The SR Magazine # 1.03: NEW INTERVIEW (One on One With Da Profesor.)
Words By: Da Professor.
DA-PROFESSOR’S ONE-ON-ONE WITH
visit them online:www.myspace.com/concretecity
The borough of Queens have produced many talented and legendary recording artists including Run DMC, Salt-N-Pepa, Kwame, and Onyx, and R&B/Pop/Hip-Hop group
Concrete City plans on keeping Queens on the musical map with their talent, music and professionalism. Consisting of rapper Ace and singer Suave, the duo has been best friends since childhood which I noticed when they called to confirm our interview.We spoke about their friendship, career and the importance of not being placed in a musical box and staying on top of their business.
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DA-Professor: How did you get involved with music?
Ace: When we were younger, we had a lot of different types of music we listened to, so I found out he sang, and he found out I rapped and we formed together and figured we can do it ourselves.
DA-Professor: Who are your influences?
Ace: Big L, Beyonce (all laugh) Usher.
Suave: Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder.
Da-Professor: You like some classic soul and old school music.
Suave: Yeah. I like a lot of old school music.
Da-Professor: How did you come up with the group’s name and what does the name represent?
Ace: We got the concrete part because we’ve been best friends since we were little, so if you was to go somewhere and they would see me alone, they would way where’s Suave at? And vice-versa. So we came up with the name Concrete because we have a tight bond together.
Suave: That came from the fact that we’re from
and we always see the billboards and every time we see it, we’re like ‘we want to be up there one day. We came up with the city part basically we’re from. We basically put the two together. New York
Da-Professor: I listened to your music and I notice that you don’t have the typical computerized beats. It has a live sound. What made you decide to do that instead of looping?
Ace: We like the live sound of real pianos, organs, drums, violins. (We like to) think out of the box.
Suave: We don’t like to put barriers on ourselves as far as considering us as Hip-Hop and R&B cause we do all types of music as well. A lot of times, we refer to ourselves as a Pop/Hip-Hop group.
Da-Professor: You made an interesting point. It seems that white artists can do R&B and Hip-Hop and be accepted, but when Blacks and Latinos add other genres like Pop and Rock to their music, they sometimes find it hard to be accepted by the media and Black audience. How do you feel about that?
Ace: As for at the Black race, I just think there’s a certain way you have to go about doing it and the certain kind of music you have to make a certain type of determination you have to have with that market. When a white person tries to enter Hip-Hop, a lot of people say that he’s trying to be Black when its just not that; you have to work harder to get into that market.
Da-Professor: You recently performed at
. How was that performance? LaGuardia Community College
Ace: It was a good show.
Suave: We had a very good response from the audience. They really took to our performance. They really like the songs. We had people come up to us after the show and shook hands.
Da-Professor: Your song “Best Friend” is hot and I can tell it’s one of our favorites. What was the inspiration for that song?
(We all laugh)
Ace: From personal experience.
Suave: I think everybody can relate to it. Everybody been in a relationship or a situation where they had a partner and they met that person. Partner. Friend.
Ace: Best friend.
Suave: Friend. Cousin. Whoever it may be.
Ace Come into the picture and
Suave: and like why didn’t I meet that person first? (Both laugh).
Da-Professor: Another song I like is “So Confused” which deals with bad relationships and domestic violence. How important is it for you to discuss these topics?
Suave: It’s funny you asked that. “So Confused” is one of those songs you put in the Pop category and also with that song, we came up with that song before the whole Chris Brown/Rhianna situation. Even with that being said, it’s funny how that song relates to that topic. That song also talks about domestic abuse in relationships.
Da-Professor: When it comes to domestic violence, we hear about the females getting abuse they have sympathy for them, but when you hear stories about males getting abuse, they brush it off. How do you feel about that?
Ace: Well as far as the brushing off, I think that certain type of guys have a certain amount of pride so they’re not gonna break that pride. They’re not gonna say anything.
Suave: It does exist.
Ace: It does exist.
Da-Professor: In addition to music, what else do you do?
Suave: Model. Act. In our performances, we dance.
Ace: We write all of our songs and produce all of our songs.
Da-Professor: That’s interesting. What made you decide to take control of your music?
Ace: We like having a lot of hands on with our project.
Suave: We like knowing what’s being done.
Ace: Even with management. It’s the same thing. We can have a thousand people putting out posters, but at the end of the day, we’re gonna be out there putting up posters too.
Da-Professor: You’re from the borough where acts like Run D.M.C., Jam Master Jay and Onyx. How does it feel being born and raised in this borough and how you’re gonna add to the legacy of
Ace: I feel blessed to be mentioned in the same town as these people.
Suave: (And) everyone you named, we listened to all of them and you will hear influences from those people in the music.
Da-Professor:My final questions is -- It seems to me that artists who are talented and business-minded intimidate people. How do you guys feel about that?
Ace: As long as you know what you’re doing and you know everything about what you doing, then you’ll always be a step ahead of the competition.
Suave: You always gotta make yourself knowledgeable of what you’re trying to pursue.
Ace As well as being the artist.