Featured Artist: @ICEGRILL585 & Producer @DJM80 talk #BlackChalkTwo


How did you link up with G. DEP?

Ice Grill: I never personally met him although My Producer and the other half of BlackChalk use to produce and work with him extensively.

What made you choose to drop this song as a single considering your feature was in prison?

Ice Grill: Because the song was official and DJ M-80 shot it to me and the rest is good music. I also related to the topic beat and G-Dep’s flow so it was a no-brainer. We all have a story to tell so this song was reflection of my prison experience. (Stream “My Mistakes“)

What do you feel about the state of Northeast hiphop/rap right now with the recent successes of Desiigner and Fetty Wap?

Ice Grill:
I think it’s horrible and the art form I loved so much has been degraded so much because of the subject matter and the skill being dumbed down so drastically. Although there are glimmers of hope such as Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Joyner Lucas, Joey Badass, and a few others that give the hip hop community hope. As far as Designer and Fetty Wap I try my best to not drop or give negative energy so all I can honestly say is their particular styles and flavors of music aren’t my cup of tea at all. But they obviously have a fan base and seem to be very successful. I wish I could hear something of substance or complexity from them to show more creativity and depth but this is the norm these days Auto-Tune redefined Rap.

 You worked with Dj M-80 in the past on Black Chalk and have this next upcoming edition with M-80 as well. What made you rock out with him again?

We actually dropped Black Chalk, The WestSide Stories, and we’re working on BlackChalk2 now. And to answer the above question it’s our chemistry we both hear music with that pure 90’s feel so we just do our bests to recreate that type of music. Plus, our music meshes so well sonic-ally all the fans of my music have let me know that they all hear the growth in the projects we dropped together so why fix the recipe if it’s perfect.

What if anything is different about Black Chalk 2?

Ice Grill:
It’s a step up from our last 2 projects i.e. different deliveries and a whole different feel. If you enjoyed the past pieces of work this will be a totally different experience and because we both strive to improve and grow every album or mixtape you can expect no less. We are 20 songs in and we are planning on recording and mixing 16 to 18 more to trim the project down to the perfect 13 or 14 songs. With Black Chalk 2 you will get that boom bap gritty 90’s era with slight tweaks and touches and we promise to give the listeners our best material to date this is a promise we fully stand by.

Do you have any features on this next project besides G. Dep?

Ice Grill:
We have a very impressive line up but we don’t like letting the cat out of the bag too soon. I can say that the 2nd single is in progress where awaiting the session from the studio in Florida. We will out-do what you previously heard from Black Chalk. We are aiming for 4 industry features we knocked out the first so you can expect 3 more to follow and Stack or Starve will get them first exclusively each round before they officially drop any where else. (Ya Heard?)


You are back working on Black Chalk 2 – is the sound similar than the first one?  If so how much?

DJ M80: Topics, bars, beats, will be similar in the manner of the “grimey” classification. We aim to make each project progressively more ill than the last, we really compete with ourselves to surpass any previous projects we’ve released.

Are there plans for a video?
DJ M80: Yes, videos for our singles will be released as the single is released. Also, there will be random freestyle, and in-studio footage prior to the debut of #Blackchalk2; on our social media channels.

What did you use production wise on this project?
DJ M80: I’ve never changed my equipment selection. (well I’ve upgraded some), but I’m still an analog producer. My set-up consists of: MPC 4000, Technic 1200s (for cuts and sampling) Kong Triton, Micro Korg (ill basslines), emu mophatt, Yamaha Rack XS. These are my favorite pieces,  I have more, but these are what give me my signature sound, “New Era Boombap.”

How do you feel about the state of NY hiphop/rap right now?

DJ M80: Lol, we’ll it sucks! I was upset that we didn’t really have anyone on the XXL freshman cover reppin the roots. Ny hip-hop is still a mockery of watered down rhymes and simplistic beats with mismatched bass lines (nothing against southern rap). Now, when you talk about the underground, there are many enriched emcees, producers and dj’s awaiting the exposure to set the trend of “bringing back New York.” I could go on about this…..

How is it working with Ice Grill?
DJ M80: Well aside from our studio and stage chemistry, that’s my best friend, like a brother. The dope part is; we constructively critique each other’s craft to maximize our potential as a duo.

What separates this apart from say other artists/projects dropping this year?

DJ M80: Remember when I was talking about how New York underground hip-hop…well, we feel that this will speak to the masses that are looking for that spark. This will be the ignition not just for Blackchalk, but for NY hip hop. The features are amazing!

As someone who has been in music for over a decade do you have any knowledge to share with the ones just getting started?

DJ M80:

My advice:

Invest in yourself and product (equipment, publicity, etc.)

Hustle!! Sell your product never give it away!

Perform and travel as much as you can, video tape everything!

Take criticism to advance your skills (have tough skin)

Take advantage of digital distribution platforms.

m80 icegrill BC




Upstate New York is the home of many things from prisons to universities to of course, emcees. In Rochester there are a little over 200K people who make up this northern city and  in 2012 after making cameos amongst each others respected projects 5 emcees decided to come together to form "DaCloth".
With well over thirty years of experience between them and a plethora of industry features and connections DaCloth released there first project as a unit titled, "Salute The Few".  This newly released project has production from some of the industries most talented up and coming producers and some home grown talent as well.  Hosted by Dj M-80, one thing you will notice is there are no outside features on this project. We sat down with the members to discuss just how they got to this point.  Meet our Stack or Starve Featured Artists... DaCloth.


How did the name, Da Cloth, come about for the name of this project?

Illanoise: Mav came up wit the name.

Symph: Mav was the first one to mention DaCloth and we all ran with it because we feel like we all stitched together as one.

Maverick: The project is called Salute the Few the group is called DaCloth. I figured as artists we all marched to the beat of our own drum. While so many others were being led and allegedly guided by artists that had good music but nothing more to truly offer! I was thinking fuck that I wanna be with artist that do whatever they wanna do and do it well! Without somebody pretending to hold they hand and give em that push! These niggas will have you sitting on the bench waiting to get in the game and the game ain't gonna wait on you! We're cut from a much different cloth then most of these cats, we gonna do it our way and we gonna do it at will! That's how the name came about, were of a different caliber than most of our townsmen. But the talent pool runs deep in the town.

Times Change: We basically feel like there aren't many at our caliber of music. So "Salute The Few" to me means that we stand amongst few, the elites.

How do you guys all know each other?
Maverick: Rigz is my nephew, I used to get mixtape placements with Symph early on in my musical journey! So I was always aware of him musically he had another powerful movement in the town that set the pace for things to come. I caught Illy on some features tearing niggas asses up and respected his skill set only to find out months later we have family ties. And I first caught wind of my man Times when he not o my woke a sleeping giant up, but then he put him back to sleep in one of the towns most notorious battles. He did it with great disrespect, but his sportsmanship in that arena was unmatched. I knew I wanted to work with him privately and as far as a team I knew he was a missing link to the puzzle so I jockeyed hard to bring him in. And it was s great move I must say.
Times Change: Well Maverick & Rigz and Symph & Illanoise are family, I'm just the packet of Sazon in the mix lol. But we all family now and that's what's important.

When and how did Dj M-80 come into the situation?


Rigz: Heard his work, quality better then most upscale Djs now plus he is humble, cool, and most importantly about his business. On a day he was up already for 24 hours with preparing a show he was doing he stayed up many more to finish "Salute the Few" solely because he gave his word on a date. That didn't go unnoticed to me.
Maverick: M-80 came into the fold kinda last minute I think. He had previously did some work for one of our underclass men Dot and the work was of the highest caliber. So it wasn't hard to go with him after months of struggling with securing another Dj and questioning his integrity when it came to what it is we do. Some Djs will attach there name to anything if the check clears and he had a much more personal approach.
Times Change: M-80 is a real good dude, known em' for a minute now and we've dealt with each other before. With his work ethic it was easy to do some business with him, solid guy.

Upstate NY is a whole nother world compared to NYC do you feel that you rep all of NY or mostly your area?


Symph: We feel like we compete with anybody in any city or state in the world. I feel like we have enough skills to get respect anywhere upstate or any barrow NYC. We are real spitters so all the real hip hop heads will like & respect our music.


Rigz: All of it!


Times Change: I feel like we speak for the struggle, the pain, the triumph all over not just NY.


Maverick: I personally think all of New York. And I say it because it doesn't matter what part we are from NYC is the mecca for Hiphop music as a whole. We embrace and fell in love with the sound and style NY put into Hiphop music. It's the same one every other region has tampered with to get to whatever it is they're doing at this moment. Whether they wanna admit it or not the look and style came from NY, the Pureness of it all started with NY. But know that I'll rep my town til the machines stop Rochester NY.


Illanoise: We here to put upstate on the map but we hold it down for New York period.

"The Fist" is a serious banger. Talk about this song... 


Times Change: That song is a spin off of one of Rigz bars on joint we did it went like: "When 5 come together it make a fist" and we ran with that concept. Then got the homie ViceVersa to do 5 different beats and we did it justice. I won't lie, I wasn't a big fan of it initially but after I heard it I was highly, highly impressed. Originality at its finest.


Rigz: Them niggas made sure I was the pinky!! Na tho, on a serious note just listen and catch the overall jewel of the song. "The Fist" breaks down the strength of the individual and the team. Most don't know they position in either!


Illanoise: Each finger represents each one of us and together we make a fist and that fist is powerful!


Maverick: Wasn't feeling it at first but I understood the concept. Some of the first beats received for that particular track were delicate and I wasn't really feeling it. But I heard it coming together and was inspired by my brothers in DaCloth and jumped right in. It basically breaks down the hand each one of us plays a finger. Individually were strong and have a particular function but together we can accomplish just about anything and in grand fashion.

Why do you think NYC Hiphop fell off over the years and do you feel it's on it's way back?


Symph: I think hip hop in NYC fell off because NY rappers pulled away from being original . Plus I feel like NYC never had the unity like that do in the south. Everybody want to be the best & the king of NY so they go at each other head. That's what I feel caused NY to fall off to they beef with each other too much .


Illanoise: The older heads not really passing the torch and seeking out the younger talent and the lack of unity has always hurt NY everybody wanna be the king.


Times Change: I feel like NY rap has gotten more independent and I just feel like it hasn't died, just modernized. You got tons of indie artists killing shows and getting hella online support and making a living off of music. You got the greats of course the Hoves the Nas' that whenever they drop its the biggest thing in rap period, so no I don't it fell off.


Maverick: I really think the sound of the music changed and NY didn't change with it. The city was stuck in its own ways and in desperation NY artists started playing with that south shit. The way the music evolved was how it was supposed to evolve. As a people were didn't embrace it and the South, Midwest and the West Coast started gaining more popularity. Look how some southern artists are A list artists using a NY flow with there southern drawl. And even the NY producers are using sounds and things in the music that they never used before giving the music a new sound,That the younger generation is hip too. But it's slowly evolving again if you look at how Kanye and Jay aligned themselves with the likes of Daft punk to sneak a Hiphop / EDM album into the fold to be highly functional in both genres. NY never left to answer the second part of your question! It's influences are everywhere in today's Hiphop. Nicki and French from NY!  New York is still very relevant to Hiphop music.

Whats the main thing you want everyone to know about Da Cloth?


Rigz: We solid in the booth and outside it.


Symph: Want people to know first of off weak family & we stick together. We bring something different to the table & together we form DaCloth. There haven't been a group as strong as us sense WU- TANG was together.


Maverick: I want everyone to know that we can run wit anybody! Industry to in the streets convincingly and we're passionate about this family we've put together using music to bridge the gap.


Times Change: That our music has a deeper message, you will always find jewels and of course some slick talk. (as he chuckles)

Name one reason why the readers should download this project? 

Maverick:  They should download it cause it's a great deal of original material on there with very credible producers along for the ride. The quality of the work is unmatched and it's more to come weather they download it or not. If you keep peeking there interest sooner or later they'll want more.
Times Change: We refuse to conform and do what the masses do, you want to listen to real? You want to challenge your ear? Download "Salute The Few"!

Symph: I think readers should download this project because it is a hot project. And there's some very creative concepts on this project that will grab & keep their attention .

Illanoise: This one of the hardest projects to come out the East Coast in a long time, this what the game is missing.

Rigz: Because by now they should be tired of hearing about the bad bitch and how much money someone else spend on the assets.. It's more to it then the flaunting, We bring art.