I2G chilled with Cuscino & Nuutrino for an exclusive interview. We discuss their start in music, upcoming projects and much more so check it out.
Illuminati 2G is here with CUSCINO & Nuutrino, how’s it going?
CUSCINO: What’s good brethren! Going well man, appreciate the support you guys have given “Saucy” — we always appreciate publications like I2G that give love to those of us on the come-up, that will always be honored.
Nuutrino: Good good. Just happy to be here working and everything is blessed.
Tell me a little bit about how you got your start in music and who are some of your musical influences out there coming up.
CUSCINO: I’ve been creating music since I was about 14 or 15 man, nearly 20 years believe it or not. I started writing, recording, performing live, producing and all that in the days of the early PC using that old program called Acid, a Roland drum machine, and a Dr. Sample. That drum machine only had like 5 sound kits (if that) and was bigger than a laptop…it’s crazy to think back on how far things have progressed. As tech moved forward so did I, aside from the turntable and guitar elements I was often bringing into my music. Then I moved onto more effects, Cakewalk, a Roland MC303, and a Roland XP-50 (right after Trent Reznor used to one to create almost the entirety of “Pretty Hate Machine”). That was the beginning of my evolution as a producer and DJ. I’ve got a ton of influences from then to now, but a few key ones for me have been: Timbaland (especially when he was first coming up and gracing the cover of electro-focused mags like URB), Underworld, Prince, Nas, Jay-Z, Black Star (still one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time in my book), Pharrell in the early days, Goldie and the Metalheadz Crew (UK drum-and-bass crew), Tricky and Massive Attack to name some of the starting points. I was a skate kid too, so aside from the electro, drum and bass stuff, and hip-hop, I was also ingesting a ton of metal core and underground hardcore bands like Coalesce, Shai Hulud, Underoath, Quicksand, and Poison the Well. All that combined in a blender got the wheels turning to where I am today, and all those influences can be found as anchors in my sound if you listen for it.
NUUTRINO: Music has always been a sonic love for me but, i think i became fascinated after writing a quick rhyme and having people say “yooo, that shit was ill”. After that, I tried it here and there recording on tissue stuffed cassettes to a boom box. I fell in love with the sound of me over grimey instrumentals. I felt like the illest…lol…shiit. And i knew i was lol. As far musical influences…I have so many from classical genres to rock to hip-hop but, the one group who has had the biggest effect on not only my music but my life…is Mobb Deep. Illest sounds and hidden messages ever created. Hands down. I would literally make money off this rap shit and pay them off homage. Word up. Infamous till my death date. Shout out to the whole Mobb fam.
You have your new single entitled Saucy. Tell me a little bit about the single and how it came together for you.
NUUTRINO: The single Saucy is quite simple. It represents something over-zealous about us, fits perfectly for the style today. Not to mention that phat ass beat laying under it. But its meaning goes against the ways of today. They say they are flashy and the best cause of this and that…and we’re like “we’re Saucy and beyond everyone else without the artificial”. Our natural light makes us the flyest and the most rude ting you ever did see. Godbody life. And that’s where that came about.
CUSCINO: Nuutrino and I were at the studio (Alcove Recording Studios in North Hollywood, s/o to them – http://www.thealcovestudios.com) rehearsing for my set at Backwoods Music Festival in Oklahoma (where my new video for “Bane” was shot – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKPaodYY9WM) a few months back, and got to link up with Grammy-winning writer/producer/artist and all around good dude Troy NoKA (RocNation). We chopped it up with him and then thought it’d be dope to get him on a track I had in the works. One thing led to another, he got a batch of 5 tracks I produced, and said he’d jump on what became Saucy, and suggested we get J-Doe out of Busta Rhymes’ camp on there too. After some back and forth, we all met up at Alcove and Nuutrino, Troy and J-Doe all laced the track in a night. It was dope how it all came together…I wanted Troy on the hook ultimately, but he offered to do a verse too and I said “why not?” What he laid down bookended the track perfectly and flipped the whole thing. I love it when something comes together like that and we got layers of meaning…that’s what makes a song really special to me, that’s what I’m going for. I’m not into people rapping about bullshit they haven’t lived, or done. That’s a lot of what’s going on right now…I’m out for the real, stories with meaning, lessons…and that’s it.
What other projects do you have in the works?
NUUTRINO: Projects are always in the works. If we don’t have something ready to blaze your section, then we wouldn’t be a threat. But we are a threat to the game. Solo projects, collab projects, and always features. I love the art. But be on the lookout for a pop up.
CUSCINO: I’ve got a couple EPs done and in the can, the first one is tentatively titled “The Rising” and really runs the gamut sonically… Nuutrino’s on it, Buddy Lofton (NYC) and a couple young female artists I had the chance to work with too. I also just released my single “Bane” (https://soundcloud.com/thatcuscinosound/bane) which is a futureTrap banger. And there’s that Nuutrino debut EP in the works as well, we got some bangers in the can you ain’t heard just yet. But you’re going to…we’re going for the jugular on this one.
Do you have any upcoming videos?
CUSCINO: Definitely, next one up is the official visual for “Bane” which is dropping last week of November (sneak peek: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKPaodYY9WM). After that we’re going to do something special for “Saucy” on the video tip.
NUUTRINO: You ain’t even ready. Just wait… [sinister grin]
What are your thoughts on the state of hip hop today?
NUUTRINO: It’s evolved. Cadence is everything and I’m grateful to be able to grow up in an era where lyrics counted. I feel grateful to be able to rap for real on some hard shit, but on the other hand also to be able swing my voice to create a catchy tune over the instrumentals. The one thing I hate though about the game is the lack of diversity of instrumentals. Every one of them sounds the same, everybody’s verse melody sounds damn near the same, and you can’t tell where each person is from. Not to mention this fuck shit we’re doing by allowing cats to make up stories about real life drama and having it not be true. Fuh wit all that? Peoples’ mothers die over real life shit, and you make up shit cause it sounds good. Naaa.. I ain’t wit it. But on another tip, the game has flourished and is a household name. Sales will never increase because of the over-saturation. Good because everyone has a chance to shine…bad because we can’t keep track of everyone. But don’t worry… I’m here now.
CUSCINO: I’m with Nuutrino on all that…I grew up in the same era of hip-hop when stories mattered, there was content beyond just flow. There was street-level wisdom being shared…many of those albums made then I still listen to today, they stand the test of time. There’s a lot less of that now, but hip-hop has become mainline culture now which is good — it’s not just some subculture that the government is trying to fight. Production-wise, I feel like there’s a lot of copycat and derivative stuff going on right now — we’re missing a lot of those household names and sounds that used to dominate this era Nuutrino and I are talking: Dilla, Neptunes, Timbaland, Just Blaze, Kanye when he was more on the active producer tip before he cutover into the artist lane… even Scott Storch… dudes who’s tracks would come on and you’d immediately know who it was, even if you weren’t an artist/producer studying the game. Half the time now you can’t tell the difference between a Mustard track and somebody who’s just copying his particular sound. Then there’s a lot of one-shot guys who do a couple tracks and then you never hear from them again…to me, those are guys who just “make beats”, they aren’t producers…maybe they fell slave to the machine, who knows. I’ve chosen a path of independence — I don’t want anyone, or any “deal”, locking me down, holding me back and getting in my way when it comes to the speed I can, and choose, to make progress at as a producer. And in the end, that’s all fine by me… I’m focused on my own lane, I’m doing my own thing, so those cats are just clearing my lane, and making it wider. I feel like it’s open season for me.
What’s currently playing on your playlist?
NUUTRINO: Mobb Deep everything, Chelsea Wolfe, Nuutrino, Lloyd Bank’s new Halloween Havoc 2 (FIRRRE), Burial, Onyx, CNN-War Report. You know…the hard/darkness. I’m waiting on that Pusha T tho. I’m into reality rap. Hard shit. And CUSCINO is steady in rotation.
CUSCINO: I’m digging that Future x Drake collab (that’s my “mood music”), Statik Link, Yellow Claw, my new EP “The Rising” (because I’m compulsively checking and re-checking it), NGHTMRE, and Vic Mensa…some pretty aggressive stuff. Also rocking that Skrillex x The Game collab “El Chapo” on the regular…loving that vibe, and anything else that comes hard with the subs.
Do you have any upcoming shows or tour dates?
CUSCINO: Definitely, I’m doing a festival in SoCal in January, working on a date in NYC and in San Diego at Fluxx, and then a serious push behind my EP spring of 2016. I’m gunning to get out and cross the U.S. on (and possibly get into Mexico also)… you may be seeing Nuutrino out with me too on that one. Watch www.CUSCINO.LA or link up on Twitter (@CUSCINO) or Instagram (@ThatCuscinoSound) with me for the updates as dates become available.
NUUTRINO: Nothing upcoming as of now. Right now my entire focus is creating art for upcoming projects and balancing that with getting Saucy off the ground — we gearing up to hit radio next with it. So with that being said, we sincerely appreciate illuminati2g for putting us up here and supporting the next up. Salute
What is your website info for people wanting to check out what you have going on?
CUSCINO: For sure man, my main site is WWW.CUSCINO.LA, and you can hit me at http://twitter.com/CUSCINO, http://Instagram.com/ThatCuscinoSound, soundclound.com/ThatCuscinoSound, and http://mixcloud.com/CUSCINO.
NUUTRINO: Nuutrino.com is up and running, and that will link you to my twitter (@Nuutrino) and soundcloud (@Nuutrino). The good thing with my name is that its different. So if you type NUUTRINO in your search engine…you’ll find everything about me. Ig, twitter, FB and maybe secrets to get ya mind right ya heard.
Appreciate the interview. Is there any last words or shoutouts you would like to get out there?
NUUTRINO: Yea…all you rappers keep ya chains and ya watches. I’m comin for your soul. 1 out
CUSCINO: Much love again to everybody at Illuminati 2G for the support, and for having us on for the interview. S/o to everybody that’s rockin with me, that’s shown support, that’s bought the singles, that’s helped spread the word on Twitter, Soundcloud whatever wherever. S/o to the Picture Council for smashing it on my new “Bane” video, and s/o to all the fans that are still to come…those that don’t even know.