Taken from FlawlessHustle.com
The 28th edition of the 10 question(s) Q&A series, features a fresh new producer/emcee duo from both sides of the US in Substantial and Marcus D, collectively known as Bop Alloy. Having just released their new studio LP entitled “Substantial & Marcus D are “Bop Alloy” the pair sat down to chop it up with us about the new LP and future projects, their inspiration to make music and how they both connected to make their album.
Dub MD: Bop Alloy, what’s good? For those who don’t know, could you just give a short review of what you’ve experienced in your music career up until now?
Substantial: Peace fam. Been putting music out to the world for over 10 years. Got my start with Hyde Out Productions & Nujabes (R.I.P.). Currently doing my thing as a solo artist with QN5 Music and I’m the lead vocalist of Bop Alloy.
Marcus D: I’ve been a musician for as long as I can remember, but just recently (5 years ago) started producing hip hop music. I released my debut producer album, Revival of the Fittest, during my last year of high school and from then on I’ve been working closely with Substantial on Bop Alloy, which has been my main focus.
Dub MD: Coming from the Baltimore/Seattle, how does coming from there shape your attitude to the music/culture? and what do you think of Hip Hop music now in 2010?
Substantial: When you’re from an area that isn’t as established in the Global Hip-Hop community, I think you definitely feel the need to prove yourself and show them what your area has to offer. I think Hip-Hop music now is as it was then in terms of content the major difference is the lack of balance in the mainstream media.
Marcus D: The exact same thing can be, and usually is, said about Seattle. We haven’t had the hip hop spotlight since Sir Mix-A-Lot, and I feel like we’re due.
Dub MD: You’ve got a brand new studio album in stores/online right now? whats it called? and can you give us a little background on it and when we can expect to hear it?
Substantial: Yep. It’s called “Substantial & Marcus D are Bop Alloy”
Marcus D: The one MC and one producer formula allows the project to be extremely cohesive and I think fans will enjoy the fact that there’s one distinct sound throughout the album. It’s a really easy listen, but in my opinion, the replay value on it is like a classic Square soft game.
Dub MD: With this new album, what artists are you connecting with this time around? and what’s your label situations like just now?
Substantial: The album features Steph the Sapphic Songstress, who’s honestly the unofficial 3rd member of Bop Alloy. Other features include Mr. SOS (of QN5 Music), Cise Star (of CYNE), Tunji, EA Floe, Niles and Mello-D.
Dub MD: Where do you get the inspiration to create the type of material you do? what is the creative process like when it comes to working on your projects? and why do you think mc’s/producers that keep integrity in their music, never make a real mark on the charts?
Marcus D: I was a fan Sub’s music before I ever linked up with him. My main inspiration came directly from the style of music he was making around 2001 (I was 12 at the time) with a Japanese producer named Nujabes. Art is rarely appreciated during the artist’s lifetime at the magnitude in which it should be. It’d be nice to hear this project on mainstream radio, but that’s not what we set out to do. We set out to make a living testament of who we are and what we stand for, and I think we’ve done just that.
Substantial: My inspiration for what we do comes from life and Marcus’ production. I always have experiences I can draw from but I usually don’t decide what I’m gonna write about until I get a track from MD in my inbox. I think some artists are able to keep their integrity and make a mark on the charts but the other issue is that companies are usually hesitant to push it the same way because they don’t think it can see pop success.
Dub MD: Being a producer/emcee duo from separate sides of the country, how did you connect with other? and how long was it before you decided to start the group and make an album? and where does the name come from?
Marcus D: The internet can be a beautiful thing. I contacted him via myspace, back when it was a credible source for networking, and we did the track for my album called “Enjoy Yourself”. After that, I just kept sending beats because of how well the track had turned out. Sub kept sending me back my beats with lyrics over them and after we had about four or five tracks, we decided to start working towards a project.
Substantial: The name is latin for “Buy Our Shit!”…nah, seriously, it simply means Jazz Fusion. I came up with it after we decided to become an actual group instead of making this a one-off project.
Dub MD: What do you think is your most defining and unique characteristic that sets you apart from every other group out there? and how would you describe your style to those who still haven’t heard your music?
Substantial: We’re simply genuinely, good dudes who make good music. The biz is filled with a lot of talented assholes. If you like our music you’ll love us.
Marcus D: We’re real people that make real music. No smoke and mirrors, what you see is what you get. If you’ve heard one or two tracks from the album, I can guarantee that you’ll love the entire thing.
Dub MD: Besides this new Bop Alloy album, what other things are you both working on outside the group. Do you have any solo albums in the works just now?
Marcus D: My debut instrumental album, Shoshin, which features Shing02, Substantial and Justis is being released this October, and the 2nd single from it, “Fresh Preserves”, just dropped, which features that one rapper from Bop Alloy..
Substantial: My 3rd solo album is do out later this year, entitled, “Mr. Robinson’s Neighbourhood”, executive produced by Oddisee.
Dub MD: You’ve performed on stages all over the place for years now, If I’m coming to a Bop Alloy show. What am I going to experience, that I won’t experience from just listening to your material on CD?
Marcus D: Think of Cirque du Soleil with no make up and no contortionists, add a mic, a set of turn tables, and maybe some bottled water…shit gets pretty crazy!
Substantial: Pyrotechnics, acrobatics, live sacrifice, and me performing the 1 inch punch on whatever rapper you hate most. oh, and I rhyme too.
Dub MD: What is on tap for Bop Alloy for 2010 and beyond? do you have anything to say to the fans? anything you wanna get off your chest? any shout outs?
Substantial: A Japan tour is in the works and a music video. Shoutout to our families, the DMV, Sea Town, Japan, our supporters/fans worldwide, elevation, QN5, The Plague, UAU/Gods’Illa, Steph and anyone we might’ve forgotten.
Substantial & Marcus D are “Bop Alloy” deluxe edition available now: