If you’ve been a fan of the site for awhile now, you may recognize The Hip-Hop Dojo as a playlist series that used to run on a weekly basis. Designed to showcase the best rap music that might have been overlooked from the past week, the playlist served as a way for us to catch you up on the latest in the hip-hop world, while also highlighting the freshest talent out there. Though we tried our best to keep up, ultimately the task proved too tall for us, and the series eventually faded away due to a sheer lack of time. We’ve been planning a revival for quite awhile now, but we wanted to make sure we did it in a truly meaningful way.
Well, the wait is finally over! The Hip-Hop Dojo has returned, complete with a fresh new look and revised format. In order to remedy the time commitment issue we touched upon earlier, The Hip-Hop Dojo will now become a monthly series. Don’t worry though, because we won’t be skimping out on the music. In addition to the playlist, we’ve also decided to focus on one up-and-coming artist each month. This artist spotlight portion of the Hip-Hop Dojo will allow you to tap into the mind of some of the rising +stars of the hip-hop realm, and gain some insight into who they are behind the music. This artist will be able to tell their story in their own words, and allow you to gain intimate access to their lives.
Our first featured artist is D.C.’s very own Joey Green. Armed with a resigned confidence, Joey is one of many new names to add to a growing list of exciting talent emerging from the DMV area. Fresh off the release of his most recent single, “Swim,” Joey took a few minutes to sit down with us and discuss his music, his thoughts on the DMV, and his favorite video game character. We’re excited to share with you the first of many artist spotlights to come! Check out the interview below, and then hit the jump to stream the full playlist.
SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW: Joey Green
Swim (Prod. By Herrvahl)
Girls Love Clothes (Prod. trash.goon)
The Ave (Feat. Joey Green) (Prod. Ozzie Clarke)
TMN: When did you first start making music, and how did you decide that it was something you wanted to pursue full time?
Joey Green: I started in high school and decided that I wanted to take it seriously when I got to college.
TMN: Is there any significance behind the name Joey Green?
JG: No, not really. I didn’t really want a stage name and plus I like my name, so I went with it. I think it works for my music too because I pride myself on self-expression and genuineness. To me, it feels right because I know who I am and I’m happy with who I am.
TMN: Your last mixtape, Manifesto, was kind of our introduction to your laidback, lo-fi style. What was the recording process like for that project, and did you have any specific goals you set out to achieve with that mixtape?
JG: It was a very long process. I spent about a year and a half (on and off) working on it. A few months in, I had a lot of songs done for it but I wasn’t satisfied with any of them. I scrapped every single one and decided to start over, the only song from the bunch I kept was “Ric Flair.” Starting over was what the project needed, because I was able to go back to the drawing board and give it a better structure. I recorded all new songs over the summer, kept experimenting, and was introduced to lo-fi. The lo-fi sound was also new to me, but I fell in love with it–it’s so dope to me. My goal was to craft a cohesive project with a variety of tones and moods. I think I achieved that.
TMN: Who would you say your biggest influences are?
JG: My biggest influence is Kanye by far.
TMN: The DMV has seen a huge influx of talent lately from names like GoldLink, Chaz French, DP, D.R.A.M., etc. What are your thoughts on the growing hip-hop scene in your area?
JG: I think it’s great and it’s good to see to see my area coming up. There’s so much talent from here. DC is heavily overlooked as far as sound goes, but with the talent we have here, that will change in due time. With that being said, this area isn’t too keen on supporting one another either. If artists from here could put their egos to the side and stray away from trying to bring each other down, we could make so much noise.
TMN: You’ve had quite a few collaborations with K.eYe.D over the past few months, and we hear you have a joint EP coming up soon between you two. Can you tell us what to expect from that project?
JG: Yes! K.eYe.D and I are working on a joint EP. We don’t have a title for it yet, but you can expect nothing but good vibes honestly. eYe is like a big brother to me and we clicked from the jump. This project will reflect our personalities as well, but of course I don’t wanna give too much away.
TMN: What else can we expect from Joey Green in the coming months?
JG: More flows from me for sure! I can’t sit still for too long so I’m always plotting on what I wanna cook up next. I’m looking to do more visuals as well. I storyboarded and co directed my “Beyond” music video, shout out to the director DanSam too!
TMN: If you could be any video game character, who would it be and why?
JG: Aiden Pierce from Watch Dogs, no hesitation. He hacks into any and everything with his cell phone. One minute he’s detonating explosives, the next minute he’s causing a blackout with a single tap. That’s a bad mothafucka right there (laughs).
TMN: What’s one quality you think you share with a ninja?
JG: We move in silence, but make our presence felt at the right time.
We’d like to thank Joey for graciously agreeing to be our first Hip-Hop Dojo spotlight artist. And now without further ado, we’d like to present to you our February 2015 playlist!