Boston’s Weekly Dig
JULZ-A, RAPPING ACCORDION PLAYER
by CHASE STAUFFER
March 22, 2006
Julz-A (aka Julian Hintz) has contributed to the current New York scene a shtick so twisted that not even Nick Sylvester could have dreamt it up: The dude raps and he plays accordion. At the same fucking time. Hintz—a California-native punker turned Brooklyn bellow-blaster—hits the road soon to unleash his particular brand of old-skool polyrhythms and hand gestures on the unsuspecting folk at The Lily Pad. Be cautious, but not afraid: Julz-A has never had to clip a fool … yet.
So I think I may have misread your press release. You rap and play … accordion.
What is the most difficult part of that?
Working out the polyrhythms that arise because of it. I like to play at the same time for a couple reasons. One, it’s a difficult thing to do, and I’ve never seen too many people do it. Uhhh—it’s basically like singing while you play, but I’m rapping.
And the other thing is, you get a lot of classic rapper poses playing the squeezebox. The way the hands move, with the bellows, are exactly—or not exactly, but very similar to the hand positions that classic MCs used.
How does one go from accordionist to MC?
As I got into the poetry of songwriting, rap just sort of seemed easy and just like the right thing to do. But, you know, it just started progressing as I learned more and more about different MCs, popular culture and the underground—and eventually I joined a hip-hop band.
So would you say you’re more East Coast? West Coast?
Bottom line is, I’m mostly old-skool.
So you’re strapped with the accordion … all the time?
Again, I try to stay away from gangsta lingo and lyrics. I’ve called it my axe before.
Ever tried to start a beef with a harpist, or, like, a French horn player?
I have not done it yet, but I do have a sort of a mini-weekend tour coming up with a ukulele player. So—
—oh, god. That’s like Biggie and Tupac going on tour together.
Anything else in defense of accordionist MCs?
Oh … well. Uhhh. Keep squeeze rockin’.