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FRUKWAN INTERVIEW
[Gate Keeping With Frukwan From Gravediggaz]


Interview Date: 14th. April. 2006

Conducted By: Dark 7 Invader

Notes:
Special thanks to Frukwan, and 5fth Element for the interview.


Interview

"Nowadays everybody wanna talk like they got somethin to say, But nothin comes out when they move they lips, Just a bunch of gibberish
And m**thaf**kas act like they forgot about Fruk," While the last line might not necessarily rhyme, the whole sentence sings true when it comes to Arnold Hamilton aka Frukwan, The Gate Keeper. Mostly known for his affiliation with the Gravediggaz, and initially Stetsasonic, Frukwan has got to be one of hip-hop's best kept secret. If one was judged in hip-hop due to lyrical skills, styles, innovation, ability to edutain, and present songs with uplifting messages, then Frukwan's name would be among the top names in hip-hop right now. Unfortunately we are at a time where an artist with those qualities above is deemed to be underground. This is not necessarily a bad thing because as it was in the beginning so shall it be at the end, Frukwan shines on the underground because that's where it is the

darkest. Currently the only one still holding it down for the Gravediggaz, word is there are possibly a reunion with the other founding members RZA, and Prince Paul excluding Poetic (R.I.P), to feature a new line up of talents, names such as Killah Priest, Shabazz The Disciple, Omen, and even Warcloud aka Holocaust have all been tossed around, but hold on, what about Frukwan himself, what has he been up to? any planned new album? what are his thoughts on the current state of hip-hop, Music, Gravediggaz, Wu-Tang Clan fam and so on? Well, Sit up, grab a shovel, and join us as go gravediggin' into the past, present and more with the man himself, Frukwan Sun Star....

Peace, I like to say thanks first and foremost for taking the time to answer these questions, and will also point out that nothing will be altered, edited or changed when this is published online.   

Wu-International: Peace Frukwan, how are you? Frukwan: Chillin working on this new album with 5ifth element

Wu-International: A lot of fans probably know some of these questions, but some donít, so excuse me for asking you, where you are original from and where you are currently located at this moment?
Frukwan: Brooklyn New York, currently in chi-town working on this record, freeing my thoughts etc.

Wu-International: What was your first memory of Hip-hop?
Frukwan: Block Parties, break dancing, and hittin the Bronx

Wu-International: How did you first get into rhyming?
Frukwan: listening to Devistating Tito back in 78

Wu-International: Some people may not know this, but you were in Stetasonic along with Prince Paul, before forming Gravediggaz, can you please give us a history of how these groups came about and your part in it?
Frukwan: I got connected with Daddy O and Delight in

Brooklyn and we starting doing talent shows and recording together, then we snatched up Prince Paul cause he was so ill at scratching. Once I left Stetasonic in 90 me and Prince Paul hooked up Rza and Poetic because they were label mates at Tommy Boy. We started production at Prince Paul's crib and just came up with Gravediggaz that was in 92 and that was when history was made.

Wu-International: You were known as Fruitkwan, and now frukwan, why the change and is there any meaning to the name?
Frukwan: It was a typo error, the label didnít know how to spell my name, itís always been Frukwan

Wu-International: What other names or alias do you go by if any?
Frukwan: The Gatekeep, Sun Star, and now its Frukwan Sun Star

Wu-International: For the new fans reading this, can you please explain what the name Gravediggaz meant or stood for and your message?
Frukwan: It means digging graves of the mentally dead, and it stood resurrecting the mentally dead from their state of unawareness and ignorance.

Wu-International: Who are you influenced by and how do you expect to influence?
Frukwan: Being God like

Wu-International: Gravediggaz brought something totally new and unique to the table in hip-hop and to date fans are still crying for another gravediggaz album, inquiring minds would like to know what the status of Gravediggaz is right now?
Frukwan: Minus Grim Reaper (R.I.P), we will once again surface and come back to light in the near future.
.

Wu-International: There was a rumour some years back about the group getting back together with new similar line-up to include all original members, RZA, yourself and Prince Paul and new additions of affiliates such as Shabazz the Disciple, possibly Killah Priest, and new entrants like Warcloud aka Holocaust, What is your knowledge or take of this?

Frukwan: A gravediggaz album will be the hottest album on the planet, regardless of who is on it, it will be groundbreaking, that will feature various artist, and you will be the first to hear this classic.

Wu-International: Y-kim The ill figure (Producer from Royal Fam) said in an interview that he was also working on bringing Gravediggaz back, Do you know of Y-kim and have you had talks with him in regards to this?
Frukwan: Spoke to him for a moment, but we've both been busy so we havenít actually sat down and figured this out, but the new album is in the making.

Wu-International: The chemistry between you and Poetics (R.I.P.), is only comparable to the likes of EPMD, Raekwon & Ghost, Are they any songs in the archives you both recorded that remains unreleased to date? If so, are there any plans of you or anyone else putting these out?
Frukwan: Yes there are unreleased tracks of me and Poetic, but before they surface, I have to contact the family to get their blessings.

Wu-International: What is your relationship with the RZA currently?
Frukwan: Spoke to him a while ago, its cool, gotta wait for his calendar to free up so we can continue to build.

Wu-International: Are you still close or in touch with some of the Wu-tang clan members or Wu Killa beez?
Frukwan: Yeah, I still talk to the Wu Fam, but for right now everybody is busy and soon I hope to get these cats on this record.

Wu-International: How was the last album Life received?
Frukwan: The label that was suppose to put out Life made bad decisions on their marketing, so therefore I stopped the release of Life. Upon that, Life was never in the mainstream of the listening community, so a lot of people never got a chance to hear it because of bad promotion.


Wu-International: Where you behind the release of Gravediggaz ď6ft UnderĒ on X-Ray Records/Cleopatra? If so why was there nothing new on it?
Frukwan: No, I wasnít aware of that and someone brought this to my attention, so basically someone was releasing my material without my knowledge, so therefore we have legal issues pending, and if u notice they changed the name of some of the titles of the songs.

Wu-International: After ďNightmare in a-minorĒ you went on to release a solo album Life, since then nothing has been heard from you, please tell us what you have been up to musically?
Frukwan: Spending time with my family, kids, I finally now have time to work with one of the top rated producers in Chicago (5ifth Element) and work on my production, as well as 4th Disciple, and Tru Master.  

Wu-International: Will you be releasing any new materials soon? If so please give us more info as in album title, featured guest and date it will probably come out?
Frukwan: Iím working on the new solo album with new productions, new songs, a couple from Life, it should be finished by early summer and release in the late fall independently.

Wu-International: Why has it taken you so long to come out with a new material after Life?
Frukwan: I took time out to reflect on life after Poetic passed, and dealing with snakes in the industry, I wasnít trying to put myself in the same situation, so now I will be releasing everything independently.

Wu-International: Most people are not aware of your production skills, but you have blessed your albums with both beats and lyrical mic skills, how did you get into producing? And have you laced beats for anyone else other than yourself?
Frukwan: I got into beat a long time ago in the early 80s, but I kept it to myself, I was focused on my mc skillz. The only production that Iíve done was on Stetasonic and Gravediggaz.

Wu-International: What types of concepts, issues or topics will you be covering on your new album?
Frukwan: Everything under the sun, moon, and stars.

Wu-International: Are you currently signed to any label, if not what label will your new album be coming out from?
Frukwan: NOPE, money talks bullshit walks, but I will be doing a lot of independent business.

Wu-International: You are considered to be a very lyrical and versatile artist on the underground, Do you really feel that you have been given the credit you truly deserve, despite all the strides you have made and the many milestones you have accomplished as an artist? How has the industry been to you?
Frukwan: Well, as in any underground artist who was the first to bring a hip hop band and then a new category like Horror core in to the Game, so there fore being I was never a commercial artist I will always be loyal to the underground. There are no superstars in the underground.

Wu-International: Prince Paul recently released a lost Gravediggaz gem ďafraid of the darkĒ and your verse there blew me away, what in your opinion is your best work to date, and why?
Frukwan: I think all my work I take pride in, but for those who really understand lyrics, and the construction that takes place in formulating thoughts, I like them all.

Wu-International: The internet has aided a lot of hip-hop activities globally, do you think the net has affected or contributed to hip-hop?
Frukwan: Very much so, it made it possible to reach the entire globe.

Wu-International: Do you surf the net, if so what sites do you check out regularly?
Frukwan: I donít really surf

Wu-International: Have you got your own website/myspace account? If not yet, how can the fans keep up to date with frukwan?
Frukwan: www.myspace.com/frukwansunstar 

Wu-International: I know a number of forums/stores where you can get your album out online, a very good source is ChamberMusik (Big up to G-Clef and co), will you be willing to release some of your old or unreleased materials or even a mixtape over the net for the fans?
Frukwan: MOS Definitely, they got to know Iím still alive

"youth they are naive and take everything on face value. The greatest goal is to have knowledge of self"

Wu-International: You are currently working with 5ifth Element, I have heard some of his beats and they are very soulful and fresh, how did you hook up with him?
Frukwan: Through a person who knew a person who knew a person.

Wu-International: On your last album Life you introduced us to Kenyata and Maraj, are you still working with them and are there any other groups/ artists that youíre grooming right now?
Frukwan: I still got Kenyata and Maraj there gonna be on the new album, and Iím still working wit a lot of the Wu Fam brothers, and some under artist under the wing that will be revealed on the next album.

Wu-International: Are they any groups out there you are currently feeling or would like to work with now or in future?
Frukwan: Any group that is about uplifting the race and hip hop, Iím down to work with.

Wu-International: A question related to above question, are there any artists/groups out there right now that you feel are carrying the touch or represent what the Gravediggaz stood for?
Frukwan: Not at all.

Wu-International: Any future side projects in the mix (e.g. movies, commercial, etc)?
Frukwan: Currently working on some treatment for scripts on movies, especially my life story.

Wu-International: What do you get up to when not recording?
Frukwan: Spend time wit my babies, its the most important thing to me.

Wu-International: Gravediggaz brought out one of the best musically around the time they dropped their album, you all voiced your opinions about current issues, politics and spirituality, with all the emphasis on money, bling, girls and guns, How and why do you think hip-hop has changed compared to when you started out?
Frukwan: People are easily lead into the wrong direction now a days, when it comes to the youth they are naive and take everything on face value. The greatest goal is to have knowledge of self, and that is what is missing.

Wu-International: What are your thoughts on the aftermath of hurricane Katrina and how the US government handled it?

Frukwan: U know the answer to that, never depend on the government, they only think for self, and u got to do the same, but ask urself this, what did the bling bling cats do to help, nothing at all, it shows u how self this world is.

Wu-International: I saw the gravediggaz live some years back in Subterranean, London, UK, and the show was one of the best I have ever seen to date, How do you view Europe in terms of Hip-hop and touring over there against back home in US?
Frukwan: Europe respect hip hop to it finest, they seek knowledge and understand what we do, in the US everybody is close minded, and nobody seeks knowledge, its all about money.

Wu-International: Thanks very much for your time, shouts out to 5ifth element for hooking this up, anything else you might want to add that we missed? final words for the people who are reading this, Shout outs etc?
Frukwan: To the young brothers, focus on self, and not trying to act other than urself, like most of these water downed mcs, there is nothing new being taught, be original, stick to the underground because its the purist form, and to the US, You are nothing more than a rapper, and remember POSITIVE ENERGY ACTIVATES CONSTAND ELEVATION (P.E.A.C.E.)


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