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|For The Fans, By The Fans. Look Beyond The Mainstream.
An interview with Marion, Ohio's hip-hop duo Partnaz-In-Crime
Marion, Ohio hip-hop duo Partnaz-In-Crime will share the stage with rising California-
based underground rapper Hopsin tomorrow night at Alrosa Villa in Columbus. This
will be Partnaz-In-Crime’s first major co-headlining event.
Independent recording artists Blaze the Menace (Justin Crowe, 27) and RuckuS
(Cedric Camargo, 26) became friends in middle school and rapped together
throughout high school. Seven years later in 2009, still friends and still rapping, they
formed Partnaz-In-Crime (P.I.C.).
As solo artists each released one album and as a pair they released a debut mixtape
on Aug. 27.
Blaze and RuckuS recently took a time out, from promoting and preparing, for an
interview with Out Of The Blue Publications.
OOTB: What past projects have you each been involved in?
Blaze: I have only one project under my belt as a solo artist, a mixtape called The
Arrival of the Menace, which featured RuckuS on five out of the 11 tracks.
RuckuS: I had an EP out before 2004, before I got with Blaze, called Ruckus: A
OOTB: What are each of your musical influences as artists?
Blaze: Man, there are a lot starting with the whole 90s hip-hop movement. But, to get
specific Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Tupac, Bone Thugs, Biggie and as I got older the rap-
rock thing got me hooked, which turned me onto Korn, Limp Bizkit and Rage Against
The Machine. Another is Ludacris, but when Eminem came out it changed my whole
perspective of hip-hop cause a white dude was killing the game and nobody was
even close to doing what he was doing. And I’m sure every white rapper will say the
same or try to deny it, but you can’t hide the fact that after he came out, people will
always compare you to ‘em. Which isn’t even fair.
RuckuS: Wow, well, one of the first tapes I remember hearing is one of Esham, I’m
not sue of the title of the album, but it was around ’94. As far as my influences, Bone
Thugs 'N Harmony. Me and my cousin stole their first tape from a tape store in our
hood when we was little. Anyways, Bone, Esham, ICP and Twista. A little later, it was
Method Man, Snoop, DJ Quik, Tupac, Biggie, and like Blaze, toward the 90s, Limp
Bizkit, Rage and of course Eminem. I actually remember me calling everyone about
hearing Eminem’s single “My Name Is” and seeing his video on MTV.
OOTB: When and how did P.I.C. start?
RuckuS: P.I.C. ain’t start till after I won a contest called “Hip-Hop Playoffs,” which
lasted two days. Friday and Saturday. You advanced to the next day after a buy in, by
crowd response. And I won. After winning the hip-hop playoffs at, which is now called
Club Polish, I was offered to do a show there and needed a title for it. P.I.C. was born.
Blaze: He always backed me as a hype man and I always backed him as a hype
man. We made songs together, but didn’t called ourselves P.I.C. 'till we started doing
a lot of shows together.
OOTB: What is the writing process like?
Blaze: The writing process is very different than the norm. We actually recorded the
whole mixtape in different places and sent each other verses via e-mail. As for the
writing process for me, it all depends on how I feel. Sometimes I can sit down and
write the whole thing out or just write out a beat and then make it go to a beat by
changing my flow style. Or I will start a verse or song by writing a few bars, then
record it and write and rewrite as I’m recording. I’m very picky so it’s a process.
RuckuS: My writing process is pretty similar to Blaze, only I have to get my verse
written and recorded as soon as possible. Then, my editing and changing stuff
comes into play. I’m picky, but not as picky as he is! I know what I’m working with
as far as studio equipment and my fans know that it won’t be perfect, but that’s
what makes us sound so raw!
OOTB: What’s the biggest struggle you guys have faced so far?
Blaze: Getting music done, and it’s on my end of the deal. It’s not a lack of motivation
or anything like that, it’s that I am a family man first and I have a lot of obligations.
I just don’t have the time to do it as much as I want, and between work and family,
I try to fit my music career in. But it does take the back burner even though it doesn’t
seem like it when we do shows all the time. If music paid my bills, then I would get a
lot more done. But, it doesn’t at this time.
RuckuS: Besides what Blaze said, I work a lot as a manger at Five Guys Burgers
and Fries and they demand hours for my hard work. That’s cool, I agree with that.
What I’m doing musically doesn’t pay bills, I get it. So staying focused and awake
for writing is a problem now. Before it was what Blaze said.
OOTB: What are your hopes and plans for the future?
Blaze: The goal is to get a record deal and make some money doing what we love.
RuckuS: Just to get signed, even if it’s just to a label that will get us heard. All this is
for us to be recognized as true artists for the gift that we have. The goal for me is to
be known for that. To be known for rapping the most ridiculous verse anyone has
ever heard. Ever. Compared to anyone. I just want us to stand out as artists. You
hear our music, you know we the truth. Oh yeah, and money would be cool. I got bills
OOTB: What are the latest releases?
RuckuS: Our debut mixtape as a group was released this summer. We always have
CDs at shows and I’m currently working on an online link to get a hard copy of the
mixtape and will be posted on our Facebook and Reverb page. A new solo project
mixtape by me will be out [this month] sometime, called, RuckuS: A Legitimate Threat
featuring at least two from Blaze; hopin’ for at least five with his busy ass. And a few
special surprise guests.
OOTB: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Blaze: Well we talk our music and shows up so much just like every other artist, but
we are not the only ones who are. When we get off stage people come up to us like,
“Damn, y’all are the real deal.” That’s ‘cause we are. If you don’t believe or just think I’
m hyping us up, then come out and see us live and make the judgment for yourself.
Every time I get on stage, I give it my all and I know RuckuS does the same. We are
the movement. Roll with it or get rolled over.
RuckuS: Yeah, for no one to ever forget where they came from. Ever. And who
helped them get there and who supported them while they were there. Because
without those experiences and run ins with those people, you may not be where you
are in the game. And there are a lot of people I know I personally will not forget for
supporting or bumpin’ my CD at work!
AP Productions presents Hopsin, Ajax, TKilla and Partnaz-In-Crime tomorrow night
at Alrosa Villa in Columbus. Doors open at 5 p.m., tickets are available for $15 in
advance and $20 day of show.