Artist Of The Week – Substantial

Hip-Hop heads in New York City, Maryland and Japan already know all about Substantial. He’s a member of both Extended Famm and The Plague. He penned the underground classic “F.Y.I.R.B (Fuck You I Rhyme Better).” He’s been on tracks with Heltah Skeltah, Das Efx, Masta Ace and a long list of others. He’s headlined two tours in Japan. He’s co-CEO of UVInk / Ope Entertainment. And to go with all that he just released Sacrificial Lambs, which is the prelude to his next official album, Sacrifice. Anyone who’s seen Substantial perform live knows he’s a superstar just waiting for his big break, but until then you can catch him at various venues making people Make Da Face. If you’ve slept on Stan until now it’s time to wake up and recognize this talented MC.

Adam Bernard: Talk to me about Sacrificial Lambs. How did you come up with the concept and how many songs were there for you to choose from?
Substantial: Well the CD came about when I realized my fans were being very patient considering Sacrifice had been in the works for the last five years. I also knew I had more than enough material to pick from for the album. I had around 40 songs and that’s just what was recorded. So, I decided to give the people an album’s worth of material that didn’t make Sacrifice, joints I wanted on there but there wasn’t enough room for. The title simply came from me having to “cut” them from Sacrifice hence Sacrificial Lambs.

Adam Bernard: What are some of the differences between Sacrificial Lambs and Sacrifice?
Substantial: Sacrificial Lambs is a lot less personal than Sacrifice. Sacrificial Lambs lets you in my place but you don’t really get passed the living room, whereas Sacrifice gives you the grand tour. Sacrifice is just as much of me as I can fit on to a compact disc, it’s similar to my first LP, To This Union A Sun Was Born (2001). It has no MC guest appearances and also has a lot more live instrumentation.

Adam Bernard: You’re also the co-CEO of UVInk / Ope Entertainment. Is this album before an album move something you’ve contemplated in the past, and if so why did you wait to do it until now?
Substantial: Well we wanted to release it prior to my recent tour in Japan, but I had entirely too much on my plate and my partner Sean “Ope” Williams and I knew it made more sense to do it when I returned from Tokyo. We also had just released a mixtape from our newest artist Fresh Daily called Mad Flavas, so it needed a chance to breath as well.

Adam Bernard: How do you juggle being a co-CEO with being a recording artist? You must not get a lot of sleep.
Substantial: I grew up with the mentality that things aren’t gonna get done right, or at all, if I don’t do it myself. So like I say on the song “The Starving Artist”, “...forced to Do It All like one half of L.O.T.U.G.”. (Lords of the Underground for you new schoolers.) The way I pull it off is I teach myself that it isn’t an option. I have to get things done and make my dreams reality. And what’s this sleep stuff... people still do that? That’s so last year.

Adam Bernard: Ha! Yeah I haven’t gotten any in a while either (sleep, that is). Finally, what do you feel is your next move in your progress as an artist and a co-CEO?
Substantial: Secure distribution for our label! Sacrifice is done. Fresh Daily’s debut album, The Gorgeous Killa in Crimes of Passion, is near completion. Insanate is dropping a new mixtape. We may be licensing Soul Dept.’s first LP that was never officially released. I’m doing a collabo album with a producer named Burns from Pittsburgh. The Make Da Face Mixtape Vol. 2 is coming soon. And that’s still not everything. So Unlimited Vinyl is cooking up plenty of goodness. Now we just have to get someone to back what we believe is great music worthy of being shared with the world.

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