Interview with Propaganda Machine

We’ve featured Amherst hip hop group Propaganda Machine  before, but that was merely skimming the surface. Not enough, never enough. I guess when your studio is an empty frat bedroom everyone wants a piece of your cranium.

Also if you have “boxer swag” like this.

The ‘Cac: What inspired the name of your band?

PM: The name of our group is supposed to be sort of ironic. We thought it was interesting that, to some extent, all rappers either exaggerate or flat out lie in their lyrics. So our name ‘Propaganda Machine’ is basically taking that fact and putting it out front. We knew that not everything we were going to rap/sing about was true so we wanted to put it out there. A lot of people think our name is political or whatever, but it’s just supposed to be ironic/funny.

The ‘Cac: How has your band been received so far at Amherst?

PM: The response has been positive so far. People at Amherst seem excited to hear a rap group that started on campus. We released a couple songs at the beginning of the summer and a lot of people want to hear more, but we want to perfect a few songs before we release them. We hope to put out an EP of about 5 or 6 songs sometime in November. We’re still just getting started as a group, so we’re hoping the reception will only get better.

The ‘Cac: Are any of you planning to continue music after graduation?

PM: We are all definitely into music and the Prop Machine so yes after we all graduate we want to keep making music. Luke Arnold (rapper/singer) already graduated last semester, but he is still able to email some of his new ideas to us. Jeff Holmes (rapper), Alfonso Carney (rapper/singer) and Geoff Ogunlesi (our manager) are seniors now, and Julian Miller (producer/rapper) is a junior. It might be a challenge to have everyone stay on the same page but we think we are making great stuff and don’t see it ending anytime soon.

The ‘Cac: If Prop Machine was a planet, what planet would it be?

PM: We’re biased towards earth. I mean there is probably some cool shit we haven’t heard of yet, you know pandora type planets, but for the time being earth has the most swag— lotta action here you know.

The ‘Cac: What’s the best thing about Amherst College?

Fonz: The best thing about Amherst College is the people. Its such a small school that you get to know everyone pretty well. Its great walking to class or going to eat and randomly running into friends.

Julian: I agree with Fonz. The size of the school makes it easy to get to know everyone, and you run into your friends all the time. It does create some uncomfortable Monday’s tho.

: Best thing about Amherst is the amount of talent in a given room. I mean literally when this all started a beat came on and I’d freestyle for a few bars and that was cool and all but then Fonz would just start singing some melody and that would be really tight. Come to find out Jules made the beat and you start feeling really lucky to have all that at your disposal. It’s just those situations that make you love Amherst. We found someone who shoots videos too, so now we can talk shit on camera.

The ‘Cac: Who, in your opinion, is the hottest Disney princess?

Fonz: I have to go with Tiana as the best disney princess(u didn’t know abt Tiana huh??). She’s the only black princess and I was in love with this girl named Tiana back in the day. Ironically Snow White was never in the running, 7 dwarfs is 6 too many.

Julian: I’d have to go with Ariel (as a person, not a mermaid). I always thought the seashell top was kinda sexy.

Jeff: Mulan, I’m really into Asians lately, not in an orientalist way like they’re exotic or anything, they just are really sexy. And yeah, I know she wasn’t a princess but she was still honored by the emperor so that counts right?

The ‘Cac: If you could open for any artist, who would it be?

Julian: I’d want to open for Pharrell. That dude is so creative and he can kill anything from hip-hop to rock and everything in between. He’s also been making some of the hottest beats of the past decade.

Fonz: I’d love to open for my sister Alison Carney. She’s a singer out of DC and I think she is incredible.

Jeff: Lupe Fiasco, he’s one of the best lyricists of all time and when Fonz stops forcing me to dumb my lyrics down I hope people will see me as a lyricist of sorts.

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