Boom Bap guru Maine the Medicine tells all in the in-depth interview about his new album ‘S.O.A. (Son Of Alice).’ The album in tribute to his late mother not only exudes classic head-nodding energy but also pulls on heartstrings. Maine discusses the creation of the album, emcee producer chemistry, making his mother proud, and more.
MJ: I see you and Leadgeon are still going strong, talk a little bit about that chemistry.
Maine: Well with Leadgeon, that’s 30-year chemistry and brotherhood. I don’t have to tell him what kind of beats I need, he already knows. Now lyrically we always push each other with the pen. For us, that inner competition will always be there.
MJ: One thing I find when it comes to your albums it’s difficult to pinpoint one or even two favorite records. All your albums are theme-based and flow like a story from beginning to end, with no skipping. However, I do want to touch on “Pour Liquor” as that seems to hit hard and hit home with many fans and listeners.
Maine: Yes, “Pour Liquor” seems to be a popular one with the fans. I wrote that hook during the Covid, because of all the friends and family I lost that year. I hadn’t gotten a chance to write a verse to it until the night of my dad’s funeral. I was already halfway through the album, but I needed to pay homage to my father. As for the feature, that’s my cousin Khali Hustle from the Bay Area. He, like myself, lost a few people, and almost lost his own life to an attempted murderer. So, I’m grateful he’s still here to jump on this record with me.
MJ: I want to take a moment to pull on heartstrings and ask how difficult it was to create “Momma” and the array of emotions you must feel hearing that song being played.
Maine: Yes, that song was hard to make, and at times was hard to listen to. My mom was my everything, and that void will never be filled. She was a single mom, worked 2 jobs, and tried her best to provide for my sister and me. She was a big fan of my music, even though she said I curse too much. But she would love to watch my videos on YouTube. So, I just wanted to honor her with this album, and make her proud. Maybe one day I can compose myself enough to perform it.
MJ: Both as a fan and professional in the music industry, I must say how refreshing it is to experience your growth as a man and artist with each album you release. There’s a manner in which you invite the world into your personal life experiences that allows us to authentically embrace and grip your emotions. Your use of lyricism and wordplay flows effortlessly over boom-bap cadences. What is it about Maine The Medicine that stands out from other artists?
Maine: I just try to be the best version of myself. I move off of the emotion and the vibe of the beat. Sure I have topics that I want to address, but instead of forcing I wait for the right track to bring it out of me. I also know as an artist I can always get better. I can always make my sword sharper. I never convince myself that I made it because that can go to your head. I want to continue to keep that hunger for more.
MJ: Take us behind the scenes of the album ‘S.O.A.’ Let us in from the inspiration to creation to the final product. I know the album is buzzing with a social media frenzy and fans are listening on repeat with genuine compassion.
Maine: The creative part was fun and therapeutic for me. I mean, of course, it was some pressure because this album is dedicated to my mom. But at the same time, that’s what helped it flow. When I was listening to the tracks, I was thinking who could’ve made this dope? There are so many dope artists I know that I hadn’t worked with yet, so I wanted to link with them on this album. Plus I got the few staples that are always on my albums like Leadgeon, Suspect, and Tysoul. But I listened to this album about a hundred times to make sure it gave me the same feeling as the first time. I can honestly say it most certainly did.
MJ: What is your secret to being able to stay afloat and create timeless music? In an era where music seems to fall into an abyss of one-hit wonders and what’s trending, there must be some challenges.
Maine: I make music on how I feel and the vibe the beat gives me. I put my all into my music, and I’m not afraid of being vulnerable about my life. I think artists fail when they force a hit or try to sound like what’s hot. The best thing to do is to let the music come naturally. In the process sometimes you end up with a hit that you didn’t know was going to be a hit.
MJ: I’m not sure what can top ‘S.O.A.’ but can you give us some inside scoop on other projects or endeavors you’re working on?
Maine: It’s going to be really hard to top ‘S.O.A.’ but I’m not really sure that I want to. Because it’s such a special album, I wouldn’t mind if this is my “Illmatic.” No album I do after this will ever be as special as this one. As for future projects, I will stick to the same formula I have been using and let the mood and the beat take me on a journey. I have a few projects coming up, like the Mercy Gang EP and an EP titled ‘Iron Horse Talk.’ Leadgeon and I have an EP as well. But for now, I’m just pushing the ‘S.O.A.’ album, and the tee shirt line we’re working on with Electric Frog Designs.
MJ: As we wrap up, take this time to let the world and fans know anything else about the album or Maine The Medicine
Maine: I want people to know that I put a lot of time and emotion into this album. I’m super honored about the response I’m getting off ‘S.O.A.’ The love and support make me feel like I succeeded in making my mama proud. The thing I want people to know about Maine is I love being creative. I’m going to always try to give you something different.
When the world thinks of conceptual, timeless music Hip Hop trailblazer Dumi Right comes to mind. The acclaimed emcee/songwriter/performing artist/cultural ambassador has been doing just that since the golden era of Hip Hop and his latest single/video “Stay Focused” is no exception. The track features Outspoken, Sykotek, and KHz Pro on production. Before diving into this mastered canvas check out the full interview below with Dumi Right. He chops it up about the inspiration and creation behind “Stay Focused”, current and upcoming endeavors, his role in Hip Hop, and more.
“With so much going on in the world in the grip of a global pandemic, it is easy to be overwhelmed and lose focus. This head-nodding track serves as a call to action and a reminder that we should always rise to the challenge, even if the odds seem insurmountable. It also speaks to bridging the gap between generations to help propel us to a brighter Afro Futuristic plane. As the chorus implores, “Focus on the challenges we’re facin’, Music that’ll spark elevation, Trying to change the current situation, Building with the next generation…”
MJ: For those who might be unfamiliar with Dumi Right, let’s begin by introducing you. Your history in Hip Hop dates to Zimbabwe Legit, one of the first Hip Hop groups in Africa to receive global recognition. How did that experience pave the way for you as an emcee, songwriter, and performing artist?
Dumi: When I first came out, all I wanted was for the world to hear the story of a young dude from Africa, a “brother from the Mother” that had been drawn to the power and magnetism of Hip Hop. Back in 1992, my group Zimbabwe Legit dropped a groundbreaking EP that included production from Black Sheep’s Mr. Lawnge and DJ Shadow. Since then, I’ve remained deeply immersed in the art and culture performing domestically and internationally and recording critically acclaimed albums and unique projects. I like to live by the phrase, “Don’t let your past be brighter than your future” so I was never one to rest on my laurels. Even though back then we were written up in Billboard magazine, The Source, and yeah even “Word Up! Magazine” that I read from cover to cover admiring my favorite rap stars like the Biggie lyric says, I knew that if I didn’t keep pushing and keep moving, I could easily fall off. When we first got started, international Hip Hop was by no means at the scale that it is today. There wasn’t a well-defined blueprint on how to make the connection between Hip Hop in other parts of the world and what was going on in the US at the time, and so I had to navigate and learn by trial-and-error style. I loved the fact that we could give voice to a whole segment of the culture that many people may not have been familiar with and bring a unique perspective and view of the world through the music. Also coming out at that time meant that I was a de facto ambassador of sorts, representing a bunch of people like myself. That meant I had to come correct and make a mark because a lot of eyes were watching, and I felt the weight of people who were counting on me to be successful. Having that pressure from the get-go gave me the drive and perseverance to realize that failure wasn’t an option and that I always needed to put my best foot forward. You don’t realize at the time the impact what you do might have, but hearing from people how that initial splash was an inspiration is definitely humbling and very deeply appreciated.
MJ: You are not only respected as an emcee but also as a cultural ambassador. How did that role come into fruition? How does it tie into your music?
Dumi: Coming out of the international scene, I have always had a desire to connect with artists from all over the globe. Knowing how Hip Hop culture influenced and inspired me growing up and so I understood how important it was to build bridges and community globally. As a result, for many years I worked on collaborations, projects, and initiatives that involved artists from countries around the world. I later heard about a formal opportunity to practice many of the things I had been doing already, by teaching Hip Hop overseas through a program called Next Level. A DJ friend of mine had participated in the first edition of that program and he told me that it was amazing and that I needed to apply. I did and was selected to teach emceeing in Thailand a few years ago. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my music career and even my life in general. It was an extension of the work that I had been doing but it also allowed me to build with up-and-coming emcees and teach the principles of Hip Hop and performing as well as learn more about Thai culture and the people. It was an affirmation that I was doing meaningful work and strengthened my resolve to continue to be a global connector and bring artists together through music.
MJ: Your latest video “Stay Focused” features Outspoken and Sykotek with production by KHz Pro. Before we dive into the content of the video, tell us how everyone linked up with each other. The filming aspect alone of the video is incredible.
Dumi: Outspoken is one of my favorite emcees from Zimbabwe. He has insightful rhymes that address the times, and he is a very versatile artist. I have performed with him when his group visited the US and we collaborated on a previous song and video. My homie Khz cooked up this head-banging track and as I was formulating an idea of what I wanted to do with it, I realized he’d be the perfect artist to collaborate with on it. He also works quickly, and the finished product is always dope. I was introduced to Sykotek by a mutual friend and really liked the way he rhymed and the way he seamlessly transitioned between languages. He raps in English but can stop on a dime and start spitting in Ndebele and he’s got crazy skills doing both. Also having previously done a song called “Doin’ Damage in My Native Language” it seemed appropriate to have him carry the torch and represent that here. In addition, the three of us had collaborated last year on a Covid-19 awareness song for a project that a counterpart was putting together. That song “In These Days and Times” turned out well and our styles complimented each other so I felt we needed to do it again for this. We are all in different countries, Outspoken in Harare, Zimbabwe; Sykotek was in Johannesburg, South Africa at the time and I am based in Washington, DC but we were able to get on the same page and record music first and then later the video to bring the “Stay Focused” concept together.
MJ: What was the inspiration behind “Stay Focused”? Did the video meet/exceed your expectations?
Dumi: The song basically talks about following through on what your goals are despite distractions, setbacks, or roadblocks. It also speaks to connecting with the next generation to build a stronger community and change sub-optimal situations or circumstances that we might find ourselves in. The beat slapped so hard that I knew I needed something high energy to match it. I did a couple of different things for the chorus but then I thought it would be dope to switch it up and have someone else rock the hook and summarize the whole concept. I loved what Outspoken did with it and that set the stage for everything else. I wasn’t sure if we’d be able to pull off a video given our different geographic locations, but the guys were all keen to try it out and made plans to record their footage and send it to me for editing. Another longtime friend and collaborator by the name of Magee offered to edit it all together and he did it seamlessly like the pro that he is. The footage was shot in 3 different countries, and he took the challenge of weaving the story together and he did an amazing job. It exceeded all expectations for me even though I know he’s a wizard with video. He’s directed and edited a lot of African Hip Hop music videos but also works in the field so has edited numerous films and documentaries, so it was certainly within his realm of capability, and it shows.
MJ: It seems at times music that offers empowerment and motivation that wake up and stimulate our core and minds, has fallen by the wayside. As an emcee and cultural ambassador, what is your blueprint to ensure “Stay Focused” doesn’t take a back seat to the monotony that is being saturated on the airwaves and in communities?
Dumi: The first thing for me is not being influenced by the flavor of the month trends prevailing in the industry. Understanding who I am and what my authentic and unique voice is means I can exercise the freedom to not go along with whatever is trendy now and stay focused on my grind and the work that I’m trying to do. I also know that saying something in music might mean it might not be highlighted in those mainstream circles so finding alternative outlets and audiences to amplify the messages that we’re dropping and spread the word about what we’re doing. I focus on non-typical music outlets but also leverage the global Hip Hop community to find the eyes and ears that appreciate that raw and true Hip Hop sound and lyrics. Like-minded people are out there, you just have to find them. I do work in Hip Hop education and so this type of music also finds receptive audiences in those types of forums as well. And a wise man once said, “Market and promote, and you gotta hope, that the product is dope” (word to Q-Tip), so to begin with I always make sure that I put forth dope music with beats and rhymes that people are going to want to listen to. If you have a great product, when the audience hears it, they can’t help but appreciate it. I also lean on my network of international collaborators to help carry the messages to fans in their areas that would dig it but I otherwise might not be able to reach on my own. So essentially building an ecosystem of progressive Hip Hop on our own, knowing that we can’t count on support from the mainstream. Doing things beyond just music like workshops and panels also helps to build that community and work to “try to change the current situation” besides just dropping records. Hopefully, through all these combined efforts a major impact will be felt.
MJ: Can you share with audiences and fans what they can expect from Dumi Right in 2022? New music, more collaborations, and/or other endeavors on the radar?
Dumi: While finishing up my next solo album, I ended up inking a deal with a label in the UK to re-issue one of my prior albums on limited-edition vinyl. That will drop later this year via Chopped Herring Records. I feel like folks that cop vinyls are some of the biggest supporters and truest fans and of course, that includes many DJs, so I am thrilled that we’re going to be able to make that happen. The biggest news though is the impending launch of my new website dumiright.com very soon and a brand-new solo album, Dumi Right – Foreword to the Future. I’m real amped about this as it has been a long time coming but it has some pure heat on it. Guest artists include Chubb Rock, Speech from Arrested Development, YZ, El Da Sensei, Breez Evahflowin’, Kev Brown (on production), Emskee, and more. I had an artist in South Africa draw some ill Afro-Futuristic artwork. It will drop also on limited vinyl first and then go on all the streaming platforms thereafter. We’re putting the finishing touches on it and working on the marketing and distribution plan.
MJ: Take this time to share anything else with the world of Hip Hop…
Dumi: I just served as an executive producer and artist on a compilation series, Stop Shooting Vol 1 and 2 that features emcees and producers from all over the world speaking out about gun violence and police brutality. Lots of exciting music on those two volumes including a new single called “Global Love Warming” that includes a chorus sung by Aloe Blacc. There are so many great artists on it and they all bring very unique perspectives and styles to the table so it’s refreshing to hear…Please subscribe to my YouTube channel at https://youtube.com/dumirightmusic and follow me on Instagram, FB, and Twitter for all the latest scoop.
Florida’s fan-favorite, DJ Bad Tha Problem, and Certified Hitz Music Group kick off the new year with ‘Turn Up Music [EDM Edition] Volume 13’ Mixtape. Listeners prepare to turn the volume all the way up and press repeat on this addictive dose of EDM and Hip Hop mixes. Also, check out the full interview below with DJ Bad Tha Problem and connect with him on Social Media.
MJ: Before we jump into your new mixtape “Turn Up Music [EDM Edition] Vol. 13”, tell us what it’s like being a DJ in one of the hottest cities in the country? I know there’s nothing like home base, but do you have other favorite hot spots you DJ at?
DJ Bad Tha Problem: Being a DJ in Florida is a lot of fun compared to being a DJ in my home state NJ. I have had offers to DJ at a few clubs around my city but turned those down to focus on making mixtapes, working with my two artists, building brands and networking, etc.
MJ: “Turn Up Music [EDM Edition] Vol. 13”, what can listeners and fans expect from this mixtape? This is volume 13, shed some light on how you keep fans coming back for more.
DJ Bad Tha Problem: Fans and listeners can expect a lot of certified hitz from “Turn Up Music [EDM Edition] Vol. 13”. It is not just your typical EDM tape. If you’re a fan of EDM and Hip Hop, you’ll be getting the best of both worlds, not just on this volume but in the whole “Turn Up Music [EDM Edition]” mixtape series. This mixtape series has by far been the most successful series I’ve ever put together. I have been overwhelmed by the numbers and the support behind this mixtape series. Shout out to all the people who have listened and downloaded any of the previous volumes and shout out to the bootleggers too. I am currently working on the next volume which I should be releasing sometime in 2022 probably in late January or early February.
MJ: Your next show is on January 8th at Karma Sutra Lounge in NYC, please share all that 411!
DJ Bad Tha Problem: January 8th is going to be a spectacular certified event. Me and my artist City The Great will be holding a mixtape/album release party not just for our project “Respectfully Yours”, but for my artist debut album “The Wordsmith” under the legendary Special Ed’s label SEMedia. The event will be held at the Karma Sutra Lounge in NYC, from 7 pm to 2 am. Expect live performances from City The Great and the artists under Certified Nation Ent, great food and drinks, and nothing but good music. DJ Buena Vida and I will be on the 1’s and 2’s. We will be having some surprise celebrity guests at the event. I cannot disclose who will be in attendance, however, If you want to find out you will have to be there for yourself…free entry! I mean who doesn’t like free stuff, am I right? Plus, we will be celebrating my artist’s birthday.
MJ: You don’t only wear the hat as DJ and CEO, but you’re also a producer and A&R. It’s not uncommon for us to play various roles in the music industry, do you favor one role more than the other? Does one present more challenges than the others?
DJ Bad Tha Problem: I personally don’t favor one role over the other. I enjoy all the roles I play equally. The only role that presents more of a challenge for me is being a producer. The challenge that I have is sitting down and taking time to make my own music from scratch. I have dabbled with making beats for a while now, even gotten my first placement with an indie artist I was working with at the time but haven’t really taken it seriously. I plan on changing that next year. I’ve helped produce other artist’s projects in the past even helped produce some of the tracks on City The Great’s upcoming mixtape “Respectfully Yours”. And no, I’m not talking about strictly just making beats. There is a big difference between being a beatmaker and a producer. However, I am not just a DJ, CEO, Producer, and A&R. I do pretty much everything by myself and have been for a very long time. From videos, audio engineering, promoting, building websites, etc., I used to do graphics too but not anymore. I have a main graphic designer now. Shout out to MefDesigns. Doing everything by myself can be challenging, tiring, and sometimes stressful but I love music. I don’t have the time to wait on anyone.
MJ: Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
DJ Bad Tha Problem: Expect a lot more mixtape projects from me next year and be on the lookout for City The Great’s mixtape titled “Respectfully Yours” hosted by yours truly, dropping January 8th on all streaming platforms…Turn Up Music [EDM Edition] Vol. 14 is coming real soon as well as Love & R&B Vol. 27. I have a new mixtape series in the works, I am still working out all the details, and I will be bringing back the mixtape series “Definition Of A Hustler” featuring a lot of dope independent artists, so stay tuned and be on the lookout for that!
The GOAT in Battle Rap meets the GOAT of Consciousness &
Holistic Healing. Dr. EnQi just exposed two facts that could highlight why the
legendary Philly Hustler Cassidy has been and maybe always will be ahead of his
Dr. EnQi didn’t teach, he didn’t lecture and didn’t take the opportunity to self-promote or mention his mantra “ENQISDETOX.COM“, he instead gave us the classic Cassidy interview of all time. Dr. EnQi exposed Cassidy’s genius and spirituality. The only thing next is to hear Cass and EnQi on a track together.
Masonry Dave Chappelle #846 highlights what Elijah
Muhammad predicted and Dr. EnQi has been manifesting.
Young Pharaoh and many other YouTube teachers have
associated dangerous sociopathic behavior with the Masons & Freemasons. I
must admit that I too believed all these ideas without a second thought until I
saw Dr. EnQi teach, it was a mind-blowing game changer!
Dr. EnQi connected the Dave Chappelle 846 show to some of the secret teachings of Elijah Muhammad with masterful precision, showing how all of today’s events are related. Young Pharaoh is awesome, but he should get with Dr. EnQi, I feel that YP has surpassed Sa Ra Suten Seti thus he has nothing left to learn from him. Dr. EnQi clearly has mastered certain levels of information YP has not quite tapped into.
On October 4th, 25-year music vet SINNwill release the 1st single
off his forthcoming sophomore album “Ryder Music” volume 2. I had the chance to
sit down with SINN and in-house mega-producer Chill Beatz to discuss both the single
recently announced the news of the forthcoming release of your sophomore
album of Ryder Music. As a vet in the industry, your music is a timeline of
your life and shows your growth as an artist. In three words describe this
SINN: A musical journey…
“Riding season is almost over, time to heat up the winter with Ryder Music…Da Ryder King Sinn is parking the bike and sparking up the mic” -SINN
MJ: The relationship between artist and
producer is crucial when curating timeless music. Talk about the chemistry
between you and in-house mega-producer Chill Beatz.
Chill: We push each other to do things that we don’t’
think are possible. Every beat is like a blank canvas and SINN is the
artist! We are brothers first, so the rest is easy.
SINN: Chill nailed it, our chemistry comes from our
love of music, and a brotherly bond we have beyond the music.
MJ: Without giving too much away, share a
little with the fans on what they can expect from Ryder Music Vol 2. How would
you describe the SINN fans will get from this album?
SINN: For this album, I took the fans on a cruise on their favorite ride down a freshly paved road and I wanted to be their tour guide down the Ryder Music highway…
MJ: Chill, let listeners know about the
dynamics of this album from production’s standpoint.
Chill: This album stayed true to the ryder music
concept. Sinn also wanted to give his fans something they may hear in the
clubs, so it was fun adding an R&B/Pop mix to this concept.
MJ: Take us behind the scenes and talk about
everything that went into putting this album together, from the thought process
to the final product.
SINN: As a vet in the game people tend to forget what
struggles and growth you must go through as a person and as an artist. I’ve
always been told I approach everything in an unconventional fashion, so I
decided to give the fans the same great recipe just prepared differently. The
thought process was for the world to know “the name and know the difference.”
Chill: SINN didn’t say a lot during this process
other than it’s time for them “to know the name and know the difference.”
No one can get in that man’s creative head.
MJ: Word is the album will be released
teaser-style, with a new single every two weeks. Tell us a little about the
SINN: The debut single is called “Make it
Home” featuring Rita. This is a song for everyone who leaves out the door
and has one goal in their mind; to make it home safe back in the arms of the
one they love.
MJ: If you had to choose two personal
favorites off the album what would those records be, and why?
Chill: I don’t really have a favorite but “Make It
Home” is a song I think all the fans and listeners can relate to.
SINN: My two
favorites are “No Matter What” and “That’s What They Do.” The theme
in “No Matter What” focuses on loyalty and no matter how far I go up the ladder
I’ll always be around for my team. “That’s
What They Do” describes how a mature and secure man can refuse temptations and
be loyal to his one and only.
we wrap up, is there anything else you would like to mention about Ryder Music
SINN: I feel this is my best work to date, the most monumental.
Hip Hop Pioneer, CEO of Hip Hop Movement, Author, and former member of New York State Democrat Committee, Ronald Savage aka Bee-Stinger, announces the launch of the Hip Hop Movement Streaming Channel on ROKU TV.
“Hip is the Culture Hop is the Movement” -Ronald Savage aka Bee-Stinger
Catching up with Savage, he had this to say
about the launch, “As owner who trademarked Hip Hop Movement it was only right to
bring real meaning to the table and the forefront. I wanted to make it a real
service for artists regardless of their rank in the industry. ROKU is the #1
streaming channel worldwide and that’s just where the movement and Hip Hop need
Savage went on to add, “Hip Hop Movement is an on-demand channel on ROKU TV and we air everything from Hip Hop to independent movies, short films, and movie clips. You can head over to Hip Hop Movement Open Mic Tour for our show where you can also tune in and hear me speak on social injustices and more.”
Seasoned artist hailing from Pennsylvania, Maine The Medicine recently linked up with Canadian emcee, Suspect for the highly anticipated album, “The Last.” The lyrical assassins deliver an epic dose of ear milk and lyricism authentic to traditional Hip-Hop flawlessly blended with unique rhyme schemes. I had the opportunity to meet with Maine to discuss the album.
MJ: I’m eager to dive right into the
album to give fans and listeners a personal inside look. First tell us how you
linked up with Suspect? In creation mode did you already have him in mind
for the album.
Maine: We met at a show in Scranton PA, when
Suspect and Marmel were performing on the Adlib Tour. The respect was mutual
once we both hit the stage. We stayed in contact, knocked out some
collaborations and tossed around the idea of putting together a project, which
makes sense because we both share the same taste in Hip-Hop. We decided it
would be dope to put out a Mercy Gang and Marmel Mixape “Cross Border
Connection” which would turn out to be Hefty’s (rip) last project with all
of us. In honor of Hefty we agreed to release the mixtape and dedicate the Canadian
Tour to the memory of Hefty.
Suspect: Maine is one of the most lyrical
artists I know. So that there was enough of a challenge for me to create the
best of bars. Since the whole concept of the album “The Last” is about
real Hip-Hop becoming extinct, it only made sense for us to deliver it out.
Working with Maine before I knew our chemistry was bananas and we also share
the same music influences and styles.
Maine: We named the album “The Last” because
we truly believe we are a last of a dying breed. Last also stands for Lyrical
Assassins Stay True.
MJ: Share the story line behind the cover
art and album title.
Maine: The cover was a way to display the unique bond between the US and Canada in the Hip-Hop world. We also wanted to show the history of our projects with our respective groups.
MJ: Artists strive to top previous
released albums to display growth and versatility. What was your expectation
with this album? Through your eyes and mind what were you aiming to convey to
listeners? Do you feel that’s been achieved?
Maine: We wanted to bring back that gritty
boom bap, Hip-Hop. I feel like we really pushed each other’s pen which brought
the best out of both of us. We wanted the listeners to indulge into some great
beats and dope ass lyricism along with raw energy we bring to the tracks.
MJ: Let’s talk about some of the tracks.
Do you have a personal favorite, or one record that speaks to your heart a bit
more than the others? You know MJ well enough that I’m sure you can
pinpoint one of my favorites. Although I must say it was difficult to choose
just one as this album carries timeless tracks with no skipping. But l do want
to talk about “Hip-Hop” and how you define that record.
Suspect: My personal favorite is “Behind
Every Smile.” My verse specifically is very important. I wrote it as it was
a letter to my son who I have been going through custody battles with for the
past 4 years. “Hip Hop” is basically everything we feel about the
culture of Hip-Hop, the likes and dislikes, that we have seen throughout the
Maine: I love the raw in your face
tracks like “Rough Shit” and “Blah Blah” with U.G. The tracks
close to my heart are “Close To You” and “Behind Every Smile.”“Behind
Every Smile” is a special track for both of us. I talk about my health and
as he mentioned, he talks about his son. The track was produced by Nate
Williams and the beat just brought out raw emotions from both of us. “Hip
Hop” was produced by Will Sully. I felt some real nostalgia with that beat,
it made think of some real Hip-Hop moments in my life. We are very proud of “The
Last” and both the producers and artists who contributed to the
project, from Real Wolf, Snowgoons, Native Seals, Know It, legendary U.G. of
Cella Dwellas, to features with Adlib, Marmel, Holla Da scholar, Khali Hustle,
Lucas Hex, and more.
MJ: On a more personal note, can you
share a little bit on the adjustment of creating music without Hefty (rip)? I’m
sure there must be an overwhelming sense of different emotions.
Suspect: Speaking for myself knowing Hefty and
creating music with him was a blessing, he had such a strong love and drive for
it, and to have him part of our first project “Cross Border Connections”
was amazing and you can see the strong bond with his fans and Mercy Gang
brothers still to this day .
Maine: For me, it’s still hard making music
without him here. I’ve learned a lot of things from him that I still use now. I
think he would love the music were making now. Hefty will always live on in our
MJ: Is there anything else you would like
the world to know about “The Last”?
Suspect: This will not be the only or the last
time u will hear “The Last”!!!!
Maine has grown to be more than an artist I work and tour with he is family. I
am super proud of this project and think it’s some of my best work I have
released to date!! Look out for much more to come from “The Last.”
want to mention we will be joining The Last Tour in Canada with Steve Sxaks and
Kohn of M.A.D.E and we are excited to perform hits off the album.
Watch the official video for “Rough Shit” off “The Last” LP below.
Originally from Colorado and now residing in Austin, Artist B2D credits the success of his music to the demons of society that haunt him. Fans tune in to this exclusive interview and get up and close with B2D.
MJ: Thank you for taking time away from the mic for this interview, your time is appreciated. For those who aren’t familiar with you as an artist, tell us who you are.
B2D: My Name is B2D which stands for Born 2 Die, and I’m an artist & CEO of my record Label Bellavino Billionaires Music Group, which I just established a little over a Year Ago. I’m very versatile as an artist and feel like I shine most in my music when I share my pain. I love art in all forms, but I never been to good with a paint brush, so what I can paint with words is way above standard.
MJ: When did music become a major part of your life? Was it teenage years or even younger? Also tell us when you realized music was no longer a hobby or a passion.
B2D: I was a fan of music and it played a major role in my life before I could even talk. As a I use to bob my head or dance to music all the time, the vibe was just there. I was always passionate about music and I would release music for free all the time. I never took a look at it like a business. But once I started to take my music seriously and wanted to make a living from it, best believe I made a lot of mistakes. I work very closely with a childhood friend that’s very successful in the music industry who is guiding and managing my career. A year from now life for me and my team will be very different on the positive end! Blood, sweat, and tears, we know we have to put everything we have into our dream or we won’t get anything out of it, or see any results.
MJ: You take pride in steering away from “fake rappers who rap about situations they never been through”. Why do you think that has become so trendy lately? What specifically about your music separates you from those rappers?
B2D: Music is music. I really dislike rappers who talk like their Tony Montana flipping kilos and killing whoever they have beef with or make it big from false stories in their raps. The twist to all of this nonsense is real street cats, the young ones more so feel like they really have to prove that they are real to the world and they will go rob somebody or lay somebody down then get on a track and brag about! It’s not smart and doesn’t make any sense business or music wise. The trend right now is a catchy hook and an auto tune verse. People use to steal the Migos delivery but now rappers will go with whatever single is hot at the moment and steal that delivery whether it’s Drake or 69 Kat, or whoever. What separates me or my music from other artists is simply me! I’m not trying to be anybody else. When it’s time to record music I put all of me on the records and I give fans the real me and my real life. I don’t front or lie on my tracks to look cook or gain fans.
MJ: It takes a real emcee to share their personal life, mistakes, encounters with the law, running the streets, etc. with the world and fans! In the world we live in today the media and press tend to shy away from artists who speak upon “their past of hard knocks”. How do you feel about that?
B2D: I don’t agree with that I feel like they always bring up the past and they never talk about the positive changes they have made in their life.
MJ: Besides being an Artist you are also in the process of building your own Record Label. Gives us some insight on the label, and the new compilation out now under that label.
B2D: Building a label is a lot of hard work. I’m constantly grinding and making sure that both myself and artists are getting the most effective exposure. The hardest part is dealing with some artists. Some artists think they deserve a lot of money once their album or single drops. Or they think they know everything when they haven’t been signed in the past. A lot of artists lack the knowledge of the business side of music and that is one my goals with the label. I work diligently to educate artists… I will say this though, the new compilation has me and a few of my artists on going hard from beginning to end. Since the release we have been receiving a tremendous amount of positive feedback. We are polishing up on another compilation that will be released in a couple of months.
MJ: You have collaborated with some major artists. Do you have a top 3 of other artists you would like to share the stage or studio with?
B2D: The top three artists I would like to collaborate with in the studio is NbA Young Boy, Icewear Vezzo, and Moneybagg Yo.
MJ: B2D wears many hats! Tell us about the clothing line and the winery.
B2D: I started making wine nine years ago. I was taught by a retired cook on a cruise ship. I titled the wine Bellavino and I distribute it through events, fashion shows, and online at www.BellavinoBillionaires.com. Bellavino Billionaire Apparel is also available at shows and events. Right now no other hats are getting put on until the Label Bellavino Billionaires Music Group has a level of skyrocket success!
MJ: With so much on your plate as a true entrepreneur has, what is your secret to balance, especially with family?
B2D: Balance comes from making a schedule and making sure you make time for what’s important every week.
MJ: Who are some people who have an influence on your life and career?
B2D: 2pac inspired me to rap and Adrain Swish inspired me to turn my passion of music into a business. Seeing someone else come up doing what I love to do inspires me, haters and non-believers inspire me, and most importantly my daughter inspires me!
MJ: What’s up next for B2D?
B2D: More music and acting.
MJ: As we wrap up is there anything else you want the world to know about yourself and your label?
B2D: Roll up some weed or whatever it is you might do and prepare yourself for the show Bellavino Billionaires Music Group is about to give you!
Legendary Tazmania has been deep rooted in the music scene dating back to his teenage years. He can recall the late legend Easy-E bringing him to his very first concert which of MC Breed and DJ Quick. Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, he was up rooted at age thirteen to Los Angeles where music forever changed his life. He signed his first record deal in 1992 and released hit after hit. As he enhanced his craft and progressed in his career, he had the opportunity to tour the globe with major artists Mike Jones, Beat Nuts, Dilated Peoples, Eve, and more. To date he holds a lengthy catalog of music and hasn’t stopped yet.
” I believe in the words that Guru once told me, “keep spitting because you are what they need”
MJ: Thank you for taking time away from creating music for this interview. Let’s take it back to your younger years. Do you think your career would have taken a different direction if you and your family didn’t move to Los Angeles?
Taz: Thank you for having me, and yes, it definitely would have been different. I wouldn’t have met the people that actually made me love Hip-Hop like Skoolz, who let me have my first speaking role on a song. Also Yomo and Markel who are Ruthless Records artists and their album “Burn Old Glory”, and I can’t leave out my relationship with the Bell’s of New Edition or how the Kinky Boys helped me to be original in my approach when it comes to creating music.
MJ: Talk about that concert that Easy-E took you to. As a young by that must have been an adrenaline rush to experience.
Taz: It was I was on top of the world! To see everything up close was life changing, even though DJ Quick thought we were Crips because we were in blue…but Eazy smoothed it over.
MJ: In 1992 you released your first project “Come Say Hi to The Bad Guy”. It can be mind-blowing to look back at your very first single or project. What would you say to that young Taz?
Taz: I would say don’t be so full of yourself, work hard and party later.
MJ: From that you started your own rap group and label, which became a staple for Cali Hip Hop, and opened up some major doors for you. Share some of that with us.
Taz: Yeah being part of a group was cool it give me a chance to see other point of views and to remain humble in the face of so many egos. It also gave me the opportunity to meet a wide range of artists such as Outcast, Luda, and others. It gives you a sense of professionalism you need to have to live up to.
MJ: You’ve shared the stage with a handful of major artists and key players in the industry. What stands out the most from those experiences?
Taz: I would say my chance meeting with Jay-Z in Stockholm along with Mr. Hayes, may he rest in peace, he was like a mentor for a short time. Meeting Warren G and his uncle Ron G was also life changing when they saw me perform overseas and let me know I had worth in the music scene.
MJ: Let’s bring fans up to speed now. You’ve released a lengthy catalog of music throughout recent years. Talk about your style and flow and how as an artist you have progressed and evolved from each project.
Taz: I have always looked at this business as an ever-changing one, and as an artist you must evolve with the times. My flow is one of a kind, and smoothed out with a conscious realism. I am a product of my environment with a world-wide sense of my people and the habitat we live. But sometimes I like to make light of those differences.
MJ: What’s hot right now with Taz? Talk about your latest single “Flash Flood”. Also give us some inside scoop on upcoming projects or collaborations.
Taz: Yeah it’s coming out later this month. It was produced by Synthetic, who made a fire track about getting rich quick dreams we all have at some point. The rest you will have to wait until it’s released, can’t give it all away…My latest single “Vinus” is the sh*t! It’s a shout out to all women of the world and how in their grace and beauty have made me feel that there’s always an unspoken meaning to someone special.
MJ: When it comes to influences, whether it be musically or personally, who do you credit?
Taz: Wow that’s a hard one. I actually try to stay away from anyone else’s style, but some think I’m similar to T.I. But I think there is no other to credit for my style.
MJ: As we wrap up is there anything else you want the world to know about Taz?
Taz: Yeah, no one will give a better live performance than Taz. Be on the lookout for my new album “Paper Cuts”, I promise I will do everything in my power to make it groundbreaking for my fans!