photo by Martin do Nascimento
Hear Confucius and Fresh on THE BREAKS every Saturday night 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Welcome to the KUTX family! So, you survived your first show. What was it like?
CJ: For me, it was a bit nerve-wracking only because it was live and I was scared I would mess up the call signs, which I did. But coming from a DJ background the spontaneity of it was welcoming.
Fresh: It was nerve-wracking for me as well, but exciting nonetheless. I was afraid that my speaking wouldn’t be up to par for live on-air programming. Jitters got the best of me, but I kept pushing it and the night was great.
CJ: Not too many because Jack Anderson trained us pretty well leading up to our first show. It wasn’t so much surprises that overwhelmed me but just being alone to do it for the first time that was the main thing.
Fresh: Not really. It was all pretty much what I expected. Like CJ said Jack trained us up to our debut. Coming from podcasting I think we were more comfortable than we felt.
This may be your first time hosting a live music show but it isn’t your first time in front of a microphone. What kind of experience do you bring to The Breaks?
CJ: Honestly our personalities and years of friendship. We bring ourselves to the microphone. We know how to feed off each other and bounce back and forth. We did it while we were podcasting (Those Damn Comic Book Guys) and also just in everyday conversation. We also did radio online in Houston a couple of years ago so we understand the ebb and flow of it all.
Fresh: I think Confucius just summed it up for the most part. We just bring ourselves. The way you hear us talk on the air is how we talk to one another on a regular basis, maybe just a tad bit less cursing.
How did you hear about KUTX? Where did the idea for a hip-hop show come from?
CJ: I’ve lived in Austin all my life so I’m pretty familiar with KUT and KUTX. Doesn’t help that my mother is a UT alumni so she let it be known early on that UT had a radio station in town. And the idea for the show simply came from Fresh and I wanting a show that represented both hip-hop and the local scene proudly. A show people from out of town and in town could be proud of and brag about.
Fresh: Like Confucius, I’m born and raised in Austin, so I knew of KUT and KUTX. As CJ pointed out we just wanted to create a show that people in the city could be proud of. The hip-hop scene in the city is growing and we wanted to show that. We wanted to be some real voices in Austin.
What do you think about bringing a hip-hop show to a station that hasn’t traditionally played hip-hop?
CJ: It’s still surreal. I never imagined in a million years KUTX would be the station that allowed our vision for a hip-hop show to become a reality but we are definitely grateful.
Fresh: What he said. It really hasn’t sunk in yet that we are really doing this. There have been so many attempts at what we’re doing from others I honestly thought KUTX was going to brush us off and say that hip-hop in this city doesn’t need the radio.
What are we going to hear on The Breaks?
CJ: Two handsome men who were born, and breathe, hip-hop and want to impress massive amounts of women and create one of the best hip-hop radio shows in the country.
Fresh: Haha! All of what he just said as well the best Hip Hop and R&B that there is to offer from mainstream artists, as well local and emerging artists.
What is the state of Austin hip-hop?
CJ: I would say still in its infant stages simply because no one has made it out on a major level in terms of success. The scene needs more outlets and ears to finally get the respect it deserves with our help hopefully.
Fresh: I’d say it’s growing. I won’t say infant because, no there hasn’t been anyone who has made out on a national stage, but there have been artists who’ve gotten great coverage and has made ways for the scene. I agree with CJ there does need to be more outlets and ear to help push the scene to where everyone wants it to be.
Where can we see hip-hop in Austin?
CJ: It depends. Alesia Lani is an R&B artist here and she had a residency at Stay Gold Bar for a minute last year. Empire Control Room is a good place to catch it too and the historic Victory Grill is the seminal place as well for local talent.
Fresh: All those places as well as Grizzly Hall and Emo’s over on Riverside, you have the open mic event Austin Mic Exchange that has become a staple in the Austin hip-hop scene, you also have Flamingo Cantina, Vulcan Gas Co on 6th Street, and a host of other places.
Do you remember the first hip-hop song that made you pay attention?
CJ: Not really. I was born into the genre so no particular song stands out but I will say the first group I remember buying and listening to, was Kriss Kross.
Fresh: Yes I do, it was KRS-ONE “Loves Gonna Get You.” My older brother introduced me to hip-hop and as kids, we were infatuated with old school hip-hop.
We know this is about your hip-hop show, but as self-confessed comic book nerds do you have any favorite superheroes or comic books?
CJ: Spawn. He was the first black superhero I had ever seen on a major level and I was obsessed with everything about him back in 1997. I actually own a graded copy of the first issue of Spawn to this day.
Fresh: Favorite superhero for the longest part of my childhood was Spider-Man, but I then was introduced to Black Panther, and as a black kid growing up in East Austin I thought the idea of a black man who runs his own country that is the most technologically advanced country in the world and is richer than God, intelligent, and the country is the only country not conquered by Europe was amazing. I own Black Panther’s first appearance.
Favorite places to go in Austin?
CJ: Applebee’s. They have great drink specials. If you take a date there she might make a funny face but with the cheap drinks, she might eventually enjoy herself.
Fresh: I LOVE Short Stop, BEST burger joint in town! Also Roland’s Kitchen, they have some great soul food, as well as Alamo Draft House.
Anything else you want us to know about you or The Breaks?
CJ: Just listen. Our show is music first and personality second. We play music that no other hip-hop show in the city will play and are also backed by the best radio station in the city. We are also personable and out and about in the city so we are of the people, from the people.
Fresh: Everything CJ just said.
What is the best way to submit music to The Breaks for consideration? Anything people should know before they send it in?
Email our DROPBOX at email@example.com and make sure the file is in .wav form. The best advice I can give is to put your best foot forward and make a great first impression.