RESPECT | Interview: Dana Coppafeel & SPEAK Easy Are Doing Their Own Thing

danaandspeakAfter releasing two singles and a video over the past six months, Milwaukee hip-hop emcees Dana Coppafeel & SPEAK Easy are finally releasing a collaborative effort, Uni-Fi Records Presents: Dana Coppafeel and SPEAK Easy on Uni-Fi Records. We had a chance to interview the duo and discuss several things including how the two became a group, the hip-hop scene in Milwaukee and their plans for the future.

The first thing I want to ask is how did you two come together?

Dana: Well, it’s pretty much like, from the scene. Me and Speak have been in the scene for quite awhile. We probably met in 2007, around that time, give or take.

Speak: Yeah.

Dana: I was in a group called The House Of M and I kinda met Speak just from them and the local scene. So we were just kind of acquaintances really. We were on an album together, but we never really worked together until later on and we were in the studio one time with a mutual friend and we just kinda hit it off and were talking. Then speak ended up on the same label as me and pretty much the label wanted us to link up together and work on an EP to promote the label, promote us and just combine forces. We both have a drive and we’re always trying to push ourselves to make a better product.

Speak: Word, word. That’s pretty much it.

Were there any issues with chemistry?

Speak: No, actually there wasn’t. That’s the funny thing, because when the outsiders started getting wind that we were gonna do a project together, the first thing we were getting was “Oh, I wonder how THAT shit is gonna happen! How are they gonna pull that off?” And the crazy thing is, through the mutual respect for each other just as men, we had no issues with chemistry as artists.

Dana: Yeah, even though we’re the opposite type of dudes. Speak is calm, collective and educated and I’m more like wild and crazy. The music that we tend to make or the topics we rap about are totally different. So it was kinda cool to just be able to be in a situation where you can reflect with what you’re doing through a person that has a different view, solely for the reason to make something better. There wasn’t ever really any conflict. I think the only conflict we ever had was when we worked on the song “Murder They Wrote,” because I didn’t want to rap over that beat.

Speak: Oh yeah! [laughs]

Dana: I was like “Nah, I don’t wanna do that.” Speak and Dima, the dude that runs the label, they were like “Let’s do this beat,” and I was really against it. It was funny, because there was a journalist there in the studio while we were working and she was the reason pretty much why I was like “Alright, let’s just go with it.” She was digging it, so it kinda just happened like that. I think that was the only real thing that we didn’t see eye to eye on, but it worked itself out naturally.

Read the rest of the interview over at RESPECT. Magazine