Wordplay, complex deliveries and unpredictable rhyme patterns. All qualities least likely to be heard in today’s rap music but Termanology, the Boston bred cipher titleholder, keeps it true to original form with his stylistic branding of verbal skills. Ready to take fans back to the glory days while keeping one foot in the present door with his latest LP, Time Machine: Hood Politics VI, Term put his flashback on hold for a quick 15 to sit with TSS Crew’s TC to discuss his freshly minted banger and why he’ll never dumb it down even if means staying below the radar.
In other words, he’s good.
TSS: So what era are you particularly trying to take fans back to with Time Machine?
Termanology: I think when you hear it, it won’t be something that’s new school, especially beat-wise. Most of the beats I chose are like boom-bap; some of them are updated but even still had some sort of old school element in them. You can feel it in the overall message.
TSS: Just like Politics As Usual, you have a impressive roster of guests and producers like DJ Premier, Royce Da 5’9, Alchemist and Large Professor rounding out the album. Would you say this is your best work to date?
Termanology: Me personally, would say Politics As Usual is the best (Laughs,) but I keep hearing everybody say they like this [Time Machine] better. Which is crazy because I didn’t even work on this like a normal album. It’s more so records I had and didn’t want to wait a long time to put out another album, so I compiled it together for the fans. And they’re really feeling it. That’s all I can ever ask for.
TSS: Now Jay-Z had the #1 album in the country with The Blueprint 3, which was billed as being the new model everybody should follow from now on. What’s your take on that seeing is that you’re poised to keep the music in a more traditional stage?
Termanology: You know, it’s crazy because even with all those differences, I see some similarities. Just listening to “D.O.A. (Death Of Auto-Tune,)“ and the stuff he’s talking about is pretty much the same message that I would give it. Even though he got futuristic with the Timbaland beats and what not, we still have a similar opinion to what’s going on. Because I don’t hate on nothing that’s new or try and keep people in the past, I just do me and whoever likes me, they like me. Whatever.
TSS: So you take extreme pride in being a lyricist?
Termanology: Most definitely. That’s how it all started for me. Before I even began making records, I was just a rapper…an MC. So that will always be.
TSS: But nowadays would you say being a capable MC or lyrics in general only hold certain value with particular audiences?
Termanology: Yeah, for sure. Ya know, you’re doing it for you’re doing it for. You’re doing it for the fans that want to hear that. It’s not like you’re expecting everybody that hears your record on the radio to listen to everything that you’re saying and digest it — or even care to what you have to say. Because it’s more about a beat and a hook nowadays. Nobody cares about lyrics far as radio-wise and etc.
TSS: But you travel the country a lot. You seem to be in Europe all the time. Do the fans out there seem to appreciate it more?
Termanology: Yeah, funny you said that. I’ve been in Europe like half this year. I’ve done like 4 trips in 2009 alone. But definitely there’s a crazy difference. Fans are crazy you never know what they like. I rocked 20,000 people in Amsterdam and it was like Woodstock. People just stuck in this park for like 3 days straight. They don’t shower or leave; just thuggin’ it out for the love of Hip-Hop. I don’t really see that type of shit in the U.S. so they really appreciate it.
TSS: And you’re still grinding in the States correct?
Termanology: Absolutely. We just got the Time Machine van too. We’ve been driving it around all day, doing promos and what not so look out for me. I got shows with KRS-One, Boot Camp Clik, M.O.P.; I just did the Boston Hempfest. So I’ma be all over the place.
TSS: Out of all the producers you work with, who do you think you have the most chemistry with?
Termanology: I think I make the BEST records with Premier. He just brings the best out of an MC and an artist. But as far as making records going in real quick to make something to put out fast, me andStatik definitely got that ill vibe. We’ll make a banging song in like 10 minutes. Whereas the records I do with Pete Rock, Premier, Buckwild…I take my time a little bit more because I wanted to do the right thing on those type of caliber beats. But me and Statik got more of a family connection, he’ll hit me up like “Yo, wanna do a song?” Boom! It’s done.
TSS: As you continue to gain popularity, is the scene opening up more for your hometown of Boston?
Termanology: Kinda but it’s hard because none of the rappers that came from here really had any sort of huge commercial success. I’d say Ed O.G. had the biggest record out here and that was like two decades ago. So with the exception of the independent stuff of Mr.Lif, Akrobatik and Benzino/Almighty RSO , nothing every really broke through. So my attitude is I’m happy with whatever I can get. Whoever buys it, I’m happy they were in to it and they fuck with it.
TSS: Your style finds you attacking every track you appear on whether it be a M.O.P. record or something from a Statik Selektah compilation. Is your motivation always to go full speed on whatever record you appear on?
Termanology: Well I do a lotttttttt of records man! It’s weird because y’all probably never hear half the songs that I do. But it depends on what kind of record it is. If I get on a song with someone I’m cool with, usually I just say what I got to say. But if I’m a song with someone who I feel is direct competition, I might just go head and body them. It’s just the competitive nature in me and I be trying to rip rapper’s heads off.
TSS: You got a little morbid on the song (and video) for “I See Dead People.” What inspired that?
Termanology: Well a friend of mine, his name is Stallione, he gave me the concept like “Yo it would be crazy if we did a song walking through the cemetery detailing on how everybody died.” And eventually he was like “You’re doing records all the time, go head and take it.” So I took it a step further and made myself the Grim Reaper and actually told the stories. Mad people are telling me that’s their favorite video and I’ve worked on other videos for months and they didn’t come out as hot. So I’m blessed with a dope video.
TSS: Obviously you’re not looking to crossover or sellout as some of your fans would probably put it. What’s the highest plateau Termanology could be in?
Termanology: You never know man, because look at someone like Eminem. He was an underground battle artist and then he got up with Dre and there it was. That could be in my future or if not, maybe I just stay with what I’m doing right now; rooted with like the Gang Starr fans and that type of shit. The underground will never die so there’s always a place for me. I’m touring half the world already and I’m not even that famous. We’ll see how it goes, ya know?
Termanology’s Time Machine: Hood Politics VI features production from DJ Premier, Alchemst, Statik Selektah, Large Professor, Pete Rock, Don Cannon and is available in stores and online retailers everywhere. For more information including his various tour dates, visit his official Myspace at http://www.myspace.com/therealtermanology and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TERMANOLOGYST
Previously Posted — Termanology – “I See Dead People”