Interview conducted by Hugo Lunny
The Psycho Logical Records family aren’t seen as being your average guys off the street. Their personal and musical images don’t have them appearing to be too friendly. However, like the rest of us, Mr. Hyde likes a good horror film along with the odd obscene NWA song.
On July 22nd, the former boxer will release his sophomore album “Chronicles of the Beastman,” the follow up to “Barn Of The Naked Dead.” MVRemix caught up with him to ask about the album, and a little more…
MVRemix: You’ve been doing this for quite some time now, how does your life compare to ten years ago. Describe a day when you and Necro first met up, versus today…
Mr. Hyde: Wow… That’s hard to say. I guess back then I was more hungry to get on and show people that I belong right up there with the best underground artists of that time. I was rocking a lot of open mic’s and emcee battles trying to get noticed, but at the same time trying to link up with a producer with similar taste to mine. I ended up hooking up with Necro and shit just took off from there. Now, Even though I’m only about to drop my second solo album, I kinda feel like a veteran in hip-hop. I’ve been doing it for about 15 years now, I have a core of die-hard fans that anxiously await my next moves and at the same time I still feel like I have not had my music reach and open up enough people. I still feel underrated. But I’m thankful to be in the position where I can just call Necro for beats and put together an album at my convenience and have big audience. Today its just more about using the resources that I have to deliver a dope product to the fans as opposed to back in the day, struggling to get on, find beats and not having any fans yet.
MVRemix: How important do you feel networking is?
Mr. Hyde: [laughs] Good segway. Its super important. Doing the type of brutal, cutting edge music that we do, I kind of already know there is just about zero chance of getting any major commercial radio play. With that always in the back of my mind, I feel that the more networking, and leg work I do, the more of a chance I have to reach more people. Websites like MySpace have been a huge help in gaining fans, and keeping them in touch with your upcoming projects and shows. But I try to stay on the grind. Whether it’s online, or on the street, handing out promo CDs and putting up stickers and posters, or spreading the news by word of mouth. Every little bit helps.
MVRemix: Which was the first horror film you saw and how did it impact you?
Mr. Hyde: The first horror flick I ever saw was “Trilogy of Terror” with Karen Black. I was about five years old and my mother had it on VHS. I would check under my bed every night for that killer doll for about a year after that flick. [laughs]
MVRemix: Which has been the one film that you measure all other horror films up to?
Mr. Hyde: I would say “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” It was the most stunning movie of its time. The intro, killing, screams, acting, the chainsaw, all the sick, shaky camera work, every scenario seemed like it could actually happen. It was very up in your face, gritty and personal. Unlike a lot of the horror movies now.
MVRemix: Tell me about “Chronicles Of The Beastman”
Mr. Hyde: Its some next level Mr. Hyde shit. The same vintage brutal, grinding Hyde style with a whole lot of new sounding production and new sounding flows and lyrics.
MVRemix: How did the title come about?
Mr. Hyde: It reflects my personality in life and as an emcee. I’m like a “beast man” every time I pick up a mic on stage or in the studio. I come at the audience viciously. In everyday life I’m also a beastman. I’m known to be unshaven, smell bad and randomly attack humans
MVRemix: How does the album compare to “Barn Of The Naked Dead”?
Mr. Hyde: I love both records. I experimented a lot on this album. I have a lot of up-tempo, different sounding beats. I switched up my flow and wordplay a whole lot more. It still has the same cinematic feel to it. I got a whole bunch of new movie samples and sound bytes for heads to figure out. I think people will be impressed.
MVRemix: How long did the record take to record and how planned was it – ie did you set out with a track listing and stick to it or record a number of songs and chose a select amount leaving the rest on the “cutting room floor”?
Mr. Hyde: I actually was just trying to stay productive and make some new music while Necro was busy working on and promoting his “Death Rap” album. Sean Strange gave me a beat CD and I was really feeling a lot of his production, so I decided to lay down vocals on a few tracks. The first couple of songs came out so ill, that I decided to record a few more and put out an EP. Once I had like 5 or 6 tracks done, I figured, why not add 5 more and make this a full length album? I knew the fans were waiting almost four years for a follow up solo. So I got a few more beats from Necro and Strange and kept recording until I had enough material for a full-length album. And I actually didn’t have to cut any songs that i recorded off the record. That’s how dope the material on this album is.
MVRemix: What’s the plan for the accompanying DVD?
Mr. Hyde: I really didn’t have a whole lot of time to put the DVD together but it has some pretty dope live show footage and a one on one 20 questions interview.
MVRemix: Tell me about the forthcoming “Killer Collage” video and song…
Mr. Hyde: Crazy fucking song! Even crazier video! It’s sort of like an all-star emcee super track. I got guest appearances by Ill Bill, and Q-unique on the mic and DJ Eclipse doing some dope scratches over Sean Strange production. The video is on some crazy posse shit featuring a shit load of known cats that we’re down with. The video’s got all the cats that are on the song along with cameos by; Necro, The Arsonists, Paul Wall, Jeru the Damaja, Tech 9 and the Strange music crew, Nems, Riviera Regime Skin head rob, No Good People, Slaine of La Coka Nostra, and many more….
MVRemix: Have you ever seen the British TV Show Jekyll?
Mr. Hyde: Nah, I never heard of that show.
MVRemix: Do you still pursue boxing as a hobby or is it just now used when needed?
Mr. Hyde: Ha… A little bit of both. It’s hard to seriously train the way I’d like to with all the recording, touring and promoting that has to be done. But I definitely get to use it on tour on a few drunk, disrespectful idiots here and there. So anyone who wants to be an asshole and disrespect me and my crew… Please do, I could use the practice.
MVRemix: Has the huge success of Psycho Logical Records been a surprise to you, or was it expected?
Mr. Hyde: I don’t feel like we’ve blown up huge or have reached our full potential yet. Hopefully, this year’s projects will make a big impact in hip-hop. But as far as being so successful as an indie label and having such a cult following, I’m not surprised. We put out the most original, cutting edge, brutal music on the market. We tour the whole world and put on insane live shows. We keep it crazy real and have never took a loss in the streets, and we put out banging classic albums… Everyone should love us!
MVRemix: You usually cite being influenced by metal and rock groups, who influenced you rap wise?
Mr. Hyde: Artists like Kool G Rap, N.W.A., Ghetto Boys, and Kool Keith being successful helped me to have confidence that there might be an audience for my fucked up, brutal and bugged out style of rapping.
MVRemix: Any feelings on the situation with La Coka Nostra and Sage Francis?
Mr. Hyde: Sage who? Isn’t that a high school in Queens? I went to that school for two weeks before I got kicked out for bashing some kid’s head against a tack filled bulletin board. I feel sorry for anyone who has any kind of trouble with La Coka Nostra, D.M.S., P.L.R. or any one down with us. Those situations usually don’t have a happy ending for them.
MVRemix: Have fun with this one, a la “Fight Club” – “If you could fight any celebrity, who would you fight”?
Mr. Hyde: James Earl Jones.
MVRemix: Would you win?
Mr. Hyde: I would wear a black horsehair wig and beat him to within an inch of his life and then tell him that I was his father.
MVRemix: Aside from the album, what else do we have to look forward to from you?
Mr. Hyde: Lots of live shows, music videos, touring and promotion. I will also be featured on most of the upcoming P.L.R. artist’s albums… All that and lots of farts.
MVRemix: Any last words?
Mr. Hyde: Everybody buy “Chronicles Of The Beastman.” It has lots of vitamins, nutrients and fiber. It’ll put hair on your chest.