Burke Interview
By: Justin Rizzio
Edited by Tom Williams

If you're familiar with the Philly hip hop scene, you know Burke. You've seen him perform, or just out at the bar, either way, you better be paying attention. Last year, Burke had his name on the album credits of both Reef The Lost Cauze's Fight Music and Vinnie Paz's Season Of The Assassin. This is just the beginning. As Burke prepares for the release of his official debut, I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more from this South Philly native. Time to start getting familiar.

215hiphop: Who is Burke The Jurke?
Burke The Jurke: Well, Burke is me, its my last name.  Jurke is basically just what all my friends have been calling me for years.  No rap shit, its a genuine nickname. The "the" in the middle of Burke and Jurke is a long story though....

215: For those reading this that don't know, describe South Philly.
Burke: South Philly is a place with a lot of pride, soul and hardships.  It holds a strong reputation but a lot of people who are born and raised here feel like they earned something just because they were born in south philly (big achievement.)  I don't buy that and neither does any other "real" person.  It can be a tough place to grow up. There's bad and good neighborhoods here just like anywhere else. There's a lot of hate here. Philly is known for it, self hate too. But it ain't all like that.  There's fuckin jerkoffs everywhere. It's just that in south philly you notice the jerkoff people cause we're crammed in row homes and everyone's in your business. But I wouldn't want my roots to be anywhere else.  People here just need to understand that the whole world don't revolve around their neighborhood. South philly is its own little world.  Ok enough about this. Its simply complex.

215: You've already done a few tracks with Jedi Mind Trick's front man Vinnie Paz. How did that relationship come about?
Burke: Well, I met Vin at a local bar in south philly. But my goomba Reef the Lost Cauze introduced us a while back.  Vin didn't even know I rhymed; I was just always in the cut with Reef.  I think you can credit Planetary and/or Reef for telling Vin that I was an emcee. Because I walk in the bar one night just to shoot the shit and Vin was like "Burke you rhyme? I was told you were real dope." I just laughed and said "yea I just fuck around". And that was the truth cause that's all I really did at the time. Got an invite to roll to the studio and I accepted the gracious offer. I learned a lot from being in the studio with veterans and had a good time too.  We'd hit the bar after wards and Paz would just want to get drunk, "pause" everyone and occasionally shoot at ...(forget about it.) Vin and I have a lot in common but are really very different, that's why we just argue non stop, all in fun though. He's a twisted individual that has a heart of gold.  He's good people.

215: Last year you appeared on the Reef The Lost Cauze vs. Guns-N-Butter album, Fight Music. For people outside of Philly, that might have been their first time hearing you. Did you receive positive feedback from that track?
Burke: I got nothing but positive feedback for that man. I thank Reef for that. It was without a doubt the biggest song I've been a part of. A lot of people don't know that Sean Price was going to be on that song too.  If you listen to the beginning you'll hear Reef say "P".  I guess Sean just didn't get it done in time, I don't know.   But this is how it went down.  Reef calls me like 5pm like "yo you goin' to the lab tonight? "  I say "yea, you want me to pick you up?" He says "yea but you down to do a track for Fight Music with me Paz and Sean Price"?  Haha. Like just being on Fight Music wasn't ill enough.  I told him to send me the beat and I wrote the verse in 2 minutes.  Really dope the way that unfolded. It actually inspired me to get back to making music more frequently and I'm sitting on a lot of crazy tracks because of that inspiration.  Good look Sharif.

215: What are your plans for a full length debut album?
Burke: Jurke du Soleil is the featured album.  Can't explain how ill I think this project is. Features include Reef the Lost Cauze, Planetary, Crypt, Doap Nixon, King Syze, Vas, Big Lou, Charlie K, Random, Therapist, O.D., Voice,  Demia, and I'm just waiting for Paz to lay a verse.  Dude has like 17 projects coming out; he's crazy busy. So, Jurke du Soleil, just buy it or steal it, but fuckin enjoy the shit, its great music.  Share it with your friends and cousins, your step mom.  If you don't have a step mom then make one up.  If you don't have friends, go to your favorite place to eat and share it with the cook.  I don't care if you break up your weed on the fuckin case it just better be on your computer or ipod or some shit.  All beats by Vherbal, dude from Ohio that runs with Anno Domino beats.  He has work on the up-coming Ill Bill & Vinnie Paz joint Heavy Metal Kings.  That album is crazy. I have plenty of music to release.  Another full length with mymansenem STRANGE.  That album was recorded mostly in 2006 or something. We just never put it out.  And then I have a mixtape with a ton of dope tracks.

215: Your immediate circle includes several seasoned artists, such as various members of Army Of The Pharoahs. What type of advice do they give you?
Burke: Mainly the advice that I get is just keep doing what I'm doing.  Feedback ain't everything.  Its some cool shit when OuterSpace comes through to a session and asks you to play a couple joints.  I look up to those dudes.  All of my crew, I'm proud and honored to be affiliated.  I want to make good music but even more so to show and prove that im grateful to be running with such a prestigious camp. I'm all ears when any of them have to say something about this business.  I've had a meeting or two with Yan who is one of the business men behind Enemy Soil.  He sugar coats nothing and answers questions I might have when it comes to being an independent artist. I can't ask for more.  He's a stand up dude.

215: If you could make a living either boxing or rapping, which would you choose?
Burke: Tough one, but I'd say boxing. I love music and making it. But boxing is a sport. I trained in boxing throughout my entire life because my father was a fighter.   He's 59 and til this day when I meet people that find out that I'm Russell's kid its "your father was a great fighter, boy." Its in my blood.  Not as a killer or a gladiator. As a sport. The training, precision, aggression release, being in shape. But the best thing is the defense. You can only understand if you've excelled in defensive training. I don't want to talk about the financial side of either of them though. Both are very shady.

215: Describe your style
Burke: I'm heavy handed but very light on my feet for a heavyweight. My jab is very accurate, I move a lot but I'm really an inside fighter. Oh rap? I don't know if I have a style. Jurke style I guess. I mainly aggressive but I just make music. It depends on what beats I pick at the time. I love that 94-95 Mobb Deep sound, but I rocks with all flavors. You can say "its egotistical but easy to listen to."

215: Sauce or gravy?
Burke: Its always going to be GRAVY with me.

215: Pat's or Geno's? And why?
Burke: Pat's, first because all my people work there, What up Johnny, you better read this whole interview. B - the steaks are better and have more meat PAUSE.... and 3rd because Joe Vento can suck a basketball through a plastic straw.

215: Last words?
Burke: Spread the word people.  If you believe this real music deserves a little more attention then make that happen. Put people on to the shit you like and be proud of it. Tell them to put people on to good work. We don't follow any trend of TV and radio. Being unique is what its about, not copying something that you see and having all the music sound the same. Great artists are on the verge of quitting cause people subscribe to artists with no talent. People only support what is spoon fed and all listen to the same shit. But I ain't hatin. Your pops is a lobster. And Kim Kardashian's face looks like it was renovated after being smashed with a bag of disassembled door knobs.
Thanks for the interview.

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