The Blast Interviews #8: $amhill
Straight outta the South Bronx, $amhill è un MC/produttore che si è distinto ultimamente per lo spessore delle sue uscite, The Preface e The $amhill Story, che hanno riacceso le speranze degli amanti del rap rappato e dei beat solidi. Alla vigilia dell’uscita di The Epilogue, la terza parte della sua personale (prima) trilogia, abbiamo sentito il liricista newyorkese per parlare dei suoi trials and tribulations nell’industria musicale. E $amhill non si è risparmiato, raccontandoci di alleati e nemici con il tipico piglio “confrontazionale” della East Coast (e come si dice in questi casi, “le opinioni presentate, blah blah blah”. Ambasciator non porta – poison – pen. Respect the fly shit).
Hi $amhill, do you want to introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is $amhill. I am an MC/producer born & raised in the South Bronx of New York City.
You have put out two chapters of your trilogy, The Preface and The $amhill Story, with a third part, The Epilogue, coming out soon. Do you want to talk about how the idea of this trilogy came about?
The idea for the trilogy came about as I was recording The $amhill Story. I had recorded an abundance of songs. There where times I would record like six songs in like 4 hours. I even amazed myself at how fast shit was happening. I had so much music, I thought to myself, “why not make it like a audio novel?”, so that’s how The Preface came along. But it was so much bs going on with others around my situation that people’s emotional problems began to arise. So it just made my story more epic as I had to dismiss a few cowards.
What are the differences, in terms of music and content matter, if any, between the three parts?
I believe the difference is the feel of it. It’s been said in the streets of the Bronx that $amhill makes pain music. Very moody-sounding music that differs from the last song to the next song. I write from my soul, and my music has to touch your spirit. A lot of people have misconceptions about me because of what others say. Like they are looking for me to fail because they have attachment to my music. I read that someone said that my album differs from my EP because I sound tired, like I don’t want to rap anymore. I’m like, “Please remove my sack from ya tonsils”. All that music was recorded around the same time. Except for maybe like two songs that was added. So I recognize that hate is real.
The Preface and The $amhill Story have been released on vinyl by Chopped Herring Records. How was the record received?
Honestly, I release my music online to the people for free. I got so much flack from people who wanted to control my situation because the music is that powerful to them, I guess. But the Chopped Herring vinyl situation was a blessing and I thank the people who say my projects are 21st century masterpieces. The crazy shit is I have been anticipated since Myspace. Hip hop really touches people to the point that if they believe in you, they will really follow your career. I would get messages, emails, any type of contact fans would make to let me know that they are expecting excellence from me. I was amazed.
Who are the producers on The Epilogue? Any other collaborators?
Well, as far as collaborators, my music is mastered by the legendary Lewis Parker. He also has produced the final track on The Epilogue. If you respect the sound on The $amhill Story, Lewis Parker did that. I re-released The Preface remastered by him with the album. I will be re releasing both projects again when The Epilogue drops. So the Lewis Parker fans can add those to their collection.
You are suing Ralph McDaniels, aren’t you? What is the story behind that?
Ralph McDaniels is the personification of evil. Bottom line. Whoever feels a different way about the words expressed about this fallen icon can feel free to holla at me, and you will be addressed properly. His ego is so out of control, he thought that I was so much into who he was that I would not care about my well being. This coward agreed to be my manager. Took me to the attorney. I paid for everything to be drawn up, and this bitch ass coward had me believe he signed the contract. I signed it. But he revealed on the day of the 2013 Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival that he never signed it, so I’m free to walk away. I’m like, “Wow.” How this even came about was it seemed the sucker who agreed to be my manager thought I was so much on his dick that I was gonna pay my manager to manage me, promote me, and direct videos. Ralph McDaniels has not one time put me in position to make money. But he kept asking for money. He is such a lame: would you believe he said to me that he pays WNYC, the channel that plays Video Music Box, 10,000 dollars a month to keep his show on since 1985? So that’s why he has to charge me: because he has to get money from somewhere. This was in 2013, when he said this. I’m like, “Ralph, who the fuck you think you are talkin to? That’s over 6 million dollars you are paying a public access channel. What the fuck do you need from me?” So, a lot of things happened since then. A wannabe rapper named Dave Dar ran off with my masters to my music. Although I got them back, because he told on Fred Ones. And Fred Ones is a police informant who is the biggest girly man in underground hip hop, who recognized it was better to give back what he said he didn’t have, than to go to court and be exposed.
You recently had trouble with the Institute of Audio Research. What happened?
Yes. I was recently dismissed from the Institute of Audio Research basically because I am $amhill and those satanic losers realized they could not take advantage of me because all I really need is what I am paying for, to learn ProTools. I don’t need an internship. I am not impressed by the plaques by has-been engineers. All I came to do is acquire knowledge to better me and my career. I have recorded conversations of grade-fixing and racism going on in the school by the principal, teachers, and the deans. They attempted to cover up when a teacher tried to attack me in front of the class. He damn near punched the dean, a female, though she will deny anything happened. They only took my incident report. Not the teachers, not the witness. The dean didn’t even make one. They just wanted me gone from the start because a teacher would not allow me to take a quiz because I came in while it was being administered. But she let others take it who came in late right before me while it was being administered. I went to the male dean of the school and he said he doesn’t believe my story, that he believes the teacher because he knows her and she is more credible. I said, “Well, I am failing the class, that quiz may help me pass.” Would you believe he said the school is not about passing or failing? I asked, “Well, what is it about?” He did not answer. So I fail the class, the principal changes my grade. A girl starts an argument. I get dismissed without an incident report, investigation or a reason but my behavior. So actions will be taken, if the truth is not revealed.
Anything you want to add to your Italian fans?Yes, I would like to say to my Italian fans thank you for the support. I hope to one day visit so I can show my love back by giving a great performance. I also want to say that after The Epilogue, i will be releasing another audio novel. A trilogy entitled Hardcore Righteousness, beginning with an EP entitled Unconscious Resurrection, produced by Lewis Parker. The album Hardcore Righteousness with nothing but Bronx production and mixed down by the legendary Mike Smooth. The the final EP produced by The P Brothers. That’s going down because they sent me a bunch of beats years ago, originally for The Preface. Though we had issues, I don’t hate them. I have respect for them though it has been proven they respect nothing. I am about the music first. I want to also give shouts out to my man $taxx (Kiante) for the ill video. My few class mates i fux with, Pete, Lil Stehanie and Will. I want to say fuck all the rest of you suckers @ IAR.
And thank you to Trini Joe Umut and Phil Painson, my teacher from AE2…everyone else can suck my dick.