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

 

The Cancer Pt. 1 (Feature)

men menpool sharksT and Prophelex close art

Interview w/ Brother Menelik of HHTT conducted by Mic Digi

When we started HHTT Productions, HHTT was already a movement. We were doing a lot of reviews of classic material at that time and got quite a reputation as a “no nonsense” periodical. Rev, Lex and I always prided ourselves as journalist so to get the respect from other blogs and news outlets only made us yearn for more. Armed with a digital camera we started our revolution in Worcester, making art in true HHTT style. -Brother Menelik Ebna la-Hakim

What is HHTT Productions?

Hulk Hate Time Travel Productions, is our media outlet (record label, photography, video editing, etc).

So, what’s the deal behind the record label?

We built a foundation with hulkhatetimetravel.com and beside journalism some of us also do music. Instead of shopping around we decided to do it ourselves indy and be something Worcester can respect.

Who are the artists that are down with HHTT?

The official roster as of ummm today (laughing) is……. Elijah Divine, Tony Velez, Prophecy, T.O.D., Lex Luthor, Brother Menelik (Av), Cocaine Robots, Scrilla and Ciph

I actually heard music from some of the peoples you mentioned, it’s good to see artists from the city getting out there

Thank you, we are a very humble set of brothers it’s a honor to rep where we from.

cocaine robo2

Ok let’s get into the roster, what’s good with the controversial Cocaine Robots?

Cocaine Robots are I (Brother Menelik) and T.O.D. I knew T since I was like 11 we been rapping since round that time. We been in many rap groups together and on the real that’s my mans. Anything I ever done is music he has had a part in it in someway. Our last group was Da Leg, we released the local classic “Description of Wor”. The music we did back then would be considered pure hardcore hip hop, I prefer” dat leg shit”!

Ha I remember all that man, what brought fourth the drug rap?

I love drug rap (laughing) I don’t know how else to put it! I think growing up in mainsouth Worcester surrounded by so much drug dealing, and negativity we had to make a positive. Lex and I was good kids you know, we did our shit bee but we had smarts, we had 2 parents in the household and shit bee. On the other side though was my older brother, he put me on the the drug shit and getting fresh and showing me the darker side of mainsouth. Growing up I idolized the drug dealer, I wanted to be just like him. After “Da Leg” parted ways I started to write more harsh material, more street, more real. I felt like I had to honor the OG’s the real niggas  from the block, the cats that I admired even though they did bad things they gave hope to a generation of kids who never had any, we didn’t live next door to doctors and shit the drug dealer was tangible bee.

That was deep…..  I want to say this though, past the drug rap I hear some humor to it, you speak on things like “fannie packs”???

Hahahhaahah, yea there is a little humor to it because it’s all real. I find it hard for me to jus rap about crack on the block cause that was not only what I saw or did, I was with lex bee, if we were in the kitchen niggas was in the kitchen but we would be peeping some ducktales also real talk. I had’s a fannie pak, that was my stash in 94 when jeru was out, no lie ask lex bee!

Whats Rev, T and Lex’s role in HHTT?

They don’t have a role, we are HHTT feel me? Our collective thoughts are HHTT pretty much we do what we like and put on for the city, we need a trophy! On the real though the movement would not be here without my brothers they all play a key role in the success which is HHTT. Rev is the music man, he pretty much keeps his ear to the local and national scene, this dude knows hip hop for real, sometimes he be posting shit that I’m like DAMN! Rev founded HHTT w/me and keeps us current.  Lex is the man, we co host a radio show over at 91.3 WCUW with our brothers from Social Light Sounds. He is the Lead Editor on the site and also an artist on the HHTT roster. He is my right hand. T.O.D. is the engineer of the “Da’ Kitchen” our inhouse studio, video editor, promoter, writer, and one half of the Cocaine Robots…….Did I also mention he produces!

I really respect what ya’ll do within the city, I never seen Worcester represented like this before. Why is that?

Once again thank you, we really appreciate all the love. We truly believe in our city, we all from different parts but we here now. Why run to NewYork or ATL for ya heroes when you got them right here! For so many years I have heard people say how much they hate Worcester, how wack it is etc, FUCK THAT!!! This is my home and I’m proud of where I’m from, Mainsouth Worcester baby!

check for pt.II of the interview next week

Tony Velijah divinerev read si tyson163162

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

HHTT Productions: Club Universe 8/23/09

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Under 21 Sunday @ Club Universe held by RedCarpetWorcester.com had 4 performances on the bill with a special guest performance by G.M.B. Club Universe was packed and the performances were live, Its been awhile since I seen young cats move a crowd like this. There were so many people packed in both me and Lex were drenched in sweat just from standing in the middle of the crowd. The show was well put together and Red Carpet are definitely doing their thing, the only issue I have is @ the under 21 night girls like dancing on you when you trying to pass by. NO MAS NENA yo no quiero ir a la carce jajajajaja ( NO MORE LITTLE GIRL  I dont want to go to jail ). Big Shouts to Mike at Red Carpet for allowing HHTT full access to the event, this show is definitely HHTT APROVED.

T.O.D. Feat Prophecy – Streets

“The streets love me, the streets hate me”

t and proph

T and Prophecy are back at it again on some real gutta music! Prophecy goes in hard on the hook while also serving up a nice flow to begin the track. T does his usually and spits rapid fire over a chilling instrumental, the dude is a beast!! I’m really starting to notice the chemistry between the two and I think it plays out brilliant. This track is Worcester certified, play it in any hood and I bet they nod! What up Chandler!! H2T2 T & Prophecy – Streets

HHTT Productions: Hip Hop Power V

Live from Creegans in Worcester, MA

kusto and eE and yohonnyt hold itMain AimOnce again science was dropped! July 25th @ Creegans in Worcester, MA HHP5 took place with an all star line up. The roster included, Nytmare, Main Aim, Serious, Cocaine Robots and Elijah Divine. DJ Manipulator was the house DJ w/Kusto and Ethereal of Nite People hosting the event. Each act did their thing, Nytmare started the night getting the crowd going early with his hype animated flow. Next up was the group Main Aim, they surprised many with their fast melodic flow and bumping choice of beats. Serious a true vet, attacked the stage with furious anger and kept the crowd thirsty for more. Cocaine Robots was in full effect dropping banger after banger. The group started with Sell Drugs (Cocaine) and got em hooked early then lead way into the groups new single Mass Second, a remix to the French Montana street hit NY Minute. Elijah Divine capped off the night with a stunning performance, there was a point I remember fellow mc’s throwing their hats onto the stage as a sign of respect, that’s real. Big Lex was not in the building due to personal reasons, so this ones for you homie! HHTT is the army! H2T2 get infected!

maip at workserious listeneli and wifecoke robo2Shouts to Nite People for doing a surprise live performance, Yohon that snake was crazy!!

HHTT Productions: Skate Or Die

Props to the Skateboarders, HHTT got love for ya’ll too! H2T2 Get Infected! The song in the background is Sell Drugs (Cocaine) by Brother Menelik (Av), Worcester stand up!