Chad Thomas Carsten: Reflecting back over a decade ago. What inspired you start spitting the darker side of hip-hop?
Outbreak Monkey: Simple, like many others in this scene. ICP. See before I discovered the Wicked Shit, I pretty much only listened to Gangsta Rap. And after years of listening to the music, I decided to use it as one of my own creative outlets. Plus music gives you that magical feeling ya know. Who doesn’t wanna spread a little bit of magic!?
CTC: Define Wicked Underground and what the scene personally means to you today?
OBM: Kinda like life. It’s fucked up! *Laughs* As long as you got a good attitude the Wicked Underground will accept you. Don’t be a fucking dick sucker and everything should be all good. I’ve met some of my best people in the WU. And at the same time it can sad place. One moment you got an artist around doing their thing and next, nothing. That shit sucks.
CTC: What would you say is the most wildest moment you witnessed face to face within the Wicked Wisconsin scene?
OBM: Oh man… OH MAN! How do I even put this. Geno (Dark Half) at Foley’s in Lake Geneuva “doing”stuff” with the microphone. If you were there, you know what I’m talking about. Man, I really miss that guy. RIP
CTC: Can you break down how difficult it was at first to adjust to your own personal life behind moving away from Germany and moving to the United states?
OBM: Not too difficult. I mean sure there was some culture shock going on, but for the most part it’s the same. My family has always been around Americans before I was even born, so I kinda got a jump start on learning the language and culture. As far as me learning how to speak English is kind of a funny story. So I’ve been playing video games since I was like five years old and by the time I was eleven or twelve I got into RPG’s and Final Fantasy VII had just came out in the US. See Europe used to get shit way later. A friend of our family who had been stationed in Germany had left his gaming stuff at our house while he went away for a few months. And sure as shit, FF7 was among the games he left behind. I sat there with what I knew already and one of them small ass German/English dictionaries and translated my way through the game. I had like 70 hours by the time I hit the end of Disc 1! *Laughs* I do miss German stuff, but then again I live in America! A lot of you people take this country for granted. Show some respect!
CTC: How exactly does the album art from your past and present releases reflect who you are as a person?
OBM: I’d like to think it’s pretty spot-on. I try to make my album covers “iconic” in a way. Like, some of my albums don’t even have the artist name or title on it. I want people to know what the album is without a bunch of shit being showed down their throat. You know, BIG ASS LETTERING and no creativity to it. It’s the old “don’t judge a book by its cover” deal right? If I see you got a trash ass album cover, I don’t care how dope the music is. If you already fucked up on what I can see before I even hear it; sorry bro, ain’t wasting my time.
CTC: Which record from your entire discography do you think underground hip-hop fans related to the most and why?
OBM: Easy, my latest and greatest release, “Welcome to the Stoned Age”. It’s got horrorcore, nerdcore, stoner shit, hip-hop, rock vibes, heartfelt shit. It’s a lot of shit mixed together to form a beautiful piece of music. Gotta throw some extra thanks to my Lyrikal Snuff Productionz producers Leprikon and Fiasco Andretti (and Halfway Creek, your secret is safe with me!)! Subject matter ranges a lot too on this record from one track is literally about me fighting a T-Rex and the next about some real life shit. One is about how things get stupid messed up when you’re stoned and the next about needing that one shot to get noticed. ya know?! A little something for everybody packaged into a little musical present from me to you people.
CTC: Why should the underground world be focused on your career right now?
OBM: If you want content, I got content. With a large backlog and more music on the way I got you covered if you enjoy what I do. Plus, not to suck my own dick or nothing, but I happen to be a pretty chill, humble and entertaining dude. Also, I don’t know about the word “career”. I’m not “in it to win it”, but I sure as hell put more heart into this shit then a lot of other cats in the scene.
CTC: How differently challenging was it to create “Welcome to the Stoned Age versus past Outbreak Monkey releases?
OBM: I kinda took it back to square one on this release. I added onto the home studio, actually learned about mixing and mastering. Really tried giving people a good mix of myself. See, I kinda got fucked over when I was creating my last full-length “Taxidermy” to point where I was like “fuck it, if I give em another album it better be the people remember me for”. Fast forward a few years and here I am, better then ever and ready to release more dope shit for you people.
CTC: Any story behind the album art you’d like to share for “Welcome to the Stoned Age” and is the album art exactly how you first envisioned?
OBM: First off. *Pauses* Man, Jacob (8 Legz) killed that shit hard. I sent him over a 2 minute sketch and a detailed description of what I wanted and he got it. I’ll take my trophy for “Album Art of the Year” now, thank you. *Laughs* Also the main theme is pretty much, “the world is so fucked up now, we might as well go back to the stone age”.
CTC: What was your main goal and accomplishment you wanted to achieve with “Welcome to the Stoned Age” when first developing the concept for the LP?
OBM: Bigger, better, harder, making this the album I’ll be remembered for.
CTC: Where you exactly were you when you wrote all your lyrics for the “Welcome to the Stoned Age” LP?
OBM: I was at “The Purple Room” in Wicked Wisco! And mentally kind of all over the place. I didn’t really care about what others wanted to hear from me this time, but more of what I felt. If something didn’t feel natural or forced, I didn’t fuck with it.
CTC: How did you go about which artists you wanted to have featured within “Welcome to the Stoned Age” and what was it like working with each artist featured?
OBM: I kinda sat back and looked at who really treated me with respect over the years ya know. People who weren’t just down to rock a track because I could pay em or something. As far as working with each individual artist let me break it down for ya. “Menacide” – this dude is the fucking truth! A legend in the underground and an all around good man in my eyes. This guy has given me tons of advice and never treated me like less of a person even when my skills on the mic were dog shit. “Insane LOC” – found out about this dude by being featured on some of the same Underground Hustlin releases. Really a diamond in the rough. Dropped one of my favorite collabs verses ever and has such a dope voice. “Madd Maxxx” – I gotta be honest man. Besides hearing this dude on some Infect track I slept on his shit for a long time. Saw him drop some videos on social media and started interacting with him. Turns out we think a lot alike and dude can rap with the best of em. Also one of my favorite verses I’ve gotten. “Mars” – hate him, love him, hate making love to him? Whatever the case might be, me and this dude go back like 10 years now. Dropped a bunch of knowledge on me and is even a big reason why I ended up linking up with Wicked Wisconsin. “GrewSum” – this guy was the very first bigger artist I approached about a collab and he fucking rocked it! And here we are all these years later and a bunch of dope tracks to show for it. “McNastee” – again, another dope rapper and all around person that’s helped me along the way. This guy is another one of those hidden legends in the underground. Not only on the mic but on the illustration and graphics tip also. Much respect my friend. “Intrinzik” – this guy dropped one of my all time favorite albums (Real Time) and has, again, treated me well over the years. Very spiritual and positive. Again man, much much fucking love and respect to each and every person that worked on this album in any way.
CTC: Which track pushed you beyond your musical limits for the better inside “Welcome to the Stoned Age”?
OBM: Hmmm. Maybe a mix of “Demons” and “Don’t Follow Me”. Both kind of deal with mental illness and what it’s like being trapped in that darkness. People either dismiss it or blow it out of proportion to the point where it’s almost comical. But, the shit is real 100%. Taking that step was nice and laying it down on a track like that.
CTC: Which song from the “Welcome to the Stoned Age” do you personally relate to the most and why?
OBM: Again, I can’t really just pick one song, so I gotta go with a mix between “Level Up” and “Rest in Piss“. The first one because I had to put it down for my gamer-nerd-pop-fiction people. And the second one because, look, nowadays music pays for itself, and I also have a son. Part of the hook explains it best, “fuckin with my money is like fuckin with my kids food”. Gonna be a bad time for the person responsible.
CTC: Which strain of Marijuana do you recommend smoking up to when listening to “Welcome to the Stoned Age”?
OBM: Strain don’t matter much, just smoke weed.
CTC: How satisfied are you with the final outcome behind “Welcome to the Stoned Age”?
OBM: Very satisfied. One a technical level it could of used one last pass to iron things out just a little bit, but besides that everything from the beats to the collabs to the overall sound. People call this my best release yet and I think they’re totally right about that. I think it’s got a little something for everyone on it.
CTC: What do you hope to accomplish as an recording artist in the next five years?
OBM: Hopefully release everything that I have in mind. *Laughs* I still got something dropping in October and in December. Besides that I really wanna start focusing on my art. Comics and stuff like that. Now THAT is a real life dream of mine. Having my very own OBM comic series.
Interviewer: Chad T. Carsten