Stranded In Stereo: The Stranded Q & A: Black ELement

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Stranded Q & A: Black ELement

In what’s probably a first for Stranded in Stereo in a while, I bring you an MC. And the man’s not just any basement rapper; he’s steadily gaining all the tools to become a mainstay on the national scene.

I’m talking about Boston-area resident Black ELement.

Black ELement is a part of this first wave of the next generation of rappers to hit the scene. How are these MCs different? Well, the internet and bloggers are almost the sole means of hype-building and promotion.

Accordingly, Black ELement has secured some of the top hip-hop tastemakers' approval. Recently, he was featured on OkayPlayer, a well-respect online hip-hop community that endorsed rappers like Kanye West and Talib Kweli in their earlier days. EL has also been featured on top hip-hop blogs like Nah Right?, 2dopeboyz, and illRoots.

If that wasn’t enough, Black ELement released his debut LP last week, A Major Minority, for free digital download. You can grab that here. (I definitely urge you to download it, as it’s free… and one of the most solid hip-hop albums to land in 2008).

For the hip-hop newcomers or those trying to pinpoint the man’s sound, check it if you’re into the Mos Def/Talib Kweli sound with a 2008 flavor.

But before you do anything, why not chill and read EL’s answers to our weekly five?

Hailing from Boston makes me better than any non-Boston MC because:

My Celtics just won the championship, did yours?

Name at least three bands/MCs that are still around and touring that you'd love to be on a bill with, and think it would fit well:

Mos Def, Talib Kweli and N.E.R.D

Your favorite Boston venue to play is:

Harpers Ferry.

Are there any genres that influence your music conceptually, rather than sonically? (In that you can't hear from simply listening to the music, but from getting into the structure or mathematics of the song-writing, etc.)

I'm very influenced by electro, ambient, and rock just to name a few. I'm very big on songwriting and those forms of music usually bring a lot more to the table then your traditional Hip Hop track. Stickup Kid from the album is a prime example of me and [producer Ryan] Durkin just taking the bounds of Hip Hop, and straight meshing it with electro. I always take influences from other genres, because if you just are stuck listening to the same repetitve stuff their is no room for growth.

Your favorite local bar or club to hit up when not doing the whole band deal is:

The Middle East.

For all our Boston readers, Check Black ELement at Harper's Ferry on November 11 @ 8 PM.

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