If you’ve never seen a Black Landlord show, you’re missing out on a uniquely Philly experience: a raucous yet somehow uber-polished brew of hip-hop, punk and soul. And apparently the clock is ticking! Frontman Maxx Stoyanoff-Williams reports that the band will likely call it quits before the year is out.
Landlord will headline MilkBoy’s Second Anniversary Celebration on Thursday.
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Williams — a former member of the early '90s rap-rock act the Goats — has been a Philly stalwart for more than 20 years, and he has some tough love for the scene.
Maxx, are you still there?
Yeah man. Just getting off the train, and people are like, ‘Who’s this dude with the joke-ass backpack talking on the phone like somebody wants to interview him?’
What kept Black Landlord together over the years?
The fact that we don’t care if we make it. When I was in the Goats, I could tour for six months of the year, lose my apartment, get another one, lose my girlfriend, get another one. But people have babies and mortgages now. It took me a long time realize the benefits of that.
Why did the Goats have such a short shelf life?
Nobody knew what they were doing on either end. We thought we were going to be famous. We were stupid. And on top of that you had Columbia refusing to go anywhere other than black radio. At the time they didn’t know how to deal with a [rap-punk mix]. We had the same marketing team as EPMD. They tried to change our name to the Hill Street Gang. Does that paint the picture?
What do you make of the fact that most of Black Landlord’s fans are white?
I don’t give a sh—. What do I care? I’m not Lauryn Hill. I just want people to enjoy my music, and I think Black Landlord is an awesome f—ing name.
Have you noticed a progression in Philly hip-hop over the years?
Ah. No. I’ve seen a few people blow up — talking about things that are definitely representative of Philly: drugs, guns, and sh— like that. That’s fair. It’s a part of life, like it or not. But I’ve never seen any of those people come back and help the scene rise to the level that this town deserves. And it’s been that way since nineteen eighty-f—ing-eight.
MilkBoy’s Second Anniversary Celebration
Thursday, 8 p.m.
1100 Chestnut St.