Please introduce yourself
Diablo Archer: for those that don’t know me, i’m Diablo Archer from
From what i’ve read you’ve been in the game for a minute. When and how did you get started?
Diablo Archer: i wouldn’t say i’ve been in the “game” for a minute, but i started rhyming around age 8. I started at this whole thing seriously around 2001, and i’ve been hustling pretty hard ever since.
Yeah you’ve had several releases since 2002 right?
Diablo Archer: not as many as i’d like to have, but i have a few. Only 3 solo releases to date though.
That’s not that bad for an “underground artist” though .Now..what makes an 8year old start rappin?
Diablo Archer: what makes an 8yr old start rappin?…”Cindafella” by Dana Dane!!! Lol
Haha…sounds like a reason to me…but seriously though…did u fall in love with hip hop then? Did you even know what this thing called hip hop was?
Diablo Archer: well, most would say i had an unlikely introduction to hip hop, but i think i found it in a pretty good way. Growing up in a small town in a state not known for it’s musical contributions, all i had access to was what was on the radio or mixtapes that my older sister got from her friends or whatever. The “watered down” joints that i was hearing at the time were pretty alluring to an 8yr old who wanted to be like the older cats. I didn’t know what hip hop was at the time per se, but i knew i loved how putting words together, or even reciting someone else’s words made me feel. And i liked it a lot!
And when did you have that moment where you knew…this is what i want to do professionally?
Diablo Archer: all of this is sorta detailed in a song i did for “a day that ends in y” called “development”. When i was finishing up my junior year in college, i got what started out as a sore throat. After a couple days, i lost my voice and had an incredible fever. I don’t know if i was having delusions or what, but i had a conversation with god in which he told me that tomorrow’s not promised and that i best make use of my gift. It didn’t really hit home until i couldn’t take the pain anymore, went to the hospital, and found out that i was literally hours away from death by the time i reached the emergency room. I’ve never looked back since then.
Wow..well and i guess that brings us back to the present. Why would you recommend yourself to hip hop heads?
Diablo Archer: i hate answering this question because it makes me sound like i’m tryna save hip hop or something, but…i feel like my music is a breath of fresh air considering the current climate of popular music. I speak on things that people can relate to no matter how they may classify themselves. I make ordinary life less ordinary with the pictures that i paint.
Since you mentioned that…do you feel like the upcoming mcs right now are responsible for saving hip hop?
Diablo Archer: that depends on what you consider saving hip hop. I feel like young joc and company are saving hip hop by furthering the divide between popular rap music and the rap that originally stood for rhythm and poetry. Upcoming mcs have a certain responsibility, but that responsibility is to mc. Let the rappers do what they do. Don’t complain, just mc. Control mics, move crowds, master ceremonies. The hip hop that was set out in the park wasn’t meant for this kind of global “acceptance” that commercial rap is getting. It’s rebel music. It’s like “give us nothing and we’ll make something beautiful out of it”. As long as there are people holding true to those principles, hip hop is just fine.
I actually agree on that. I don’t think hip hop will ever die. But i do think it is in critical condition right now. It got so commercialised that the people don’t see hip hop for what it was meant to be anymore. And i believe the underground, backpack, conscious or whatever u want to call them mcs are the ones to make hip hop look good again.
Diablo Archer: how? We never stopped doing what we do. The focus has been shifted. We can’t make the focus shift back to us as long as the media and the people controlling the media don’t want it that way. Hip hop is alive and well. The only thing we can do to make hip hop look good is to not make it look bad.
Exactly. And that’s what alot of these rappers in the limelight do. Make it look bad
Diablo Archer: they’re exactly what you said though…rappers. I’m not saying that everything commercial is bad, but they tell us over and over that their main concern is money. They don’t give a damn about hip hop or what people who don’t affect their money think about them. That’s not hip hop
Very true. They only problem is that only the people who already know what hip hop is understand that that is not it. Speaking of the media and the current condition of the rap business. With the over saturation in hip hop right now, how big to you think your chances of making this your day job are? Or has that happened already?
Diablo Archer: nah, it hasn’t happened already. And yes, there’s over saturation in the industry, but nobody does what i do quite how i do it. On top of that, i grind and pray pretty hard so, if it’s meant to be, it will be.
What’s your label situation right now? Any negotiations going on?
Diablo Archer: i had a bad experience with my last attempt at being a part of a label so i’m just playing it by ear right now. There’s not a lot that i can’t do or haven’t done for myself so i’m not pressed about having a label come and scoop me. If somebody comes along and they’re speaking my language, we’ll talk. If not, i’ll keep pushing until i can’t push anymore.
So the independent route is going pretty well for u at the moment?
Diablo Archer: it could always be better, but i think the fact that i’m sitting here being interviewed by someone from
What are your current projects and latest releases?
Diablo Archer: my latest release is a mixtape entitled “wakeup call.” my homey dj trizzak is on the mix, and a slew of should-be-known producers held me down on the beats. That can be copped on my myspace page. As for current projects, i’m always working. I’m composing what may be my last hoorah as we speak, but i don’t want to leak the title just yet. Also, there’s an ep in the works called “fear of flying”.
For somebody who wants to check you out right now, would you suggest listening to your old or new music?
Diablo Archer: that depends on what they have access to lol. My first full-length project is out of print and has proven itself pretty elusive. The “a day that ends in y” ep is dope, and really captures the point i was at then, and “wakeup call” is just that…a wakeup call for people who’ve been sleeping on me while their favourite artists are showing me respect
The wakeup call it is then i guess. You’ve been on stage with allot of great artists..from epmd to the justus league.. Are there any people you would like to work with?
Diablo Archer: there’s plenty
Anyone you’d like to name?
Diablo Archer: haha, supastition, median (again), 9th wonder, andre benjamin…there’s far too many to name. I’m going on my mercenary grind this summer though. I’ll work with anybody that’s dope and wants to work with me. Even if you’re not dope, we can work if the money’s right.
I might have to hook you up with some people then
Diablo Archer: we can get it in
I have to admit that i hadn’t heard about you until you hit me up on myspace. When i heard your music i was really blown away because of how good it was. Alot of artists speak highly of you. With that and a great talent, why do you think you’re still being overseen?
Diablo Archer: i’m not sure actually. In sports there’s a saying…something like a “puncher’s puncher”. I guess that’s what i am in music…an mc’s mc. People who really do this understand that i’m good at what i do. That doesn’t always translate to the average onlooker. Aside from that, this is a competition. There’s artists that speak highly of me, but do it quietly or in private. I’m not saying that they’re afraid of what cosigning me might do to their fanbase, but who really wants to give the competition a leg up?
That’s true..but i’m saying though..your talent is obvious..maybe you just need the right promotion
Diablo Archer: i couldn’t agree more. Money and support have been my two biggest obstacles to being heard. They are also two of the hardest circumstances to change without outside help so i don’t complain. I do as much as i can and look for people to help me do what i can’t. I thank you for saying that my talent is obvious, but even that is subjective. At times, i wonder if i’ve just been deluding myself as to how talented i really am. nah…i’m dope lol
So..you’ve been putting music out for about 5 yrs now..what changes have you seen yourself and hip hop go through since then?
Diablo Archer: i’ve gone through tremendous changes both personally and musically. My voice has changed a bit, my flow has grown, my beat selection is more on point. I’ve been so off in my own world tryna make myself a better and more well-represented artist, i can’t really speak on the changes hip hop made along the way. I guess it goes back to that responsibility thing you were talking about earlier.
What does hip hop mean to you at this point?
Diablo Archer: hopefully, the same thing it meant to its creators in the late 70’s early 80’s. It’s my outlet. The one thing that nobody can control about many of my days. It’s therapy in a world that doesn’t care if i’m able to cope.
And those are great words to close this interview… Anything else you’d like to tell the people?
Diablo Archer: if you’re reading this, thank you. Be sure to cop “wakeup call”. Hit me up at myspace.com/diabloarcher. Shouts to