Bedroc Ox: The SongCRY crew and songs that make him cry [Interview]
Calgary, AB – Originally posted July 9, 2013 – Calgarian MC-producer Atu “Bedroc Ox” Kumi has teamed up with sultry R&B vocalist, GeminII, to form the SongCRY crew. SongCRY combines Bedroc’s hungry-spit rhymes with GeminII’s soulful backing vocals for a series of steamy chill-out tracks. The crew formed after several hook-writing sessions between Bedroc and Gemini. “We would be smoked out and listen to music. [GeminII] would have these records half-finished – it would blow my mind,” said Kumi. “I started mentally penning verses from a guy’s perspective. After a few records, the partnership just stuck.” HipHopCanada caught up with Bedroc Ox to chat about the future of SongCRY, his vocal resemblance to Notorious B.I.G., and songs that make him cry. Check out our interview after the jump.
Bedroc Ox: Q&A
Interview by Sarah Sussman for HipHopCanada
HipHopCanada: SongCRY is a very personal music project that speaks to the intimate parts of love and life.
Bedroc Ox: I was in a relationship for two years [and] I fell back from music and focused on the relationship. I wasn’t making music and when [the relationship] ended, I poured myself into music. GeminII and I have always been close [so] the music was based on discussions about relationships we, or others we knew, had.
HipHopCanada: These grooves have a smooth combination of gnarly masculine raps and feminine R&B vocals. I can definitely see guys landing the ladies with these tunes.
Bedroc Ox: I want that. I want men and women to listen to this and get that timeless feel-good sound. Music like this needs to be a tool of seduction. [It] needs to speak to pheromones.
HipHopCanada: It’d have to be the soundtrack for a quickie, though. Because the SongCRY track set is only 25 minutes long, so far.
Bedroc Ox: I wanted it like that—to increase the replay value. Twenty-five minutes is introductory foreplay. Like that teenage make-out in the rec room before you discovered that next sexual step. It was about long stolen kisses and bodies rubbing close. Goose bumps on the neck [and] that shiver on the spine. Unexpected anticipation. Twenty-five minutes to achieve what you need to get you to the next stage. If you have game this is just a tool.
HipHopCanada: It’s like an emergency kit for those of us who aren’t as smooth as we’d like to be. So let’s talk about where it all began: the moment you knew you were in love with hip-hop.
Bedroc Ox: My parents’ record collection was the first place. My dad was big on me knowing samples. He would always peek his head in my door and be like, “You know who that is? Average white band.” Most kids don’t want their dad telling them [that what they think] is cool and different originated with another generation. Spending hours with my dad listening and digging gave me insight on why I loved hip-hop.
HipHopCanada: So I don’t know if you get this a lot. But you sound eerily similar to Biggie Smalls.
Bedroc Ox: The voice thing is the baritone, which I have had forever. My close friends and family can tell you that it’s there. Earlier on, I feel I wasn’t embracing my style well, and fell back with Biggie intonations. I’m not Biggie, and will never be. It would be amazing to strive to have the success and make big records like him. But let me be clear—I’m Bedroc Ox.
HipHopCanada: And you look a lot like Jay Z.
Bedroc Ox: Sometimes I think I favour him a bit. And other times I can’t see it. But it is funny to have people take a double-take. It’s an inside joke with the crew.
HipHopCanada: How do you relate to Biggie and Jay-Z, respectively?
Bedroc Ox: I love the ladies like Biggie, and love the hustle like Jay. They both influence me, huge. So you are [going to] hear that [Biggie influence] in my SongCRY records with that ‘90s bad boy sound, and hear the Hova influence with other records. Paying homage to the artist before me and putting my own big belly business touch [on things] is important. All praise to the architects. But it’s my time to put my mark on the world.
HipHopCanada: What is the SongCRY end product looking like?
Bedroc Ox: I don’t want to elaborate on that because artists always do that. Then people scream foul if they don’t get enough or were over-promised. We are working and more music will come. I’d rather spread the quality, than the quantity. I want my music to be timeless. I learned that from my mentor, DJ Majess, from Montreal.
HipHopCanada: So the crew’s name is SongCRY. What are some “songs” that make you “cry”?
Bedroc Ox: Three songs tear me up a bit: “Blue Magic” [by] Sideshow, “I Miss You” [by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes], and “I Miss You” [by] Luther Vandross. I might have more, but I’m trying to keep my cool.
HipHopCanada: That’s what’s up. Sorry if things are getting a little emotional here. Do you have any last words for the HipHopCanada readers?
Bedroc Ox: Just check the SoundCloud and follow me on Twitter. I want the music to speak for itself.
Interview by Sarah Sussman for HipHopCanada
Photography by Sarah Sussman for HipHopCanada