(AllHipHop Features) L.A.Z., E-Fav, Noveliss, and Ilajide make up the rap unit called Clear Soul Forces, and the Michigan-based Hip Hop group released their second official project today. AllHipHop caught up with the foursome recently to discuss their latest album Gold PP7’s, their musical influences, the much publicized spat between fellow Detroit rappers Danny Brown and Big Sean, and how they define success.
[ALSO READ: Detroit Rising: Clear Soul Forces Are The D’s New Hip Hop Ambassadors]
Can you each describe your own personal style and what it brings to the group?
E-Fav: I describe my style as just wordplay, and I think I just bring a different vibe to most of the records. We all bring something different to the table whenever we’re on a record together, so it’s always interesting. We always just try to be different, so I just contribute ideas and creativity.
L.A.Z.: For me I would say that I would contribute… I don’t know, just like a vibe, looseness, trying to keep s**t from being all super rigid. We make a variety of s**t, so I would definitely say that I just try to bring whatever the track needs. Every song is different, so I just be a chameleon out here and just play my position. I would say that I bring sacrifice and balance and openness.
Ilajide: I would say I bring beats, the vibe, the energy, lyrics, everything.
Ilajide, who are some the people that influence your production style?
Ilajide: Dr. Dre, Q-Tip, Erick Sermon, Redman, [Mr.] Dibiase.
How do you organize ideas for your projects being that you’re a four-man group? When you do have disagreements about ideas how do you handle that?
L.A.Z.: For the most part we just finish making the song. Just cause one doesn’t like it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be finished. No matter what, you could never have too much s**t, so we just try to finish whatever and then just leave it open. If you want to f**k with it, then f**k with it, but at least record that s**t. Sometimes you might not see what somebody is talking about until they lay it down for you to hear it. And then it’s like, “oh okay I f**k with that s**t. I’ll hop on it.” So that’s pretty much how we’ve been operating. That’s how we were operating when we were making Gold PP7’s.
How many tracks did you guys record before you dwindled it down to the final tracklist?
Ilajide: We had at least 30-50 recorded, but we don’t be knowing what we want to do with them until we got enough that sound like one thing. If we got enough songs that sound like one type of project then we’ll form a project, but our main thing is just to go in with a clear mind and just work on as much stuff as we can, because we got so many different sounds. It’s hard to try and put them together.
As I was listening to the album, I noticed you guys made a lot of references to other Hip Hop groups. I heard an OutKast reference. You’ve got a song that went back to A Tribe Called Quest. How did those other groups influence you?
L.A.Z.: I feel like all our favorite groups they influence us, but at this point we listen to the people that we love so much that I feel like we took little cues from them. We don’t even listen to the groups that we love to look for ideas at this point. We just listen to the motherf**kers that we love cause we love their music. I know we turn on Slum [Village], OutKast, just anything. The Roots records just get turned on for the sake of hearing them still, because we think they’re dope records, and there’s nothing else to listen to. Honestly, we’re not even looking for music like, “oh my god, I need to find another idea.” It’s just like let me listen before I react real quick. I just want to hear that s**t.
We know that Detroit has gone through some tough times the last couple of years. There was a situation between Danny Brown and Big Sean recently where Danny kind of went at Sean because he felt like he wasn’t giving enough back to the city. Do you guys think that celebrities from Detroit, particularly rappers, have a responsibility to do more to help the city?
E-Fav: Just to touch on that question, I feel like if it’s in your heart to give back then you should. If it’s not, then don’t. Don’t be fake.
Noveliss: I also feel like sometimes you get beat and s**t on so much trying to make it to the top that when you get there I feel like some people feel like why do I have to go out of my way to give back. I mean obviously I think that people should give back, but at the same time I can see why they don’t.
L.A.Z.: I feel like it’s different levels to giving back. People don’t look at it like that. I done see little s**t. I feel like they both are active in the community. I done heard about s**t. I heard about Danny Brown by sandwiches for motherf**kers on Linwood [Avenue] before. I heard about him helping people on the west side. This is just through the grapevine. Also, at the same time I’ve seen Big Sean buying coats for kids at the Science Center. So when that whole situation came about I heard about both of y’all n****s giving back, so I didn’t understand it. There’s different levels to charity. Just cause a motherf**ker’s not standing in the hood giving back don’t mean they don’t care. Or just because somebody’s not at some benefit for the news don’t mean they’re not giving back either.
How would you define success for your group?
L.A.Z.: I would define success as stability. At this point I don’t even look at it on being able to cop a Benz type s**t. Just satisfaction. I believe in satisfaction. At this point I feel like success would be able to live, s**t, at least above average doing what you want to do. I ain’t got to have no Maserati, but if I can cop an Audi and have a nice townhouse that s**t’ll be cool too. At this point that’s how I look at it.
Noveliss: I got kids, and L.A.Z. got a kid. I ain’t asking to be like filthy ass rich, but if my son sees something that he wants I want to be able to get it for him. Anytime, no matter where I’m at. Just stability. I ain’t got to have no retarded ass car, but if I could just not live paycheck-to-paycheck doing some s**t that I love to do, that’s success to me.
Ilajide: Group success for me is so many levels. One, I want to meet group success of really bringing Hip Hop back, and I’m talking about that real Hip Hop s**t. I think we’re going to see success in that. I’m talking about getting on the f**king radio. F**k the bulls**t. Even though all them n****s pay for their f**king radio time. Yeah, I know y’all n****s ain’t slick. Success as far as getting them millions too. N****a, I want it all. We got million dollar f**king raps. N****s with a million dollars don’t even rap like this, and they can’t even rap like this. We rap better than them, so we deserve their f**king money. Million dollar f**king raps.
E-Fav: Success for this group to me, like everybody said, as long as everybody can be stable and be able to provide with no problems. To me that would mean this group has been successful. That has been the goal from day one. Let’s help each other get on. Let’s help each other out with this s**t. Let’s do it, and we’re making this s**t happen.
[ALSO CHECK OUT: Stream Clear Soul Forces New Album “Gold PP7′s”]
To download Clear Soul Forces’ Gold PP7’s visit iTunes.
Watch the video for “Ain’t Playin” below.
photo credits: www.radiifootwear.com