Experimental foursome Anti-Pop Consortium are often described as -hip-hop meets poetry’. Having met at a New York City poetry slam, an eventful career has seen them produce some extraordinarily inventive music, split up and then reform and go on tour with Radiohead. Beans told State all about it as the band prepare for a visit to Dublin and Galway later this month.
You split up for a full five years before the reformation in 2007. What’s changed about APC since 2002?
We get along now famously. The time spent apart has allowed us to grow individually and bring our experiences to the table artistically to become stronger as a unit. The timing couldn’t be more perfect. There are few groups now in hip-hop. As such, we’re back to take our place again.
For such a creative act, your output is quite prolific. Where do your ideas come from?
We’re intrinsically creative and love what we do and are good at it. It’s not like we have no choice.
You met at a poetry slam and are known for -chain of consciousness’ lyrics. Tell us about the poetic and thought process side of your music.
Personally, the poetry background allowed us to express ourselves with a little bit more room to try things without being dependent on the music. All those performances were with no music so the lyrics had to be ill. It gave us license to experiment freely.
Are your lyrics often misunderstood?
My lyrics are a description of my life as it happens. Therefore, the approach to them is personal. I make music to express my world and not everyone is privy to that. Once it’s in the world, I can’t control how people perceive the work. I just do the best work that I can.
How does your live show differ from an APC record?
Our live show is a combination of us playing the actual tracks and improvising on stage. We’ve improvised and recorded sessions to make songs and will probably explore more of that in future recordings. It’s not so far from one another except for the fact that we’re all producers. Sayyid and Priest make up the majority of the material for the albums and Blaize does the engineering and co-producing as well as offering his own tracks. It’s the combination of both those elements that make up an APC album.
Plenty of hip-hop acts are childish and driven by stereotypes. That’s not something you could ever level at APC. How do you feel about these groups?
We’re grown men with kids, relationships, and bills. We’ve been doing this for a long time so our growth as people is reflective in our approach to our music. I make music that is reflective of what I was exposed to in my early years growing up on hip-hop. It was creative and open and that’s the spirit I hold dear.
With hints of hip-hop, electro, an experimental attitude and even straight up poetry in your music, what do you all go home and listen to?
Each member has their own answers. We all check out the latest updates in hip-hop but personally, I listen to a lot of varied music. My range is from the latest Prefuse 73 to DOOM to Yes to Aphrodite’s Child to Ben Klock to Brainticket to Curtis Mayfield to Devo.
When you split in ’02, you talked about creative differences. How did you overcome these?
We didn’t. We just accept each other for who we are. That just stems from growth and time spent apart. Trust me, it makes for a better relationship with one another and that’s reflective in the newer material. We’re proud of the new album. It’s our best one to date.
Tell us an APC tour story.
HELL NO!! Not without getting murdered, I dare not divulge. It’s so good but I can’t share it!! HAHAHAHA
How would you like people to remember you?
DAMN!! He did it clean. What a great artist!!!!
Sum up Anti-Pop Consortium in a few words.
Self expression through experimentation. “Teamwork makes the dream work”
As published on State.ie, May 2009.