Who is Blame One? Well, where does one begin answering that question? Blame One has been rapping since he was nine years old, performing and working with some of the industries best including; King Tee, Madlib, Oh No, KanKick, Blu, Black Milk and a whole bunch more. Although Blame has been kicking it for some time, March 31st marks the date of his first mastered solo album release, Days Chasing Days. The album features a slew of hip-hop greats, but the spotlight shines on Blame. His endless grind has finally paid off with an album that hip-hop fans can cherish for a long time. But with his amazing talent as an emcee, there is one thing that stands out; his humbleness and character as a human being, something that lacks in just about every rhyme-spitter these days. With all that said, Potholes In My Blog welcomes Blame One to our exclusive Artist Spotlight series. Join me as I chop it up with Blame in a Q&A format and get the low down on his career, music and brand new album.
Be sure to go cop Days Chasing Days March 31st in stores and digital dialers near you!
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Reyn: Hey Blame, appreciate you coming by. How are things?
Blame: Everything is good man, can’t complain…thanks for having me.
Reyn: Congratulations on Days Chasing Days, how did the recording process go?
Blame: Thank you. The recording process was a lot of back and forth with Exile. I record rough draft versions at my crib first and then go from there. Johaz, Sha Dula and Sean Price all recorded versus at my crib as well.
Reyn: Now you have been in the game for a very long time, but I feel like this release was your first real time to shine. How does this joint stand out from past releases that you have had in your career?
Blame: I think it stands out because Exile helped to hand pick everything we thought would work together as a whole. This is also the first album that I have had mastered. My last three albums were ground level. The creativity was definitely there but I mixed the whole Priest, Thief album from home. Big shouts to Recworm for mixing days chasing days!
Reyn: What are some standout lessons you have learned on your journey as an emcee that you applied to Days Chasing Days.
Blame: How to carry myself in a more professional manner and be open to harsh critique if it’s going to help the album in the long run. Have fun with the album and worry about the rest when it’s crunch time.
Reyn: Lyrically, what were some major themes that you wanted to portray on the album?
Blame: Well somehow people have this perception of me that I am a defender of the underground. That’s definitely not the case. I listen to all forms of hip hop from radio play to hand to hand CDs. The theme that I wanted to portray is a positive general outlook and a critique to bad music (whether mainstream or underground). I like to promote the search of higher learning, family, and mashin on wack ass emcees.
Reyn: I noticed your rapping style is very versatile. You have tracks like “Street Astrologist” that has a very quick old school delivery and then you have a track like “Wonder Years” or “Perseverance” where you have a more laidback stance on the mic. Talk about some of your major influences that have shaped your ability as an emcee.
Blame: Well I have been told by a lot of people over the years that when I do my more laid back flows, my vocal tone sounds like Lord Finesse (trust me, I’ve heard it many times but take it as a compliment). My slower flow would really be inspired by Rakim and my more hyper up-tempo flows would be cats like Kool G Rap, Kane, and others. I love Slick Rick and Nas’s story telling ability and I always appreciate the way cats like Aceyalone and Del style. My foundation is definitely in the 80’s and my content is heavily inspired by reggae music.
Reyn: Most of the album is produced by Exile; what was it like working with the producer extraordinaire on the project? What did he bring to the table?
Blame: Well for me it’s not really anything new. I’ve been working with Ex since around 95 and I have been impressed with Exile from before we even worked together. The main thing Exile brings now is that he knows how to construct and album, not just make a good song. That is where I needed his guidance.
Reyn: You also feature some production from KanKick, Blu, Black Milk and many more big names in hip-hop. How did you incorporate all these fantastic, yet different sounds into your final product?
Blame: Kan Kick I have been working with even before I met Exile. It was mandatory to get him on the album. Blu caught me off guard when I first heard his beats because he really has a good ear for it, I had to get one. Black Milk is just a cat that I have been wanting to work with because he was a younger cat that came out the box just mashin on cats. In the end though, like I mentioned before, Exile helped me decide what was actually going to work together on the album.
Reyn: Let’s take it back. You have been rapping a long time, but when did you take it to the professional level? When was your first big break?
Blame: I’m gonna say that my first decent break was having a reputable company put out one of my vinyls. Access Hip Hop released the “Grown Man Rap EP” and because of the promotional copies that went out and what sold, more people started looking into what I was doing.
Reyn: California has become an absolute hotbed for hip-hop talent these days. What sets Blame One apart from the rest of the pack? How do you use the competitive spirit to create better music?
Blame: I think age and experience and also my traditional spirit is sincere. I’m not one of these cats that wants to take hip hop back to the golden age, I’m part of the golden age. Hip hop is founded on competition so I always feel like I have to step my game up with everything I release.
Reyn: What does Blame’s future look like beyond Days Chasing Days? More collaborations? Solo work?
Blame: I’m definitely gonna work on select features, do more shows and then just basically see what the future holds for me. Right now, I’m not sure to be honest.
Reyn: Name some other artists we should be on the lookout for right now.
Blame: Well if you don’t already know, Fashawn, Johaz, Zombie Mob, Big Left, Black Sparx, Kahlee, Jimmy Powers… all of these artist are striving to bring something unique to the table.
Reyn: Many thanks Blame, what will your last words be?
Blame: Well I hope these won’t be my last words but thank you for taking the time to interview me and I truly appreciate it. A big thank you to everyone that has been supporting my music!!! Days Chasing Days dropping March 31st!!!