Over the weekend, Warren, Michigan Hip Hop duo Twiztid spoke with HipHopDX about their upcoming eleventh album, A New Nightmare. In conjunction with the premiere of the "Screaming Out" video, DX asked Madrox and Monoxide about their place in the mainstream Hip Hop and media, after over 15 years of albums.
Photo by Jason Shaltz.
"It's true. We don't get the same treatment [as other artists], but that's because we took a different route than most and I believe that when the masses, media, or entertainment, in general have nothing to do with your success and or creation they tend to ignore it," said Monoxide, who released his own Top 200 solo debut, Chainsmoker, in 2004. He continued, "We have charted higher on the [Top 200] on every single release. We have headlined our own tours for a minute and every time we go out there's more and more people. I ain't talking a couple hundred in a couple cities; I'm talking thousands across the country. Our merch numbers alone are unbelievable and the scary part of it all is that you've never heard of us. Never any major video, or radio play and we've still sold over 1,000,000 CDs. All by staying true to ourselves regardless of what is accepted. We like [Air Jordan shoes] and cars and bitches as much as the next person, but we also loved Horror movies, comic books, and other stuff like that. Instead of talking about what everyone else is talking about, we created a different lane. And for some reason it's just not as noticed or accepted by most media."
Madrox added that he appreciates the support from Twiztid fans, but wants the bigger stage than many other veteran Rap acts are privy to. Despite the fact that the group has worked with DJ Quik, Tech N9ne and Tha Dogg Pound, the group often lacks recognition among those group's devoted supporters. "It's a Catch 22 or double-edged sword scenario, as we feel blessed to have the dedicated following that we do, it doesn't get us all the glitz and glam that the big-dog Hip Hop artists do. With that core following we are able to successfully go out and hit the road and gratefully play packed venues and healthy audiences each and every night. Because of our dedicated following, we are also proud to say that our releases do very well too. We have debuted in Billboard Top 100 with almost all of our current music offerings and nowadays, in this botched up industry, that is definitely something to be proud of. On the flipside—would we like to have our songs be featured in commercials for phone companies and computers etc. and be recognized by our musical peers? I guess so. Sure, it would be massive to play ['SNL'] and music award ceremonies so that more listeners who are searching for us or our sound can find us and they can join our ever growing family, but I realize that having your cake and eating it too is an age old concept that keeps a person or entertainers in this sense centered and humbled."
The duo was also asked about Michael "Seven" Summers, the Kansas City, Missouri-based producer who worked with them extenisively on 2011's Ambominationz. Monoxide praised Seven, who is largely known for his work on Tech N9ne albums over the last 10-plus years. "For me, [Seven] is the most talented beat-creator in the game. He can do anything from any genre but he is at his best in my opinion when he uses real instruments. Our chemistry on the sound of Twiztid was immediate. He has always been on the right page for us. The stuff he's doing for the next big Twiztid release is ridiculous. I am honored to work with that kind of talent."
Madrox echoed those sentiments. "[Seven's] production efforts are like our skill set in the respect that both keep evolving and becoming more and more superior with each and every product released. Seven is like the Scott Storch or Timbaland of the underground. His ability to take our ideas or musical concepts that we conversate with him about and turn them into the exact beat we are needing is part of his sheer creative genius and absolutely breathtaking. We are honored to work with him for sure and plan on working together on future albums as well. Seven is a strong fixture in our ever growing sound, he rounds out our team nicely. With him and the addition of Eric Davie, and the legendary Joe Strange you can look for our over all sound to evolve as it always has, but from here on out it will become more deep and rich with the focus on making everything we do from this point on nothing but quality."
Monoxide provided some details on July 30's A New Nightmare album. "It's just letting everyone know nothing's changed but the address. Hopefully it holds everyone over while we work on the next national Twiztid release, but you know how folks are. They want new new new. We brought some of our favorite people to collab with e.g. Blaze [Ya Dead Homie], R.O.C., as well as some we wanted to work with like Caskey, Jelly Roll and Swollen Members but I don't want to give all the surprises away," he said.
With Mon' not revealing all the personnel, Madrox alluded to addition features. "There are a lot of guests on A New Nightmare—we have legends, fam favorites, up-and-comers, and artists that we are flat out fans of. I think the outcome of these collaborations will go down in history for being some of the sweetest tracks your ears will hear all year... granted that you take the time to listen to the ablum of course. [Laughs] I completely understand that nowadays so much good music is wasted sitting on shelves in music stores due to a lack of knowledge that it's there waiting for a set of willing ears to hear it. We have been there and done that. Thanks to a new digital age things are looking brighter than ever for us. We still want to keep the physical CD alive, but understand it's only a matter of time before it creeps to the great music format graveyard to join the likes of the eight-track, the record, and cassette."
A New Nightmare is in stores on July 30.
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