Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Interview with JUICEOnline.com

Sometimes it’s more than having a great career start, but it’s about timing as well. Joe Flizzow and Malique came out at the perfect timing when they released their debut Whuttadilly? back in 1999. It was fresh, and underground hip hop was huge then, so there were plenty of cred for the Too Phat duo. Whatever took place along the way, there’s one thing that is for sure - the boys are Malaysian legends. The entrepreneur of Kartel Records, Joe Flizzow recently released his debut solo album called President. It was a long wait but JUICE is mad happy for him. We even flew to Jakarta with the man as reported last month, and now we’ve arranged this chat for you. Here’s our ditty with Joe Flizzy about Blackberry, Harith Iskander, sotong bakar and Yeezy.

Hello Joe. How has your week been?
Whattup JUICE, it’s been good. Been working hard and partying hard. No complaints though. (smiles)

That’s cool. Congrats on the album release. So, do you smell AIM wins for President this year?
Thank you! We’re very happy to be having 7 nominations in 5 categories so from a label’s point of view, it’s a great start to the year! It’s crazy that both Malique and I dominated the Best Hip Hop song category. I hope they’ll make it open to all languages next year. As for winning on the big day, whatever happens, happens. A lot of talented acts will be up in the mix so I guess we’ll see how it goes.

Definitely. Your label Kartel is doing so well now, especially with the Kartel Hitmen hitting up clubs in town. What else can we expect from you? Joe Flizzow shoes?
It’s great to see the family grow stronger, with more DJs and more of our regular nights getting recognition. As for diversifying our business, I think it’s only natural that we have a foot in other areas and fields. Joe Flizzow kicks? We’ll have to wait and see.

We just witnessed the release of Jin Hackman and MicWrecka’s album release. What do you think of the new generation of hip hop artists?
Jin Hackman, Kraft, Dose Two, Caprice, SonaOne. These are some young cats that definitely have the talent and fire, plus an understanding of the whole culture too. It will be interesting to see which one of them will push the envelope and come correct with a really balanced album and polished act. At the end of the day, when you’re an artist, success is measured by sales. Who is gonna be the next big thing? Kartel Records will have the answer to that question soon. No doubt.

Nice. Do you think the good ol’ days of hip hop gigs will ever be relived again?
I sure hope so, but it won’t be the same. Back then, the peeps that went to the hip hop gigs were probably the only ones that were down with hip hop. It was so alien to the masses back then that we found solidarity and a sense of family-hood at a hip hop gig, regardless of which part of town you’re from. The beef … well let’s just say it came hand in hand ‘cos hip hop is like that. Regardless of whether you’re an MC or graff writer, you’d always wanna get out on one another. That’s the beauty about it. Unlike back then, when you couldn’t get enough of hip hop. Nowadays, everything is hip hop and everybody is suddenly an authority when it comes down to the subject matter.

We feel you. What’s this about Harith Iskander being one of the pioneers in the KL hip hop scene?
Word! Let it be known that I schooled ya’ll on that one. (Yes, Joe was telling JUICE about Harith during dinner in Jakarta) Nah, actually when it comes to hip hop, of course you can’t forget groups like Krash Kozz and Naughtius Maximus, as they laid the foundations in the early 90s. A lot of people don’t know that breakdancing was already around in the mid 80s with crews such as KL City Breakers already pop locking and tearing up the lino mat. Harith Iskander was one of the pioneer b-boys! Respect!

Dope stuff there. OK, we can’t help but notice the old school Blackberry you’re using.
(Laughs) T-Bone and I got our Blackberry pretty early so we still got the side scroll one and it’s a real chunky-analog looking Crackberry. I love it, though recently I got the new Javelin. I wouldn’t say I’m tech savvy, but I do get the standard must haves – iPod, PS3, LCD TV, GPS for the ride and Apple MacBook. No robots or Sony Aibos for me yet though.

We’re sure you will one day. If you have to choose 1 thing to eat for the rest of the year, what would it be?
Sotong bakar at the poolside of Lake Club. Straight fire!

Oooh take us! But before that, what’s one album you would have with you anytime of the day?
Reasonable Doubt by Jay-Z. Might be a bit cliché, but at least I copped it when it came out in ‘96 at Virgo, 1Utama.

You’ve been quite a jet-setter. Where are you heading next?
It’s been a busy, but pretty happening couple of weeks. Just came back from Jakarta for 2 shows and was recently in London for another. After that, we had Sunburst and Amsterdam for the New Skool Rules conference. Then I think I’ll try and get away to Pulau Rawa for a few days before the grind starts again.

You da man la Joe! What would you do if you were the real president?
I’d sit down with Obama and we’ll have a long conversation before we swap Blackberry pin numbers.

Terence C couldn’t spit a rhyme for JUICE, could you do one for us?
I could talk more about your kind, but I hate to elaborate
I’d rather concentrate on running a conglomerate
Study KLSE and foreign exchange rates
KL emcees say I’m the rapper they love to hate
KL city is where I was born so I represent
So KL backs me when Flizzy run for President
Kartel for government, this game we govern it
I will release the incarcerated with a Kings pardon man
Oh sorry please pardon me. I cannot stop stuntin’ man
That’s impossible like getting girls to leave my apartment
They love me like department stores and compliments
Meet me after shows and we will probably get intimate
Yes I know they into it I guess I am intuitive
This is real talk no bull all legitimate
Haters still rocking cheap wool I’m in cashmere
Catch me if you can muthafu*&^ I’m Frank Abagnale
(Verse 3 ‘Running’)


Joe Flizzow’s album President is available at all major music stores around the country. He recently released his album at Ghetto Heaven @ Zouk on 31 March 2009. Hit up joeflizzow.blogspot.com now!

Image YZ International

Reproduced from JUICEOnline.com

*Mad props to Kevin Yeoh and JUICE for continually showing mad love to me and the entire hip-hop scene.

Monday, April 27, 2009

AWHATUP.com Launch Party @ Club Ibiza, Bangkok

Kartellohello peeps!

If you've been following my blog, you'd have known by now that I was in Bangkok recently for AWhatUp.Com's Launch Party. It was fantastic and we totally killed it out in BKK!!

Here are some snaps for all your kartellohello.com heads:

Mad love and respect to Thaitanium for making this happen!

And don't forget to visit awhatup.com for the latest in Asian hip-hop.

One love,
Joe Flizz.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Netherlands Experience - NSR 2009!

KartelloHello peeps!

Part 1 – Amsterdam

As some of you might already know, I recently represented Malaysia at the New Skool Rules Hip Hop/Rnb conference in Rotterdam, Netherlands. When my manager, Yaniz Merican told me the good news I was elated, because this meant that we would be flying into Amsterdam!

Checking-in at KLIA assisted by the helpful MAS staff.

The 12½ hour flight on MAS went by really quickly as we were attended to by the friendly staff on board MH016. I had more than sufficient leg-room space and the excellent in-flight entertainment kept me happy and contented throughout the length of the flight. Not to forget - I manage to catch some well deserved shut-eye!

On board flight MH016 en route to Amsterdam for the NSR Convention!

We finally arrived safely at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and took the train to Central Station which is situated directly opposite the Victoria Park Plaza. After checking into our hotel, we headed straight to the Van Gogh Museum. I was in awe of Starry Night and the Rembrandts were simply amazing!

Fresh off the flight at Central Station

We also took the opportunity to visit the Rijksmuseum which is the largest museum in Amsterdam. Parts of the building were under renovation but we still managed to get a look at many interesting exhibits that were on display. The building that houses this museum was an architectural marvel overlooking the many canals that can be found in the city.

In front of Rijksmuseum

I was particularly impressed with the elevated sense of the urban culture the city of Amsterdam enjoys. A lot of people on the streets were clearly influenced by the urban movement and you could see fantastic pieces of graffiti all over the city.

One of the many graffiti artwork that can be found around Amsterdam.
Check out the Air Yeezy's!

Since we were in Amsterdam, it was only right that we did the obligatory canal boat tour! The tour brought us through the many inner-city canals and harbors. We got a glimpse of the many boathouses moored along the canals. Did you know that there are now boathouses that have been converted to hotels that you can stay in? I would love to give it a try one day.

A view of the canal

Our stay in Amsterdam was further made more comfortable and convenient with the presence of a fellow countryman, my friend and ex-breakdancer Achaap, who is currently residing in Amsterdam. He doubled up as our tour guide and being somewhat of a local himself, he brought us to places not usually frequented by tourists which really gave me a good perspective of the sort of the local lifestyle in Amsterdam.

with Achaap and his fam in Amsterdam

Part 2 – Rotterdam

After two days in Amsterdam (which literally flew by!), we were off to Rotterdam for the main reason for our tour - the New Skool Rules Convention. We were joined by fellow BumSquad DJs Phat Phillie from Croatia, Criscokidd from Houston and BumSquad President Latin Prince.

Me, Latin Prince & Phat Phillie!

With DJ Latin Prince. Representing the Bumsquad DJs and Blackberry Nation worldwide!

I felt proud to be the only Malaysian and Asian representing at the convention. Being the only person rocking the Air Yeezy’s definitely helped too! Especially whilst in the presence of legendary hip-hop icons such as MC Shan, DJ Tony Touch, Fredro Starr, Bishop Lamont and hundreds of other movers and shakers in the hip-hop world.

With Aftermath Ent. artist Bishop Lamont!

The NSR convention was held in 4 different locations, the main one being in the Maassilo in Rotterdam South. Other locations included the Factory 010, Baroeg and LCC 't Klooster. We had to commute between these locations to participate in the various activities.

Outside one of the convention locations

Being interviewed by Vibe Magazine! Watch out for that interview.

It was certainly a global gathering of the hip-hop community and we had a good interacting and networking session amongst each other. The workshops and talks that I attended really inspired me with a renewed and refreshed outlook towards hip-hop as a culture, an industry and a business. I will definitely be applying some of the things I learned at NSR to my day-to-day undertakings!

With Yaniz, my manager.

After the conference ended, it was finally time to say goodbye to the Netherlands. We flew back using MAS and although it had only been 6 days since we left Malaysia for Amsterdam, it was certainly a great feeling to be greeted by the friendly smiles of the MAS staff as we boarded our flight home. I now understand why the award-winning MAS cabin crew is considered to be the best in the world. The warmth and sincerity shown towards me and my tour-mates by the MAS staff and cabin crew was certainly reflective of their “Malaysian Hospitality” ethos and made the long journey between Kuala Lumpur and Amsterdam (and back!) a most memorable and pleasant one!

With the lovely stewardesses on MH016!

Shoutout to all them NSR peeps and also a special shoutout to Malaysian Airlines!

One Love!

Joe Flizzow.

Joe Flizzow to perform at the AWhatup.Com Launch Party in Bangkok

KUALA LUMPUR, 20th April 2009 - Joe Flizzow will be heading out to Bangkok again. This time to represent Malaysia as the Malaysian Representative of AWhatUp.Com - the brand new Asian Hip-Hop MegaSite.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

JUICEOnline.com: Joe Flizzow @Jakarta

So JUICE decided to hit up Jakarta with Joe Flizzow, DJ Cza and YZ International’s Yaniz for the weekend. Both boys had been invited to perform at two Trigger Production events, and so JUICE gets in on the action. So we got off our KLM flight and waited at KFC for our ride. Man, the hustling and bustling in Jakarta is crazy! And JUICE can confirm the legendary rumours – Jakarta’s traffic jams are killa. Once we checked into Atlet Century Hotel, we went straight to Equinox for the boys’ sound check. After a speedy sound check, we braved the rainy weather back to the hotel for a late dinner, and off we go. Show time!

Located at Senayan Plaza, the club looks good. Entry to R&B, hip hop club Equinox is through the trance side of the club downstairs. To celebrate Trigger Production’s 4th Anniversary, MC Mistah of Diplomats International, DJ Ethnic, new Trigger DJ w.W and Australia’s Mike Hyper showed Jakarta what it’s all about, alongside our KL boys. And it looks like we have more in common with our friendly neighbours than just the border – the club scene here starts after midnight too.

Cza stood his ground on the decks at the very high console while Joe commanded the crowd. When the duo performed ‘Bergerak’, which is the Malay version of ‘Tear It Up’, the crowd went wild, especially as Joe called out to peeps in the crowd who are from “Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Singapura.”

The crowd at Equinox was wild and despite the variety of the hip hop DJs of the night, everyone was friendly, and definitely less uptight than KL. We got a taste of partying Jakarta-style, and it felt like a deliciously never-ending episode. With Jakarta 1 hour behind KL, we were wildin’ out until 5am. Woah!

After a hard night of partying, JUICE crashed hard until about 2pm the next day. Jakarta really knows how to party! The day went by easily enough with everyone catching up or visiting friends. We went to the malls nearby – FX Mall, Senayan Plaza and Senayan City. JUICE writer Kevin Yeoh tried his first ever Krispy Kreme and drooled at the sight of MOS Burger, but didn’t have enough time or space in his tummy for that. We were impressed by the food courts in Senayan City that are well-organised. Just get a card to swipe your orders, and pay as you exit. There’s even a ‘velvet rope’ at the payment counter, a smoking area for cancer sticks indulgences, and beer is allowed! Sweet.

After a chilled out day, the troupe gathered again and met up for the night’s show. We headed over to Pure Bar, which is a rotating restaurant/bar on the 36th floor. It wasn’t moving at the time we got there, but the view is mad dope. The venue is in the shape of a donut, so you can’t really see what is happening unless you move to the DJ console. The itinerary included a bartending competition, but we had no idea what went on because the female MC, apparently a radio DJ, talked way too much and delayed Cza’s set. Tsk tsk.

We could see it was a tough crowd to pull and didn’t keep our expectations too high. We guessed it was more of a pre-party venue, but the next thing you know, it was 4 in the morning.

Jakarta has been good to us. It has been humid, but the food, company and new friendships we forged made it more than just bearable. Aww… And with the memory of Jakarta that was way dope, we headed back to home sweet home on Sunday.

(Funny story on the way back: This kid was kicking the back of our seat in the plane, so JUICE told the kid’s mum to have her child sit still. She asked us to tell the kid instead because he won’t listen to her. Great parenting. Geez.)

JUICE was in Jakarta with Joe Flizzow, DJ Cza and YZ International from 27 March to 1 March. Much thanks to YZ International and Trigger Production for taking care of us and showing us the love. We love you too!

Check out the trip’s Gallery here.

Props to Kevin Yeoh for the write up.

Reproduced from JUICEOnline.com

Friday, April 3, 2009

Joe Flizzow to perform at New Skool Rules 2009 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


Joe Flizzow to perform at New Skool Rules 2009 in Rotterdam.

KUALA LUMPUR, 31 March 2009 – Joe Flizzow is set to represent Malaysia at New Skool Rules 2009 which is the world’s biggest annual Hip-Hop and R&B conference that will be held this year in Rotterdam, The Netherlands from the 9th to 11th of April 2009.

Joe Flizzow will be performing at the Bum Squad Djs Showcase that will take place on the 10th of April 2009.

I am honoured to be given the opportunity to represent Malaysia at this very important music festival” said Joe Flizzow who recently released his debut solo studio-album “President” in December 2008 under Kartel Records.

This three day international music conference, with over twenty countries taking part will feature over 10 panels and 25 showcases, concerts, 15 workshops and master-classes, over 8 after-parties, speed-date sessions (networking), open call auditions, listening sessions, consultancy and much more.

Joe Flizzow’s performance in Rotterdam will be yet another international showcase by Malaysia’s International Hip-Hop Ambassador who has in the past year performed in London, Melbourne, Shanghai, Jakarta and Bangkok.

Web Site: http://www.kartellohello.com/

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Press Release from Kartel Records: 1 April 2009


Congratulations to KRS-One from Joe Flizzow and Kartel Records!

KUALA LUMPUR, 1 April 2009 – Joe Flizzow and Kartel Records would like to extend its heartiest congratulations to the legendary KRS-One for being voted Rap’s Greatest of All Time by the readers of Unkut.com.

KRS-One who received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2008 BET Awards is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of the hip-hop culture.

He was also recently featured on Joe Flizzow’s debut album President on the song “Get It Done” which pays tribute to the Nike Air Force 1 sneakers.

Joe Flizzow and Kartel Records wishes KRS-One continued success.

Web Site: http://www.kartellohello.com/