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Name: Adam Bernard
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Artist Of The Week - L.I.F.E. Long
Monday, October 04, 2010

Sometimes I say an Artist Of The Week feature has been a long time comin, and when it comes to L.I.F.E. Long that phrase couldn’t be more fitting. I first met L.I.F.E. Long in the very early 2000’s through Dyalekt, who introduced us when we bumped into each other on the street. L.I.F.E. Long hit me with a copy of the 2000 Writers Guild EP, The Writers Guild! (which I still have, red paper insert and all) and I continued to follow his career, as well as the major moves his crew, Stronghold, were making in New York City’s underground hip-hop scene. We saw each other at shows every now and then and kept in touch.

Now a heck of a lot more is on L.I.F.E. Long’s plate, so we sat down to discuss the multitude of albums and collaborations that he’s been working on, his thoughts on the development of New York’s underground hip-hop scene, and why he thinks the L.I.F.E. Long of today would really get along with the L.I.F.E. Long of ten years ago.

Adam Bernard: You are, of course, a part of the legendary Stronghold crew, but you also do plenty of other projects, both solo and with other artists. For those who many not be as familiar with your non-Stronghold work, tell everyone what else L.I.F.E. Long has been working on.
L.I.F.E. Long: One project that I have been doing, actually from before Stronghold, is Writers Guild. Shout out to Loer Velocity. We’ve been doing music as Writers Guild since about ’95. We took a break from the project  to concentrate on our solo projects, but are currently in the lab again, so expect to hear some new Writers Guild Material coming soon! Next up to bat is the Area 51 project that consists of myself, C-Rayz Walz, Elohem Star, and production by Hybrid of Room 5, and Sterling. It’s a real next level project where we focus on some straight next level alien shit. Seriously! You gotta peep the project, it’s insane. From lyrics to production it sounds like a movie! You humans will not be ready for Area 51! I am also working on a project with emcee Iomos Marad from Chicago and producer Aneeway from France. We form a crew called the Allies. We currently have a single out called “Winter” that has been appearing on compilations and mixtapes and are working on our LP. It’s coming out crazy! I met Iomos Marad a few years ago while he was touring in NY and I met Aneeway online about two years ago. Aneeway got a chance to visit NY last summer and then me and Iomos visited Aneeway in France this past Spring. We hope to have our LP ready in 2011. Expect some real dusty jazzy vibe. Grown people music. My next solo LP, Crossing The Globe, which was produced by Big Ape, will drop Winter 2010 on Domination Recordings.

Adam Bernard: The L.I.F.E. in L.I.F.E. Long stands for Living In Full Effect. Is this meant to be self-descriptive, a message to people to get up off of their couches, or both?
L.I.F.E. Long: Basically that is what it means. Also it represents the state I'm always in, “Living In Full Effect,” meaning that I am always in effect, always aware, knowing and effective in what I do.

Adam Bernard: Being an underground, or independent, artist can be very difficult. You’ve been appearing on albums since 1995. Does the journey ever get tiresome, and if so, how do you deal with that?
L.I.F.E. Long: It definitely gets tiresome, man. I’ve been doing independent music for over a decade, but what keeps me doing music is the love. Nothing nowadays would draw me into this culture. I hate the new hip-hop! To be honest I'm living through my past, man. I now make music for people who like my genre of hip-hop, and for myself. I give thanks that I am still able to do this. I also appreciate the real artists breaking barriers, going outside the box, and creating that real music with no limitations!

Adam Bernard: It sounds like you’re not a big fan of most current hip-hop. Does this include NY’s hip-hop scene?
L.I.F.E. Long: To be honest, I'm not really too happy with the NY hip-hop scene. It has evolved to a world where we have egos instead of character. We have a lot of so-called artists who know nothing about being an artist, but instead have mastered Pro Tools and copying other artists. When Stronghold was running through the scene it was more about originality and skill. It has now become more on who you know and the resources you have to make you popular. I feel like the independent scene is no different than the majors now. There are so many cutthroats and people who want to bring you down. All I can do is shake my head. I mean, there are a lot of artists that are keeping it real and helping to carry on the torch that the pioneers left us, but a lot of emcees know nothing about the culture or history and have no talent at all, so it’s kind of messing up the game.

Adam Bernard: Speaking of carrying the torch, when you co-founded Stronghold, what were you hoping to do?
L.I.F.E. Long: What I hoped for is now manifested! The vision of Stronghold was strength in numbers and to make an impact in the industry. Since Stronghold’s beginning in ‘97 we have accomplished so much. Stronghold has released two mixtapes and each member of the crew has put out numerous solo projects and appeared on many other projects, plus we are known worldwide, not just in NY. That was our vision, to be seen and heard word wide, and we accomplished that! Stronghold is really like a support team now. I doubt we will ever put out a Stronghold LP because of each member's hectic schedule, however we are always there for each other, and we are always appearing on each other's projects. Breez (Evaflowin) actually did the artwork for The Waiting Game and Crossing The Globe!
Adam Bernard: When you look at your career, and who you are as a person, now, in what ways do you feel you’ve grown both musically and personally over the years? How well do you think you’d get along with the LIFE Long from ten years ago?
L.I.F.E. Long: When I first started I was straight out of high school, I'm a grown man now. Before I didn't really know the business, or how to create music. I learned so much over the years. I think I would of liked me ten years ago because ten years ago I was going hard and trying to get more of a name for myself. I think if I could talk to the L.I.F.E. Long of ten years ago I would put myself onto the business side of things and also tell myself nothing is granted! 

Adam Bernard: What are you looking forward to next, both musically and personally?
L.I.F.E. Long: I hope that my music will be appreciated more on a large scale. I think I would like to push myself more musically and do things I haven't done with my solo career. Personally I want to learn more. I don't think we can never know too much!

Related Links

The Waiting Game: dominationrec.com
Twitter: twitter.com/TheRealLifeLong
Facebook: facebook.com/TheRealLifelong
Facebook: facebook.com/LiggyLong
Facebook: facebook.com/AlliesCrew
MySpace: myspace.com/lifelong


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:33 AM  
  • At 5:38 PM, Blogger Dyalekt said…

    L.I.F.E. is one of the first cats I met when I came to the NYC scene and he's as dope a person as he is an MC.

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