Kontrast & Fo Chief
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Kontrast & Fo Chief

Denver, Colorado, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011

Denver, Colorado, United States
Established on Jan, 2011
Duo Hip Hop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"AXS Interview"

Cannonball Soup, the collaboration of Kontrast and Fo Chief, both of Fresh Breath Committee, has been grabbing attention since their first drop of their self titled first project in 2011. Fo Chief has kept active in the meantime, dropping a solo project (Out the Deep End), a mixtape (Airbag Jones) and a joint project with ProCyse (The Andy Davis Hour), but his partner has been notably more quiet. The first we're hearing from Kontrast since the last drop (outside of a few features) comes as a Cannonball Soup mixtape, The Appetizer. Hosted by DJ Bedz, this perfect example of a well-crafted mixtape comes as a prelude to a full project due out this winter. We caught up with Kontrast before last week's NAS show at the Paramount Cafe to chat about the project and what else is on the duos plate. Kontrast is as expressive in-person as he is on stage (or in videos) and his articulate introspection is not reserved to the studio, as he's an engaging and magnetic conversationalist.

AXS: So, you two have obvious camaraderie, how did you guys decide to spin off of Fresh Breath Committee?

Kontrast: The first time we started to work on the original Cannonball Soup we were fresh off of the release of CPR and wanted to keep a little momentum going. And instead of doing a whole other crew album we decided that we were gonna do a project. At that point Catch Lungs was doing a project, when he was still with us, PJ was gonna work on a project. It seemed natural that we were the only two that weren’t working on something, so we came together to do it and were just a really good match.

AXS: Duos really are the best in hip-hop. Do you think each of your plays a certain role?

K: I think both us of have different personalities for sure and I think that’s what adds to the dynamic, of how you envision us as a duo. It’s weird because he’s kinda like the more rugged one, and I’m the more kinda, I don’t know, I use a lot of big words sometimes so I guess, you know…so you would expect it to be flipped. And that’s just based on normal social constructs. It’s a nice dichotomy right there, like we’re opposites, but we balance each other out. That’s how we view it.

AXS: Not sure if you've answered this before, but I've always been curious, why did you call yourselves Cannonball Soup?

K: That was a Chief thing. We were trying to come up with a name for our first project, and we went through 30-40 different names and then we just started rattling off random combinations of words and it sounded cool, and it fit our mantra. The more rugged kind of hip-hop. We wanted something that wasn’t gonna stray from that, so Cannonball, is like the force of cannonballs and soup is kinda healthy for you, so it’s like a contrast, if you will. [laughs] Different symbolism. Basically, he came up with a random combination of names, and that’s what he came up with.

AXS: So, you just dropped The Appetizer, and it's a short, a teaser almost. Should we assume that you'll follow up with an entree?

K: We have a full length album coming out this winter. That’s kinda what The Appetizer is, a promotional tool for. The last two tracks on The Appetizer will be going on the album, so it’s a preview of a few of the album tracks. And so what we wanted to do was stay on our toes. We were working on a little bit of music here, a little bit of music there, we kinda compiled these seven tracks together that we really liked. And we were like, “hey, it’s been three years since we’ve done anything, let’s make sure they know we’re still here.” I think the main goal of The Appetizer is to let people know that we’re still around.

AXS: I think the appetizer is a great part of a meal, definitely worth celebrating, so tell me about it.

K: The Appetizer is a collection of tracks that we did, and the earliest one is “420 a.m. in Denver,” that was March of last year. So that tells you how far they go back. Besides “420,” a lot of those other tracks were made in the last three months. With our writing process, what we do is we choose what production we're gonna rap over. We go through a bunch of beats and decide whatever him and I are feeling at the time. Whether it's a bunch of aggression from something that happened earlier that day, or something like that. What happens is that selection of production we've selected for the album doesn't always fit the mood we're in at that point, so we gotta venture out, so we did tracks we knew wouldn't be on the album, just to kinda stay on our toes. So we don't fall back.

AXS: Which track are you feeling the most?

K: Oh wow! It's a tie. I personally like “420 a.m.,” but the story about that track is that it almost didn't make it. Fo is gonna kill me for telling you this, but he didn't like his verse, he felt it was a little to aggressive and cocky. I had to sway him and tell him, it's what it's about. Half the time it's about who has the biggest balls. So I like “420,” and I like “Catch me on the Go,” it has a lot of personal connotation for the both of us. “Looking Out My Window” we also really like. We're actually gearing out to film a video with Fa'al, that should get started in the next month or so. We figure it'll be cross promotion for the album and The Appetizer, since it's on both projects.

AXS: You scored DJ Bedz to mix on The Appetizer, and he's killing it right now. How'd you get him?

K: As FBC, he's played a few of our songs on the radio, on his program. So, we've had a relationship with him since 2010, maybe. And you know, when we compiled all of these tracks, one thing we wanted to do was make sure people knew it was a mixtape. We hate the term mixtape, I feel like the word mixtape kinda degrades the value of the product. But we wanted to make sure that people did know that this one is a mixtape since we have an album coming out. We wanted to be sure to use somebody, first of all, that nobody else was using and secondly, there was an aspect of who is one of our favorite DJs. Besides Chonz, who's super busy, Bedz is a huge figure in the scene. We just said, “hey, what can we do?” And he signed on and that was that. He was really happy to do it. He's a busy guy, but he actually got it done ... he said, “give me a week” and he got it done in like 48 hours. I was like, holy shit! I really like the work he put into it!

AXS: You gonna play any shows?

K: I know as a duo we have Mursday! Show in December at The Summit and Fo is doing a solo show for AG Flux's birthday on Oct. 23.

AXS: What do you love about hip-hop?

K: I think it's a more of a tool for expression for me. It has therapeutic value. It saves me money so I don't have to see a therapist, or whatever. But what I think it really is it's nice to be able to have another outlet where you can really let go. Where you're not worried about personal judgment. I'm not really as aggressive in real life as I am on a track, it's like another person. I like to do the whole Lyricism thing and Foley has the voice of God. It's so much fun. I can't live without it. If I'm not rapping, I'm listening to music, and if I'm not listening to music I'm probably writing or doing something else.

AXS: What do you hate about it?

K: Ooh. Well. Um. Hold up.

AXS: Take your time...

K: Hip-hop in my opinion has come to a point where the foundation isn't there anymore and like, what happens when the foundation is missing, people forget what it was built off of. The expectation of hip-hop these days are kinda easing into the same kinda commercial wrongs that rap did. Hip-hop used to be about being unique and being your own, but now the mold is – in regards of the industry – all about formulas. It's all about formulas these days. Chief and I we don't like to adhere to a formula we make what's real and what we feel. I think that that is, like, I really think that is the essence of hip-hop. Being unique and expressing yourself as you. It's all commercialized and it's not about you anymore it's about connecting with them. That's just my personal opinion. - AXS.com

"Westword Magazine"

Cannonball Soup, the mix tape from Fresh Breath Committee's Kontrast and Fo Chief, hosted by Joe Thunder, is just what the hip-hop doctor ordered on these, the coldest days in January. Full of beats mostly drawn from Kontrast's refined ears, the production is great, and the rapping is even better.

There are a few features worth noting: MC Big House, on "Shinobi Rap," appearances from fellow posse members such as Catch Lungs on "Unwind" and the entire crew on "We Coming." And it's not only the rapping, but Fo Chief's singing definitely get shine. Kontrast gets it on the lyrical versatility front. An appearance by DJ Skip Ripkin with the cuts on "Fly" enhances continuity on an overall hip-hop feel.

Made up of 24 tracks, each one a different performance of exceptional rapping, Cannonball soup offers more than enough thematic value. Crystal, the resident songstress in the crew, is brilliant on "Fingerprints," and Fo Chief has more flavor than a little bit with his flow on that joint.

Joe Thunder is excellent and absolutely hilarious on the intro and also the "Cloutro" where, on a trip to Canada, he continuously hears the voices of Bone Thugz N' Harmony. Basically, he's getting high as the fuck on the trek for this tape, and the Soup, is so worth it.

The digital release is available for free download now, while the hard copies are slated to drop on February 15, and will come with a six-panel comic foldout featuring the characters on the cover. Those will be given away for free at all upcoming shows. - Westword.com


Cannonball Soup - 2011
The Appetizer - 2014



Kontrast and Fo Chief joined forces with the Fresh Breath Committee, a crew of numerous Denver heavy hitters.  The well renowned local Hip Hop group had a number of successful releases, including the award winning album “CPR” that dropped in 2008.  Together, Fresh Breath Committee has performed with some of Hip Hop’s greatest acts, including Guru, The Game, 8 Ball & MJG, Dilated Peoples, Masta Ace, Jedi Mind Tricks, Rittz and Swollen Members.  Kontrast and Fo Chief branched out in 2011 to form a “spin-off” series called “Cannonball Soup.”  The duo released one of the most praised and acclaimed mixtapes to come out of the Mile High City.  Their debut mixtape, “Cannonball Soup” has topped the local charts with thousands of digital downloads.  Currently, they are working on a highly anticipated, full length album to be released in early 2015; in the meantime, they have released “Cannonball Soup: The Appetizer” as a prelude thereto.