Interview: Vintage Tux
Friday, May 25, 2012 by Team Greedmont | No Comments | Category: Culture, Music, Music Video, Rap, Short Film, Video
Jay Electronica’s accent and style of rapping doesn’t sound like he’s from the south yet he grew up in the heart of New Orleans. The thing about Vintage Tux is their accents are southern but their music sounds like something from Stones Throw Records. With the exception of DJ Maniac Magee and Ireland born DJ A to the L, group members M.E.R.C., 7even Cypher, and ISH grew up amongst pine trees and moonshine runner carved backroads. Vintage Tux is a hodgepodge of smooth lyrics with the punch political commentary in the vein of Medgar Evers . The backdrops behind the tracks sound like holdovers from Pete and CL’s Main Ingredient album. Get into the Tux.
Greedmont Park: How did ya’ll come up with the name Vintage Tux?
Vintage Tux: We thought of a lot of names for the group, but Vintage Tux stood out. It had a ring to it, ya know. It simply means that the sound is from the Golden Era of Hip Hop, but it’s clean and fresh. Tailored just right. It’s something that you wear to the senior prom and your date is the baddest cheerleader in school, or maybe you are at Rock the Bells.
When people see you in that vintage tux, they look. They might not say anything, but they see you.
So give us a general idea of what exactly Vintage Tux is?
VT: The group was formed in Tallahassee, but our members come from all over. Dj A to the L is from Northern Ireland. 7even Cypher is originally from Philly but moved to Florida at an early age. Dj Maniac Magee is from the DC area, and M.E.R.C. and I are the only ones originally from Tallahassee. Tallahassee is a great place to pull inspiration from because it is a college town. There are thousands of students here from all over the world, who all bring with them a certain style. We are also in the state capital of Florida where Jim Crow still lives.
You guys are from Tallahassee Florida which is a musical hub of sorts. Where does the inspiration from the city and the exchange of musical culture shape ya’lls sound and content?
VT: Much of the inspiration for the lyrics comes from situations in the tri-state area, Florida, Georgia and Alabama. We are in a state where cops kill kids with no consequence and people tote guns freely thanks to the Stand Your Ground Law. Inspiration is everywhere for us. I think the biggest motivation however, is how bigger cities view us. Coming from a small town like Tallahassee, we don’t get the respect that say someone from NY would get. That’s real! But we love it! The underdog always plays harder.
There are a ton of internet rappers/musicians out today so your sort of lumped all together. What makes Vintage Tux stand out?
VT: We stand out because we don’t try to. We don’t try to sound like anyone else and we don’t try to be different. We are who we are. We never think about the Internet or the blogs or standing out. It’s the music. The music tells us where to go. When you try to hard to be different, it isn’t genuine. When it isn’t genuine people will eventually find out.
VT: Informally Formal was something we created to show the world our process and to give insight on who we are. Everything is visual now. We try to somewhat keep up with technology even if it seems impossible. It allows us to get personal with the viewers and fans. If they feel like they know us then they can understand the music.
What point are you ultimately trying to get across with your message and where do you see the group in a year?
VT: The message is simple, be who you are and be free. Don’t be manipulated by society’s standards and stand up for something. We truly feel that we are at the forefront of a musical revolution. We are foot soldiers fighting this battle with music and art. We can’t lose. In a year we hope to be touring Europe. Their appreciation for hip hop is great over there.