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  • 17Mar

    Untitled Wave – Sleepwalkas' Ciph Diggy Interview

    They don’t come much cooler than Sleepwalkas.

    They don’t come much cooler than Ciph Diggy.

    In May of 2009, K.Gaines and Ciph Diggy left their mark on Brooklyn Bodega’s Show & Prove concert series, ripping through favorites like “Nuff Said” and “Holiday”, rocking their own brand of Brooklyn boom-bappery.

    Nine months later, one half of the Sleepwalkas duo is poised to carry the flag for the crew.

    In an interview with Brooklyn Bodega following the wrap up party for his debut solo album, Untitled Wave, Ciph Diggy discusses this project’s “organic” origins, the definition of Untitled Wave, and the status of the next Sleepwalkas project.

    BB: So how do you feel about tonight’s Wrap Up Party and the overall project?

    CD: Yo, I’m so happy, man. I’m ecstatic. Because its like, the way it came, the title of the album is the way everything came. It came unexpected and it came like a wave. And I’m happy with everything. Big shout out to Coole High, Thinker, 2 Hungry Bros, Aqua League for production on the album. Its just a beautiful thing, man. I really felt like I really expressed some real organic, unadulterated music. Some Hip Hop, yo.

    BB: What exactly do you mean by that? It came unexpected. It came as a wave…

    CD: As you know, but I don’t know if the people know, I’m affiliated with the group Sleepwalkas. Its a two man rap group. We do our thing on the underground. This solo project, which is still a Sleepwalkas stamped album, it just came out of no where. Due to certain situations, the music the production, the everything just was there. It was almost destined. And it came so fast. The album was done in two months.

    BB: So I might be a little off, but by my count there are 15 tracks…

    CD: Yeah, its 15 tracks.

    BB: And I think 9 of them were produced by Coole High, is that right?

    CD: I don’t know the number, but I’d say around that.

    BB: Okay. I know 2 Hungry Bros did “Unstoppable.”

CD: They got “Unstoppable.” They also have “Synchronized Rhymin” with Homeboy Sandman and Likwuid. They also have “Cuchifrito”.

    BB: “Cuchifrito”! That ish was funny! You have some real dope shit on the album. You’ve got the whole Bernie Madoff/ weed thing.

    CD: Yeah, “Burnin On Da Clock”, yeah, yeah.

    BB: There are some creative things going on. So when you were putting this together — being that it was unexpected to a certain degree — but it also came so quickly and came in a wave. How did you keep yourself on an overall theme? And what is that for people that are still waiting to check it?

    CD: Well the thing is, a lot of the tracks are straight up organic. You’ll hear it at the listening, and be like “yo, that track is dope.” If I told you that some of those tracks were done that same day — he made the beat that day, I made the verses and the chorus that day — that same studio session, that was the whole song right there. That was the chemistry me and Coole High had. Everything was just vibed out, and it fit. Everything was great. I’m so happy that it happened. A lot of people don’t even get that. Sometimes they spend like weeks on one track. In one session, I was finishing maybe one or two tracks. Thats why its called Untitled Wave. Quality music. There was no track where I was like “ok, that doesn’t have to be on the album.” Thats why its 15 tracks. Everything I did was official.

    BB: I only caught one track with K.Gaines. There was a track with Homeboy Sandman. There was a Vexed Lo track on there. There was a Top$Raz track on there. I think I caught maybe four or five guest appearances….

    CD: Yeah, theres also, from NRO (New Rap Order) Cavalier. Theres also MC KSwift. From the group Rebel Star, there was Likwuid. Coole High also featured on there. Theres also a bonus track with Conscious, Tah Phrum Duh Bush. I have The Sistah, she’s down with Aqua League, singing. I have Kalae All Day. I have Charlotte Mishell doing poetry. Thats it.

    BB: When going into a project thats real organic like this — that comes with circumstance and situation — how do you figure out who goes where?

    CD: What it was, there was a lot of artists that didn’t even make it, that I wanted on the album. A lot of it was, the beats playing, me and Coole was there like “you know what, somebody would sound good here.” Then there were times where we wanted this person on there, but we couldn’t get them right then. A lot of times it was a lot of Tweeting, a lot of texting. Things just worked. We were going on whats happening now. Not what we want, but what basically is ordained. What basically happens. A lot of this album is straight up organic.

    BB: Well how do you maintain that balance? When you’re dealing with an album with a third of it containing guest appearances — is there a certain balance that you like to maintain as an artist so that people come away feeling like this is still a Ciph Diggy/Sleepwalkas album?

    CD: Yeah. The main thing is I try to do a lot of solo tracks, you know? You can have a whole album with guest appearances, but thats just a compilation. I try to make a lot of songs dealing with subject matters. I try to make it real Hip Hop, man. Real fun. Like all around. This album has just about everything for everyone.

    BB: What I heard tonight sounded good. I’m looking forward to the release. Is there a track that stands out to you thats more personal than the others? Which track symbolizes this project?

    CD: “Unstoppable”. The reason I did it and made it the first single is because, like I said, this is a Sleepwalkas branch. This is Sleepwalkas brand name. So the single had to be a Sleepwalkas single. Just to let you know that there are no discrepancies. Theres nothing like that.

    BB: One of my favorite interludes talking about the definition of Untitled Wave is the one with MC KSwift. He kept it so real when he [described it as when] “a shorty comes and waves at you for no reason and you don’t know why — thats the Untitled Wave.” Was that something that just happened, as well? Were you trying to put a face to [the title]?

    CD: We were trying to sculpt the album, but at the same time we were recommending organic feelings. Just of-the-moment. And they were there recording and I told Coole to “ask them what Untitled Wave means and have them on there.” And it was dope the way they came up with different ideas.

    BB: Thats the organic interlude right there. This is a Sleepwalkas project here, but theres a lot of us who’ve been waiting on 5Cs for a minute (Cookie Cutter Cornballs Can’t Cut it on this CD). When can we hear that?

    CD: Well, the thing is, I’ve been waiting on 5Cs also. So, Untitled Wave kind of came out because I’ve been waiting on it also. I don’t like to keep it waiting, so I came out with Untitled Wave to feed people while this project is going. Because its building a momentum, and K.Gaines, he’s is in control of that project. But its taking a little bit too long. I’m waiting on it too. I can’t give you a definition. I was trying to come out with something else. I was even speaking to him about another Sleepwalkas project while we’re waiting for this, because the magnitude of the people that you want on this album and the type of things — thats going to take time. And if you’re not moving quickly, its going to take even longer. So, I can’t give you a date. Its Untitled like Untitled Wave [Laughs]. Just to let you know, I’m waiting too.

    Ciph Diggy’s Untitled Wave will be released on March 30, 2010. Album release party will be that night @ BondFire @ Bowery Poetry Club.

Discussion 5 Responses

  1. March 17, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Retro Elephant indeed.

  2. March 17, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    stop being an anchor GAINES, change the name of that project and release the sleepwalkas album with like 8 2 hungry bros beats and the sadat x track and the black sparx beats!!! or we’ll just make 15 ciph albums and you’ll be steppin all over your beard

  3. March 30, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    ^ ummm 2hungry bro are horrible. please DONT.

  4. April 1, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Bring it over any production… Ciph Diggy! I’ll remix it for youif 2hungrybros don’t come correct.

  5. April 5, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    This is a great article. It’s cool to learn about what happens during other recording sessions. I had a great time working with Ciph, Coole, & The Aqua League [IHMG] & definitely hope to do more projects with those dudes real soon (alright K Gaines?). The professionalism, the creativity, the patience, the chill-ness is overflowing the Sleepwalkas’ pot. I’m thankful to have been offered a taste.