Photo by Ayako Yamamoto;
Hood by Official Tourist
Hey what’s up out there?! My name is ALF,
representing The Giant Peach, Hip Hop Slam and many other things
under the sun. My guest today is none other than Shing02. He’s
an MC, producer, and other things that we’re going to soon
find out from him here today.
are you doing Shingo?
to hear that! Alright, let’s get down to it. When and where
did you decide to seriously get involved in the Hip Hop culture?
Shing02: I moved to CA in '89 right after the
quake. After absorbing the culture in highschool, I moved up to
Berkeley in '93. Basically, that was it for me, witnessing the
scene on telegraph ave, meeting Del, etc.
you have any teachers or a certain group you used to or perhaps
still hang with whom gave you the push to reach where you are
at today in the Hip Hop culture?
Shing02: On the day to day basis, I got my
partners that I build with. Plus, as mentioned before, when I
was in highschool or even college I never imagined working with
the likes of Del, P.E.A.C.E, DJ Krush, etc. As the saying goes,
"expand your capacity before you search for opportunity".
you and I know that Japan has many artists who contribute a great
amount of love for the Hip Hop culture. Are there any up and coming
artists from Japan and here in the States that hip hop heads should
keep a lookout for?
Shing02: Well now the game is wide open. I
think the media structure is way too bottlenecked to showcase
the amount of talent that's coming up, even with all this technology.
What's important is for each one of us to keep an open mind, and
to not trip on the commercial exploitation and advertisement aspects
(even though that's kinda hard). For independent artists, it's
crucial to have a strong vision in order to survive.
there any current and/or projects you are working on by yourself
or with other artists?
Shing02: I am finishing up my own studio album,
mixing the P.E.A.C.E. album, and random other projects.
of artists and such, can you tell us about Empire 22? How and
when did it come into light?
Shing02: That was a concept started in '96,
'97. I just wanted to build a foundation to start my own projects.
can people actively show their support for Empire 22?
Shing02: You can visit my website and see what
kind of projects are lying around!
you’re also known as a person who truly takes environmental
issues to heart. A man who believes in making planet Earth a safer
place to live. Was there a certain event that happened in your
life that made you become so actively involved in fighting against
various harmful environmental issues?
Shing02: I think we all have a part to play,
it's not something extraordinary, which is the whole point! Would
you rather live in a safe planet or a hazardous one? The hard
part is, to get people to think about those basic issues in a
realistic way when we're up to our necks with other distractions.
That said, I do think growing up in Africa and seeing other parts
of the world opened my eyes as to how environments can be so different.
In this day and age, we're finally realizing that social structures
do have a strong impact on the environment over time.
ALF: Okay, we’re
going to take a brief sidestep from the world issues that surround
us and talk about an invention of yours; the Vestax Faderboard.
How did you come up with the idea of creating the Faderboard?
Was an accident on how you developed it?
Shing02: It came about from messing around
with ideas from a DJ / engineer perspective. I was trying to incorporate
tones and notes with fader cutting, and the breakthrough happened
when I recorded the scale on to a multitrack recorder and started
cutting with it. You can check out more info on my site.
you know of any videos where someone can check out a demo of the
Faderboard being used?
Shing02: You can go to www.christopherarcella.com/
and check out the videos in 2003 and 2004. click on the quicktime
logo to launch the video. big up to mr. arcella.
you have any future plans to do any type of upgrades to the Faderboard,
or just come out with something completely different?
Shing02: There's a new model with a totally
different panel, with the exact same functionality that may be
out soon. I think the market has to grow a little more for it
to be a complete makeover. Vestax is keeping it strong though.
Although the distribution is not as strong overseas for market
reasons, the faderboard is doing fine in Japan.
taking that sidestep back to world issues; I was stationed at
Kadena Air Base for three years in Okinawa, Japan. One of the
things I noticed while I was there was that a good majority of
the locals don’t like the U.S. and JASDF military presence
there because of countless numbers of reasons. Is the mentality
by locals in mainland Japan pretty much the same? What is your
view about the military presence over in Japan?
Shing02: Oh, I think the mentality in the mainland
is overwhelmingly indifferent. Unless something negative happens
and people find out on the news, but the media is obviously leaning
toward the government. And the government... it's basically another
colony in a military sense. My view is simple, military presence
anywhere is unnecessary. It's all supply and demand.
I was in Okinawa, I knew that some of military personnel stationed
there weren’t a popular item. So, I figured out that a way
I can try to mend relations on a positive note was DJing at various
clubs and bars around the island; taking a serious interest in
the Japanese and Okinawan culture. If someone would go to a Shing02
show, would they expect to hear a certain percentage of political
and environmental songs?
Shing02: Sure why not, it's all in the musical
context. Again, that kinda thing comes naturally, it's not a stretch
by any means if you live in the Bay and got hiphop in your blood.
that note, I would like thank you Shingo for taking the time out
of your busy schedule in giving me the opportunity to have this
interview with you. Do have any final comments, shout-outs?
Shing02: Shout outs to hiphop slam, giant peach,
all my peoples worldwide! Much love to ALF! Uh, I'm trying to
say something funny but I guess not.
people want to learn more about you, do you have any websites
they can check out?