UGLY DUCKLING – interview by farr
Ugly Duckling is a three-man crew comprised of Young Einstein (beats), Dizzy (emcee) and Andy (emcee), who all hail from the Long Beach, CA vicinity. Unlike their L.B. hip-hop counter-part Snoop the D-O-double-G, UD has more of a “let’s (artistically) joke about life” approach, where Snoop can often be that… “I’ll take ya life approach with my platinum platted knife. ” Oh, the irony is thick…
Oh, and about those meatshakes…yeah that’s real. Uh…there’s really a store in LB (and nationally) that serves some strange coagulation of meat and sauce; this was to the place of Ugly Duckling’s unification. The crew used to spit little rhymes over the mic which “The drive-thru’ track will accurately detail. And while Andy and Dizzy “cartoonify” this meatshake concept with creatively clever diction, style and story, Einstein flawlessly manicures music that transcends beyond the theme.
The new release, “taste the secret” encompasses not only tales of a putrid substance Andy defines as having “…a particular taste and texture to it…” served to unsuspecting hippies, while filling intellectual voids as well. With tracks like “dumb it down” and “mr.tough guy”, Ugly Duckling further reinforces their credibility as musicians and individuals. “Potty mouth” is another track where the guys highlight the language usage by many of our upstanding musicians saturating the market with fuck this and fuck that, and fuck this and I fuck that, and SO FUCKING WHAT.
Assumption led me to believe that this crew had to have some misconceptions revolving around their style and take on hip-hop. “I don’t even know if people have conceptions about us yet…the biggest misconception could be that people don’t see who we are,” as a smile graces Andy’s face. “Maybe they think that we just try to make a joke out of hip-hop music…maybe that could come across, I suppose if you saw our show or listened to our music in a certain context you might think we’re just big jokesters and that we don’t have any respect for the music we do, but we certainly don’t think that’s the case.”
No, no it is not the case that Ugly Duckling fits into; they don’t even fit in a case if one were to even attempt such a feat. In turn let’s remove cases and constraints and let the music saturate your brain and let it pulsate through you, their music is a vehicle for emotion. And Einstein’s beats are the soundtracks bumping as that vehicle runs head on into you.
When asked about getting noticeable respect, Einstein leaks out, “No.” Apparently only a small percentage of the public has begun to fathom, comprehend and enjoy the rich complexity of Einstien’s production. By not limiting himself to a single loop dug from 45’s, he’s able to construct these monumental (often jazzy) beats with a multitude of samples layered upon each other quite similar to the complex construction of classical music scores. And with the “meatshake” themes to their latest release, Einstein’s musical score is even more eloquent than that journey they take to anywhere…
As music progresses or digresses depending on vantage point, it seems increasingly difficult to discern between quality music and fraudulent music. And how does one gauge the fallaciousness of someone’s music? Do we even retain the right as journalists to attempt such a task or is our existence a flaying futile job consisting of nothing pertinent? Fucked if I know! It seems rather irrelevant to categorize, stigmatize, conceptualize or any other -ize when dealing with music that your virgin ears may not be used to.
“We just try to get an emotion or a vibe across,” mutters Andy as we situated ourselves at a table. Is that why you take such a comedic approach? “I’m not a worthy spokesperson for anything that important…I could never be Bono or someone like that where you always got something to say…and I’m generally nauseated by people who think that just because they pick up a guitar or rap they think they can tell the world how to live,” he replies.
In actuality, Ugly Duckling is just that…an Ugly Duckling…hatched from the egg of an era…the purebred that some think is a half-breed. But in due time they’ll grow into a beautiful swan draped in soft white feathers perfectly situated directly above your head so they can drop bombs from up above.