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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 MC Faceman
Monday, May 31, 2010

Sometimes it takes doing something a little different to get noticed. The MC Faceman knows this, which is why at the last Bondfire he jumped on stage with a megaphone for his time on the mic. I’d known The MC Faceman for a little while, and knew he was a talented emcee, but in a sea of artists, it was the megaphone that made me remember him most out of all the amazing acts I saw that night. Earlier this month The MC Faceman released the free downloadable EP 2010: The Year of The Worker Bee, and this week I caught up with him to find out more about his music, how the internet helped give him his name, and why he’s much more interested in meeting contractors and lawyers than famous people.

Adam Bernard: Not a lot of artists have a “The” in front of their name. Tell me, how did you become The MC Faceman?
The MC Faceman: I started to seriously rhyme, as in record, and build up my skill in the online battle scene on several different websites. No freestyling, just back 'n forth written dissing. Sometimes I'd even start "beef" with other artists just so I could really put my skills to the test. When things are personal, both artists work harder and elevate higher. I started out as -_-' on the Spinner forums when I was about 15. I chose -_-' because I figured it'd be harder for my opponents to diss me. Eventually people started calling me Smiley Face and then Faceman. It had a nice ring to it so I ran with it. The "The MC" part I added a couple years ago mainly to make myself more Google-able, but I now feel that it gives me an air of authority. {laughs}

Adam Bernard: Where are you originally from and what has the path been like to where you are today, both geographically and musically?
The MC Faceman: I was born in Maspeth, Queens and moved to Cypress Hills, Brooklyn after my parents separated when I was two years old. I've lived in the same area ever since. I grew up on classic rock like Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith via my father and discovered 90’s hip-hop from my cousin and other kids from the block. The Fugees, Onyx, DMX, Lost Boyz, House of Pain, B.I.G. and Big Pun put my tape and CD players to work! I had a brief period in junior high where all I listened to was trance music, like DJ Scooter, and when I hit high school I was all about dancehall and reggae since I was in my "clubbin” phase. During college I got back heavily into the underground scene and dug cats like Necro, Jedi Mind Tricks, Non Phixion, Atmosphere, Apathy and Canibus. From high school to college I was battling online, but eventually grew out of that and started making my own actual songs. Since that point, I've released half a dozen mixtapes. Nowadays I listen to a lot of new underground music since I review for Above Ground Magazine. Also, I listen to a lot of progressive rock and metal like Dream Theater, Tool and Metallica.

Adam Bernard: You have a wide range of musical tastes. What first drew you to hip-hop and is that aspect of it still present in the culture today?
The MC Faceman: As a kid, what first drew me to it was all the cursing, but what keeps me enthralled is that it's such a liberating medium that allows artists to express whatever is on their mind and in a dense way. You can say so much more and go into so much more detail in a hip-hop song than in a rock, trance, or reggae track. There's definitely A LOT of true hip-hop artists out there doing their thing and I love the artists who keep it going not for money's sake, but for the sake of the art itself.

Adam Bernard: Speaking of the art of hip-hop, and creativity, I saw you on stage at a Bondfire show rhyming into a megaphone. First off, how much practice did it take to get the distance right in terms of how close you should hold the megaphone to the mic, and second, what inspired you to do this? Was it an homage to Rage Against The Machine?
The MC Faceman: It was just an idea that came to me one night. I might have been high, that could explain it. I didn't practice with it at all at home, though, I was just winging it {laughs}. I figured it wouldn't matter anyway because it was more of a visual tool than an auditory one. That's why I planned to use it only for the first 12 or so bars.

Adam Bernard: With hip-hop being the genre of music most affected by the digital age in terms of becoming overcrowded with everyone being able to make an album, do you think you have to do something different to get noticed?
The MC Faceman: I feel like everyone could be a hip-hop artist if they really wanted to, and that if you have some kind of skill there IS a market for you somewhere. People always like to hear something different and original. I consider my brand, or sub-genre, to be progressive hip-hop. By that I mean I switch up my flow and delivery in ways most people aren't used to hearing. You may notice that sometimes I use melodies within my rhymes. That's just one example of how I bring something new in that area. When it comes to lyrics and content, I give people topics they may never have heard covered on a hip-hop song, or maybe put a clever twist on a preexisting subject. For example, "Proof of Purchase," on my Penetration mixtape, is an allegory comparing a man who gave his love to a woman to a purchase from a store. I do make more typical songs like "Piff Wit It," which is on my upcoming debut album, but even in that song I do something different by spitting different choruses after each verse. They all have the same structure, but they have different lyrics. Not only that, but it's a dual-layered chorus. Behind my bars is singing that completes the understanding of every line.

Adam Bernard: “Piff Wit It” is off of your upcoming album, but for people who want to hear you now you released something earlier this month. Tell me about the 2010: The Year of The Worker Bee EP.
The MC Faceman: Actually, I like to call it a "minitape" since I'm not selling it. 2010: Year of The Worker Bee is essentially a taste of what's to come. It's to let people know that I'm actually doing something! I feel, especially being relatively new to the scene, that people have no idea who I am or what my music sounds like, so I decided on doing a project that was easily digestible.

Adam Bernard: The first song on it is over the beat to Wu-Tang’s “Triumph.” Picking such a classic beat to rhyme over, you leave yourself open to be compared to everyone who was originally on it. Are you worried about any potential backlash from Wu fans?
The MC Faceman: No sir, I don't really give a fuck what people think. Obviously, I'd like recognition, attention... a CAREER in this industry, but those are just wants. I NEED to rhyme. I do it for myself, because if I didn't rhyme I'd be in a grave, one way or another.

Adam Bernard: Let’s say you blow up and get super famous. When that happens, who are the three people you most want to meet, and why?
The MC Faceman: As in other famous people? I suppose I'd like to meet Canibus, Immortal Technique, the members of Dream Theater, and a bunch of other artists who I currently dig, but when I blow up I'm going to be more worried about building up my community. In that case, I'd rather meet my head building contractor, my number one lawyer, my program director, and the other people I'd need to put Cypress Hills on the map.

Related Links

Bandcamp: 2010: The Year of The Worker Bee
Bandcamp: The MC Faceman - Penetration
Reverbnation: reverbnation.com/themcfaceman
MySpace: myspace.com/themcfaceman
Twitter: twitter.com/themcfaceman
YouTube: youtube.com/themcfaceman
Blog: indiefacevalue.blogspot.com/


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:30 AM  
  • At 6:58 AM, Blogger Chaz said…

    MC Faceman - New York's #1 megaphone crooner!

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