Welcome to the first WIB Meets for 2016. Without dilly dallying, I’m just going to lead you guys straight into this brilliant episode with the duo known as Ripynt & Carl Roe. waste little time and join the conversation below.
For the benefit of anyone who’s been living in an underground bunker for the past several years…who on earth are you?
Ripynt: One half of the Martian duo. I go by Ripynt. As in to “repent”. But Rippin-It has started to grow on me.
Carl Roe: On this planet I am Carl Roe. I am a Hip-Hop artist, beat maker, and engineer.
How did you get started in music, and what drives you to continue?
Rip: I got started in music by actually getting started in drawing comic book shit. Drawing comics turned in to writing stories, writing stories turned in to writing poetry, and writing poetry turned in to writing raps. Once I discovered Hip-Hop, there was no going back. But it’s not your typical “freestyling in the cypher” story.
CR: I got started in music at a very young age. I believe it was when I was 13 that I first started really getting interested in doing it. I always took to music very strongly. What drives me to continue doing it is not knowing what lies ahead. I have the feeling that I could never forgive myself if I didn’t find out; even if there’s nothing once I get there.
Do you remember the first recording/song you ever made?
Rip: Stop me if you’ve heard this one. Back in high school, I met up with some guys who dabbled in rapping. One of them had a karaoke machine. So we hung a mic up from the ceiling in his basement, and used a bass cd for beats. We would do the whole swap-tapes-back-and-forth-for-dubs technique. I don’t remember the exact song that was my first recording, but I’m pretty sure I was dissing someone.
CR: I distinctly remember a turning point, but that is all. I really don’t know if I can bring back the memory of when I first wrote a song. But, I always used to make instrumentals from the tail ends of actual Hip-Hop songs by looping the four bars into a three minute beat and rapping over them with my longtime friend Patrick. I used a cassette/CD combo and dubbed four bars over and over, each time attempting to get it spot on so that the bars seamlessly flowed. It was time consuming and difficult, but it introduced me to the fact that music isn’t easy.
If a movie about your life in music was to be made, what interesting/strange moments and stories would you share to make the movie cool?
Rip: When I was 17 or so, I landed my first opening gig performing with Digital Underground. I happened to be on house arrest at the time. So I told the court that I got paid to do music. It was my job. Which of course, it wasn’t, because almost no artists get paid for their first shows. So my first big show was performed with an ankle monitor.
I’d probably also tell about the first time I met Grynch, and that son of a bitch was wearing the same outfit as me…
CR: The most interesting things wouldn’t really have been about the music, per se. The coolest stuff in my movie would be the non-music related stuff…like that one time when I was a little kid and ate a real piece of poop because I thought it was chocolate. Yes, that really happened. It tastes exactly like it smells.
Are there any other interesting facts about you that hardly anyone else knows?
CR: I played basketball with Steve Kerr after the 3Peat win in Chicago. He doesn’t miss shots.
Rip: I’m a pretty open book. I feel like my defining characteristic as an artist is that I’m really just an average guy who can rap pretty well. I have three boys, two of my own and a step-son, an amazing girlfriend, a borderline obsession with comic book characters and movies, a 9-to-5 job, and a small circle of friends. I put all of that out there. Nothing for me is taboo. You get to know me pretty well through my music.
What is the greatest thing about working in the music industry? And what would you change if you had the opportunity?
Rip: The greatest thing is easily the response from fans. When you hit that perfect note with someone, and it resonates. You suddenly become something more than just a rapper. You’re a story teller, or a therapist, or a best friend to someone who needed one. I’ve had fans tell me my music saved their life. I’m not even super popular. But when that one song hits that one person at that perfect time, you can change lives. It’s very fulfilling.
The only thing I can honestly say I would change about the industry at this point is I would put myself and Carl Roe IN it. I don’t feel like I’m well versed enough in the REAL industry to say what I would change. I just want some of what all these other rappers who aren’t as dope as me have.
CR: The greatest thing is sharing what I create and hearing the responses. The one thing I would change is the fact that there is not enough encouragement for creative minds to do other major roles besides being the artist. There are a lot of empty spots not being filled in key areas that make people in this industry successful.
Looking back, what have been the most important moments in your life so far?
Rip: The birth of my children. Nothing else compares.
CR: The most important moments have been leaving home, completing time in service (Army Infantry), and getting married.
What have been the biggest highlights?
Rip: See above. Also, meeting my lady. Musically? Performing with some of the best talent to ever touch a mic, being involved in a Hip-Hop community as vibrant and alive as the one Seattle has, performing A3C in Atlanta and experiencing that city. I’ll have a better answer for this question in a year or so.
CR: My big highlights so far in music would be putting out my debut album Ones And Zeroes, and connecting with Nottz. Not everyone can say they’ve built a working relationship with a musician who’s music guided them through their adolescent years.
What has been your biggest challenge…and how did you overcome it?
Rip: My biggest challenge has been figuring this business shit out. The music part is easy at this point, and some artists just take naturally to the business side. I do not. If I had my way, I’d sit in the studio with Carl and just bang out tracks all day. But that’s not reality anymore. Getting my business right has been something I’ve been working on, and am hopefully getting a lot better at.
CR: My biggest challenge has been leaving the military and entering civilian life. I still have not overcame it, and it scares me every day, but I live.
Who are your heroes? Why do they rock your world?
Rip: Bruh, Stan “The Man” Lee! This man created some of the most iconic figures in pop culture, and he did so at a time when that particular medium was looked down on like it wasn’t real art. And those characters have withstood the test of time. Plus, he’s like 90 years old, has been married to the same woman for over half his life, STILL cameo’s in movies featuring his creations, and sounds spry enough that you would think he was immortal. They don’t make them like him anymore.
CR: Is a pun intended? Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is my idol. He believes in fitness, as do I. He doesn’t get caught up in Hollywood drama. He treats people with dignity and respect. He understands his role in other peoples’ lives and carries himself with grace and humility.
Who have been the coolest, most memorable people you’ve met along the way, and how did they make an impact on your life?
Rip: I met Jay Electronica in Atlanta. He impacted my life by convincing me he wasn’t Jay Electronica, and then laughing his ass off watching me go around to everybody in the room asking if he was Jay Electronica. Now I trust nobody.
CR: The most memorable people have been my few lifelong friends that I’ve managed to keep this far. Long distance is always challenging, but it’s crazy how relevant those friendships still are. In many ways, they’re stronger. My true friends have never said I changed too much and they encourage me to be the best at what I do.
When you’re sitting on the porch age 97 what would you like to look back on and smile having achieved?
Rip: My kids graduating and becoming successful, responsible, courageous young men.
CR: I would leave this world peacefully knowing I lived my life to the fullest while balancing being a good husband and friend to my wife. If I can figure out that balance somehow, I feel I will be able to reach that goal.
What has been your most memorable or inspirational gig and why?
Rip: Pretty recently, Carl and I performed for a sold out crowd at a Jedi Mind Tricks show in Seattle. The show was held at The Crocodile, which is the venue that bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana did some of their first gigs at. This was the first night that I have stage dived. My first stage dive was off of the same stage in the same building as Kurt Cobain quiet possibly did his first stage dive. It’s the simple things for me.
CR: My most memorable gig was when I was doing a show in Minnesota and the entire PA system took a shit on me. Everything went non-operational. It was my first experience with equipment failing on me during a live set. Nothing can prepare an artist for the fuckery that awaits at any live venue. It becomes a part of the life. It comes with the territory.
What has been your strangest celebrity encounter?
Rip: Have I told you my Jay Electronica story?
CR: When I was in high school in Illinois I lived in a suburb of Chicago, Elgin. There was a killing across the street from the apartment I lived in and there was a Chicago news crew covering the story live on television. Friends dared me to bomb the camera, so I went over there and acted a fool. Some big, burly dude jumped out of the news van and chased me. He was upset. I distinctly remember the news lady getting really pissed at me too. I’m not sure if that’s a celebrity encounter.
Who would be your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what would you serve them?
Rip: Jim Morrison. I’d serve roasted lizard, LSD, and whiskey.
CR: I would love to have The Rock or Bruce Willis over for dinner. I would serve them whatever my wife cooks for dinner that evening.
What are the greatest songs, albums, books, movies, TV shows, websites you’ve ever come across?
Songs: Bone Thugs-n-Harmony – “Tha Crossroads,” Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal,” and Marvin Gaye’s, “Inner City Blues.”
Albums: E. 1999 Eternal, Bad, and Aquemini
Books: It’s embarrassing to admit how little I read. Does The Crow count? Infinity Gauntlet? Civil War? Whatever.
Movies: There Will Be Blood, Avengers, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day
TV Shows: Sons Of Anarchy, Walking Dead, Breaking Bad…this list could take a while.
Websites: comicbookmovie.com (Don’t read the comments. Fanboys can be total dicks.), eBaumsworld.com, *reverbnation.com.
*That last one is a joke.
CR: The greatest TV shows for me have always been Martin, Dave Chapelle Show and In Living Color. I used to like a lot of music websites until every other post was about Young Thug. One of the greatest songs I have ever heard is “Beast of Burden” by The Rolling Stones. The most underrated Hip-Hop album of all time is Sticky Fingaz’s, Black Trash. The greatest movies ever made are the first three Die Hard films, the first two Terminator films, and the first three Indiana Jones films.
Name 5 songs (yours excluded) that we would expect to find on your iPod or Music Player
• Rip: Carl Roe – “Ones & Zeroes”
• Kendrick Lamar – “Money Trees”
• Jay Cole – “God’s Gift”
• Bone Thugs -n- Harmony – “Down ’71 (The Getaway)”
• Yelawolf – “Devil in My Veins”
CR: 2Pac – “Shorty Wanna Be a Thug”
• Pusha T – “F.I.F.A.”
• Joyner Lucas – “Mansion”
• Busta Rhymes – “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See”
• Yelawolf – “Best Friend”
What special-hero type skills are you blessed with?
Rip: The ability to co-parent my children with their mother without degrading her or fighting about petty bullshit. Seriously, people, it’s not that fuckin tough.
CR: Leaping tall buildings in a single bound, pushing the earth away from my body in front leaning rest position, and going beast mode on Call Of Duty.
Where can everyone reading this interview keep up with your adventures?
Rip: You can find me personally at Facebook.com/ripyntmusic and youtube.com/ripynt. Ripynt & Carl Roe are at soundcloud.com/ripyntandcarlroe. Our YouTube channel is still pretty new, so YouTube doesn’t allow a custom URL. Which is ridiculous. But we did recently drop a video for “Cruise Control” off our Martians LP, which you can view here: https://youtu.be/5zVEzKX41gg
CR: My social network identities are as follows:
• Twitter: https://twitter.com/carl_roe
• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carlroe
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CarlRoe
• SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/CarlRoe
• YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/CarlRoeMusic
*Also, you can find the music via any online music retailer and service (iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc.)
Any final thoughts?
Rip: We are among you. #MARTIANS
CR: Time is money. I am time. I cost money. Your rent’s due, motherf***er. Now I have a machine gun…Ho…Ho…Ho….