I recently interviewed Mike Booth of Bad Apples and now of the new Lunatic Asylum Boys. Here’s a little of what he had to say about the rap scene in Utah:
Portia Early: What is your role in the local rap scene and are you happy with what Utah has to offer since rap seems pretty small and not known to most people?
Mike Booth: As far as my role in the hip-hop scene, I am a participant. I do a little of everything! I run a small label called Penalty Box Recordings, I’m a host on my Internet station WeekendRapUp.com, I’m an engineer at my studio, PBR Music, I’m a member of the Lunatic Asylum Boys (debut LP coming this June), a member of The Bad Apples, and a member of the production crew the Drum Snobs. I wrote reviews for SLUG magazine and currently run a music/sports blog at PBRMusic.com. I'm very happy with the diversity of the Utah hip-hop scene. From gangsta rap to backpack rap, we have it all here. It’s really good stuff, too!
PE: Do you have hopes to make hip hop grow in this state?
MB: Yes, I do have hopes that it grows. I started the Weekend Rap Up Internet station to do just that—promote local music, while promoting my music at the same time.
PE: Do you see the Utah rap scene going anywhere?
MB: The scene will go as far we take it! I really believe that we have the potential to become the next Minneapolis or Boston, or New York, for that matter. There is so much undiscovered talent here in Utah, Salt Lake especially.
PE: What are your likes and dislikes of Utah rappers?
MB: The only thing that bothers me about Utah rappers is the lack of unity. I think a unified scene would help extend all of our fan bases. I think the talent out here is tremendous ... I mean with Task & Linus, Mike Skilz, Verse 1, Nik The Sik, Kaotic, Foekis, Konsickwence, YZE, The Bad Apples, Hades, Young Sim, Emerson Kennedy, Dusk, The Kno It Alls, MC Enee One, Ebay Jamil, Fisch, Numbs, Ruthless, Mista Walk, Joe Bacca, Lips Disaster, Den of the Flow, Adverse, Dean Risko, Form, Burnell Washburn, Pat Maine, Philthy Phil, The Strangerz ... you have to ask yourself, how in the fuck are we still being overlooked?
PE: Are you old enough to remember the Utah rap band Numbs, who formed in the early ’90s? They are coming out with new material this year.
MB: Yes, actually I am. My first show after I moved to Salt Lake City was a City Weekly Music Awards showcase at the Lazy Moon. I went on third and eventually lost to Numbs. I think it may have been ’98 or ’99. Almost 10 years later, Rick One from Numbs produced a few tracks on The Bad Apples album.
PE: What's your advice to young rappers in Utah?
MB: Get your publishing straight. Know your worth. Hustle, hustle, hustle.