Pensmoke :Now and Then 
Interview by Dr Dawn Karima 
Q) Pensmoke the Professional Outcast! How'd you get involved with music??? 
A) I always enjoyed different types of music. My mom was very into music. When hip hop came to my attention in the early eighties I loved it and eventually started writing my own rhymes.
Q) Who taught music to you?
A) My mom always had different music playing. She owned a lot of records back then. Which of course later went to cassettes. Everything from Michael Jackson, Hall and Oates, Prince, Motown artists, Al Green, to Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bon Jovi, The Black Crows, Bob Seger, James Brown, Donna Summer, pretty much anything you could think of even lots of country music as she got older. I was always exposed to lots of music. 
Q) How does Native American identity and culture appear in your music? How does Native tradition shape your songs?
A) It influences how I see the world, and my perception of this mainstream society in different ways, and I get personal in many of my songs so it appears in that way naturally. There is a lot of wrong information being spread in the form of stereotypes that need to be corrected. I speak on some of those things in my music.
Q) What is your new music release? 
A) It’s my second solo album called Now And Then . 
Q) What does this new project mean to you? 
A) It's a blessing and I didn't know if it would ever be released due to multiple setbacks that happened during the recording process. I was going through some hard times and that had me to the point of not really caring about music. Thank God though things fell in to place and I was able to release it. 
Q) Tell us all about it? 
A) It's produced mostly by Stevie Keyz with a few others also and featuring guests N-Don, Dawn Karima, SL of Repeat Offenders, Shapiro, Stevie Keyz, and Lito. It also has some cutting and scratching by 8bza. 
It's different from my first album Move Undetected. It's faster paced on many of the tracks and in some ways a little more personal. 
Q) The creative process?
A) I recorded it on a home recording setup. I am not a producer in any way so it was very difficult to get my vocals to sound right. Stevie Keyz, an emcee and producer who has worked with some awesome emcees I have listened to for years was really a blessing by offering to produce my album unexpectedly. He provided me with beats to choose from and when I heard them I knew this was going to be good. My home recording program and laptop were very unreliable and hard to get the right vocal sound with so it took some time, but Stevie did a incredible job of making this thing sound great.
Q) End result?
A) The end result is quite a blessing. I thank God for allowing this thing to come together. It was great to work with some very talented people. You, Dawn Karima of course, N-Don my Creek brother from another mother, Lito, of course Stevie, SL, and Shapiro. My first album had only one guest appearance and that was N-Don. I am very happy with this album and grateful to be able to release it.
Q) We wish you all the best! Where can we get ours?
A) Thank you! Download now at