When I first started this e-zine, I wanted to focus on Los Angeles and its thriving cultural scene by surveying one’s relationship with the city. The interview below with Thurzday really epitomizes that idea. He has embarked on a solo project, using one of Los Angeles’ most historic moments as the foundation for his endeavor: the 1992 LA riots. Since his viral video on the Rodney King evolution dropped last month, his fans have been let in on the bigger picture of it all. It’s a movement, it’s a message, it’s a call.
Ok, before I start with the questions. Can you answer any questions about U-N-I?
As far as U-N-I goes, I have tunnel vision with my project and this is all I can focus on.
When is the solo project “LA RIOT” releasing?
I am looking at July for the release.
I caught wind of your solo endeavor when you dropped the very powerful Rodney King video on the 20th anniversary of his beating. Why this concept for your solo album? Are most songs on the upcoming album centralized on the riot theme?
I had to RIOT to break what was expected of me and really paint pictures of what's in my head. I constantly think of concepts, and for you to see the picture clear, I have to paint it myself. Everything is not centralized on the riot theme, but it will all make sense in my riot for good music.
You said you riot for "good music". What's wrong with the music out right now?
A lot of folks are cloning records and making themselves to be clones of what's "hot." So by rioting for good music, I am rioting for originality and sparking a Molotov cocktail with a new sound and visuals to match.
You just dropped a track from the new project called “Los Angeles”. How has the response been so far?
The response has been great. It's organic and growing at a steady pace.
What everyone should know is that LA Riot isn’t just about the music. You actually have a movement behind it that involves wheatpasting. (The image used on the posters is of Thurz as Rodney King 20 years later.) How has that progressed?
The wheatpaste movement is progressing great. I'm organizing more bombings with a large amount of folks. I will be posting video of supporters putting up wheatpaste posters.
These supporters, are they who make up the "92CREW"?
The #92CREW is a collective of individuals sparking a riot in every aspect of art. The crew ranges from the art creator to the supporter.
Will the campaign go further than the wheatpasting and the music?
The campaign will definitely stretch beyond wheatpasting and music. I can't put everything out there that I'm doing, but I'm opening up a new store in conjunction with my album.
I'm sure you can't disclose any info on that yet.
I can't reveal any information at this time, but I will let you know soon.
I always try to add some fun questions within an interview so that our readers can know you outside of your craft. With that said, if you could perform with any artist (dead or alive) who would it be?
At this time it's hard to say. I would want to perform with artists I look up to, but I'd rather be doing what I'm doing now to be as great as the artists I look up to so that they'd want to collab with me...I've been raised to not beg for anything and not accept handouts.
Top 5 music albums you can't live without?
Muddy Waters, Illmatic, Illadelph Halflife, Death Certificate, Dogg Food...honorable mentions: Ready to Die, Doggystyle, Street Songs, Best of Beres Hammonds, Thriller, and a little Fleetwood Mac.
And finally, what are the top 5 things YOU riot for?
I riot to be heard amongst all the clutter...to show the youth what real art and music is...to feed my daughter...for knowledge...and because no one else is.
You can catch Thurz performing live tomorrow, April 28 at Blu Monkey for free. For more info on #92CREW, to download "Los Angeles", or to view more videos, visit: http://theriotstartshere.com. You can also follow Thurz on Twitter - @Thurzday.
Thurz' LA Riot manifesto reads like this: I riot because BET has failed every generation after 1999. I riot because Top 40 Radio plays the same electro/techno-based songs 10 times an hour. I riot because the artists that are forced upon the masses are hybrid clones with the same content in every song. I riot because I haven't felt the same love and attachment for an album since Redman's "Muddy Waters." I riot for the freedom of music and art that has been incarcerated. Freedom to express oneself allows for a generation of unique thinkers with artillery to blast the narrow-minded capitalist to vapors. I am the LA Riot.
WHAT DO YOU RIOT FOR??