Exclusive: During their recent Lethbridge stop on the Canadian Juggalo Invasion Tour that also featured Twiztid and Lex The Hex Master, I had the chance to interview Blaze Ya Dead Homie and Boondox before the show on the tour bus in what was one of the most laid back and coolest in-person interviews that I’ve ever had.
I’ve been a Juggalo for as long as I can remember. Getting the chance to chill on a tour bus with two guys that I grew up listening to for well over a decade-plus was surreal. Blaze Ya Dead Homie is touring full force in support of his most recent album ‘The Casket Factory’ and Boondox is currently working on a brand new record with producer Seven (check out the interview below to find out when it’ll be out).
Keven: Majik Ninja Entertainment – going strong for a couple years now. Boondox – now you’ve been close to signing with the label but as of right now you’re still an independent right?
Boondox: Technically, yes. Working on a new album right now which should be out the beginning of 2017.
Keven: What kind of influences are affecting the writing of the new record – will it be close to ‘Abaddon’ in terms of style?
Boondox: In terms of influence, I’m using every influence that’s ever influenced me musically. From Iron Maiden, to West Coast rap, to whatever. The guy that’s making the beat – Seven – I’m sending him ideas that have influenced me from Nirvana, to everything and I’m giving him ideas to make beats around that style.
Keven: Going back to ‘The Harvest’ you definitely had more of a country hip hop vibe whereas now your material has evolved a bit differently to include more darker elements –
Boondox: I’m doing a little bit of that on this too – I’ll always do that – it never leaves.
Keven: Blaze, you have the new album out ‘The Casket Factory’ and that one might be my favorite record you’ve done in years, since ‘One Less G’.
Blaze: Awesome – yeah I tried to take it back to the oldschool a little bit – wicked. I tried to go back to my roots a little more, which were more wicked than gangster and then over time I kinda strayed into more gangster and stretched that out over the last few albums.
Keven: What kind of research goes into writing such a dark album like ‘Casket Factory’?
Blaze: It’s a lot of taking in things that I watch, read, see on a daily basis. It’s the same style that I’ve had since the beginning. I don’t go looking for books about necromancy thinking I’m gonna get the book of the dead. These are things I’ve watched since I was a kid. I found with this album I was using more references to comic books and things. Obscure characters like Moon Knight, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. It’s cool cause they’re finally doing them right in the movies and TV.
Keven: Boondox had a line about the Infinity Gauntlet in your new track* together right? (*Who You Lookin’ 4)
Blaze: Yup! I told you – we know our shit.
Keven: That’s where I come from personally – that geek influence you know.
Blaze: That’s what we are. That’s where we started from too. We’ve been that culture and we keep moving from there and it’s weird because the geek culture is finally mainstream but they don’t look at us like geeks I guess (laughing).
Keven: That world has finally caught up to us for sure, but I still love hearing it in your song lyrics because it feels more genuine when it comes from someone like yourself.
Blaze: When they started making these comic book films a couple years ago all the actors like Christian Bale are going, “I’m gonna go look at a Batman comic – for the first time” We grew up on this shit. We can see the mistakes they’re making in the movies.
Keven: When you guys left Psychopathic Records and then did your first Gathering of The Juggalos since officially leaving, did you receive any type of negative attention at all?
Blaze: Not really, there’s always gonna be someone out there that sees it differently and not in the same way that you do. We haven’t had any problems though, we go back there and it’s basically like we never left. We’ve been workin with them guys for 15 years. It should be clear to everybody now I mean we did Dark Lotus, different projects together, Twiztid showed up at Juggalo Day this year. They try to make it out worst than it is. Some kids want that division there.
Keven: You’d think that when new Dark Lotus came out right after the split that it would have shut a lot of people up right?
Blaze: Right? We were all sittin in the fuckin studio together too, just like every other fucking Dark Lotus album. The fuck do you think? Each of us started two tracks separately and when we came together we recorded everything together in the studio. We do this every fuckin time, so it’s not been changed ever.
Keven: That album was one of my favorites too.
Blaze: It was so different too because it was the first time we were doing stuff – like this – but we still had a lotta fun doing it you know? This is why we’re still doing it – because we love music. Yeah this is a fuckin job, but I love doing this.
Keven: The main drive behind Jamie and Paul (Twiztid) starting their own label — it just kinda feels like, “it’s time for something different” right?
Blaze: That entire time I was with them, we were just kind of learning what it takes and they taught us everything we knew. Psychopathic were teaching us. They were laying out the groundwork and the way to do it. And you know it was about time, it was time to move on but still keeping making music no matter what.
Keven: You recently said that there’s no endgame in sight for you right? You’re just gonna continue to do this for as long as you can?
Blaze: No, hey people are doin it forever. I see Aretha Franklin (laughing) still doin it. Getting surgeries and goin back out there. There isn’t an end – this is what we love to do. The end is when I stop loving this. Or maybe my vocal chords get shot. It’s gonna have to take some crazy shit. Maybe they DOC me and I get into a car accident. For real tho – and that’s my dude.
Boondox: When I can’t walk anymore… I see a lot of younger people out in the crowds too now…
Keven: You’re right though – I mean I’m 30 and I’ve been listening for a long time, but I’m seeing 12-year-old kids out there becoming huge fans too.
Blaze: We’re a misunderstood genre. A misunderstood record label – a family. People don’t understand until they experience it and really see what’s going on. It’s fun and it’s theatrics. We go all out. We don’t fuck around. You’re not gonna see me standing at the back of a stage or whipping a towel at your face. That’s not what kind of rapper I am. So you wanna come down, have some fun, move around – don’t wear your best shit – right? Don’t come down here in your Sunday Best – come down here in something you wanna have fuckin fun with. That’s how we do.Keven: That stigma that surrounds this kind of music is everywhere. At my last job, I started a website with a guy out of New York and whenever I reviewed your album (Blaze), or your album (Boondox) or tried to spread any kind of news or publicity your way I had a ton of pushback.
Blaze: It’s because it might make it look real. And that’s what some people don’t want. If you acknowledge it – then now the Boogieman is real, you know what I mean? Too many people are scared of that. That’s what it is. We keep crackin people’s heads open – that’s all that matters.
Keven: It’s actually one of the reasons which led to me leaving, and starting my own thing – that major difference in creativity. Ever since my departure, it’s been so refreshing to just cover whatever I want.
Blaze: When the media starts putting a negative spin on things and granted there was a lot of bad stuff that was comin out with the culture of Juggalos – the gang shit. And I’m telling you that was crazy. What they considered a gang, was a bunch of people wearing the same kind of shirt and going to a show together. Usually, a gang is considered to be a part of some criminal organization… Then the media took off and you see Law & Order doing an episode about it, Saturday Night Live makin fun of it.
Keven: Did you like the Juggalo in Grand Theft Auto who was a meth head?
Blaze: I didn’t see that…. You see it’s perpetuated by all of this – so every Juggalo is a meth head now? I’ve never done meth in my life. I don’t fuck with meth like that. You’re putting a label on someone and we don’t do that to the media. But maybe we should. Something that’s derogatory to them. All media’s fuckheads, everyone who listens to the crap on the radio is a douchebag. Fuck man, you know what I mean? (laughing)
Keven: I’m not gonna get you to reveal if you’re joining MNE or not am I Boondox?
Boondox: (smiling – silence – refuses to answer)
Blaze: We’re workin no matter what. What it comes down to is that labels don’t really mean that much to us. He’s not on a label and he’s still workin. When he was on another label, we were still doin stuff together – it’s not about that.
Note: I spoke with Blaze for a good 10 minutes AFTER I shut my recorder off and he was shocked at the current landscape of pop and rap music . “The biggest rapper in the world right now is Canadian! You know what I mean? It’s crazy shit,” referring to Drake. He also said that everything trendy is trying to mimic the sounds of the 80’s when it comes to pop music like Ariana Grande or Justin Bieber. I have to agree – neither Blaze or Boondox can stand listening to the radio – can you blame them?
For my review of their live performance that same evening in Lethbridge – click HERE.