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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 – Troublemakers
Monday, February 18, 2008

How does a legendary MC step up his game and do something next level over a full decade after first wowing crowds? For Stronghold’s Breez Evahflowin the equation was simple, link up with one of his neighboring state’s hottest up and coming producers, Dirt E. Dutch. In January the duo released an album under the name Troublemakers (Breez Evahflowin and Dirt E. Dutch Are Troublemakers) and I caught up with both of them at their album release party at Cousin Larry’s in Danbury, CT. How did NYC’s Breez Evahflowin meet CT’s Dirt E. Dutch? I was wondering the same thing myself which is why I sat down with them to find out how they linked up, why their teaming works so well, and exactly what kind of trouble they’re causing.

Adam Bernard: Before you two first met what did you know of each other?
Dirt E. Dutch: My first memory of Breez is back in the day, pre 2K, when he would call in to Hot 97 and steal the segment every time. I was car swapping for Avis back then and always listening to the radio while driving up and down I-95. Then later came MTV’s Direct Effect when he had achieved battle champ status.
Breez Evahflowin: I had checked out a couple of Dutch’s IndieFeed Hip-Hop episodes a few years back and had to subscribe. The selection was mega tight and I was diggin the back story on all of the artists. It was respectful and being an artist I appreciated it.

Adam Bernard: So how did you two go from appreciating each other’s work to meeting up and creating something together?
Dirt E. Dutch: Breez hit me with an email giving me props for the IndieFeed playlist. He said he listened to the show while he did his artwork. The dude is a sick artist in case you didn’t know. He laced up the Troublemakers album art. I sweat it because he made me look cock diesel. Like my name was H.R. Buff N Stuff.
Breez Evahflowin: Yeah, well we had to look menacing and what not. (laughs) Dutch sent me the mp3 to “Don’t Be Afraid” and I was like this dude is official with it. There’s an art to sampling and beat making. I get over two dozen beat offers a month but the first couple of tracks Dutch sent really stood out. We never met face to face for the first year we worked together. It was all Google mail and Fetch.

Adam Bernard: Why did you choose Troublemakers as your name? What kind of trouble are you causing and for whom are you causing it?
Breez Evahflowin: There was a weight to the project that felt heavy, like trouble. Dutch actually came up with the name and I instantly approved as the visuals started to fill my mind.
Dirt E. Dutch: I knew the name would be appropriate because with our music we’re causing trouble on several levels. We’re taking it to the industry fakes in songs like “Trouble Anthem” and “Don’t Be Afraid.” We try to help expose the underlying evil that corrupts today’s society in “Killhumanati.” We even come at our fellow emcees and producers that aren’t holding their own weight on “Repo Men.”

Adam Bernard: Dutch, what’s different about working with Breez as compared to the other artists you’ve worked with, and who else are you currently producing for?
Dirt E. Dutch: Breez is just a natural. Period. What separates Breez from most emcees is not only his syllable play, in every song, but he’s saying something. You’ll never hear a Breez verse and say “awe, he ain’t sayin shit.” He cares about his craft and it shows. Right now I have another duo I’m in with Hawl Digg from CT called Workforce. We’ve been rocking live shows on the local circuit for about three years now. Our first officially distributed CD is coming soon. You’ll also hear a new album very soon on the Little Ax label from Rising Sun Quest out of Waterbury, CT, with production from myself and Sketch Tha Cataclysm. Ant Farm Affiliates all day.

Adam Bernard: How do you think your respective fan bases will respond to this? Do you feel you share a fan base already?
Breez Evahflowin: I’m more concerned with Dutch’s fan base than my own. I’ve learned from rockin’ with Soulive in the past that as dope of a lyricist as you might be you’re always directly connected to what you say. It’s a lot easier for people to appreciate a beat over a verse. The soundscape Dutch put together was amazing. I tried my best not to over do it and let each track show just as much instrument as voice.
Dirt E. Dutch: I know that a lot of my IndieFeed fans are fans of Breez and Stronghold. I’ve even gotten a few five star reviews on iTunes that have mentioned Breez’s name. So far we’ve gotten a great response across the board. We just need to reach more ears now and eventually eyes when we drop the video for “Don’t Be Afraid” later this month. Arjen Noordeman is the producer for that. He’s giving it some real eye popping animation and effects.

Adam Bernard: Sounds dope. One last question; when you look at the underground scene that you’re involved in what do you feel artists are doing right and where do you think there is some room for improvement?
Dirt E. Dutch: I think the underground scene is a mess. First of all I think that for every one good “underground” artist or band there are ten hot bags of garbage clogging up the scene. I place the blame mostly on the fact that home recording is so cheap and accessible and the media is telling everyone now that they can be a rock star, a filmmaker, or a rapper with no talent required. This way companies can sell you things like music software and video games, band contest entry fees, web hosting and CD manufacturing, so now the fan doesn’t want to pay for the artist’s music, the fan wants to be the artist because it’s easier than ever to try. And the problem with the good artists is there is a definite lack of a support system among them. Perhaps this is because of ego, laziness, greed, stupidity, or most likely a combination of all the above.
Breez Evahflowin: It’s a strange time in the music industry. I talk to people on every level of the game from the underground to the majors and nobody’s quite got it figured out. It just may be the curse of technological advancement and its exponential nature. Maybe in a strange way we’ll be a better society in the long run if we all have the option/opportunity to be creative instead of just the privileged few, or maybe Hip-Hop will just continue to suck and we’ll all watch society go to hell as we destroy the arts to make way for the official Running Man season premier.

Related Links

Website: littleax.com
MySpace: myspace.com/tmakers
Breeze’s Art: breezart.wordpress.com


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:51 AM  
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