Thursday, April 21, 2011

Interview with rapper Playdough and album review for "Hotdoggin"

Where did you get the emcee name Playdough from?
It's just a play on my government name

What's the transition of going solo like after spending all those years in Ill Harmonics?

The last ill harmonics albums was years ago and I had already put out a few solo albums at that point. So there's nothing new about what I'm doing now. I never really felt like there's been a transition.

What do you like better, solo or group work?

Solo work is easier because there's only one person calling shots. I do like working with a crew because everyone plays their own role and does what they're good at.

Do you consider yourself a Christian rapper, or a rapper who is Christian?

I've answered this question so many times. I don't care what people call me or what I do.  The music that I make would be exactly the same no matter what someone wanted to classify it as.  I don't understand why someone would care which one of those 2 choices I'm considered to be. My music is my music and it sounds like that, regardless of what it's called.

What do you say to people, who say you've changed or cover topics that do not fall under the list of ok "Christian" things to talk about, like money or arbitrary things like saying "freaking" in a verse?
I love God and my music is about me and my life so my faith definitely makes it's way into my music. People don't tell me that my topics have changed so I've never been asked to answer that. I don't have a list of things that are okay for a Christian to say or not say and I've never considered the use of the word "freaking" meaning I'm changing something about my music.  I've always written music about my life, so nothings changed. I use money everyday and so I wrote a song about it. 

Why is this new record the album that you most wanted to make, and why did it take so long for you to create it?

This album took a long time for me to make because I wanted to write it to reflect different parts of life I go through. I wanted to write in different peaks and valleys of where I was at to get that into the songs. Similar to how Psalms has all kinds of different day to day life of David. Sometimes he struggled and sometimes he was strong. Victorious and guilty of bad decisions. It took me a while to live it and make it

What new styles have you introduced on this album, how come you never "Hotdogged" before?

There are different tempos for me so I get to rhyme a little faster on songs. I also slow it down and rhyme over more southern style drums. I got to play with different rhyme patterns and cadences. I have a lot of live instrumentation on this album and tried to sing a little more on certain songs. Getting out of my comfort zone a little so that I could show my versatility and do something that people have never heard me do.

What went into selecting the guest rappers on this Hotdoggin?
I love Gift of Gab and have been a long time fan of his Blackalicious and solo albums. I've always wanted to work with him and thought he'd sound perfect on this project. He killed it. Freddie Bruno did a really strong hook for me on the song he's on. He's one of my favorites, too and was a perfect fit for what I was looking for.

If you could work with any rapper ever on a song, who would it be?
That's hard to answer because I'd want someone specific for different reasons. It would really depend on the vibe of the song.

What's the illest rhyme you've written?
There's too many to mention.

Who are your biggest influences as far as rapping, and what's on your most played on your iPOD?

Big influences would be Method Man, B-Real, Black Thought, Mos Def, Common and De La Soul. My iPod is all over the place. Coldplay and The White Stripes are probably 2 of the highest in plays.

What do you think about mainstream Christian rap like a Toby Mac, KJ-52, John Reuben, as opposed to the underground like you, Mars Ill, etc?

I just look at it as a style of music. Those guys work hard and do a different style than I do. There's a larger number of people that prefer there style of music.  People that like the style that I do usually prefer my music more. Just different types of music at the end of the day. 

Anything else you want to add?

Thanks for checking out my stuff. My website is You can get all my music and show dates from there. Thanks for covering my music. LOVE!

Hotdoggin is definitely that a true lover of underground hip-hop need to explore. It features all of the raw and gritty of non mainstream rap, and a good mix playful wordplay and witty catchy songwriter. Every rhyme is carefully thought out, and Playdough broaches on every subject from faith to having a girl and some money. Even the interludes between the songs feature interesting samples and cuts of classic sound clips. 

The tracks "No Angel" and "The Business" are the definite single worthy songs off the album with strong hooks and even stronger verses. "Say Sum", "Frank & Beans", and "Sunset" have killer beats that would stand up well by themselves. The guest emcees on the album also compliment and strengthen the album as they perform impeccably as well. 

The rest of the album is just solid straight up hip-hop from play to stop. Playdough really brings credibility to positive rap music by continuing to produce classy joints, creative witty rhymes skills, and catchy sing along hooks over great beats.

Hotdoggin track listing with production credits:
01) Nunya - Prod. by Harry Krum
02) Rhymer Reason - Prod. by Beat Rabbi and Harry Krum
03) No Angel - Prod. by Sivion and Harry Krum
04) Elizabeth Shue -Prod. by PicnicTyme
05) The Business - Prod. by Freddie Bruno
06) Say Sumn - Prod. by For Beats Sake and Harry Krum
07) My Cadillac - Prod. by Blaze Won and Harry Krum
08) Franks & Beans with Gift of Gab - Prod. by For Beats Sake
09) 1 Day - Prod. by Harry Krum
10) Hotdoggin - Prod. by DJ Bombay
11) Singleminded Female - Prod. by Freddie Bruno and Harry Krum
12) So What with Freddie Bruno - Prod. by Harry Krum
13) I Got It Like - Prod. by Harry Krum
14) Ya Heard with Mr. Dibbs vs The Black Keys - Prod. by Mr. Dibbs and The Black Keys
15) Follow It - Prod. by Harry Krum
16) Sunset - Prod. by Harry Krum

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