One Dur Who: Defending the Ill!

Interview by Josh Chambers

onedurwho album coverBorn in 1985 on the west side of Manchester, New Hampshire.Max Maxwels, better known as One Dur Who, first got into hip hop as a young kid, beatboxing as early as five years old, by then recreating the entrance music to some of his favorite wrestling action figures and making sound effects for their moves; kicks, punches etc. This developed over the years into full blown beatboxing. Thus the culture of hip hop was introduced and the love took hold. By the time he was at the Influential age of 12 years old his stepfather at the time, Juan, who was originally from the Bronx, would play KRS-One to him. That was his favorite growing up and he passed that on to young Max. The love grew stronger for hip hop and knowledge of hip hop was blooming by listening to the teacher!! Max was an original member of an infamous Graff crew in the Manchester area. The first of its kind in New Hampshire, to be exact, and now is known across several countries and many states. What was just a few friends has, no doubt, turned into an army. Max was also a part of a breakdancing crew. With his ability to beatbox, the homies ALWAYS had something to uprock to.

onedurwho track listMax, AKA One Dur Who, has always been outspoken against injustice in society, not afraid of losing friends in the pursuit of truth. He stays open minded and nothing is off limits to this emcee. He’s hungry with a lifetime of experience in this culture of hip hop and now he’s finally putting his lyrics to beats and making something happen. With only 3 years now of live performances he has, with his producer and tag team rapper, Bea2ooth, gained an impressive resume of shows opening for absolute legends such as R.A. the Rugged Man, Onyx, Slick Rick, Prodigy of Mobb Deep, Slaine of La Coka Nostra fame, AOTP members, Terminology, and KRS-One. When he performed with KRS-One AKA the Blast Master, Max had the rare opportunity to throw down some freestyle raps with the legend. A dream come true for him.

Realizing his dream of performing with his all time favorite MC has prompted One Dur Who to take hip hop more serious than ever and release his debut album. At the time of this interview he has already begun working on his sophomore album and One Dur Who is upping the ante.

If you haven’t heard of One Dur Who yet, there is no doubt that the day is coming when you will.

Q: You dropped your debut album July 4th. Did you release any singles yet? What has
the reception been so far? What are your hopes for the album?

A: Yes, Bea2ooth and I dropped the album “Sacrifice Sleep 2 Live the Dream”, which was entirely produced by Bea2ooth from making the beats to mixing and mastering and he dropped the truth in some verses. The album became available digitally on Bandcamp July 4th. I’ve received a decent amount of feedback and it’s awesome because people are digging it. [There’s been] a lot more anticipation for actual CD’s. The feedback has been solid so far. There is quite a few previously performed tracks that have been staples in sets we’ve done. Three music videos from this album have been circulating on Youtube for awhile now and a couple more we dropped along the way. Now all together on the album, they tell the story of me coming up right now as it’s happening. It was good to include these on the first album to close the introduction and start chapter one.

Q: Are you planning to do any touring in support of the album? Local or otherwise?

A: Basically, I’ll rock anywhere any time I’m asked to do so. Even on the spot. As far as any big shows, we are planning a release party for this album and the arrival of the CD’s. We had to postpone our show on July 4th because the physical CD’s were delayed in shipment and that killed me to do. So, I’m hoping when the CD’s finally do arrive, we can celebrate it because I definitely know a few homies that are trying to rock out that night and that’s enough for me to want to go berserk for them! Someone reading this, book me for shows! I’m always down! I just I don’t pay [to perform] and I don’t really ask. Maybe I should ask more [laughs] but paying is definitely cornball status, I just leave it at that. All in all, to answer the question; Not many shows planned as of yet but we are going to have a party. Even if I’m out in the woods, next to a fire, with a stack of CD’s, performing on a loudspeaker, it’s going down. We are gonna party for this!

Q: What are you working on next?

A: I’ve started right into the second album which is all newer verses, recent stuff 100% unheard uncut and raw.Still on some more of Bea2ooth’s gems and it’s already more evolved. It’s amazing. Basically, just continue to grow as a recording artist and put out more music and videos.

Q: Who do you draw your influence from?

A: I just want to shout out to the legend, Jimi Hendrix, as the greatest musician to ever live for the fact of how much music he made at such a young age. How quickly he made it. The things he did with that guitar that still can’t really be matched today.How long his sound has lasted and how much he revolutionized music. He has resonated for generations. That’s amazing to me.
A lot comes from the culture of hip hop, as a whole, it is beautiful to me and a lot of talented people have raised the bar in each of the 4 elements. Dope Graff, breaking and scratchin’ routine shit genuinely. Makes me grin ear to ear, it’s so fresh to me. Always has, no question. The vibes, the energies, the good, bad and ugly. I get fired up after hearing dope verses from legends or locals, at the same time. When I hear something so far out and whack, it pisses me off. I will write a slew of punches…its the balance. “I draw power from my entire environment. Never hafta lie in it ”

Q: If you could tour with anybody, past or present, who would it be and why?

I had the honor to freestyle with him and open up for him here in Manchester at The Shaskeen (a local bar that has a separate room in the back that hosts shows) when he came through.
Best vibe ever, one of the best nights. The force of hip hop in that man can turn rockers in to rappers [laughs]. To tour with, who I consider the Godfather of this noise, that would be the ultimate dream come true for me.

Q: Is there any particular stance or statement you try to make with your music?
Political, social, etc.?

Defending the ILL! Put the love back into the music that’s for the music. Love is power, LOVE IN HIP HOP IS THE REVOLUTION. We need to stand up as MC’s and address the things happening in this country and abroad. It doesn’t all have to be self destructive negative lyrics all the time. Hip hop has got a bad RAP, literally! There are plenty of MC’s that value the art but get pushed aside by the superficial poster boys. I express my childhood love for this culture in every word, with a stance on a multitude of issues, while being an MC that is pure for the art. I dont need to sugar coat shit. Nothing is off limits. Get it how you live it. I feel like its my obligation to spark conversation, start intrest…I don’t want to bring doom and gloom, I want to bring awareness, then open my hand and say “You’re never alone”. I want two strangers on a bus one day to meet over one asking the other “Is that One Dur Who you’re playing?”, while the other replies “Hell ya! You know about that fool? That be crazy!”. Ultimately, I want the music to connect people while still keeping to the point of what hip hop is. This old school/new school shit is bullshit to me. Stop, look, and listen. I don’t run with trends. This is who I AM right now and I RAP. To progress in skill, not in capital. I believe that that’s the difference in the end.

Q: How does your process usually work for writing songs?

I’ve written almost every day of my life, missing very few nights. It’s my fun time. Usually, I throw a beat on, start freestyling, do some humming and singing, mess around with a hook,
spit a cadence without actually saying any real words [laughs]. Then, when I feel I find the rhythm it just comes to me and my hand doesn’t stop until I go over it several hundred times after. I have a TON of bars and song structure was never a factor to me…Why should it? I can do that no problem but a lot of times 16 bars just isn’t long enough. I honestly don’t even look at it as trying to make songs. It’s me doing what I love and expressing myself with the blessing that people may actually listen and dig it.

Thanks for your time! Are there final words you want to get in and where can
people find your music or buy your album?

Thank you for reaching out to me. Yeah, I just wanna say PEACE to all the people who supported me, and push me, and told me I gotta keep at this. I got true love for that, you are the backbone.

Right now, you can can catch me on most of the big social media networks. I’ll provide a few links as well as a direct link to Bandcamp where you can download the album for free or name your price.

Thanks again, Max. Best of luck in your career. I know I’ll be buying your album and I’ll see you around. I’m looking forward to working with you again, both in this capacity and doing more tracks with you. Much love!

Go check out One Dur Who and Bea2ooth, hip hop fans! You won’t regret it.

You can name your price and download One Dur Who’s new album here:

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