Tunsi is an Indie hip-hop artist from Connecticut who says hell no to Radio/mainstream but a big hell yes to a more original and energized underground scene. Growing up on the East Coast, Tunsi was cuttin’ records and breakdancing in the early 80s as the rap/hip-hop culture has been a huge part of his life. With creative and catchy hooks ‘n’ lyrics, Tunsi’s tracks pack a resourceful punch. Digging his way through the Underground, Tunsi is looking to pop out with a KO sound & style.
J Rae: I see that you consider your music to be Underground Hip-Hop and wondering what attracts you to more of an underground scene vs. a mainstream appeal? Going off of that, what is your opinion on the current state of hip-hop/rap in terms of the mainstream artists/acts?
Tunsi: The mainstream is typical and without variety. But the underground, the music is authentic and takes creativity. I feel that the acts do what they need to do to get paid. The mainstream will drift but the underground will thrive.
“Walk With Me”:
J Rae: I couldn’t help but notice that your tracks are creative to the bone and wanted to find out where all this creativity comes from which in turn drives you to write catchy & original material?
Tunsi: I don’t listen to the radio.
J Rae: What inspires you the most and fuels your fire when it comes to making hip-hop music?
Tunsi: A dope track will inspire me on the spot, but life alone adds fuel to the fire.
J Rae: I read in your Bio that you grew up on the East Coast where you were breakdancing and spinning records in the early 80s. Would you mind explaining for those who aren’t familiar with this 80s scene how breakdancing is supposed to be done step-by-step? I personally feel this breakdancing period was incredibly influential to hip-hop and its roots and honestly wish it was still popular. Why do you think that breakdancing was just a fad of the 80s and not long-lasting? And are you hoping for a breakdancing revival one of these days?
Tunsi: A step-by-step explanation would not be possible because everyone has their own techniques. It would be like asking for a step-by-step to gymnastics. As far as breakdancing, I couldn’t imagine going to an unknown hood with a piece of cardboard to battle some strangers nowadays, plus the cops will definitely shut it down. It’s just not the same. The music in the 80’s caused you to want to breakdance, but the music of today will cause you to go to the store or strip club. I would only want to see modern breakdancing if it was also combined with a modern underground hip-hop breakdancing sound.
J Rae: Dying to know if you were in any breakdancing competitions back in the day and if so how did you do? Also, did you use cardboard and what rappers were your favorites to breakdance to? Finally, I’m sure you remember all of those movies of the 80s revolved around the breakdancing craze and wonder if you had a favorite or two?
Tunsi: Nothing big with breakdancing. It was just the thing to do around the local scene. We would go to clubs, they would play music, and a space on the floor would open to all the breakdancing. Whoever want to battle, they go next. I was good at windmills and had a killer head-spin. And my up-rock was tight too. We used cardboard and linoleum; I would have to say “Planet Rock” by Soul Sonic Force was my favorite to breakdance to. “Beat Street” was definitely the best breakdancing movie in my opinion.
J Rae: I read that you’re into producing too and wondering what sparked that interest?
Tunsi: I got tired of relying on other producers for material.
J Rae: Being that I was born and raised in NY myself, I’d like to ask as a former East Coaster what’s the best thing about living on the East Coast and why? What’s the East Coast got that other parts of the country don’t have?
Tunsi: I like the people because they are straight forward. You’ll have a better understanding of how someone feels about you. The east coast has the underground hip-hop history that no place in the world will ever have.
J Rae: What are some of your favorite hang-out spots and places of interests along the East Coast especially in your neck of the woods there in Connecticut?
Tunsi: I have not lived in CT for a long time. We went to a lot of house parties and would often go to UCONN parties as well, or hit some NY clubs.
J Rae: Who are some of your musical influences and who, in your opinion, is one of the most creative & original artists of all time?
Tunsi: I like a lot of the old-school rappers but there are too many to name. The type of artist that always influences me is the underground survivor from the past.
J Rae: What’s next for Tunsi and any big plans over the summer?
Tunsi: The next thing for me will be to create another underground song for the summer.
By Jimmy Rae (firstname.lastname@example.org)