Interview: A7PHA of Anticon Records Make Music That's Challenging All Convention

This isn't music for upscale bars.
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Kristi Shinfuku
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This isn't music for upscale bars.

A7PHA comprise of Doseone and Mestizo, and the duo are getting ready for a massive debut LP with Anticon Records on March 24th. With an air of mystery in the air, we sat down with the guys to learn more about what their upcoming record will entail.

Hey A7PHA, thank you guys for talking to us! The press release for your upcoming record notes that the LP "isn't made for upscale bars or low-key gatherings," but what would you say the record is made for? 

M - This record in my personal opinion is made for any doubters that true skill, well manicured through out time will always stand above the fast food rap that fills heads with empty fantasy, but it's mainly for those who like hard shit and raw raps. 

D- It's made for RapCollections... It's also made for HeadPhones and meant to give you a creative yet aggressive brush with vitamin honest.

How did the idea of the record come to life? Was it an idea that started at Anticon that grew and expanded to include more artists or did the idea come organically to everyone involved? 

M- The A7PHA union started with the song "Turning tables" from an ep I put out called "Underlord". Dose has always been at the top of the rap food chain for me. We've know each other for a long time, but I probably would've never reached out to Dose if it weren't for my brother Cadalack Ron(RIP) working with him first. He set the path in motion for us to connect and I can't thank him enough for that. So after the first song we recorded sounded like we'd been rhyming together forever, we made more tracks and the album just progressed on its own over time. Dose is also a beast in post-production. As far features, I don't work with people I don't know personally, so we just reached out to homies we thought would fit well with the A7PHA sound and bam! A7PHA is born.

D- It began as a song, Turning Tables, ZO asked me to rap on it, and the rest came naturally. We just started recording A7PHA shortly after that and the songs started pouring into done. We reached out to those closest to us on this, no hyper extension of the guest artist. So it's family on this record and those who inspire us only.

This is a project that included multiple unique minds working together. What were the biggest challenges in creating this record as a group, and on the other side, what were the biggest achievements? 

M- This record musically, came freely with zero road blocks between Dose and I. Alias is the man. Features can be tricky, but nothing too heavy. The biggest challenge for me was the timing of events in my life. I had my first son. My blood brother Isaiah Toothtaker got locked up. My blood brother Cadalack Ron(RIP) crossed over shortly after that. My pops had two strokes in the midst of all that and my lady got pregnant again and we just had my second son all while working 15 hour days and trying to bang out this record with Dose. So the biggest achievements for me was completing this record and seeing it come to light. 

D- I think the challenges we dealt with during recording were in our real lives, and those were granulated into our songs. So while we weathered deaths, births, fears, and success's the recording of that into record was challenge free and focus heavy.

Who were your major influences on the record, and who are artists we should be paying attention to right now in general? 

M- I was solely feeding off the energy between what we're creating. 

I don't listen to anything new rap wise. Dose would say "yo record your verse and then send it back and I'll drop mine". Which I was thinking "ok dog, wtf he's gonna try and murder my shit". So I'd would come with the super hard, crazy styles and he'd would match that perfectly with his one of kind madness. Dose and Mestizo was the influence. The only raps you should be paying attention to is A7PHA and Everybody's Enemy.

D- My biggest influence on every song was what ZO did or will do, for me, reflecting each other's raps in different ways was 77% of the fun! Outside the bubble of each song, I listen to ALOT of KA & SPARK MASTER TAPE.

What can we expect from you for the rest of the year (Solo or as a group)?

M- A7PHA album 3.24.17. A7PHA tour is coming this summer. I've got some solo projects in the works, self-produced and collaborative efforts. A7PHA #2 is being slowly approached. Thanks for tuning in peoples. Much more to come🖤

D- We are zeroing in on LIVE dates for A7PHA, and will be making more music together like a motherfucker. My GANG BEASTS soundtrack drops this spring when the game hits PS4, I am currently finishing the first GO DARK LP, and cooking up a SOLO RAP MonsterPiece with a dear ol friend of mine!

Pre-order the record here