People with Passion — rapper E-TRAIN


Interview February 10, 2007

For the original edit of our interview, click here.

Up-and-coming rapper/hip hop producer Erich Malo, known professionally as E-Train. Malo’s young career has featured four self-produced mixtapes (2006’s Dragon’s Breath and The Wrath of Roxane, 2007’s Rising of the Phoenix, and 2008’s White After Labor Day) along with an extended catalogue of unreleased mixtape tracks. The Wrath of Roxane LP due out September of 2008. Career highlights include opening for KRS-One at hip-hop shop The Bassment in Chicago and being featured on DJ G-Spot’s Midwest Invasion 4.

The first thing that I am drawn to whenever I watch you in here is the transition from sitting at your chair writing lyrics into a point at which you’re ready to record…when you’re ready to transfer that onto the mic. What is that transition for you, as far as how your mind is previously, and how your mind is as you set up?

To be honest, I just sit down and find a beat or think about something—anything…the beat can push me, or I’ve got something on my mind, some other reason to make a certain kind of song, and I’ll sit down and write the lyrics. When I get to a point where I fill a certain amount of space—a verse or a bar, whatever it is I want to record—I usually just grab a beat and run with it. There’s no real change there; I’m reading it while I’m writing it, then I’m just reading it when I’m rapping it…it’s just part of the process.

So what are you thinking as you’re facing the mic?

Rap. (smiles) That’s about it. The beat puts me in this archetypal persona of whoever… The beat evokes a certain kind of feeling, and my brain just tells me to make something that sounds familiar to those sounds, and I just let go of anything I’m thinking about and just rap lyrics.

To READ THE REST of this interview at with an update from July 18, 2010, click here.

Stay tuned for more of my work at Rap Reviews, including this interview with Psalm One

E-Train performing “I’ma Do Me” live at Abbey Pub, May 15, 2009

E-Train performing “Wreck the Discotech” live at Debonair with Young General and Kenny Clark, September 24, 2009

E-Train superman verse on “Throw Some Water On ‘Em” remix (opening verse)

Check out more on E-TRAIN at

E-Train. (photo by Benjamin Schwartz)

5 Replies to “People with Passion — rapper E-TRAIN”

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