Testing, Testing 1,2... Access All Areas is back with an exclusive chat with the soulful b-boy/MC, Abstract Rude. 

In celebration of Rejuvenation's 15th Anniversary (Released 5/5/2009) we got deep into the album's production, favorite songs, the legacy of Project Blowed, and more. Tap in!

RSE: How did you connect with Rhymesayers for the Rejuvenation album?
ABR: On tour with Aceyalone, Prince Paul and Eyedea fall 2002, we stopped thru Fifth Element for an in-store in Minneapolis, and Siddiq pitched me the idea to matchup with Vitamin D and our late homie Jasiri from Source Of Labor who was also Vitamin D’s manager. We all went back to the mid/late 90s with them coming down to LA for Project Blowed-associated events, so I was with it.
RSE: What was the creative and collaborative process for you and Vitamin D to put the album together?
ABR: He gave me two CDs of beats, like 60+ total that other cats around the industry had had access to, but I just began writing to a lot of them. Then as we met and began to record up at the Pharmacy studio in the 206, he made newer beats and over time, we had like 36 songs. Vitamin is a self contained prod/dj/engineer/MC type, so he only needs your bars. He has a great ear and a dope network of local artists that he brought in, like singers Chocolate and Reggie Watts, to add spice. Those were vibes in the studio with them, the Pharmacy homies, and even Jake One poppin through, us going to play basketball together... It was cold up there in Seattle, but warm amongst friends, all invested in seeing us make the best record.
RSE: This album, and your music in general, is great at capturing how the world feels in the moment, so looking back 15 years, how different does the world feel from when you made Rejuvenation?
ABR: The more things change, the more they stay the same. As we’ve continued this Hip Hop Ryde, we felt Rejuvenation from Hip-Hop’s 50th, and we can legally blaze Nuff Fire now in most states. We still hold The Conch to echo sentiments of stopping the violence and avoiding the ever-growing prison numbers amongst inner-city youth. We still Thynk We Can, though we certainly felt more politically hopeful back then with Obama on the rise. As we’ve pushed some social and civil rights issues forward in society, we’ve turned the clock back drastically on others. Reality TV Shows, political follies, an avoidable pandemic and in general, most of what’s on network TV still leaves us feeling Sadly Ever After, but the deeper awareness of mental health and our own resilience keeps us looking toward Tomorry to change things. Can U Dig It? Oh, and we now know we don’t always wanna RSVP to the industry party, lest we become another Man Down. LOL. But I’ll tell you this, even though I speak in Parables, conscious folk still know It Is What It Is.
RSE: Listening back, what are your favorite songs from the album, and has that changed over time?
ABR: Rejuvenation, Thynk Eye Can, The Conch and Nuff Fire are the most performed... but Tomorry and Sadly Ever After, for abstract technique. I used to not like Rejuvenation, or really want that as a title. Originally, we named the album Dear Abbey, but I admit Rejuvenation grew on me over time. I’m stylin on it, reppin my city and crew well, and I like the overall story that the album tells with the Rejuvenation theme.
RSE: The album features two versions of “Thynk Eye Can” which capture two different eras of Project Blowed. With this year being the Blowed 30th anniversary, how do you view the impact you all had on the culture?
ABR: Endearing and widespread. I’m more quiet about pointing out our influence when I see it these days, believe it or not lol. Like Myka 9 said, they (Freestyle Fellowship), and eventually we (Project Blowed), helped teach the world to freestyle off the dome. Non-preconceived, formless, shapeless... Be like water and courageously bold about it. The b-boy bebop jazz mixed with that hip-hop ragga soul flare... We dared to stay around after being dropped from majors, rallied local, released our own records, and helped build an indie rap Silk Road, along with Hieroglyphics, Quannum, Living Legends, Def Jux and Rhymesayers, as the main ones I’d include as the architects of this whole thing we enjoy today. Especially considering the gangster rap era had eroded trust in hip-hop events by the music venues, we brought it back with more peace, love and Unity...(RIP Bigga B). We all started in LA circa Dec ’89 at the Mother B. Hall ran, Mother Ifasade () and Dr. Philip Walker owned, Good Life Health Food Center’s Thursday open mic nights. Freestyle Fellowship, The Pharcyde, Snoop, RBX and Kurupt, Skee-Lo, Ahmad, Abstract Tribe Unique, 2Mex, Pigeon John, Medusa, Ava Duvernay, etc... We all came outta there and inspired the universe! After five years there, we relocated just south to Leimert Park where we currently enjoy a 30-year run this Dec 2024, continuing the legacy with newer talent represented on the Thynk Eye Can (Project Blowed Next Generation Mix) version. That was us passing the torch to worthy bearers like All City Jimmy (fka Nocando) and Swim Team LA cats like Dumbfoundead, Open Mike Eagle, Sahtyre, and more, who have done nothing but grow and thrive since being featured on this joint back then. As the Blowed continues to Rejuvenate the talent pool in Los Angeles.
RSE: What new projects are you working on?
ABR: A 25-Year Anniversary Reissue of Abstract Tribe Unique’s South Central Thynk Taynk via Rhymesayers, with an LA Styles Back 2024 Bonus Remix ft. Project Blowedians. Also my forthcoming Notes From The Sanho LP with my producer homie and former Sanho roommate Kenny Segal. Both of those at some point over the next year are on the way via Rhymesayers, so stay tuned!
Follow Abstract Rude on Instagram here.
Shop Abstract Rude Rhymesayers releases here.