Many of the funk fanatics on the street dance scene already know the name Sin2. As a talkboxer and producer, he introduced himself in 2007 with “The Gypsy And His Talkbox.” While he has been spotted in collaboration with a bevy of European funksters, a follow up to Sin2’s debut was nowhere to be found, until now.
Entitled “Where I’m From,” the album’s straightforward name actually belies a deeper musical meditation. Sin2 does, in fact, show us exactly where he’s from as far as his production and overall range. The album runs the gamut from Impala-ready g-funk on tunes such as “Mellow Hustle,” “Quantum Realm Remix (feat. Bybo),” “On The Autobahn,” and “It’s LBC,” a joint venture with Long Beach legends Foesum, to dance floor friendly boogie funk in the form of “Innocent.” The record becomes even more adventurous when Funkmaster Ozone joins in to deliver a vocoder-inflected slice of hard electro on “You Need To Dance.” There’s more than enough material on “Where I’m From” to fuel a dance session (or ten), yet Sin2 doesn’t hesitate to slow things down on the tracks “Wide Open (feat. Imaa)” & “Baby Girl (feat. Bybo),” two electric g-funk slow jams better suited for the bedroom than the backyard boogie.
Sin2‘s approach to talkboxing stands out from many of his peers as he always manages to give equal space to it and all other instruments in play. The result is that his talkbox texture doesn’t overshadow the rest of the music, gliding over his synths and rhythms rather than overshining them as some talkboxers tend to do, making for a consistent listen, and making you wish that he had followed up his debut album many years ago already.
“S.W.E.A.T.“ (South West European Amplifierburstin’trilladistical Tunes) is the name of the brand new release from Latex Diamond, O.G. member of the long-lived Madrid-based record label Ugly Workz and his partner in crime, the acclaimed Spanish talkboxer and producer Sholo Truth. Considered to be the originators of the Spanish G-Funk sound, they’ve joined forces with A. Cheeze, the Madrider M.C. with a deep voice and smooth tunes from the record label CIO Ent., for an international, cross-generational and transatlantic trip into the southern sounds of the United States from the 90’s and 00’s.
S.W.E.A.T. is a project of 9 cuts full of tradition and grillz and made under DJ Screw’s long-cast shadow, crossing the Atlantic Ocean to the South of Europe, and turning S.W.E.A.T. instantly into a Spanish dirty south classic.
To make ”S.W.E.A.T.“, they have collaborated with a wide variety of artists in Spain and abroad-such as the Valencia-based R&B singer T. Dom, the soul and gospel singers Natacha Kanga (France) and Montreea (Houston, TX) and Sholo Truth, who provided the kick-start signal for the project on the cut “Home (OG’s del barrio)”. ”S.W.E.A.T.” is produced by Spanish and European producers as well; producers like Ochoa, Sholo Truth, Mr. Cashanova, or Keith Dramn (Spain) as well as Heartbeatz and Milo Deezy (Germany), who are known for working with other recognized names in America’s Hip Hop scene such as Rittz, Scarface, MJG, Devin The Dude or Bizzy and Kayzie Bone of Bone Thugs n’ Harmony, among others.
G-FUNK.WS: Could you tell us about Bling Bling type of art which was the South’ thang, who originated it & brought into the masses?
BLACKAT: Bling was a term given by Cash Money, That name I didn’t come up with, It was an effect I added to things in my art, from metal, to jewelry, or glass, anything that would reflect light. The effects are called Lens flares, Cash money was a client of Pen and Pixel. If you take the time and research PNP’s work like 20-2-Life or Trinity Garden Cartal there was not Lens Flare effects. When I came along it was just a part of my work and was added when necessary, they took it, put it on everything and road it to the grave, and that Red fucking Sky.
G-FUNK.WS: What graphics designers out there you can say you were real cool with & respect their work?
BLACKAT: Mike Frost, Kid Styles – I’ve always been a fan of their work and both are great guys.
G-FUNK.WS: Have you been in good relationship with DJ Screw, Screwed Up Click members & affiliates?
BLACKAT: I never hangout with Screw much but in the business you know each other and always around the work I did. I do remember him not liking Skulls but as any artist, you don’t have a choice when the label is in control. I remember a story Beyonce told me about the single Bonnie and Clyde, it wasn’t her pick for a single, but that’s what the label was gonna go with. She had to fight for her power.
G-FUNK.WS: Would you share with us some good memories about Pimp C in his remembrance?
BLACKAT: Pimp was like family, he was home. Every holiday I would go down to Port Arthur to visit Family, food and fun, Then my next Stop was Chad’s house, is what I would call him. So hard to call him Pimp C face to face when you know him, kinda like I do with Flavor or most artist I have a personal relationship with and they call me Clyde.
G-FUNK.WS: Were there any rappers whom you worked with but you could say it grew into a friendship?
BLACKAT: Willie D and the Geto Boys, Pimp C was like a little Brother to me, we both grew up huge Beatles fans, DJ DMD who did the song 25 Lighters, my hometown Brother also, Big Mello, D-Wreck of Wreckshop, C-Note of Botany Boys and its been a few, we have spent time beyond the music and work. To family friends watching each other kids grow up.
G-FUNK.WS: Can you share a funniest story that happened with you during your career / in your life?
BLACKAT: Sum of that funny shit that might have happened to you & that still get you smile after all these years when it comes to your mind. It was when Flavor Flav lived with me. We both was hanging out at a Hotel in Houston called Hotel Derek. Flavor wanted to go outside and Smoke. Now there we are with both our backs against the glass of the Hotel talking when out of the dark, I hear my name, “Hey Kat! Hey Blackat!!!” when out of the shadows comes Pimp C. I walk out to give him a hug and at that moment, Pimp C looks over my shoulders and see Flavor Flav. Pimp freaks out and runs over to Flavor and drop to the ground and kisses Flavor Flav shoes. By this time Flavor is High and freaking out, like “WTF! Kat!, Who is this Guy? Make him stop!” Flavor tried to back up and run but he slam into the glass and was stuck. I could do nothing but Laugh my ass off on the look of Flavor’s Face, Like it’s a huge Bear was sighing on you and I was nothing you could do. It get funnier, years later after Pimp C’s death. I’m in Vegas with Flavor, both my sons and his kids at Flavor’s Crib, we was all in the kitchen when Flav went off, that he met Pimp C and Pimp Kisses his shoes. LOL No one would believe his story so he looks at me like, “Kat!, tell them I’m not lying!” Again I did nothing but laugh my ass off, I couldn’t even verify the story form laughing so hard. LMFAO!!!
The 2019 ain’t done yet bringing solid releases to your music library. This time K-Locsta is up with brand new EP released on CD. If you already know him – then you know that it will be nuttin’ but quality, last few years Russian g-funk camp shows some real rise. This one will include guests like Collarossi, Benjilino, G-Money (R.I.P.), Loco, Mista L, Ghost Dest… Flow fits perfectly with beats by Rabzooz, Loco and RTN. Short, but so dope, nuff said.
As always, no bullshit CD-Rs. Support the real thing and buy it @ K-Locsta Official Bandcamp , supplies limited to 100 copies worldwide, get one while it lasts!
G-FUNK.WS: Wassup Clyde. Would you let us know how & when it all started for you with the graphics designing and artwork direction?
BLACKAT: I been designing since I was 8 years old. Drawings here and there. It’s when I entered High School in Port Arthur, TX that’s things started coming alive. Designing T-shirts for the school and I was chosen to re-design our football team Logo and Uniforms that hardly been changed since 1986.
G-FUNK.WS: What did you do before you went into graphics?
BLACKAT: I always did art, from Stain glass windows to sculptures to murals and T-shirt designs. Art has always been the way I made money.
G-FUNK.WS: We have peeped your Instagram, you got a lot of old photos of yours with or related to some celebrities, how did you come to know them all?
BLACKAT: I’ve been learning about music history all my life. I grew up in a house where my parents and grandparents partied and listen to music, stuff like The Doors, James Brown and Tom Jones. But it was when my grandparents got me a Vinyl Record player and give me old Blues records I started asking questions about the music. So, by the time I left High School I was a walking music encyclopedia and would win music Trivia Contest. When I moved to Houston and started going to the Art Institute I met a student there whose family was in the concert business. He was blown away of my knowledge of music and asked me have I ever seen any of the artist or groups Live. At this point I’ve never seen a live show or any type of concert ever. So he took me to my very first concert to see Fleetwood Mac, he took me back stage for the very first time and I was hooked. From that point I knew where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do was be around music. As a 19 year old Black kid with a history of music like no other I was like a Unicorn to them but growing up around old people taught me how to converse with people beyond music and artist just took a liking to me, plus having knowledge I knew about the personal things about each artist. Most would sit down and tell me about their lives. Those was my tools to create a job position for myself. Whatever the artist needed there was a list. Well if I knew I wanted to impress them, I had to go above and beyond my Job duties, fix the tiny holes and details most people would leave off, to make their life on the road a little better sometimes. That was always appreciated, to have that one person out of everyone that would help them with things, they couldn’t talk about but had to get done. Like send cash to a family member or picking a girl out the crowd to help shopping for wardrobe or being there on stage to run messages back and forward to make sure they had towels and water to stay performing. I even helped some artist with wardrobe and set changes. Over time being on the road, you don’t see each other as a artist and a worker, you become a family, going for city to city. For years I was the youngest in the production crew at age 20 in the entire music business. Rock legends became mentors and friends over time.
G-FUNK.WS: How many people have been working in Blackat Productions? Can you give us some idea on your artwork creating process?
BLACKAT: That process comes from listening to the artist’ ideas. As in the conversation, right in that moment I’m creating the cover in my head, down to all the details, the next step is putting it down to print. I’m the only artist in Blackat Productions that designed, I designed props, scouted locations and rented cars, boats and helicopters – I did production like a movie studio but for album cover. I’ve been designing Covers almost everyday since 1993 even on Christmas days, I work. I just love what I do. If I hit the Lottery I would still do this but maybe give more away. But until that dream happens, I gotta eat.
G-FUNK.WS: What kind of equipment have you used for photography & artwork design?
BLACKAT: Computers have always been Apple Macs. Software is all the same basic shit every designer uses, from Photoshop to Illustrator. But Computers and software are only tools to me like a hammer and nail. You gotta have an imagination to create, your hammer and nails can’t think or build for you. Before computers, I was designing posters, ads, covers and T-shirts. Some Technology has helped the process move faster to do more work, but there are still some things as a creator as the technology hasn’t caught up with yet.
G-FUNK.WS: What’s your favorite CD artworks you’ve ever designed? Were there any interesting stories behind? Is there the only one artwork you still like most?
BLACKAT: As crazy as it sounds, there is no favorite, I’m always designing to do better. I always look for the next to make it better, more challenging. I never wanna do the somethings over and over because it’s easy, I get bored fast. I gotta have a challenge.
G-FUNK.WS: What you got to say about Pen & Pixel Graphics? They’re also from Down South and seems like they might have been your competitor…
BLACKAT: It takes great competition to make you great, but when you break it down, we both where 2 different companies, Pen and Pixel was a design and marketing firm. You go in, do a green screen photoshoot and you background was selected from CDs from Shutterstock or other Clipart companies. They had a stuff of 10 artists under the art direction of Shawn Brauch. This is how a normal Design and marketing company works. They where great businessmen and very successful with Public Relations. Now me on the other hand. I was Blackat, the artist, Blackat Productions. I saw myself creating a big production, wardrobes, locations and sets. I was a master at cut & paste, photo-editing, hell I was picked as one of the first Beta Testers for Photoshop to help make design suggestions in its software. But just because I’m good at something doesn’t mean thats all I can do. Why to use clipart of things that’s not you or represent your city. Every artist is different. So I pushed to get the artist vision out in a way to stand the test of time and not just another product with a RED SKY of the factory lines. Like I once told Shawn in 2015 when he decide to troll me out the blue. Don’t be mad at me because you sent the press to my office and it back fires. I am an Artist, you was a design company. Companies go out of business everyday. Have you heard of Picasso going out of business orVincent van Gogh closing his office. No artist don’t go out of business and they don’t steal others art and take the name off and add there own name to it. At that point I had to draw a line. It wasn’t competition it was WAR!