How did you get into hip hop?
I fell in love with hip hop when I was a kid, I remember listening to actual tapes of hip hop. Back when tapes were around (LAUGHS). The first one I was listening to over and over again was the “Great Adventures of Slick Rick”. Hip hop was part of the culture for me. I grew up in the Bronx, you know break out the cardboard, B-boying and free styling.
When did you start making recording your own music?
It was the late 90’s, I started going to the studio and just making music and I’ve been doing that on and off since then. I’ve been a part of several groups, we’ve dispersed since then but we’re all still making music, including me. You get older and you start having other things to do as well you know?
And now you’ve become pretty heavily involved in Brazilian Ju Jitsu, take me through that.
About 7 years ago I started really getting into and its something else I’ve fallen in love with. It’s physically and mentally very engaging to me.
Do you see any comparison to the two because from an outsider’s point of view I could see where the two could be linked. A sort of obsessiveness is required to be good at either, I would imagine.
(LAUGHS) I never thought about it like that but yeah that’s a good analogy. It takes a lot of obsession and a little bit of craziness and dedication to be good at both. Hip hop, I mean music in general requires a ton of attention to be good at the craft. Lot of late nights listening to beats, writing lyrics and fine tuning your work. It correlates to Ju Jitsu to me because 3-4 days a week I’m practicing working on my technique and then you get to live sparring and you have to correct those mistakes. Analyze it, get better and make sure you don’t make those same mistakes again. The same kind of things that you do with your music.
So You’ve actually been combining those worlds and actually making some introduction music for fighters right?
The hip hop I enjoy making and listening to is more of that Boom Bap hip hop, the stuff I fell in love with. The gym I train at is a Brazilian Ju Jitsu gym but they also do MMA as well. Some of the guys I train with actually go in the cage, they aren’t in the UFC yet, they’re in some smaller leagues, but very reputable. Like the minor leagues in baseball. They get a pretty big draw for the fights though and they all obviously come out to songs. So I had an idea like, “I can do that”, so I ran the idea by them and I made some songs for some of the fighters and they liked them. And now they’re coming out to my music. That’s how I married the two, took my passion of music and fighting and put them together. I know the fighters so I know how to tailor it to the music.
Oh that’s really interesting, so do you make just one general song for a fighter or do you factor in the opponent and the scope of the match into the song?
So I do a little research into who they are facing so if it’s a big fight, that comes into play as well. I look into the opponent’s style of fighting, look at my buddy’s strengths and look at what he can capitalize on in the fight and I go from there. A lot of times what I do is I pick out a few beats and let the fighter listen to them first then they pick out which one gets them hyped, and then I write the lyrics to it and we’re good to go. Writing lyrics for one of those songs doesn’t take a ton of time because I have all of my inspiration right in front of me.
Little game here to wrap up at the end, I’m going to name a UFC figher and you tell me what song you think they should be coming out to.
(LAUGHS) Alright sounds good.
Jon Bones Jones?
(LAUGHS) Wu Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta F’ Wit
Alright, I only saw her fight those two fights but I would say Kick In The Door – Biggie
He’s a crazy dude. Something psychedelic, Solider Mischief, naw actually I take that back, something by the Gravediggaz.
Alright a couple throwbacks, Anderson Silva?
Anderson Silva, okay. Gotta be Nas, (RAPPING) You Can Hate Me Now but I Won’t Stop Now.
Oh wow that is a throwback, Metallica for sure. Enter the Sandman. Got to go heavy metal for him.
Great, so anything to plug on the way out of here?
You can find me as Paradox BX, you can find my music at Soundcloud and ReverbNation. A guy I wrote two songs for, Johnny Lopez, he’s won both fights that he came out to my music to. He’s got a championship fight on May 28th at Mohegan Sun. He’s going to be coming out to a song I wrote for him again so hopefully we can make it 3-0. The song is called “No More Mr. Nice Guy” which is his alias. And who knows maybe one of these guys can make it to the UFC and we’ll start hearing these songs up there.