Saturday, March 22, 2008

Kooley High Interview....They are the future

Kooley High is the product of five friends meeting on the bricks of NC State University with a passion for hip-hop. What started out as a hip-hop club, founded by 3/5 of the group, soon turned into an interest to make beautiful music with each other. With the three emcees, Charlie Smarts, Rapsody, and Tab-One, and two producers, Foolery and The Sinopsis, this group plans to further establish the "North Carolina sound". Hip-hop isn’t new to these guys, both Charlie Smarts and Tab-One are also in the live, roots driven hip-hop band Inflowential, and Rapsody is a part of 9th Wonder’s "It’s A Wonderful World" record label. With the guidance of Justus League founders 9th Wonder and Cesar Comanche, Kooley High plans to turn NC into the new m.e.c.c.a. for hip-hop. had the chance to kool out with members of the group to talk about hip hop, the current state of females in the genre today, and what hip hop means to them...

Rhymehouse: Waddup Wolfpack! Thanks for sitting down with For those that don't know can you tell us who Kooley High is and where you all come from?

Kooley High: Kooley High is:

Tab-One from Burlington
Charlie Smarts from Greensboro
Rapsody from Snow Hill
Foolery from Raleigh
The Sinopsis from Brooklyn by way of NC.

Rhymehouse: How did you all come together to start making music on the campus of North Carolina State?

Kooley High: Like voltron son. Swinging a sword to skim the fat of wackness. Each of us had different styles and met at NCSU via a love for Hip Hop music through the H2O (Hip Hop Organization).

Rhymehouse: Charlie Smarts and Tab-One-- You started H20 (Hip Hop Organization) on campus. Why did you want to start an organization like this? What did you all do? How did the students respond to the REAL elements of hip hop?

Charlie/Tab-One: To bring folks together that liked Hip Hop in all its elements and wanted to have fun. Students responded with support. There were packed houses for most of our events from battles, to parties, to release shows. They couldnt get enough.

Rhymehouse: What does Kooley High as a group bring to hip hop that there isn't enough of?

Kooley High: Dope Beats. Dope Rhymes. Different perspectives. Smiles. Head nods. Fun. Thought. Flavor. Stuff like that.

Rhymehouse: Rapsody-- A lot of fans say that great Female MCs are extinct. What do you think about that bold statement?

Rapsody: "Say whaaaaat?' lol! I guess hip hops really dead, too. Female MCs are just as much alive and kicking as hip hop! Only those who still think INSIDE the box and not OUT of the box think that females are 6 feet under, feet up. Im here...Jean Grae is here....MC Lyte is still doin it hard...and there are more dope females out there rockin the mic. Dont let tv and radio define hip hop. No, its not delivered at your door in a pretty box with a gotta look for it (for the time being comin along with my other we are here and we are very much doin the damn thang!!! Dope rhymes, dope ain't know?!

Rhymehouse: Rapsody-- Do you think it's possible for a female MC to get her shine without selling the "sex" side?

Rapsody: Most def! "Sexy" comes in many different forms other than "butt naked, rump shakin". My flow is sexy, yo! lol! Im doin my thang thang in my own way...that makes me respectable and something my niece can look up to me and be proud of me for. And I get much love from the females who appreciate someone showing the other side of a "sexy, strong, dope female emcee". Talent sells itself it you put it out there. Im a leader, not a follower. I have so much more to offer and market other than my "physical assets' and it will and does work. Shine on!

Rhymehouse: Tab-One + Charlie Smarts-- What are one another's greatest strengths? How do each of you fill in the weak gaps for one another in the studio and/or on stage?

Charlie/Tab-One: Strengths: Steeeez, personality, delivery, vocab, swagger, confidence....the rest speaks for itself!

Weaknesses: Ummm...there are none. Duh.

Rhymehouse: What was the inspiration surrounding the Summer Sessions EP?

Kooley High: The need to create and get it out to the world! Yall need the Kool in your life. Giving is living, son! How else would we be doing this interview right now? Ya dig?!

Rhymehouse: How did you hook up with 9th Wonder and what do you think he brings to the Kooley High table?

Kooley High: We all hooked up with the incredible 9th Wonder through H2O, the hip hop organization at NC State. And he brings DOPE BEATS and WISDOM of the GAME to the table.

Rhymehouse: What's the difference between the two producers you use-- Foolery and Sinopsis-- what does each one bring sonically to Kooley High?

Kooley High: Ebony and Ivory! lol! One is hot as hell and one is coooooold as ice! Foolery is the head bangin, hard hittin side of the kool. And Sinopsis stays on his kool, sexy, smooth steez.

Rhymehouse: If Hip Hop isn't about the cars, clothes, money, and woman (like a majority of our youth thinks)-- What is it truly about?

Tab, Rap, Charlie: It's about LIFE!!! Whatever YOU do, dream, think, see, smell, taste etc. It gives the people something to rock to, inspires them to make a change, relaxation, motivation...etc.

Foolery: Hip hop IS about cars, clothes, money, and women. however, it is also about everything else that relates to the human experience. i love bravado, but you can't base you're whole steez off of gangster movies or the few videos that "music" tv stations actually play these days. that whole game is all in all unoriginal and its usually not that interesting.

Rhymehouse: All of you-- What ONE record would you HAVE to grab from your collection if there was a fire?

Kooley High:

Tab: Midnight marauders (Tribe Called Quest)
Charlie: If my ipod was burned already...I would grab Doggystyle, by Snoop Doog!
Rap: Reasonable Doubt (Jay-Z)
Foolery: Blackout (Red and Meth)
Sinopsis: College Dropout (kanye)

Rhymehouse: What's next for Kooley High as a group? Any other group projects/solo projects we can look out for?

Kooley High: We have a Kooley Lp coming 4th quarter 08! Marketing the Kooley Brand of course, with dope tees, and other merchandise. A gang load of solo projects, and joint ventures with the Academy. Aaaaand we're starting a record label, M.E.C.C.A records! look out!

Rhymehouse: What does hip hop mean to each of you?

Charlie: Hip hop is the way I do my thugg thizzle.

Tab: Hip hop to me is like a box of chocolates, you never know which rhyme you'll get, or which beat you'll get, until youve taken off the packaging and bump that! And its creativity...and thats why im down with that shit!

Rap: hip hop to me is that brown suga love! Ya dig?! My best friend til the end! I can tell her anything...and shell neva judge me. hip Hop is freedom and its fun!

Foolery: hip hop is music and so much more. when i am blessed to experience something beautiful and brilliant, it makes me feel like my life is realer than it really is. like im living in a scene from a movie. i know that is an oxymoron but that is the only way i can describe it.

You can check out Kooley High here:


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