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Unagi interview for HipHop-Elements.com
Contributed by: D.J. Fisher
Posted on: July 26, 2007 08:59 MST
Filed under: Rap


What's up Unagi, how's everything?   Everything is good. Very busy but good.   So you're based out in the West Coast but originally from the East right?   Yep, I've been in San Francisco (Mission District) for a long time but I grew up in Western Mass.   For anyone who hasn't heard your material yet, how would you describe your style?   Fresh, wild, fly, & bold. Lots of funky loops and live beats.    What releases do you have out there?   Three full-length albums - "Unagi" (2003), "Keepin it Eel" (2004), and "It Came From Beneath The SFC" (2006). The first two are all instrumental (the debut is available on vinyl as well), and the third one features a bunch of emcees on it. I also put out two EPs this year, "Unagi For Lovers" which is all love jams, super limited edition, and "YOU and EYE" with Infinito that just came out this month. I also have songs on a few compilations, and have done beats for TV, movies, and commercials. One of my tracks was on a spot for MTV Urge that aired for about six months earlier this year.   Now I see you have a dope new EP with Infinito 2017, tell us about that?   He's the homie, we've been doing stuff sporatically for a few years now. We did another EP a while back that never really came out, and I had him on the "SFC" album as well. He's got a very unusual style but I like it, he's got some real smart lyrics and a crazy work ethic, so we put this one together and it came out real cool. It's short, only 7 tracks, but I'm real happy with it.   Is "You and Eye" now available?   Right now it's on eMusic, but will be up on iTunes, Rhapsody, and all the other online sites very soon. Stores can cop the CD through Crosstalk Distribution, you can also buy it from me at shows or on my website.   I see most of your releases are on 442 Records, is that your label?    Yeah, I started that a few years ago. The name and logo is in honor of the 442nd Infantry, they were the all Japanese-American unit in WWII. They were segregated from all the other ones and sent on the worst missions. As a result, they had the highest casualty rate in the war. They were also the most highly decorated, although you never learn about them in school. My grandfather Shigeki Hayashi was a member of the squad.   Do you plan to release more projects with other artists on 442?   Most definitely. I have a lot of big plans for the label.   So what's next for Unagi?   Right now I'm working on a full-length with Motion Man (who I think is the best emcee on the west coast, just totally slept on). We're 4 songs into it now and it's coming out real good. The production is all me and another producer/homie from Philly named Jethroe. Hopefully that will be dropping sometime in October. Other than that I'm doing beats for a few other Bay Area artists and working on some top-secret stuff that I gotta keep on the DL for now. Look for the fourth Unagi album "Reinventing The Eel" to hit the streets sometime in 2008.   Thanks for your time, do you have any websites or a myspace page for us to check out?   No doubt. http://www.unagi442.com/ is the homepage for Unagi and 442 Records. There's a bunch of free audio on there as well as a PayPal store. www.myspace.com/unagi is the myspace. If you need beats, records, an interview, or to book a show, you can hit me up on either one.
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