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A Rapper named Centri

“I’m the Master of the Universe; a Man-At-Arms
Still heavily armed with only one arm like Carl Weathers in the Predator”

-Dynamics Plus in “Motion Lesson”

Lenzmen. We are a bunch of scientific emcees and friends. We’ve been recording together and hanging out (and bickering) for over a decade. There’s four of us. Me, producer and lyricist Dynamics Plus. Doktor Strange the Hybrid who moved back to Long Island recently. There’s Earthadox who’s now down south making his waves and Centri who’s in Brooklyn. We’ve been splintered but still stay in contact and each member is doing his own music-related projects.

Lenzmen Rapper Centri Image

Vetted Veteran

Centri has been doing collabos with other rappers (Skyzoo, Planet Asia, Supastar Straps and Sha Stimuli- to name a few). Great for him. Unknown to most is that Centri has had shoulder problems for years, with a shoulder that’s quick to dislocate and pop out. Of course, as boys, we had to crack on his [Special Ed] fake arm. Well recently he underwent surgery and had a complication, which left his arm useless for a minute. Instead of laying up lame and making excuses or pushing his projects back, he’s decided to go full force and keep pounding on his music. This has led him to come out to my studio and marathon-record tons of tracks.

I sometimes forget about the chemistry and friendship that forges a group that goes way beyond music. It’s also humbling and inspiring to see his bandaged arm stuffed in his pocket to protect it – all the while spitting verses like rapping is the most important thing in life. And you know what, as an Emcee, he’s right; rapping is the most important thing in life. That’s why he raps that way. If you’ve claimed to be a rapper or producer and you have any excuses as to why you haven’t completed your project, shame on you.

Grinding for most artists means worrying about music 24-7. For those better, it means working on music straight for 72 hours. For the best, it means grinding through adversity until you reach your goals. If he can do it with one arm, what’s your excuse?

New Music: Centri ft. Blaq Poet & Supastar Straps – “That’s Why I Rap Like This”

Thats Why I Rap Like This Single Artwork

http://rappersdelite.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/new-music-centri-ft-blaq-poet-supastar-straps-thats-why-i-rap-like-this/

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COP SHOP Reunion on 5-19-2012 Smithtown New York

The Cop Shop has been one of hip hop’s staple in Long Island in the 2000′s. Weekly in store events, autograph signings, you name it, the Cop Shop had it. Sadly in 2009, they closed its doors. Luckily for us, Eddie has decided to throw an event to bring it all back for one night only. I hope all of you can make it because i sure will be there. For more information head over to their Facebook page.

Centri featuring Skyzoo – RhymeGlue produced by Dynamics Plus

 Off of his upcoming Rise of a Veteran mixtape, Centri unites with Skyzoo and reinvents the concept of a hook over production from Dynamics Plus.

Centri Rise of a Veteran, The Mixtape

Centri ft. Skyzoo – RhymeGlue produced by Dynamics Plus

About a year ago, I produced a bunch of tracks off the Article 15 album from fellow Lenzmen Centri. Since then he’s been running around, traveling and meeting up with other emcees and also started featuring other rappers on his songs. Every once and a while I hear that someone else is on board and it seems like cats is really getting behind his mission. Now the thing about Centri (that I endlessly make fun of) is the fact that he’s a One-Man-Army like he done had too much super-soldier serum. When he goes in, he goes in…all in and so it’s almost no surprise when I see videos of him performing over my unreleased tracks and unfinished beats like nothing.

He mentions that he’s working on a collabo with Skyzoo. Cool. I got up on Skyzoo at a few iStandard events so I’m thinking Yeah, I can imagine them cooking up something kinda crazy. Next he tells me that it’s done and says “By the way Skyzoo picked one of your beats”. Nice, but they happened to pick a track from my Fallout Shelter instrumental album and so I had to replace it and strip down the track to create space for rhymes.  If you listen to the ending you can hear me playing the Jamisen <think Shamisen, a Japanese guitar> and I had a bridge and additional solos before the track was opened up.

The track was mixed by Big Earth and you catch it on Centri’s Rise of a Veteran. Right now he has it for free download on his Bandcamp site here. You can catch more on Centri by visiting his website here and check out his previous album Article 15: The Rebel Knowledge Story here.

Rapper’s Delite has a blog blast about this single too!

After the military Centri built up a name for himself in underground hip hop circles joining the abstract crew, ’The Lenzmen’ and debuting on ’The Persecution of Hip Hop’ compilation album back in 1998 along side Cannibal Ox, Slug, etc. He recently dropped a military inspired album titled ’Article 15: The Rebel Knowledge Story’ on 11.11.11. Veteran’s Day in preparation for his next project ‘Headless Nobody’ which features Akir, Blaq Poet, Sha Stimuli, Planet Asia and more.

New Album from Lenzmen Centri: Article 15- The Rebel Knowledge Story

November 15, 2011 Leave a comment

New Album from Lenzmen Centri:

Article 15- The Rebel Knowledge Story

Lenzmen centri Article15 album cover

Lenzmen centri Article15 album cover

There is reason to celebrate whenever a fellow Lenzmen drops a project. This is the highly anticipated album from Centri. And since Dynamics Plus did a lot of the beats, you know it’s bangin!

ALBUM NOTES FOLLOW:

From the murky depths of the rebellious souls of our few and proud U.S. Veterans comes a grim depiction of a soldier’s reality. Centri the GodKilla Zilla collaborates with Nasa and Dynamics Plus in his solo release called —Article 15: The Rebel Knowledge Story. It’s a pro-soldier album that pulls no punches, and it’s the rawest uncut album to date on this subject in the genre of hip hop. It’s a powder keg that captures the angst of every soldier that’s ever had to iron a pair of BDU’s (camouflage uniform), and it should be issued to every soldier with their boots and M-16. Trust me it’s brings forth the TRUTH.

Centri is a veteran of the U.S. Army that never goes into to detail about his military experiences. He instead created this album as an educational tool for anyone interested in joining the military, anyone in the military, and anyone who’s out of the military whether with an honorable or not honorable discharge. It shows the good, the bad and the ugly of service. He claims most of his closest friends got kicked out of the military and it became a detriment in their lives. He believes there is a lot of soldiers who don’t know who to turn to when they are having problems with their command or what to do if their on the verge of getting kicked out themselves. This album relates to these individuals, as well as providing them with insight on what to do under these typical circumstances.

This album taps into that rare emotion of a soldier in today’s military, and guides them through the adversities that every one of them could very well face tomorrow. It holds even more emotion than basic training and with military stories that can only be challenged by Tom Clancy. With songs like “Airborne Ranger” that follow a veteran from his gung-ho years to being a P.O.W and though his later years of headaches, nightmares, and trying to cope when he finds out the biggest lies he’s ever been told by the government. “Black Cat Dumb Luck” is a story that describes how a lost soldier survives when he’s arrested and the Army kicks him out in the street with no money, car or direction and what he must do from there. The banger “A.W.A.L.L” (The Army Will Achieve by Letting me Leave) demonstrates how a delinquent soldier whose unit won’t let him out the Army does everything in his power to piss off anyone he can off.


Article 15: The Rebel Knowledge Story invites you to partake in a psychological and intellectual attempt to feed the soldiers with “brain food ammunition”. It is inspired by real life situations, catastrophic world events, and 1st hand experiences. If you have any direct or indirect contact with someone in the military or concerns about how our military treats our soldiers get this album!

Snatch it up here

http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/Centri1

or on iTunes

http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/centri/id140461847
Congrats Lenzmen number 3!

INTERHIPHOP interview Lenzmen Dynamics Plus

October 18, 2011 Leave a comment

http://interhiphop.blog.tiscali.it/2005/11/13/interview_with_lenzmen_1766767-shtml/

INTERHIPHOP interview Lenzmen Dynamics Plus

Found an old interview. Thought I’d share it here.


C: A little history of Lenzmen
L: Strong Island NY collective The Lenzmen have been plying their craft for a minute. Forming in the late 90?s out of a college radio program, these next level cats have been blending the fantastical in wordplay with gritty hip hop. The group debuted on The Persecution Of Hip Hop compilation album several years ago which also featured indie hip hop royalty such as Cannibal Ox, Slug (Atmosphere), Atoms Family, Deep Puddle Dynamics (Anticon) and Hangar 18. While many of those groups have already exploded onto the national scene, The Lenzmen stayed to the shadowy background like the super heroes they write about, training in the hip hop danger room on lyrics and beats.
Centri, Earthadox and Dr Strange grew up together and went to high school with DJ Makin Noize, who was Dynamics DJ. Centri and Dynamics met and clicked because their styles focus on progressing the lyrical narrative. The duo started a group and recruited other emcees who complemented their lyrical quest. The group chose the name Lenzmen, derived from a Japanese anime about a interplanetary police force and much like that fictional group, the Long Island crew devote their focus to exploring the cosmos of original rhyme schemes. The group also support the hip-hop community by hosting radio shows, producing a weekly showcase and waving the banner for hip hop. As Centri says ?when you are buying our album, don?t just think you are buying into high lyrical underground rappers, you are supporting an entire movement. We don?t want to be appreciated for being different, we want to be appreciated as skilled artists with an original voice in hip hop.?

C: This is your first CD?
L: We have been featured on two compilations in the past. The Persecution Of Hip Hop on CP Records (CPrecords.net) and Mood Swings Nine, but this is our first true commercial release.

C: Tell me something about hip-hop in your city.
L: Well, we are from Long Island, New York- NYC being the birthplace of Hip Hop. LI is special because originality is key and a very central focus. In the inner city- you sometimes have whole groups of cats that rhyme similar and share styles. That?s a no-go on Long Island. Your voice, delivery, flow and even wordplay must be fresh and original. This stems from the suburban setting and the Rap history of the Island. Many artists develop their own style in isolation due to the very few opportunities for wide exposure on Long Island. You can keep your lyrical method a secret much longer while you develop it.

C: Do you know something about hip-hop in Italy?
L: Due to the language barrier I admit I am unable to follow the scene. I?m sure it?s vibrant because Europe has been doing the Hip Hop thing for a while.

C: What do you think about mp3?
L: In regard to piracy??our music is available as individual songs on itunes, MSN and a few other sites. We made sure anyone interested in our music can make an educated decision on whether or not our music is for them. Most sites will allow you to listen to 30 seconds or more of every track on the album. I see no need for a consumer to ?test listen? the album by illegal downloading it.

C: And about women in hip-hop?
L: I think they will remain under-rated until they gather enough momentum to truly create their own space. Lyrically, female rappers have been on par with males for a minute now, but the social and cultural differences have created a divide where some of the women?s issues/agendas have no meaning in a ?mans world?.

C: Have you performed live?
L: After we felt we were ready, we began to showcase our talent in ciphers. From there we went on to making records. Seeing how the crowd responds to our music lets us know where to go next. We enjoy doing shows and you can see some elements of our stage show at Lenzmen.com.

C: Who is the artist you like most and why?
L: It?s hard to say. I tend not to like artists, but like particular bodies of their work.
Public Enemy: Nation Of Millions
De La Soul: 3 Feet High
Ultra Magnetic: Critical Beatdown

C: Do you think that hip-hop videos represent the real hip-hop?
L: I assume- in Italy- you?re only getting the biggest, most commercial groups exposed. That would be drug-dealing, expensive cars and half-naked women.
A video represents a gross exaggeration of the rappers fantasy life. If his dream is ?pimpin? and being ?gangsta? then so be it. My only issue: why is that image the only one being put forth? When that concept is pushed too far, you have many people caught up in thinking someone can really live like that.

C: In which way do you live hip-hop?
L: I don?t think I live Hip Hop. I feel I am wired a certain way and that causes me to be attracted to Hip Hop. Rap Music is one of the many ways I?ve chosen to express myself. I mostly function just outside the normal boundaries of Hip Hop. My graphics are not always Graf, my beats are not always Boom Bap and I?ve taken my lyrical content places a traditional Emcee would not go.

C: Tell me something about clubs and radios in your city.
L: Clubs now play a heavy amount of commercial rap as opposed to traditional club/dance music. Commercial radio plays the music behind the materialistic themes driving modern artists.

C: Future projects
L: I never share blueprints. Expect more music and videos. I am now in a position to expand my label, Dynamica Music, and make a bigger impact in 06.

C: Thanks and hello to
L: The usual suspects, the rest of the Lenzmen, Centri, Dok Strange and Earthadox. Atoms Fam- namely The Cryptic One and JestOneArt. PRO and Shea, NASA at Uncommon Records and his whole roster.

You can catch up with everything we?re up to at Lenzmen.com and www.TheDynamicUniverse.com
Thanks for your time.
-Dynamics Plus
Lenzmen Dynamica Music 2005

Domino Grey Letters and Numbers

September 2, 2011 2 comments

Domino Grey Letters and Numbers

 

Artist Domino Grey pictured in studio

I’m an iron-clad warrior with an iron will and indomitable spirit. I forge ahead with total conviction and do not care what others think about me or my music. Well, most days. I try to have the usual industry-standard thick skin and take most reviews of my music with a grain of salt. I mean, mostly it’s only a mofo’s opinion, aint it? As an artist I tend to make music for other people. No, scratch that. I make music for myself, but I release music for other people’s enjoyment. The stuff that’s strictly for me stays on the hard drive. I do my best to respond to criticism, complaints and, believe it or not, even special requests. I usually answer most letters or comments that are sent my way. The stuff that’s positive is great, the stuff that’s negative gets ignored- I mean, if you don’t like my music, my attitude is “move along citizen, there’s nothing to see here”. What I consider most important is when someone likes my records and suggests what I could do to have them like it more. That’s huge. And so, when I got this letter, I read it several times and aw shoot, here it is:

 Just listened to the album. My thoughts are that it does show progress on the Domino Grey side. However, I will stand behind the fact that it is not commercially viable; it is more niche viable without a doubt. In order to do commercial music, you must be in tune with the current scene as it shows that 99% of it sounds the same. Your music does not sound like 100% of the music they make-which is a plus in terms of differentiation but bad as a commercial vehicle. I prefer the hip-hop side of Dynamics Plus because I believe he wasn’t truly promoted to his core audience and had and still has the tools to be an underground superstar.  

My first reaction was, eh no big deal. Some cat likes my raps better than my dancier stuff. The buzz behind my music has been the same for years. “That Dynamics Plus (also in the rap group Lenzmen) don’t give a crap about nobody or sales or anything. He just does what he do and keeps it moving”. Not exactly true. I care about the people that support my music. I write to the best of my creative ability because I care. If a dude says “Dynamics Plus is the best lyricist of all time” I want that person to have the songs and quotes to back that up. I want to hear killer lyrics so I write them as best I can. The Lenzmen were completely opposed to commercial success. It was a badge of honor to be considered underground and known to select few- like we were too deep for the world to ever appreciate. And I think we would have quit a long time ago if it ever became hip to like The Lenzmen. We actually ran from opportunities, but I’m no longer an angry rebellious teenager and I no longer think every rapper sucks besides us. Well okay, deep down I still kinda do. But that’s a tangent for another day. The letter goes on to say:

Domino Grey is not a commercial artist, but an extension of a commercialized underground universe. That is where I see him. Ideally, we must walk our own journeys in life: if you want that commercial admiration and financial success with Domino Grey, you have to negate 20+ years of mainstream defiance you had with your hip-hop and truly commit to that goal. Lady Gaga, Rhianna, Black Eyed Peas, Katy Perry is Top 10-20 radio. Make songs with true intensions to shop to them-listen to their music and make it fit for them-not what you want to hear.

Ouch. I guess what this person missed about Domino Grey is that he has the same outlook as Dynamics Plus and his abstract, super-complicated, scientific raps. I make electronic music that melds multiple genres and pushes the envelope as I hear it. I want the world to enjoy it, but on my terms. When I make music, I don’t think Dollars and Cents, I think Knowledge and Sense. I have some very talented artists involved with the Domino Grey albums. I can appreciate it if they are inspired by the top names on the music scene, but it’s a foolish notion that I would invest this kind of energy into being a clone of someone else or be happy doing more of what’s already being done. I apologize to all those involved if you believed my aim was to make a ton of money off making electronic music. I came to do the same thing I’ve always done. Sound like me and hopefully give you something fresh and pleasing to listen to.

Let me know if I have succeeded. Hit me at the usual places.

*Added a new Facebook link on the left.

You can preview my music on iTunes.

visit my homepage

– Domino Grey Fall 2011

Building the Lenzmen Lyricist by Lyricist

Building the Lenzmen Lyricist by Lyricist

In the early 90s’ I hosted a college radio show at WBAU Adelphi in Garden City. It was 90.1 and the birth place of Public Enemy and home of the Wild Man Steve show. It was called the M-Train with Drew Spence, Dawn Cee and DJ Makin Noize. One night Blu Warta (N-ntense of Raise the Levels of The Boom fame) brings down a few emcees and these cats were super nice with it. One in particular called himself Docktor Strange which immediately tapped into my triangle. It was one of those meetings where you try to out obscure reference someone, but they are too on-point. We had a lot in common and began building from there.

I eventually approached him about forming a music group but he was already part of at least three different rap cliques including The Invisible Men (N-Tense and Rallo included) and Blind Chemistry with future Lenzmen Centri. One night we’re watching the anime Lensman and he picked that as a name for us. Now it was two of us and a sick name for a crew. We listened to tapes of a rapper Eric (Earthadox) who was really…unorthodox…in how he did everything. His rhyme patterns were impossible to predict and his subject matter was all over the place. Doc Strange also recruited long time friend Beta-One who was a real laid back cat. Centri was tied up in military service so he was kind of a question mark for a while.

M-Train Radio show featuring Lenzmen Beta One Beta One on M-Train

M-Train radio show featuring Docktor Strange and Centri Centri on M-Train

Enter the Freestyle

We used to rhyme at my house every Friday night. At first we used to kick written raps and then whatever we wrote that week. Eventually we just ran out of material, but since I made beats every day, I always had more new music than we had rhymes for. And so we started free-styling or creating improvised raps about whatever was going on. Since we used to joke on each other so much, it always turned into light battle rhymes. Little did we know we were building ourselves into Cypher Warriors.

Enta Da Cryptic One

I met Atoms Fam producer and artist Cryptic One along with Jest One Art also at the M-Train radio show. They rhymed crazy too so we all began hanging out and rhyming together. Most of that took place at Cryptic’s house where we recorded just about everything. I used to build scenarios or stories for us to freestyle around. It was a whole lot of fun and of course lots of battles broke out. I’m sure you can imagine. That’s also when we made our first record “Viking Wars” on Moodswing 9 and we had other songs on the Cryptic compilation The Persecution of Hip Hop. Since then it’s been two Lenzmen albums, a few solo projects and great memories of a time when music meant everything. And everything revolved around music.

Lenz Linguistics

Each Lenzmen started showing tendencies over time. Doc Strange had the most even and pure flow. Earthadox was abstract with long chains of concepts strung together. Centri was the king of left-field references. I mostly was the cat that taps tricky wordplay and bends everything towards sci-fi. We began to see ourselves in everything and decided to choose elements, insects, shapes, natural elements, planets and even comic and movie characters that matched our personalities.

Lenzmen Album I: Bend and Blur Your Optics “Make Sure Your Vision Blur” (Docktor Strange, Dynamics Plus, Centri)

http://www.TheDynamicUniverse.com/blog/BlogYourVisionBlur.mp3 Make Sure Your Vision Blur

The sights came from my tendency to always dream about the future (foresight), Doc Strange was concerned with today and right now (insight) and Earthadox was always saying remember when (hindsight). Centri was always coming with some off-the-wall observation so we called him Outer-Sight and it stuck.

In the end, the story of the Lenzmen should be about a group of friends with an interest in rap music who chose to create it on their own terms and march to the beat of their own drum machine. I feel lucky to have been included in such an eclectic crew of emcees. Long live the Lenzmen! – Dynamics Plus