Interview conducted by Jordan Commandeur
MichaelAngelo is a Boston beatsmith with deep roots in the scene. While his official debut was his Commerciante D’Arte compilation that dropped just this year, he has been an integral part of Beantown’s reinvigorated Boom Bap movement for years. While his comp featured buzzing names like CRIMEAPPLE, Rigz, and Estee Nack, it’s his two tracks with up-n-comer Primo Profit that standout the most.
Primo is a Boston emcee of Colombian descent who is just as comfortable rhyming in Spanish as in English. And while he’s just starting to appear on tastemakers’ radars, he has done tracks with everybody from Conway The Machine to CRIMEAPPLE to Dave East. We chopped it up with both artists about their work together, the Boston scene, that infamous trip to Colombia with DJ Muggs and crew, and much more!
Mike, you’ve been a integral part of the Boston scene going back quite a few years, speak on your involvement.
MichaelAngelo: It’s an honor that you say that, but I can’t take too much credit because some of these other producers you hear like Grubby Pawz, Evilldewer, etc. have been doing it just as long as me. Early on I linked up with emcees like Krumbsnatcha, Reks, and some of the ST Da Squad members like Snuk, who had features on my production by Slaine, Term and Jaysuan. But working with another rapper from my city, Phinelia, is what ultimately got me more recognition than anything else. Shouts to Phinelia.
I was also pretty heavy in the Pittsburgh scene around that time. Did stuff for Living Proofe and Varsity Squad (Beedie and Jon Quest), who were really active at that time. Landed One Be Lo and Kool Keith features with them, which was dope.
From being a part of the Boston scene I met rappers like Estee Nack, who I’ve been building with for years now. I also met al.divino when he was a teenager and it’s dope that they are all finally getting the shine they deserve.
You have one 7″ out with CRIMEAPPLE and you’re about to drop another.
M: Yes, I am. Langosta, which we did a video for, is the A-side and I got a unreleased B-side as well that’s produced by myself and Buck Dudley. But this will be part of my new 7” series. Next up is Daniel Son, then al.divino, and then Estee Nack. Collectors really don’t want to miss out on these records…I’ll be revealing why you’re gonna want all four 7”s very soon.
Speak on your relationship with CRIME.
M: I met crime at Primo’s video shoot in NYC. From there me and Primo always met up with Crime and Buck when we up there, and vice versa when they are out in Boston. Always good times and laughs with those two. That eventually leaded us all going to Colombia with DJ Muggs, which was one of the best experiences I’ve had.
You’ve put out material with FXCK RXP and City Yard Music, but the Botero 7” you put out yourself. Will you be working with any more indies going forward or are you gonna keep self-releasing?
M: Yeah, I did the Botero Statue 7” on my own. The pressing took a little longer than expected, It would’ve been nice to have it drop when the Botero Statue video dropped. But I wanted to have the records in-hand before I put them up for purchase. A lot of these pre-orders people are doing are actually funding the vinyl and it takes forever for the consumer to actually receive it. This next 7” series will most likely be independent, unless someone wants to pick it up…but then again, I would only really consider a couple labels.
We’ve heard you’re also working on a couple EPs with some buzzing names.
M: Yeah, I have a few EPs in the works. One with MAV from Da Cloth, one with Jamal Gasol, and one with Rome Streetz. They are all pretty much done except for the Rome Streetz EP. [We] still working on doing another 3 tracks or so. Also, me and Primo have something in the works but we’re only half way done. Then after those I still got two big projects I’m releasing that I’m not talking about just yet.
Primo, how did yall link?
Primo Profit: I first linked up with MichaelAngelo in 2012 through Juanito Colombia, who now happens to be our engineer. We were already familiar with each other from being in the Boston Hip-Hop scene but it wasn’t until our engineer made the connection that we actually met up in person, sat down, and worked.
Your music positions you as a proud Colombian. Speak on your background.
PP: My background both here and Colombia is what makes me who I am today as an artist and a person. I come from a very prideful ethnicity and I feel up until recently, we have been misrepresented within Hip-Hop because we are always mentioned, but there has never been any authenticity behind it.
Yall went down to Colombia with Muggs and CRIMEAPPLE. What is the scene like down there? I saw yall performing and it looked live.
PP: The Hip-Hop scene in Medellin right now is thriving. The culture has been alive for well over 30 years over there, but I feel like now is when they are finally starting to create an industry with it. There is a lot of talent out there and they definitely have a lot to offer.
As far as the show, the show was beautiful. My brother CRIME invited me on the trip with him and DJ Muggs, and once we told a few people we’d be out there, they set-up a show within a week and the outcome was a successful. Real supporters came out that night. Muggs must have signed at least 50 copies of vinyl that fans came to the show with. The energy was amazing and we gave the people of Medellin a night they will always remember.
What other producers you working with right now?
PP: At the moment I’m wrapping up my next project. As far as producers, you will see some you know and some you may not yet. Peace to MichaelAngelo, Teyo, Buck Dudley, Vinyl Villain, Giallo Point, Don Carrera, and the homie AvenRec, who is an amazing producer out of Medellin, Colombia. All these producers blessed me with the soundscapes you will hear me narrating over on my next release.