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by kenn on 11/28/2005 01:17:00 PM

Aztek Escobar



The mid town Manhattan traffic is thick at 3:30 in the Tuesday afternoon as we hurriedly escape across the Queensborough Bridge. “Put Your Block Up”, an adrenaline charged anthem by Roc-A-Fella’s newest recruit AZTEK, a freestyle over Tony Yayo’s “So Seductive”,bangs loudly to assist our drive through the grizzly of Now Y. “I wouldn’t expect you to understand my life,it’s real. I put that on the hand I write. With the same hands I fight. The same hands I used to do dirt and hustle grams by night”. My man Kenny is feeling it as am I, a smile comes across my face and I nod in approval as I think back to last summer when I first came across Tek at an underground spot appropriately entitled “The Underground Lounge” in Houston, a weekly night put on to showcase some of H-Towns finest emcees.

Weary of all newcomers to the mic I attended to business around the spot, until the sound of a gruff and vibrant voice came through the speakers.
I stopped what I was doing and drew my eyes to the stage. Performing along side V-Zilla was a kid who looked fresh out of High School. His swagger and confidence on the track was at a level matched by only seasoned veterans. A relief came through me when his subject matter and flow didn’t exhibit the same typical flaws that corrupt so many of Houston’s “coming down” cats.
There would be another performance after that which would solidify his position in my book of those to look out for in the near future. After a few spins from his local mix tape, he drew comparisons to no other. As unique as he is, the industry was just asking for music of such a hardcore nature. I had a conversation with someone of a Mexican-American heritage who stated that it was time that there was a rapper who represented for them again. They knew of Big Pun although he was Puerto Rican, and had said that since SPM (South Park Mexican) was locked up, there had to be someone that was a dope ass rapper, that was Latino. I asked them if they heard of AZTEK, They said no, and I replied well you will know very soon my friend. Even though Tek’s
lineage descends from Colombia, he chooses to represent for all
Latino's worldwide, but don’t just take it from me. Later that week after completing an in depth interview with Poet of SCREWBALL fame on the late night tip in Q.B.,Tek hits me on the hip to met him across the bridge at The 40/40 Club. We wrap up the session and bounce back to Manhattan to see whut it do with Mr. Escobar. After meeting the approval of the thorough security outfit at the doors I am ushered upstairs to the office where I am formally introduced to Juan Perez, also known as OG Juan, El Presidente of Roc-
La-Familia. The driving force behind the new label which intends to
release Latino, Reggaeton, World Music and other styles to music fans
all over the world. The following is an interview with Aztek as he
discusses his plans for music and for the haters who doubt his ability
to represent on the mic.

What’s your current situation like now?

Right now I just got a deal with Roc-La-Familia through Def-Jam. I’m working on an album right now. I put a mix tape out in the streets called “The Connect”. 18
tracks on it, we put 5,000 in each state.

What can people expect to hear from Aztek Escobar?

They’re gonna hear my life story. They can expect to hear a different point of view through a Hispanic’s eyes, through everything I see man. You can
expect to hear a lot from me, I guarantee that.

How do you feel about being Latino and representing within
Hip Hop culture?

It feels good that I’m here and it’s about time. I have had a lot of responses from people sayin that “it’s about time there is somebody out there” representing not only for Latino’s but for everybody in Hip Hop. Like I say, I’m not a Hispanic rapper, I am a rapper that happens to be Hispanic. It feels good that after Pun passed away, I get to keep it going.

Was Pun one of your influences coming up?

Yeah, Pun was like of my top 3 influences to come into the game.

Ok, who were the others?

I’d have to say Jay-Z and I’d have to say there’s this Colombian music, they’re called Grupo Niche, that I used to listen to growing up. It’s a salsa group. They were another influence.

What’s the best thing about this Hip Hop culture to you?

That someone can come from nothing and become a great and basically do
whatever they want to do. That’s the best thing about this Hip Hop to

Coming into this industry and into the Roc-A-Fella camp with
a large group of established artists do you feel pressure to maintain
or to compete with your fellow label mates?

Like I always say, it’s never pressure it’s nothing but motivation. I got a good foundation. I got a good group of people around me that push me to the limit, so it’s never competition to me ‘cause I know what I am, what I ‘m about and what I’m a do. I have my goals set. With great foundation, I can’t be stopped, ever.

When it comes to those who come out and throw dirt on your
name and try to discredit what you stand for….

F-*K ‘em all. They can’t touch me man. I expected this from the very beginning, I knew this was going to happen. It’s part of making it. You have to have an opponent. If you don’t, you won’t be able to go to the next level. An opponent makes you better. I take the negative as a positive, they can say what they say or type behind a computer or leave messages. If they say it to
my face, it’ll be a different story. As far as behind the scenes, I
welcome all of that. Anybody who wants to come at Aztek, I welcome all
beef, all problems, let’s go.

With regard to a recent interview for another internet
forum, some people from your city responded in a haste manner by
stating that you were someone who had forgotten about where he had come
from and about who he had worked with. How do you feel about that?

I feel those are all people who try to hold you back when you do good,
and there’s nothing you can do about it. Like I said, it makes you
better. If I didn’t shout you out, I did it on purpose. I have a reason
for everything I do. If you noticed, I didn’t shout nobody out. I
worked hard to get where I’m at. I’d like to put emphasis on “I did”.
Like I said, I’m a do me. When it’s time to go back and help people…..a
lot of people spoke too quickly. They should have waited, their true
colors have shown and that’s good. I know what it is.

What’s a goal or an ambition you hope to achieve through
doing your craft?

I hope to touch a lot of people through making good
music. I hope to speak for those who don’t have a voice. Just wanna
make good music and make a mark in this Hip Hop game. Not only make a
mark, but add a chapter in the Hip Hop game.

Any final comments?

Show love, you’ll get further than hating.
I’m Aztek. Houston, Texas. Ya Tu Sabe.

You can check Aztek in the upcoming documentary SUBTERANEA,
coming soon from myself. It is a showcase on the undergound Hip Hop
culture in Texas. It features many artists including Bun- B, Devin the
Dude, Paul Wall, The Niyat, K-Otix, V-Zilla, Bavu Blakes and more.
Also look for his videos to accompany his Mix Tape “The Connect” by DJ
Camilo and DJ Cipha Sounds, at Kinetik Cinematix

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