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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Music journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie artists. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week - Scandal
Monday, January 24, 2011

When Karma Response Unit Records was launched in 2000 it was done so with 40th Dimension as one of the lead artists. The duo made up of Happ G and Scandal made some noise for KRU in the early years and continues to today. Scandal has also been making noise with his numerous guest appearances on other KRU releases. From his verse on Happ G’s “Nothing No Nada” to the 16 he spit on last week’s Artist Of The Week Murai's “Another Day,” Scandal has been making sure he’s getting in everybody’s ears. This week I caught up with the Philly flame spitter to find out why we’ve been hearing so much from him recently, what it was like growing up in one of the most musical cities in America, and the one thing his lips are sealed about.

Adam Bernard: You’ve been popping up as a guest on every Karma Response Unit Records release over the past few years. You also have your own solo work, and your work as one half of 40th Dimension. First question - where the heck does all your energy come from?
Scandal: I had taken some time off tryin to get shit in my personal life straight. During that period that whole process fueled all my recent efforts on various projects over the past year. I feel like I got a fresh start in music again as well as in life.

Adam Bernard: What do you think it is about your style that makes it work alongside such a varied array of artists?
Scandal: I’m a fan of various styles of flows, so I’ve always been able to engage the vibe of all types of people’s music. I can go hard, or smooth it out with the best of em.

Adam Bernard: I know you’re one of the original Karma Response Unit artists, but what were you doing before KRU? Where did you grow up and what were some of your earliest musical influences?
Scandal: To quote The Fresh Prince, “in West Philadelphia born and raised...” I grew up in the Overbrook section of Philly, literally around the corner from Will Smith. My pop was, and is, a musician; a wizard on the keys. My house was always filled with some type of music; reggae, jazz, R&B, soul, even classic rock. I took to hip-hop pretty young thanks to influences in my neighborhood like the mixtape DJs, one of whom lived next door to me. My sister dated Chuck Nice from 3X Dope, so I got to see up close what went into making not only an album but actually sustaining a career in music. I was rhyming constantly all through high school, and in my junior year I did an internship with Taj Walton at Studio 4 in Conshohocken. Seeing firsthand all the gold and platinum plaques of the records I owned and that were in steady rotation in my Walkman was a huge inspiration to me.

Adam Bernard: Despite being home to some fantastic artists, Philly is almost an afterthought when people discuss hip-hop scenes. Why is that? Is Philly lacking a uniqueness that would separate itself from other scenes, or are people just sleepin?
Scandal: It doesn’t bother me that some people might take the Philly scene for granted, because I’m well aware of how much quality shit we as a city are producing.

Adam Bernard: What kind of a role do you think Philly’s storied history in soul music plays in the city’s hip-hop scene?
Scandal: I think it’s why you see so many young aspiring rappers, singers, producers, and DJs comin outta Philly of late. We are all second and third generation music makers, and we all owe it to the city’s musical bloodline to bring the heat and carry the torch.

Adam Bernard: Do you think there’s room for another major scene in the collective hip-hop consciousness, or can the public only handle so many different sounds at once?
Scandal: There’s always room, but without going into detail, there’s a few sounds that I think we could all do without that would surely create openings for more substance in the game.

Adam Bernard: What are you most excited about right now?
Scandal: Right now I’m really excited about all the material we just dropped in 2010 that I contributed to; Happ G’s 7 Touches, Side Effect’s Cabin Fever, Karma Response Unit B-Sides 2000-2010, Media 101’s A Decade Of Sheist, Murai’s Tozai, and Happ G’s Half Dozen. As far as the next thing to look for in terms of releases this year, I’m really hyped about the upcoming 40th Dimension album 40-LOVE! I also have several collabos lined up on my peoples’ projects, like Jake Lefco, Side Effect, Snuff and numerous others. But more than anything I’m excited to bring my live game back to the stage, where hip-hop truly lives. There’s no doubt that all the work put in by KRU this past year and this coming year will make for some sick shows in 2011!

Adam Bernard: Finally, give me three of the most scandalous things Scandal has ever done, or been involved in.
Scandal: Answering that question would hinder future opportunities for your boy to engage in further Scandaliciousness! I plead the fiiiiiif!! I love the ladies!!!

Related Links

KRU Records: krurecords.com
iTunes: itunes.com/40thdimension

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