Real Talk: T.O.D. (Touch Of Death)

HHTT Final Draft Edition

Worcester’s Hip Hop scene is in a state of constant growth and lot of it is due to the fact more and more studios are becoming accessible within the city along with the ever growing popularity of the internet. 10 years ago you would have to pay an arm, a leg, and a kneecap to get 2 tracks done or travel to Boston (and you know your big brother love him some Beantown). In 2010 things have certainly changed for the better and today I’m breaking bread with a brother who has been in the local scene for a minute and is finally getting his due respect, my brother, the legendary T.O.D. (Touch of Death). This is Da Kitchen and we ain’t making cupcakes b!

Brother Menelik:What is Da Kitchen?

T.O.D: Da’ Kitchen is the name of my studio, it’s where all the media for HHTT goes through and it’s the in-house studio for H2T2 Productionz. I currently am an artist, live performer, producer (yes I make beats), engineer, promoter, radio host (91.3fm/wcuw.org), I capture & document local artists performing, I also do music video’s and talent procurement as well as artist development. In the near future I will be learning how to DJ, I don’t necessarily want to be your next favorite Dj but I do love music and how it affects the soul so my aim is to be able to control all aspects and truly manipulate all forms of media.

How long have you been up and running?

Da’ Kitchen was officially opened in the winter of ’06/’07 but wasn’t named until the early summer of 2007.It was shut down due to things beyond my control in the fall of ’07 and reopened in the summer ’08. It’s been running consistently since then.

Who are some of the artists that have passed through to cook with the chef?

Recording wise, it’s strictly an in-house studio for H2T2 Productionz, however I do currently work with Young Reapa (George W. Kush) and his High Flyer Movement. In the past I worked with various artists from RuffSide Entertainment. In the near future it will open to the public at an hourly rate of course.

How do you feel the home studio has affected hip hop in the last few years?

 

The fact that you can have a studio in the same room where you sleep and pump out quality music is amazing. However I think the advancements in technology that have helped the home studio have also hurt the business of selling hip hop music. You got to understand something, between the internet leaking every major artist’s album weeks ahead of their official release date and a million unsigned artists releasing free material people just don’t want to pay for music anymore. The home studio has given hip hop back to the people but when the industry that makes the big dollars from marketing our music loses money they will bring a new form of music for the public to adore.

What made you want to get into engineering/mixing/producing?

That’s a funny question coming from you, seeing how we built our first studio back in 1994 together on Murray Ave. in the Wellington Apts. Back then we were the youngest (12 years old to be exact) and basically the only group locally really utilizing a computer based studio. At the time analog equipment was the norm and when people asked us about our setup they would say that the computer thing would never work seeing how DAW software was still in its infancy stages. I started to take music more seriously and taught myself engineering and production when I was released from our wonderful correctional system and put on house arrest. With 24 hours locked in my home I taught myself how to make beats and engineer tracks.

What’s in the future for Da Kitchen?

As of right now I just launched a site that’s an archive of all media I have released. Make sure you check that out @ Dakitchen101.com . I also would like to get into local television and provide an outlet for our hip hop scene, I’ll have to wait and see what the people at channel 13 have to say about that one.

What projects are you currently working on?

Hot Dogs & Coke (Coney Island Shit) being released by H2T2 Productionz ,Prophecy’s (H2T2 recording artist) Creative Cancer, Young Reapa’s High Flyers mixtape, and Da’ Kitchen EP. I’m currently working on the video for “Streets” featuring Prophecy & myself as well as locations for the next video “Cocaine (Sell Drugs)” featuring A.V. All the projects are completely recorded so trust when I say It will be one hell of a year.

You have been in the local hip hop scene for a while now; you are a vet with the stripes on the arm b! What advice would you give to those coming up?

Write and keep writing. Practice alot and work on all aspects of emceeing, flow, and delivery. The problem that I have with alot of local artist is that they pick one flow and run with it, or they can’t bring life to their words. Sometimes you hear a collection of material they have released and they sound exactly the same on every track or they lack confidence in their words. How can you claim to be the best when you don’t sound like or look like (in a video) that you believe what your saying. With that being said I would say be open and learn how to take constructive criticism, identify your faults and work on them.

Da’ Kitchen is a sick name for a studio, how’d you come up with it?

Originally Da’ Kitchen was in a room I rented. With the room being on the top floor and summer really starting to kick in, it was blazing hot. We used to open the door while we recorded to get some air circulating, funny thing is the kitchen was located outside of my room and when my roommates would cook while we was recording the heat would be unbearable. At times it felt like an oven so I named it Da’ Kitchen, not much has changed cuz the room it’s in now is the hottest room in the house lol. So if you can’t stand the heat then get the f*** out Da’ Kitchen.

What is this MurdaMass movement I been hearing so much about?

MurdaMass (MurdaMass.com) is a site that I’m launching, it’s an extension of Da’ Kitchen and Hulk Hate Time Travel. It will work hand in hand with both sites and keep you updated with anything having to do with hip hop and local artist as well as events.

Anything you want to get off your chest b, any shouts?

First I want to shotout all my brothers locked down, all the listeners that stay tuned in to Selective Hearing on 91.3fm every friday 10:30pm to midnight, my family @ Zaza Ink for all the support, Red Dollaz Ent ,T.R.U. Crew, Social Light Sounds, Big Kas,Cyrus da Great, Urban Fire Radio,Black Ownaz, Grindhouse & the big 3, Deep Blue Studio’s ,Dead End , Ziggy Productions, Dirtnap Ent, Family First Ent, New Era Ent, Noir Photography , Ben Allotey, Bad News, Beaver Brook Crooks, my family for the support,  my girl for helping me with the ideas and most importantly my Blidock CHANDLLLLLLEEERRRR !!!

Yo T, you still have my copy of Last Dragon on VHS? I miss Vanity b!!!!

I’ll give that back to you when you return my VHS copy of Eddie Murphy’s Raw and I’m talking about the original one in the extra bulky white hard plastic case.

View the Worcester Magazine Article here

And always check hulkhatetimetravel.com for the latest in pop/culture, local music, and everything else under the sun!

REAL TALK is a monthly local hip-hop segment in Worcester Magazine written by Brother Menelik Ebna la-Hakim of HulkHateTimeTravel.com (w/contributors XXL Lex Luthor & Reviresco) HHTT Productions/ Da’Kitchen/ H2T2 Productions/ Hulkhatetimetravel.com

Also you can contact me at T_lgcy@yahoo.com, facebook me :Toca Legacy or just check out DaKitchen101.com

 

Nas – It Ain’t Hard To Tell (Paul Mighty Remix)

My brother Paul Mighty from the Kinda Dusty camp just blessed me with this gem. The funny thing is many would call it taboo to remix such a classic but this is proper homage b! Light up, relax and enjoy.

Nas – It Ain’t Hard To Tell (Paul Mighty Remix)

Lex Luthor feat. Brother Menelik – Go Hard (Keep Shining)

men and lex ol skool

The more I hear from the Hot Dogs & Coke mixtape the more I am impressed. Each artist has come to the table dropping material that seems more fitting on an album than on a mixtape, which shows the level of dedication they have for the project. In the last few months Lex Luthor (Double XX) has been in the lab prepping his debut for the mixtape, practicing relentlessly and building with the gods. What we have here is the completed work, another banger off the Hot Dogs & Coke mixtape, HHTT GO HARD, CAN’T GO WRONGlex beer

Cocaine Robots – Put You On

no smoke cocaine robots

For a while now the females have been requesting more music to their liking and Cocaine Robots is more than happy to oblige. As you may have noticed in the last couple of weeks we have been promoting heavily our She’s Dope section. HHTT knows dope women and dope women know us, check the brand new track from Cocaine Robots …….let me put you on.honey shes dope

Brother Menelik (Av) – Crack and a Dookie Rope

Glock 9, laser your dome/ cocaine and gold chains like Razor Ramon lex and men no joke

Growing up in through the 80’s in mainsouth there were certain things that as a kid you definately took notice. For instance Money power respect. Basically we respected any one who had the power, and the definition of power in the 80’s was crack and a dookie rope.heavily idolized by Lex and Brotha men crack and a dookie rope is a shout out if you will to all the OG’s who remember these days enjoy and listen… here’s Av’s Crack and a Dookie Rope enjoy – Lex LuthorBrother Menelik (Av) – Crack and a Dookie Rope

HHTT Productions: This Is Serious (Serious)

Serious blue

Serious is a problem!! I don’t know how many times I tell cats about this dude, the thing I love about Serious is his conviction. When he spits, you have no choice but to feel it, so…….FEEL IT! H2T2Peace to the homie Serious for holding down that 15 minute freestyle with me while Manipulator was chopping it up!

Elijah Divine feat. Aylienne Hazardous – Sky’s The Limit

divine

Elijah Divine is really on his grind and it shows in the quality of his music. Elijah takes the classic B.I.G. track and flips it his way, which I can’t front sounds like a breath of fresh air! Aylienne Hazardous does the hook on this version and it only compliments the track further. Worcester please take notice and stand up! H2T2 GET INFECTED!Check out the listening session we had @ Da’ Kitchen to Elijah’s new track, which will also be on the Hot Dogs & Coke(Coney Island Shit) Mixtape.Elijah Divine feat. Aylienne Hazardous – Sky’s The Limit