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Theravada speaks on the underground NY hip hop scene

A few months back, we got the opportunity to chop it up with Theravada on the cusp of releasing his most recent project, “Xenophon.”

The album, Xenophon, symbolizes introspection and showcases tremendous content and perspective. 

“I pray my friends don’t fade into obscurity.

The sun rise – better make your bread lift.

Don’t try to front like I’m not telepathic.”

Theravada on Xenophon

Theravada’s Xenophon

Kulture Hub: So Xenophon is the name of your most recent album and you dropped it on your birthday?

Theravada: I dropped it on my name day. In Greek tradition, most names are tied to a saint and there is a specific day when these saints are observed. This is often celebrated like a birthday in American culture.

The name day is the day that relatives will reach out to you and see how you’re doing, send you gifts, etc. 

Photo by Ken Kwaku Jr

Theravada offers some game within the health realm 

KH: “Everything seems cool until you giving into simply what’s tempting.” (Xenophon’s lyric)

How do you overcome temptations and what might be some good universal coping mechanisms for aspiring artists or people in general? 

THRVD: Keep a healthy routine especially now with all of the bureaucratic disaster. Wake up early and make tea. Eat fruit every day. Give yourself the small victories so that the bigger victories don’t feel so big anymore and the larger goals don’t feel so large anymore. 

When I arrange my projects – I literally treat them like a mixtape – like I play all the songs through and cut them up – start them in the middle and bring them back in real time.


Discussing discography with Theravada

KH: Labels are boring to me but I know you have Xen Griffey, Xenny Hardaway and Xennis Rodman. Would you consider those as a mixtape trilogy and Xenophon your debut album or what? Because I know you have dropped “State of the Art” and other projects as well.

THRVD: Yes. You are seeing that through and I appreciate that. Xen Griffey, Xenny Hardaway, Xennis Rodman that was definitely the mixtape run… Xen Griffey is very much so a mixtape by industry standards – and even the way that I arranged it. When I arrange my projects – I literally treat them like a mixtape – like I play all the songs through and cut them up – start them in the middle and bring them back in real-time.

Photo by Brownsville Joey

THRVD: State of the Art felt like it required a bit more prowess involved during the recording and arrangement process. I didn’t feel like as much of a novice as I did with Xen Griffey.

Xenny Hardaway is its own beast because I recorded that in 2 days with mostly Rob Chambers beats. Xennis Rodman is an amalgamation of some old songs – mostly new songs recorded over a 9 month period.

Know yourself & apply your worth 

KH: You’re an artist that strikes me as someone who really nurtures their tracks and production as you decide when to stash it and when to hatch it. Would you say it’s better to become a producer before you become a recording artist and what’s the importance of keeping music in the vault?

THRVD: Before even making that distinction of what should be done first, I think it is a matter of doing what you want to do. I started as a DJ for my rapper friends. That knack to be able to manipulate audio in real-time and even keep a party going or engage a crowd at a show – I began to realize I can engage a crowd in real-time even if I am just behind the turntables.

Photo by Suo

KH: What is it like being firmly within the throws of the underground NY hip-hop scene?

THRVD: The new underground to me means functioning at the same standard as a label, or how we may believe a label should or could have operated. I try to treat 2000 Entertainment like I don’t run it. Like I have to keep up with what 2000 expects from me as the CEO, Producer, Engineer, shipping & handling and doing all these things. I treat it like I might get fired if I’m not clocking in at the right time.

Theravada’s Xenophon is intimately personal

Nothing happens randomly. Occurrences are a byproduct of fate, faith and work ethic. Theravada knows the places he prefers and chooses to work with those that exhibit professionalism and flavor. Hence, he serves as a pivotal component within underground New York hip-hop spheres.

Theravada’s latest self-titled offering, Xenophon, could be the most cohesive project that he has released to date.

The album is called Xenophon which is not some “self-dubbed nickname,” but rather the artist’s actual name anointed at birth. 

We appreciate Theravada’s time speaking with us, and implore you all to consume his art here.