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Arizona Hip-Hop Duo Numbers Continue Chasing Paper with New Album

Hip-hop duo Numbers are continuing to prove that they are a formidable force in the Arizona music scene with their latest release, Nerds Gettin' Paper: The Establishment.

The Establishment is a follow up to last year's Attack of the Robots EP, and continues to show off emcee IP's linguistic mastery and producer Izzy's savvy propensity for beat making.

A year after making minced-meat out of other Phoenix rappers in the track "Attack of the Robots," the pair have settled into the hip-hop scene, finding new talent to collaborate with and etching their place in the Arizona rap game behind the mantra of: "dope beats, dope rhymes."

You can stream the album at the group's bandcamp page. Follow the jump to check out our Q&A and a sample off of the record.

Up on the Sun: What's the good word with Numbers?

IP: Since we last spoke to the New Times Izzy and I definitely stayed busy with shows and releasing music. We got the chance to do a show at the Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood last year which was a dope experience with it being such a legendary venue. The sound system there was epic and perfect for performing. Izzy has been real busy drumming for some of the best artist in the city such as silver Medallion and Cutthroat Logic during their live shows as well as engineering part time at Pyramix Studios. In October we released a mix tape showcasing the label, Charizmatic, that Izzy owns and I am apart of. Izzy produced the whole project and it really kept the brand flowing throughout the scene. You can download that here. Also, we consistently do local shows as well, opening up for people under the stairs and participating in other local showcases.

You guys recently released the second installment of the Nerds Getting Paper EP series. How did the making/producing of The Establishment differ from Attack of the Robots? In your estimation, how does the record help establish Numbers as a "dominant force in Phoenician hip-hop?"

Izzy: I believe we were more meticulous and refined when producing this new record. IP's selection of my beats has always been synergistic, cohesive, and consistent when the project is viewed as a whole. For this project, we actually amassed over a dozen records before finally deciding which records to release. Before, we were just putting up records we completed. So, this change in our process of production has improved our style. On the engineering end, I'm a nazi when it comes to recording and mixing. Making a record sound better than previous ones is something I always aspire to, and learning new techniques allows for improvement. As a team, we've adopted the mantra "dope beats, dope rhymes", and that's all we'll ever strive for.

You guys have been pretty critical of Arizona's hip-hop scene. A year after the release of Attack, it doesn't look like your stance is softening. Are there any AZ rappers that you guys are digging at the moment? What's the best thing AZ hip-hop has going for itself right now?

IP: One of the AZ Rappers I'm digging right now is N.A. hes a beast and starting to get the recognition hes deserves. Both Writers Guild and AOTA crews I'm really down with their movements. Everyone who was featured on The Establishment; Fres(co) Kaliq, and Wiz Kid who is also part of Charizmatic. Some more dope emcees are my dude Bobby Brand New, my dude Cota, Hannibal Leq, Medaforacle and Dray Brown.

Izzy: We work with several artists and organizations whose movements we strongly support. I believe the best thing AZ hip hop has going for itself right now is talent. Despite the overwhelming number of people who believe they can make a career in making music, there is a selection that has quite a bit to bet with. A few have made or are making incredible moves into the national "scene", and we highly respect that and aspire to do as they are doing. There is great music being released in Phoenix. I just wish our culture and support structure were a bit more aware of the talent out here. We want to push these talented people and others with our music, just like they're pushing and moving us with theirs. We appreciate them quite a bit.

What's coming up next for Numbers on the immediate horizon?

IP: Whats coming up next is we are shooting a video for the song "Stay Awhile" so be on the lookout for that. I'm also starting to work on my solo project under Charizmatic currently collecting beats to get ready for that project which should be released by first quarter next year. Our next goal really is to branch our music out nationally and take that next step that will expand our careers to a higher level. I believe we both have the grind and ambition to do that

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Anthony Sandoval
Contact: Anthony Sandoval