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Stimulus : The Kotori Interview

Straight Outta Brooklyn : Stimulus
By Pierce Jackson

This October, Stimulus, known for his work in the live Hip-Hop group The Real Live show walks on stage alone and drops his solo debut, A Kings County Tale. Though you might think you’ve never heard of him, the boy’s been working hard. He’s shared the stage with artists like De La Soul, Talib Kweli, Redman, Jungle Brothers, Dead Prez, Black Star, Brazilian Girls, Roy Hargrove, Digital Underground, and Wax Poetics among others. A Kings County Tale now gives Stimulus a platform to call his own.

The album brings together the diversity of sounds that infiltrate Brooklyn stereos from the immigrant communities that make up NYC’s most populous borough. “I see the album as a layered narrative,�? he explains. “It’s a representation of the people that inhabit Kings County, the album becomes as cosmopolitan as the city it comes from.�? Indeed, A Kings County Tale is the music-ified representation of the word cosmopolitan. Add a kick here and a snare there to get that ole boom-bap, and you got yourself a grassroots city-born sound that’s as gritty as the Concrete Jungle itself.

Feel safe to wil’ out and have a good time, and simultaneously stay free and clear of the superficialities of the mainstream. Stim’s flows paint vivid pictures and tell stories that cover topics and issues pertinent and important to today’s communities (such as?). As he puts it, “it’s hunting season.�? The album is a product of two years of hard work and features appearances from Steele of Smif – N – Wessun and Boot Camp Clique as well as artists Spagga, Maya Azucena, Natty Bless, Kae Hoc, and Cali Bud.

Before heading to the pad and pen during high school, Stimulus was a DJ first. That’s where he formed his first group, Partners in Rhyme, with childhood friends Malik and Nayquan. At university (where?) Stimulus hooked up with producer Mark Ronson and then Paul Nice before heading to Mini-Manhattan…San Francisco. Frisco gave way for Stim to release his first single, “The Master,�? produced by Nice. Once back in the real Manhattan, Stimulus reconnected with Malik, now Dionysos, and constructed The Real Live Show project. A project originally intended as a reality TV show that followed aspiring musicians later transformed into a weekly East Village party where artists like Eric Rivas from Branford Marsalis’ quintet took part in jam sessions with Stimulus and Dionysos on the mic. (e.g. Stetsasonic and the Roots). “It was a beautiful thing for me to be a part of a large musical and artistic community; it was crazy for me to see people like Damon Dash at my shows.�?

This fall as Stimulus gets ready to release A King’s County Tale, he will share the stage with Chicago’s Lupe Fiasco as well as others. He will also continue to perform with The Real Live Show.

If you still think you don’t know who Stimulus is, don’t worry; I’m sure he’ll find you.

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