My perception of hip hop has definitely been limited to those exposures and frankly, I regret basing a genre on mainstream hypocracy. This, in and of itself, makes me a hypocrite as well, right? So, to make amends to a genre and the local, passion driven entities within it, it is my absolute pleasure to introduce to you an individual who not only matches my passion for the art of creativity via music as well as some views on the issues at hand, but is just as accepting of different avenues of expressing it as I have been the past week. No bias, no hatred, no "cliques" to be held fast to... willing to share with me their desire and drive to create a magnificent piece of musical art, regardless of my own lack of knowledge in the art form.
Noxious of AZ, was terrifically awesome. Two white boys in baseball caps, the one in green being Noxious himself, the other named no other than Symatick. The boy in green was fast and furious! Slimshadyesque, yet individualized and unique at the same time, those two railed off word after word, lyric after lyric, chorus after chorus. Another entity that made me want to bounce. Moving around on stage, with seemingly important purpose, they took over the stage and the audience. Creating a tone of non-frivality they certainly understood their calling. To express themselves with a vocal and beat pairing that unequivocally surpassed the prior two acts. You certainly have started the process of proving me wrong in regards to hip hop. Being local in addition to having a great presence on stage is a big gold star with me.
Phoenix dwellers, music lovers, and creators of a quickly dissapearing avenue of true enjoyment, I wish to share with you Noxious.
Who are you?
I go by, Noxious of AZ, just one of the assholes you see on stage and I am usually seen with another asshole who is known as, Symatick. We lead the BPS (Been Pushed by Society) movement.
How did you meet Symatick?
I caught Symatick his first high long ago during our hoodlum years, although as far as music is concerned, we found our beginning as party-battlers, who lived for the next emcee challenge, a cliché start among most rap artists and wordsmiths. After learning the fundamentals of music and hearing enough of the sewage that is savagely spread across a translucent industry, we decided to take action as revolutionaries. We stepped up our game in the studio in search of a higher form of expression involving a grander audience and here we are.
What albums have you released?
Inside the Mind of Nox (3/17/09), The Rapper’s Rapper (4/2/10), Helepolis (10/10/10). The next Noxious of AZ installment is expected to arrive 10/11/12.
What drives your music?
There are multiple forces propelling my push in music, but the desire for change, growth (on a personal and societal level), evolution, and revolution, are some of my main motivators. I enjoy seeing others expand intellectually and artistically in every way imaginable. Growth should be a constant until death. The moment we stop growing is surely the moment we start dying!
Give me an example of your music and lyric writing process.
The beat begins it all a high percentage of the time, which I may or may not participate in depending on where it is originated and/or licensed from, then comes the lyrics, which are all originally written by the artist performing them (generally beginning with a thesis or hook to convey the underlying message), and then it is through the studio time that we refine the overall arrangement. Topics, themes and tactics are so sporadic most of the time that the process is always in the air, excluding two important processes that are common in our current productions and they are: Change and Deletion. We try to uphold the Motown philosophy. Trash is trash (GIGO).
What inspires most of your music?
Inspiration is found by turning on the radio or television, opening a magazine or any other form of current publication spread by the few who have their hands in the pockets of the many. It is interesting to research ownership of the various forms of media like television and how the ownership has dwindled to just a select few parent companies that branch off in convoluted ways. We all see where we are (physically, mentally and spiritually), but we all know that we deserve much more in terms of equality than the major foundations are willing to give us. The injustices are ungodly, although many individuals accept them as they are, because that is the way it is and their idea of a fix has been displaced as a disillusioned dream among hopeless dreams, which gets worse as gradual time goes on. Change is always an option for those determined to enact it! Freedoms should not be made available to those who can purchase them or receive them by affiliation; freedoms should be an expectation for all and we should accept no less. The inspiration to be a voice within an echo should be inspiring enough for anyone to speak up and express themselves for what they are, which is an individual contributing to the all.
You guys are SlimShadyesque, what sets you apart from Marshall Mathers?
I am not one for comparisons. I feel many want to easily relate someone or something by giving it a widely known label or simile as opposed to redefining a new interpretation to others, as it is more complex in fashion. Artists undoubtedly reflect qualities from all of their inspirational intakes that contributed to their development, regardless of genre or aspect, and these reflected qualities may be seen more heavily in an artist’s early development, yet their true self is always there, we just need to see them for who they are, not who we expect them to be.
How would you describe the Phoenix hip hop scene?
The Phoenix Hip Hop scene is for sale to anyone in search of monetary gain who has the funds to make the investment! Artist are pimped out by lazy promoters who could give a shit less about good music or talent. Unfortunately, Hip Hop and Rap are not the only genres suffering this reality, as it is a widespread notion to conduct music business this way here in the Valley. There are great artists and terrible artists in AZ, but fans must ultimately decide which ones are which.
Do you prefer playing large or smaller venues?
A venue and the occupancy of that venue do not matter to me. The atmosphere that only music can create is the same when shared in any place and the energy exchanged between a fan and an artist electrifies the soul, regardless of the setting!
Do you have a favorite venue you like to play?
I have no favorite venue. To me a venue is to an artist as an artist is to a fan or a fan to an artist, in that we are meant to enjoy the intake of many forms and types of each, and we should encourage such diversification of enjoyment as the circle created by doing so tends to feed itself.
What artists have you played shows with?
I have done shows with too many local acts to list, and most are appreciated for their music and their efforts beyond my words. These acts know who they are! As far as national acts, I stick to the underground scene.
Do you have a favorite artist to share the stage with?
My favorite artist to rock a stage with is Symatick, the hype man extraordinaire and fellow rapper! Isolyst a.k.a. DJ D-Lerius is an all-around cat who is usually accompanying us on and off the stage, whether he is rocking the wheels of steel, hitting a mic or creating an intoxicating beat to move you. Another homie I do not mind sharing the stage with, whether he is performing with me or vice-versa is Tyler Chaz, who I currently engineer for (check out is album binHEAR, free via SoundCloud).
When is your next show?
The next experience is The Psycho Circus Show with Brotha Lynch Hung and Twisted Insane in Tempe, AZ at the Red Owl / Club Red, which is March 30, 2012. I will be appearing on stage with the usual suspects.
Where do you see yourself going in the next three years?
A few years ago I would have had a hard-headed response for this question, but as of now, it is hard to even tell where I am heading three months out without having severe fogginess disrupt the vision. Things are starting to pick up and I am truly thankful for the exposure and support I am getting, along with my counterparts. All love all around!
Some Metal rock bands use classical music as an ambient background while they create. Is this the same for rap or hip hop? What do you do to assist you with the creative process?
Yes and no. As my interest in engineering peaked the first thing I learned from a highly-revered AZ engineer is that music has no rules and we are bound by no restriction. Inspiration can arise out of any sense of sound and Rap, Hip-Hop, R&B, or whatever else is in consideration, all take from that which is appreciated and adapt it around a particular genre or audience, so it climatically suits the environment it is presented to when we are acclimated to it correctly. Any atmosphere will offer a stimulating sense of euphoria that is inspirational. This inspiration will come from no other setting, so it is appreciated for what it is, while it is appreciated, but our tastes differ from project to project, so from brain-storming to mastering, our techniques are forever changing as we test the lawlessness of music!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the fans in Phoenix?
It is easy to find one’s self singing lyrics to a popular song, due to an intoxicating rhythm or a habitual broadcast, but I urge all audiences to listen to what a station or channel is hyping and to understand the message behind an artist, their executive producers and/or their presenters! Everyone has an agenda beyond money and to think monetary value is the only influential factor behind one’s push…well, that is just absurdly naïve.
What inspired the name Noxious?
Some things seemingly appear as a threat before being accepted as an acceptable alternative. Noxious definitively relates to something that is publically regarded as harmful, destructive, morally corrupting, and/or injurious to overall health. One must destroy something to create anything, so I am harmful to those whose foundations I am an engine against, as they are those who I and others alike find to be the ones morally corrupting the public. Detoxification of mind and body are desirable necessities of evolution and it may be a dreadfully painful process to endure, but it is an essential function that I am willing to contribute to, until I am forever breathless, and so I am Noxious of AZ!
You can click above to hear their music, or click the streampad below to enjoy Noxious' corrosively unique rhymes. The songs featured specifically on the streampad are from Noxious' Helepolis album.
*Pics Courtesy of Noxious of AZ himself
There is not much else to say that hasn't been said already, my underground dwellers. I have to admit I never expected the Hip Hop to be this indepth and personal to myself. I want to thank Noxious for participating and for inducing like minded individuals of the "other third" of the main underground structure by encouraging you rock mongers and punks to check out their show on March 30th. You may be pleasantly surprised, as was I, in what this genre is capable of.
Perhaps next I check out the country genre? What surprises lurk beyond cowboy hats and Wranglers? Do I dare walk in with my flaming hair and shocking attitude? I want your input!! Everyone has been so quiet the past month since the inception of this project, I think its time local fans start sharing their stories as well. Don't leave it up to the bands, artists, and myself... Share YOUR musical soul as well!
Live fast, die with a melody in your head. Happy music making Phoenix!!