Wednesday, 7 July 2010

A.K.A Subliminal Interview

Thank you for taking your time out to do this exclusive interview.
Not a problem homie!

What’s your name and where you from?
I go by the name a.k.a. SUBLIMINAL, and I am from the ‘T Dot’, Toronto Canada.

What releases have you had out to date?
I recently released my self produced, 17 track, debut album entitled ‘TRAINATHOUGHT’…a style of hip hop I call Soul Hop that was born out of my frustration with all the fast food music that is out there today.

What’s your favorite part of being a rapper/MC?
The ability to use words to relay messages and spark change…on many levels. It could be to make somebody let loose after a long day, or to make someone re- evaluate their priorities in life.

What do you think you bring to the table as an MC?
I think I bring back that realism. My style, content, etc. reminds people of what hip hop use to be…honest, real, and would leave you with a little food for thought without being ‘preachy’. You know there was a time in hip hop, if you rapped about things you didn’t actually have, cats would make fun of you for ‘FRONTIN’. Now we are use to people straight up lying about what they got and people are good with it? Not me. If you are 14 don’t rap about getting off your
5 million dollar tour bus, rap about how you plan on getting out of your momma’s basement.

If you was not involved in music what do you think you would be doing?
I would most likely either be doing architectural design in a firm, or I would be teaching.

Let’s talk about your current project. When’s it out? Can you tell who is involved?
My latest release is going to be on the U Turn project headed up by the president of Neo 2 Soul Promotions, Godfrey Fletcher and the man himself Herb Middleton. The track is called ‘Far Away’ ft. U.K.’s own Sheigh. The track produced by Herb Middleton sounds like a cross between Aaliyah’s ‘Rock the Boat’, and a reggae track. This will be a BIG CHUNE for the summer…TRUSS ME! I truly feel honored to be working with Herb on this track, and still cant believe that it took a guy from the UK (Godfrey) to spread my name to a cat from the US (Herb) to put this Toronto artist on! I guess it was just a matter of time until I met another collective of artist who are as serious and passionate about the art as I am. In short, this track has opened doors and unbelievable opportunities, and I am loving every second of it…its refreshing.

So what type of music do you listen to mostly?
It’s actually soul music...Musiq, Eric Roberson, Jaheim. I am also a huge Foreign exchange fan but for the most part, even though I am a hip hop artist my motivation as of late has been coming from soul. I guess because it remains real, true and speaks to me and where I am at this stage in my life.

Where would you like to see yourself 5 years from now?
Where my hero Eric Roberson is right now…making great music, moving crowds, married with a kid, a distribution deal but always in charge of my future and how I move forward. I see bigger acting roles (hopefully a steady one on a show) and taking my work with the youth to a more global scale.

What have you been most proud of in your career so far?
I’d probably have to say creating my album ‘TRAINATHOUGHT’. When I say that I did everything I MEAN EVERYTHING. I produced all the beats (except for 1), wrote, mixed, co-mastered and even did the artwork.
That bar code in the bottom right corner was carefully positioned by yours On the real though, when you hold a copy of my album in your hands that is 3 to 4 years of my life you are holding.
I hope you enjoy my labor of love.

If you could pick one producer to work with in the world who would it be and why?
J. Dilla hands down…R.I.P. I loved his style for the obvious reasons, swing, creativity, timing etc. but I have always loved his unpredictability i.e. His Latin interludes on his album, etc. Bottom line I think if we ever got the chance to work together there could have been some crazy ‘SOUL HOP’ music created. Not to mention where we could have taken it when performing live on stage. Once again R.I.P. J.

What’s your opinion on the current state of the charts?
In a nutshell, it is not diverse enough. Most of the subject matter is all about the same thing…money, women, club and “love”. The danger in this is that the younger generation is not exposed to what I consider to be ‘real’ music. Music that dives a little deeper into issues and get at the core of the issue. Now it seems that to be noticed you have to be crazy and outlandish. Lady Gaga. I wish people would understand that Andre 3000 dressed like that to make a real and honest statement and not just to be different to sell records…at least that’s my opinion.

How do you view Hip-Hop right about now?
Hip-hop has lost its way. I cant tell you how many people have thanked me for finally putting out an album that they can play in front of their kids. What does that say about where we are at musically? What does that mean if you can no longer share this amazing art form with the next generation? Hip hop will go back to the underground where it all started leaving the T Pains, etc to fill that commercial radio void while the Foreign Exchanges and a.k.a.
SUBLIMINAL’s take it back to what it was and should be…some realness.

Would you like to see yourself in the top ten?
If I could do it and not have to sacfrifice who I am and what I stand for then sure. I once did a show for a corporation and had an interviewer ask me if I felt I was selling out. I said no. The people at NIKE never asked me to change who I was, nor change my message or be less creative…in fact it was the opposite. If a corporation wants to pay me to continue to do me and ultimately expose people to another side of hip hop and do it on a large scale….SO BE IT. I am all about balance. Play the bubble gum rap that makes you want to drink and have fun, but also play some serious ish, with some real messages that may touch on politics, etc….but please…let the people think and give them something to think about. There is a lot wrong in the world right now on many levels, so it amazes me that the most we can spew out on radio is more of the same and nothing else.
Beyonce, if you can hear me…I know you can sing about some real ish…stop with the ‘video phone’ BS and give me something real that I can really take in and think about….at some point seeing a grown ass woman still trying to appeal to 16 year old girls is gonna’ look a lil’ ridiculous.

What is your opinion on the current UK music scene?
To be honest I hear mixed messages. On one hand I hear that the people in the UK have the BEST appreciation for real music…on the other, I hear that the UK hop hop scene in particular is being plagued with a lot of what we see on commercial American Radio….people singing/rhyming about nothing. I guess I’ll have a better idea once I arrive on the 2nd of July.

What’s next for you as an artist?
I think you will see the SUBLIMINAL name become much bigger in both the Music soul scene, the acting scene and the motivational speaking scene. People have been catching wind of what I have been doing and the demand for your boy Sub is increasing. Word is traveling and I am loving every minute of it. People are getting frustrated and looking for change..on many levels. The love I have been experiencing from the UK is unlike any I have experienced. I feel like the people in the UK are not just looking at me through 1 lens, rather, you all are looking at me and my entire story, truly appreciating what I represent, why I do what I do, and are hype to help in any way. For that I am grateful. Oh yeah..also look out for me in video games in the very near future. I recently landed a spot in a game from Ubisoft and will be available this Christmas on all gaming consoles. Can’t stop won’t stop..your boy Sub has his hands in everything!

Okay before you go please tell us how we can get your music and how people can get in touch with you.
No doubt fam. The album is called ‘TRAINATHOUGHT’ and can be downloaded from all major sites: iTunes, Rhapsody, emusic, Amazon, Napster and can be ordered from CD baby or HMV. My website is under construction (, but for now please check me out

Much love Franko and thanks for the love. People, please continue to support real music and the artists struggling to make it.


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