18 July 2011

[ ] : What's good DEO and Money Alwayz! Let's tell the world about the Evenodds duet. Where are you from and how did you two hook up?

[ D.E.O. ] : Initially in Middle school, but Evenodds didn't actually start until High School Freshman year... so like '99/'00.

[ ] : From what I know you started your own label - Official Bizness Ent. - in 1999. If I'm not mistaken back then you were... 15 year old? How did you manage to start you own company being so young at the same time? Did you get help from someone with bigger experience in the music business?

[ M-A ] : Wasn't nobody fuckin' wit us...

[ D.E.O. ] : LOL, yeah! We wasn't getting any support so we just started buying our own equipment and started doing songs. Our motto was always keep it official so I sorta ran with that and established Official Bizness Ent. Damn, near the same day we rocked up Evenodds.

[ ] : Before rap fans could put their hands on Evenodds project there was The Officials V. 1 album - the label's debut release at the same time. Tell us about The Officials group and its first cd.

[ D.E.O. ] : Some bullshit now honestly... Nowhere near a right representation of us. Someone couldn't have thought that we would be making the music we was making today, back then. And I say that because it was ignorant and one sided... We were always dropping jewels and being conscious about current affairs and shit, but we were VERY under developed...

[ M-A ] : We were just young and doing music... All of it was recorded on D.E.O.'s KORG D8 and beats were made by my brother Bern on a Roland D5 drum machine... BEFORE Pro Tools and and all this other shit.

[ ] : I've heard that "The Laxative" album by The Officials was sold in more than 7000 copies out of which almost a half was sold in Japan. How did you get into a Japan rap market?

[ D.E.O. ] : Luck like a muthafucka! LOL... there was this Japanese guy who we approached when we were selling cds downtown in our city, San Francisco, and he could barely speak English! But he had this magazine. It was kind of a Source, Lowrider, FHM all in one and it was a thick ass magazine. He pretty much bought 3 copies of "The Laxative" right then and there and took my info down. Next thing I know I get next issue in the mail and there was the picture we took with him and an email saying he wanted to order more for his store out there. I gave him the price plus shipping, packaged the work up and shipped it. We were 19 back then! We kept in touch for 4 months or so, but that email stopped working. I was hella mad! LOL

[ M-A ] : Yeah that was a big move for us as a label and as a group.

[ ] : Except for two volumes of The Officials projects can we expect to hear anything new from the group? What's up with the rest of the members?

[ D.E.O. ] : The streets broke that group up. Meaning, that shit was happening and we had to get rid of the cancer. 2 of the members you'll never hear their names affiliated with Official Bizness again... the rest of the members had kids and life happened. M-A and I were always the most proactive out of everyone so nature took its course. But The Officials was always my personal pet project and I am actually working on piecing it back together. New members tho... Evenodds, E-Bang, original member Stiz (from Stiz N' M.O.), original member 6 Mil, Sav, City P. and a couple others that's always been in the background. Right now Official Bizness's main priority is Evenodds because that's who moves the meanest in these streets, on this net and stays active, period.

[ ] : In the meantime the Evenodds duo brought its first album to the table - "Rough Draft" (2003). How was it acclaimed? Are you proud of it from the time perspective?

[ M-A ] : I'm always, "Rough Draft" was ahead of its time and it is exactly what we called it - a rough draft! We wrote the entire album in class senior year and dropped it in October after we graduated. There was good music on there, but we were still under developed like D.E.O. said. But yeah you can say I was proud back then.

[ D.E.O. ] : Yeah, that's why we backed up and fell into the mixtape game. We knew that we still needed work as artists but the hustle in us couldn't stop us from releasing this work and hitting the streets to make a dolla! That was our thing... selling units, feel me? But yeah that album was kind of ahead of its time. We was hella young talking about shit not too many people in Frisco was talking about. Social issues, personal shit, etc. We kept it on that fly gangsta shit, but it's always with a message.

[ ] : Then it was time for a couple of mixtapes to drop. Three parts of "Respect The Hustle" and "Been Official" mixtape were released. Did you press hard copies or were they digital-onlies?

[ M-A ] : Everything we release gets pressed up. Everyone isn't in front of a computer all day looking for music they're going to work, school, etc... so yes, we must. It's immediate direct-to-fan interaction.

[ ] : As far as I'm concerned most of your previous cds are still available for free download at your BandCamp website. Tell us about your approach towards a digital market and giving away your music for free. Is it really profitable in a long term?

[ D.E.O. ] : It can be. But really it's more for awareness. The Bandcamp site is just so we can have one. We must take advantage of every medium available so there isn't any excuses later. Every album except for "Grind House" is on iTunes and that's only because of issues with the cover and copyright shit. So we kept it for free. But the digital world is an over populated one, but we must keep it completive and fresh! YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, BandCamp, etc. we are very PRO active with all of this shit. As far as profit goes, awareness + availability = profit. And we're making people very aware that we're available for profit! LOL, straight up tho!

[ ] : 2010 brought your another street release called "Grind House". BayUndaground staff had even that pleasure to review the album, which by the way was a great piece of work. Even though it was professionally released (all original beats, nice graphics, hard copies in slim cases) you still decided to spread it for free on the Internet. Wasn't that high time for Evenodds to drop an official album and sell it as it should be sold, no free downloads?

[ M-A ] : We didn't think so. We felt that we still had ground work to do and still feel so. But 2010 was the declining of our MTV run with "Getting' Money All Day" so we felt that if there was an album to be released it should have been in 2009. But that single did really well so we didn't trip as much. Plus the music still needed to be polished up a little more before we can call anything our OFFICIAL LP effort.

[ D.E.O. ] : Yeah the best records on "The Revision" weren't even thought of when we were piecing "Grind House" together. So we just thought of this concept album and kept it short. The only thing I regret about the "Grind House" project is that we didn't shoot any videos for it.

[ ] : Before we ask you about your latest cd, let's talk for a minute about a way you got recognizable. Was it the free releases you've been dropping for almost a decade now? Or maybe the official singles or clean videos you've made? How did you beat the competition?

[ M-A ] : It's our presentation.

[ D.E.O. ] : YES! It's definitely the presentation. Everyone has a video, but everyone isn't spending the money on these videos that we are spending or thinking of the concepts and stories either! We always say that nothing is ever new except the presentation of it. So our thinking was always how can we do this different, not necessarily better, just different. But then in the end it wound up being better than what everybody else was doing at that time. MTV Jams received this video very well and that was a huge help because they took a chance on us.

[ M-A ] : Yeah it was a blessing.

[ ] : "The Revision" - the most anticipated album for all Evenodds fans finally arrives. Please elaborate on this one.

[ D.E.O. ] : This is our Detox! LOL... we've been promoting this album for 7 years! Right after "Rough Draft". It's had over 10 release dates and 2 covers! LOL, but this is THE best body of work from Evenodds ever. PERIOD! 15 songs, one rap feature (Bambi Tha Madam) and 100% FULLY produced in house.

[ M-A ] : There it is! The Revision..

[ ] : Let's move back to your first recordings for a second. Is there a chance people can buy hard copies of your older albums anywhere online or at retail stores? Do you plan to repress some of your previous releases?

[ M-A ] : We hope that you can't find any of it! Hahahaha..

[ D.E.O. ] : And we say that because we've moved on. Evenodds and Official Bizness has been rebirthed honestly and it's about evolution. The projects that are up is what we're consciously keeping alive for the supporters. "Respect The Hustle" 2 and 3, "Grind House" and "Been Official"... That's our gift. All this new shit is about to keep people awake! But oh yeah, you can get "The Laxative" and that Stiz N' M.O. album on iTunes fasho, I just realized!

[ ] : What are the nearest plans for Evenodds and Official Bizness label?

[ D.E.O. ] : Well from Evenodds you can expect "Respect The Hustle 4", "12am" with DJ KTone of Denver, Co and "Dear Frisco". Then you can expect City P. and Sav a lot! Those are our premiere artist from the label. Then I'm revamping The Officials with "The Return of the Officials" (tentative title). I'm working real close with San Quinn and Big Rich for this All City movement as well.

[ M-A ] : A lot more Evenodds and a lot more Money Alwayz production. We're busy and it's getting busier for us and I thank God for it all!

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