Tell us, what can we expect from the upcoming mix-tape, “bail money and lawyer fee’s”?
Kasino: Hot 16’s of course (laughs). A consistent concept we really wanted to capture the moment and allow people to hear and feel the ups and downs that our team was going through at a particular time.
You say your music reflects the “struggle, hustle and muscle it takes to overcome adversity and hardships in this world”. What has life been like for yourself growing up in NYC?
Klass: my life has been a constant struggle between good and bad. And I have the opportunity to present that to people in my music.
Kasino: life has had its come ups and downfalls for me. I was raised in a single parent household and that affected me in different ways. I attended my first funeral at 13, lost one of my good friends. I been thru a lot and I want people to know that if I made it through this then you can too if you never stop fighting and never give up on yourself.
Your new mix-tape is due out soon, but what about an album? Is that something you are also working on?
Kasino: Yeah that’s in the works. We are in the process of working on that right now. The album will be out around November of ’08.
Klass: The album will be our body of work. By that I mean that it will give you a glimpse of who we are as a group as well as individuals. It will definitely be something that Hip Hop heads need. We are excited about the album.
Who influences your Hip Hop style?
Klass: I would have to say Nas was the biggest influence on me. I like the way he flows and puts words together.
Kasino: I don’t think I can just pick one person. So many different artists influence me to make different music. But I would have to say 2pac, Run DMC & Jay-Z.
Hip Hop today is huge and full of extremely talented individuals looking to make it big, what separates you from them? What makes you stand out?
Kasino: Our undeniable passion, charisma, respect and love for the culture. You know we really want people to see what we are painting, so we try to add detail to our songs. We want to make songs that cover all aspects of life “Say a prayer”, “Day by day”,” All my life”…those are songs that will hit home wit people…and that’s one of our goals is to touch people.
Klass: We have the ability to convey a serious message to people without being judgmental.
Do you feel there is enough support out there for upcoming artists like yourself?
Klass: I mean I believe that we will get the same chance as everyone else. With that said I do think that the support system for underground artist is low. But it’s also about who you know in this industry.
Kasino: personally no I don’t think so. Some people are so caught up in the mainstream music and not realizing that music is watered down and sometimes not even reflective of the person’s life. Underground music is real music I mean it’s not made for commercials or for radio spins. It’s music in it’s rawest form.
You have both been friends for a long time, since childhood yeah? When did you put your heads together and decide music was the way forward for you?
Kasino: yeah we have been friends for minute. We decided that a while ago when I created the group Ill Tactics (Champ, Klass, Kasino & Ice). We all end up going our separate ways after high school and me and Klass kept in touch and kept each other lyrics sharp.
Klass: Kasino and Me go back to high school. Much like he said we decided that shortly after high school.
Any shout out’s?
Kasino: yeah I would like to send a shout out to VS, CHAMP, ICE, Big, Millz, Don Juan and everyone that supports Tried & True.
Interview for British Hip Hop courtesy of Underground Promotion UK.