Sex, Politics and Religion: Kid Cut Up

photo courtesy of the artist

photo courtesy of the artist

Words/Interview by Erika J. Bock

As 1/5 of the seminal Milwaukee hip hop crew known as No Request Sound, there was a chance that a request for an interview with Kid Cut Up would be denied. The guy’s worked with Common, would he give a local blogger the time of day? The answer was “yes,” and then some. Despite battling a wicked cold, Cut Up gave us a healthy dose of his thoughts on sex, politics, and religion in relation to his music production and DJing.

“Hell Yeah I’m So Hood 2,” Kid Cut Up

How does sex affect your music?
As a hip hop artist and DJ I always deal with the misconception that all rap music is misogynistic. However, as someone who makes choices about content within my presentation I always look to have everything in balance, sex included. There is nothing wrong or bad about sex, so it shouldn’t be avoided; it’s just another part of life. And it shouldn’t be focused on either. In the current sex and violence-focused commercial music industry this sometimes puts me at odds [with] the general market. But us No Request Sound DJs are used to working outside the box.

How does politics affect your music?
Hip hop also carries with it certain political outlooks. While there is and never should be a solid definition of hip hop’s ideology of politics, there are certainly recurring themes. Some examples of these would be racial equality and empowerment and concern over access and opportunities for the middle and lower class in our societies, and these make sense when you look at the roots of hip hop. As something that grew out the South Bronx in the mid 70’s, hip hop has continued to be attractive to and serve the needs of people form similar situations. This stretches way beyond just the South Bronx, New York, or even America. As hip hop has become a worldwide phenomenon, it has continued to be the voice of the oppressed. In the recent election hip hop was a mobilizing tool used not just by many politically aware artists, but also political organizers who seek to tap into its effectiveness and history of reaching and empowering people. …and to great success this time around, I might add. (GO OBAMA!) In my work I always try and make sure that politics is another represented aspect in the overall balance of things. its important not to just engage people’s bodies with music, but to find ways to engage their minds as well. Even though that can be quite a challenge to compete with the noise, the lights, and the smoke and alcohol haze.

How does religion affect your music?
I don’t really deal with religion too much, outside of its interplay with politics. Most of the times that I do deal with religion it is in passing and a by product of hip hop’s overall method of an MC presenting a message to the world from their unique vantage point. In hip hop this commonly includes messages from Christianity, Islam, and just about any other religion found world wide. A strong presence of the Five Percent Nation is found throughout hip hop and there for references to that come up at lot of times in my work. but i generally don’t deal with religion directly.

Do you do production work?
Yes. Most of my production work is in the form of remixes that I use to DJ out with, although I occasionally do more traditional hip hop production as well. (Check “Gather Around” on the Rusty P’s album “…vs. Milwaukee”). Most of my remixes are a juxtaposition of content and demographics in an effort to maintain that balance in I’m always seeking in my overall presentation. an example of this is the remix that I’ve included, which takes a song about “being hood” according to music industry standards and flips into a different viewpoint on what “being hood” is, courtesy of Dead Prez. Check it out.

Residencies/favorite places to play?
Check the MySpace for the latest info.

As to my favorite spots currently they would be the radio show I get to do every Tuesday night on 91.7 WMSE. It starts at 9pm and has really been a great outlet for me to do some of the other things that don’t always work in a club setting.

I [also] get to DJ at the Uptowner immediately after, so Tuesdays are super fun.
I’m into my Thursday night spot over at Hi Hat Garage, which [fellow No Request DJ] Steve Marxx and I have been doing for quite a while now. It’s just a great party with a great mixed crowd.
Fridays I’ve started a new party over at Fat Abbey with DJ Dwood. While it’s just getting up and running I feel like it has a LOT of potential and people should check it out if there are out on a Friday. Already people have been comparing it to the party me and [No Request’s] Why B. used to throw at Redlight.

I’m excited about being a part of DJ Madhatter’s Miltown Beat Down every Wednesday.
I also do Mondays over at the Jackalope Lounj, which is a service industry night that Rufio, DJ Erich and I have been doing for a while now. It’s an odd chemistry that holds it all together but ends up being the best house party you’ve ever had in a bar. It’s random and fun and full of surprises every week. Plus I bowl a mean game on the WII which we run on the video screen, so come out and let’s play a few frames!


4 Responses to “Sex, Politics and Religion: Kid Cut Up”

  1. Jordan "MADHATTER" Lee Says:

    This guy should be teaching classes at UWM!

  2. Erika Says:

    Word, Jordan. Tim is consistently rock solid in interviews and he doesn’t hide his intelligence. Makes my job cake.

  3. Samantha Says:

    yeah, he really should be teaching classes…

  4. RadioMilwaukee Music Awards Winners: A quick digest « Fan-Belt Milwaukee Says:

    […] Kings Go Forth TNT Award (Artist Most Likely to Blow Up) – Kings Go Forth Club DJ of the Year – Kid Cut Up (Listener Choice Award) Earwig Award (Catchiest Song) – “Foundation,” The Rusty P’s Power […]

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