Brooklyn MC Torae has made for himself performing along the Ruff Ryders and Cash Money Millionaires, kicking it with Cam´Ron and releasing a 12´ on AV8 Records with his group The Coalescence. His new mixtape called Daily Conversation is a next step for him – beats provided by today´s top producers like Premier, 9th Wonder, Black Milk and guest appearances by Chaudon, Skyzoo and others. But Torae is still on the grind – being part of the Rawkus movement and working on an album with Marco Polo.
You were on tour with the Ruff Ryders and Cash Money Millionaires a few years ago. What was the craziest story being on tour with them?
I wasn’t actually on tour with them I rocked during one of the stops on their tour in New Jersey, so I couldn’t tell you the craziest thing about touring with them.
Are you still affiliated with Dipset?
I still see the guys out on the town and at shows from time to time. We’re still cool, we didn’t have any bad blood or anything that caused us to fall out, so when we see each other it’s all love still.
With your group The Coalescence you released a single on AV8 Records. How did that come about?
We actually recorded the songs “Promises” & “T.I.M.E.“ in the studio across the hall from AV8 so my man Rich played it for the guys & they liked it. They offered us a 1 off for the 12” and we accepted.
You have an incredible line-up of producers on Daily Conversation (Premier, 9th Wonder, Black Milk) was there anybody else you wanted a beat from but it didn’t work out?
I got the line up of dreams on Daily Conversation so honestly I wouldn’t change a thing. Everybody I missed on “Daily” I’m either in the studio with now or we’re in talks to work in the near future. Shout to everyone that contributed to my debut. It was an honor & pleasure. Let’s keep rocking.
What do you want the listeners to get from the album?
Most people we’re familiar with me from rocking with The Coalescence or from the joints with Skyzoo. So with “Daily” I wanted to show what I could do on my own. I wanted people to hear me with a producer other than DJ Premier & be able to decide if I was an artist they really liked. Or if they just liked my affiliation.
You’ve worked with and know Clark Kent. What is he up to? Did you try to get a beat from him for Daily Conversation?
Clark is the big homie. I’ve known him for maybe 6/7 years now he’s definitely still doing his thing. He still produces & DJ’s and all that. He’s a tastemaker. We kicked it about working on this project, but we have some other things in the works, so look for DJ Clark Kent & Torae to collab in the future.
What’s it like having a 12´ produced by Premier?
It’s unreal. Preem is a legend & people respect what he does & has done for the hip-hop culture. To have a 12” single A & B side produced by a guy I’ve always dreamed of working with it crazy to me. When I was a kid I wanted Premier & Pete Rock beats now as an adult I can say I have that. It’s truly amazing.
Daily Conversation is a mixtape, besides the album with Marco Polo, are you working on your solo album?
Nah not yet. I take each project one step at a time so I can give it my full attention. I’m not in any rush to push product out so when I wrapped “Daily” I moved on to the project with Marco. Once I wrap that I’ll move on to the next project, whatever that may be.
For you, who has a quite rep, is it better to stay independent, or sign a deal with a major label?
That depends on what you want out of your career. If you want to be famous then a major label can help you with that. If you want to be financially secure maybe they can help you with that as well. I’m in the music to spread a message, and touch the people. I want to be remember as one of the dudes that made a difference. The money will come if you follow your heart & your passion, so for me independent is the way to go. I don’t want anyone demanding that I make a specific type of song to try & attain certain things. I’m just not with it.
Do you really read all of your reviews like you said in Click?
I “google” myself at least 4 times a week & I look for all the new links so if it’s been written I usually read it.
You are working on a record with Marco Polo. How many songs are you deep?
We got some joints man. We aren’t on any schedule or release calendar so we’re working at our own pace & making the best records we can. We might use all the songs we have now or none of “em. It’s depends on what we have once we’re done recording. But if you need a number I’d say we’re about 5 or 6 deep.
You are not part of Rawkus 50 but will be featured on Soundbombing 4. What’s your opinion on the comeback of Rawkus and what they have been doing in the last two years?
I think Rawkus is back on the right path as far as some of the acts they’ve chosen to sign & records they’ve released. I’m not sure what’s going on with SB4 at the moment, but being on a Rawkus release takes me back to the day of me running to the store anytime they put a project out. There was excitement and quality when you saw that razor blade logo. I’m honored about possibly being a part of the that history.
You spoke your mind on downloading on your myspace. If you had this super power to erase the whole internet with all it’s pros and cons would you do it?
Nah, definitely not. The internet is very powerful tool & really without my internet buzz there wouldn’t be much Torae buzz. With that said all I ask is if you have artists’ that you like, you should support them. I’m not saying don’t download. If you download illegally & you like what you got then you should find a way to support it as well. It’s not free to make & package music, so for people to just download an mp3 & act like it’s all good that’s wrong. If you like it come to a show, or buy a song or 2 off iTunes or buy a t-shirt. Do something to keep the artist in business, because if not a lot of your favorites aren’t going to be able to continue to do the music you know you love.