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

 

HHTT Productions: Streets (Preview)

You are now about to witness the strength of street knowledge.

Hot Dog’s and Coke mixtape coming very soon b stay tuned, Worcester we do this for you.

You Musta Forgot

My brothas my brothas…I had to go through some of our old vids and posts for editing purposes and said to my self  “ok…let me get to work..” but as I started I found doing this task was anything but work. I must say last summer was off the fuckin hook! and that was only year 1. So just in case ya’ll started feelin like any of this H2T2 movement is “work” lets look back on some of the best times we had infecting the world with this machine we love… none other than…  Hulk Hate Time Travel….dot com lol

say that shit… say that shit

lets keep this movement goin brothas, this is our year…

we just havin fun over here B…

Aight brothas lets remember what made this machine so powerful and lets keep it movin

all 4 1…1 4 all….and 3 4 $25 hahahaha you already….

Mass Stand Up III

It’s like the return of the Jedi

The trilogy continues…………….. HHTT once again is in the House, come and chill with the gods and break bread b. Dont forget to check the site  after the show for a in-depth  article of all 3 shows in retrospect! Shouts to our family over @ Kinda Dusty, we see you b!

HHTT Productions: Brown Bag Rap

As we get closer to MASS STAND UP III let HHTT show you how we prep. World Premiere, Elijah Divine, XXL Lex Luthor and Brother Menelik in Brown Bag Rap.  HHTT is the machine this is for my team, the city, the world, lets get it b! And how can i forget the block peace Mainsouth/Chandler this where we came from, Worcester we here.Directed by: Rev & Lex Edited by: Brother Menelik Ebna la-Hakim

HHTT Productions: Mainsouth @ Kirsch

Pollying out in front of the famous Kirsch Liquors in Worcester, MA one of the many spots Lex and I ran through growing up. Real Talk this is the inspiration for Drug Dealer, Drug Dealer. Don’t forget vote Elijah Divine in the pulse! HHTT in the place to be!

HHTT/Worcester Magazine “Real Talk”

We on an Award Tour with Muhammad my man!

HHTT and Worcester Magazine have been in talks for a little while now and I figured I would get you up to speed. A few weeks back Worcester Magazine did an editorial on HHTT and our influence within the city, after the editorial we were asked how we felt about contributing to the magazine in a hip hop aspect, we humbly accepted. On a monthly basis HHTT will be contributing to a new section in Worcester Magazine entitled Real Talk. The section will be all about the local music scene and futher establish Worcester as a city to be respected in Hip-Hop, so get ready b…….REAL TALK!

Check out the first article on Yohon DI of Selective Hearing here.

Mass Stand Up 2

Mass Stand Up 2 was the first show to be put together by Kinda Dusty, I gotta say job well done fam. That show had one of the best turnouts I have seen locally in a long time. And I been in the scene for a minute, the show took place at Tammany Hall and was real crazy.

Grand Daddy Gutta took the stage and did his thing and really set the bar for how the rest of the night would go.

Grand Daddy Gutta

Tank Murdah grabbed the mic and definitely did his thing. His performance was reminiscent of some of my favorite mixtape emcee’s.

Tank Murdah

Black Ownaz…..hold on…. BLACK OWNAZ MUFUCKA !!! Black Ownaz raided the stage and had both the ladies and the fellas bouncing.

Black Ownaz Pt 1

Black Ownaz Pt 2

Next up was J.K. Haze , I gotta give it up to these dudes they really put on for Central Ma.

J.K. Haze

Following the Haze was H2T2’s own Cocaine Robots ( A.v. & T ) along with artists out of the H2T2 Camp ( Prophecy , Lexx Luthor , and newcomer J-Dollaz ). I don’t mean to toot our own horn, but dezaaaammmmnnnn. We definitely held it down with a dope track order and of course material.

H2T2 Pt 1

We did some things for the ladies and of course for the thugs. Myself and Prophecy had the perfect transition track “Miss Lady” the Eddie Murphy sample at the end made the crowd laugh and hit a spot of truth. Next up was Av, and he shocked the crowd with his opening line “SELL COCAINE” now who’s gonna forget what he does with his money ??

H2T2 Pt 2

Brother Lexx made his on stage debut with “Go Hard” and definitely held it down. The set was closed with Crack and a Dookie Rope, Mass Second, and a H2T2 cyph which was also J Dollaz on stage debut.

H2T2 Pt 3 & 4

Next up was the Kinda Dusty collective, Paul Mighty with a ring anouncer presence gave E one of the best intro’s I’ve ever seen. E the Real had Tammany hall moving with that real hip hop shit ” Spit what I spit/with a stiff upper lip” and “Respect” E followed that up with one of my favorite songs he has to date    “King Shit” for those that don’t remember “King Shit” was featured on HHTT a few months back.

Kinda Dusty Pt 1

Paul Mighty chimed in next with an acapella followed by a track that displayed E’s love for the art of Hip Hop. Spit Supreme joined E and performed “4,2,1”.

Kinda Dusty Pt 2

Spit Supreme took the stage and opened up with “Who’s That” followed by a song which is one of my favorite from him “Rap Game” where he poses the question “What if it wasnt for the rap game ??”  Which i think is every emcee’s question to themselves. Skivi B came in next with a heartfelt song dedicated to his son that I know every parent in the building felt.

Kinda Dusty Pt 3

Spit Supreme closed out the Kinda Dusty set with a few more bangers and kept the energy live until the end of the night.

Kinda Dusty Pt 4

Mainsouth 1990

20 years ago I was almost 8…not a care in the world…life as a kid was great…5 dollas in my pocket feelin rich like gates…hit eagles market so fast… its like id skate…put my money on the counter…I didn’t even wait… and said… gimme all your johnny appleseeds and alexander the grapes……1990

Man those were the days weren’t they? You see for those who don’t know, ferrara pan was the king of the boxed candies circa 1990.

For every kid in my hood there was a specific flavor, some preferred the luxuriously sour lemon heads, others liked the sweet and tangy johnny appletreats (one of my personal favs), some would see how many of the cinnamon flavored “Red hots” they could eat at one time, but for every palate there was a delightfully decadent flavor waiting to be discovered. You see as kids, Brotha Men and I, were somewhat of philanthropists if you will. We sampled candies as if they were fine wine. Explaining the pro’s and cons of each variety and giving our suggestions to other neighborhood kids. We had it down to a science. We were the only kids I knew that could go into the corner store with $2.50 and come out with a balanced meal including dessert. And it was while we enjoyed these very same meals, that we would look to the older gods with the dookie ropes and pagers and say to each other  “that will be us one day”. Square biz.  Ahhhh…the good ol’ days.

HHTT in Worcester Magazine

Check out the article in Worcester Magazine this week.
H2T2, the infection has spread.

Photo credit: Steven King of Worcester Magazine