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Doodlebug (Digable Planets) & Xing N Fox Rhythm Rebel And The New Bomb Squad Just as we thought that the recession was over and our shares were going to peak again –just kidding-, 2011 wound up to be a dramatic year for the worldwide economy. But unlike the years before, the people manifested and found their ways to the streets. In Europe the Indignados threw their fist in the air, while Wall street formed the scenery for the first steps - they didn't forget you, Gordon Gecko- of the Occupy movement. Hip-hop couldn't be far away, could it? Well besides a few references in their lyrics, it seemed like the crisis was off many rappers’ radar. Untill Digable Planets veteran and rhythm rebel Doodlebug's song '’Fight For Your Right’, produced by his own ‘Bomb Squad’ Xing N Fox, became the self-proclaimed anthem of the Wall Street occupances....

Doodlebug, why a protest song?

I consider myself a rhythm rebel so any song I do is in essence a protest to the status quo!

The record was recorded before the Wall Street occupancy; did you feel it hanging in the air?

We recorded this song way before. In fact when I wrote the song I was protesting against the idea that you can’t be yourself nowadays. No matter what, I’m going to fight for my right to rock the mic ‘right’. Of course I understand that ‘right" is very subjective but we all know what’s right and wrong. At some point we must take a stand on what we feel is right and I feel like we have a duty as civilized people to spread the true message of hip-hop despite the fact that we are surrounded by bullshit music all day every day. (laughs)

You recorded the video for the song right on the spot, where the protests took place. How was the atmosphere over there?

The atmosphere felt like going to a family reunion and getting the chance to meet family members that you didn’t know they existed. Everyone was very friendly and very willing to talk to you about their opinion on what was transpiring and what they thought was the solution to the problems. Even the police officers we came across that day were very accommodating and allowed the people to exercise their right to protest. It was a good day!

What’s the strength of the Occupy movement, will it be able to actually change things?

I think the strength of the protests lies with the people and their determination to see this thing through to the end. There are a lot of different opinions that reflect the different types of people involved in the protest. But I think that’s also a part of the strength of the movement. It proves that this isn’t just a movement of one type of people or political party. But a movement of diverse people that culminates in the idea that we all feel displaced by the economic inequalities that have been advocated and put in place by the bankers on Wall Street. Change will come only if the people don’t get side-tracked and make sure they put these bankers and politicians to task and make them accountable for their actions.

Hip-hop doesn’t seem to matter about politics or economy anymore, right?

I believe that hip-hop still cares about politics and the economy but the powers that be don’t want to promote that. So ‘they’ only sign artists who will promote the lifestyle of consumerism and selfish agendas. The days that a group like Public Enemy will get played on a P1 radio station is probably over. So now those artists have gone underground and continue to disseminate the messages of freedom justice and equality. And now the fans who support that message must look a little harder to find that type of music but it’s most certainly still around.

Now that the markets are under pressure, do you keep your money in a sock?

I have never trusted the banking industry and so I still keep my money stuffed in my mattress. (laughs)

The 2012 presidential elections are coming up...what do you expect from it?

I’m not really sure how the presidential elections will turn out in 2012, but I can say wholeheartedly that I will be supporting Barack Obama for president!

And, the one million-dollar question: what about a Digable Planets comeback?

I can’t say for sure that I know what the future holds for the Digable Planets but I am very proud of our history and glad that I was a part of it. It’s true that as a group we went through our trials and tribulations and it’s good to know that after all of that we are still friends. With that said, there is always a glimmer of hope that one day the Planets could realign and personally I hope that does happen!

You released an album in September. The kick-off for a long-time solo career?

Yes, we released the new album ‘Futuristic Sci Fi’ on September 27th 2011 on Fat Beats/SoulSpazm records along with producer/deejay Alex J from New Jersey and Kai Chi aka Flo Sama Been Rhymin of the Cosmic Funk Orchestra. I look forward to doing more solo projects like this in the future and I hope the true hip-hop fan will support our efforts! Check out my solo joints at ReverbNation.

The album is entitled ‘Futuristic Sci-fi’, Xing N Fox’s production has a futuristic feel to it, is ‘futuristic’ the path you want to wander?

I love the sound that Xing N Fox brings to the game. It is very futuristic and takes my own brand of hip-hop to another level. Their production is unique and full of energy. I met Xing N Fox online when they solicited me to check out some of their beats a while back. I loved their style and we have been working together ever since. I look forward to working with them again!

Over to Xing N Fox.

Wassup guys? It’s been a while since we've heard of you? What you’ve been up to?


Fox: Just been constantly building our sound, waiting for the right MC's. We don't like to compromise, which is why it’s been so long.

What’s your favourite Digable Planets songs?

Xing: As a trio, they made two truly cohesive records which is rare in hip-hop. So it is very difficult, if unnecessary to have an answer!

F: I have a lot, but some of my favourites are ‘For Corners’, ‘Where Im From’, ’Time & Space’ and ‘Dedication’.

First you’ve worked with Tame One, now with Doodlebug, childhood dreams are coming through right?

X: Yes, there’s nothing better than making music with MC's we grew up on...

Whose the next hip-hop legend on your list?

F: The next record will feature two New Jersey icons Doitall from Lords of the Underground and Treach of Naughty By Nature with Killah Ky from LordGang.

Chuck D played your song on the radio...describe the feeling...

F: It's an incredible feeling. We are both so honoured to have him on board with the track. Public Enemy was a huge influence for us growing up. Everything they did was perfect. The message, the visuals, and of coarse the Bomb Squad production bringing it all together. It’s kind of sad looking back because hip-hop today doesn't give you those goose bumps or desire to change things. Public Enemy gave you all that, they sold records, and were on fuckin MTV.

What’s next for Xing N Fox?

Thankfully we have loads of material on the way for 2012.

Shouts?

Big shouts to you for posting our music and checking in with us! Peace.

 

POSTED 01|20|2012
conducted by cpf

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