Interview: Kyle Murdock (K-Murdock of Panacea)

*Transcribed from audio interview*

J:

For those that don’t know, who are you? And why should people keep tabs on what you’re up to? What do you do?

K:

My name is K-Murdock… My dad named me Kyle, my mom calls me “hey you” *laughs* but seriously… I’m a music producer, audio engineer & self proclaimed “Sound Samurai” from the suburbs of Washington, DC. I think people should check out my music as it’s dope… At least to me.

J: So what do you think about the whole rollerblading thing?

K:

I totally respect the rollerblading scene. I used to be a big watcher of the ESPN X Games, and back when it was simple BMX, skateboarding and rollerblading… so I was always in awe of the tricks and adrenaline rush these athletes get doing that stuff…. it’s amazing yet scary. I have also found that a lot of my fans are into extreme sports like rollerblading, etc so again though I want no parts firsthand in it as its some scary ish and I was never even that good at rollerskating, I love to watch it and have mad respect!

J:

Tell me some about the “Hidden House” in Phoenix, Arizona?

K:

Really I’ve only really been there twice, the first time was October 2006 when I was on tour with Panacea.

We were opening for Brand Nubian and that show in Arizona was probably one of the highlights of the tour because we had a couple shows that we did independent of Brand Nubian that were our shows with us headlining per say and that was one of them. It’s just crazy cause’ a lot of the people who came out to the show and even one of the openers wind up being somebody that even now I stay in contact with, they wind up being friends with Random which doesn’t surprise me cause’ the scene in Phoenix is a small hip hop scene. Come to find out that everybody, like I said, that was at the venue that night from artists to just people and promoters wind up being real good friends with Ran.

The ironic thing is Random, whom I probably collaborated with the most outside of Raw Poetic from Panacea, was the only cat that wasn’t there that night and I wound up really forging this cool working relationship, friendship with. Yeah we had a great time in Arizona, the Hidden House is a small venue, it was dope. I just remember it being a really fun crowd, really loved the vibe. We had been having some pretty hit or miss shows with Brand Nubia leading up to that point so it was nice to have a show of our own , packed and people were digging what we were doing. Especially because we were so brand new to the scene, it was awesome.

*update*

This last time was really recent, I saw you out there at the show. I was on tour with Random, great tour too. We did a few shows for the Microsoft Store’s about a few new video game releases.

J:

What about Rawkus Records? 97, 98, 99… those records really got me in tune with a lot of amazing artists. Also, what about your time while Panacea was signed to Rawkus Records?

K:

*laughs* That was the golden era of Rawkus, like Mos Def, Kweli, Pharoahe Monch, DJ Spinna, The Lyricists’ Lounge, stuff like that… I’ve never been a D.J. Let me clear that up, a lot people ask if I’m a D.J I’m like ‘Nooooooooooo’. I know how to pick music only because I’ve been hosting a Hip Hop show for about 10 years and occasionally I do my instrumental show. I’ve always had an ear for a mood or a vibe. But I’m not a D.J. You’re not gonna hear me cutting or scratching, transforming and doing all that. I know too many that do it really well so I feel like it would be disrespectful to call myself a D.J.

But the Rawkus era you’re talking about is the era I fell in love with as well. I mean they were puttin’ out.. they were independent but they were putting out stuff like they were on a quality level of a major. I you didn’t have some of those records.. Black on Both Sides, Train of Thought, Sound Bombing…classic records man, it was amazing.

The Rawkus I got down with.. for those that don’t know their history Rawkus came out with Company Flow in I think 95′ 96′ and Mos Def’s first single Universal Magnetic. They were around until like 2001 or 2002 I think. The last album they put out was Kweli’s, Quality. Then they shut down for a few years. Then they came back in late 2005 and early 2006. They signed 3 main acts, first The Procussions, shout out to Mr. J and Stro. Then they had Naledge and Double-O (Kidz In The Hall) and then they had us as Panacea. We were signed originally through Glow In The Dark Records, shout out to J Sonic, he was playing some of the stuff for Rawkus. It was between Rawkus and another label we were kinda interested in being with.

J:

How did you come up with the name “Panacea” as your group?

K:

This is a funny story, originally with Panacea before it was my self and Raw Poetic, I came up with the name of Panacea from a summers recording with four other friends, there used to be five of us. Myself on the beat, I actually used to rhyme too believe it or not *laughs*. I quickly gave that up the more I started working with dope emcees, just because my heart was never really in that. I was always into writing, poems and shit like that but once I found my niche for crafting beats, that’s kinda what I stuck to.

It used to be myself, DJ Marshal Law (he works with the “Low Budget Crew”, Oddisee, Kev Brown). There was also an emcee from Brooklyn named Dialekt, someone who I still stay in contact with. He’s an amazing emcee. Also, Grey Kid, shout out to my boy Steve who I went to high school with..who’s actually in another group now called “Spirit Animal” on some indie rock shit, it’s crazy the way his career has kind of like ventured off into a whole nother’ realm of music. Also one of my best friends growing up, his real name was Teddy but his emcee name was Deus. Somehow through the summers worth of recording.. like summer before my senior year, 2000…my boy Steve was one of the producers with me and also an emcee in the group. He had Cake Walk, the audio editing software. His parents had paper, let’s put it like that…

So when he came home in the summer he turned his back porch into a studio. A friend of mine was sending me tapes, mp3s…Back when people were using Napster and the internet was starting to be a little bit more serious. So my friend would send me songs that he was doing and I was like “Oh shit, Steve, white-boy Steve?” “Steve who used to play basketball??” Steve was always a hip hop head, we used to have a Economics class and Steve and I would spend the whole class where he would beatbox or I would play a beat on the school table and we would be basically reciting De La Soul songs and Digable Planet songs much to the chagrin of our teacher Mr. Landerfeld.. Crazy, I mean I can’t believe I even remember his name but it was just one of those things where, you know, it was such ingrained moment in my head. Particularly with Hip Hop I have a tendency to remember all those things.. little details and stuff.

So Steve went away to College but one of my friends who was kind of like a mutual friend, he was doing music and he knew I was doing music. So he put me back in contact with Steve. In 2000 Steve was home for the summer. I was living with DJ Marshall Law and Leon (aka Dialekt) .. My boy Teddy was always writing some crazy rhymes like Ghostface Killah meets Company Flow type shit.. it was a lot of abstract ideas just spewed out with some amazing wordplay and just ill visuals. To this day the dude runs his own I.T. company but once a year he gets an itch to come and be like “Yo I need to come and lay down some stuff at your studio…” and I’m like “Yo let’s do it” I did an album last summer called The Ronin, he was one of the featured artist on it. I think it was track 6 called “Pieces.” He was on there where he’s rhyming on some crazy shit for like 2 1/2 minutes. So that was Panacea…

I came up with the name Panacea cause’ I was studying in college , my minor was English. I had a class called “Classics”. We were going over etymology and the word origins, and studying the Greek influence on the English language. We had all these words to study like Pan and Pangaea and Panacea…Pandemic..whatever. So when I found out what the meaning of Panacea was and that it was a Greek Goddess through mythology. I thought it was such a cool name. So from recording so many songs over the summer I was like “Yo let’s do a project.” and everybody was with it so I said let’s make a group and call it “Panacea.” The name of the demo was called the Tonic. Playing of the whole curing idea. My boy Steve was like Tonic is the root note and I just really like the whole double meaning.. it just sounded like some underground shit.

So at the time one of the people that was interested in our music was Chuck Wilson, wound up being the founder the label Babygrande Records. Also he was the brother behind the movie “Soul Plane”… its prolly a pretty dubious distinction to have because that movie is God-awful. They a lot of money off that movie but it still is prolly one of the worst movies you’ll ever see. So originally Chuck was real interested in Panacea, he was gonna have us come out and do a showcase for him, then all of a sudden school started and then everyone….then Steve, he was the dude we were recording with and we all had these plans and he was the one that got us hooked up with Chuck but all of a sudden he was like I’m done, I’m done with this Panacea stuff and he started doing Indie Rock. Completely did a 180 on us.. which completely killed all the momentum. He was a big part of the group, and I’m like it’s either all of us or nothing. So when he left the group, he was like ‘I’ll finish these songs that I’m on and mix these others..” and then he would be off on some other shit. I have a feeling if he would of stayed then Panacea would have been the first groups signed to Babygrande records.

Going way back to when I was talking about Rawkus, ironically when we were getting signed to Rawkus the only other label that was really interested in signing us was Babygrande, mind you this was like 6 years later and they were signing a myriad of groups…they had everyone from Canibus to Jedi Mind Tricks to some of the Diplomats. That was the one thing about Babygrande that signing such an eclectic group of people it didn’t really build one identity and that kinda wound up fucking em up you know. So yeah the era we got down with Rawkus we did two albums with them and by 2009 we were done, we officially fulfilled our time with Rawkus, like 2 1/2 years. We put out some amazing albums. I was ultimately thankful for the opportunity but they were some horrible business people. I know this for a fact because of all the interviews I’ve done for my show with people like, The Beatminers, Pharoemonch, Hi-Tek, DJ Spinna, they all don’t have good things to say at all about Rawkus. I think the only person that did was Kweli because I think they did him okay and he was one of the last artists on the label. So yeah, that’s my Rawkus story.. *laughs* I told you it would be long.

J:

Anything you’ve made that we won’t hear?

K:

Kosmetropolis (in it’s entirety), I’ve been working on for years. I killed the idea, It was supposed to be (theme) me producing, I’ve kinda known for having a spacey kind of sound. The whole of Kosmetropolis was Space and Washinton D.C. It was gonna feature people that were D.C. artists. People that were known or ingrained in the city. I spent years accumulating songs from a range of emcees..I still have songs, I just had to can em’, at least for now. Some of yU from Diamond District, My homie Raw (Panacea’s emcee), my homie Wes Felton who I’ve been collaborating with since 2001, Raheem Devaughn, I had a song on there with him..a few other emcees you may or may not have heard of. I went as far as chasing down a lot of artists that I wanted to work with like Odisse, Kev Brown, people like that. It was taking too long for the project to come together so I canned it. I wound up taking some of the beats from it and using them for other projects. A lot of them are just chilling and maybe they’ll come out on some kind of lost compilation or something later.

(EXCLUSIVE TRACK AT THE END OF THIS INTERVIEW)

J:

What about something we can look forward to hearing from you?

K:

One project, called “The Beyonder”, I’m working with an animator named Rodrigo Pradel, an amazing artist from Canada. He would do all the visuals and I would score the project. I came up with the screenplay, now I’m thinking about if I want narration or whatnot. Look for more on that project in 2013, but I’ve been working on that since about 2005-2006, that joint has been in the works for years though. I’m also doing a project with an emcee named ParanormL a Cali based emcee. His sound is from the school of The Goodlife … Freestyle Fellowship.. very stylized rhymes, about wordplay but really the sound is all about style. His delivery is very smooth and very poetic. What he’s into is very spaced out stuff and real positive. It’s just a good vibe and I’ve totally enjoyed working with him. I’m looking forward to putting that project out. Another big project I’m working on is with a music website, based out of the U.K. called wordisbond.com and those dude have been big fans and supporters of me and Panacea for a long time. I approached them about doing this bum called Networks. The premise behind the album is basically, the way you do music now is over the internet. I’ve been meeting these artists from across the world. From Japan, Australia, S. Africa… everywhere really. I’m Looking forward to put it out by the end of this year. Having some features from some pretty big artists I’ve always wanted to work with it. The way it’s working is they’re bringing me the artists and I’m producing and mixing the music. Then I’m sending it back to them and ultimately we as a collective will come up with a sequence for the record. It’ll hopefully the first of a bunch of complications, staying busy to say the least. (*UPDATE* it’s out! and it’s FREE) 

J:

What’s the most discouraging experience you’ve had with your music? How did you deal with it?

K:

Working at XM radio in 2003, I worked for 8 years doing production and hosting my show Subsoniq for 10 years. One of the channels I got to produce on was called The Rhyme (XM channel 65), the Program Director for the channel was a woman by the name of Lisa Ivery. Lisa had a lot of connects’ to people in the industry, a lot of it had to do with her personality and people she was cool with. One of the things she got was a show from some of the people behind Rocafella Records. You know, Dame Dash, Jay-Z and Kareem “Biggs” Burke… Lisa wound up getting a show where once a week she’d go up to the XM studios in New York and sometimes I would go. This was when Rocafella was in full effect you know. Always had big guests on the show. So around the time they were getting ready to release the Black Album (Jay-Z). So they were always looking for beats, the one thing about Rocafella was that they didn’t discriminate on beats, it didn’t matter who you were really.. they would listen to anything..especially Jay-Z. It didn’t matter if you were a bedroom producer or Kanye West….

So Lisa was like “yo, you should submit some beats..” and I was like “I don’t know..” so she decided she’d come by my studio one day after work and listen to some beats and she ended up picking two of them. One of the had this sample that had this sample of that sound like the guy was saying “Hovaaaaa”… but really it was saying “Overrrrr”… Lisa was like Yo this’ll be fucking perfect… we agreed and I gave her the beats on a CD and she took em’ up and gave em’ to Dame..I didn’t see her for a couple days, I was nervous man. So I get back in touch with her at the top of the next week and I’m like “yo did ya give the beats to Dame?” and she’s like “Yeah I gave them to Dame…” and I could tell in her tone and voice that it was bad news *laughs*.. it didn’t go so well right. The one thing I can say about Lisa is she was always honest with me and never sugar coated shit and that really encouraged me, she always kept it 100. So she was like “I sat down with Dame and I played him the beats in the studio with him…” so the feedback was direct. Dame was like “Yooo..”, anyone who knows Dame Dash knows that he’s always busting jokes but he too will keep it real. So he was like tell this guy to not quit his day job and I was just like ‘woooowwwwww’… you know.. cause at the time Dame Dash represented probably the most popular hip hop label..

I was floored cause I felt like at the time I was coming into my production and getting more comfortable but(*laughs) … it just didn’t turn out good.. he basically said ‘this shit sucks and tell the dude not to quit his day job’. It’s funny because, you know, Lisa when she told it to me, she was real cool about it and it was kinda one of those things when she said I was kinda like naturally well fuck them and who are they.. and then I was like.. well hold up.. they’re Rocafella… they have a lot of credibility. I’m glad I didn’t let that deflate me. At the same time shortly thereafter Rocefella split up…also something I noticed is that Dame would bring everyone onto the show.. I mean … one day they had David Beckham on the show..everyone but Jay-Z and I was always just like something ain’t right.. maybe he’s touring or something.. why wouldn’t you bring Jay-Z… he never brought Jay-Z on ..and shortly after all this Dame and Jay stopped fucking with each other so you know..

I’m just glad I didn’t let it detour my dream of pursuing my craft and becoming a better prouder and if anything it made me a better producer you know. I’ve had people tell me my beats are pretty plain and simple, they don’t have layers, they don’t have movement.. So nowadays I make sure to have a bridge, a chorus, a break down. A lot of that came from learning music and the structure and becoming more comfortable with the equipment. I still have all my beats in my MPC from 2000 when I was making them I was like ‘man these beats are the shit…’, but now listening back and am like.. it’s funny I can’t even listen to a lot of them they just sound like shit. *laughs*

J:

So in just 3 words, If you ask yourself “How Am I?” what would you say?

K:

Hmmm that’s a good question, do you mean how am I feeling or how am I as a person, maybe how do I see myself?

J:

Well, you made the question even better now *laughs* I was just thinking how are you feeling about life, where you’re at etc?

K:

In a lot of way’s I am happy, I am proud of the things I’ve done but by no means am I content with where I am right now in life, you know? There’s so much more I wanna see and do. I have goals. I wanna win a Grammy, I wanna win an Oscar for scoring a movie maybe.. I wanna do the score for a video game. There’s been a lot of stuff I’ve checked off on my list of things to do but I still have a big list of goals that I want to do for myself that I’m still working on. Even as a producer, I learn so much from just talking to people, just becoming a student of music.. in a lot of ways a student of life. Because I feel like my music is always so closely intertwined with what’s going on in my life, I feel like that’s just natural, just an extension of me. I don’t ever want it to be too far apart. Even my name, the reason why I decided to go with using an abbreviated version of my name… I didn’t want to be like the Clark Kent superman thing, for me music is such a big thing. It didn’t matter if I used K-Murdock or Kyle Murdock, either way I am who I am, this is me.

Again, I’m happy but I’m not content, If that makes any sense at all. A lot of work has been done but there’s so much more to do. I’m always excited about putting out a record and see how it’s observed by other people. If a day comes where I’m not inspired then I’ll just stop, but I think really being who I am that’s not gonna happen. I don’t see myself getting tired of make music. Literally for me, whenever I couldn’t count on people or stuff was hard, music was what got me through it..always has been a source of happiness and something I had a passion for. Just trying to continue on and keep that vibe going.

J:

What was the first rap song that you heard? Where were you at.. why did you heard it?

K:

Wowwwww..so many.. I mean.. Technically the first rap song I ever heard woulda’ definitely been a RUN DMC song, 82, 83, 84…mmmm They were like the biggest shit, you know. The Adidas, the Kangos, the Gazelles… To me at the time it was Rap at its apex because those dudes were at the top. Remember back then on MTV they were playing Michael Jackson and all these big rock groups and then the only rap group you had was RUN DMC. I watched a lot of Yo MTV Raps. We would have family events and my older cousins (Kevin and Kenny) would have the t.v. on.. I would go straight to their rooms or whatever.. My uncle was pretty cool, he worked at an R&B station and the labels would give him the promo records and on tapes and stuff.. It was cool but a lot of it was really bad. *laughs*

If I had to pick to pick a few songs I grew up listening to it would have to be, Ain’t No Half SteppingSymphony, Marly Marl, The Juice Crew. Biz Markie.. Pickin’ Boogers.. Like 89′ when De La dropped 3 ft High and Rising, I remember they were kinda like these hippie dudes and always getting picked on by other people but they were cool because they were comfortable being individuals. The beautiful thing about Hip Hop back then is that they would show everything. They would show Slick Rick next to NWA, next to PM Dawn.. You name it.. Where now you might turn something on and the show would be pretty much a template.. with a variation of that template for an hour and maybe one cat that stands out cause he’s like a legacy dude like Busta Rhymes or Ghostface Killah.. You got to see the wide palette of sounds and choose what you gravitated towards, who you most felt you connected with. You had options. For me it was totally the Native Tongues, particularly Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul.

J:

What’s the last show you went to..? Concert, Show, Listening party? What was that like?

K:

Damn put the Jeopardy music on.. The 20th anniversary for De La Soul…ummm The Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival.. well, Panacea was supposed to perform there too..right when it was starting to blow up. But some shit went down and the van that Raw Poetic and the band were on ended up breaking down and not making it. I always wonder what would of happened if we had played that show. But I mean recently… mmmm.. It’s embarrassing but I’m blanking on it right now. This New Year’s though I’m thinking about seeing The Roots in D.C. at the Philmore Celebrating up there… I figured I’d get out the house and have some fun with friends and shit like that.

J:

What do you think about The Roots album Illadelphalflife? When that record came out, how did it effect you?

K:

It was good man but my favorite Roots album was definitely Do You Want More might of been since it was my first introduction to them. But that’s prolly’ the livest they sounded on a recorded until they did that album in like ’99 or something. But you had Sections, Clones, Spark Up Ya Lighter with Bahamadia..Some of the other songs.. one with Rhazel beat boxing the whole time.. there were so many joints though man. Concerto Of The Desperado. Then they had the video for What They Do.. where they were making fun of other videos and stuff, *laughs* that was a great video. That year I remember it was fall semester of my senior year when all those great albums was coming out.. The Roots, De La Soul, Tribe, Outkast…so many albums, MOP, Mobb Deep, Camp Lo, Orginized Konfusion.. that year was great for records.. Could go on and on and on about that year. Nas released the follow up to Illmatic.. It was an awesome time. That year 96-97 was probably the last Golden Era of Hip Hop…but that might just be because for me it was a big transitional time.

J:

Where did you grow up?

K:

I grew up in the Suburbs of Washington D.C and Silver Springs, Maryland. I started going to elementary school at a all-Black inner city school in D.C. After sixth grade we moved out to Silver Springs, Maryland. I ended up going to a melting-pot school and it was a pretty big thing for me because I never went to a school like that before. The American Indian blood in me and my curly hair and all that had me pegged as West Indian to Latino depending on how my hair was cut and how I was groomed. But it was always funny growing up, going to school in D.C. where I really stood out to going to a middle school and high school in Maryland where there were other kids like me that looked more mixed and it was just more accepted. So that was kind of a culture shock at first but I met all my best friends there, people that 20 years later I still consider my best friends. It was great, I enjoyed it, I think I ended up getting a good education. I wound up going back to a similar situation as my elementary school when I decided went to college a lot of my friends ended up going to the University of Maryland.

It was kind of a natural flow from that high school we went to but I decided I wanted to go to Howard University which is a historically Black college and obviously more Black *laughs* I mean you know I kind of felt like I was going back to my roots and I always.. I mean It’s just hard to explain because from my perspective I was accepted but people would look at me like ‘who is this dude..’ I‘m just like yo I’m Black like you but.. I think the one thing you learn is that particularly African Americans is that we come in all shapes, forms and other things which is the beauty of it.. I’m proud to be what I am and this is who I am. So I think all that stuff kind of helped shaped me and make me the person.

Growing up was always weird about standing out, I would front like I felt it was frowned upon but I learned to accept it and embrace it for what it is as I got older. I apply it on so many levels to how I am now. To this day though if everyone going left, I’ll just go right because it’s so different.. My friends are like ‘even if you have to go left you still go right because you feel like you just have to be that guy who ventures down the road less traveled or just wants to be different. So growing up I was very conflicted, I used to hate not being able to fit in but as I got older I realized that’s the beauty of it and that’s what makes me unique or special. Not to say that I’m better than anyone else but this is just something for me to embrace as an individual.

So that’s why I think that no matter what it is, whether it’s music or art I usually gravitate towards people who I feel like are individuals. I have no problem following somebody else’s lead but I’ve always kind of followed my own path so I’ve ended up by default being my own leader in A lot of ways. So when it comes to music the people I was a fan of and still am a fan of… I was always trying to emulate people like Dilla, Pete Rock, DJ Premier… It really wasn’t until I started working with Raw Poetic because he encouraged me to venture out, take a risk.. just be creative. So no matter what other projects I do, Panacea will always be my number 1, because in a lot of ways it’s a true reflection of who I am.

J:

What about your sound?

K:

I feel like I’ve created a sound by not having a sound, I do so many crazy projects, I don’t want to get into one sound, I always want to keep myself sharp so I can keep myself fresh, to not be complacent. I want it all to be a challenge so when it’s done I can feel rewarded, not just me but the listener too. I want to be fulfilled. A lot of it can come from the audiences’ reaction. Even if sales aren’t so great, I mean fuck all that.. Money comes and goes but somebodies feelings and how they feel about something.. that’s something that if it’s really true will never go away. So that’s what I strive for. It’s the same feeling I get when I listen to some Tribe or some De La Soul song.. I can only hope that if someone listens to Panacea or some of my production they can feel the same way. ..If anyone can get that same feeling from my music then I know it’s all been worth wild.

J:

You mention Blu and Tonya Morgan here and there, I’m curious what you think about the impact and suddenness of Blu..What do you think about him doing things only the way he wants? It seems like a lot of artists might tend to follow because it’s safe. I’m not saying Blu is so eclectic but I love his stuff.. it’s all over the map… I also like that he makes stuff I don’t like.. so what do you think about him now?

K:

I have big respect for Blu, everyone has a wish list of people they wanna work with and he’s definitely on that list. I’ve met him a few times in person and he’s always been kind of drunk *laughs*… but one thing I can respect about him is that he’s always done it on his own terms. Even when he signed to the major.. he got tired of waiting and decided to release some stuff.. I’m actually more excited about him working with Exile again because Below The Heavens was a classic. It’s funny because that album and Panacea’s Scenic Route come out the same year. I remember Okayplayer did a “Best Independent Release” for that year and both the albums were nominated… I was like I know they gonna win it and they sure enough did. *laughs* So getting back, I always liked that Blu being an individual, when he signed to that major label I was a little bit nervous because I was like fuck he’s gonna do an album an it’s gonna get shelved. It takes a lot for an artist to be like “fuck that I’m gonna do it my way..” …Blu has a lot more power than artists that came out before because he has an audience and platform from the internet and such.. cause’ they will support him. It used to be artists could only go to a publication or being on a shelf. But with the internet now an artist can do and say what they want, giving the power back to them. Could be career suicide but he’s always just seemed like a guy that’s done what he wanted to do and more power to him.

J:

I know you’re a Bears fan, what are your thoughts presently as the next season nears?

K:

The Bears were very very close to the playoffs, but honestly, with the inconsistency in our offense, we wouldn’t have lasted too long, so my hype is with the new coach they hired and addition of new younger players, we can make it back to the postseason this year! … big loss in Urlacher’s retirement, he was my favorite Bear of this generation no question and the only Bears jersey’s I own are both his!

Nice, nice… So tell me everything you know about Apani-B (Fly Emcee)

K:

So I know she’s a female emcee, duh, she’s dope. She used to be in one of my favorite hip hop crews, The Polyrhythmatics back in.. it was her then it was Jean Grae joined when it got back together with Shabam Saddeeq the second time.. but originally, but..

J:

*interrupts* I thought it was.. I thought it was Tiye.. Tiye Phoenix?

K:

Mmm I’m sorry it’s Tiye Phoenix that got down the second time, it’s funny I always get them confused you know cause’ in the late 90’s it was like 3 dope underground female emcees, it was Apani B Fly, Tiye Phoenix and Jean Grae a.k.a. What What, and to me they’re very different they each have their own style but unfortunately allotted people tended to pile and group them together especially cause’ they all ran in that Rawkus circle so you know, but she’s dope. She’s on my list of people I’d love to work with. I always liked her, she’s got a really crazy voice a  great delivery,  a lotta songs that she would pop up on I really dug and she’s worked with a lotta people I like. Dj Spinna, Pharoahe Monch so yeah that’s what I know about Apani B Fly, but now I think she calls her self just Apani.

J:

Right right, I’m not sure, mmm about 4 more questions…so where do you see your self in like 30 years..

K:

Oh shit *laughs*

J:

*laughing*  I mean..

K:

Alive!!!

J:

*laughs* .. not ideally but realistically based off where you’re at, context…?

K:

So I’ll be turning 34 this year, So I’ll be 64 years old right?, damn that’s crazy, so God willing I  mean healthy is the biggest  thing, I’d like to be a teacher of some sorts, ideally teaching what I’ve learned in music, radio and audio engineering.. I feel like I have a lot to share with people from life experiences to the actual technical skill it takes, I think I’ve learned a good amount and I’m still learning but by then I think I’ll have segued  out of actually creating and into teaching.. I mean I’m sure I’ll be creating in some form or fashion but I mean My goal is to always take what I’ve learned into a continuum .. make sure  the stuff that was passed on to me, directly or indirectly.. I wanna make sure that there’s a new generation of people that can learn.. it’s one thing reading out of a text book but if they’re like me then it’s gonna mean more if it’s empiric so that’s my goal I wanna be  a teacher.

I kinda getting a taste of it now at my radio job back at my Alma Mater Howard University, ironically I’m doing production at the same radio station I interned at 10 years earlier, so it’d be crazy that if 10-20-30 years from now, the station I’m working at now I could be teaching at the same University would be really really cool so that’s my goal. If I can actively keep creating that I will, It would just be weird to imagine not creating. So if it can go from the pupil to the teacher man, that’s a great feeling.

J:

Amanda(the Fiancé) has a question for you?  What was the moment you realized, wow… this is it. I can survive by doing what I love for a living. If you can describe that feeling and the circumstance please….(she refers to this a probe, apparently you have been probed by my Fiancé)

K:

*laughs* I don’t know If I ever had that one defining moment, I think it was over the last three years… to tell my back story…It was a dream come true from 21 to 29 I was with XM, getting payed pretty well to be creative. 29 came and XM merged..  it was like a hostile take over… the company we spent years kinda fighting, Sirius was based in New York,  XM based in D.C. for those that don’t know…

So we spent almost 10 years fighting Sirius, it was like a merger but it really isn’t a merger when all the people on one side are getting kicked out, are us. And all the other people from Sirius are coming in and taking over our shit, but it’s business. It’s Corporate business and I’ve learned.. Well the opportunity came along that I could leave my job and get a Severance, they would pay me out for a years worth of salary..  so I went in to this meeting with these guys and initially I had no plans to do that.  Then during the meeting I started thinking about it.. ‘I’m 29, at the cusp, feeling like I had modest amount of success with Panacea, got signed, made good records, went on tour with Brand Nubian..’ and I was like.. ‘what would happen if I did this full time..?’  So during this meeting we had they said raise your hands if you wanna take a severance. Remember when I went into this meeting I was like just can’t wait for the meeting to be over with and I can get back to work.. and then they asked during the meeting if anyone there wanted to take a severance and I ended up being one of the ones with my hand raised.

It’s crazy because my boss at the time was like, ‘damn, you know I was expecting you to stay, this is interesting..” I was just like I don’t think I’ll ever be happy if I don’t succeed on my own, so I left and I trialed my hand in music exclusively from 2009 – 2012 and it was crazy. A big part of that came from surviving and learning how to hustle.. selling beats, commissions.. not just bandcamp etc.. going on tour and being able to pay my rent off way ahead with 2 months of touring… So I’m saying it was such a great feeling.. I would say those three years would be my moment.. Going to Japan, going to the U.K. using my passport.. getting my passport! I had never needed a reason to get one before this… so all that was built up and was an amalgam of all that.. It feels amazing to be able to do what you love and pay your rent with it. Something I hope everyone would eventually feel, it’s one thing to get a paycheck but the feeling a need you have of a passionate side as well as sustaining you.. can’t ask for anything like that.. and obviously I don’t have a big mansion, big cars and all that.. I don’t want all that I just wanna be happy and feel fulfilled on what I do and what I’m doing is making a difference. If it can pay my bills like it has, I’m blessed and I’ll keep it moving.

J:

Can you give us some background to this audio track we are including at the end of this interview? (EXCLUSIVE TRACK AT THE END OF THIS INTERVIEW)

K:

That track was done in like 2005 I mean, 7 years old, can you believe that shit?

J:

Been a While *laughs*

K:

Yeah man, hopefully when the fans hear it they won’t be like, ‘oh that sounds like some old ass shit!’ cause’ at the time I was experimenting more with synthesizers, you know you can hear it in the track it was very different. Even the way it’s kinda broken down and always come back around to this frame with my man Wes singing, he came up with the staging of the song and he got y.u. to do his part and I wanted to get Raw Poetic to take the song out and it worked out. It’s called “How Can.” It’s not the traditional lovey dovey relationship song, it’s kind of a darker themed track.. more of a real track.. I love y.u.’s story and they way he comes and tells a very personal story but it’s also kinda general and you have Raw Poetic come in telling his story but again it’s relate-able.. so you have Wes doing the hook, a real cryptic kinda weird hook, and I think if it had come out back then people might not have dug it, cause now maybe music has caught up with it and it’s not so weird. I hadn’t had a good reason to put it out, so this came up and it’s a good reason, so you know.

J:

What kinda words do you have for people out there pursuing their dreams, be it skating, music, art, business… whatever it is?

K:

Wes Felton say’s something in his rhymes and in private conversations he’s reiterated it to me.. when it comes to yourself as an individual.. like anyone who like at me they’re gonna notice the Tribe Called Quest tattoo and if you hear me talk I sight the people I’m heavily influenced my.. Tribe, Native Tongues..De La.. you know they were always viewed as these outkast, hippy kinda dudes. But they were dope and it kinda showed me you could be different and be dope. Instead of running from yourself you could embrace your uniqueness, there’s billions of people on this earth but if you naturally feel different you should accept it.. not forced but natural.. It’s fucked up because growing.. going to high-school what we see growing up is like everything shown is homogenized and a template.. cloned and telling you how to be.. instead of just being my own one of a kind person. So I’m always preaching individuality, originality and I try in everything I do for that to come to pass.

Getting back to my homie Wes Felton, he said ‘be you, be scared not to be you, don’t be scared to be you..”  and that’s  a line I always remember when ever I start doubting my self or whatever.. I think about that. He himself has always been about doing his own thing and he’s been able to survive… I saw him a couple weeks ago and he’s the same dude I met when we started working together back in 2001, and I’ve always respected that about it he just seems so okay with who he was. I think there’s  a lot of people still walking around this world just not comfortable being themselves. Like a life preference or a sexual preference or whatever..  and I know that a lot of that stems from the way things are perceived and inequalities and so on.. but I just feel like the worst thing you could do is take who you are and just suppress it so whether  you’re in a relationship and your faking the funk.. I don’t know how ever life presents the situation where your feeling like your not being you.. you just find another way to just  go and you’ll find people out there who will like you for who you are.. I’m blessed because I got a lot of people that embrace me for being who I am.

Ultimately, be yourself, don’t be afraid of yourself, you’ll be happy and sleep well at the end of the night.. not a lot of people can do that because they know they’re faking the funk.

J:

Yeah, it makes things hard…

K:

Yeah the earlier you find out who you are… regardless of what life throws you .. if you’re at peace with yourself it makes it that much easier you know.. I feel like right now a little NBC symbol should run across the screen, PSA *laughs* …

J:

*laughs* maybe we can make that happen.. So what are you doing tonight?

K:

*laughs* ! I’m going to go see the Pharcyde, or some iteration of the Pharcyde..

J:

But no Fatlip right?

K:

Well that’s the crazy thing…not since 95-96’ he’s been out but all of a sudden I get this flyer that Pharcyde is touring and I look at the flyer and it’s Tre and Fat lip and I look at the back and it’s not Imani and Bootie Brown doing it… they aren’t even on the tour.. They’re doing a live cover of the Bizarre Ride album.. 20 year anniversary.. So they’re bringing the original 2 producers from the album L.A. Jay and J-Swift.

I saw em 18 months ago and I asked em about Fat Lip and Tre seemed the most open about it but… I mean he’s been out the group for so long but Fat Lip is back, but I’m seeing em’ tonight in D.C. at the legendary Howard Theater.. It’s should  be a fun show.

J:

How would you wanna wrap this up? Your outro…?

K:

If they wanna find out more about me and what I do… Go to neosonicprod.com, goes to my tumblr, I’m always posting what I’m working on musically.. sprinkled throughout that you’ll find out what I’m into as far as life.. because the thing about my music is it’s pretty much an extension of what I do so I do a lot of music about videogames because I play a lot of videogames, you might see  me post something about anime because I’m totally into anime you know… I just love art, for me I needed to stay inspired and motivated to do my own art so check out the website and it has links to everything, bandcamp, facebook… you can find me by my government name on facebook too if you want, Kyle Murdock… you know, I love the fans they reach out to me all the time.. this one cat from the u.k. is sending me out a Bears hat he hadn’t seen anywhere else and this one cat sent me out a painting he said I inspired him to make so you know I’m blessed and I hang all that stuff up in my studio and it’s the kinda stuff that inspires me too.. so you know check the website.

Basically, in the last couple months, I have moved to Baltimore, in the process of focusing back on music production exclusively as i got a bunch of projects to work on this summer- namely a new Panacea record and projects with Random aka Mega Ran.

There’s a lot for 2013, a new album with Mega-Ran, A new Panacea Record, some side projects a lot of stuff, some Instrumental projects, at least 4 or 5 projects I want to put out before 2014.

J:

Wew, okay man, thank you for your patience and time man, truly an honor!

(“The Star Seeds” = K-Murdock and ParanormL)

Exclusive Track *World Premier*

“From the “Kosmetropolis” project, featuring Raw Poetic, yU of Diamond District and my homie, Wes Felton

__

K-Murdock Selected Discography

Panacea Discography:

Thinking Back, Looking Forward EP (2004)

Thinking Back, Looking Forward  (2005)

Ink is My Drink (Rawkus Records, 2006)

The Scenic Route (Rawkus Records, 2007)

A Mind on a Ship Through Time (Tasteful Licks Records, 2008)

The Re Route (2009)

Corkscrew Gap EP (2009)

12 Step Program (2010)

 

 

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