About Me

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 - Amo-1
Monday, January 25, 2010

Amo-1 can be quite the imposing figure. He’s certainly not small, he sports a huge parental advisory tattoo on his left arm, and he has some intense lyrical content. If he wanted to, he could be the type of guy to make you alter your course of direction if you saw him coming your way. I met Amo-1 outside of the Bowery Poetry Club before a Bondfire show. If an artist is at a Bondfire show, 99 times out of 100 they’re good people. Amo-1 turned out to be good people. He also turned out to be a heck of an artist, which is why this week I caught up with him to find out more about his music, his ink, and why he feels it’s important to bring the classic street vibe back to hip-hop.

Adam Bernard: Start me off with some background info. Where are you from and who were some of your early musical influences?
Amo-1: I grew up in Brooklyn, NY. Bensonhurst to be exact. Growing up in the late 70's/early 80's I was raised on a pretty eclectic blend of music, anything from James Brown to Jefferson Airplane, The Doors to Tito Puente, but I didn't start getting influenced by the music until I started hearing artists like The Jimmy Castor Bunch, The Sugar Hill Gang, Africa Bambaataa, Run-DMC, Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, Whodini, and Doug E. Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew. I was a young b-boy, so all the artists that helped mold hip-hop music were a huge influence on me, not to mention the tons of breakbeats we would dance to.

Adam Bernard: It sounds like you have a bit of an old soul. I see you also have a parental advisory label tattooed on your left arm. What’s the story behind the ink?
Amo-1: Well, I’m sure most emcees have been through it, but once people know that you rap they automatically ask you to kick something, no matter where you are or who’s around you, so I wanted to let people know that what you hear may not be suitable for your kids, so don’t get offended by what I might say, just read the label!

Adam Bernard: That’s dope. Speaking of dope, you just released an album titled Food For Thought. What kind of food are you serving up on this release?
Amo-1: The food referred to on this album are the beats and rhymes. Throughout the days and nights people crave certain foods and most people also crave good music. This album was a way for me to help fans of good music satisfy their hunger for good hip-hop.

Adam Bernard: The album has a very street vibe. Do you consider yourself a street rapper, or am I way off base with that and do you define yourself in totally different terms?
Amo-1: No, that’s actually a good way to put it. My lyrics are based on what I’ve been through in the streets and what I’ve seen in the streets. Hip-hop represents the streets, the struggles, the people, and the hardships of being an inner city youth, and this is what I represent as an artist. I don’t rap about things I don’t have, or haven’t been through. The artists that do are often questioned and ridiculed for their lies. I’d rather be true to myself and to my fans.

Adam Bernard: The street element of rap music has been slowly disappearing over the years. Where did it go and in what ways do you feel it’s disappearance affects the soul of hip-hop?
Amo-1: I think the corporate takeover of hip-hop has forced the DJs to play music that’s more commercial than street. Nowadays the DJs are rarely playing the hip-hop the streets wanna hear, they’re playing the music they’ve been paid to play. Besides the classic stuff that you hear on a weekend mix, it’s rare to get an earful of something new and dope. It’s a shame that the artists who put their heart and soul into their music get no love from the DJs. Look at the mixtape scene. Just to get on mixtape with a known artist hosting, or a well known DJ putting it out, you got to come up out your pockets. That’s a big reason why the street element is gone and all it does is make these artists sound the same and talk about the same things cuz that’s all they hear. I cant tell you how many times I’ve seen an emcee live on stage talking about poppin bottles and they’re flossin heavy, fresh to death, whippin the Benz, but they don’t buy one drink at the bar, got bummy gear on, no jewels, and are going home in a cab.

Adam Bernard: A lot of artists front, HARD. Speaking of the other artists out there, NYC has a seemingly endless sea of emcees. In what ways do you feel you stand out from the masses of men and women on the mic and is there any crowd that you feel you could fit in well with?
Amo-1: To be honest, I think I stand out because of my originality and my “Fuck You” attitude. I aint trying to sound like anybody. I don’t even listen to anybody who’s really out there and the artists that I do listen to, if I bit their style you’d know it! I only associate myself with the dope emcees. That’s the only crowd I could fit in with.

Adam Bernard: Finally, what are some of the things that have you most excited about hip-hop right now?
Amo-1: The cycle in hip-hop seems to be coming back around and the frauds and fakes are finally being exposed. The pioneers are coming back and the lessons of the game are being taught all over again. My 5MH crew is being noticed for our contributions to the game throughout the years and the emcees that we came up with are finally getting the exposure they deserve. No more of this okey dokey pokey shit. It’s back to classic material.

Related Links

MySpace: myspace.com/amo15mh
Twitter: twitter.com/amo1_5mh
Reverbnation: reverbnation.com/amo15mh
Zoomoozik: zoomoozik.com/amo1
MySpace: myspace.com/50millionhoodz
YouTube: youtube.com/amo15mh


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:24 AM  
  • At 11:22 AM, Blogger Chilly S said…

    AMO1 is that ish!I got proof.

  • At 1:12 AM, Blogger Mr. Beatz said…

    Amo 1 is definitely dope and is good peeps for real! Shout out to him and Adam!

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