UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE: SLIM ONE

ROME, ITALY | SLIM ONE

ROME, ITALY | SLIM ONE

INTERVIEW: TERRELL “REALIFE” BLACK [@REALIFEVMG]

PHOTOGRAPHY: SIMONE PICCHI [@SIMONEPICCHI_]


INTERNATIONAL PRODUCER, SLIM ONE RECENTLY DROPPED HIS LP “ICONIC”, EXECUTIVELY PRODUCED BY TERMANOLOGY. THE 10 TRACK PROJECT FEATURES A LIST OF LYRICAL EMCEES INCLUDING NEMS, MAD SQUABLZ, CHRIS RIVERS, RUSTE JUXX, REKS, TEK OF SMIF-N-WESSUN, TERMANOLOGY AND MORE. THE LP IS AUTHENTIC HIP-HOP FROM START TO FINISH. VALIDATED RECENTLY REACHED OUT TO SLIM ONE TO DISCUSS HIS EARLIEST MEMORY OF HIP-HOP CULTURE, WHAT HIP-HOP MEANS TO HIM AND TO DISCUSS HIS LATEST LP “ICONIC”.

VALIDATED: BEING FROM ITALY, WHAT’S YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY OF HIP-HOP CULTURE?

SLIM ONE: AS A KID, I REMEMBER I FIRST HEARD ABOUT HIP-HOP WATCHING PUBLIC ENEMY VIDEO CLIPS ON MTV. ONE OF THE FIRST ITALIAN ARTIST THAT CAUGHT MY ATTENTION WAS JOVANOTTI (LATER ON SWITCHED HIS NAME TO “LORENZO”. MAD POPULAR IN ITALY!). HE’S THE ONE THAT “BROUGHT” HIP-HOP CULTURE TO MY COUNTRY. HIS MUSIC, STYLE AND VIDEOCLIP WERE INSPIRED BY PE, BEASTIE BOYS AND RUN DMC.

VALIDATED: DESCRIBE THE HIP-HOP CULTURE IN ITALY?

SLIM ONE: I LOVE MY COUNTRY, I THINK IT’S THE BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD. THAT BEING SAID, LET’S TALK ABOUT HIP-HOP. MAINSTREAM HIP-HOP USED TO BE DOPE IN ITALY BUT NOWADAYS, THESE NEW CATS INFLUENCED IT IN A WAY THAT I PERSONALLY DON’T LIKE. UNDERGROUND ITALIAN HIP-HOP CONTRARIWISE IS GETTING BETTER AND STRONGER YEAR AFTER YEAR. I SEE A BUNCH OF VERY TALENTED ARTISTS, NOT ONLY EMCEES, BUT ARTWORK DESIGNERS AND BEATMAKERS TOO GROWING AND BUILDING UP A NAME. THERE ARE ALWAYS MORE US ARTISTS LINKING UP WITH ITALIAN ARTISTS, LEADING THIS COLLABO USA/ITALY TO SHOW OFF OUR POTENTIAL AND TAKING IT WORLDWIDE. AS A PROOF OF THIS I‘M VERY PROUD TO SAY THAT WHEN I WENT TO SHADE 45 AND MET DJ SKIZZ, CRIMEAPPLE AND THE ARCITYPE, I TOLD THEM I WAS FROM ROME, ALL OF THEM SOON AFTER REPLIED, “OH, YOU FROM ROME? SO YOU KNOW TUFF KONG RECORDS. THEY ARE FROM ROME. RIGHT?” “YESSIR! OF COURSE I DO.” I ANSWERED.

VALIDATED: YOU HAVE A PASSION FOR MUSIC, ESPECIALLY HIP-HOP, WHAT WAS IT ABOUT THE CULTURE THAT SPARKED YOUR INTEREST INITIALLY?

SLIM ONE: FIRST OF ALL, MUSIC. ALBUMS LIKE CHRONIC 2001 AND MMLP MADE ME FOCUS ON HIP-HOP MUSIC SO I STARTED LISTENING TO RAP ALL THE TIME. WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL, ARTISTS LIKE 50 CENT, MISSY ELLIOTT, KANYE WEST, BUSTA RHYMES, NELLY AND LIL JON BLEW UP AND BECAME FAMOUS WORLDWIDE. I STARTED DIGGIN AND THE MORE I LISTENED THE MORE I WENT BACK IN TIME... NAS, JAY-Z, RAKIM, BIGGIE AND TUPAC, WU TANG CLAN, NWA AND SO ON. I LIKED THE FACT THAT RAP MUSIC WAS SO FRESH BACK IN TIME AND EMCEES TALKED ABOUT WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN THE STREETS WITH NO CENSURE. I FELL IN LOVE WITH EVERYTHING ABOUT HIP-HOP. STYLE: XXL CLOTHES (NOW A BIT LESS...) AND SHOES, J’S IN PARTICULAR, OF WHICH I’M A COLLECTOR, GRAFFITI (A BEAUTIFUL WALL HAS BEEN MADE IN MASSACHUSETTS AS A TRIBUTE TO THE ICONIC ALBUM. WHEN I SAW IT I SAID “THAT S**T IS CRAZY!) MULTICULTURALISM, LOYALTY AND BROTHERHOOD: I ALWAYS LOOKED AT HIP-HOP CULTURE AS A BIG FAMILY AND NOW THAT I’M A PART OF IF I CAN SAY THAT THIS IS TRUE. VINYLS: ALWAYS LOVED VINYLS, MY FATHER IS A COLLECTOR, FROM HIM I INHERITED THE PASSION FOR JAZZ, BLUES AND SOUL MUSIC, THE FOUNDATION OF HIP-HOP. I’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO EXPRESS ALL THIS LOVE FOR THIS MUSIC BUT I DIDN’T KNOW HOW, SINCE I COULDN’T RAP.

VALIDATED: YOUR LOVE FOR HIP-HOP LED YOU TO DJ’ING AND LATER PRODUCING BUT YOUR MENTOR DJ AIMÉ, WHAT ROLE DID HE PLAY IN THIS GROWTH?

SLIM ONE: AIMÉ MAT AKA DJ AIMÉ IS MY MENTOR. MEETING HIM HAS BEEN THE KEY FOR MY CAREER. FIRST HE TAUGHT ME HOW TO DJ, THEN INTRODUCED ME TO THE PRODUCTION SIDE. LEARNING THE ART OF DJ’ING HASN’T BEEN EASY. LEARNING AND PRACTICING TAKES TIME. DEVELOPING DOPE SKILLS AT TABLES TOOK YEARS, HOURS PER DAY OF PRACTICE. AFTER BECOMING A GOOD DJ I FELT LIKE IT WASN’T ENOUGH AND I ASKED HIM TO TEACH ME HOW TO MAKE BEATS. AFTER TEACHING ME HOW TO USE THE MPC, HE TOLD ME, “IF YOU WANT TO BE A DOPE PRODUCER, YOU GOTTA START LISTENING TO DJ PREMIER’S MUSIC!” THAT’S WHEN I STARTED STUDYING ALL OF HIS DISCOGRAPHY, MIXTAPES AND I FELT THAT RAW, STREET BOOMBAP S**T WOULD HAVE BEEN MY FAVORITE. AND IF YOU LISTEN TO MY MUSIC, YOU CAN EASILY TELL THAT PREEM IS MY BIGGEST INSPIRATION.


VALIDATED: YOU RECENTLY DROPPED YOUR DEBUT FULL-LENGTH “ICONIC” LP, ENTIRELY PRODUCED BY THE LEGENDARY TERMANOLOGY. HOW DID THE COLLABORATION HAPPEN?

SLIM ONE: TERM IS FAMILY. I WAS INTRODUCED TO HIM BY SHUG WHO HELPED ME PUT TOGETHER MY FIRST LP “READY FOR WHATEVER”. IT ALL STARTED WHEN ME, TERM AND FAME WERE MAKING A BANGER FOR THAT ALBUM, “RESPECT MY NAME”. SINCE THEN, TERM HAS BEEN HELPING ME BUILD UP A NAME. HE BLESSED ME BEING THE EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF “ICONIC”. HE WORKED HARD FOR THIS PROJECT AS MUCH AS I DID. I ALWAYS BE GRATEFUL TO HIM FOR BELIEVING IN ME.

VALIDATED: THE ALBUM PROCESS, HOW LONG WAS IT? WERE THERE ANY TRACKS THAT DIDN’T MAKE THE LP?

SLIM ONE: IT TOOK ALMOST A YEAR TO FINISH THE PROJECT. SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE PROCESS, WE DECIDE TO MAKE A 10 SONG ALBUM. NO SKITS... NO INTERLUDES... CUTS... INTRO AND ACTUAL SONGS ONLY. YES, THERE ARE A COUPLE OF DOPE JOINTS THAT DIDN’T MAKE THE LP. TERM SAID TO ME “SAVE THEM JOINTS FOR YOUR NEXT PROJECT!”. I SAID “WORD”.

VALIDATED: YOUR LATEST SINGLE, "LAY YOU DOWN” FEATURING TERMANOLOGY, NEMS AND FLEE LORD, WHAT'S THE MOTIVATION BEHIND THE RECORD?

SLIM ONE: AS SOON AS I HEARD THE RECORD DONE I REALIZED THAT WAS A POTENTIAL STREET BANGER. THAT’S MY TYPE OF S**T. PURE HARDCORE. GLAD BOTH NEMS AND FLEE LORD JOINED THE TRACK WITH TERM AND LAID THOSE CRAZY VERSES. TERM BODIED HIS VERSE AND GAVE A BODY TO THE SONG WITH THE HOOK AS WELL. DUE TO IT’S POWERFUL IMPACT, I DECIDED TO PUT THE SONG AS THE FIRST SONG OF THE TRACKLIST RIGHT AFTER THE INTRO.

VALIDATED: WHAT'S YOUR REACTION TO THE RESPONSE TO THE RECORD?

SLIM ONE: COULDN’T BE HAPPIER ABOUT IT. GLAD THE RECORD GAINED ALL THIS ATTENTION AND RECEIVED VERY GOOD RESPONSES.


VALIDATED: WHAT OTHER ARTIST DID YOU WORK WITH ON THE PROJECT?

SLIM ONE: THE PROJECT SEES THE FEATURING OF LIL FAME OF M.O.P ON THE ADDITIONAL VOCALS ON THE TRACK “DECISIONS” FEATURING TERM, REKS AND TEK OF SMIF N WESSUN.


VALIDATED: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE TRACK OFF THE PROJECT AND WHY?

SLIM ONE: “UGK” IS MY FAVORITE TRACK OFF THE ALBUM. GANGSTARR FOUNDATION AFFILIATE KRUMBSNATCHA TEAMS UP WITH H BLANCO RAPPING LAWTOWN STREET GANGSTA LIFE OVER A RAW, GRIMY, BOOMBAP BEAT. NOT BY CHANCE THIS TRACK WAS CHOSEN BY DJ PREMIER TO BE PART OF HIS “LIVE FROM HEADQCUORTERZ” RADIO SHOW PLAYLIST, ALONG WITH “LAY YOU DOWN” AND “WE KEEP IT UNDERGROUND”.


VALIDATED: THE PROJECT SCREAMS AUTHENTIC HIP-HOP FROM START TO FINISH, BE IT THE ILL SCRATCHES, PRODUCTION OR LYRICISM. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT THAT YOU CONTRIBUTE TO A GREAT BODY OF WORK TO THE CULTURE?

SLIM ONE: FIRST OF ALL, I APPRECIATE ALL THE LOVE THAT I AM GETTING. VARIOUS DJ’S FROM THE US (PREEM, DJ ECLIPSE, STATIK SELEKTAH, JUST TO NAME A FEW...) PLAYED MANY SONGS OFF THE ALBUM ON THEIR RADIO SHOWS. MANY EUROPEAN DJ’S THAT ARE INCLUDING MY JOINTS ON THEIR MIXTAPES. HIP-HOP BLOGS WROTE BEAUTIFUL REVIEWS OF THE ALBUM. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT TO ME. WE (TERM AND I) MADE THIS ALBUM FOR THE CULTURE. I LOVE MUSIC, I LOVE HIP-HOP. THE GOAL I SET FOR MY CAREER IS TO LEAVE A MARK IN THIS GAME, AND I’LL NEVER STOP TRYING.

VALIDATED: THERE’S A LIMITED EDITION OF 300 HAND NUMBERED COPIES MADE OF THE “ICONIC” LP, ALL INCLUDE 3D GLASSES. WHAT ELSE CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THIS LIMITED EDITION AND WHERE CAN THEY BE PURCHASED?

SLIM ONE: ACTUALLY, THERE IS A LIMITED EDITION OF 100 COPIES IN WHITE AND A REGULAR BLACK VERSION OF 200 VINYLS BOTH AVAILABLE AT WWW.TUFFKONGRECORDS.COM.

VALIDATED: WHAT’S NEXT FOR SLIM ONE?

SLIM ONE: I’M TAKING A SHORT BREAK FROM MUSIC SINCE I’LL BE A FATHER FOR THE FIRST TIME IN LESS THAN A MONTH. I KNOW IT WON’T LAST TOO MUCH THOUGH. CAN’T TELL WHAT’S NEXT YET, MAYBE A COLLABO PROJECT WITH AN EMCEE. OR MAYBE SOONER OR LATER I’LL START WORKING AT “ICONIC 2”...

VALIDATED: WHAT’S YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA CONTACTS?

SLIM ONE: INSTAGRAM - @SLIM_ONE_THE_DJ





Troy Hendrickson