By JR Valrey
Part of the mission of Black New World Media is to expose our people to the wide array of talent that exists in our communities locally, as well as to people who’ve dedicated years of their lives, to mastering a craft. In a lot of cases, the mainstream media is who dictates what we like through their media, whether it’s through youtube algorithms or through the radio. Here, we are taking that power back.
Eseibio the Automatic is an Oakland based artist that I have known for about two decades. Throughout that time, Eseibio has been dedicated to the craft of rhyming, but he has also dumped a lot of his time into studying revolutionary doctrines by people as vast as Huey P. Newton to Mao Tse-Tung. He has also spent a lot of time organizing with the Commemoration Committee of the Black Panther Party, who is most known for putting out the newspaper called The Commemorator. Recently, he has been recording with a number of high profile Hip Hop legends including Spice 1, Sadat X of Brand Nubian, and Shyheim the Rugged Child, and I wanted to hear from Eseibio the Automatic why there is this flurry of new activity. What’s cooking? He was gracious enough to give us this exclusive interview, informing us about his journey towards the art of politically rhyming, as well as he describes the role that organizing plays in his life. Stay tuned.
JR Valrey: When did you decide that you wanted to be a musician? When did you start to take it seriously?
Eseibio the Automatic: I decided I wanted to be a musician in the 11th grade, when I signed my first record deal. I started taking it seriously, after a situation with Sony Records went bad, and I decided to be a solo artist.
JR Valrey: How would you describe your style?
Eseibio the Automatic: I have my own style. I bring a new style to Hip Hop. My style is “Revolutionary Hip Hop”. I rap about social issues. I also like to have fun. My music is very controversial.
JR Valrey: Who were some of the people that inspired your style?
Eseibio the Automatic: My music influences are 2pac, Rakim, Public Enemy and KRS1. Also the Black Panther Party had a big influence on my music.
JR Valrey: Since the pandemic, how would you describe the state of political Hip Hop today?
Eseibio the Automatic: Well everything is political even music. Rappers who rap about killing each other are making political statements that the powers-that-be can use for propaganda against people.
JR Valrey: Can you speak to the relationship between the Hip Hop you make, and your organizing efforts with the New Commemoration Committee?
Eseibio the Automatic: Yes my music was influenced by Black Panther Party member Melvin Dickson. Before I was a revolutionary, I was like everybody else rapping about street life, then I was politicized, and now I use my music as a vehicle for transformation, and to help educate and uplift the people.
JR Valrey: You recently have done a number of features with a lot of legendary old school Hip Hop artists, what’s the philosophy behind this?
Eseibio the Automatic: I reach out to old and new school emcees or anybody that I consider might go on a particular song. I try to be the change in Hip Hop, and not just talk about it. I challenge them to rap about social conditions, and not just the same old money, hoes, and clothes. I started a Hip Hop revolutionary movement, and we are connecting with rappers from all over, making a united front to build solidarity towards our goal to transform Hip hop into something that is for the people because hip hop is dead and in a museum right now and as not been resurrected and brought back to life.
JR Valrey: I liked the song you recently did with Shyheim, how did that come together? Who produced it? How’d you feel about Shyheim’s verse?
Eseibio the Automatic: The song is called politics and war. I reached out to Shyhiem with the idea for the song and he was all in. He sings the hook. The song is about positivity being cool, we dropping jokes on that joint. I spit my revolutionary fire and he does the rest. I produced the track. I also produce and engineer. I feel like Shyheim’s verse was incredible, and on point. He talking about standing up on your own time feet, speaking your truth intelligently.
JR Valrey: How can people hook up with you online?
Eseibio the Automatic: People can hook up with me and follow me on Facebook, Twitter. and IG at @Eseibio. My music is on Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, YouTube, Tidal, etc.