Taiyamo Denku- Kickin’It Old School
When we had the idea to create this blog, one of the first ideas we had was to give more spotlight to the artists themselves. The person behind the music. When thinking of an artist we wanted to feature, our first thought was Taiyamo Denku. How could we not? A heavy hitting, veteran artist with the skills and experience to rival anyone in hip hop. The proceeding is our very first interview. Enjoy.
Thanks for taking time to answer some interview questions with us. We just started up this blog and you are the very first artist being interviewed. In fact, you were the first one we thought of.
We are all fans of you here, but for readers who might not be aware of who you are, give us a little background info. Where are you from? How long have you been rapping? How did you get into it?
Taiyamo Denku- First off thanks for being supportive of what I do, no doubt. I was born and Raised in Milwaukee, I’ve been rhyming for … well this next year will be 20 years. I started in ’96. I always used to take a liking to hip hop since I was younger, I mean other music would be played in the house, but when I would be in the car I would always change the station to, at the time was Hot 102 when they still played Wu Tang and BIG on the radio or KRS ONE even. That and wathing Yo Raps on MTV I would say I found hip hop self.
How would you describe your style?
Taiyamo Denku- My style is like Picasso meets Sean Price meets Chino XL meets Ghostface with a Twist of ONYX, with all that combined I’d say I got my own steez.
What makes you different than other rappers?
Taiyamo Denku- Well I don’t conform to whats popular, I always do what I want to do, what I like, I don’t make music for others, I make it for myself. It just so happens that others have taken a liking to it, so with that being said I definitely thank those who believe in the same thing I do .
You are known for your freestyle ability, did this come natural to you or is something you had to really work at?
Taiyamo Denku- It definitely came natural, I started out freestyling before I ever wrote anything down.
Have you ever been a battle rapper? What are your thoughts on the current state of battle raps?
Taiyamo Denku- Yes I used to battle, I still talk a lot of shit in my music, that’s derived from my battle side. I did it over beats and off the top. Freestyle type of battles, I was in Scribble Jam a few years and other countless battles, even audio battles, but the new age of battle rap I cant stand really. Prewriting about an opponent you already know you going against, but acapella, I mean like I said I did audio battles back in the day, but those were over beats. I never did acapella prewritten battles, I think it takes away from the style, flow and delivery of an emcee.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
Taiyamo Denku- Chino XL is a definite influence since his first project in 96, but other then him I took a liking to and was influenced by many emcees over the years from WU Tang, Flipmode Squad, KRS, etc.
Do you have any affiliations, i.e. Wu-Tang, BaxWar, etc? Or have you in the past?
Taiyamo Denku- I was tied to Protect Ya Neck records, Baxwar at one time, but now the only things I really rep is my HECATOMB fam, who is mostly based in Minneapolis and CYPHADENMUSIC, which is me and my producer DCYPHA and Maximus Da Mantis who helps me make up the duo MILWAUKEE MONSTAZ and my Madison dude Urban Legend.
Have you ever signed to a major label? Would you?
Taiyamo Denku- Never signed to a major, however I have signed album deals with Uncommon Records from 2009 – 2012. Through Uncommon I dropped two solo project and a group project. I used to be in a group from 2001 till 2010, but did my solo stuff on the side. I would never sign to a major cause the majority of major record labels only sign artists now a days to 360 contract deals, if you’re not familiar with what that is do ya research, but its scam shizz.
Have you done any shows or tours with any national acts?
Taiyamo Denku- I have shared the same stage with a lot of national acts and touring acts from Ra the Rugged Man, Obie Trice, Adlib, Dj Abilities, Psalm One, Blueprint, Illogic, Blaq Poet, Outerspace, Grayskul, Copywrite, Carnage, Moodie Black, Louis Logic, Shabaaz the Disciple, Nasa, UG of Cella Dwellas, Reef The Lost Cauze, Toki Wright. I feel the list goes on and is endless and so much more to come.
How did the title Collab King come about and of all the collaborations you have done what are a few that are your favorite or you are most proud of?
Taiyamo Denku- Carnage the Executioner actually officially dubbed me the Collab King last year and it definitely fits. I have linked with many, I would say my favorite collabs are actually KRS ONE for sure, dats the GOD right there. Chino XL, LORD HAVE MERCY, that collab lyrically is one of my favorites. Rah Digga, always one of my favorite female emcees, till I heard Sa-Roc, when I heard her I had to make that collab happen and it is on the same track with Joell Ortiz which makes it that much more special. Lots more ish to come though, you’ll see.
Is there anyone whom you haven’t collabed with that you want to someday?
Taiyamo Denku- Of course there always will be, I’d like to link with Ra the Rugged Man at somepoint, or Ghostface or Kweli, but the Reflection Eternal version of Kweli, not the new age version. Ohhhh and Black Thought or Pharoahe Monch, both some of my favorite lyricists.
Is there anyone you are afraid to collab with, afraid they might outshine you or for any other reason?
Taiyamo Denku- Nah I’d collab with anyone, Im never afraid of someone outshining me and thats not ego, that’s confidence talking.
Lately there have been several local (Milwaukee) hip hop artists getting a lot of attention in the local media, as well as some national attention. What are your thoughts on this?
Taiyamo Denku- Good for them, maybe they will recognize all the things I have and am doing at some point in time. Sorry I refuse to turn up and get LIT with the Swaggy new Gen, not my forte I’ll stick to the Golden ERA.
How do you feel about these artists or their music? Are you a fan of any of them? Don’t hold back, I want to know how you really feel.
Taiyamo Denku- I haven’t heard any I am really feeling, like I wouldn’t bump their music in my ride. It’s just not my steez, but I don’t knock the love they are getting, dats dope, put our city on the map, more power to ya’ll . I have however been repping for this city the whole time I probably don’t get as much spotlight cause I talk a lot of shit, but ohhh well, its just my style of music and Hip Hop steez.
As a veteran in hip hop seeing all the attention the younger generation of rappers are getting, do you ever feel under appreciated or slept on, especially in the local scene?
Taiyamo Denku- I feel like I have to prove myself all over again, which it’s all golden, I been here. I’ve been called a Legend in the Milwaukee scene be4 by peeps. Idk if under appreciated is the term I would use, I would more so say overlooked, cause so many people are doing their thing right now.
Has this ever been discouraging to you or made you want to quit hip hop?
Taiyamo Denku- I almost walked away sure, but the people that really love and respect what I do didn’t let me and once I linked with Dcypha and Maximus we kinda rebuilt that love for hip hop together and why stop now, there is no turning back.
How many albums have you released? Any favorites?
Taiyamo Denku- Well I have released 5 group projects and 5 solo projects. I love the last two projects I dropped, Radioctave and Supernatural, that contain some classic material. My favorite group album we dropped is still I think the 2nd project entitled Rules of Evolution, just a dark album, my type of stuff. I love all my solo projects I dropped actually now that I think more about it. I got to put out what I wanted and use my creativity behind everything I released.
Are you working on any projects now? Upcoming releases?
Taiyamo Denku- Well I got quite a few things in the works actually, me and Dcypha’s new project, it’s not titled yet, but will feature some heavy hitters such as, Lil Kim, Krs One, Freeway, Afu Ra and more. The Milwaukee Monstaz project will be dropping next year finally. I have a free mixtape project over all Nick Wiz production I am very happy with. Oh and me and HECATOMB producer/DJ Imaginary Friend have a EP in the works dropping soon. Ohhh and I almost forgot, I teamed up with BassHeadMusic and my brand CyphaDenMusic will clash with BHM to bring ya’ll a project “WINGMAKERZ” so all that is in the works and due out soon. Lots of music.
Anything else you want to promote, throw it out there.
Taiyamo Denku- Me and Dcypha will be dropping a free promo track featuring LOX’s front runner JadaKiss in the next couple weeks, so stay tuned for that to drop, it’s going to be FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us today. I have so many more questions, but we’ll end it here for today. Thanks for your time.
Taiyamo Denku- Thank you my dudes
Peace Love and Hip Hop
I have to end this by saying it was a great first interview and I feel so honored to have had the chance to interview the great Taiyamo Denku. What did you guys think? Please subscribe and leave some comments telling me how you feel about this.
Interested in learning more about Taiyamo Denku and his music? I’ll include links to some of his albums and videos below.
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