Ecid: I think first definite early influences were Outcast and Ice Cube and maybe a little bit of Bone Thugs. You know because it was mid 90s late. I was into everything that was around at that time. Outcast, it was kind of funny I remember really just awful tapes from when I was younger because I started rapping when I was like 13 and my cadence was Outcasty. It was just a mixture of Andre and Big Boi, and maybe a little bit of Bone. I just loved fast rapping. I loved Twista too. At the same time I was always a fan of content so I was trying to figure that out.
OM: Was there any family influence musically because you do produce as well.
Ecid: You know its weird when I was younger I don’t think I really realized it but now that im older I realize how big of an influence my family actually had on me getting into music. My uncle collects 45s. Basically my family structure, I was only raised by my mom so that’s the only family side that I know. Fortunatley I had three sets of grandparents growing up. My immediate grandma had 10 other siblings and all of them collected stuff so I have this gene to collect things. All of my uncles collected records and music and were super into classic rock and all the cliché stuff white people are into, but you know that’s okay.
OM: Haha! No parents were into classic rock and Im a latina. Cant go wrong with some classic rock.
OM: The name Ecid. Was that what you originally started with?
Ecid: No, the name in a way its cool because its symbolic of where I started. I started really young and I was probably the kind of kid, like most kids, anybody, when you first start doing it you really have no business doing it. You have to prove yourself. I was going as DICE. Like I said I was into gangster shit. Aside from Outcast I was into even more gangster stuff than that. I don’t know why. I just got so into rap. I just dissected every style of rap that I possibly could. I wanted to hear everything. I would go to the record store, I literally wouldn’t eat lunch. I would get my check that I got for weekly food at school and I found a way to cash it at school and I would go and buy a new cd every week. That’s literally what I did through high school. Which is probably why im pretty skinny. So , the name Ecid is DICE backwards.
OM: Oh nice! I cant believe I did not catch that.
Ecid: Yeah. I was like “Oh DICE is wack.” I was really young and I would carry around my lucky pair of dice. I have no idea.
OM: Haha! You wanted to be a G.
Ecid: Yeah, I guess so. You do stuff when you are young.
OM: I think everyone had their gangster phase.
Ecid: It was just everywhere and you were just like “man, these guys are so much cooler than, than everybody else.” I don’t know why.
OM: Yes! Even down to Brotha Lynch.He is crazy…..
Ecid: Oh! Love Brotha Lynch. (starts rapping) Its ebk all day everyday till the day I die. You know I know all that.
OM: So, Minus the production of 100 Smiles and Running you have written and produced all of your albums. What made you decide to take full control instead of having a producer and going from there?
Ecid: I think because when I was younger I wold work with other producers and I would have to buy beats and then I would end up hearing the beats and I would want to change them. I had an ear for it and I started finding samples on my own with a producer that I worked with and bring him samples. “Take this part and do this with it.” You know, I just caught on quick. I realized I had the ear for it and then I went to school for production and learned the engineering side of it too. Then it just became one of those things where when I made my own stuff entirely it just felt natural. That was about 2003 or 04 when I started really making my own beats. That’s kind of when Kanye first came out I really looked up to that. I wanted to be that Jack of all trades artist.
OM: So is that why you started Fill In The Breaks?
Ecid: Yes, and being in the Midwest learning from the Rhymsayers and the Doomtrees of the world that you pretty much have to start your own thing out of necessity. Embrace it, build your own brand and make your own name. I really had no choice. When I first started I was making oddball Hip Hop. It was Hip Hop as fuck and I believed in it but I was very young and didn’t really know what I was doing, so I had to really do my own thing. I wanted to help friends along the way and produce for other people.
OM: You have performed with a lot of people. You performed with KRS-One, Eyedea, Qwel, so many awesome artists. What would you say was the most memorable performance with someone you have been able to work with?
Ecid: Hmmm….. I did a tour with Dark Time Sunshine and Awol that was a really good experience. That was the first tour that I did where it was with people that had an audience and I was able to get that audience for myself as well. So, that was a really eye opening and awesome experience where I was like okay if I actually get in front of a crowd they like it. It was very confidence building too because I got out of my box of just doing my own stuff and realized that I need to get on more stuff with other artists that have their separate audiences because then we share each others audiences and it’s a good thing. As far as memorable shows go, I would say one of my favorites is just a really cool memory because Mike(Eyedea) passed away and this was kind of the last times where I really, I guess, got to share the stage with him because when we released the Awol Ecid album we did a release party in Minneapolis in March of 2010. Carnage who I also on Fill In The Breaks was playing at that and during his set Eyedea came up for a surprise impromptu thing. Another back story to that is that Eyedea would play at every release party that I had done since 2006 for every inclination of whatever I was doing. He was just always down to play. Whether it be with his band or do a solo freestyle set, whatever. We actually wanted to get Eyedea and Abilities for that show but the timing didn’t work out and Sims was playing and yada yada yada. They did that set and it was incredible and it was when Carnage first started using his loop peddle so it was a whole new thing for him and that show was super crackin. It was also cool because I got to see Mike’s resurgence with rap again because he was in th backstage freestyling all night. Just not giving a shit and it was great. It was great to hear him talk shit again. I prefer him honestly as an artist, the direction he went but it was just one of those beautiful nights where everybody was there and happy to be a part of it. Its just a great memory. Then the next day Rockstars Don’t Apologize which is on Werewolf Hologram.
OM: Wow, that’s awesome. That is actually one of the question I wanted to ask you. I know you were friends with Eyedea before he passed. Do you think that his passing had any influence on this record?
Ecid: Yes, a lot. We made that song, and theres a lot that goes along with this album. That song we made the next day and I had a beat all ready and he played guitar and we all rapped our asses off on it and that was that. It was like sweet. That song was the shit. It sat there for a little while. I was starting to work on the record after that. I had maybe 3 other songs made. I was getting ready to go on tour in November and then Mike passed. I still went on the tour but I had to obviously be like whoa, and take a step back. Just take it in. I went on the road and tried to stay in touch with all my friends because it was a very crazy time. Then I got home and there was jus so many things going on around me and in the world and just taking it all in. From friends falling to the way side and tragedies like that happening so, I just wanted to go home and make the best record I could. I started working on the record and then my hard drive crashed. I already had another few songs made. Werewolf hologram, the title song I had to remake entirely from scratch. I had to resample all the samples for it and then restructure it. Actually that worked out better, it made the song better. Which is fine, it was just an annoying thing. Whats funny about it too is the hook in that is actually a sample of the original demo version because the way I originally did it, I couldn’t get it the same way that I liked it so I sampled it. The Rockstar song the other thing about it was that it never was able to be properly mixed because when my hard drive crashed I lost a bunch of shit obviously because I lost that one song and then that song I couldn’t get the session to open or work so I pretty much had to settle on releasing it as the really just raw version of it. I even tried to get the hard drive recovered. It was a painstaking mess.
OM: Sounds like it worked out. Maybe that was for the best.
Ecid: Yeah! No it was. It totally was. I just kind of took the sign. I was like you know what, it was meant to be that way.
OM: Lets talk about the album, Werewolf Hologram. How is this different from your earlier releases?
Ecid: Its different because I grew into my delivery so much more, and my voice. I quite really caring about certain things. Some of the songs are half narrative half not on purpose. I didn’t want every song to be a narrative I wanted to basically tackle serious subject matter and make light of it, but also show both sides of it. That’s why the song Men Kill Men has a narrative kind of mocking a lot of silly stuff in our culture. That’s one of the overall differences and the production was more polished and basey. I feel like the drums are snappier, I just wanted to make bold music that even if someone doesn’t know what I am talking about they can jam out to it.
OM: Its definitely a head banger.
Ecid: That’s kinda what I wanted to make you know.
OM: Thank you so much for coming through and for the record you are amazing.