Facing the music

By SONYA TOMLINSON  |  July 11, 2007

I really think music isn’t just about the sound that comes out the speakers; it’s everything else involved. I’ve downloaded songs, but when I like albums I have to own the record. It doesn’t feel right if I don’t have the actual CD. I think there’s a new generation of people who don’t really care whether they own the CD or just download it and that’s their own prerogative. I can’t flex on them for that because I don’t understand the mentality so I remove myself from that shit.

There are people who enjoy artists but they won’t even go to a show of theirs. Someone travels a thousand miles and finally comes to a town near them and they don’t fucking go to the show. Some people give a fuck, some people don’t. Some people will buy music, some people don’t and I can’t expect everybody to live by the same rules I live by. Luckily for myself, and people I operate with, we’re part of a sub-genre that attracts people who are passionate about music. Whereas popular artists or mainstream artists really have fly-by-night fans who obviously would prefer to just download music for free and not involve themselves any other way with music.

Considering the role hip-hop has played in affecting your own socially-conscious side, do you feel like you are carrying the torch from a period where the art was a functional vehicle for political expression?
I do believe I’m continuing to carry that torch. It’s the path that was laid out before me and I’m not saying that all my messages are exactly the same but I do use it as a forum to present my thoughts and ideas and controversies that relate to modern society and world relations and everything that I think people need to be concerned about and speaking about and that, was the big purpose of hip-hop. I think a lot of people have let that slide and truly don’t give a fuck, and they use hip-hop for a party tool. And it’s good for parties too, but it also has other purposes.

A lot of your music is both personal and socially conscious. How do you overlap the two and make them meet?
The obvious answer to that is it's personal politics. It’s politics that affect me, just as a blow-up with my girlfriend will affect me, just as the death of a family member will affect me. It’s how I process that information, how I feel like other people may relate to a situation, or how I want to express my own personal situation. Everything goes through the same filter.

Does Alias hog the covers or does he like to cuddle?
(Laughs) I don’t know. I would never share a room with that guy.

Don't Dilly
And how could we resist asking Dilly Dilly a few questions about her experience?

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