Honor Flow Productions

We are definitely doing our own thing and creating Hip-Hop music that we missed and are not subscribing to the modern day trends.

When you have a keen ear for sounds, it's easy to extract tunes which differ from the rest. It's not new 'news' that many songs aired on the radio nowadays sound similar to one another. Let's not get started with the lyrics as well 🤨. There's quite a difference between today's Hip-Hop from previous eras, and those that have been following the movement can definitely tell. 

What makes Honor Flow Productions stand out is the nostalgic vibes they give. They're unique and have their original sound, yet remind you of memories from your wonder years (did I just give away our age here? lol). We absolutely love how in-depth these fellas got in this interview, and that just gives you another perspective of the where the influences in their music came from. 

Read along to learn more about them!

The basics: Who is Honor Flow? Where did everyone grow up and where do you all currently reside?

DJ Chuck “thE oLd SouL” : Honor Flow Productions is a Hip-Hop trio of renaissance men, homegrown in Los Angeles, California, that is celebrating our 15th anniversary as a band this year. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA; in particularly in the View Park/Ladera area of West LA.

ELIMN8: I moved around a lot, but grew up in LA County

DJisLORD: I was born in Harbor City, CA in the South Bay, raised in Echo Park/Historic Filipinotown in Los Angeles, and now currently call Eagle Rock, CA my home.  

How did Honor Flow Productions come to a decision to be a group?

ELIMN8: It’s cliche, but it kind of just worked out. DJ Chuck “thE oLd SouL” started H.F.P., and after a few iterations of the line up, found like minded people to form the trio that we are today.

DJ Chuck “thE oLd SouL” : Honor Flow Productions was founded my senior year at Loyola High School. Just a couple of friends that was into the same type of music and we started recording demos in my bedroom with my makeshift set up. Once I arrived at Marymount California University for my freshman year, that’s when I met ELIMN8. We were in the same freshman orientation group and connected quickly. The first major incarnation of H.F.P. was a combination of friends from my high school and college years; including DJisLORD who I met once I transferred to Loyola Marymount University after completing my Associates Degree at M.C.U. Different MCs, singers, and musicians, rolling deep as a huge crew. The squad mindset was somewhere between the Wu-Tang Clan and The Roots [laughs], because I always believe you move stronger and accomplish more as a group. I still believe and operate with that mindset to this day.

DJisLORD: Ultimately, we became a trio and this what you see today. We believed in Hip-Hop, three is the magic number. Call it divine mathematics but we’ve always looked up to groups like RUN-DMC, De La Soul, Dilated Peoples, A Tribe Called Quest, just to name a few.

What subgenre or era of hip hop does H.F.P. represent?

ELIMN8: I think of us as just a Hip-Hop group. We’re not explicitly trying to be “Old School” or anything like that. We have our own influences across the spectrum of music, but essentially, we’re just being ourselves and making the music that we want to; our own brand of Hip-Hop.

DJisLORD: Alternative to Lo-Fi to Boom Bap Hip-Hop, but we dabble in different hemispheres  of the genre. We are definitely doing our own thing and creating Hip-Hop music that we missed and are not subscribing to the modern day trends. Ain’t nothing wrong with what’s hot now. Just know we are unique and different. We are not everyone’s cup of tea but somebody’s shot of Hennessy

DJ Chuck “thE oLd SouL” : The foundation of the H.F.P. sound is Hip-Hop. We are a Hip-Hop group. That being said, because the sound of Hip-Hop was founded off of sampling and mashing together different genres, we can really go anywhere we want with that blueprint. A single Hip-Hop track may contain a break from Funk record, keys from Jazz record, a baseline from an R&B record, horns from Latin record, guitars from a Rock record, and a vocal sample from a Dance record. We have always, and even more so now because we have a better idea of how to execute it, incorporated all our influences in our tracks. Even though we wear our influences on our sleeves (and anybody who doesn’t is lying through their teeth), it’s always going to come out uniquely us everyone’s interpretations is naturally going to be different. You can give two different chefs the same ingredients, but they are going to cook that same dish differently. So what H.F.P. represents bottom line, is good music with the mindset that it can stand the test of time. If it ain’t timeless, it ain’t worth it.  

The sounds and energy y’all put out are amazing! “Cruise Control” definitely gives that “Bonita Applebum” vibe. With that said, who are some artists or groups that influence the crew?

DJ Chuck “thE oLd SouL” : First off, any comparisons to Tribe we will absolutely take [laughs]. There are without question, some various direct Tribe nods in “Cruise Control,” down to me calling my date “Bonita,” the swing in my voice at times is tad bit Q-Tip-ish, and a certain line I use in the 3rd verse. If you’re a die-hard Tribe head like me, you already know. If not, I’ll let you try to figure it out [laughs]. A Tribe Called Quest is a very important influence for me personally as a Producer/MC and on the blueprint of H.F.P as a whole. Seeing A.T.C.Q. live while starting my first week at Marymount California University at The Wiltern, the same time I met ELIMN8, was the “Ha-ha” moment for me that music was my calling. Q-Tip, Ali Shaheed, Jarobi, and Phife changed my life that night. So again, Tribe is a gigantic influence. But my overall music influence list is an unabridged dictionary that I will try to keep short here: The Roots, De La Soul, Common, Slum Village (J. Dilla is my favorite producer), pretty much the whole Native Tongue and Soulquarians movement, Little Brother, DJ Quik, Gang Starr, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Outkast, Black Star, Black Milk, Disclosure, Pete Rock, Michael Jackson, Prince, Daft Punk, Kaytranada, The Neptunes, Timbaland, Kanye (especially his first 3 albums), Foo Fighters, The Police, Linkin Park, Earth Wind & Fire, Parliament Funkadelic. Again, I was raised around so many different styles and sounds that is hard to name them all, but they are all important to my personal foundation and the foundation of this group.

ELIMN8: That is a long list of artist. Definitely A Tribe Called Quest, Dilated Peoples, and MF DOOM come to mind. I also love Punk. I still get hyped when I hear Misfits and Sex Pistols. I’m really all over the spectrum when it comes to music.

DJisLORD: For me personally, my absolute favorite rapper is Rakim. We are heavily influenced by A.T.C.Q., De La Soul, Brand Nubian, Main Source, Jurassic 5, Blackalicious, People Under the Stairs, Little Brother  the whole Native Tongue Movement , Outkast, The Pharcyde, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Big Daddy Kane, Big L, 2pac, Biggie, Digital Underground, Zion-I, and so many others.  As a DJ, I am heavily influenced by the DJs that came before me. Well known Fil-Am DJs from Icy Ice, E-man, Legend entertainment  The Beat Junkies, Rhettmatic, DJ Babu, The Invisbl Skratch Pkls with Qbert, Shortkut, DJ Apollo, DJ Vice, DJ Akshen, DJ Melo-D, Jay P Modesto, a lot my childhood heroes growing up inspired me to become a DJ and pursue it as a living dream. Sure, I loved Spiderman & Superman,  but to see a fellow Filipino doing their thing and making contributions to our Hip-Hop culture was an awe-aspiring and it made me want to aspire to inspire others too!

Honor Flow Productions

Have you come across certain family members or friends who don’t exactly understand the ‘career’ choices you’ve made so far? What, if any, are their objections and how do you overcome it?

ELIMN8: Before our tour in Japan, I think some family just thought this was a faze. I also have a significant amount of experience of working in the video game industry, so it’s almost like I never grew up. Now though, I think they’re more supportive and hopeful; especially when the world opens up again.

DJ Chuck “thE oLd SouL”: Well of course. Not everyone is going to understand your calling and it’s not your job to try to justify it to everyone. I always listen to what my heart is telling me to do, and let me know that this is right decision to make. If I feel it’s the right decision in my soul, that I can stand behind. My family and my closest friends understand, respect, and encourage that in me. Shoot, they pretty much instilled it in me [laughs]. My Moms and Grandmommy in particular. My Moms bought my first set of turntables and keyboards for me, and my Grandmommy was a singer and held her Masters in music. As a matter of fact, our album The B.L.A.C.K. Odyssey was recorded in the den of my Grandparents house; hence the name of our studio, Drake’s Den, named after her and my Granddaddy’s last name… no relation to Aubrey Drake Graham [laughs]. That album would not have literally happened without her giving her blessing for us to work day and night in her house on our music. I am so happy and grateful she not only had the opportunity to see this current rise of success for us, but actually sing on a record of ours before she passed away last year. She is part of the choir section on the track “Angels Flight.” I’ll treasure that for the rest of my life.

DJisLORD: In all honesty, I’ve come across a lot of naysayers from both my family and friends. Those whom I wish to remain anonymous. It wasn’t just the objections in pursuit of a DJ career, but it was also the indifference and non-support I received from blood related relatives and so called friends . My immediate family were very supportive and both my parents supported my DJ career. In fact, my late father whom we lost to Covid last January, played a huge influence in my musical tastes from Soft Rock aka Yacht Rock (the stupidest name ever coined by the way [laughs]), to Motown, Funk, Classic Rock, Disco, New wave, Freestyle, Punk Funk, and HI-NRG Electro. My parents were my first fans and recognized I had talent, helped cultivated it, and made sure I harvested the fruits of my labor of that talent by booking well paying gigs. They taught me the importance of the business side of it, knowing your self-worth, being insured, and protecting your tools and assets. Treat DJiing like a hobby it will pay you out like a hobby, treat DJing like a business then it will then pay you out like a business.

If you could go back and change one thing, knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently?

ELIMN8: I would’ve joined the Marine Corps after high school.

DJisLORD: I wouldn’t change a thing honestly. I don’t have any regrets; I don’t regret anything. Every mistake I made lead me to this point and it was lesson learned. I don’t focus on the negative in life and I see what I already have and focus on the positives of my life.

DJ Chuck “thE oLd SouL” : Yes this going to sound cliche, but I would not change a damn thing. The version of your plan you have in your mind, is never as good as the version of the plan God has in store for you. I’ve learned that time and time again. I’m living proof of that, and so is this band. Sometime you have to just take ride. You’ll eventually end up where you desire.

Where will H.F.P. be 5 years from now? What’s the ultimate goal?

ELIMN8: Somewhere on tour and still making music. The goal is to be able to do this professionally.

DJisLORD: Performing at stadiums, creating Hip-Hop anthems and songs that make people dance and sing to at their weddings, bar mitzvah’s, debuts, and quinceaneras. My ultimate goal for H.F.P. is solidifying our place in the Mount Olympus of Hip-Hop, music, pop culture, our music. I don’t believe in predictions but here’s a spoiler alert for you. MY BAND H.F.P. will go beyond the stratosphere of our peers and rival our idols. Create an OMNIPRESENCE like Coca Cola.

DJ Chuck “thE oLd SouL” : World Domination… no seriously [laughs]. There is a reason we have been around 15 years and still getting better. I believe we are just getting started. We have so much in store for the future that’s currently in the works. You’ll all just have to wait until we unveil it all piece by piece.

Define a go-getter.

ELIMN8: An aggressively enterprising person.

DJ Chuck “thE oLd SouL”: A Go-Getter is a dreamer, a believer, and a creator their own destiny.

DJisLORD: A go getter is an individual who doesn’t take NO for an answer. An individual that is a warrior not a worrier. An individual who can attain everything, lose it all, and retain it all back 10 folds. This individual is misunderstood, failed multiple times over, has been laughed at, spat at, called crazy, insane, and a dreamer. BUT you have to be crazy, insane, and dream big enough that it scares the living shit out of regular people. They don’t want it, I need it. A go-getter doesn’t work hard, they work smarter. Outwitting, outworking, and outbidding those who have fallen, gotten soft and became complacent accepting a victim’s mentality. NOPE, not me NOT H.F.P.

What (or who) is your greatest inspiration?

ELIMN8: Probably time and death. Knowing that time in the grand scheme of things is “short”, has made me want to maximize my time as much as possible. Death makes me want to live life to its fullest before the lights turn off (figuratively speaking). The hour glass running out for our lives is something people don’t want to think of, but it doesn’t have to be a source of sadness. We only get a few decades if we’re lucky. Why spend it doing something you hate and why waste your time being around people you really don’t want to be?

DJisLORD: My greatest inspiration is my late Father and my mother who is still alive. They’ve helped me circumnavigate this world and instilled core values that make me the man I am today. A man of God, thoughtfulness, kindness, tenderness, consideration, hard work, grit, and empathy. I am a product of an immigrant’s son. They bled, sweat, and sacrificed everything so that I can become successful in life. My intent is to make them proud a reverse the generational wealth curse.

DJ Chuck “thE oLd SouL” : My greatest inspiration is life itself. Life is a beautiful struggle. Real life is stranger than fiction. The moments, the people that come into your life and are part of those moments. The memories we make with the intention of creating history while still enjoying the present. I have a zest for life and I feel that it has only increased the older I’ve aged. It inspires me as a creative and powers me a human being. I’m truly in awe of how far the three of us have come as musicians, as men, as brothers. But again, I feel we are just getting started.

honor flow productions

You’re talking to a group of admirers and people who find you guys as an inspiration. What is the best advice you can give them about following their dreams?

ELIMN8: Perspective is everything. That said, don’t tell everyone your dreams. People won’t always see your vision, and rarely offer good and constructive input/insight; and just suck at articulating themselves. The better you become at executing your plans without the help of others will save you a lot of headaches in the future.

DJisLORD: Don’t stop, continue to do you, but be genuinely you as you pursue your dreams. Bet on yourself. You will hear a lot of good advice but a plethora of bad ones too. Take everything in a grain a salt. Listen to the advice of the elders & your peers that benefits you directly. Stop caring about what other people think about you negatively. Last time I checked, opinions don’t pay the bills. Stay humble, but remember when to flex on them, most importantly express gratitude, and keep a great attitude.

DJ Chuck “thE oLd SouL”: Listen to heart, be ready to put in AT LEAST a decade of work to build your career’s foundation, never stop being a student of your craft, always treat people with respect, maintain your self respect, keep your word, never be afraid to stand up for yourself and others, don’t take yourself serious but take what you do seriously, enjoy the ride, and ALWAYS make room for the magic.

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