California emcee Lucid Optics and UK producer Museum comprise a duo known as Modern Language. The duo recently released a new project An Offer You Can Totally Refuse and today we chop it up with Lucid Optics, the vocalist of the twosome. Check it out below and for more on them, check them on Facebook.
the9elements: How did you guys decide on your stage name?
Lucid Optics: Most of how we communicate is through emails since Tom’s (Museum) in England and I’m in the US. That relay formed our methods, how we work and just shoot the shit. So the biggest idea behind our name is how much impact digital communication has.
T9E: What made you decide to become a rapper?
LO: My sister and I were in the car one day and some awful song was playing on the radio. Don’t remember who it was but I said I could rap better than them. I was super young, probably twelve or thirteen and she challenged me. One of those “then why don’t you?” sorta deals.
So I rapped on spot about being in a club and she was kinda impressed like “that was actually good.” The twelve-year-old club bars never went plat but I had fun. I remember that moment still so it must’ve sparked something in me I’d discover I really wanted to do later. I don’t know when it actually clicked that I wanted to try and make moves. It was a process that just kept happening, was fun and felt right. I never decided or noticed when I became a rapper, the dominoes just fell that way.
T9E: What’s the first rap song you ever heard? Describe the moment.
LO: I don’t know. I didn’t like rap for a long time, then sometime in sixth grade I started on Dr. Dre, Eminem and Snoop Dogg. None of it really impacted me, it was just funny. The first song I remember really hooking me was “The Biggest Lie” by Felt. I was fourteen walking to my PE class and my friend was playing it on his speakers. It blew my mind because music never resonated with me on that level. The rest of the day I was waiting to get home and look up more Felt songs.
They made themselves vulnerable and I really felt it at that age. What I knew about rap went out the door when I heard Murs and Slug and I loved it. Now that I think about it… I heard a lot of the music I grew to love years before because of the Tony Hawk soundtrack (laughs). I just didn’t make the connection until my dude James played the greats and told me who to look up.
T9E: How did AOYCTR come together?
LO: Two of our tracks ended up on TairyHesticles’ YouTube page a few years ago. The channel was my first go-to place for Hip Hop, especially until the more popular stuff got taken down (Aesop Rock, Atmosphere, Eyedea & Abilities, Blueprint, Illogic, Tupac, Biggie, Wu Tang, Binary Star, think the only person of that caliber he had permission from and is still up is Sage Francis). Right before the copyright infringement stuff happened he was posting really underground music like my solo work as Lucid Optics, stuff from Museum, Airospace, Blaise B, Simon Sed, Cauzndefx, Jay Kubes and we all stayed in contact. We got a lot of views and feedback we weren’t expecting so it made sense to keep making music.
Modern Language sort of unintentionally disappeared for three years while minding our mad lives and making songs about them. It was a process of keeping in touch over emails and Skypes, Tom sending me beats, me writing and recording to them usually within a day, and then sitting on em for months and months until I could think of better ways to word things I didn’t capture right the first time, things of that nature. Some songs are done in one draft and others I sit on until I’m happy enough with every part. For me this is about making the best music I can, I want my songs to be good enough to keep people wanting to listen.
I think all my close peeps had a different favorite track on this album… small of a victory as it may seem I’m really happy about that. I waited to record some stuff until I had access to better equipment, too. I actually ended up staying with the legend Billy (aka Uncle Tairy/TairyHesticles) with my friend Airospace earlier this year and I recorded the EP while Airo was working on a project called vol. III.
We spent a couple months at Billy’s place in Washington writing, recording, and teaching ourselves about the industry and how to make a splash without a label’s help. He and I did a few tracks we still haven’t released but that’s a topic for another time. Eventually Tom and I realized we had enough songs for an album so we gave ourselves a deadline, invested in some artwork and a publicist, went over everything a bunch of times and ran it through digital distribution. We didn’t print any physical copies but we will eventually print shirts and CDs when I’m ready to tour again.
T9E: What’s your take on the presidential race?
LO: Uhhh oh, the presidential descent. I mean, I love living here and the people I’m surrounded by America just seems unsustainable. I really don’t know. There’s something alarming about everybody knowing this shit is a straight clown fiesta but is too drained, scared, comfortable, or just plain ignorant to impact the pendulum.
I’d like to see leaders who don’t harvest communities and nations to put more money in the pockets of people who already have more money than everyone else. I just don’t think many, if any candidates or politicians actually represent the population. I was “Feeling The Bern” from as much as I learned about him, I think Jill Stein seems cool but in all honesty I haven’t done much research about her ideas. All I know is it’s not looking good, basically seems like a battle to keep the lesser of two evils out of office. I’ll bet even Trump wants everyone to vote for Hillary.
So uhh. Peace!