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kevinnottingham.com Detroit Hip Hop duo, The Regiment, released a new album this month, Live From The Coney Island, on Toki Wright’s Soul Tools Entertainment imprint. Produced entirely by frequent collaborator Nick Speed, the album includes features from Bishop Lamont, El Da Sensei, Guilty Simpson, Toki Wright and Vincent J. Kelley. KevinNottingham.com got up with OSI and IseQold to talk about this latest venture. Check it out below and then head over to DJBooth, where you can stream the LP in its entirety. Live From The Coney Island. What’s the story behind the title? Ise – The album was dedicated to home. We wanted to share our home with the world. One of the many authentic places in Detroit is “Coney Island” restaurants. There are so many neighborhood staple Coney’s in Detroit that anyone from here immediately has one they prefer to another. People have come to Detroit over the years to visit Coney Island like in Philadelphia to find a cheese steak. You put this album out on Soul Tools Entertainment. We’ve been hearing a lot about them lately. How did you link up? Osi – About two years ago we met Toki Wright performing at the A3C Festival in Atlanta for the Kevin Nottingham party. We approached him about a partnership with the entertainment company and it was the right fit. We work hard and they work hard while supporting what we want to do as MCs. Plus we have a dope roster that isn’t just about rap. We’re into feature film, DJing, merchandising, radio, events, and a lot more. It was the kind of structure we needed to move up to the next level. Since DJ Premier gave you an Honorable Mention have fans looked at The Regiment differently? Osi – To a degree the answer would be yes. We have always had certain doors that we could not open in Hip-Hop because of the type of music that we do. No matter who you are everyone needs to get a stamp from someone that is respected in order to be deemed to have good product. Being positive from the Detroit hip hop scene helps us to be different and branch out, and Primo’s comments just open the doors for the branches to spread. We are thankful he liked it when he checked it out. Personally it was a dream come true for us since we grew up listening to him. We would love to work with him someday. Ise – We had a chance to have major collabs on the album from Guilty Simpson, Bishop Lamont, EL Da Sensai, and Toki Wright. We’re glad we got to work with these guys because they are all icons where they are from. It was a blessing and we hope to link up again in the future. Nick Speed has worked with some major MCs from Lloyd Banks to Danny Brown, how did you connect? Osi – It was a blessing to work with someone with a track record like Nick Speed. We saw the opportunity to make great work together and got down to business. What can we expect next from The Regiment? Ise – First, we want to thank everybody out there for the support. We do this because you support it. I think true Hip-Hop heads are really going to like what we have coming up next. More music. More visuals. This is strictly for the heads that want to hear and see something real and raw.
It is pretty safe to say that Christianity usually doesn’t mean much in hip-hop. Either an artist raps about shooting enough people to consist of a small village and then praises the lord when handed their Grammy or they hit today’s market with lines like, “Eatin’ Lucky Charms out of the bowl/ Jesus savin’ marshmallows like he savin’ my soul.”. Luckily, OSI and IseQold (aka The Regiment) peg themselves into neither hole: their faith comes through here and there, but it never makes things corny or “undope.” Actually, they manage to bring something to the table that many artists struggle with: diversity. Optimism, truth, confidence, bangers and sad stories are all interlaced on A New Beginning. From track one, it’s apparent that anyone who enjoys some good ‘ole boom-bap is in for a treat. With production from New York (Big Tone), Michigan (Pig Pen) and even the UK (Ghosttown), it’s clear that The Regiment is not afraid to do things their own way. The track “Old School Vibe” definitely lives up to its name, offering listeners nothing but pure, quintessential hip-hop music. That is what a lot of this album is. For the most part, it discusses how the game has changed, glimpses of their own lives and the occasional lyrical acrobatics. “World We Live” tells the tale of two friends who take very different paths in life and is a story that ultimately ends in death. While the motives behind the actions of certain characters could have been explained a bit more in depth, the duo still does a good job of portraying the situation. The two songs after this one are just as creative. On “Home (Detroit),” The Regiment spits from the perspective of the state itself (or for the sake of the song, “herself”) while on “Soul to Keep,” satan, Jesus and man all lend verses. All in all, there are points on A New Beginning where they could have come a little harder or really dug deep with their simile/metaphor game (i.e. “Humble Arrogance”) but due to their style being focused more on the message behind the lyrics, it’s understandable. No matter how it’s sliced, The Regiment make quality music and take many of today’s rappers to church.