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Junk Science Q&A
Brooklyn Hip Hop Act Pack a Strange Brew
by Matt Crawford on Oct 19, 2007
Hip hop and alcohol, whether it be 40 oz. brews on the corner or bottles of Cristal in the club, have always gone together but Brooklyn duo Junk Science are taking things to another level. In conjunction with their sophomore release GraníDadís Nerve Tonic, Baje One and DJ Snafu collaborated with Six Points Craft Ales, a small New York brewery, to create a signature libation with the albumís namesake. A microbrew that packs a punch and compliments Junk Scienceís organic and ďgroundedĒ sound. Baje and Snafu spoke with SF Station from their shared home in Brooklyn. They perform at 111 Minna on November 15th, the final night of a cross-country tour.
SF Station (SFS): Do you spend a lot of time together since you live in the same house?
Baje: We spend less time on music than you might think, but it definitely helps me get all the good Snafu beats because I get to hear them first. When he makes music, I can be right there and we can decide if itís a good track to work on together.
SFS: Is it true that you met after you stole some tapes out from Snafuís backpack?
Baje: Yeah, itís true.
SFS: Usually that results in a fight or something, not a friendship and collaboration.
Baje: I didnít tell him about it. I was sort of outed a couple of years ago. We already had too strong of a friendship for it to break.
Snafu: He stole the tapes before he knew me. He was just stealing stuff from backpacks and it happened to be my backpack and he didnít tell me until like 10 years later.
Baje: I wasnít trying to rob him, especially.
SFS: So there are no hard feelings then, Snafu?
Snafu: No. I donít think so.
Baje: Thatís good to know...
SFS: One of the tapes had some of Snafuís beats on it. What caught your ear on that tape, Baje?
Baje: Honestly, I can barely remember the tape, except there were lots of samples. Not just in the beats, but weird old records with people talking over the beats. I thought it was crazy and weird, and I liked it. I had never written a rhyme or a song or done anything remotely musical, except for playing the recorder in fourth grade.
SFS: Snafu, that sound is still pretty relevant on the new album. What are some of your musical influences?
Snafu: I guess I have been making beats and music with the same aesthetic since I was back in high school. Iím just getting better at it. Iím inspired by all of the producers that I grew up listening to -- East Coast golden-age dudes like Large Professor, Pete Rock, Prince Paul and all of the Native Tongues dudes.
My influences are also records I find in the trash, comic book records, and anything that that might be whack that I can take and make into something dope. That is what is fun for me.
SFS: What motivates you to write, Baje?
Baje: I really try to just focus on stuff that happens in my actual life. I donít have any interest in pretending that my life is particularly crazy or insane or rap-like. I just love hip hop and I make hip hop songs that are often based on everyday life.
Iím also really into word play. Iíve always been like my mother, who is a nationally- ranked Scrabble player. Iíve always been into messing around with words. The English language has is really fascinating for me and there is a lot of inspiration to be taken from that. Iím kind of a nerd about that stuff and I try to be really grounded with what I write.
SFS: In addition to music, you also share a love for beer.
Baje: That is definitely the truth.
Snafu: For sure.
SFS: What makes a good beer, in your opinions?
Snafu: Six Point makes a good beer (laughs). Iím actually drinking our maiden-voyage beer, even though itís early afternoon right now.
Baje: Itís beer oíclock.
Snafu: I donít know what makes a good beer. Itís the same thing that makes good sandwiches or anything: attention to detail; quality ingredients; a vision of what you want it to taste like; and a little bit of TLC. Not the rap girls, but tender love and care. It is the same with any kind of art.
SFS: And your beer has all of that?
Baje: It has all of that and 8.5 percent alcohol content, so itís good stuff.
Junk Science perform at 111 Minna on November 15th. Tickets are $5.
by Matt Crawford on Oct 19, 2007