Let’s start with an intro. Who is Da Evangillest? What's with the name?
Hahaha! Da Evangillest Boi! A lot of people get the name confused with the biblical term “Evangelist”, which is a preacher of god and Jesus Christ…but my name has nothing to do with that…if anything I’m buddist, but the name strings from a few things. My government name is Evan so its a play off that and everything I do, I aim to do to the illest, so…”Evan”g"illest" yada!…I picked that name becuase i seen the term Evangelist used in a business textbook defined as a person that spoke the beliefs and practices of their business.. so I took it and ran with it because through my music, I preach what I believe.
When I first started working on your material, I thought you might be a Christian rapper, so I wanted to start off with that and make sure everyone was clear on the name and the meaning. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a Christian rapper and all…
Right, right…most people do take it that way , which is something that I’m going to have to live with cause thats the name mayne..haha.
How long have you been rhyming?
I wrote my first rhyme when I was 12, I’m 25 now…13 years man! Haha, but seriously rhyming (meaning trying to make tracks to put an album together), since 2000. It was all for fun to begin with.
A lot of MCs these days dabble in production also. Is this something you're thinking about doing down the road, or are you sticking to being an MC, leaving the production to beat makers?
You know what, I started off doing both and I just faded off from making beats. I was pushing out bangers but I didnt like to rap to my own beats. I always liked working with people but you never know, I might make a come back; I just came up on a Triton the other day so…haha!
That's cool, working on your stuff, I have noticed you're very versatile and can flip different flows on the various tracks you have by different producers. Is it because you concentrate your efforts on rhyming?
Naw not really, I think its because I’m well traveled. I listen to alot of different hiphop and work with different producers and artists. A lot of artists stick to one sound, which is cool, but I feel so much different music that the versitility just comes out. But you right L-Rox, the more effort and time you put into something, the doper you should be getting at what you do.
What do you think about "net battling"?
(laughs) Never heard of the term.
I'm not sure if it even is a term, it's when cats hit you up on IM and ask if you rhyme, and if you wanna battle…
That’s funny yo! Never had it happen to me yet
I sometimes get people out of the blue hitting me up on AIM, asking me if I rhyme and if I wanna battle, it’s hilarious, they’ll say something like “do you rhyme, wanna battle?”
Have u seen message boards where they'll have a forum just for MCs and they'll “battle”? There’s posts and people reply with their “battle raps”…
Yeah .. I dunno man .. we got so much going on that I would have to brush that aside; the boards are a good thing… but that sounds pretty corny, hahaha! Typing in they rhymes?
Yeah, can u believe that?
All I can say is you won’t catch me on there.
How about battling (real battling now), do you do your share of battling MCs at ciphers or participate in any MC battles?
I’ve never been into battling…I make music, records, and I respect the cats that do that, but I’m trying to get this crackin’.
I've known a few heads that are good battle rappers, but can't pen down good rhymes, It's like it's almost 2 different schools
Yeah, yeah thats the story most the time. You get cats that can do both really good but usually one will outshine the other. I like putting the whole process together from writing the rap to selling the product..other cats can’t do that, but they quick and got jokes so battling is where they get they shine on.
Are you cool with punch-ins, or are you the kind of MC that's gotta have the complete verse down in one take; if there's a small slip-up during tracking, it's gotta be from the top again?
Its something all MC's differ in. Me, I’d rather do it in one punch, but sometimes theres a part in your rhyme that just cant work because of delivery or breath or what not and insted of trying to get it right a hundred times, its better to punch, but one hit one kill is the way to go.
Yeah, sometimes I've caught that and gone "damn, I wonder how that would sound when kicked live?"
Yeah thats why most mc's need back up men. Sometimes I alter my rhymes to kick it live, less words but still say the same thing, just so I have a little more air (to breathe) ‘cuz performing ain’t no joke if you get down like we get down! (laughs)
How's the live show thing going? I know you recently took a trip out to England; did you do shows out there?
Yeah I was out there with my DJ JRonin, we had a show but it got canceled, which was disappointing, but we did a lot of networking tho’, shot a video for that Whalehead joint you mixed and mastered, featuring Tragedy Khadafi. We hooked up with hiphop connection, which is like the source out in Europe.
Dope, so the video is being edited right now?
Yeah, by my dude AG in sweeden, it should be done in a month.
Cool, a while ago in Scratch (magazine, R.I.P.) I saw this article on writing rhymes in a word editor, do you do that or keep the old school rhyme book for your rhymes?
I’ve always had a rhyme book, but about a year ago I got a Palm Treo for my cell phone and I use the memo pad in there a lot. Just got the iPhone and I been doing the same. I write a lot on the move so the digital devices help. When im in the studio, it’s all paper.
That’s cool, you type into the Treo like you would be texting then? I got a 650 and I also got this keyboard thing where you dock the Treo on it and type away; the shit folds down, it's pretty cool.
Yeah like I was texting. Good question ‘tho, ‘cuz I was thinking about that same thing the other day.
So what's in the works for you, you just put out the Quit Your Day Job mixtape, which is the prequel to an upcoming album, am I right?
Yeah Quit Ya Day Job is more like a mix album than anything. I promote it as a mixtape, but everything on there is original, no jacked beats, so it’s a “mix album”. Right now I’m working on my album which is untitled. I’ve been working with my producers Keelay and Zaire from the sole vibe and its going to be all Sole Vibe production. I’m also in the makes of another mixtape with a fellow sole vibe affiliate, Slo-Mo. We gonna connect and do the tape which as of now is going to be titled The Good Word.
Do you have any group projects or are you strictly a solo artist?
I’m solo, but I’m part of both the Sole Vibe and All Elements music groups. We as the sole vibe are dropping a album soon titled Chop Sui, which should be done in a month or two, so look out for that, and All Elements continues to drop mixtapes back to back. DJ Ronin from BK, New York is the man who started All Elements and he makes a lot happen over there. He’s working on vol 10 of his mixtape series right now but yeah, both Sole Vibe and All Elements is who i run with.
DJ Ronin hosts the Quit Your Day Job mix album, for those who haven't caught this yet, real official. You're in San Fran, how did you connect with DJ Ronin out in Brooklyn?
Ohh yeahh! (laughs) I went to new york a couple years ago to make a track with Killah Priest from Sunz of Man and we went to Ronins studio to record the joint, since then we stayed in touch and kept building. That dude make a lot happen for hiphop. He’s a short guy but his game is tall, hahaha!
As a short guy myself, I can appreciate that compliment. How can heads reach you, find out more about Da Evangillest?
Check out www.myspace.com/hocaloogie…Google Da Evangillest.
What else is Da Evangillest doing to conquer the world?
Outside of making music I am a journalist and devote most of that time to Stash Magazine in the Bay Area. I’m in school right now working on my Masters in Business (MBA). Taking care of my family. And traveling is what I love, so as much of that as I can fit in, I do. I keep it moving cause I’d rather have to much to do than not enough, yadadadig!
That's what’s up. Thanks for taking the time, Da Evangillest, oh hey before I let you go, say a young kid - a 12 year old, let's assume, hears your joints and comes up to you and goes, “I wanna be an MC”. What does Da Evangillest say?
Thank you rox! Da Evangillest says: DO IT! Then asks a few questions, like “what do you wanna talk about?”,“why do you want to rap?” and then give him or her advice from their answers, but always lead them in the right direction. We need to supoort our youth and be the mentors most of us never had.
Forreal man, so any other last words? Shout outs, words of wisdom, perhaps a text battle freestyle for the net MCs? Hahaha, just playing!
Hahaha! Yeah: Quit ya day job or follow ya dreams cause you got one shot! Don’t waste it! And smile even in the roughest of times! I need to shout the whole Sole Vibe: Keelay, Zaire, Jfish, AV, Slo-mo, Mushmouf, E Jenks, Mario Dones, Whooligan, All Elements, JRonin, and Sav Killz. What up Rightlane Ent. (www.rightlane.biz), What up Stash magazine…shouts to you L-ROX...thanks for having me brotha and everybody reading this check me out as well as everybody I mentioned cause we all dope!
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