[Interview] Adlib Talks About New Album “The HighWay” and Battleaxe Warriors (@Adlib76 @SensiStarr_)
Rebel Row: You are from Philadelphia, how does that city factor into what you do musically and how has it shaped your sound?
Adlib: I think it’s a heavy factor in not just my music and sound but in general, how I treat people, do business, my family values etc.
Philadelphia is a very blue collar, passionate city. The artists I came up around look up to work hard and wear their heart on their sleeve.
Philly sound has always been very raw and honest. We are the underdogs, its always been that way, but I think we almost take pride in that.
RR: Your sound mixes hip-hop, a bit of hardcore and rock, were you always a fan of mixing genres?
Adlib: Yes, I love music across the board, Punk, Hardcore, Classic rock, metal, 80s, r&b you name it, I probably listen to it.
The first time I was on stage was with a hardcore band in PA called CHINE. Their front man would bring me on stage to freestyle at the end of their set.
I think those shows influenced my stage show the most because when I started doing Hip-Hop shows I went on stage with a hardcore mentality.
RR: Tell us a bit about your new album “The HighWay” and how you approached shaping the sound on this one as opposed to previous albums?
Adlib: I did close to 200 shows in the last 12 months, so I spent a lot of time on the road and in hotels. Being on tour is like a waiting game, your on stage for 30-40 mins but there is 24 hours in a day. I wrote most of the album while on the road. I think its my most personal album. I also believe that lyrically I am progressing every record. Sonicly its levels above anything I’ve released in the past. Scott Stallone mixing and Pete Humpheys mastering made a world of difference in the sound. I go into recording different each time because every album is its own piece of art.. This time we spent a weekend tracking vocals and then took 2 months or so to go into post production. In the past I would record over a few months as I wrote. This time I came into it with the songs written and the vision laid out before we did anything. I am extremely happy with the finished product.
RR: Tell us about the producers your working on for this record and what each bring to the table?
Adlib: I was honored and super excited to work with Rob the Viking this time around. I used the beats he sent me as the foundation for the album and built the record around them. Outside of Rob I used the guys that I am most comfortable with, Ali Armz, Diox, Master Sihn and Viktor Ax are all producers that I love and can always count on to bring out the best in me. I also used a beat from producer named Velvet Sick. It was my first time working with him, my close friend Godilla sent the beat over thinking it was something I would sound good on, the rest is history..
RR: You have Madchild on this record, who is highly underrated in the hip-hop scene, how did you two hook up?
Adlib: Mad is one of the sharpest emcees on the planet, he is also one of the hardest working. I look up to him on many of levels.
We first linked up when I was recording the Bad Intentions album. We did a song called Worldwide Ink. I think we just really hit it off and became friends.
I introduced him to C-Lance and got involved in BAX WAR and will literally drop almost anything for dude. He is one of the few stand up guys that I have met in this industry, I’m proud and honored to call him a friend.
Adlib: Two of my favorite emcees Shabaam Shadeeq and UG of the Cella Dwellas both blessed me with crazy verses.
I also have a record called Doobie Brothers with J.O the Last Man and Ali Armz both these guys are part of Sensi-Starr records and are my brothers and hometeam.
RR: You are a Battleaxe Warrior, the movement started by Madchild from Swollen Members. Can you tell us a little bit about what BaxWar is about and why you got involved with the movement?
Adlib: When Madchild told me his idea for the movement I was 110% down. This is a worldwide family of like minded people that share a love and passion for underground culture. Hip Hop, Tattoos, Extreme Sports, Mixed Martial Arts, all under the same flag supporting each other and repping the movement.
It is something positive and I have watched it bring people together and have seen friendships form. I tell anyone that has interest or questions about it to visit Battleaxewarriors.com
RR: You are constantly on the road touring and recording. What do you attribute your independent hustle?
Adlib: I think the guys I came up under and the years of paying dues helped immensely. When you see the grind and work ethic of guys like Danny Diablo, Madchild, Slaine, Vinnie Paz first hand you can’t help but learn and be inspired. I spent years driving to shows no matter where they were to do 10 min opening slot. Just grinding it out, learning the ropes, and having a good time. When I got to the point that I could build my own brand and take myself serious as an artist I was ready.
I never rushed or expected anything. I just kept trying to get better and keep at it. I think the key is to be original, be confident, be determined and most of all believe in yourself.
RR: You recently completed a full tour across Canada with Madchild, followed by dates with Slaine. Tell us about that experience on the road and your best moments from this year?
Adlib: The whole tour was a blessing and a great time. Being on the bus with those guys made me better on all levels.
I’d say the highlight of the year had to be the Lawnmower Man tour and also headlining my first North American tour.
I also did a Toys for Tots tour in I believe 9 or 10 cities collecting toys for under privileged kids. I have been doing it in Philly for last 7 years but to be able to go to other places and help make even a little impact meant the world to me.
RR: What does it mean to be a Rebel in 2014?
Adlib: Being original, being honest, being a individual and not conforming to fit in.
RR: What’s next for Adlib?
Adlib: The HighWay drops October 28th. I’ll be supporting the album with tours in North America and Europe and I will be building the Sensi-Starr label and brand.
Check us out at Sensi-Starr.com and follow me on Instagram and Twitter @Adlib76 and on Facebook /Adlib Sensi-starr