Kam Moye  
Splitting Image

This year (2009) was one of the best years I’ve had so far for mixing and mastering projects and I’m not talking money wise. I have to make that clear because these days people are primarily money driven; what I mean is that this year, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a lot of talented individuals and it’s made the work I do highly enjoyable. It’s great to be able to work on projects that are genuinely Hip Hop and on many levels, Kam Moye’s new album “Splitting Image” is important for a genre that is too cluttered with “noise” these days, because this album does what I remember my favorite Hip Hop albums used to do: connect with you.

This album talks to those of us who have grown up with Hip Hop and are now dealing with grown issues, and I thought a lot about what questions I might ask Kam for this spotlight. After listening to the album at various stages while mastering it, I wanted to get more background info on all the songs on the album and I’m glad he agreed. So here’s the last of the Redsecta Spotlights for 2009; I sincerely wish those of you reading this right now pick this album up (if you haven’t done so already) and head into 2010 with it. I for one appreciate artists like Kam Moye taking Hip Hop to that desperately needed “next level”. As a major plus, being able to work on this has definitely been a highlight for me.

No introduction needed, heads should know by now who Supastition is, but please talk about why you are going with your real name, Kam Moye on this album.

The main reason I opted to use my real name was because I felt that I wanted to make music that was more reflective of who I am now as a person. I got tired of trying to be a persona rather than a person. You reach a certain point in life where you are comfortable just being who you are. With the name Supastition, I was known as the hungry emcee with a chip on his shoulder and anger in his heart. That's how I was 10 years ago but I'm no longer that kind of person. It's hilarious of how people treat me and the Supastition persona like it's two different people. It's ridiculous because the same person literally wrote and recorded every song. My main focus isn't to be considered to be one of the illest anymore. I'm more concerned with telling my life experiences and giving the people some substance and honesty. Hip hop has a set of standards that I choose not to live by anymore. That's what my label, Reform School, is all about. Making your rules and doing what you feel in your heart.

Have you retired the Supastition name or will you be credited as Supastition on any future releases?

Supastition will always be a nickname to me. I still like to get on songs every now & then just to spit some crazy verses so I'll do a guest feature as Supastition when someone requests it. But don't expect any more albums of new music under that name. Honestly, nobody was buying the Supastition albums anyway for the most part so it's not a big deal to me anymore. I was never in it just for the money but when people who applaud you don't support you then why continue catering to that audience? I guess, it's just the nature of people to not notice or pay attention to something until it's either changed or no longer there.

I wanted to go through each of the songs on the project, sort of as a behind the scenes thing for heads as they listen to the project from beginning to end…

1. RE:Born – The album’s first words are “This is the biggest moment of my life, maybe the last one I’ll ever get.” This track really sets the tone for the whole album; please talk a little bit as to why you’ve decided to make such a personal album this time.

Well, this situation with MYX is one of the biggest opportunities that I've had out of all of the labels that I've worked with. I've never had a recording or production budget for any of the past projects that I've done. I mean, not a single a dime was given to me by a label before to buy beats or pay for studio time. It was me hustling up beats and using the barter system. Sometimes I even paid out of my own pocket. So with MYX, I actually had a budget to hire producers, shoot videos, etc.... I'm very grateful for that because not too many labels are cutting checks right now.
I wanted RE:Born to show that I've found that balance between lyricism and substance without sacrificing either one. This is the musical rebirth so I wanted to start off the album differently than before. I didn't see the need for an intro on the album because every hip hop album has one. I think I switched up my cadence every 8 bars or so just to have fun with it.

2. Reality Check – This track talks about how far you’ve come in the game, and how you’re managed to stay true to yourself and not fallen for the “shiny suit”. Two of my favorite lines from this track are “in this day and age, rappers want dollars for their penny thoughts” and “I spit the ugly truth the way drunken uncles do” – too real; how can things change so that young cats don’t feel the need to rhyme about fake bullshit?

I think there just needs to be more emphasis on the reality of the music business. Despite of how bad the economy is, you still have artists boasting about how much money they have. Not to point fingers but you have someone like Baby from Cash Money basically pledging allegiance to money and living the high life because he's rich. There's a difference between being rich and wealthy. When you started with nothing and you're now sitting on a million dollars then you feel rich. The reality of it is that there are wealthy people out there who laugh at rappers and musicians because our income isn't guaranteed or holds any weight in the long run. When your children and grandchildren can live off of your money long after you're gone then I'll respect you for rapping about how much money you have.

You've got rappers throwing around money in videos but don't even own their own music and publishing. The one thing that they should own doesn't even belong to them. It's all smoke and mirrors. I will never try to sell someone a dream or a bullshit fantasy. I'll leave that for all of the celebrities. I just want to be the voice of reason in the music industry. That's why I say on the song that I'm taking them to Sunday school.

3. Stars feat. John Robinson – I want to say that this track inspires everyone to find their “inner Star”, is that the message?

Yes indeed. Like I stated before, not everyone should get caught up in the bright lights and Hollywood mentality. If you can make the same amount of money doing your passion that you can at a day job then why not follow your heart? My verse on the song talks about how there are talented people working 9 to 5 jobs that they hate because they are scared to take risks. They're always wondering “what if this doesn't work out?”

4. Splitting Image – This one talks about a lot of things some people might refer to as “inner conflicts”. At the end, you talk about how you’re not pleased with the way the music industry works, but you’re not mad about it as much anymore. Why aren’t you as mad about it anymore?

I've accepted that this music industry is and will always be exactly what it is. Before I was a young, rebellious man who wanted to change the negative things in the game. On the other hand, there are 10 times as many people who are fine with the way things are because it works for them. I was one of those people who used to be angry that the radio never gave our kind of hip hop a chance and never supported it. Then I saw how our generation of hip hop heads don't even support their own heralded musicians. J Dilla had millions of listeners worldwide but he never sold anywhere close to that. If De La Soul can tour around the U.S. and do sold out shows night after night then why can't their records sales reflect it? That's when I realized that although I don't listen to Souljah Boy, there are millions of people who go out to buy his music rather than complaining about how bad it is. Traditional hip hop will never win as long as fans keep turning their nose up at Common and other genuine artists who have become successful. We want good music but we don't want the responsibility of supporting it. I've just accepted what the music industry is now for better or worst.

5. Imani - I’ve never been with a girl that was already pregnant when I first met her, sounds like a real tricky situation to be in and honestly don’t know what I would do in that situation, that’s a good question to ask though, because on one one hand, like you talk about on the song, pretty much everyone around you would consider you a fool to take a woman in like that, but on the other hand, you would be a much better man than the piece of garbage that left her pregnant and bounced. What inspired this song that has such an “against the grain” factor?

I wanted 'Imani' to be a song that ends with an open-ended question that let's the listener decide on the ending. The whole point is that different people will have different perspectives on the same situation. There is no correct answer. Outside of being pregnant by someone who abandoned her, Imani was the perfect woman. The most common answer would be to leave her because she was pregnant. Yet some guy could meet her 2 months after the child's born and it would be perfectly fine to date her. It's a fictional story but I love storytelling tracks so this was pleasure to write.

6. Hello Karma feat. Phonte and Ayah – Nearly everyone I know believes in it, you see it mentioned on TV, movies, etc. Have you ever stopped yourself from doing something because you thought that Karma might come back and bite you in the ass?

I'm a firm believer in karma. It keeps me from making some mistakes. The thing with karma is that it doesn't always come back to you in the same form of your wrongdoing. It's like if you've cheated on your girlfriend or wife before. Karma didn't let you slide because your girlfriend never cheated on you in return to pay you back. Maybe that's not in her nature or how she is as a person. But the day that something crucial happens to you then that's karma coming back around. I've experienced it on so many levels and that was one of the reasons why I chose to clean up my act. I've said and done some foul things to people when I was younger and it came back to knock me on my ass later.

7. No Substitute – As you say in the intro to this joint, you’re just “gonna let loose and have a little fun with it” and have a real sick line in here “I ain’t sell my soul to the Devil, I just stepped it up a level.” You also mentioned Myx as being a label that keeps it official (and they are), talk a little about labels like Myx who are keeping it official and still looking out for hip hop; how can the rest of the industry learn from this?

Well in the song I said that “Myx knows that they gotta keep it official and do this album justice, trust, word to Big Dho”. Big Dho is my manager and he also runs Hall of Justus. I was just saying that we all have a lot riding on this album so Myx knows that they have to handle business with this record. I feel like it's an important moment and possibly my final shot to make a lasting impression on the world. I recorded probably my most marketable album to date so the expectations are much different than before from everyone including myself.

8. Let’s Be Honest – I really dig this joint because of the many honest things you say about a grip of things; I particularly dig all the stuff you talk about how cats stack up on material things and aren’t happy with more modest and simpler things. Is this how a lot of people got in trouble recently in the economic meltdown we just had and are still trying to get out of?

I've been a victim of living outside of my means and I've suffered from it. Some of us are just raised to constantly want better than what we have even when we have it good. The problem is that you never get to appreciate anything as long as you feel like you don't have everything that you need. Who says that just because I'm a rapper than I can't drive a Toyota? I know doctors and lawyers who drive Hondas because they are fuel efficient and require low maintenance. But there are low income families who are out driving Yukons living in a two bedroom apartment. At the end of the day, it's your money so by all means buy what you like. I just choose not to follow that same path nowadays.
I try not to get caught up in so many trends or try not to live a certain lifestyle just to impress other people. I think back about how hard my mother worked to pay the bills while I was a young kid bitching about not having a pair of Jordans like everyone else. Shit, now I'm the $20 jeans king! (laughs) If I'm rocking Polo then I probably got it on sale. You really think I care if somebody has a problem with me saving money?

9. Don’t Forget feat. Tiffany Paige – Now this is a real jam about a real dude who respects his real woman! Thank you for this one because I got a real strong lady on my side myself. What did the wife say when she heard this one?

She cried the first time that she heard it because it's the story of our relationship and marriage. I just felt like any person who has a passion that requires being away from home a lot could relate to it. Everyone from rappers to truck drivers have strong women at home waiting for them. Don't Forget is that appreciation song. My lady has been with me through the ups & downs and stuck with me during times that she honestly should have left me. I'm glad that I woke up and realized what I had at home before it was too late. This is the thank you song for her.

10. Do What It Takes feat. Buff 1 - A lot of people right now, are facing some real hard times and this one inspires folks to keep their heads up and just maintain. Thanks for this one because a lot of people will appreciate everything said here by you and Buff 1; what has been something you’ve seen or heard of that made you realize how bad things have gotten out there?

The number one thing that opened my eyes to how bad things were is when I left my last job. Only a few dudes at the job knew that I was into music but they thought I was crazy for leaving the job to follow my dreams. Years later, you hear about how they got laid off or how they are unemployed. Unless you are the CEO then there's no such thing as a stable job right now. Hell, that's not even a stable position nowadays. Hopefully we can overcome this crisis but it's not gonna be an overnight thing.

11. Nobody’s Fool feat. Tenille – It’s hard for me to say I have a favorite song on this album, but if I had to pick one, this is it. We can forget about hearing the truth from the news, so where can young people look to for knowledge when they’re being bombarded by lies and marketing ads to mess us up even more?

We have to READ! It's hard to find truth nowadays when our religious books have been tainted by our elders who refused to accept beliefs outside of the norm. But you just have to become the truth in whatever you do. When you hear the news, start doing research on why things are happening instead of taking it at face value. The more you know about a situation then the better you will understand why things happen the way that they do. The news will only report what they are allowed to report without losing their advertisers and financial backing from the banks and corporations that own them. For the most part, these corporations look at us as sheep who will follow each other. That goes for everything from fashion to activism. If a celebrity endorses something than there are followers lined up just off the person's popularity alone. There's violence and injustice happening everyday in this country but most of us don't give a damn until it's national news or Al Sharpton is in front of the camera raising hell about it. Meanwhile, people in our own cities are being murdered and nothing is being done about it.

12. Give Out, Give In - Many people don’t even admit they are dealing with or have dealt with depression, so thank you for this one as well because I’m sure you’re going to inspire people in that situation to deal with it better. How do you feel about meds for depression, for those considering them?

As a person who has dealt with depression and also someone who used to work for a pharmaceutical company, my approval of taking medicine aren't that great. Medicines that cure a disease or an illness are acceptable to me. Medicines that only suppress the real symptoms and problems are completely a rip-off. When you take a pain killer, the pill doesn't know whether it's your head, arm, back, or foot that's in pain so you keep numbing your whole body every time. There's no cure for depression so taking medicine for it doesn't make you better, it makes you more dependant on the drugs to feel relaxed. As soon as you stop taking the drugs you began to feel lower than before. I'm not totally against it but there are certain things that people suffering from depression should try. Try avoiding foods that enhance depression like fast food and try taking vitamins like vitamin B. There's a lot of options for those trying to overcome depression. I think we just need to be careful about being so quick to pop a pill every time something feels wrong with us.

I remember at my old job we made everything from Vicotin and Viagra to placebos. You get to read the side effects of certain medications. The side effects are more dangerous than the treatment. We manufactured medicine that treated kidneys but could give you cancer if you had prolonged exposure to it even while making it. They'd pay you extra to risk your health to do it and people in need of extra hours would gladly do it. I learned a lot working there.

13. Life Line feat. One Be Lo – Another very real song about life in hoods all over the country. It talks a lot about the many situations, distractions and disadvantages that those who grow up in a poor neighborhood and fall into a “minority” group face. Any further thoughts about this?

I really don't honestly know what else to say about it that wouldn't have me looking like an armchair revolutionary or a Cosby (laughs). All I will say is that sometimes as minorities, we embrace being at the bottom and take pride in our hoods. There's nothing wrong with living in hood if that's your starting point but it's not a place that you strive to be in. You have very few rights when you live in public housing because you're on the government's time and money. People are fighting over neighborhoods that they don't even own. The next year, the government can bulldoze your entire projects and build a shopping center or upscale lofts where you live. Hood laws can be very ass backwards sometimes. If you live by all of their codes and principles then you're destined to remain there. I'm no Martin Luther King but I think that the mentalities are worse than the living conditions sometimes. I don't like to see any race or group of people disenfranchised.

14. MK-Ultra feat. Zion I – I live in a “not so great” neighborhood of Los Angeles, so I can relate to pretty much everything you guys are talking about here. The other day I was driving down a main street near my pad and all the kids I saw on the street were fat, their moms were fat too and I had to shake my head. Then I saw this one cat in an Escalade drive into a jacked up apartment building down the street from where I live and it’s crazy man; I just want to say I appreciate this joint but feel free to talk a little bit more about this one…

Well, MK-Ultra just speaks on the effects that TV marketing and advertising have on us all. The biggest days for advertising are Black Friday and the Superbowl. We line up in stores early in the morning and fight to get something that's marked down a few dollars. We stay glued to the TV to watch the Superbowl commercials and then discuss it the next day like it's important to our lives (laughs). Commercials run our lives for the most part. You watch television and they will advertise credit cards with shitty interest rates. The next break they will show you a commercial on fixing your credit. It's just amazing how much television plays a part in the decisions that we make as people. Look at Taco Bell! They have damn near the same ingredients in everything but they change two ingredients and call it a fucking Chalupa (laugh). Add chili peppers and hot sauce and now you got the new Toilet Buster taco. People will rush to the store to buy it like it's an innovative idea. We just don't realize how much television has control over us whether we admit it or not.

15. Forever Fresh – last song on the album. Thanks for a solid album, now give us some closing thoughts and what can we expect from Kam Moye in the future:

The only other project that I'm focusing on is a group project called Electric Ave with a producer named D.R. We've known each other for about 10 years but we recently started doing more work together within the past few years. It's good to have that kind of chemistry with someone from the same city. Electric Ave is going to be on a crazy electro boom bap type of vibe. It's hard to explain but I think some fans will appreciate the music. I'm not even sure if I'll do another album after that but who knows. We'll see...
Also, thanks for the opportunity to express my crazy opinions and speak on some real situations. It's good to not be asked the same ole questions that I hear in every interview. I encourage the readers to listen to the music and purchase it if you feel it's worth the money.






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