Breez Evahflowin’ is a name that should be associated with quality hip-hop. With over a 300 song catalog of music, a world famous podcast and drawing skills, ESP wanted to know if there is anything this man can’t do. Read the interview to found out and discover things that you may not have known about Breez Evahflowin’.
ESP: Breez Evahflowin’ is a name that definitely stands out. Where did the name come from and what does it mean to you?
Breez: I started out as a kid as just Breeze in 1989 cause it felt cool, and I wanted to be cool badly. Rap was cool and I was a fan of the smooth rappers like Big Daddy Kane and EPMD. than I realized there was a Breeze in Philly and in Cali. I added on the Evahflowin in the mid 90’s. The Evahflowin part made it really stand out and I guess it’s been good to me. I still focus alot on my flow, it was always something that I wanted to be different from everyone else’s and I still do. I don’t see an end to rhyming, I see it as something you can work on your whole life and constantly see improvement. And that’s how I’ve embraced Evahflowin.
ESP: Many people believe that MTV was your first appearance as an emcee but you had songs before this. What was your first introduction to the hip-hop community?
Breez: The 360degree hip hop seminar from 1993. that was my first official stage battle. I said a line in that one that sent one of the judges “super producer” Clark Kent running to the back of the room laughing his ass off.
In 95 I spit a rhyme over the phone line to the Furious Five’s freestyle radio show on Hot97fm. They invited me down to the studio then made me the unofficial co-host for the remaining 2 years of the show. I got to rhyme next to Melle Mel who wrote a new rhyme every week!! Grandmaster Flash and then an up and coming Tony Touch on the wheels. Angie Martinez was our engineer. what a weird but good time. In 96 I was featured on my 2nd 12” release “who is the blackman” alongside Freedom Williams ( C&C music factory) as part of a crew called the Black Knights. Some of us later branched off to release another 12” the following year “Always” as the crew Hypodermic Needlz. My first solo 12” Came when I was being managed by Sean Prez and produced by Cassius Clay Mack in 1997. It was called “Forsaken” and it was one of the only independent hip-hop releases featured on Kenny Dope’s “hip-hop forever” compilation. It also made an appearance on the infamous Five deadly Venoms OF Brooklyn mixtape via PF Cuttin. Later in 1997 won the MC battle title at 88hiphop.com and went on to host the 2 minutes of fame segment for the program. I went on from there to produce hip hop content for multi million dollar Internet
start up UBO.com
1998 was the official formation of STRONGHOLD. Then later that year the Blaze Battle championship, a full page pic and 3 page write up in Blaze magazine.
2 video game soundtracks, a miller genuine draft commercial, the blaze pro-battle, than finally the MTV stuff, which compared to everything else wasn’t nearly as fun.
ESP: With a catalog of over 300 songs and numerous collaborations, this question maybe hard to answer. What would you say is your favorite Breez Evahflowin’ song?
Breez: I haven’t written it yet, but I’m getting really close.
ESP: After hosting on radio stations and shows you decided to start the John Henry Radio podcast. Where did this concept come from and who is this “Mr. Announcer” that we hear about Mr. Evahflowin’?
Breez: The concept came about when I started getting excited about the “John Henry Returns” Project. I spoke with my boy Noah D out west who manages deezlee.com and he was breakin down all the latest possibilities in digital promotions. He hipped me to the podcasts and how tons of people were catching there jams that way . He blessed me johnhenryradio.com and linked me to the podcast movement. without Noah D. there wouldn’t be a John Henry radio. Mr. announcer is my homie from around the way, he’s cool, just a lil’ slow.
ESP: Is this really the end of the John Henry Radio podcast? Will the John Henry Returns LP/Book be a continuation or something totally different?
Breez: For now, I’m nearing the end of my playable stash and I cant let the 40-50 new songs out of the gate just yet. It’ll be fun to do it again in about 6 or 7 years, I’ll easily have stacked up another 300 by
The LP will carry a lot of the weight of the radio show, especially the sound bites. It’s a theme album with such incredible guest
contributions, that it wont sound even a little dated by the actual release time. Wally What produced the whole project and it sounds great so far.
ESP: You are taking on the music industry but you are also going for the comic industry with the Evahflowin’ Issue #1 pencil art that was posted. How long have you been honing your art skills? What art projects do have coming up?
Breez: I’ve been drawing ever since I could walk. I had old closets full of crayon wall scribbles to prove it. I studied specifically cartooning and illustration at the Children’s Art Carnival in Harlem under Gil Ashby and Michael Davis for over 10 years. I Graduated Laguardia HS and did 2 years at the School of Visual arts University (kids, don’t quit school to rap!)
I’ve currently got all the production design for an off Broadway play, and a book cover illustration on the drawing table right now. I’m also trying to lock down a deal drawing hockey players as comic characters for a major hockey equipment manufacturer.
It pays the bills, but I’d take a pay cut in a second to work on a decent comic story. Evahflowin is a cool side project but I’m not a comic writer, I’d love to work with a good one though.
ESP: With so many different talents and projects, what do you do just to relax?
Breez: My girl drags me away from the table from time to time to make me go out and see things. I love her for it cause sometimes I zone out on work and get my Reed Richard’s on.
The god of war games release alot of angry stress I like workin, I just do, If I’m not working on something or haven’t worked in a while I get fidgety and anxious. My work relaxes me.
ESP: How did your affiliation with Stronghold come about? I know you are probably asked this a lot but when will there be a official Stronghold album?
Breez: We are all asked that alot. I personally have no idea, but I think it will be incredible when it does happen. The guys are great and I’m proud to be associated with them.
I remember that it started in writing. I passed out a leaflet with the heading “Strength in Numbers” and I gave it out to dozens of MC’s who were hanging out around the 88hiphop.com studio. Poison pen, Stelf Index and myself were hanging out partying pretty hard winter of 97 and we would always run into C-Rayz Walz. When the first official meeting was called in January I invited all of the MC’s I had handed flyers to come to crib and build on a unified front. the only heads who showed up were C-Rayz, Pen, Index and L.I.F.E. Long. We immediately started coming up with concepts for the numbers and the fingers of the fist and then Pen blessed up with the name! I started scribbling a sketch of the fist fortress. and Stronghold was born.
ESP: Is there anything you would like to add or say to your fans?
Breez: Yes, I first wanna say thank you for the support. This is therapy for me,
if it offers any of you any kind of a release than it makes me feel
that much better.
Keep an eye open for the troublemakers release which is coming soon and I feel is my best work ever released over some of the tightest production I’ve ever received thanks to Dirt E. Dutch. Also down the line I’ve got the Breez Deez Treez project produced by Davey Tree and Noah D and the Yes You project produced by Burt Fox. Not to exclude the kids but I’m primarily rhyming for those that have been there for the whole ride or have been on a long journey of their own. this is grown man music from now on, cause us grown folk need something to listen to also.
Just wanted to say thanks again to Breez for the interview and here are links if you want to discover more on your own:
Breez Evahflowin’ Myspace
Breez Evahflowin’ Youtube
Breez Evahflowin’ Art
Breez Evahflowin’ John Henry Radio
Breez Evahflowin’ Music
Breez Evahflowin’ Digital Music