From the ground up.
Silently, an email appears in the Holdin’ Court inbox. Sender ‘Structures Built Records’, Subject ‘Structures Built’. Dismissed but not discarded, I open the emails I was already in the inbox looking for, send a couple of responses to a few contacts, log out and close the browser. A little while later that evening on a popular social networking site I see a video doing the rounds ‘Rap Phenomenon’ by Piece of Mind of Structures Built Records.. So.. Remembering the name from earlier and with a couple of minutes to spare, I click play and watch with my eyes and ears open.
The whole experience is nice. The onscreen visuals, mainly featuring Rapper G.Roc sporting a rather fitting RUN DMC tee, reflect the tracks tribute to the Hip-Hop golden era. Similarly, the beats crafted by DJ Producer Gedsi and progressive, liquefied raps go together perfectly. The over all feel of the project is that it brings together old and new, something I’ve read and agree else where on the internet, regarding the same tune.
Feeling quite content, I felt that I should compliment the rapper involved as he appeared ‘online’ at the time and this following interview is a result of the initial connection:
First off, please introduce yourselves and tell us a little about who you are, where you’re from and what you do?
G Roc - We are Piece of Mind …
Gedsi - I go by the name Gedsi. I’m a DJ, producer, Engineer from Toronto.
G Roc - My name is G Roc Gayle, Hiphoppa, emcee, entreprenuer, drummer deejay and record collecting is one of my hobbies.
So you’re pretty much flying the flag for Canadian Hip-Hop, but also Hip-Hop worldwide in a more unified sense?
Gedsi - I wouldn’t say we’re flying the flag for Canadian Hip Hop. I’d say we’re simply trying to contribute to a culture that’s given us so much growing up. That’s all. We’re making our music the way we like it, and if people dig it, then so be it. If they don’t, we’d be making it anyway.
G Roc - I agree with Gedsi, we’re focused on making feel good Hip Hop music from the heart for those who still enjoy it.
Tell us a bit about those who you’ve worked with in the past? We understand Piece of Mind is the current group by you’ve been involved in other projects with other people in the past?
Gedsi - I work part-time as a freelance audio engineer in Toronto and I’ve done work for some indie bands in the area. Piece of Mind is my first venture into releasing my own material and it wasn’t until I met G-Roc that I was ready to release it.
G Roc - I was apart of a group Golden Disciples with another emcee named creep. We released a 12” independently in 2001 titled “Gold-Finger”. 2007 we released our first full album “Disciplined Hearts” digitally on the Hip Hop is music label owned by Braille of Lightheaded and physical cd on Structures Built Records. The album features good friend and mentor Insight of Y-Society. Another dope producer, emcee featured on the album Oddisee now with Mello Music group. I tell you … I learned a huge lesson from that release and how to run a label properly, so I took a break the following year to re-evaluate my strengths, weaknesses as well as plan sort term and long term goals. So far so good, we are working the plan. Piece of Mind all day!!! Gedsi and I work well together.
What can you tell us about Structures Built, it’s a hardworking independent record label people may or may not have heard of?
G Roc - Well … Structures Built Records is a new independent Hip Hop label operating out of Toronto Canada. I’ve been using the name sense days running around at live shows promoting, handing out free cds and selling vinyl. Our love, passion is for Hip Hop Kulture and music from the 80’s, 90’s the golden era, mean-well being influenced by jazz, soul, funk and one of my favs gospel. Basically i will agree with you we put in 100% at all times networking on a grass-roots level taken advantage of the internet, social networks which helps us to reach out too those who may not know much about us. For those who do know about us and our current release “Rap Phenomenon”, “Graffiti” by Piece of Mind, thank you for taking notice. Much Appreciated.
What sort of formats do you focus upon when releasing records?
Gedsi - In this day and age, digital releases are paramount, so there’s no way to avoid that. We’d like to release Piece of Mind music on other formats as well – CD, vinyl, and maybe even cassette (look out for the song “Gobot” which touches on our love for cassette tapes and walkmans).
G Roc - Adding on, we are currently working on releasing Vinyl/Cassettes ….. First look out for the digital release coming soon.
Tell us a little about the video for Rap Phenomenon? Who came up with the visual concept and who shot/edited it? From my perspective they got it just right and it compliments instead of hindering the viewers listening pleasure – something key for music videos in general but many find hard to get right?
Gedsi - Our friend Moto put in a lot of work for us and I’ll be forever grateful. He’s a great dude and super talented. I think he understood what we were doing and he had the sensibility to keep a good balance between creative editing and letting the music speak.
G Roc - Basically I met Moto last summer at a Pharcyde show in downtown Toronto Canada, we hit it off well .. The following week we met up at various coffee shops discussing the concept for the video and spent the entire two weeks in the scorching summer heat at locations around the city filming “Rap Phenomenon”, no huge budget just two creative minds coming together to create something meaningful, I learned a lot about film and editing being around Moto … Moto has enough knowledge, experience, plus it’s his passion and full time job back in Japan… You can check out Moto’s works at Moto Studio’s youtube page http://www.youtube.com/user/mkfilms777 … expect more work from Moto Stuido, Piece of Mind and Structures Built Records.
What are you working on at the moment and when will this work be put out?
Gedsi - I’m constantly making beats and we could probably put out another EP right now with all of the tracks we made that didn’t make the album cut.
G Roc - The mastering stage is under way for the album as well as recording new music, the main focus tho is the debut album soon to be released …. Stay tuned too www.theworkshiphop.tumblr.com and www.pieceofmindmusic.tumblr.com
What’s next for Piece of Mind and for Structures Built in the grander scheme of things?
G Roc - More quality Hip Hop music, art and education. Piece of Mind we are the premier group on Structures Built Records so expect many Piece of Mind releases in the near future.
There’s strong talk of you guys coming to the UK to tour. Why have you decided to look at the UK as a starting point?
From my research and connecting with people from the U.K. via facebook, emails and blogs I have found that Hip Hop Kulture and the Hip Hop music we create, people in the U.K. embrace. A side from that it’s a beautiful place plus my family tree extends out too the U.K., cousins, aunts, grandmother R.I.P. so it’s only right that i plan a move there in order to connect with the fam. The environment will also add something new too our music. Moves are important you know?
Where can people find more about current releases and perhaps even get in touch?
G Roc - Stay tuned and Visit us at:
Structures Built Tumblr:
Piece of Mind Tumblr:
Structures Built Soundcloud:
Structures Built Youtube:
Thanks for your time, finally..Any shout outs?
Gedsi - I want to shout out the whole Bronte crew.
G Roc - Well this is going to be a pretty long list … My vinly collecting crew Crate Bugz, Toronto, Canada, all the blogs that have been showing support and their positive feedback, Gedsi all of his hard work and the dope beats he provideds, Igi B for all of his amazing art-work, Moto, you guys at Holdin’ Court: Luke, Dave, Refused Magazine, Joe, friend and mentor Insight thanks for the inspiration and pointers, Oddisee, Braille of Lightheaded, Button Pusha at Strictly Cassette.com, Richard Smilth at Slice of Spice thank you for the tips and feedback, Jason at Roots Forward Records, A.c. at Hip Hop Philosophy Radio, Deejay Mikey Smallz, Judy Nelson, J.R., Robert Kidd One and Michaela Rivera at 9Elements, Dave Classic, Abir Abby, Dj Static and Professor Groove We Funk Radio, Solomon Caine, Lindsay at Bless Art-works, Abdominal, Dean at Double Soul, Slick Nick, Zarko Divkovic, Lucus, Todd Walsh, Ajia Ongaku, Pirithous Theseus and I can’t forget the brothers who took me under their wings Project Underground: Mr. O, Uzi, Mello and Ruff my early 90’s fam .. To many people to shout-out the list goes on and on .. Whoever I missed see you on the album shout-outs.
Foreword/Questions: Luke Hc. Image: Michael Stefancic.
Released today!: The Self-titled debut album by Piece of Mind. More info tba.