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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 – Edreys
Monday, February 11, 2008

A couple weeks ago my buddy Tone X over at DeepThinka Records sent me a link to one of his artist’s latest videos. The artist was Edreys and the video was for "DUI (Dumb Under The Influence)." I was instantly impressed with Edreys’ skills on the mic and the video was a great homage to the classic Hip-Hop film Krush Groove. “DUI” was so brilliant, in fact, that I had to know more, so I hit up Tone who put me in touch with Edreys. This week I sat down with Edreys to discuss the video, his very interesting history in music, and in what way you can literally see what he’s saying.

Adam Bernard: First off, let everyone know who you are and where you’re from.
Edreys: My name is Edreys, pronounced E-Drease, like "grease." Born and raised on the East Side of Buffalo, New York, and schooled here as well. I graduated from one of the top high schools in the United States today, City Honors High School. I like to add that in because I think it's cool to be smart (laughs), so you won't hear any tales of how my dad left me and how I fell victim to the streets and served a bid. Fact - Yes, I was raised in the hood, grimy, and contrary to my earlier statement, my dad was NOT around, BUT I was fortunate enough to rise above the trouble, the guns, the drugs, the ignorance, etc.

Adam Bernard: I hear you also have a vast musical history. Talk to me about it.
Edreys: One of the groups that I was involved with that made a little ripple in the pond, so to speak, was called Raw Intelligence. The founding member Trevor (Trev Thorne) was the producer and I was the emcee, with the likeness of Guru and DJ Premier or Pete Rock and CL Smooth, except Trev rapped too. Raw Intelligence dropped three albums: Universal Law, F.E.E.L. (For Ears of Educated Listeners) and Raw Intelligence. Before Raw Intelligence I was an emcee in a live band called The Elements. We produced three albums independently on some real basement, underground, organic vibes. The two musicians from that group, brothers Alan and Neal Evans have since gone on to greater achievement by forming a band called Soulive. As The Elements I believe we created about four albums, once again, very under the radar, especially since this is like the beginning of when I started taking it seriously.

Adam Bernard: Now solo, you recently released a “no-budget” video for “DUI (Dumb Under The Influence).” What were some of the most creative things you had to do to make this happen?
Edreys: The video was Tone X's idea, a nod to the legends, LL Cool J, Run-DMC, Rick Ruben etc., so some of the most creative things were how we created the set to resemble that of the Krush Groove set with no more than what was already in the office. Also, we had to pull the studio mic out of the studio, raise it as high in the air as we could and use it as a boom mic. It’s in the shot, but it's difficult to see, and I won’t tell you where it is either, but it’s definitely in the shot. The ironic part is when I enter the room I have a disc in my hand and throw it on the table after they diss me, but here is the kicker, I tell my man to play the BOX and he presses the play button on the tape deck. So why I didn’t walk in there with a tape cassette in my hand (laughs)… talk to the director.

Adam Bernard: Why did you go with that scene from the film?
Edreys: When Tone X hipped me to the concept I loved it because it was definitely the most memorable part of the movie for me. LL Cool J at the time was hardly off the ground as the Def Jam lead off artist, but when he busted into the auditions unannounced, that was just so hardcore. He had his two boys with him and was like "Box." It was like "I'm going to rap anyway and go for mine" and that attitude always stuck in my memory, so to portray LL in our production just made so much sense, especially in light of the fact that DeepThinka is now re-branding itself and I'm the lead off artist for DTR now.

Adam Bernard: Now explain to all the readers out there what being “Dumb Under the Influence” means.
Edreys: “DUI (Dumb Under The Influence)” is a play obviously on Driving Under the Influence, in which a person’s judgment is impaired. With today’s bubble gum music, stale bubble gum actually, and the way it’s force fed to people through marketing and airplay, it’s causing people’s judgment to be impaired. You hear a song, know its wack, and a month later you're like "yo, it ain't so bad really. I like the beat." NO! Wack is wack. The influence of the machine is so auto-suggestive, it'll have grown people singing and dancing as silly as their children. People have sipped, swigged or guzzled the mass marketed and manufactured Dumb Juice, hence Dumb Under the Influence.

Adam Bernard: Finally, what do you offer to listeners that no other emcee does?
Edreys: I’m universally accepted and palatable from the streets to the universities. My range is more diverse than any emcee. Many emcees are, or have generally been, stronger in one area than in another, but I can tell a story, a touching story, a mystery, etc. with the same effectiveness that I can spit a verse to make a dude stop rapping for good. Like I said, "from the streets to the universities." I'm also more than a triple threat. Not only do I produce, write and perform my own material, I am also a visual artist. My visual art and my music share the same stage and platform, so when I ask "do you see what I'm sayin?” it really means do you see what I’m saying, because my music visually paints pictures in the listeners minds and my artwork also speaks. And how many emcees can brag that their art is dope enough to be found in restaurants?

Related Links

MySpace: myspace.com/edreysmusic
Blog: edreysmusic.wordpress.com
Art: g-51.com
DeepThinkina Records: deepthinka.com
YouTube: Video - DUI (Dumb Under The Influence)


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:51 AM  
  • At 8:18 AM, Blogger Rebel said…

    wordup Adam! thanks again.... I wanted to also let everyone know we're runnning a contest right now, you can win Zune Mp3 players, New Era Fitteds, Customized collectibels and more!!


  • At 10:29 AM, Blogger Sam Sellers said…

    Two City Honors graduates as Artist of the Week in 3 weeks? Adam B knows where to scout for talent. Buffalo all day baby...


    Rabbi D

  • At 11:38 AM, Blogger Gabe said…

    I really liked the ending, for real you don't see 50 cent talking about how he just finished a piece of art.

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