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On The Line: Interview with Darko The Super.

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R.A.W Media’s, head honcho, Bean Lebouc (a/k/a G.M. B-Eazy) caught up with artist/producer Darko The Super about his recent work with MF Grimm, his musical influences, upcoming projects and much more.

Bean Lebouc – Before we truly kick things off, for the people who don’t know, who is Darko The Super and what does he do?

Darko The Super – Wasabi Kemosabe? I’m Evan Souza also better known as Darko The Super. I’m a rapper/producer/audio engineer. The Jackie Moon of U Don’t Deserve This Beautiful Art which is a record label specializing in the unexpected. I’m from the suburbia of Philadelphia but now living in North Jersey. 

BL – You recently produced, the whole of, MF Grimm’s, amazing, new album ‘The Hunt For The Gingerbread Man 2: Get The Dough’. How did you connect with Grimm and get to work on an entire project with him?

DTS – In the summer of 2019, while staying in Connecticut taking care of my uncle in law’s doggie Scruffy, I sent the illustrious MF Grimm an email. I had an idea to reissue ‘The Hunt For The Gingerbread Man’ on a cookie shaped picture disc. A day or so later, after checking out my label and seeing I’ve worked with his collaborator Serengeti, Grimm gave me a call and we talked for a while about ideas. The next day he heard my beats and decided we should make the sequel together. That was the genesis of the album. I made a bunch of beats specifically for the release and a little under a year later we recorded everything and started piecing the story together with skits. Once we knew we wanted to do a vinyl release with Diggers Factory, after they reached out to him about working together, we knew the album was already too long for one 12” so we made it a double LP. My friend Salvador, who’s a comedic genius, came onboard to record more skits to progress the story. That was the final piece of the puzzle to me. MF Grimm has become one of my closest friends and I think this project is a testimony to always trying any idea you believe in. I’m all about taking chances and reaching out to the people you admire it’s how I’ve come to work with so many of my inspirations. 

BL – Who have been you major influences over the years?

DTS – Early on, back in high school, I loved watching radio show freestyles. I saw Murdoc and MyGrane McNastee on ‘The Wake Up Show’, on YouTube, and loved their style. I downloaded their albums, on MySpace, and that shaped a lot of my taste in Hip-Hop. From there I got into J Dilla and MF DOOM. I first got ‘Operation: DOOMSDAY’, on CD, at Best Buy and then I downloaded ‘Madvillainy’ and ‘Mm…Food’ on iTunes. I listened to those 3 albums everyday. Then I had a phase where I listened to Beck’s ‘Mellow Gold’ and everything Nirvana. When I started making beats I got heavily into Frank Zappa who’s my favorite musician. Then I started collecting records and expanding my horizons. My favorite albums are 10cc’s ‘Sheet Music’, Oingo Boingo’s ‘Only a Lad’, The Spits’ self titled second album, Donovan’s Greatest Hits, and Buzzy Linhart’s ‘Pussycats Can Go Far’. When it comes to mixing, and the sound I hope to achieve, I’d say J Dilla’s ‘Ruff Draft’ has the perfect sound to me. That’s my gold standard. As far as my rap style I’d say Kool Keith’s ‘Lost in Space/Black Elvis’ and E-40’s ‘In a Major Way’ have had a profound effect on where I’m at right now. I also believe Serengeti’s everyday person approach is the most relatable to me. 

BL – What are you thoughts on the current state of Hip-Hop and, if you could, what would you change about it (if anything at all)?

DTS – I’m not a good person to ask on the state of Hip-Hop. I think a lot of people are doing great things. I like what some friends, who’s opinions I respect, are saying on mainstream rap. Hip-Hop is about rebellion and if that’s what the kids are gravitating towards then you can’t fault them for it. It’s not my cup of mellow yellow but it doesn’t have to be. There’s infinite options on what to listen to. You should stick to what you enjoy. As far as present day artists, who I love, Homeboy Sandman is my favorite. The Grandmaster MF Grimm is back so Hip-Hop’s fine. God bless Lil Nas X, I’m not into his music, but I don’t get the outrage. You know no ones forcing you to press play right? Some of these artists are marketing gurus and that’s how they have gotten into the positions they’re at. Like my friend Lil B, the BasedGod, he pioneered internet personas. Art is subjective. If it isn’t infringing on your life’s happiness, chill with the negative feedback. We’re all trying to get ahead. Like my hero Bill Hicks said “life is just a ride”.

BL – Lastly have you got any projects coming out, in the near future, that people can look out for?

DTS – I did an album sampling my favorite songwriter Dean Friedman. It’s titled ‘I’m Tired and It’s Alot of Bologna’. I met him, in Philly, when he was on tour with the lead singer of the Barenaked Ladies. He gave me a USB, with his discography on it, and I went to work from there. Another example of reaching out to your musical idols. The other albums I have in the works are all collaborative. I have one with Height Keech coming together. Another fully produced by Big Baby Gandhi and another fully produced by Yuri Beats. Also a split 12” with, experimental bedroom pop extraordinaire, Bob Bucko Jr. Eventually me and Steel Tipped Dove will get back to the follow up to ‘The Devil Defeated’.

Stream Darko’s latest production work on MF Grimm’s ‘The Hunt For The Gingerbread Man 2: Get The Dough’ out here – https://music.apple.com/us/album/the-hunt-for-the-gingerbread-man-2-get-the-dough/1548242889

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