The five minute interview better known as Five Minutes of Funk is back, this time we shine the spotlight on Philadelphian emcee Reef the Lost Cauze. The battle legend has a CD out, “Feast or Famine” and it’s set to be one of the hottest hip-hop albums of the year. Reef is a busy man, as he is also involved with the Army of The Pharoahs project. He found the time to answer a few questions for us, and here they are you for you, party people!
1. What is your background? How did you start your career?
Reef: At a very young age I was exposed to alot of music and wisdom and violence and love and these things inspired me to express myself thru writing. So at age 6 or 7, I was writing short stories and little essays on the world and eventually my love for performing and being in the spotlight intertwined with each other and my life as an MC began. I have demos from when I was 11 years old, dissin kriss kross and shit, ha-ha!
2. What are your songs about?
Reef:My songs are about whatever the beat and the weed tell me to do. I have songs based in total reality; I have songs based on imagination and fantasy. You never know what your going to hear from me. And my musical tastes are so sktizo there’s no way to pigeonhole or pinpoint my style.
3. What’s the strangest thing that has happened to you lately?
Reef: The strangest thing that’s been happening to me lately is people assuming that I’ve made it or that I think I’ve made it. That’s been happening a lot lately and its really weird because people have no idea and they just assume I’m a dick because I don’t want to freestyle with them or get on a track without payment. It’s like you want people to recognize when your making moves but don’t assume you know anything about me as a person. That’s strange.
4. Who is your fan/customer?
Reef: My fans are universal. And that’s not some high hippie answer; I mean that literally and in the best way possible. Age, class, race… I’ve been blessed to make music that eliminates any of that bullshit. You come to a show and your gonna see a mix up of people just enjoying the music. I don’t cater to anyone so I feel like anyone who likes good music would enjoy me.
5. How do you describe your music to people? (This is not a short answer. Discuss it.)
Reef: I think it goes back to what type of songs I make and who my fans are etc. It just good music, its entertaining and serious and angry and funny and lyrical and dumb all at the same time. I grew up on Big daddy kane and his albums were always filled with different elements, each song took you into another section of his skills and flows and ideas. I will say production and vibe wise its very late 90s east coast. That’s just the era I came up in and in some ways am trying to expand on and update if you will.
6. Describe the most rewarding experience of your career thus far.
Reef: Oh man that’d be impossible. It’s all rewarding to me. This interview is rewarding. The fact that you guys took the time to find out what’s up with me lets me know that someone somewhere is listening. When a fan tells me he loves my shit or I get an email telling me that a song of mine touched someone I mean how can i not be grateful and happy and humbled by that? Think of all the people out there who do music that never get that type of love? EVER! I’m blessed. Honestly no bullshit all of it has been a reward.
7. Where you at and what are you up to? (Any upcoming shows, releases, projects you want to plug)
Reef: I’m just in Philly right now working on this new album “A Vicious Cycle” I’m about 20 tracks deep and I’m still recording. Taking my time with it, I’ve put out enough shit to be able to finally not feel rushed. It feels good. Also gonna drop a new mixtape next year called “Citizen Cauze” which will be all new shit and let people know the new albums coming
8. Who are your musical influences? Who is your favorite music artist(s) and why?
Reef: My all-time great is Bill Withers because he wrote the simplest yet lasting and beautiful music. And on top of that he refused to comprise his vision to the record labels and that’s unheard of nowadays and I look up to him for that. Other than that I love everyone from Nas to Brother ALi to Anthony Kedis to TV on The Radio to Jeezy and The Game… I love people that make good fuckin music. If I enjoy it I will buy it and listen and get inspired by it. and that’s that.
9. What song/CD(s) are you listening to now?
Reef: Im listening to the new Jay-Z album which is pretty uneven. The new Game shit, JMT, new Jeezy mixtape, my man Jake Lefco, and I’m waiting on the new Clipse and Nas albums. Other than that, beat cds and my new album.
10. If you could pick 3 people to be in a band with you, who would you pick?
Reef: Man that’s a dope question! I’d say Dr Dre and Bill Withers. Dre would handle the production, I’d rhyme and Bill would kill the hooks. We would make a crazy ass blues future funk jam.
11. What’s the most recent book you’ve read?
Reef: Hip-hop America by Nelson George. It’s basically a critique on hip-hop’s influence on society versus societies influence on hip-hop. Nelson George is the greatest writer to come from that first generation of B-boys and no one does it better. A friend of mine passed it along and I haven’t been able to stop reading it even though I’ve read it like 3 times. My cousin has it now soon as I get it back I’m jumping right back in.
12. Where would you be if you could be anywhere in the world? Favorite travel spot?
Reef: Id love to visit Brazil or Costa Rica, somewhere hot and exotic type shit. As far as the states, I’m a big fan of Cali. The weed is the best and the views are breathtaking.
13. Any last words, or anything you wanna plug, shout out or say?
Reef: Love thy neighbor and look out for my shit and all my peoples shit! HOLLER at me myspace.com/reefthelostcauze
14. LL couldn’t live without his radio. What gadget or pro audio piece is your must have item? What’s your favorite electronic item?
Reef: Lol my sidekick 3. It never ever leaves my hand!