Termanology: Hood Politics
By Pete Foreman
Can Lyrics kill? That’s the question of the new era of Hip-Hop. Artists who possess lyrical flow and swiftness sometimes blow concepts and words right over the heads of the masses like a leaf in late autumn. In a time where hooks and beats seem to rein supreme, lyrics in many cases, have taken a space in the back seat of the industry cruiser.
Termanology is on a crash course to prove the trends wrong. Already by selling over 20,000 CDs independently and a new street album called Hood Politics IV the Lawrence, Massachusetts native is moving the masses back to the roots of Hip-Hop. With a quick tongue and impeccable delivery he emerges from the spirit of the same artists that he grew up idolizing. Teaming with heavyweight producers such as Pete Rock, Premier, and Buckwild, Termanology stays on course to build a career that touts lyrics and longevity. Will he go big, or will he end up alongside AZ as the lyrical side of Koch? Whatever the case, Termanology refuses to compromise his lyrics for club fanfare.
AllHipHop.com: What’s the Hip Hop scene like in Massachusetts?
Termanology : Whew! That’s a hard one. Let just say that it’s not much labels out here and it’s not much money out here. There’s a lot of good rappers out here and they go hard but, they never get the chance because you really have to get out of here and you really got to have quality music and you really got to go hard if you want to succeed in this rap game. So, I think a lot of people from the state of Mass. Haven’t figured that out yet. Guru really put the state on his back, you know Ed O,G. , Almighty R.S.O., you know that’s kind of where it stops. Because nobody’s never really went platinum or double platinum you know or a five mic album. So people kind of look at Mass as kind of a joke. I’m trying to turn that around though.
AllHipHop.com: How would you define your lyrical style?
Termanology: You know I try to have fun with it and try to keep it real, you know I keep it hood because you know that’s just the way I was brought up. I’m from the slums, you know Lawrence is real hood. I try to keep it for all my hood people, but I try to be lyrical with it. I try to always have a message with it. That’s why I call it hood politics because it’s kind of like you cant be too preachy with the people cause then they’ll start being like, “Ah, this mothaf**ka trying to save the world,” they wont really like give you a chance because they aint trying to hear all that they’re trying to have fun man and relive their own stress and get over their own problems. What I try to do is keep it hood, keep it Hip-Hop , but at the same time try to throw in my little dos here and there so I can have a message with the s**t.
AllHipHop.com: So tell me about the politics you see in your hood.
Termanology: Well it’s not really much politics in my hood. It’s more s**t that I wish was in my hood. Because people out here in the hood, they are really undereducated, they drop out at an early age, they really don’t know much about politics and they don’t know about voting. They don’t even know the difference between Democrat and Republican. I do the political s**t, but you gotta try to dumb it down for them so that way they can still have fun while they’re learning.
AllHipHop.com: Why did you stamp yourself “The Resurrection of the Late Big Pun”? Why do you draw that comparison?
Termanology: Well you know the thing I was trying to get there with that is that I was just trying to say like Pun was real lyrical with it, he was real political with it, he had the whole package and he was Spanish. Since the falling of Pun I haven’t seen many MCs be Latin and actually go platinum the way he went platinum and be super lyrical with it and super political with it, but still witty. You know Fat Joe is like the only other MC besides Pun to shine. Besides Joe and Pun, I don’t really see nobody getting down like that kind of why I said I see myself as the holy resurrection of Pun.
AllHipHop.com: Did people feel a certain kind of way when you said that?
Termanology: A couple people came up to me and said, “How dare you say you’re iller than Pun.” I never ever said I was iller than Pun. Nobody will ever be iller than Pun. I actually think he’s the greatest lyricist of all time. I was more like trying to keep his name alive. I definitely wasn’t saying I wanted to be him or the next him or better than him. I was just trying to keep his name alive.
AllHipHop.com: Have you gotten any feedback from Fat Joe or the Terror Squad on that comparison?
Termanology: Not really. I met Fat Joe a few times. I seen him the other day and I don’t think he even acknowledges that I’m Termanology. I think he just thinks I’m the kid with the Pun Tat, because I got a big Mural on my arm. But I’m cool with Prospect, Prospect is my man and Tony sunshine, you know. I was at Buckwild’s studio the other day and I seen Remy [Ma]. They all just say what up. I don’t know if they heard it and even if they did, I don’t think they would take it the wrong way.
AllHipHop.com: Pun was special to be able to take his lyricism and make it work for the mass public. But do you think there are cases where you can be too lyrical?
Termanology: I think you can be too lyrical for the mass public. I’m always gonna keep it lyrical but I guarantee that I’m going to do it the right way, the way Pun did it.
AllHipHop.com: How do you find that happy medium?
Termanology : At this point, I don’t have many club records. I did the Olivia remix. I did like the Faith Evans thing. I don’t mind doing s**t for the clubs but mainly I’m trying to have a message. Let’s just say I get up with Cool & Dre or Swizz Beatz, and they throw me a beat that would rock in the club whatever I feel on it is going to come out and hopefully the club will accept it and it will roll. But, I’m not gonna try to go all out of my way to make any type of record to get played in the club. I definitely don’t want anybody to say, “Oh, he’s underground,” because I don’t want anybody to pidgin hole me. I want to be known as that cat that’s known to do all different kinds of s**t. But I’m definitely gonna keep it street and keep it with the real Hip-Hop type of vibe.
AllHipHop.com: What is your impression of Hip-Hop now?
Termanology: S**t sucks. [Laughs] Some S**t is good. It’s not Hip-Hop anymore. It’s been so raped so every Domino’s commercial, every Ford commercial, every Pizza Hut commercial, Every Doritos commercial is Hip-Hop. When you got n***as like K-Fed trying to rap and all, that’s aint Hip-Hop. It’s really bad for the culture. That’s why I chose the producers on my next album. They are all like late ‘80s and ‘90s producers. I want to bring back that kind of sound.
AllHipHop.com: Do you think the state of Hip-Hop will affect you in selling records department?
Termanology: Yea, you’d probably do better if you [sing]. You’d probably do better if you do that, you know what I’m saying. But you want longevity in this game. That’s what I’m out for. I’m a old school baby, I’m a old school soul you know even though I’m a young cat, I got an old school soul. I figure I’d rather keep working with [DJ] Premier and Pete Rock because that s**t ain’t never gonna die. That’s that real Hip-Hop. So even if I go to Koch and I only sell 50,000 or 100,000 . I’d rather sell 50,000 or 100,000 with Premier and Pete Rock than sell one million record with some corny ass label and doing some wack s**t. Because next year you outta here once that s**t changes over. If I set up some real s**t, I got a real fan base for the rest of my life.
AllHipHop.com: What producers have you worked with so far?
Termanology: Right now I’ll pick my starting six. I got beats from Buckwild, I got beats from Premier, I got beats from Pete Rock, I got beats from Nottz, I got beats from Hi-Teck, and I’m trying to get Alchemist. I just seen him at the Juelz Santana show that y’all did, you know the AllHipHop [Week] thing. If I get Al, those will be my six and I’ll just stay with those six.
AllHipHop.com: How did you hook up from Premier?
Termanology : I met with Premier in 2003. At that point I was was kinda with Krumsnatcha. He had brought me to the Bronx to the video from The Ownerz album. So I met Preme there and spit him some s**t, and he was like, “Oh yeah, you nice.” I kept seeing him around, kept asking him for a beat and he’s like, “Yeah, but kinda wait your turn and pay your dues.” It took me all the way to January 2006, I finally got the beat. I was chilling at the old D&D [Studios], that’s Premo’s studio. They played the “Watch How it Go Down” and they said, “Do you like it?” and I said, “Of course I like it.” I jumped on that, I grabbed it and it took me about a month, I let it breeze just chill, listen to it everyday and just try to write the right thing on it. When I figured out where I wanted to go with it, wrote it, went over there banged it out. Preme’s my man now, he holds me down. He’s like a good friend of mine.
AllHipHop.com: How does working with Premier make you a better artist?
Termanology: You better step it up if you want to work with Premier. You walk into the studio and the aura is right there crazy enough. You walk in alright, so Nas’ first album with Premier, recorded right here, Jay Z’s first album, recorded right here with Premier. Biggie’s only two albums recorded right here with Premier. So if you look at it like that, those are the three greatest rappers of all time and they all recorded right there their first songs with Premo. So it’s like the aura is crazy , what are you gonna do go in there and spit some wack s**t? After “Kick in the Door” and “Nas is Like,” you can’t, it’s crazy. That’s exactly what Premo told me when I walked in the booth. He said, “Hey remember, Nas, Jay Z, Biggie.”
AllHipHop.com: So how’s the album working out now?
Termanology: It’s good, man. It’s kind of rough because we don’t have a budget. If we had a budget it would be a lot bigger. I got the starting six and so far I haven’t needed a budget. It’s been a lot of hard work and doing shows for 500 here and 1,000 [dollars] here and turning that around and giving the money to these producers and they are giving me these low rates and holding me down. If I can get the whole album done like that you know, f**k a label I’ll put the s**t out on Koch and cake up.