In part 2 of his interview with AllHipHop.com, Adrian Younge covers some current topics related to pop culture, Hip Hop culture, and the music industry.
With his experience scoring for film and television, Younge shares his thoughts on the controversy surrounding the Academy Awards not nominating any people of color in any of the acting categories. In addition, the conversation features A.Y. explaining why he is disappointed in a lot of modern rap music.
The composer/producer’s own catalog features alliances with notable Hip Hop representatives Ghostface Killah and Souls of Mischief, but there have been a couple of highly anticipated upcoming projects that have been attached to the Los Angeles resident as well.
Many listeners are looking for Younge’s reported joint album with A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad and the Royce da 5’9”/DJ Premier collaboration PRhyme Two. The LP will be a sequel to 2014’s critically acclaimed PRhyme which sampled Younge’s work.
In the meantime, audiophiles can appreciate Something About April II, the latest solo effort created in the mind of Adrian Younge.
[ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE: Composer/Producer Adrian Younge Discusses His New Critically Acclaimed Album ‘Something About April II’]
You’ve worked in Hollywood. What are your thoughts about the conversation concerning the Academy Awards not necessarily being as diverse with their nominations as they possibly could be?
It’s a systemic issue. A lot of minorities do not get the chances that white Americans get, because there’s a consensus that white artistry will always outsell any form of minority art. In many of these white executives’ eyes, it’s a fact because of the track rate.
They look at the movies that have predominately white actors and actresses and compare those to the small amount of movies that are predominately minority. They came to an absolute conclusion that the minority films don’t sell. But the stats are fallacious, because minorities don’t get equal footing when it comes to making executive decisions.
The point I’m trying to make is the Oscars are a reflection of Hollywood. The Oscars aren’t only at fault. There’s not a line of demarcation drawn by the Oscar nominations. Because Hollywood is so biased about putting money behind minority products, there’s a residual effect that happens with them not being properly recognized and/or awarded at these major events.
And there’s an argument where you can say, “F*ck the Oscars!” But when you win an Oscar, you’re pay rate goes up. That is real. It’s not just an event. It’s a monumental display of the people that are supposed to be the best at their craft. So it’s something that you can’t just write off.
It starts before the Oscars. Hollywood needs to fix what’s going on. It’s a problem, and it’s been going on for decades.
You’ve worked with Ghostface and Souls of Mischief. It seems like you tend to collaborate with lyrical rappers. Is that the type of Hip Hop you find yourself listening to as a fan?
Hell yeah! I don’t listen to garbage. [laughs] Sh*t has to be very artistic for me to get into. I need to really see that they’re trying to challenge with their art. The people I work with are ill. I love everything that they’ve done and do.
I feel like I’m on a high level as far as composition and sonic artistry. I want my counterparts to be better than me or at least at my level. That’s why I try to choose people that are luminaries of their craft.
What’s the status of the joint album with Ali Shaheed Muhammad?
I can’t announce the reason why it’s not out yet. But what I can say is Ali and I had to put that on hold, because we’re scoring a big project right now. The album is almost done. It was supposed to be released in about three months, but we literally had to put that on hold because we’re scoring a major project right now. We still plan to have the album out sometime around summer or fall.
DJ Premier sampled your music for his album with Royce da 5’ 9”, and Royce announced they’re doing PRhyme Two. Are you going to be directly involved with that?
I’m supposed to be, so we’ll see what happens. I love Premo. I love Royce. Besides the fact I highly revere their craft, they’re just some of the best people you’ll ever meet. I really love those dudes, and I love what they do.
We’ll see what happens. It’s my hope that I’m involved as much as I can be. But it’s really up to those two. I’m the third member of PRhyme, but they could choose to have another third member if they really wanted to. I don’t think that’s going to happen. They haven’t spoken to me about that, but I have to be respectful of what they want to do.
You collect vinyls, and your music is a favorite among a lot of people who listen to vinyl. Why do you think vinyl has become such a popular format again?
There’s many reasons. One is that vinyl has a far superior sound. That’s a fact. The resolution is much higher. Also, vinyl is a very artistic format. You have a big record cover. We want to own records for the cover alone.
Also, records are a big piece of tangible property that connects with the artists that you love. A CD is a small piece of plastic that can break. An MP3 is something that doesn’t sound as good as even a CD.
People are starting to realize that quality has been lost in the art, and people are starting to gravitate toward good sh*t again. Right now vinyl is outselling CDs. It’s that time, and I’m happy about that.
Do you feel the same way about the direction of Hip Hop culture? Do you feel like it’s starting to switch back to focusing on the artistic elements and not just the “turn up” or just a catchy hook?
Honestly, I don’t even live in that world. I’ve been so disappointed in Hip Hop that I just left. I’m an avid participant of the Hip Hop culture. I’m Hip Hop to death. But as far as listening to a lot of modern sh*t, a lot of it is so garbage to me. I just can’t do it.
There’s hella dope sh*t, but it’s just so disappointing that a lot of the wack stuff gets the notoriety that it shouldn’t. A lot of wack stuff is guiding a culture of people that would have benefited from learning about Hip Hop through people like A Tribe Called Quest or Public Enemy. Not people rapping about how much money they got in the strip club.
There is a lot of dope new sh*t. But a lot of that dope new sh*t doesn’t get the love that it should. That’s kind of wack. I just don’t listen to a lot of modern stuff. I can’t even really talk about that, because I’m not that educated. I gave up a long time ago.
[ALSO READ: Royce Da 5’9″ Wants To Recruit “Real Lyricists” Like Eminem & Kendrick Lamar For ‘PRhyme 2’]
Read part 1 of AllHipHop.com’s interview with Adrian Younge HERE.
Purchase Adrian Younge’s Something About April II and other projects on iTunes.
Stream Adrian Younge’s Something About April II below.