Termanology Politics as Usual

Termanology Politics as Usual
"I see myself as the holy resurrection of Pun/If I ain’t that, then you name one.” This, the first rhyme spat forth on Termanology’s debut set, sets a high bar for the diminutive half-Puerto Rican, half-French Massachusetts sparkplug. And with regards to fast, fluid word patterns, Term comes remarkably close. It helps that the MC is christened with a boom-bap lover’s dream production team: DJ Premier, Buckwild, Alchemist, Nottz, Hi-Tek, Large Professor, Pete Rock, Easy Mo Bee and Havoc. No no-names here. We’re talking about men responsible for Ready to Die, Illmatic and The Infamous, among others. From title to guest list (Prodigy, Lil Fame, Bun B), Politics As Usual would be an East coast classic in ’98. But now it’s 2008 and while Term’s respect for his heroes (hear him quote Jay-Z and Biggie!) is admirable, Politics is a baby step towards greatness. Effortlessly rhyming four syllables in a single breath, Term’s flow is impeccable, his beat selection equally so — this is no small feat. But he is hesitant to explore themes beyond women, weed, street struggles and his skills. Still, mixtape bangers abound (the Premo creation "How We Rock,” especially) and a foundation is laid for Termanology to expand his focus and target his talent at more meaningful subjects.

What first drew you to rap?
I started rhyming when I was nine years old and that’s because people around me used to freestyle. Like, my mom’s boyfriend and these dudes from my block used to freestyle on the porch all day. And they’d say, "Go ahead, freestyle, freestyle.” I used to battle crazy. I used to go around battling with this kid, Easy Money — he’s one of my best friends — [and] they would just fear us, dawg. We’d go to house parties anywhere and just destroy whole houses up. Once we walked in, it was a mess.

How did you link up with DJ Premier?
I met him the first time with Krumbsnatcha because I used to be down with Krumb and he used to run with Gang Starr. That was in 2003. I was chillin’ with Krumb and he introduced me to Premo and Guru, and I spit for them. So I got cool with Premo and every time I’d see him I’d ask him for a beat. He said, "Yeah, yeah, yeah” for, like, two years. And I guess I bothered him enough that when Statik [Selektah, a producer and Term’s friend from Massachusetts] was in the studio with him, he heard a beat and said, "Give that to Term.” Premo said, "Alright, call Term.” They called me up and I was bugging out. DJ Premier, you know? They played me "Watch How It Go Down” and I was jumping around, I was so excited. I got three [Premo tracks] on the album but I’ve done seven songs with him. (ST/Nature Sounds)