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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week - HiCoup
Monday, November 19, 2007

As most people know, haiku is a syllable-based form of Japanese poetry. Many people are now also discovering HiCoup, who is a rapper hailing from New Jersey. While he may be poetic in his own right, that’s about all HiCoup has in common with the form of poetry he shares the pronunciation of his name with. Born in Brooklyn, but raised in New Jersey, HiCoup has been making a name for himself with his powerful lyrical ability and impressive live shows. He currently has two full length albums circulating the streets, the mix-CD Ghetto Factory Supreme and a collaborative effort with female emcee Devynity titled Domestic Violence. Recently I ran into HiCoup at a show in New York City and we discussed the reasoning behind the unique spelling of his name, how he avoids the pitfalls a lot of lyrical MCs fall into when they attempt to create albums, and what it’s like repping a state that’s produced so much talent but still flies under the radar.

Adam Bernard: We have to start with your name. Most everyone knows the poetry form haiku, but you spell your name HiCoup. Talk to me about why you went with this spelling and the meaning behind it.
HiCoup: I made the decision to spell my name the way I do because it just fits me. Some people ask for some shit and get what it is that they wanted as a result. Not me, everything I've ever gotten I've had to take in one form or another, that’s where that Coup comes in. I always try to keep some sort of poetic relevance to my work, but make no mistake, I'm not asking for anything. My whole life is just one big muthafuckin coup d’etat.

Adam Bernard: You’re known for your lyrical ability. A lot of lyrical MCs, for instance Canibus, have troubles when it comes to creating hooks and complete songs. Why is this and how do you make sure you don't trip into such pitfalls?
HiCoup: Well, ya see most emcees are just trash. Everybody and their damn mother raps these days. Still, nine and a half out of ten rappers just plain suck. There are so many nine to five jobs out there just waiting for these guys… and broads. Most of these chicks rapping out here sound a hot ass mess too. So, to answer your question, it's because they're ass. Lucky for me I don't have this problem. I got other problems like baby mama shit, drinking too much from time to time, smoking too much, being so fucking good looking, but never, never, ever the ass rapper problem. Never that one.

Adam Bernard: I have two albums here by you, one is Ghetto Factory Supreme and the other is a collaboration with Devynity titled Domestic Violence. Tell me about each project, what’s makes them different, and why people should take a listen to both of them.
HiCoup: Ghetto Factory was a project that was done out of necessity. Everyone was doing the mixtape thing, and at first I wasn’t with it. I always just wanted to make my own music, feel me. But after a while I was like fuck it, let me do this real quick. I recorded it in like three days and put it out. Half of that project is original production, while the rest is industry beats. It was joints from that Ghetto Factory Supreme album like "Ghetto Factory" and "So Fly" that really began to give weight to my name. There are a few songs on it where I touch on topics like the problems that face black and brown people in the hoods of this country, my own fucked up views on relationships, as well as drug use, but it's still a mixtape, so that means for the most part I'm just breakin the backs of those beats. I'm the next hottest thing coming out of Jersey. That was the message. My man Dre Oba, who is the Creative Director of Shield Magazine, then came to me with this idea he had of me doing an album with this shorty that I've known for some time. So we got together and banged it out in about a month. We called it DomesticViolence. It's the hot shit cuz Devynity can hold her ground on some rap shit. It's not often that we hear a dope male emcee, but a female one! Shit, that must come like what... every two thousand years? Plus she can tell a story. And this is the art of story tellin, so we told it. Domestic Violence is an album, Ghetto Factory Supreme is a mixtape. And they both sound just like what they are... HOT SHIT.

Adam Bernard: You hail from New Jersey, the state that brought us such legendary acts as Redman and Naughty By Nature. Jersey, however, has never really been put on the map. Why do you feel your state, which has produced countless talented artists, continues to remain under the radar?
HiCoup: Cuz we're right next to New York. If I go down south and tell somebody that I'm from Jersey it's not that it doesn’t register in their brain what I said, it's just that everyone around the world knows New York. I mean, even King Kong fucks with New York. So, naturally, a muthafucka gonna ask some shit like "so, is that close to New York?" But yeah, it's right about time for Jersey to stand up and really be counted. I mean in a way that history has to hold down.

Adam Bernard: Finally, what do you feel is the biggest possible accomplishment you could hope to achieve through your music and how are you going about making it happen?
HiCoup: The biggest accomplishment I could make with this music thing would be to help free up other black and brown folk from some of the stresses that this society places on us. Not with the music itself, but with what it can get... money. And then with what money can get... land and shit.

Related Links

MySpace: myspace.com/hicoup


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:49 AM  
  • At 9:01 AM, Blogger Brian said…

    "never, ever, the ass rapper problem"


  • At 10:44 AM, Blogger thedopespot said…

    Adam, Great Interview and selection. I too am a fan of this Poet. I heard him originally on "meet the block Podcast" and he blew my mind. Now I want to find more on this dude. Thanks

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