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Interview with Tarik Camp (Top Cat), October 15, 2020

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:16 - Childhood musical influences

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Partial Transcript: What's the first thing you...

Segment Synopsis: Camp recalls his earliest musical influences and talks about how he purchased records as a young child. Camp talks about the influence his mother and father had on his upbringing, as his father was a D.J. and his mother was a singer.

Keywords: Clark Central High School; childhood; music; singing; theater

00:07:26 - Attending high school / First D.J. experiences

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Partial Transcript: So growing up, how was it....

Segment Synopsis: Camp describes the Clarke County High School gifted program. Camp talks about his favorite teacher and the life lessons she taught him. Camp explains his first introduction to music as a practice D.J.

Keywords: Clarke County High School; Political economics; gifted program; programming

00:15:18 - Hip-hop in Athens, Georgia

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Partial Transcript: You could drive a scooter legally ...

Segment Synopsis: Camp talks about his first recording experience and the emergence of the hip-hop culture in Athens. Camp describes the lack of outlets for hip-hop performances in the city and his lack of knowledge about the Athens indie band music culture.

Keywords: Athens, Georgia; Hip-Hop

00:22:05 - Atlanta's music scene

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Partial Transcript: That stuff just didn't, it was there...

Segment Synopsis: Camp describes the influence the Athens music scene had on the emergence of Atlanta's music scene. Camp talks about his early D.J. work and his introduction to rap music.

Keywords: Atlanta, Georgia; Jason Brown; Jermaine Dupri

00:30:04 - Developing a music style

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Partial Transcript: When I first started making, when we...

Segment Synopsis: Camp explains his earliest musical influences and his initial lack of understanding the diversity in hip-hop styles. Camp talks about DJ'ing with Jermaine Dupri and the development of his own "east coast" hip-hop sound.

Keywords: DJ; Jermain Dupri

00:37:17 - Mascom and record releases

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Partial Transcript: That's when I created the entity...

Segment Synopsis: Camp talks about the development of his own music sound and the creation of his band, Mascom. Camp explains the success of the records he released and how he advertised his music on the internet. Camp talks about his work with rapper Chuck D and the development of his own musical message.

Keywords: Mascom; hip-hop; internet; mainstream music

Subjects: Chuck D

00:44:31 - Taking a break from music

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Partial Transcript: At what point didn't you, at what point...

Segment Synopsis: Camp recalls his decision to take a break from music and focus on business and marketing. Camp talks about the ways in which working in music taught him about marketing.

Keywords: Squeeze King Lemonade; hip-hop; marketing

00:51:21 - Current music outlook / Reflections on the year 2020

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Partial Transcript: Hip-hop itself didn't teach me about...

Segment Synopsis: Camp describes how his creativity towards music inspired his marketing strategies. Camp talks about his company Squeeze King Lemonade and his take on current music production. Camp discusses the year 2020 and his opinion on the state of the African American community.

Keywords: Squeeze King Lemonade; business; marketing

00:58:39 - Recent music endeavors

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Partial Transcript: So you said you make music...

Segment Synopsis: Camp talks about his current inspirations in music production, and his acceptance of his age as a music producer. Camp describes the creation of his nickname, Top Cat.

Keywords: Andre 3000; Eminem; music production

01:05:38 - Family life / Other artists in Athens

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Partial Transcript: So, you have a family now, right...

Segment Synopsis: Camp talks about his family. He also shares some of his earliest interactions with music producers in Athens and the lack of competition in his area.

Keywords: Athens, Georgia; Atlanta, Georgia; Chilly C.; Kid Krush; family

01:13:19 - Influences outside of Athens

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Partial Transcript: We didn't even know that you could go...

Segment Synopsis: Camp talks about his early influences in rap outside of the Athens community. Camp describes his relationship with the University of Georgia as an inspiration. Camp talks about his father's work as an entrepreneur.

Keywords: Planet Rock; R&B music; University of Georgia

01:22:22 - Favorite places in Athens / Concluding thoughts

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Partial Transcript: Do you have any brothers...

Segment Synopsis: Camp recalls his favorite place in Athens, a restaurant called Guthrey's that shut down. Camp talks about his wish to discover more about the Athens-Atlanta music scene.

Keywords: Athens, Georgia; Guthrey's; Jason Brown; Morton Theater; siblings