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Interview with Shing02



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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.





ALF: How are you doing Shingo?

Shing02: Goooood!

ALF: Good 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.

ALF: Do 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".

ALF: Both 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.

ALF: Are 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.

ALF: Speaking 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. Time flies!

ALF: How can people actively show their support for Empire 22?

Shing02: You can visit my website and see what kind of projects are lying around!

ALF: Now, 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.

ALF: Do you know of any videos where someone can check out a demo of the Faderboard being used?

Shing02: You can go to and check out the videos in 2003 and 2004. click on the quicktime logo to launch the video. big up to mr. arcella.

ALF: Do 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.

ALF: Alright, 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.

ALF: When 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.

ALF: On 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.

ALF: If people want to learn more about you, do you have any websites they can check out?

Shing02:       and



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