Pep Love & Tajai Exclusive Interview During SXSW

Pep Love, is an American hip hop artist and motivational speaker. He is also one of the founding members of the Oakland, California-based underground hip hop collective Hieroglyphics.

While it is highly agreed upon that Pep Love made his recording debut on Casual’s 1993 album, Fear Itself.[1] he was formally introduced by Del Tha Funkee Homosapien on the B-Side of “Wrong Place” single on the track “Undisputed Champs” which also featured Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest. The listener can hear Del say, “Now introducing, don’t front my man Pep Love.” In Oakland, he partnered with fellow DJ/producer Jay-Biz to create the The Prose. They released one album, The Shamen in 1993 before being incorporated into the collective Hieroglyphics in 1995.[2]

Pep Love released his solo debut album, Ascension, in 2001 and Ascension Side C in 2003, through the Hieroglpyphics’ self-owned, independent labelHieroglyphics Imperium Recordings. In 2005, he released his third solo albumThe Foundation. He is expected to release The Reconstruction in 2011.[3]

He also contributed significantly to both of the Hieroglyphics’ studio albums, 3rd Eye Vision (1998) and Full Circle (2003).

Tajai (born April 21, 1975), is an American rapper and producer. He is one of the four founding members ofOakland, California-based underground hip hop group Souls of Mischief, and, with the Souls of Mischief, a part of the eight-person, alternative hip hopcollective, the Hieroglyphics. He is a vegetarian. In August 2009, Tajai teamed up with Brooklyn psych-metal artist Devin Rochford to create a sonic soundscape that has been praised really widely.

Born in Stanford, California, Tajai moved with his family across the San Francisco Bay to Oakland, California when he was 2 years old. In elementary school, Tajai met fellow Souls of Mischiefmember A-Plus, and the duo began their nascent rap careers.[2] Tajai eventually introduced A-Plus to future Souls of Mischief members Phesto and Opio, and the group formed in high schoolbefore releasing their debut album93 ’til Infinity on Jive Records in 1993. He graduated from Stanford University in 1997 with a degree in anthropology.

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