had with equipment. It's funny... cause in every song I've ever made... I rep SF hard. Then once the video came out, fools were coming at me like, "So you're all Hollywood now huh?!?". It's funny to me. LA made the video what it is. It needed that summer vibe. Hah, and SF don't really get much sun.

The video was directed by Matt Hobbs. He's an absolute genius. Most of the shots in the video were ideas he came up with on the spot. He knew exactly how to execute what needed to be done. He knew how to help people feel comfortable in front of a camera. The dude is young too. He's killing it right now directing videos for a lot of folks. I think he just did one with Too Short recently. Check his work out. www.vital-films.com

-Who are some artists from your area you think are fixing to breakout that people should check out?

Man... The Bay flourishes with talent. It frustrates me and a lot of people that it's not recognized nationwide. The state of mind is different here I guess. Most of us ain't trying to be famous. We just want to put out quality music. And cause of that, most of it goes unnoticed.


You have to fuck with my boy Cambo. He's got beats and versatility. Probably the funkiest white boy I know. My boy DJ Effective is a REAL DJ. Dude, can do everything behind the tables. Hopie Spitshard is killing it. She and I got a project were working on right now that will be sure to turn heads. J-Billion got the whole city behind him. All of the Risky Bizness Crew is killing it. Those are my folks. They all hold me down real hard. They got SF on lock right now. It's dope. Hmmm... also my homies Fist Fam. These dudes are all from North Carolina and made their way out here and brought SF that southern noise. Craziest dudes I know. I could go on forever... 6Fingers, DNAE Beats, Enoch, Bo-Rat.... I don't know. Just do your research on Bay Area music.

-I guess that about wraps it up man, can you let everyone know where they can find you online and where all your new album is available?

Follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/alexanderspit. Hit up alexanderspit.com for weekly updates. And y'all can cop my album on iTunes. Or, you can order it online from www.thehundreds.com. The CD is available at Amoeba, Rasputin, FTC, True, and both The Hundreds shops.

Much love. Stay tuned for what's to come. I got that new new for y'all soon!

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