Words & Interview by Steve DiLodovico
Stress is all over the place. Hyper doesn’t even begin to describe him. Holding a conversation with him is like trying to catch a blur that is constantly in motion. His tattooed frame alternately sits, stands, jumps and moves in emphatic waves of uncontainable energy. That’s what the kid is: a vibrant ball of perpetual motion and energy. Get him talking about music and watch him go off. Stress is a man of many talents. He’s a producer (beyond the confines of a mere “beat-maker:” he produces music), a DJ, a photographer with a savagely keen eye (check out a recent piece in Urban Ink for Stress’s coverage of the most recent Black ‘N’ Blue Bowl for further proof) and much more. He is the owner of Pass & Stow in Bristol PA, a shop that specializes in urban gear, music, sneakers, art and just about anything else you can think of relating to music. He led the SubHoodz back in the day. He runs a label with long-time collaborator and SubHoodz cohort Harry “Hav” Robbins called Krush Unit, and has worked with wide array of diverse artists. Everything the kid has and has done has been because of music.
Stress is entrenched in music. His life revolves around it and is, many ways, defined by it. His devotion is evident: one look at the walls in his home-based ChopShop Studios tells the story of a life. In the way that stained glass windows in a church tell biblical stories, Stress’s walls describe his life in music. Artwork bearing names like the Bad Brains, Cro-Mags, Murphy’s Law adorn the hallowed walls of ChopShop and they give testament to Stress’s life like bible stories. And, sandwiched in between Philadelphia Eagles artifacts and framed album cover art rests Stress’s gold record, given to him for the remix work he did with Gym Class Heroes and Ghostface Killah.
Smutlife spent a day out at Stress’s Langhorne PA headquarters. We were joined by producer on the come-up (and younger brother of Stress) Sev-One and when we weren’t telling “back in the day” stories about the Hardcore and Hip Hop scenes of the ‘80s, we managed to spend some time talking about what it is that Stress does and why he’s been able to make great music on such a consistent basis. Read more