Ep. 14: Friendship, Nashville Labels, and Growing Up: A History of Royal Ruckus from 1998-2003 with Flatline

Flatline aka MPWalker aka Mike Walker.

15 years since Self-Titled!

Review of last episode.

Chunjay’s hotel for the night.

On the origins of Chunjay’s name. Church camp. Chunjay’s first release was a cassette under the name of Cleva-MC.

First Cleva recording was professional. Next record was on a 4-track with a punk band buddy. Working with Yoda from Royal Ruckus.

On the collaboration with J-Dog, and the beginning of Royal Ruckus. Chunjay: “We made a rap song about how we tried to make a rap song and it didn’t work out.”

“Why don’t you join our fake rap group?” Chunjay to Flatline.

On the haters and our album Love Us or Leave Us.

Flatline was building a Royal Ruckus website from scratch.

Pioneers of internet music.

7Ball Magazine, Cameron Strang, Relevant Magazine, and the beginning of us talking to record labels.

Royal Ruckus History: Cleva-MC, then Cleva and J-Dog, then Cleva and J-Dog and Flatline, then Cleva and J-Dog and Flatline, then back to Cleva and Flatline.

On Flatline getting grounded. On seeing his father in his own interactions with his kids.

We started talking to record labels.

Working with Pigeon John.

 

Shout to “Pocket Lint and Spare Change” album, available free at NoiseTrade.com/RoyalRuckus

 

“A Las Chinas” from the Coalition compilation and Pocket Lint album by Royal Ruckus, co-produced by Pigeon John, featuring The Skalastix. NoiseTrade.com/RoyalRuckus

 

Fun LA Symphony facts about “Seabreeze,” “Move On.”

How we decided to make a demo with Pigeon John.

On Pigeon John’s enjoyment of intellectual theology.

B-Twice showing up late for a show.

On exploring tours, on-off shows, and major label interests.

 

On good deals in hotel rooms, and Chunjay’s 21st birthday party. A bucket of Heinekens.

Chunjay “We negotiated a record deal before we moved to Nashville, but we did not sign it until we got there.”

Decision to sign with the label.
Flatline opens up about his discomfort with the Christian industry, but how production quality helped him feel comfortable. 

Flatline: “We felt like we would have a little more room to be ourselves.”

On being youth group kids, being young, and trying to figure out our identity as a group. Our songwriting process at the time.

On praying before a performance and taking shots of tequila.

 

On writing Self-Titled.

 

Next Best Thing.

On deaths in the family. On gratitude in the midst of heavy life stuff. On the decision to write for the Christian industry, but remain who we are.

 

Geeky Music for Kidz.

 

Wink and a Nudge. On sexuality. On Chunjay having a shipwreck. Flatline tries to make Chunjay feel better. On Josh’s dynamic production.

 

Irate Caller #1.

On hip-hop record interludes. On how to listen to a record in a post-skit world.

 

Check It Out.

 

I Had a Dream.

 

Let’s Start a Boy Band.

On writing and producing this song with Pigeon John.

 

Coffee shop stuff. On drinks we hated making.

 

Latte Show.

Mike and Jamey arguing over a piece of pizza. Other stuff about the writing of that song and the album. On pop culture.

 

Double Take.

 

Bob Went Crazy.
On telling Bob we wrote a song about him.

 

MP Free.

On Napster and free music. On anticipating the transition to streaming.

 

B-Side Rock

On critiquing the Christian music industry.

 

Multi-Purpose Room

On posse jams.

 

Background music: J-Dilla, MF Doom, Flatline, and some of the folks listed below.

Shouts: Sackcloth Fashion, MP3.com, Q-Tip, Josh Babyar, John Hayden Miethe, Flynn Adam, Pigeon John, Bob Herdman, Old Navy, N-Soul Records, TruHipHop ListServ, Mars Ill, Future Shock, Opry Land Hotel, Audio Feed, The Giant and the Taylor, Everyday Sunday, Wyclef Jean, Run the Jewels, DJ Sean P, Sesame Street, Moby, Weezer, Carson Daily and TRL, Talladega Nights, etc.

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