Awol One photographed by Roberto Lepe
I managed to work out some journalistic-style talking time with west coast Underground All-Star, and long-time comrade, Awol One of the intergalactic Shape Shifters crew. Homeboy has been doin’ the most for years, and has not slowed down one bit. Clout Magazine did an interview with Tony for issue #3 back in 2003, which you can see here. Find out where the ‘Wolrus is at 7 years into the future, and get hip to the 9th dimension.


Chip: Tony!  What’s good, g?!

AWOL: Life is great. My family is healthy, and my new album drops in February!

Chip: Are we referring to the project with Factor?

AWOL: Yup. I have a new album produced by Factor called “The Landmark” dropping on Fake Four Inc…I love this album!

Chip: I’m personally excited to hear this project.  It has been a busy year for you, and everything I’ve heard has been solid. I don’t even know what to expect.  Do you want to give us some background on the record and how it came to pass?  By the way…big up to Ceschi, Factor, and the Fake Four fam!

A lot of folks reading this will know of the work you and Factor have done prior to this release. Can you tell the readers what, if any, particular notion prompted this venture at this time?

AWOL: Well…this is the 3rd album I have done with Factor, and people seem to really like it when we collab together. This album is going back to my slow dark depressing roots…but you can dance to it…if you are crying. I needed to create something that was now….its so current…my life was changing a lot at the time….and thats the best way I can vent…and I have been in the game long enough i feel like i have the right to say certain things now

Chip: I’ll vouch for that. The promo video for “The Landmark” featuring Ceschi is already circulating the net.  As of this moment it has 541 views in 7 days.  I would say that this speaks to the following you have and your ability to deliver. 3 months before the release of the record, there is already promotion and a tour planned.  Do you want to talk about the power of media and consistency?


AWOL: Well in the past ten-plus years we have remained touring worldwide, and we keep our show and product quality. We keep integrity. We are music fans. I feel on the social networks….less is more…bring the mystery back into the artist. I eat bat eggs and owl bacon…What?

Chip: Apparently you’re also telepathic, because my next question was “waffles or pancakes?”

AWOL: Wafcakes

Chip: Toppings?  Raw waf’?

AWOL: Pigeon spit and spice

Chip: (flavor to taste)

AWOL: Hahahahah its all about presentation

Chip: Little baby Jesuses around the plate with a sprig of milkweed

AWOL: A sprig of mollywop

Chip: Hahahaha BLAMMO!

So, what can we expect for singles and videos in the short term from “The Landmark”? I ask, because you’ve been making videos since before youtube. Word to Mogtorr!

AWOL: A company called Plastic Horse is animating a video for the song “never gonna take us out” featuring Ceschi. Its going to be cartoon madness!! Also, an artist out of Long Beach named John Gill is animating a video for “Days Go Bye” feat. Buck 65. That song is about moving and a couple gritty videos will leak too…hahahah

Chip: And thats from the man himself.  Can’t say as I’d be too stoked if there weren’t.  Grab a camera.  Make a video. Spread the word.  On to the next.

Do you want to add anything in regard to the album?

AWOL: I am proud of this entire album. I feel this represents me.

Chip: Can we expect guest features?

AWOL: A few: Buck 65, Ceschi , Moka Only, Ahmad and Abstract Rude.

As far as the Shape Shifters, we just finished our new single. The track is called “Young, Rich and Dangerous” and its produced by Nat Motte of 3OH!3

Chip: The Shapes have been in full effect, which has been dope.  You guys played Paid Dues…I mean…

AWOL: Paid Dues and the Sungod festival were awesome!! I fuckin’ love to party with the Shape Shifters

Chip: I’m glad to see you guys getting the recognition you desreve in a climate of extreme hunger

AWOL: We should all plant gardens…and share. Hunger is wack

Chip: Gel shared the same sentiment, which I do as well. You guys were the first cats to put us on in that sort of format.  To this day I still take extreme pride in participating in your works. I actually have the 3 Eyed Cowz “The Evil Cow Burger” tape sitting on my desk. I still call it “3 Eyed Cowburgers”. It is good to know that the older generation is still concerned for those coming up after them. The same as those who came before you.

AWOL: Yes sir. Everyone deserves to be heard. We love music so it loves us back.

We were the first indie group to ever put out a 3D DVD. It was filmed and edited by Artificial Army, and it has a crazy-insane-huge cult following. We just re-released it, but not in 3d this time. Hahah. Its in 9D: the sensational inter-dimensional. Surround feel.

Chip: This is fucked up. I was just told about Spongebob in 4D. I was integrating it into my comedy routine “I want my money back…I don’t even know what the 4th dimension is!”

AWOL: Hahahah…the Shifters are litterally about to become pop stars…its kinda wierd

Chip: Ey.  Prince and the Beastie Boys were pop stars. Bowie. Not bad company. We might get decency back!

AWOL: Hahahah true, my friend. Bring it back for the 2011

Chip: This year alone you’ve dropped “AWOL ONE and Ecid are…” “Life before Death” with Gel Roc, and also appeared on the Ex2 “Resurgence” record.  I want to talk about the Life before death record.   How, in this day and age, is what would once be considered an anthology , now made readilly downloadable by the artist…for free? Well, for artists like yourselves who can make money when they drop a record.

click cover art to download ‘Life Before Death’ FREE!!!

AWOL: Yeah, its a wierd thing these days about free music. I feel that people buy so much of my music and support my tours so much that I can give back and drop a free mixtape. Its my first free project and maybe not my last. I want to do an album of all cover-tunes and make it a free album

Chip: Best possible answer.  Holler if you need any assistance with the cover album.  I like cover songs…and I like giving things away for free.

AWOL: Sick. We have to drop a gritty version of some 80’s song

Chip: 6 ‘n the morning

AWOL: Police at my door….fresh Adidas squeakin’ cross the bathroom floor…

Chip: Out the back window, I make my escape…didn’t even get a chance to grab my old school tape

As a kid, I was wondering what he meant by ‘old school tape’, cos thats old school haha

AWOL: Definitely. Its funny because when we were building the new studio, the only tape I could find to play was Rhyme Pays and I bumped it for like 3 days…big ups the Ice T…the Iceberg himself reminded me of when I bought that shit from the store

Chip: I saw you post that on Twitter, and it made me think about how many rhymers today, know not one part of that album or maybe even that it exists. It was my first tape. I was like 8. My friend gave it to me, because his sister bought it for him, but his parents wouldn’t let him keep it. Then my parents took it from me…I took it back.

AWOL: Nice. Thats kinda what hip hop is all about

Chip: Precisely. Never looked back

I know you’ve got things to do. Imma let you get back to 9th dimension. Anything you wanna tell everyone before we get outta here?

AWOL: Thanks. I’ll be on tour, starting in Feb 2011 with Ceschi, Cars and Trains. Check out for details.

I’ll be leaving now. I need to blow up my inflatable boombox for the show I have with Ecid tomorrow in Los Angeles….. so peace out to Clout mag….Megabusive…all my graff homies and musicians…stay sane and have a great day, Los Angeles

Chip: Thanks for your time, g!  Have fun and good luck at the show tomorrow!  Peace!

You can find more info on Awol One at:

Awol One on Twitter

Awol One on Myspace