The Lawrence, Massachusetts native discusses the sixth installment of his "Hood Politics" mixtape series and his views on the state of Hip-Hop music.
Contrary to popular cinema, it doesn’t take a nuclear-powered Delorean and flux capacitor to make a time machine. Although souped-up whips are always applicable, the only real Time Machine needed is the sixth installment of Termanology’s Hood Politics series, coming this September 22 on his own ST. Records. Term [click to read] spoke to HipHopDX last Thursday about the details of the project, saying that it sounds like the Doc and Marty McFly could have brought it back from a trip to ’94.
“I felt like the name [Time Machine] really fits the project,” said Termanology. “It took me awhile to come up with it, because I was just going to call it ‘Hood Politics VI’ like the mixtape series, keeping it moving. [But] then I was like ‘Yo, this more like an album than a mixtape because these are real beats that I got from Pete Rock and Alchemist and Statik [Selektah] and all these people…I feel like the music really fits the title.’”
He then added, “I was waiting to put out this album with me and Lil’ Fame [of M.O.P.], and we pretty much got to the point where it was done, but the M.O.P. album [The Foundation] had to come out first. I was like ‘Y’know what? I ain’t going to wait a whole year without putting out something for the fans.’ So I figured I’d do the Time Machine joint. I grabbed a bunch of joints that I had just sitting around, and then I did probably like 10 new joints, slapped them together, and whoop, there it is.”
Time Machine (Hood Politics VI) boasts production from a veritable army of legendary Hip-Hop icons, including Alchemist, Pete Rock, Fizzy Womack and DJ Premier. Term says he feels more than blessed to not only work with such producers, but to also maintain genuine friendships with them.
“It’s so crazy,” Term said. “It was so crazy this year and it was so crazy last year. While making the ‘Politics As Usual’ album [click to read], I got to work with nine multi-platinum producers, legends, all the people that crafted ‘Ready to Die’ and ‘Illmatic’ and ‘Reasonable Doubt,’ along with some new school cats like Hi-Tek and Alchemist who are like the new gods. It’s so crazy for me, being a fan forever. I’ve been a fan of Hip-Hop music my whole life…I study Hip-Hop. So for me to be working with all the people I look up to is amazing. But I’m kind of like…not that I’m unappreciative of it, but it’s like I’m not really star-struck when I see these people because they’re my real friends.”
Despite his success over the past few years, Termanology indicates that the raw, unadulterated Hip-Hop on which he grew up is still in a precarious state. He discussed where he feels the game went wrong and the possibility to a return to form.
“I don’t known [when Hip-Hop started to go downhill],” said the Massachusetts emcee. "To tell you the truth, I was so in love with Hip-Hop until around the year 2000, and then after that, shit just started getting mad wack. It got so bad that like every single year, we were like ‘We didn’t think it could get that bad’…and everybody in New York didn’t think it could get that bad, like ‘Yeah, it’s all good. We could take a couple of years of and let these cats get their shine.’ It didn’t work out that way for it because once a lot people took that time off, they were over when the decided to come back. It was too late, and now it’s like ‘Yo, Hip-Hop ain’t even like it was before when you were popping a couple of years ago…now you’re not relevant and you don’t matter. Now this type of shit matters.’ And it’s like ‘Oh shit, well maybe we’ve got to do what they’re doing,’ but it’s like ‘Nah dude, because you ain’t from there or you don’t sound like that or that ain’t you, so it’s not real.’”
But he later added that all is not lost, saying, “I feel like [Hip-Hop]’s coming back around. It’s not like a full circle thing, but there’s definitely a lot of bullshit that’s been weeded out with the good groups like Slaughterhouse [click to read]. They’re real Hip-Hop. You’ve got myself, Statik Selektah, that whole little “subgenre” of absolutely 100% real shit, it means something. La Coka Nostra, all of that shit, that shit really means something and people fucking believe in that shit, and so do we.”
Yet even before Time Machine (Hood Politics VI) hits the racks, Term will be headlining a European tour from August 20 to September 6. No stranger to European fans, Term discussed the differences between an American Hip-Hop show and a European Hip-Hop show.
“One thing about [European audiences] is that they really appreciate [Hip-Hop shows],” explained Term. “They really appreciate the music and they appreciate that you flew all the way over there and you’re giving it your all and you’re killing shit. You could do a show in New York and go hard-body and everybody’d just stare at you and not even clap, not even nod their heads…that’s how [different] it is over there. I’ve done shows not even about me…[and] their fans will just straight kill it…over there, they’re fucking zoned in on you. Like, ‘When I say real, y’all say Hip-Hop,’ everybody in that bitch, a thousand niggas are like ‘Hip-Hop!’”
In addition to his upcoming tour and the release of Time Machine, Term plans to keep stereos reverberating with new music throughout this year and next year. He discussed two projects upcoming collaboration projects with Statik Selektah and Lil’ Fame of M.O.P. that he hopes will drop within the next 12 months.
“Right now, I’m going to try to finish up 1982 with Statik [Selektah] right when I get back from tour,” said Termanology. “We’re going to finish that up real quick by the end of this year and put it out maybe second quarter next year. And I’m going to try to shoot to put out the Lil’ Fame joint maybe late fourth quarter, early first quarter [of next year]…I’m going to try to put out all three of these in the next 12 months or some shit…and then I’m going to start the sophomore joint where I go in for real and go back in the lab with all the producers and stuff.”