Atlanta, Georgia is home to the one and only MC Zappa. Known to exude his talents as both an emcee and producer, this creative grips on to his eclectic imagination and originality as he is the proud originator of Bit-Hop, a unique genre-fusing the elements of 8-bit video game music and golden age Hip-hop.
This founder of Too Much Phunk Records has used the year 2020 to his musical advantage. Through his discovery of new musical techniques, he hones in on his beloved establishment, with the development of Bit-Hop. MC Zappa was heavily influenced by VGM composers such as Koji Kondo, Tim Follin, and Nobuo Uematsu. He also pooled together his influence from Golden Age Hip-hop artists such as Eric B, Rakim, N.W.A, Run-DMC, and Boogie Down Productions.
Releasing 'Hindsight,' this marks the first official EP from the emerging artist himself. It is also the first official release on his independent label, Too Much Phunk Records. Using five intoxicating records, MX Zappa strays away from his signature Bit-Hop techniques to offer up a nostalgic touch on the genre of Hip-hop by releasing a purely Boom Bap inspired project. Collaborating with other producers, MC Zappa brings in other talents to drive home the themes of “Hindsight.” Throughout its course of 15 minutes and 29 seconds, we are exposed to robust melodies of self-empowerment, resilience, and agency.
“Magic (Sorcerous Phunk),” offers up exact musical funk in an enchanted way that sparkles gold flakes on nostalgic Hip-hop traits. Through refreshing resonance that focuses on exclusivity, we are fully engaged in nostalgic sound effects fused with the upbeat rhythm of the drums driving this record home. MC Zappa creates a prevailing conveyance through his hard-hitting lyricism bringing out witty one-liners as he captures the beloved spirit of the genre that he owns effortlessly.
“The Beast Named October,” is not only MC Zappa’s debut single to the music world, but it is also the first Bit-Hop release. This song redefines messaging in the comparison of trials and tribulations of life to the cold month of October and further personifies the month into a vicious creature. This remix was released exactly three years after the original release and still comes in as holding a special place in the creative realm that MC Zappa resides in.
Taking cues from the greats, MC Zappa is now dominating in the realm of Bit-Hop, taking over one record at a time. As he continues to reign supreme in his own world of imagery, MC Zappa builds up his rapidly growing fan base in a way that has him sticking around for quite some time to come.
Hello MC Zappa and welcome back to BuzzMusic, it’s always a good time when we get to chat it up with you. How have you managed to stay inspired throughout this year?
Thank you! The feeling is mutual. How did I stay inspired this year? Honestly, by transmuting all the experiences I've had in 2020, as well as those of the world at large. I just took all of that chaos and used it to fuel myself. I'll admit, I've had some VERY rough times this year (as have we all), which caused some brief hiatuses, but ultimately it was the love of the game that always kept me coming back.
With extensive knowledge in your genre, what kind of equipment do you use most often? And do you have a favorite piece of gear to work with?
I use a vast network of interconnected equipment that includes various keyboards, tablets, and cell phones among other things---I call it "The System". The nucleus of The System used to be a Samsung SGH-1497 that one of my aunties gave me, but now I would say the nucleus is my 2009 MacBook. I have two favorite keyboards that I use; a Yamaha PSR-E243 that my mother gave me, which is great for my home studio, home-based productions, and practice because of its 61 keys and 385 preloaded instruments, as well as my Akai MPKII Mini, which I won in an Instagram contest last year, which is absolutely fantastic because of its portability and ergonomics. But over the course of this year, I think I've discovered just how much I'd underestimated one particular item in my inventory: my Epsilon INNO-MIX 2. I won't go into details, but let's just say there are a LOT more uses for a mixer than just being jammed between two turntables.
If you could choose a dream collaboration, who would it be with?
Rakim. Definitely Rakim, either him or MF DOOM. I would also love to work with Ice Cube and KRS-ONE, as all of these artists are my greatest influences, but if I had to pick just one, it would definitely have to be the God MC.
You dabble on both sides of being an emcee and a producer. Do you consider yourself one more than the other?
Honestly, no. I am both in equal parts. I mean if you absolutely FORCED me to pick one over the other, it would probably be production, but as I said, I have equal passion and talent for both.
Do you have anything to say to the people out there who may have doubted you or passed judgment on you?
Yes. I'd like to offer sincere thanks to all folks who tried to tear me down, because even hateration is energy, and energy is fuel. I'd like to offer my thanks to those who made snarky and nasty comments, and those who claimed I "wasn't original". It was this in part that inspired me to hone my craft until no man could dispute that I was one of a kind, and to ascend to another level altogether. If it wasn't for the naysayers and critics, I may have become complacent. Thanks hun!
Do you have a favorite part of the creative process that you enjoy more than the rest?
Hmmm...you know, that's a great question. Honestly, not really! To me, creating the instrumentals, writing and recording the lyrics, and doing the graphic design are all equally fun. And you know sometimes it's like, I have a whole bunch of fun doing the instrumental, but then when I get my lyrics ready and lay down my vocal track, that just sets it off. Nah, I don't think I have a favorite part; each step in the whole process of bringing my ideas to life has its own joys and frustrations, none of which are superior or inferior to the others.
In what way have you grown as an artist from the start of the year to now?
Gosh! That's another great question, heh. I'd say that number one, I learned to be a lot more self-reliant. In years past, I've delayed or even altered projects because of issues with collaborators, or lack thereof. But we not doin' that no more. I don't mean to be cynical or nothin', but people come and go. It's the truth. So if it's storm season and you don't know how to be that anchor, that rock that keeps you steady, and you waitin' around for other people, you gon' be in some trouble. I got an agenda and it's going to be completed regardless of who's around me. One monkey doesn't stop no show. Number two, I also learned how to trust my intuition more, let go of some doubts, and be more confident on the business side of things, especially regarding negotiations. You know, when I said in February of last year that it's all a game, I wasn't employing a trite metaphor; I was speaking the truth. Life is a numbers game. I'm not a trained statistician, but I do know that you will miss 100% of the shots that you don't take! 2020 was the year that I truly realized what it meant to go for what I wanted---and it paid off! Again, I won't go into details, but if you'd have told me a year ago that I was gonna be talking and working with artists from the records I used to listen to when I was a little kid and teenager, I'd asked you what the hell you were smokin'! Yes, this has been one interesting year, but by drawing upon my inner strength, I managed to conquer the beast named October for another year.