With the epic success of Odd Future, it was only a matter of time before more hip-hop skating, do-it-yourself collectives started appearing in the music world. Perrion and his brother, Microphone Preview, have been building up their own posse, High Off Music Entertainment (or HOME), based out of NYC and Atlanta. The most recent release from their group is Perrion’s Le Bourgeon mixtape. With creative production and solid lyrics covering a range of topics, Le Bourgeon is an enjoyable summer listen. Hit the skip for the full text of our interview with the young jedi.
Fantastic: For those who don’t know, who is Perrion?
Perrion: 20 year old rapper/producer from Washington Heights, NYC.
Fantastic: On your first track you mention you were signed by a record label for a brief period when you were 14; how long have you been making music and what went on with the label?
Perrion: Well I was signed to Universal Records with my brother. We were signed by this dude named Kedar and [then] Sylvia Rhome came and took over and pretty much dropped all of Kedar’s artists. I’ve been making music since around the age 9 or 10.
Fantastic: Seeing as you only have two mixtapes out I’m guessing you took a break from music for a while? Or have you just been busy producing for other rappers?
Perrion: Nah it’s because I moved back to NY from Atlanta and all of my studio equipment is back home in Atlanta still. I’ve been going to a studio out here though. I’m gonna start working on my next mixtape soon. Just out here doing shows now and getting my name out around the city.
Fantastic: I see. Would talk a little bit about your most recent project (and the upcoming project)?
Perrion: Le Bourgeon was done in about a month [download here]. Then I was just going over mixing it about 6 times. A lot of songs were added on last minute like “Turn On Tune In” and “SOYB.” “SOYB” just happened to be one of the songs that turned out to be a single because my manager liked it so much. [Concerning the new project] I’m in the process of writing for it now since I can’t produce any beats at the moment. I usually make beats to the flows of my rhymes when I don’t write to a beat. I did this for some songs on Le Bourgeon also. The next tape is going to be called Rocket Science.
Fantastic: That’s interesting; most rappers don’t write to the beat they eventually spit over and I don’t think I’ve ever heard of an artist making a beat to fit their particular verse. Who are your main influences for both rapping and production?
Perrion: Kanye and Pharell have always been a big influence for both producing and rapping, or just making music in general. And I’ve been listening to Odd Future since they came out and it inspired me a lot. Tyler is a really good producer and Earl is super good at rapping, especially for his age.
Fantastic: Word. I meant to ask you about Odd Future; with your lo-fi synth production, skater persona, and free music distributed over a personal website a lot of obvious parallels can be drawn between yourself and the OF click. Care to comment on these similarities?
Perrion: Well I’ve been skating for about 8 years now and always loved skating. And why not give out free music to the public to get your name out and collect a bunch of fans? Also, I’ve always been a fan of making really simple but dope beats. And it just so happened that me and Tyler both used logic [for our albums] and a lot of the sounds and instruments were similar. I even come across some of the sounds he used and play out some of his melodies for kicks. But my friend Eri who gave me Logic also hooked me up with a bunch of break beat drums that I chop and sample. I fell in love with sampling different older tunes ever since I found out how to do it.
Fantastic: You also have 13 people listed on your website as part of your crew. What is you relationship with them? Do they all make music too? Obviously working in a large group of musicians has its advantages. Do you think larger groups are going to become more common in the hip hop community?
Perrion: Well my brother wanted to start a group High Off Music Ent. or HOME, and recruited most of the members on there. I recruited more later on when I moved down to Atlanta, and not everyone raps. Post is a poet, photographer, and shoots videos. I think it’s a good idea to come together as a group and put out music because it helps everyone gain the same amount of fans. We are hoping to eventually make it a label one day. And with that in mind I think a lot of later artists will catch on and do the same.
Fantastic: Does your brother have anything coming out soon?
Perrion: He’s working on his new mixtape now called Rise To Power and just put out a video for his song “Rebel.” It’s dope as fuck. Check it out on the website High Off Music dot com.
Fantastic: I guess I’ll finish with a few random questions unless you have anything else you wanna make known to the public.
Perrion: Iight cool go ahead.
Fantastic: Top 5 albums of all time?
Perrion: Le Bourgeon, The Pre Fix [Microphone Preview's album], Ready to Die, Graduation, Covert Coup. I can play those straight through non stop all day.
Fantastic: Top producers?
Perrion: Pharell, Kanye, Alchemist, 9th Wonder, and Flying Lotus.
Fantastic: Last question: If you could only pick one and were guaranteed success would you rap, produce, or skate? Or something else?
Perrion: Skate. Because I would love to travel and skate new spots around the world for free and meet tons of different people and cultures while getting paid to do so.
Fantastic: Cool, thanks for the interview and good luck to you.
Perrion: Iight. Cool man. Thanks.
Keep up with Perrion via his Tumblr. Words/interview by Fantastic.