Bringing back innocence to hip-hop with Equipto

It’s been about three years since Opio from Souls of Mischief and Equipto from Bored Stiff dropped their album Red X Tapes. These two Golden Era hip-hop artists’ have managed to stay in the game after so many years and have teamed up again to release their latest album Red XX. The chemistry between the two creates a boundless connection and it transcends into their music, to not only create feel good hip-hop, but hip-hop that will take you back to the days where you used to kick it with your mates at school.

While Opio is busy polishing off the Souls of Mischief album, we chat to Equipto about the loss of innocents in hip-hop today, why you have to have a genuine passion for hip-hop to stay relevant and why it took so long to create Red XX. Margaret Tra writes.  

You and Opio are both still in the scene coming from the Golden Era days, tell us what's the secret to longevity?

I don’t know about any secrets, but I think it’s just the genuine passion that you would have for music period. Whether creating it, or listening as a fan. And if your fans dig it & support you still, then that transfers to longevity basically.

What can we expect from Red XX? 

Some dope boom bap sampled beats with some lyrical play on the microphone. Good energy & chemistry.

What's it like working with Opio?

It’s always good kicking it with Opio, even if we’re not doing music. That’s like family; we were friends before we ever did music together. The idea of us doing a project together came up after we did a few songs together, so I think a good foundation of being friends helped out period. People send (email) tracks for people to rap on because some rather create a dope song to propel their career rather than work on real chemistry.

It's been since 2011 since Red X Tapes, why did it take so long to do Red XX?

I think we just been busy with our own lives. Can’t forget Opio is a member of Hieroglyphics & Souls of Mischief so they stay busy making projects & touring. I also have my label to work out & touring as well. We knew we would do a part 2 for REDX but just didn’t know when we would find time. It happened naturally & I think that’s key, can’t force dopeness.

What would be your favourite song on Red X?

I love "Building" because it just gives me that old school feel with the Bob James sample & MC Lyte scratches. “Golden Era” is another dope one, Del killed it!

What would be one thing you can pinpoint that has changed in hip-hop? 

I think a lot of the innocence is gone. The motive to make music has changed its a billion dollar business now. So naturally there’s going to be these half talented cats that have a great hustle work ethic that find their way in the game. It’s sad but hey, it’s the game and you just got to separate the corny from the authentic.

What Stimulates Your Soul?

Lets’ say good Peruvian food, finding a good book, a nicely rolled spliff, going to a dope concert, talks with my father and seeing children laugh & smile.


Red XX iTunes 

Online catalog for hardcopy