By Daniel Kohn
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If Orange County is ever thought of as a hip-hop epicenter, one of the founding MCs will be Ariano, formerly of 2 Drunk'n Poets and now a member of LD & Ariano, Technicali Sound and the Depiction.
What is Technicali Sound?Technicali basically started as a DJ crew on the foundation of turntablism. Over the past couple years it's formed into more than that with the involvement of MCs. It changed from a turntable crew to a hip-hop crew. It's kind of like Wu-Tang as far as different artists that do their own thing and are under the umbrella of Technicali. It's more of a movement of good hip-hop—taking hip-hop back to breakbeats, the DJ, returning to the early feel of hip-hop, rap music, whatever. Technicali is Orange County-based with Long Beach roots too. I attended high school in Orange County, Woodbridge High School in Irvine. We record out of Huntington Beach/Westminster area. We're trying to take it to the world.
How is Orange County as a launching pad for taking hip-hop music to the world?When we play music, it doesn't have anything to do with it. We're not trying to step out as a hip-hop group from Orange County, but we're definitely embedded in that. If anyone is carrying or wants to carry the torch for hip-hop in Orange County, Technicali would be that, but it's not our goal. By us doing what we're doing, it's kind of becoming that. There's a voice from Orange County that people want that isn't being heard because it's being drowned out by the Laguna Beach show, The O.C., this and that. The dope thing about hip-hop is no matter where it's at—it's been alive in Orange County, in Arkansas, in New York—everyone has that experience that it was a secret at first and it grew and grew.
Do you like commercial hip-hop?It depends on what becomes commercial. System of a Down is commercial right now, but they have a message. Most of the music that's commercial doesn't have a message. I think the point is to be heard by as many people as possible. If you can get on the radio and do your thing on a mainstream level and say something, like John Lennon did, that's cool. John Lennon wrote pop songs. I'm not really a fan of the radio, but I've never really looked for good music to be on the radio. If you want good rock, good punk, good soul, good funk, you're not going to find it on the radio.
So is it the more materialistic hip-hop you're turned off by?A lot of the music on the radio is to belittle people, to say, "Look, this is what we have and you're never going to have this." That's more of the turnoff. Good music doesn't make you feel isolated. It makes you feel part of something.
On the other hand, you're put into the conscious hip-hop genre a lot.It's funny. With hip-hop, if you're not killing people you're put into this "conscious" thing. Johnny Cash wasn't a gangster. He was just a really good songwriter and a good musician. I think everybody's on the path to being conscious, but to label me as a conscious rapper is almost an oxymoron. It's like "emo." All music should be conscious. All music should be emotional. We get thrown into that. Hopefully it doesn't become like light jazz. Certain people think that's jazz.