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Kemo the Blaxican (Delinquent Habits) interview at Summer Rain Radio

Greek version here.

The year is 2005. I just had become 12 years old and a friend of mine had lended me an old -released in '98- CD (of course I never gave it back). On the cover, a mexican band with guitars and horns and with a font in a western film style it was written: "Delinquent Habits - Here Come the Horns".

Twelve years later, that kid is ready to watch Delinquent Habits for the first time at last, at 9th Street Mode Festival, and, as this alone wasn't enough, Kemo the Blaxican was willing to give us a long interview. Long, and of great value. We discussed about Delinquent Habits' music in the 90s and the 00s, the hip hop movement, Donald Trump's presidency which is "occupied with hate, bigotry, ignorance, racism and homophobia". Of course, we also talked about the group's reunion after a decade and their new album, which also sets the beginning of "Round Two" of the Delinquent Habits story.

The first thing that came to my mind when I saw you're going to perform at Street Mode Festival, was the first time I heard Here Come the Horns -well, actually it was about 30 times in a row- it was something I had never heard before! Would you consider yourselves as part of the hip hop pioneers?

We embarked upon a generation where Latinos in Hip Hop rarely got deserved attention. Hip Hop was still brand new. The pallet was ours to create and dictate. We were lucky enough to be part of the birth of this movement. We introduced groundbreaking elements and flipped it different than other rap groups. If that makes Delinquent Habits pioneers of Hip Hop, I believe that would be for you to determine.

Your outburst was instant, with great success even from the release of your first single, but the start was pretty difficult. What gave you motive to continue despite the barriers that were in your way?

We were confident in our music and believed in ourselves. Although it was frustrating that our music was continually being held back from release, it never discouraged us. If anything, it gave us more drive. We pushed forward and we had faith.

How did you manage all the success your debut album brought?

The first self-titled Delinquent Habits album flew with sparks straight away. When we released our second album Here Come The Horns we didn’t have as much label support that we got from the first album. The label was facing internal issues and changes were occurring smack in the middle of the second album dropping. I remember feeling that our second album didn't get the attention it deserved. I like that album a lot, I was hype on the entire album, from the production OG Style provided, to the lyrical content and vibe.

Yet the excitement surrounding the release of that album wasn't as grand as the first album. By the third album, Delinquent Habits was no longer with LOUD/PMP Records. PMP was no longer part of Loud and PMP and Paul Stewart, owner of PMP, was who we originally signed with. Due to all the internal confliction of the record label, Delinquent Habits Here Come The Horns album was lost between the record label wars once again.

Returning to your shows now, this is the first time you'll perform at Street Mode Festival. What are your expectations/ wishes for this gig?

I've performed in Greece before, but never at the Street Mode Festival. I look forward to the festival and want nothing more than to make the whole crowd move.

Surely the fans not only in Greece loved the news of your reunion a couple of years ago. Any comments on this?

I think Delinquent Habits fans soared with excitement over the reunion. We always did make bad ass music together. I was excited that we we're getting back together. It's good to be back with Ives. Our unique lyrical styles and themes complement each other. There's an uncanny power we got together on stage that's irreplaceable.

The most exciting I think was the release of It Could Be Round Two. A few words on this release?

I love It Could Be Round Two. It's a phenomenal album. I feel it's a well-rounded album. There is a calmness in the music, the assurance that life is a struggle but a worthy one, that we as outsiders have a bigger opinion then mainstream and that life is really gonna be alright. It's like hip hop you don't hear anymore. Feel good refreshing. We were fortunate to have worked with well executed producers, DJ Invincible, J-Matik, RuckP, Dr. Kitoris, Rawland, Phil Merk and Sir Jai. I'm extremely happy with the end result of our album. Sen Dog graced this album and delivered two superior West Coast street knowledge verses. His contribution to the album really added a power to the project. I'm  proud we came back together and packed a sonic punch with this release.

So, could this reunion be considered as the 'round two' of the Delinquent Habits story?

That's a fair consideration that Round Two encompasses the Delinquent Habits reunion. It's an important emphasis on a righteous social uproar movement. Ives and I back together after ten years apart is more than survival. It's a standout statement for a real storytelling nighttime buzz dedication to the evolved world-wide underground.

Eight months under Donald Trump presidency. Sure the people around the world follow the news, but what's it like actually living under this controversial politician's governing?

Our country is more divided than anytime I can remember in my lifetime. The further we stray from a unified nation the closer "they" are to destroying what was once America. Trump is selling this country off piece by piece and ripping families apart in the process. I've never witnessed a President that has no regard for humanness. He's an embarrassment that's occupied with hate, bigotry, ignorance, racism and homophobia, who's a misogynistic pig that's running America into a downward spiral. He shows no equality and zero semblance of decency or compassion. He doesn't know how to keep an empire strong while simultaneously keeping it unified. We need to come together, build and grow. Everyone is worthy.

Recently The President needed to deliver a strong message condemning specific racist groups instead he attempted to draw parallels and justify violence. Somethings cannot be done in one swoop and with just one paint brush. To be a great president, I believe you need to be show great character, eloquence and display a kind of tact I'm convinced this president will never have.

He has a great business mind but I just can't stand his character traits. Plain and simple, he should not be perpetuating war, excusing discrimination and justifying violence. I don't understand why it's so difficult for our President to be kind. People should not be cut down by a system the lacks compassion for a great many of the citizens it serves. A system fueled by hatred and evil and greed cannot be tolerated. Having said that, I had many complaints about the Obama presidency as well. We need to stay awake, united and always looking out for our fellow man.

To conclude and loosen up from politics, what's your message to your Greek fans to... prepare them for the upcoming Street Mode Festival appearance?

Be free and take on a good time. Feel me when I rap. Set your soul on fire. Give a fuck. There is power in unity. Unite and come together. Recognize your power and don't let anyone destroy it and don't feed your fears. We can't eat money so be good to mother nature.

*Delinquent Habits are headlining the third day of Street Mode Festival on Sunday 3rd of September at Fix Open Air in Thessaloniki, while the previous day, Saturday 2nd of September they will perform in Kyttaro, in Athens, celebrating their reunion.

And to remember them old days...

Lambros Loco Papaefthimiou

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Thank you, and may the force be with you.