AMOEBLOG: I know you have your new solo album, Wanderlust, which is just out and available at Amoeba, but can you tell me how long you have been in the hip-hop game and can you break down your overall hip-hop history for those who don't know about you?
CELSIUS: I have been freestyling since '89. Around that time, and before we had real production, we used to make tape splice beats and rap over them on a Karaoke machine. I would hand out some of those tapes. Made my first real tape/Psychokinetics song in 1995 ("Losta Glue" Strength in Numbers). Since then, two tapes, three vinyl releases, various compilations, two Psychokinetics CDs, and now my first solo CD. I grew up in Alameda and have lived all over the Bay since. East Lake in Oakland is my home now.
AMOEBLOG: How much, in your eyes, has hip-hop changed? And how exactly has it changed-- especially from your perspective as a Bay Area artist?
CELSIUS: I guess the biggest thing I notice is that it's become a business, and more of a pop sensation now -- a money maker rather than a pervasive voice of the streets. The heart and soul that was so evident when I fell in love with the music is now very much subversive. Also, now, with the advent of the internet and home studios, it's changed because everyone is an eff'in rapper! It used to be an accomplishment to have a CD. Now everyone does and they all think they're dope. I guess it's just way more saturated now. Also, dudes can never have done a live show and have tons of fans because of the internet. I think that in a lot of ways, the quality has gone down, even though there is still greatness out there. You just have to look harder these days.