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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 - The Redland
Monday, August 11, 2008

The Redland is the duo made up of Earv Legend and Kose (pictured left to right) and they have one goal in Hip-Hop, to lead the next generation of inspirational artists. According to Earv, “from Bob Marley and John Lennon, to Tupac and Kurt Cobain, we aspire to carry the torch for our generation.” Earv and Kose met in 2001 as college freshmen in Atlanta, GA. At the time they were just friends, neither knowing the other’s musical talents. As time went on they both discovered they not only had talent, but also a shared love of music, and wanted to create something different from what they had been hearing on their radios. This week I caught up with both Earv and Kose to find out more about the music they’re creating, the unique way in which they approach their craft, and what they feel is the one thing that can help Hip-Hop regain its lost luster.

Adam Bernard: Since you’re a duo, I’d like each of you to take a second to describe the other. Tell me what makes your partner in music unique and someone worth listening to.
Earv: Kose is that once in a generation musician. He literally, out of everyone, is one of my favorite artists of all time. It's just a matter of time before the world hears what I’ve heard and comes to the same conclusion.
Kose: As an artist Earv provides a vivid view of what he sees around him. He does this without judgment. He can find the poetry in any subject or person. I really don't look at him as just a rapper. To me he is more like an author who has just chosen music as his platform for now.

Adam Bernard: What story do you have to tell that hasn’t been told before?
Kose: We really don't tell a different story, it's more like we've taken a movie and changed the camera angles. We use the same characters and show the scenes that usually get cut from the movie. We're all about perspective and showing a different point of view. The world around us provides the footage.

Adam Bernard: I know you have some strong opinions on the current state of Hip-Hop, so hit me with them. How do you feel about the way things are going, both musically and with the culture as a whole?
Earv: Well, Hip-Hop is unique because I believe the music drives the culture. For instance, now that the music has become more and more materialistic the culture isn't as deep. Now if you wear the right clothes you might be considered Hip-Hop. I feel like Hip-Hop was like a code that the youth used to communicate, but that code was compromised, so now the vast majority of it is just corny. Most of the rappers aren't really artists but more or less hustlers or businessmen only concerned with the money and not the people who support the music.

Adam Bernard: It’s a good first step to point out the problems, but now that they’ve been identified we have to go about figuring out how to solve them. Do you have any ideas on how we as a community can go about this?
Kose: First I think Hip-Hop and everyone involved from the artists, the DJs, the label heads, the journalists, and even the fans need to be totally honest with themselves. A lot of the music we call Hip-Hop is just not good music by any standard and the record sales prove it. We also have to realize that everything that has a strong beat and comes from the urban community is not automatically Hip-Hop. Some music is regional dance music made for a certain setting and neither the artist nor the critics should consider it Hip-Hop. Artists are not developed anymore, they’re used for a quick buck and then it's on to the next. The gatekeepers have let us down. When the DJs and journalists support artists without real scrutiny we all suffer. When an artist gets a deal not because he makes good music but because he sounds like the last guy, we suffer. Earv and I have taken the position to just make good music with integrity. Until Hip-Hop takes risks again it will never enjoy the success it once had.

Adam Bernard: Who do you see as tomorrow’s great influences?
Earv: Besides us? I think the artists that will inspire the future are going to be those that consistently make good music to please any genre's fan base. Like Gym Class Heroes, All-American Rejects, and Outkast; true artists who continue to push the boundaries of music.

Adam Bernard: Finally, I gotta let ya talk about the election, so what are your thoughts on the presidential race and what topics would you like to hear them debate about?
Earv: Anything but the candidates’ pastors or flag pins.
Kose: Or Viagra.

Related Links

Website: theredlandmusic.com
MySpace: myspace.com/theredland


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:42 AM  
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