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Behind the Beats: Flip

First and foremost, who is Flip?

I am a Rapper, Producer and DJ from Austria, doing it for nearly 20 years. I got into Hip-hop with the first Fat Boys album around 83' or 84' and I have been a Hip-hop junkie since.

Describe the hip-hop scene in Austria.

We have a small but very high level Hip-hop scene with lots of dope producers, MC´s, DJ´s, Writers and also some B-Boys and Girls. Hip-hop started out here around 89' with the first Austrian Hip-hop record Swound Vibes by the Moreaus, Peter Kruder of Kruder & Dorfmeister fame being part of it. Rap in German language started around 93' with my crew Texta being one of the first to do it.

You are apart of the legendary Austrian crew TEXTA. How did you guys meet and are you guys working on anything new?

We met around a small club in Linz called KAPU where I still host regular Hip-hop shows. We wanted to do a Hip-hop tribute song for this venue when it was reopened in 93', we never performed the song but started our rap career from then on. Right now we have released our sixth studio album, we have released one live Hip-hop album with a Hip-hop Big Band called SK Invitational, plus did several side and solo projects.

Listening to your album Umberto Ghetto, I found that you are rapping over your own production as well as providing the cuts. Do you find it difficult to rhyme over something that you created?

Sometimes yes and sometimes not. It´s more difficult to pick the beat I want to rhyme on cause there is so much to chose from... You always think: well I can build an iller beat.

What do you enjoy more, creating beats or rhyming? Why?

I would say 70% producing and 30% rhyming. Making beats is a different experience than dropping rhymes. It´s a different process that involves your body more so you can instantly feel and hear what you have created. But I like kicking rhymes too, especially in front of a crowd.

What was the concept that you tried to present with Umberto Ghetto?

There is a little concept behind the title which tries to mix European thinking (Umberto Eco is an important Italian philosopher and writer) which I was brought up with, with the place where Hip-hop was created in, namely the Bronx in the 70's. I was born around the time where Kool Herc hosted his first party so for me it´s a circle that closes. So I have influences from white European politics and philosophy with African American ways of thinking via Rap music. I can never be hood or ghetto but I heard the stories so I had to incorporate that into my state of mind, too, to understand the music and the culture.

Umberto Ghetto is a unique album that features emcees from America, most notably Michigan (Buff1 and 14 KT). How did these collaborations come to life?

I booked Buff1 and 14KT in 2007 for a show together with Slum Village and Phat Kat in Linz. They had a day off so we hit the studio and recorded the song. They have been here two times since, we are something like friends and they also played at my release party. Great guys! The other MC´s from Austria are from my label Tontraeger Records and Baay Sooley is a Rapper from Dakar/Senegal who is also a friend of mine and one of the best known MC´s in Senegal. Fiva is a female MC from Munich whose last album Rotwild I completely produced.

What is your favorite song off of Umberto Ghetto?

Hmmm, difficult to say. I like "Problem" with Buff1 and 14KT a lot. "A&O" I am proud of, too. The best lyrics maybe are on "Politrix." "Schwindelfrei" is a great live song. I still like most of the songs one year later so I think I did quite well.

I recently interviewed JR & PH7 and I noticed that you provided a remix for "Do It For" featuring Torae for their digital single (promoting the album The Update). How did this collaboration come about and do you plan to work with them more?

I know PH7 since 2005 or so. He did a beat on the 2007 Texta album Paroli. He is a great producer, one of my favorite ones from Germany. I have not met JR in real person yet, just via mail, but he is a smooth guy, too.

Who would you like to work with in the future and what are you currently working on?

There are some all time favourite MC´s i would like to work with, for instance Nas, Pharoahe Monch, Mos Def, KRS and Rakim among them. Currently I am finishing my producer album that will be called The Soundtruck which I want to release around September via Urban Umpires from San Francisco. So far I have collaborations with people like Elzhi, Phat Kat, LMNO, Kev Brown, A Side All Stars, Guilty Simpson, Deuce Eclipse, AG, Cymarshall Law plus many more so I think this will be a dope album.

Any Final Shoutouts?

Big up everybody that has worked together with me, my friends, my crew, my labels, etc. I am blessed to have made it this far in this so called game. Peace!

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