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Issue 36 - Feb 2012

Monthly newspaper and online publication targeting 18 to 35 year olds. The ultimate guide to the hottest parties, going out and having fun. Music, fashion, film, travel, festivals, technology, comedy, and parties! London, Barcelona, Miami and Ibiza.

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36 HIP - HOP / R&B Issue 36 / FEBRUARY 2012 UGLY DUCKLING This Long Beach trio have been in the hip hop game since 1993, Andy Cooper told us why the ducklings are ugly, about old skool hip hop and obsessions! What you waiting for baby... Chinelle A.B chinelle@guestlist.net Firstly, where did the name Ugly Duckling come from? One of the other guys in the group came up with the name. I think it was a response to other things going on in Long Beach when we first formed the band in 1993. It was right when Snoop and The Chronic and that whole scene was really big where we lived. The G Funk scene. Every- body was 'dog', you know - you, Nate Dogg, Snoop Dogg. We didn't feel like we were part of that scene. We were very differ- ent. Dizzy kind of went with that and called us The Ugly Ducklings of the bunch. How was life growing up in Long Beach, California? It was really great, man. Yeah, I love Long Beach. One of the special parts about it is that, per capita, it's one of the most racial- ly and economically diverse cities in America. Just going to public schools you got to meet people of all types and backgrounds. That's where we got exposed to hip hop music and different things like that. We all went to high school with those guys you know - Warren G and Snoop Dogg - so we grew up right around all that stuff, but at the same time we also had friends from different neighbourhoods. It was a real cool experience. Run DMC there was a lot of big money talk, so it's not com- pletely adverse to the culture to be a materialistic person. There is some of that in the roots of the culture, but I felt like at some point the hip hop culture evolved, especially the late 80's and early 90's. It was changing and having a lot more to say. Look at Public Enemy and Tribe Called Quest. It was politically conscious and humorous. I don't kind of product, you know. Tell us about your new album 'Moving At Breakneck Speed'. This is your fifth album. That's massive! How did you come up with the concept for this album? We have always felt lucky to be in a group. In some ways we've always had that 'we've robbed a bank and were on the run' feel- ing. The fact that we get to work running, keep performing, keep writing songs… stay ahead. Try- ing to make enough money to stay alive and keep our name out there. Our music on the album tries to express that feeling. That's kind of good in a way 'cause you'll always be in that frame of mind, like this could be our last, guys, make it count. 'In some ways we've always had that 'we've robbed a bank and were on the run' feeling.' You have been in the game for a long time. Where do you see hip-hop now? Yeah, a long time. I remember our first tour. There's different stages of hip- hop. Back in the day it wasn't really primarily all about the money, you know. Even early on in hip hop, if you look at the sugar hill gang and know… something happened at some point where it felt like it had really degraded back in to the most base level, you know… money, clothes and hoes and all that stuff (laughs). I don't know exactly why or how it happened, but it happened. It's rude in pop music, but in hip- hop people wanted to become mainstream, and they found that the best way to sell hip- hop was with that and have a career is so fortunate we almost feel that someone is gonna chase us down and tell us 'that's it'. We break all the rules in convention. We still sample all of our music, so the idea of the album is like were always two steps ahead of the law. Us on the run… and there's silly band of bad guys trying to chase us down and take our career. The code is, like, keep moving, keep That's part of it, yeah. We've always thought that we were on the margin of success. We obviously have people who like our group, you know, so we're hopeful that things will go well. But we've never felt entitled to success. We're very fortunate to do music on our terms and in the way we feel is right. That we have an audience at all is very fortunate. If you were invisible for the day, what trouble would you get up to? Oh, that's a good one (Laugh). The advantage to being invisible is that you can sneak into places where you normally couldn't do so... erm (laughs). Can you give us a Ugly Duckling exclusive? I'll say this much… I don't know if this is an exclusive, but I cant ex- plain the obsession that Einstein has for Nando's chicken… I mean it's just that there's no under- standing how anyone could ever be as focused on eating as much Nando's as he does. It's unnatural how much he likes it. So there you go (laughs). Moving at Breakneck Speed is out now. Keep up to date with all their beats at www.uglyduckling.us Fresh to Death OUT NOW ON ITUNES!

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