A career in music is a long and winding road for many people that ebbs and flows in ways that are unforeseen and unpredictable. Relationships with other artists come and go, focuses shift, and new roads are paved by those who continue to press on along the weary path. Some people will eventually burn out because their desire was never truly pure, and others will comes to back to that initial love they had for music when they began their journey.
The realization of doing music out of the love they have for it is where we meet The Hollowz, an emcee and producer duo that have been around for years now as individual artists. Through different avenues that were similar enough to each other’s, Eddie Cayce (then known as Eddie Nygma) and Logic, found each other artistically at a time when it seems like this was just the shot in the arm that they needed due to the fruitful outcome of the music that they were creating together.
That music saw the light of day through The Premonition EP, a sample of what’s to come on a future album (which can be heard HERE) and if the EP is any indication of the future, than we are all in luck.
Logic – The name “Eddie Nygma” is a name I’ve heard spoken by many people. On the other hand, I had never heard of “Logic” before. Where did you come from?
LOGIC: Answering this question always puts my past work in retrospect…and also confirms for me, the works of this Hollowz project. From EPs, to mixtapes, to nights and shows, I have been in and around the Milwaukee hip hop scene since ’01/’02 working with numerous people and putting out little projects here and there. I think that also answering this ties into the answers of following questions, but I have seen this genre and community unite and grow tremendously since first getting involved which has allowed me to really sit back a bit and assess where someone like myself fits in. I think I found it, haha!
Eddie Cayce – Speaking of names, you are going by Eddie Cayce now instead of Eddie Nygma. What led to the switch?
EC: I received a seedy letter from a certain conglomerate stating that they owned rights to the name, so rather than spend money in court, I switched up. The switch came at a good time for me actually. I have grown exponentially as an artist and this name feels good for what it is I plan on doing for the rest of my music career.
How did your respective careers come together to form The Hollowz?
LOGIC: We originally met in one of my ventures working with producer Godxilla. Xilla had heard some material of mine out there and offered me an opportunity to come work @ Alcatraz which led to the introduction of Ed. It didn’t take long to fuse a friendship and then closely following a good chemistry musically which we carried on aimlessly throughout the years. I think it is safe to say end of ’08 we came together after previous works such as “Turn the Page” etc. on The Bobby Hill Project and said lets start working on a something together. The Nightmare began then!
EC: It took a while for us to work together because for the first few years I was still doing music as a job and paying rent by selling beats and engineering studio sessions so I really didn’t have time for a free endeavor. After we shut Alcatraz down, I went back to corporate America. I reevaluated what it was that I wanted out of this music thing and we started working together. We did a few songs and held a fan based poll on Myspace to name our group. The winning name was SLDSU (Super Laser Death Squad Ultra for those who remember) but after doing a few songs and a few shows Logic fell out of love with the name. 2 Months of text message suggestions and arguments ensued and BAM…The Hollowz.
The Premonition EP is flat out fantastic. What the process like putting that project together? Was it beats first, then Logic writes…the reverse of that…or something else?
LOGIC: Please see end of previous answer! It’s always been beats first. I will come to Ed with ideas but I have found the best results out of finding new inspiration in the music he creates.
EC: I think this process was a little easier for us then it is for most people. Not that making music is easier, but when we first started working on the upcoming album, we really had no intention of doing an EP period. Logic started getting really itchy about people not hearing us and what not and he brought up the idea. At first I was like “what the fuck for?” but after a while I realized he had finally come up with a good idea. The EP consists of songs we did that were actually slated to be on the upcoming album so in a way, the EP was finished before we even knew we were doing one.
The album, what stage of creation are you in on it? Is there anything that’s different about the music you’re working on for it or is it just building off of the tone already established by the EP?
LOGIC: We are about 75% there. I actually feel that with more tracks on the LP, there is a much broader range that we cover, and seeing as how some of the material even dates back to being written and recorded a year ago, I have been inspired by many different things in the time frame so there is in my opinion nothing monotonous about it.
EC: We have a few songs to finish for the album. At this point Log is writing to a few more tracks and after that it will be in post. The difference between songs on the EP and songs for the album varies from track to track. We have some real genre specific hip hop tracks that feel like some of the songs on the EP, and then some tracks where we both really blur the lines and are able to jump out of the “hip hop” box. The album will appeal to a much broader audience I think…hope…same thing.
With a great EP under your belt, and some entertaining performances delivered, why isn’t The Hollowz more known in Milwaukee? Some people seem to have caught on and they really get it. What’s the disconnect?
LOGIC: A few reasons: 1.) Our creative passion outweighs our drive. I really respect the hustles of some of these new artists locally, and I speak for myself (and I’m sure Ed) in saying I have seen a lot of coming and going, trends, and quite frankly burnt out artists trying over the years to get to the next step. I have learned one thing from watching this which is to simply HAVE FUN WITH IT!!! As artists in any form, lottery winnings are more in our favor than making it to the big time so enjoy the process, most importantly performing, meeting new people, and making music you feel good about. The rest SHOULD follow, but even if it doesn’t, you enjoy and are proud of what you’ve made. 2.) Neither ED or myself have extraordinary artist and repertoire/management skills. ANY TAKERS?
EC: I am very particular and protective of our music and our fan base. To explain that a bit, I don’t want to burn our fans out with coming to a different spot every week and hearing the same set 4 times in one month. When people see us, I want them to be able to experience something new each time. We will push a lot harder once the album is ready to launch obviously. We want to make sure that there is always a reason to come see us. In addition, building the ERL (Evil Recording Lair) took A LOT more time than we both anticipated and for that reason we weren’t recording. We couldn’t do any shows without any material. The EP really was our “welcome back” deal and we have been getting a lot more attention from that then I had anticipated (thank you all). After these next few months I think we will definitely be right back into the thick of the scene.
When people do take in The Hollowz, what are you hoping that they are getting from you?
LOGIC: I hope its different for everyone, “loved” being the general consensus!
EC: I think a lot of people are going to be able to find themselves in this music. Crazy as it sounds, when I sit down to produce, I feel as though I am scoring a moment in life, not making a song. This approach always carries over to the way Logic approaches the work. Each song should be a snapshot of a feeling for the listener to relate to. Logic always does a great job of delivering the idea to the listeners, so it makes it even easier for the listener to “fall under the spell” so to speak, of each song.
On the topic of Milwaukee, I love to get artists take on how they view the Hip-Hop scene in the city. Some people feel this is the most talent Milwaukee Hip-Hop has ever had between the backpack rappers, club rappers, hood rappers, conscious rappers, etc. How do you two feel about it?
LOGIC: Without sounding redundant, I am most proud of this scene than ever before. A lot of the talked about and listened to artists, out now, have been doing it for a while and have matured from once amateur artists. Always having it in them, it still takes time for everyone to really master and develop their style.
EC: I think a lot of people are just now noticing the scene. For the most part, a lot of the guys doing it have always been around. Furthermore I think the artists are beginning to step their game up and realize there is more to building a scene then just rapping on stage. I can think of 10 or 15 emcees back 5 years ago that were extremely talented but they were just complacent with being talented and never took things to the next level. It seems now that talented guys have a chip on their shoulder and it motivates them to go out and get more than just a reputation. Lastly, coming from the Northside and migrating to the Eastside scene, east siders don’t even know what exists on the Northside and vice versa. Northsiders and Eastsiders don’t know what exists on the Southside (and vice versa). Hip Hop in Milwaukee is still like 3 separate cities and once we are able to bring them all together a bit more, we will have a great scene. I remember a few years back, local acts couldn’t even book shows here. Now there are like 10 every weekend.
We’ve already covered that you are working on an album, but what about beyond that? Where do you want to take The Hollowz?
LOGIC: Ed and I will probably kill each other before any plans come to fruition. I just hope we ride it as long as possible, continue to make people laugh, heads nod, and stay relevant!
EC: I have some big plans for shows, I don’t want to let too much out because I want to be the first one to pull some of this stuff off. As far as future projects go, we don’t seem to be the type of people to script things out. I know for certain we will do more albums and projects, I just prefer to be organic and let the plans grow rather than cast them from a mold.
Logic – On “Roadz…” you reference setting couches on fire for fun. How many couches have you started on fire in your life time and what did those couches do to deserve getting the torch?
LOGIC: HA! I actually only recall one, but it could be more! Usually the urge to light a piece of furniture on fire only arises under levels of extreme intoxication, however I could be forgetting about a few! If your ever looking to enjoy a good couch torching, drive through UWM area, between June 1st and 3rd between the hours of 1 and 3am, you’ll witness a few I promise!
Eddie Cayce – As a producer, you’ve worked with a lot of people in Milwaukee. Are there any artists out there now that you’d love to hear over an Eddie Cayce track?
EC: Everyone. Almost Everyone. Ok like 75…no maybe 60% of everyone. I mean, here’s the thing. I am no longer interested in offing a track to someone and then calling it a day. More often then not I am severely disappointed in the final product. I want to really sit in and produce these records and sculpt the final product in all stages. Now that being said, I am NOT a desireable person to work with for a new artist. I am a sort of reality check for artists in the booth, so a lot of newer guys get their feelings hurt and such. I know what it takes to get a good sound and convincing takes from an artist but it isn’t an easy job and it isn’t fun unless you have a guy that has that same drive to make a great song that you have. I want to work with people that have that drive. So in a perfect world, I want everyone on one of mine. In reality, over half are eliminated before I even lay the drums my friend.
Now that you’ve had some time to reflect on The Premonition EP. What is your favorite song and the project and why?
LOGIC: “ROADZ” it was fun to make and always fun to perform.
EC: Roads. When Logic first said he wanted to do the dreaded “Milwaukee Song” I was completely against it. These songs hardly ever get any love and I have seen so many of them nose dive and spiral into obscurity in slow motion it’s ridiculous. The thing that made this one work is we were able to poke some fun at our home town and be a little more creative with the delivery, and people dug it. They are all like “it’s so cool he said BUBBLER in the song!!!”. I think the song reflects the way a lot of people feel about this city. Sometimes you just can’t wait to get the hell out of here but once you are gone…for some reason…you always want to come back.
Any shout outs?
LOGIC: So many! MOST IMPORTANTLY, our family and friends who relentlessly pack in our shows to make it look like we have fans to the 25 unsuspecting wonderers who end up at our shows. Everyone who copped the EP or any of my or Eds past works, THANKS GUYS! If I could afford to throw free beer party for all of our appreciation I would, but I cant so thanks! Also the entire Milwaukee music scene, hip hop and beyond, you should all be proud of yourselves! JC POPPE for the support, the Mad Kids, JS, The Mad Bloggers, etc! Thanks y’all! Fuck off Ed!!!
EC: First, I must say thanks to you JC for dedicating all the time it takes to put MKE UP. People, Facebook Bobby Drake, and go PUSH THE BUTTON. Like western photography? Check out Saddlebackstudios.com. Thanks to Grapestreet for hooking me up with some great art at the WMSE show we did, Little Havana Cigar Lounge for keeping my Oliva Serie V and Perdomos in stock and ready, The Ballestrerri’s for not tripping when I beat this music above their restaurant. Raze’s Living In Technicolor released on June 12th, check him out. If you haven’t heard Dame Ellzey’s Shift in The Wind yet, go on and look that one up. Shout out to my bartenders at Bad Genie that take great care of me. Shout out to my wife, son, and daughter, who are generous enough to share me with all of you. Shout out to my sisters and brother, father and mother. If you do music with me…I shout you out too (like a ficken million people, dang!!!). Lastly, all the people who support the Hollowz and Milwaukee Music. And, Logic is a cock hugger.
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