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Fall River, Massachusetts, United States | INDIE

Fall River, Massachusetts, United States | INDIE
Band Hip Hop Spoken Word


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This band has not uploaded any videos




In the "Mouthpiece" series, I'll be choppin' it up with emcees I'm interested in. So there. It's late and I want to go to bed... anyway, I got a chance to chop it up with Boston emcee, HW. Real cool cat. His album, "A Years Worth of Worry" was recently released in December. Peep the interview below!

So where did the name "Hazardous Wastes" come from? What's the meaning there?

I came up with the name when I was about 15 years old (I believe I was a sophomore in high school). I really didn't think too much about it, I just wanted a name that I thought no one else would have or at least no one in rap music. The meaning behind it these days is I am a train wreck of emotion and thought. I tend to dwell in my deepest fears and tend to cause more pain to myself and the people I speak about in my songs then I can ever fix. I usually don't refer to myself as “Hazardous Wastes” anymore, just H.W.

Word.. what has been your biggest influence in becoming an emcee? Music? Circumstance?

My biggest influence has to be Slug and Eyedea, I got heavy into the underground hip hop scene circa 2001 when Rhymesayers and Anticon were HUGE! It also doesn't hurt that my father is a musician and had a homebuilt studio in our backyard that I tended to hang out in and tried my hand at writing small rap songs because thats what I was heavy into at the time.

Cliche question (if not answered in last question)... what emcees/artists/bands have been your biggest influences?

Slug, Eyedea, Sage Francis, Sole, and actually a shit ton of local emcees from the area. I tend to only listen to local music (be in local in Boston or Cali) my current inspirations are Unsung from Pittsburgh. His music makes me want to write better songs.

Explain the title of the album, "A Year's Worth of Worry."

I have to explain the back story if you want it so here goes:

In May 2008, I split up with a girl that I was with for 3 years and it was a huge adjustment for me. I had been terribly hurt within the relationship (as well as hurting her, nothing physical) and I felt I deserved better treatment and that I might be able to find that treatment somewhere else. Its just when your whole world falls apart and you have no better option then to pick up and leave that mess, it can hurt a whole lot. I was also still heavily doing shows during this time and trying to find a reason to keep myself happy. I ventured out for the next year in search of someone who would understand me and enjoy being with me. I found many new friends in that year and at the same time lost a lot of great people. I had many women come and go, in fact since that time I haven't really been in a stable relationship. I have been with people or dated but nothing that lasted longer then a month or so. I wrote all of these songs within that year and I feel you can see the ups and downs of my daily life.

If I heard the track "UHF" before any of your other tracks, I woulda thought you were a spoken word artist. Is that your background? Or have you gone that route? Either way it's dope as hell and a great way to end the album.

First off, thank you for that, a lot of people gave me shit for putting that track last or even on the album at all, and I love that spoken word piece so much. I have a fascination for spoken word, nothing really traditional but I enjoy going to the Providence poetry slams and Ive always envied the writing abilities of some of the poets I have seen around AS220. I decided to pen that I would try and make some spoken word pieces just to see if I could pull it off... I have a few that are floating around, I sometimes think my poems are better then my rap songs, some would disagree though.

Mac Lethal produced the first single, "Shithead," how did ya'll link up?

Too be honest, I bought that beat from Mac Lethal when I was on tour in the midwest. I don't even think Mac has ever heard the song, I tried contacting him about it, but he seems busy or just disinterested in hearing the song. I wish the story was more epic but that is the truth to the matter.

Who did the production on the rest of the album? There's some dope beats on the album.

Redlist, Phil and Numberman, Tugboat, Cook, Jotsone, DJ Crown, there is an Exile beat on there but it was a jacked beat that I loved and felt like I should try and do something with. Redlist is the homie and I actually have an entire group project coming out real soon with him under the group name “The Scribblenauts.” My dj, Emoh Betta, is also in the group.

The Boston hip hop scene is heavily slept on, I visited Boston like 4 years ago and remember pickin up a REKS album (before he was known over here), Akrobatik, and other joints. Who, besides yourself, should we be lookin out for right now on the Boston scene?

It really all depends on your style but my current local favorites are:

Early Adopted, Loud Neighbors, Redlist, Recaall, Virtue, Fameless Fam, Scroll, Big City Bumpus, Shane Blakemore, Madness201 - Slackskidsnbeats.com


H.W. might be a relatively new name to many of you readers out there. We posted his album A Year’s Worth of Worry for free download when it dropped a few months back. Since then, H.W. has been making some noise around the New England scene, but the truth is, he is a true underground veteran. Sure there are some bigger names around, but what is hip-hop culture without its hidden underground culture?

Though he may not be the most optimistic emcee around, H.W. has some interesting insights and perspectives on hip-hop that are not always shared. Hit the skip to check out H.W.’s thoughts on the New England hip-hop scene, being depressed, and leaving college to become a rapper.

PIMB: Take a second to introduce yourself. How did you get into making hip-hop?

H.W.: It’s a funny story actually. I used to be really into 2Pac, Ice-T – all that West Coast stuff – also KRS-One and a lot of punk rock. My dad had built a studio out of the garage, but the garage started decaying so he stopped using it. I went in and started messing around with the KORG keyboard. I made my first beat, which was awful, called “Dying Whale Beat.” I recorded raps over the beat with some friends, but back then it wasn’t serious – it was just rhyming for the fun of rhyming. By 2004 I’d made enough songs to start doing shows. For my first show, I rented a hall and a sound system in Fall River (MA), and a riot broke out after a mosh pit got out of hand.

PIMB: Is there a certain angle with which you approach your music?

H.W.: I never took a specific approach. I just write from what I feel, and I see where my thoughts take me. I have multiple books full of rhymes, and I think they’re really quite good. I’ve always been a sad person. There have been lots of girlfriend problems throughout life; they always broke up or cheated, and I grew narcissistic. As a result my rhymes are all personal. I try to write from my life experiences with a moralistic angle. I don’t advocate random sex with strangers, smoking or drinking. Haha.

PIMB: You recently released your solo album, A Year’s Worth of Worry for free. Tell me a little about that album and the process behind it.

H.W.: That was recorded during the worst year of my life, but in some ways it was the best. I was in and out of relationships, and always busy touring. In fact, it seems like summer is the worst time of year, because whomever I’m with at the time always breaks up with me. The girl I had planned on marrying had cheated on me, so it was rough. There are lots of rhymes about girls on the album, but I was trying to expand my lyrics and experiment with new sounds. A Year’s Worth of Worry was important for me because I was able to release my depression through writing. I feel like I wrote some of my best rhymes on this album.

PIMB: So you think that A Year’s Worth of Worry had your best writing. Do you have a favorite track off of it?

H.W.: “End of the Line” is short, but strong and troubling. It’s not about me, but it’s based on me. “My Happy Song” took me two years to write, but it’s probably my favorite track. I was so miserable at the time, and finally one day a friend of mine just told me to be happy. Somehow it worked, and I was able to finish this song. It makes me smile when I perform it, and fans seem to respond well to it also.

PIMB: What do you think of the New England hip-hop scene?

H.W.: It’s very similar to other local scenes. There are lots of rappers who only care about themselves. I’ve spent most of my time in Boston and Providence, and I like Boston a bit better, but overall there are just so many people who seem to not care [about hip-hop]. I saw promise with [Boston’s] Unit 11 shows, but those are gone now. I don’t see how the scene can progress when people aren’t genuinely supporting one another. It’s stagnant.

PIMB: What’s life been like since becoming a rapper?

H.W.: I threw away everything to be a rapper. It’s hurt more than it’s helped. Well, it’s helped me cope with my own life and emotions, which is why I love it. But I dropped out of college for this. I love hip-hop and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else this seriously, but it is by no means a glamorous life.

PIMB: You mentioned that you’ve got a bunch of projects under your belt. Tip us off to some of the things you’re working on.

H.W.: I just finished up a new solo album titled Wallpaper Exit Wounds, which will be out in late 2010. My group, The Scribblenauts, has its first album coming out soon, although we’re still working on a title. That album will be a lot different than my solo music – it’s not depressing and [producer] Redlist brings a much harder edge. There’s not a song on it that I don’t like, which is rare because I usually hate most of my music.

PIMB: What other projects are you sitting on?

H.W.: Let’s see. I’ve also got an EP with DJ Emoh Betta, and then another EP with Recaall titled When In Rome, Burn The City. Then I’ve got another solo album that i - Potholesinmyblog.com

"A Years Worth Of Worry by H.W."

Back in the days when I was a teenager, I admittedly listened to a lot of Def Jux and a bit of Atmosphere. These days I can’t say I’m as enamored of the sounds and artists that dominated much of the East Coast indie scene for the early 2000s, but I am generally curious to hear artists weened on these influences.

So it was a nice surprise to find a lengthy e-mail about Boston rapper H.W. in my inbox this afternoon. I’ll let part of the e-mail do the talking:

Paving his own path in the Boston hip hop scene with countless shows under his belt, H.W. (also known as Hazardous Wastes) brings us his newest effort, A Year’s Worth of Worry. This release is a cohesive collection of songs that share his vivid stories of life’s challenges. Once again, H.W. shows the hip hop community how he contributes to the Boston scene with a truly unique style of rap that is serious and insightful yet cynical and sarcastic. His lyrics often portray him as a sensitive person — but the intense honesty he puts behind each track maintains his hard edge. The deeply moving content of H.W.’s material on AYWOW is so powerful and real that the listener will likely develop a personal connection with his music after just a couple songs. All heart and no lies, H.W. is a passionate emcee and an aspiring entrepreneur. He is the owner of the independent label, Delusional Records, which he founded in 2002. He also works closely with DJ Emoh Betta (Deck Demons), one of Boston’s most talented DJs. H.W. has big plans for 2010 – be on the lookout.
[H.W.] has played shows with Eyedea And Abilities, Themselves (Anticon), Solillaquists Of Sound (Anti Records), Sole (Anticon/FakeFour Records). Awol One (FakeFour Records), Ikon The Mic King, Pierre The Motionless (France), Tame One(currently signed with Amalgam Digital), Brzowski (milled pavement records), RADIx (Early Spotter Records, has gotten coverage on MTV2, Urb Magazine), Akrobatik (Fat Beats Records), Access Immortal (Early Spotter Records), Chachi, Dez (FingerPrint Records), Joey Beats, Poorly Drawn People, Labeless Illteligence. He has toured Nationally and International (most recently Canada).

When I see names like Eyedea and Abilities, Themselves, Sole, and Awol One, I have a pretty good idea of the sort of waters through which I’m about to wade–and this knowledge doesn’t necessarily provide a positive outlook on the coming listening experience. Thankfully, H.W. foregoes some of the painful stylistic choices of his predecessors in favor of a straight forward style that highlights his candor and occasionally nimble wordplay.

H.W.’s album, A Year’s Worth of Worry, is a quality listen, a well-considered effort with some dope beats and highly personal rhymes. There are moments in which you can tell H.W. is still trying to get his bearings as a rapper (a few clunky couplets here and there are overly wordy) and a few songs seem redundant, but his emotionally honest rhymes are certain to appeal to fans of Atmosphere and the Rhymesayers aesthetic in general. At very least, it is nice to see an artist commit himself to a particular sound–both in production and rhyming–and effectively wield it in service of his personality. Definitely worth a download. - youmustlearn.us


A long-term presence on the Boston hip-hop scene, H.W. (AKA Hazardous Wastes) is a gifted, often misunderstood emcee who wears his heart on his sleeve. His unflinchingly honest lyrics have seen him occasionally branded with the unfortunate tag of 'emo rap,' but with each successive tour and release, he gains an ever-larger number of fans. His most recent release, 'A Year's Worth of Worry' is a superb introduction to the world of H.W. (we reviewed it here
), and is available as a free download. We caught up with H.W. as he was preparing to set out on the road once more...

You're touring this year - you've spoken a little about past experiences on your blog. Which shows are you looking forward to, and what cities are you worried about, drama-wise?

For my Canadian tour Id say Im looking forward to Saskatoon and Guelph intensely! last time I played Guelph I was so well recieved that I just didnt want to leave, my other favorite spots to tour are Minneapolis and Pittsbourgh, I just usually have really good times out there. I usually dont get into drama on the road, my hometown shows tend to have a bit of that going on, thats another reason for me to leave the New England area!

The lyrics on your last album are very personal in places - heave you ever written a lyric you wish you'd kept to yourself?

I'm pretty bold with my writing and the songs that I have released I was never worried about having in the public space. I have songs I have written that have never seen the light of day and they were just sharing thoughts that were way to personal even for my standards, so to answer your question, no I have never wanted to take back a lyric.

How did you get into rapping / writing, and how long have you been doing it?

I got into rapping when I was a sophmore in high school, My father had a home built studio in my garage that hadnt been used in a few years and I was heavily into rap music so I decided to give that a shot, I made an awful beat and wrote some really terrible rhymes that I still have recorded somewhere. I like to listen to it when I feel my music sucks, and it makes me feel better about it. Its been at least 6 or more years and I still need more growth.

What non-hip-hop music do you listen to, and what influence does it have on your music and lyrics?

Truth be told I listen to alot of folk music (Jack Johnson, Bright Eyes, Jolie Holland, THe Conversation) and really great pop music (Counting Crows, Barenaked Ladies, Matchbox Twenty) I am also into some post hardcore (He Is Legend, Tree) and some other music I enjoy is Circa Survive, Chiodos and stuff similar to that. Id say the folk music is the most influential on my writing besides the rap music I listen too! I wish I could play the guitar better, I would probably be a folk singer If anything else musically!

What qualities do you look for in a beat to rhyme to?

Drums, seriously all I need are some great drums, and possibly a nice jazz sample to go along with it. Im pretty easy to get along with most beats. I tend to be more sample based in my selection.

Do you work regularly with the same small group of producers, or are you always looking for new collaborators?

I am always down for new talent, honestly I dont really have a strong core of steady producers to work with (minus Redlist and Studs currently) so I am down for whatever, anyone reading this please send whatever you want to!
Email: hw@delusionalrecords.com

What is more important as an MC - the ability to write good lyrics, or the abillity to perform live?

I take pride in my ability to perform better then most rappers I have ever come in contact with in my life. I always make my performance stand out on every show I have ever been apart of in my career. But that question is real tough to answer, seriously as cliche as it sounds, you need a good balance of both.

Have you encountered any misconceptions about being a 'white rapper,' in terms of press / audience reaction, and how do you deal with that?

I still encounter misconceptions about being a white rapper, but more to do with Atmosphere then anyone else. I tend to get labeled as "White Boy Hip Hop" for the very reason that my music comes from my heart and my emotions about the surroundings I live in each day. I tend to get written off as emo or a pansy cause I actually write about subjects and topics that matter to me. My audience loves me. but critics tend to enjoy the music but are truly afraid to admit it.

Have you ever been to Europe? What cities would you hit if you could tour here?

I have never been to Europe but i am planning on going there real soon (and if anyone wants to help me out please contact me) I would be down to do any city but I hear Paris, London, and some surrounding areas are good for american hip hop.

You've spoken quite honestly in your lyrics about your upbringing. What do your family make of your career as a rapper?

My family doesn't listen to - weaponizer.co.uk

"Artist Spotlight: H.W."

It's been a while, so here we go again.
This time around we are talking Boston Hip-hop artist Joshua Decosta, or H.W.(Hazardous Wastes). Now I know what you're thinking, "I thought you were on a Canadian kick...". Well I was, and still am, but this talented artist contacted me, and now I must spread the word.
His music is excellent, the beats catchy, and the lyrics are personal. You know he believes in his own music, and as the listener it seems easy to relate with.
"I've been writing since 2001 and performing since 2004, I have grown quite a bit over the years and I am just starting to really enjoy my music." Lucky for us, with H.W. starting to enjoy his own music (and why wouldn't he?), we can look forward to more, and it only getting better from here. Especially lucky for those of us living North of the Border.
"I love playing Canada, way more then performing in the states, it just seems like people respect and are more responsive to hip hop out there. So having a good rep is very important to me. If I could just tour Canada I actually might." What can we say Mr. Decosta, people love us ;) Seriously though, H.W. has upcoming tour stops in Canada (www.longlivehw.com), and is an active member of the www.twitter.com/joshhw community. The opportunity to see any act live is always great, and a true test of how good that act really is.
"The best part about performing is playing for a crowd that doesn't know you, and throughly enjoys your music by the end." With confidence like that, one can imagine the live act is quite enjoyable, and a great night out for a fan of hip-hop.
For fans in Toronto, May 24 you can circle on your calender, as Josh will be making a stop at Rancho Relaxo. If you are a fan of TFC, you may have an issue before the concert even starts.
"My favorite team is The New England Revolution! I live for soccer." Well nobody is perfect right? The revolution make a visit to BMO Field May 22nd. On enemy soil, perhaps Mr. Decosta won't make too much of a scene, but you can bet the same won't be said when he takes the stage during this tour. The tracks and albums are FREE on his site, and the show is coming to Canada, there is no better time to hop on the band wagon for this indie talent. - islandsoapbox.blogspot.com

"THE BEAT: H.W. 's personal touch, banging beat"

Currently finishing up a tour in Canada, Fall River’s own H.W. will be tearing up the stage at the Middle East Upstairs, 472 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge on Thursday, April 30, at 9 p.m.

Name: H.W., Hazardous Wastes, or Josh. Choose one.
Where are you from?: Fall River.
What’s your background in music?: I have been recording and in someway been involved with music since I was 5 being as my father is a makeshift recording engineer, and a huge Beatles fan.
How long have you been with DELUSIONAL RECORDS?: Since its inception.
How would you describe your sound?: Good music, mostly personal stories dropped over banging beats.
Influences?: Slug, Sage Francis, Anticon, I mean really a whole lot, but too many to name, these are my main influences.
What are you listening to right now?: Sims from Doomtree, his new album is pretty dope.
Where do you practice?: Mostly in my car.
Where do you play music?: Mostly bars and dives around the states but this April we are heading to Canada.
What’s your ultimate goal?: To be rich and selling units too numerous to count.
Why should people come out to see you perform?: I put my heart and soul out there for people to take and interpret for themselves, most emcee’s don't know how to perform for people who aren't their friends.
What’s up next for you?: Canadian tours, releasing new projects, making more songs about Exes that hopefully you and everyone else can relate to. - The Herald News

"Midnight Riders interview #4: Josh DeCosta"

Josh DeCosta, alias HW, is a rapper who performs frequently around Boston and Providence and when not touring is a Midnight Rider and passionate fan of the New England Revolution. DeCosta, of DelusionalRecords, works with DJ Emoh Betta of the Deck Demons out of Boston.

LE: Where do you perform?

DeCosta: Everywhere. I just came back from a Mid-West tour a couple weeks ago and in April I was in Canada on tour. My next big tour, hopefully, is April of next year and I’m planning to go to Europe for the month.

Leeds Entertainment out of Boston books me once in a while, but I book all my own shows with a close group of friends, artists that perform and have certain venues that have good reputations so we just do shows here and there. I’m doing a show tomorrow in Lowell, part of an art gallery exhibit.

I won’t do typical rap music, I’m not talking about shooting anybody. My music is pretty depressing actually, I just rap about ex-girlfriends, issues like that, it’s emotional music. If I could play the guitar well I’d probably be playing acoustic music like Jack Johnson or Bob Dylan or Bright Eyes. I just know how to rap so that’s what I do.

I play the Middle East in Cambridge, I play at McGann’s, I played at Hoffa’s which is now closed – it was in Harvard Square, I’ve played O’Brien’s in Alston, I’ve played a good amount of shows in Boston, but more in Providence. I’ve played most major cities on this side, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Detroit, Montreal, Windsor, I’ve played a lot of shows for someone who’s virtually unknown.

I travel with a small amount of people - two, three, because the more people, the less money. I usually tour extensively with Brzowski out of Portland Maine who just won the Portland Phoenix Best Hip-hop Act, which is great and feels great to be recognized for your talents.

I just started writing a soccer song, which I’ve never heard in rap music at all minus Clint Dempsey, [Deuce] and I didn’t even realize he was a rapper until yesterday.

LE: What does HW stand for?

DeCosta: Hazardous Waste. I came up with that name when I started rapping when I was 14, I was influenced by some awful things. I had it for so long I just dropped it to initials and when people ask I usually make up a new name every time, it stands for whatever I feel like at that moment. I should have put my real name on twitter.
midnight riders new england revolution
photo courtesy of Midnight Riders

LE: On Saturday [June 21], after all three teams had been struggling, the USMNT, Revolution, and the Breakers all won and you tweeted, ‘revs, usa, and the breakers win. i still wish i could give you this feeling.’

What did you mean, what is that feeling?

Decosta: I feel that as far as soccer and America goes, the whole world is against you. The whole world just hates [USMNT] maybe because we dominate a lot of the other sports. Soccer is catching on but it’s not as well established here as it is in the rest of the world. I have friends that hate soccer, they say it’s boring and I just don’t understand. It’s 90 minutes. Do you know how hard it is to run for 45 minutes back and forth? Extremely hard, I’ve tried it.

I saw the US win and watched the Brazil game at the same time at CBS Scene, all of us. My friend Kyle Santos, who’s a part of the Riders too, had said before the game, ‘If they win tonight, I’m buying everyone a beer.’ So Brazil went up three and I looked over and he said, ‘It’s great, but it’s not because I’m about to lose so much money.’

And he did, he kept to it.

But so many people said the US is not going to win, no way, they’ll play awful. My roommate from Morocco, he’s lived here for two years, said there was no chance we were going to win [vs Spain]. Nobody believed it but we came through, it was a gritty win, but I’ll take. And I watched the Italy game and I honestly think we had a really good chance against Italy.

We were super underdogs. Egypt had been playing their hearts out the whole entire time and much respect to them, but they lost and they lost bad. We came back and ended up second place in our group above Italy. The north side of Boston must have gone nuts last night, and I wanted to go there with flags for Brazil and America to spite them, but there was a good chance we would have been mugged and beat up pretty bad.

You need to support your country’s team. [Some friends] are like, “I’m Portuguese so I support Portugal,’ and I’m like, ‘No, you’re American, you were born here, Portgual really doesn’t care about you that much. You don’t live there, support here, we need you more than them.”

LE: The Revolution have had a hard time lately, what do you think sparked the change in the win Sunday night versus Santos Laguna?

DeCosta: I don’t miss a game unless I’m out of the country or out of the state, I actually route my touring around the Revolution schedule. I wasn’t sure. After I read your tweet about Shalrie Joseph not playing I thought our midfiel - Examiner.com


A Year's Worth Of Worry
Pieces To The Puzzle - Mixtape
Live From Artbeat - Live Album



Paving his own path in the Boston hip hop scene with countless shows under his belt, H.W. (also known as Hazardous Wastes) brings us his newest effort, A Year's Worth of Worry. This release is a cohesive collection of songs that share his vivid stories of life’s challenges. Once again, H.W. shows the hip hop community how he contributes to the Boston scene with a truly unique style of rap that is serious and insightful yet cynical and sarcastic. His lyrics often portray him as a sensitive person -- but the intense honesty he puts behind each track maintains his hard edge. The deeply moving content of H.W.’s material on AYWOW is so powerful and real that the listener will likely develop a personal connection with his music after just a couple songs. All heart and no lies, H.W. is a passionate emcee and an aspiring entrepreneur. He is the owner of the independent label, Delusional Records, which he founded in 2002. He also works closely with DJ Emoh Betta (Deck Demons), one of Boston’s most talented DJs. H.W. has big plans for 2010 – be on the lookout.