Interview with S-1:
El Capitan (EC)
Symbolyc One (S1)
(EC): As the first member of the group, where’d the inspiration for the name come from?
(S1): Myth came up with the idea for the group name. It comes from the Billie Holiday song and symbolizes the struggle and pain we go through from a human/artist point of view.
(EC): How does the name Strange Fruit Project relate to the mission of the group, through lyrics, beats, overall community influence?
(S1): The name relates to the group’s mission (through those influences) by motivating and inspiring our culture to overcome these strongholds that we ALL go through from day to day.
(EC): What artists have influenced you most? Seems to be a big Midwest impact on your music with guys like Dilla, Pete Rock, and Cl Smooth.
(S1): My influences range from old school groups like Earth, Wind, and Fire, Marvin Gaye, Andrae Crouch to present artist like Dilla, The Game, Blink 182. So I guess it comes from everywhere and in between.
(EC): What is it like working with the mercurial Erykah Badu and The Cannabinoids?
(S1): Working with Erykah and the Cannabinoids has been inspirational. 9 other artist/producers/deejays coming together to make music is unheard of. It’s a new experience.
(EC): Do you see music progressing in this direction, where synthesizing beats and instruments take the place of catchy rhymes and repetitive basslines?
(S1): As for the progression/direction, I wouldn’t say replacing those elements, just adding on to it.
(EC): How do you feel that The Cannabinoids have recreated the state of being induced by cannabis?
(S1): Feels great that we was able to flip the concept of cannabis and apply it to the affect that music has on people.
(EC): In what direction do you see Strage Fruit Project headed? What about The Cannabinoids?
(S1): Strange Fruit Project has been evolving like any other group/artist does. We’re continually growing and maturing as adults and as artist so the natural thing would be to progress artistically as well.
(EC): Is music, especially hip-hop and trip-hop, becoming more experiential? Meaning, does newer music create a more fully involved experience than the more simple, classic model of straight lyrics and beats?
(S1): Our model of music has always been feeling-based. So whatever creative space that were in for that particular moment is whats goin to go onto tape and come out the speakers. Its artist evolution at its finest.
(EC): What’s next for S-1? Any other side projects, solo album, etc?
(S1): Just staying busy with music, cinematography, and photography. New joints and projects with Rhymefest, Little Brother, Lupe, and a slew of others so definitely look out for all kinds of new music and film projects that I’m currently working on.
The video for the new Strange Fruit Project single “Crash” featuring Thesis highlights the groups ability to send a strong message through creative art, like their EP suggests they do: Making Art Sound KOOL. The video tackles issues of the streets, depicting an armed robbery that ends with gunshots, that ultimately leads to the crash of the perpetrator. Directed, Produced and Edited by esteemed group member Symbolyc One, Crash reminds of the great Black Star videos of the 90s with its realistic camera angles and focused content. In fact, the parallels to conscious hip-hop from the classic era don’t end with the video. The vocals are all about warning against making poor decisions in desperate times; think before you crash, and instead live life with a purpose.
With Crash, SFP stays true to form with potent, spot-on quality lyrics and head-bumpin’ beats that make the track ooze with flow and charisma. Picnic Tyme produces a great track, one full of appropriate builds that mirror the intensity of the vocals, and retreats when the timing is right. I’m loving the heavy cymbal usage when the track transitions from one emcee to another.
As if the interview and new video weren’t enough, check out the FREE new EP from Strange Fruit Project, M.A.S.K. the EP . With production from S1, Caleb and Ninth Wonder, this EP has thoughtful beats matching equally provoking lyrical quality. For a super smooth joint, definitely check out Sepia Tone, produced by S1. This track sounds like hip-hop soul meets rainforest ambiance — a concoction so surreal I couldn’t even make it up. All in all, this EP is definitely one to grab quick.
For the Crash video Click Here.
Cop the new EP for FREE HERE.