Just in case you never heard his name before allow him to introduce himself....
Veteran MC, Slim Pickens from Boston, MA is known for his smooth flow and lyrical ability, most likely from all his "Lyrical Excercise" which is a digital series that can be found on youtube. Slim Pickens has added on in a tremdendous way to the Wreck Shop Movement by coming to add on frequently at the Park Street Cypher at Park Street in Boston, the Freedom Cypher at Kulturez in Cambridge and at The Formula showcase in MA and RI. It's about time more people heard of his music, especially since Bostons got another MC who has made his way, not just out of Mass b.u.t. out of the country to perform. If this is your first time hearing about Slim Pickens, continue reading this great interview Paranom did with him. [Connect with Paranoms here]
Paranom: We appreciate the time you took out to answer some questions and give a little insight into you as an artist and individual. I believe that the fans can appreciate the music a little more when they know a little bit of what goes on behind the scenes. So thank you. First, let's start with your name and where you're from. A lot of MCs have various things they call themselves, from childhood nicknames to combos of other names into one. How did you get your name? Do you have any others?
Slim Pickens: Think it was about 10 years ago when I deciding taking on a new stage name of SLiM PiCKENS over my former Kastro moniker. I came up with SLiM PiCKENS from listening to the music changing to crap so I said finding anything worth listening to in rap/HipHop was slim pickings and BAM epiphany sparked and now here I is!!! Kastro was more of a street name, always was a militant minded individual and I admired how he came to power from out the jungles of Cuba with his guerrilla tactics so I told people call me Kastro because that was my mind set. Also there is Iron Helmet, that actually came about sum 5 years or so ago building with my man Wiz who presented this idea of a collective known as the Shogun Assassins. We had a core of 4 MCs myself, Wiz, Benny, and my man Axe. I chose Iron Helmet from reflecting on my personal characteristics like I can be hard headed, strong willed, and most time fearless as well as reckless. I thought imagine I wore an iron helmet around I would just bash thru walls, head but motherfuckers etc... Hahaaa. Then to get deeper into the whole samurai theme, because we were to take on the persona of an actual ronin samurai, I am hard iron metal(mettle) forged in fire(hell) to create this sword(tongue) I wield and once again BAM Iron Hell Met or Iron Helmet.
Paranom: How long have you been putting the pen to paper? And what were some of most memorable moments or reasons you feel that you started rhyming?
Slim Pickens: I been writing for about 20 years of and on. I used to write the lyrics of rappers and singers off tapes and records I would listen to back in the days. Yeah do the math on that, I'm golden baby lol. It was just something that I fell in love with and decided to try my hand at, I am as old as Hip Hop culture is man word is bond I am an unknown aborigine when it comes down to it. I would play around freestyling in ciphers on the corners or in the store house when we pitched them cracks and played spades yadayada. I just always loved the rhyming and I told myself I'm gonna write some rhymes and so I did
Paranom: Who are your influences? Why?
Slim Pickens: Biggest influences are my moms and my grandmother (R.I.P) used to call her Ma lol Miss her. These 2 women inspired me to go do what I deemed necessary in life no judgement. As far as musical influences Michael Jackson, that dude could sing his heart out. I used to think he was an alien lol. Just had so much passion in his singing that's a big inspiration to me, passion. Bruce Lee is another influence, and I know you want to know MCs/Rappers b.u.t. these folks are a bigger inspiration to me. Bruce was the epitome of mind over matter he did things you would only see in the movies in real life, this man had a fight every other day in the street because cats wanted to test his steez. That's some hood shit right there that I can relate to. Richard Pryor because that was a crazy ass dude who said what he wanted and was just funny as fuck. OK now to MCs/Rappers KRS and I mean old school KRS w/Scott LaRock Criminal Minded album was the Shiiiiiiiiiiiiit lol. Slick Rick was another, great story teller rhymes. Run DMC, A Tribe Called Quest, EPMD, Red Man, Rakim, Public Enemy, LL, Nas, and the list probably wont stop. I'm influenced by powerful lyrics, flow, and rhythm. If its good I'm listening and taking notes.
Paranom: What are some things you might listen to besides Hip Hop that help you unwind?
Slim Pickens: I like jazz Coltrane, Miles, Herbie Hancock easy listening with some dope improvised rhythms. Also listen to some soul, blues, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Billie Holiday, B.B. King, Mary J etc...Also listen to some of the newer singers like Amy Winehouse (R.I.P.), Alicia Keys, Neyo, D'Angelo, Rafeal Saddiq. I'm a quality man. I like thought provoking music you know.
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