articles: Word from the Inside


Read & Reign, Bro: An Interview with Party Fun Action Committee

By a Gossiping Bitch on October 30th, 2003

Read & Reign, Bro: An Interview with Party Fun Action CommitteeStephen Richardon and Lars Haighmael originally met at North Dakota State University in a music business theory class. Lars went on to become an A&R executive at Bring Da Ruckus Records out of New York City, while Stephen became a music entrepreneur who occasionally lends his trained ear to demo-listening sessions for Bring Da Ruckus. This Gossiping Bitch caught up with the duo, better known as the Party Fun Action Committee, at Rainbow Falafel on 11th Street and Broadway and asked them a few questions about hip-hop, life, and hummus:

A Gossiping Bitch: How did you get into the Rap Music and in what ways do you “keep it real” on a daily basis?

Lars: I first got into hip-hop way back in its beginning. We’re talking early ’91, ’92. I was at a friend’s housewarming party and the DJ stopped playing house music and started playing rap. I was in awe of its raw expression and the fact that they spoke instead of sang. Brilliant!

Steven: Yeah, I first heard rap when Lars played me this amazing song by a group known simply as “Da Youngstaz”. Never before had I experienced such audio bliss. Those kids could rap!

L: As far as keeping it real, I’d say that’s something I do without even trying. From when I wake up, to when I drink my first Tazo tea, to my morning Pilates class. I’m always real.

S: Yeah, me too. Keeping it real is like…umm…more of a mindstate than a thing you consciously do.

AGB: I love Bring Da Ruckus Records, I think they are going to finally put an end to the bling-blingism, thuggery and angerization prevalent in rap today. Is that the intent, and if so, how will they go about fomenting this important change in hip-hop?

L: No, I, I mean we, really have no intent to end bling-blingism. I don’t mind it. For Christ’s sakes, look at my watch! It’s a gold-plated G-shock. Water resistant AND shiny. It’d be real contradictory of me to put that kinda stuff down. We’re more into expanding the artform.

S: Exactly. I like shiny jewelry. Everyone does. Why not rap about it? but I also like spoken word poetry. Oh my God, I saw this great Def Poetry Jam the other night. I cried twice.

AGB: I hear you’re a musician and songwriter of your own accord. Is there any upcoming material we can look forward to?

L: Indeed I am. I compose songs on the piano and I also sing. I had a deal in the works with a Blue Note affiliate. Unfortunately, they didn’t see my vision. It was a smooth groove/fusion/jazz album with a touch of samba. Really innovative stuff. If all goes well with Bring Da Ruckas Records, don’t be shocked if I put it out in the upcoming years.

S: The album is fantastic. I play it while i knit and I just zone out. It’s kinda like Manhattan Transfer meets Musiq the Soulchild with a dash of Miami Sound Machine…

AGB: What is your favorite kind of hummus to eat in the morning? What about in the afternoon? Are blue corn chips preferred in either case?

S: In the moring, I’m eating a warm bowl of spinach hummus oatmeal. it sounds gross but , oh my God, it’s divine. For lunch, it’s strictly olive hummus and pita with a side plate of blue tortilla chips, and some salt water taffy for dessert.

L: I’ve been loving babaganoush lately. It’s great on boiled oak bark and with a side of stuffed olive leaves. We’re talking heaven.

AGB: Would you consider yourself a Zen Taoist, a Buddhist, a Zen Buddhist, a Tao Buddhist, a Zen Buddhist, a Buddha Zenist, or a follower of some other, more obscure Eastern philosophy?

L: I’m pretty much whatever Madonna is.

S: Me too, except I’m also Jewish.

AGB: What is your feeling on artists’ rights and compensation? What is your take on the recent file-sharing lawsuits waged against file-sharers by the RIAA?

S: I think we should sue them all. That’s money out of my pocket. Sure, CD’s cost eighteen dollars, but it’s not like they grow on trees! Artists deserve the money. Most musicians can’t do anything else so they’re better off getting paid well for their hard work.

L: Why can’t people be like me and just go to Borders and buy CD’s? Listen, I don’t like it but I do it and so should everyone else.

AGB: What artist do you think embodies the spirit of the “new guard” of lyrical dexterity while maintaining a healthy respect for the old school in hip-hop today?

L: Hmm…that’s tough. I see something in this new MC Chingy. He’s got that fire in his eyes. You can just tell a creative mind is at work when he raps.

S: I know it’s not really rap but this guy Elephant Man is fabulous. Have you seen his hair?! Wow. If that’s not innovative, I don’t know what is!

AGB: What else is on the horizon for you guys and Bring Da Ruckus?

L: Expanding the artform that is music. We have some serious stuff coming out: an all-girl hip-hop trio that rhymes over yodeling and beats played on buckets by those guys in Times Square. It’s like Paul Simon meets Salt and Pepa crossed with Pink. We also have a solo artist who raps in sign language. That should be huge with the deaf community, a community that’s criminally under-represented in music.

S: Yeah, we’re really excited about the future. Our future, everything!

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