In a city where a million times deux Hip-Hop acts and other entertainers are trying to make a name for themselves, Los Angles has welcomed Colorado Springs natives, Deux Process with open arms. Up to date, MCs Chief Nek and Vise Versa have picked up DJ Shawn Dubb, were selected for a couple of Myspace.com compilations and are making noise in the headphones of iTunes addicts all around, supporting the rise of their fan base from the snowy mountains to new heights.
At a pace all of their own, Deux Process has finally released their first full length, In Deux Time, with the production skills of Thayod Ausar. After putting out several single releases, it was only right for the full story of their everyday process, cover to cover, dropping knowledge on the industry, where they fit in and why time is deux.
AllHipHop.com: Chief you said You have to have something to counter what is popular on the radio, Do you feel that your groups style is an alternative to mainstream?
Chief Nek: Its an alternative to whats going on. Its not your backpack, underground style and its not mainstream. It is a middle ground that is missing from radio. Its like we fit into the style from 1993-1998. Our music fits in that pocket, you know, with a positive message and kind of party music and fun. Its not very typical.
AllHipHop.com: You guys have a Myspace page, as a lot of groups do, and your single Everyday was even picked up for a Myspace compilation in 2004. Do you know how your track was chosen?
Chief Nek: A friend helped put that together. She approached them because there was already more Alternative or Rock than Hip-Hop. She brought up the fact that there is a Hip-Hop community on Myspace and that it is a growing one so they put out a compilation. We also are on the one that came out in 2005 with our track, The Process.
AllHipHop.com: Before you guys signed with Avatar, you did your own publicity for that 12″ single The Process and it even peaked on the Global Record Pool charts as the only independent non-major label release. Do you think that since you handled some of your own publicity in the beginning, that the knowledge helped you in the long run, especially with being on top of your game and not letting something get by. I feel a lot of groups that sign fairly quick dont learn the other side of the business. They sometimes put their careers in other peoples hands before they have even learned to trust them.
Vise Versa: Well the story behind that is we promoted it in Colorado, and then when we signed to Avatar they re-released it on a B-side. Weve been studying the business for a long time. I would read the back and inside of CDs and everything. Nowadays, you have artists like Jay-Z who even tell about that side of it in their music. Too many artists get signed and then they think thats it. Thats the gold nugget and sometimes its the downfall of an artist. You have to come with a do-it-yourself attitude and its like you said, they get with people they dont even trust yet.
AllHipHop.com: That single came out in 2003, isnt that right?
Vise Versa: Yeah, like the winter of 2003.
AllHipHop.com: And it appears on this debut album In Deux Time. Does that name really relate to how long it took for the full length release? Did you feel you should just take your time and in the end, it would happen naturally?
Vise Versa: Pretty much. Weve been rhyming since we were like 13 or 14 of age. And for our full length it was like 10 years in the making. I mean, with coming out of Colorado and moving out to LA, it was something that was going to happen. We just did it at our own schedule.
AllHipHop.com: Vise, you have produced a lot of songs. Did you start producing when you were with your former group The Procussions and is producing something you really want to get into later?
Vise Versa: Yeah, I started around 1999-2000. Basically, we are big fans of music and a song is like your baby. You shape it and mold it. I still would like to keep producing in the future.
AllHipHop.com: On In Deux Time, you had Thayod Ausar, who has produced for Xzibit and G-unit. Was it a concern that since he has produced for more mainstream artists, that your album would still not carry that conscious Hip-Hop feel?
Vise Versa: Definitely not. I just see us as just artists, period, not mainstream, not underground, not conscious, not thug, just good quality artists. We are just trying to make good music first and foremost, and Thayod has a Hip Hop classic under his belt with Xzibits Paparazzi, so we were open to working with him just out of that respect alone. He came to our label and listened to our album and liked what he heard, so he was down to work with us on the track and we appreciate that mutual respect. We were never trying make a conscious album, we just wanted to make a good album, we stay true to ourselves when we write and however a track makes us feel, thats what we write about, be it positive or negative, it will always be true when you hear it from us. Life is full of ups and downs, we try to focus on the positive, but sometimes thats not being honest if youre going thru any struggle, you have to bring reality to it too.
AllHipHop.com: No Doubt. In your bio, Vise, you had a comment that states you cant fault kids these days for not knowing past influences, do you feel that many kids today dont do their homework when it comes to knowing Hip-Hop roots or even other genres of music?
Vise Versa: I feel that because the music has evolved so much commercially, that the industry has sped up to the point that the products dont have any shelf life. The kids are getting new songs much faster on the major label side of things, that the attention span is shrinking that much quicker, videos are flashier and kids are becoming attracted to that content in the music. Not saying that money, sex and violence havent always been a part of Hip-Hop cause they have, but I dont know if young people can relate to the messages and struggle of the artists who have paved the way for commercial success. You have to do homework, like we did. I mean, I was like 4 years old in 1982 so Im not gonna act like I know everything about Kool Herc. But I did my homework because I love the music and more importantly the culture. The business side of things is stripping the culture out of it now so the kids simply dont care about anything other than whats hot right now. They dont want to do the homework, they just want new stuff, things their friends listen to. I mean if youre 14 or 15 years old right now, you would be too young to fully understand what a group like Run-DMC meant to Hip-Hop. You would think it sounds old. Unfortunately a lot of true school artists also got jerked by the business and are in bad financial states, they look at the newer generation with a certain bitterness, the historians do too, because there are artists now that arent good as them making money thanks to the work they put in. They use the wrong approach to the kids and it turns them off.
AllHipHop.com: Speaking of some old school people, you guys had Nasty Nez host your Bangermanagemnet Mixtape Vol. 1. Was he your first choice?
Vise Versa: Our label had good contacts and wanted to approach him. We didnt have a lot to pay someone, so we made the most of what resources we had, before we got signed. It was a diamond we made out of coal.
Chief Nek: It was a money issue, and Nez agreed to it. Respect to Nezhes been in this game a long time.
AllHipHop.com: So what was Colorado Springs like, tell me about the Hip-Hop scene there.
Chief Nek: It was very small, but they supported the culture. Its a conservative state and they dont have a lot of outlets. In LA, any day you can find something to get into whether its classic Hip-Hop, or something, and Colorado doesnt have that. The state isnt active in the culture. In a good month there, you would have two shows and in LA you have 15 shows in a month. The music is spoon-fed in Colorado because there is no place to go and see upcoming artists. And thats what triggered our move. It was time to take it to the next level.
AllHipHop.com: So why the choice to move to LA? Why not New York or another Hip-Hop hub?
Chief Nek: New York is harder to break into, it seems they support their own. LA is the gate-keeper of entertainment and people were open to us before the move and so far this has been nothing but a positive experience and at the end of the day, it is the best thing we could have done.
AllHipHop.com: You guys had another DJ before moving, Shawn how did you end up filling that spot?
Shawn Dubb: It all worked out great because I was with a group called Figures of Speech and I broke ties with them. It was a learning role because I was the oldest member and there were a lot of other things I wanted to do and get into other than just being a DJ. I met Vise after a show and we ended up talking for like four or five hours and it ended up that I wanted to do what they wanted, so it fit perfectly. These cats were on that next level and I am glad we met and it worked out.