Three 6 Mafia’s ‘Adventures in Hollyhood’ Premieres April 5th on MTV

THREE 6 MAFIA TAKES TINSELTOWN BY STORM IN THE
NEW MTV SERIES “ADVENTURES IN HOLLYHOOD”
PREMIERING THURSDAY, APRIL 5TH AT 10PM ET/PT

Leaving Their Memphis Home Behind, Academy Award Winning Rap Group Three 6 Mafia Face Their Biggest Adventure Yet – HOLLYWOOD, CA

Plus, Experience Original ‘Adventures’ Content On-Air, Online & On The Go With Exclusive Features On MTV.com, MTV Mobile & More

Santa Monica, CA (March 27, 2007) — As the first hip-hop group ever to win an Oscar for Best Song, a music career defined by multi-platinum success, and recognized by millions of loyal fans across the globe, some may say hip-hop super group Three 6 Mafia has accomplished it all. However, it is only the beginning for this hip hop powerhouse as MTV follows them on their biggest adventure yet — Hollywood, CA. Leaving the comforts of their Memphis home behind, Juicy J, DJ Paul, and their entourage of friends hit the road to conquer Tinseltown and try to become major Hollywood players in the new comedic-reality series, “Adventures In HollyHood” premiering April 5th at 10pm ET/PT.

The series begins as Three 6 Mafia and their entourage packs their bags in their hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, and head west to Hollywood, California. Along with maintaining their success as multi-platinum hip-hop artists, finishing their anticipated follow-up album, and keeping true to themselves and their southern ways, the group tries to make the most of their fame by pursuing everything that Hollywood has to offer. The guys have set out however, to make sure the fame and fortune don’t go to their heads as they put the “hood” into Hollywood… Three 6-style. Audiences will be introduced to the following cast of characters never before seen on television: Juicy J and DJ Paul, the Oscar-winning members of Three 6 Mafia; Big Treice, their personal assistant; Computer, their internet consultant; and finally Project Pat, Three 6 Mafia’s rap protégé and underground hip-hop superstar.

In addition, fans will be able to experience a completely un-televised side of Three 6 Mafia and their adventures as they visit hollyhood.mtv.com, along with MTV Mobile services, MTV VOD and more. On these platforms MTV will showcase completely original content including the comedic Cooking With Three 6 Mafia, as they showoff their hilarious down-home culinary skills. Fans will also be able to watch as the guys face new ‘firsts’ in Hollywood, as well as showcase the new music from their forthcoming album, “Last 2 Walk,” due in Spring 2007. At hollyhood.mtv.com, visitors will also be able to watch the premiere and finale episodes of “Adventures In Hollyhood,” as well as read cast bios, see photos, preview Three 6 Mafia’s new album, and much more.

Three 6 Mafia’s beginnings date back to the early ’90s, as their underground mix tapes quickly made a name for themselves on the streets and in the clubs of Memphis, TN. The group made their proper debut in 1995 with the album entitled “Mystic Stylez.” In the years since, the group has left a trail of gold and platinum records, exploding out of the local Memphis scene, and carrying their inventive southern, hip-hop sound to the masses around the world. Together DJ Paul and Juicy J have remained at the core of the group, not only as acclaimed rappers themselves, but also as renowned music producers, lending their skills to some of rap’s elite including Mike Jones, Ludacris and the Ying Yang Twins. However, it was Sunday, March 5, 2006 when the rap ensemble truly secured its place in hip-hop history when, in a surprise upset, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences awarded “It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp,” from acclaimed MTV Film “Hustle & Flow,” the Oscar for Best Achievement In Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song). Propelled to a new level of success, now Three 6 Mafia takes on Hollywood with their own MTV series, “Adventures In HollyHood,” and gears up for the anticipated release of their next album “Last 2 Walk,” in Spring 2007 on Hypnotize Minds/Columbia Records.

For more information about MTV’s “Adventures In HollyHood,” visit hollyhood.mtv.com.

Rod Aissa, Kevin Lee and Melanie Graham are executive producers. Ashton Kutcher, Jason Goldberg and Karey Burke are executive producers for Katalyst Films. Aaron Rosenberg and Three 6 Mafia are co-executive producers. “Adventures in HollyHood” is developed by Rod Aissa, Aaron Rosenberg, and Three 6 Mafia. Lois Curren is EVP, MTV Series Entertainment & Programming.

Adventures in Hollyhood: Preview Special: http://www.mtv.com/overdrive/?id=1555316

Adventures in Hollyhood Trailer: http://www.mtv.com/overdrive/?id=1554698

Find out more about Three 6 Mafia’s “Adventures in Hollyhood” here: http://hollyhood.mtv.com

In case you haven’t seen it already, check out the video for their new hit single “Doe Boy Fresh” featuring Chamillionaire

“Doe Boy Fresh” featuring Chamillionaire (VIDEO): http://musicbox.sonybmg.com/video/three_6_mafia/doe_boy_fresh

DIRECT LINKS (STREAMING):
http://www.three6-mafia.com/Video/Three6Mafia_DoeBoyFresh_VidFull.mov
http://www.three6-mafia.com/Video/Three6Mafia_DoeBoyFresh_VidFull_56.asx
http://www.three6-mafia.com/Video/Three6Mafia_DoeBoyFresh_VidFull_100.asx
http://www.three6-mafia.com/Video/Three6Mafia_DoeBoyFresh_VidFull_300.asx
http://www.three6-mafia.com/Video/Three6Mafia_DoeBoyFresh_VidFull_450.asx

MARQUES HOUSTON’S “VETERAN” – #1 R&B ALBUM IN THE COUNTRY

MARQUES HOUSTON’S VETERAN DEBUTS AT NUMBER ONE

ON BILLBOARD TOP R&B/HIP-HOP ALBUMS CHART

AND NUMBER FIVE ON THE BILLBOARD 200

VETERAN
FEATURES YOUNG JOC, SHAWNA, MYA, AND MORE

HOLLYWOOD, CA — Veteran, the third solo album from R&B crooner Marques Houston, debuted at number one on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and number five on The Billboard 200, after its March 20 release on T.U.G./Universal Motown Records. This marks Houston‘s first number one solo album and his highest Billboard Top 200 debut to date. “I feel so blessed after all these years in the music game to have the number one R&B album in the country,” Houston says. “I put a lot of myself into this project so it means a lot to me.”

Gone are Houston’s days of pop-laced tracks and catering to the teen crowd. He has moved on to the next phase of not only his music, but life. “People feel because I’ve been in the spotlight since I was little, they know me, but they don’t. I’ve been through so many trials and tribulations in my life and career, from losing my mother to lymphoma cancer to learning how to stay true to myself in this crazy business. I’m ready to share who I am.” So forget what you think you know about the LA native‘s music career– child artist (at the age of 11, he led the kid group Immature), and novice solo performer (in 2003, he broke out on his own from IMX, the older version of Immature, to embark on a solo career). It’s time to meet Marques Houston, the man.

Contributors to Houston’s new album include Bryan Michael Cox, Tank, Rufus Blaq, The Underdogs (Joe, Mario, Fantasia), and Adonis. Other guests on Veteran include Shawna, the first lady of DTP (Ludacris’ Disturbing the Peace), and friend/colleague Mya on “Hold N Back.” The album offers a few up-tempo tracks, such as “Like This” featuring Young Joc, which Houston says came about from his love of snap music. The Prince-esque track “Kimberly,” revisits Houston’s “freaky” side, which was uncovered on his previous album Naked.

The majority of the songs on Veteran express Houston’s maturity through far more tender subject matters and hip adult melodies. The current single “Circle”, illustrates the lesson that sometimes, loving someone means letting them go. Additional relationship insight is articulated on tracks like “Wonderful,” which conveys general appreciation for a female companion. “That’s somewhat of where I am right now in my relationship,” he confesses, “my girl is wonderful.” The track reunites Houston with hit songwriter Ne-Yo, who penned “That Girl” for him back in 2003.

Houston has developed a knack for juggling multiple projects. Veteran was released on his own T.U.G./Universal Motown Record label, which includes a roster of artists including Omarion, Mila J and more. He has also continued his acting career—he starred on his own television series Cuts for two seasons and co-starred with Omarion in the hit dance film You Got Served. And next year, he and Omarion will star in the horror flick Somebody Help Me produced by their company Rock Stars Entertainment.

In the most fickle industry there is, Houston has remained. He attributes his continued success to a great team and deep belief in God. “I’ve seen a lot of artists come and go, a lot of one-hit wonders, and I just thank God that I’m not one of them. Also, God has blessed me with great people in my corner, like Chris Stokes (manager and business partner) and the T.U.G. family.” And with a winning formula like that, it’s no wonder he’s become a Veteran.

El-P Interview

by Josh Potter

Having just returned from the first segment of his world tour supporting I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead, before departing for the European stretch, and after what he described as more interviews in one month than Elvis had done in his entire life, El-P was kind enough to talk about live hip hop, the hype-machine, and Paula Zahn.

MVRemix: How you feeling? I know you were sick last night.

El-P: Yeah. I’ve been running around like a maniac.

MVRemix: You still out in LA?

El-P: No, no. I just got back last night. MVRemix: Is this part of the tour or what?

El-P: Yeah, it’s the tour. Doing shows – it’s getting serious, you know. We just did six shows, then we go to Europe and then I come back to finish up the tour in the States, so, yeah, it’s officially on.

MVRemix: How’s the live thing working out?

El-P: It’s great. Incredible. Every show’s been sold out. We’ve taken our whole vibe and presentation way above and beyond what I ever thought was possible.

MVRemix: So the material’s been translating well to the stage?

El-P: It certainly does.

MVRemix: Tell me a little bit about your band.

El-P: It’s great. We’ve got an amazing lighting director, sound man. He does a bunch of projection work. The shit’s ill, man.

MVRemix: This album’s so conceptual in nature. How are you approaching the whole live set-up? Track by track, or are you trying to do the whole album straight-up?

El-P: Well, you know, you pick and choose — what you think are good performance songs. We’re not doing the entire record, but a lot of the record. At this point it’s really cool because I don’t have to do a bunch of old songs from other records. And, I think the way we’re approaching the live show — the theatricality of it — we can just do the new material and get out there with it. You know, it’s definitely a work in progress, but I guarantee it’s unlike any other hip hop show out there.

MVRemix: It’s cool that you’re taking on this whole world tour right now. Do you feel like the live hip hop thing is lacking in general?

El-P: Yeah. I’m trying to destroy that whole idea. Absolutely. I think the problem is people don’t take their shit seriously in hip hop. People don’t have any sense of theatricality. People don’t invest their money into the show. See, in the rock world they say, hey, let’s take all of our money from this show and invest it into the next show.

MVRemix: Right.

El-P: To me, it makes so much sense. And so basically, that’s what I’m doing. You know, people don’t want to invest in the presentation — don’t want to take a sound guy, don’t want to take a lighting guy. You know, and I think most people do get a little bit more this way, rather than seeing the same shit. You know, you go, you see a few people on stage, there’s no lighting, there’s no anything, there’s no drama, there’s no costumes… [laughs]

MVRemix: Just a DJ and an MC…

El-P: And then you go to see a fucking rock show and there’s an intensity.

MVRemix: Pyrotechnics and shit…

El-P: It’s just the premise of a hip hop show, and I can’t really say it’s wrong. Most guys are just standing there rapping, and that’s cool and everything, but there are people out there doing much, much crazier shit, so, you know, if you’re trying to compete, you’re losing.

MVRemix: I’m bringing to mind the Mars Volta here. Are you bringing any of those guys, or any of your guests, on stage for this tour?

El-P: Well, no no. The Mars Volta tour put the idea in my head. I mean, when I started hanging out with them and seeing their shows, I was being like ‘Holy shit! How the fuck…’ I mean, the lighting alone… And they were like, ‘we spend every dime on these shows.’ And it made so much sense, because, you know, we’re trying to go somewhere here, but in the hip hop mentality, the indie hip hop mentality everyone’s trying to pinch their pennies so hard, and to me I’m like, look, let me put the fucking money into something that’s gonna step it up a little bit, even if it’s just a little bit.

MVRemix: Yeah.

El-P: If those motherfuckers could just buy a few fucking strobe lights… Anyway, I could talk about it forever, but that’s what I want to do — step it up a notch. You know, it’s a different type of show.

MVRemix: I’ve heard you talk in the past about the whole ‘visceral’ element of music, in terms of your approach to song writing and beat creation, and it seems to play into the live aspect too. Does that sound about right?

El-P: I want to play the music that I can actually lose my god damn mind on stage with. There are only two things in this whole music industry that are actually fun: making records and performing them. The rest is bullshit. I can’t spend two years working on a record and then just come out under some hot white lights. [Laughs] That’s not happening.

MVRemix: Is it nice to get away from your second life of managing the label, for a little while at least?

El-P: Um, yeah, you know, it’s definitely nice. And it’s weird. I’m not, like, use to being self-centered. I’ve forgotten what it feels like to actually, sort of, focus on myself. It’s hard for me, like shit. Even the amount of interviews I do. I mean, it’s like, I’ve probably done more interviews than Elvis has ever done (laughing), like, in the last month. It’s pretty cool. I’m just not use to it. My life in the past five years has been so much more about the cats I care about, helping them get their careers off the ground.

MVRemix: Right.

El-P: But I will say that, yeah. It’s nice mostly because I have a piece of art that I’m excited about. And I also feel like, when my records come out, I get to kind of be the prototype of the working ambitions I believe in.

MVRemix: People had been talking about this album for months before it came out. I mean, the hype-machine was huge. How do you think that’s affected the way you’ve approached it? It’s such a personal album, but at the same time you’re forced to be out in the open so much. How does that affect the way you approach the material?

El-P: It doesn’t affect the way I approach the material. The material is created in a vacuum, whether or not people like it. All you can do is make music that you’re proud of, and put everything you have into it. And when you’re done with that bitch, you can put it out, and know in your heart that you used everything you had at the time. Whether or not people like your shit or hate your shit, that’s really not the point. So, it doesn’t change me at all. But am I happy? Of course I’m happy that people are responding to the record the way they are.

MVRemix: Hey, did you see that Paula Zahn thing about a month ago? It was a special called “Hip Hop: Art or Poison?”

El-P: [Laughs] No. I mean this is nothing new. It’s a question that’s been asked ever since white culture found itself faced with black culture. It’s really about fear, like, who the fuck cares if someone’s asking the question of whether or not hip hop is poison? It’s the fact they used that phrase that shows they don’t know what they’re talking about? The question is, why is everyone so shocked that people are fucking reacting right now. I mean, you can only put out one million fucking cocaine booty-rap songs before someone says something about it. And, I hate to say the typical thing — like, what everyone already thinks I think anyway — but I like MC’s, I like rap music, mainstream, underground, fuck — if you’re nasty you’re nasty. So let’s stop pretending that this shit is dope. As far as I’m concerned, the only people who should be doing drug rap music are the Clipse.

MVRemix: Ok.

El-P: And why, you ask? But you didn’t ask. Because they’re dope MC’s. And they’ve got dope beats. And they’re better than everyone else at it. So, why doesn’t everyone else just go find another style? And people in the mainstream are reacting to this shit because they agree. Intellectually you can see that, of course, it’s kind of wack. And it does have a certain effect that people don’t like. But, that being said, they’re wrong. They’re wrong. They’re only seeing one aspect of it. I think we’re at this point where club music and club culture can again stand up and define what it means to be involved in this. And frankly, they’re going to have to. Once again we’re being asked to explain to everybody in the world who’s looking down through the most distorted lens, “Why exactly is it that we’re supposed to take you seriously? Why exactly is it that this is a positive thing?” And if we can’t answer that question and we can’t look people in the eye, then it’s only our fucking fault.

Original Article

Luke Haines – Off My Rocker At The Art School Bop review

by Todd E. Jones

A myriad of albums in 2007 possessed an insightful focus on England. Although not outwardly popular, Luke Haines uses his United Kingdom heritage as the backbone of his latest album. Recently, many artists have been sharing their view of England in their work. Front man from Gorillaz and Blur, Damon Album created a super group and released “The Good, The Bad, & The Queen”, an album that attempts to display a musical picture of contemporary life in England. Lily Allen’s debut album represents London (especially on her single, “LDN”). Respect them or not, other popular British artists who showcase their English background are Robbie Williams, Damien Rice, and Kasabian. Like any major city, there are the dark streets, sinister stories, and underground legends. Former lead singer for The Auteurs, Luke Haines is the epitome of England’s intelligent underground pop/rock music. He is not some bubblegum pop singer or boy band member. He is one of the most underrated artists of the time. His sharp wit is complemented by his knowledge of interesting subjects and clever lyricism.

Impressively prolific, Haines has been in multiple groups and has released a plethora of albums during the past decade. Originally, he was the front man for The Auteurs. Their bewildering albums include “New Wave”, “Now I’m A Cowboy”, “After Murder Park”, and “How I Learned To Love The Bootboys”. Some classic Auteurs songs include “Showgirl”, “The Rubettes”, “Everything You Say Will Destroy You”, and “Chinese Bakery”. While a member of the group, Haines also created a brilliant side-project titled Baader Meinhof, based on the 70’s German terrorist organization led by Andreas Baader. The concept album, “Baader Meinhof” is an under appreciated classic. Haines also formed Black Box Recorder with John Moore and Sarah Nixey. Black Box Recorder possessed all of the intelligent themes and vibes of The Auteurs, but Nixey’s commanding vocals created a wonderfully sexy sound. As a solo artist, Haines released “The Oliver Twist Manifesto” LP and the official soundtrack for the film, “Christie Malry’s Own Double Entry”. His discography became enormous. A magnificent collection of b-sides, outtakes, and radio sessions were compiled for the excellent 3 CD set, “Luke Haines Is Dead”. In 2007, Haines left Hut Records and signed to Degenerate Music. His new solo album, “Off My Rocker At The Art School Bop” is a collection of songs that represents England in a multitude of ways. While other British artists sing about the obvious elements such as poverty, drugs, war, and social life in England, Haines sings about England’s history, artists, and underground scenes. Although his references are not particularly well known, a little research proves that his topics are wonderfully fascinating. Basically, every single Luke Haines album is both entertaining and educational.

“Off My Rocker At The Art School Bop” adheres to the Luke Haines style and formula of his past work. Short and sweet, the album is comprised of 10 relatively tight songs. Some are very catchy, but others require repeat listens to gain full appreciation. All of the songs display his historic knowledge weaved together by a sharp sense of dark humor. The opening title track is a solid representation of the album’s sound. The guitar hook is hard yet not simple or annoying. The up tempo electronic rhythmic beat creates a somewhat dance-friendly atmosphere. In the chorus, Haines sings, “Can you feel the beat of my art?” The following track and 1st single, “Leeds United” is remarkably British. The arena rock style of the chorus displays an intense pride for Leeds. “The Heritage Rock Revolution” is the album’s only disappointing track. Haines uses his shadowy lyricism to express his love for rock music, “…I love rock and roll / I hope it never dies / Put it in a chocolate box / Wrap it up in cotton wool / and bury it alive…” Another song with deep British undertones, “All The English Devils” is surprisingly catchy and deliciously twisted. The bouncy melody truly makes the song multidimensional. Haines sings, “…All the English devils / Scourge of the little man / my beautiful devils / Just want a little romance…” As a lyricist, Haines always had a fascination with the villains of the world. In this song, he sounds so proud of his country’s treachery. “The Walton Hop” is a song about a popular Thames club that ran from the late 1950’s to the 1990’s. The upbeat track has a driving guitar melody with a bouncy chorus. The album’s finest moment, “Fighting In The City Tonight” is wonderful single. “…I’m so in love with you / I’ll never fall in love again / I’m a lover not a fighter / Our love I will defend…”, sings Haines during the chorus. The track perfectly captures the romance of violence. Towards the end of the song, his love for England is displayed again as he lists parts of Great Britain where he will be “fighting”. “Fighting In The City Tonight” is a perfect Luke Haines pop song that includes his menacing humor, an English grace, a masculine aggression, and a little romance. “Here’s To Old England” is another track that toasts his country. The song is overflowing with astute references about the country’s definitive attributes. Haines sings, “…Here’s to old England / Sliced white bread and milky tea / Sarcasm, a well developed sense of irony…” The odd track, “Freddie Mills Is Dead” continues to display his fascination about death and celebrities. The change in melody and tempo that occurs during the song’s bridge is a refreshing surprise. Another excellent song, “Secret Yoga” is somewhat reminiscent of “Sick Of Hari Krishna” (from “How I Learned To Love The Bootboys” LP). Hypnotically mesmerizing, “Secret Yoga” has melodic mantra for a hook, “Mountains are not mountains and the sun is not the sun…” Atmospherically wondrous, the song is open to multiple interpretations. The album’s closing track, “Bad Reputation” is not as powerful as the other songs that have closed his past albums. Melodically, the chorus has a magically lush sound. Lyrically, Haines sings about the horrible Garry Glitter and how he destroyed The Glitter Band.

England should be proud of Luke Haines. There will never be anyone like Luke Haines. Some hard rock artists sing about gloomy topics like murder and revolution, but their music can be blatantly noisy and obnoxious. In contrast, Haines sings about his dark topics over his graceful music. His music has an intelligent structure and sound but maintains a powerful edge. The guitar melodies and drum rhythms are hard enough to be aggressive, but the music is also sleek and stylish. This whole package accentuates the sinister beauty of his art. “Off My Rocker At The Art School Bop” by Luke Haines is another fine collection of addictively rich songs. Unfortunately, the LP does not possess the same sinister potency of “The Oliver Twist Manifesto” or his soundtrack for “Christie Malry’s Own Double Entry”. Although the sinister themes and astute wit is evident, “Off My Rocker At The Art School Bop” is not as deliciously evil as his previous solo work. Luke Haines uses obscure yet interesting references known by few people. Could Luke Haines become like one of those people he mentions? Will there only be a few people who are familiar with this artist’s amazing work? Regardless of fame, Haines is a brilliantly unique artist who creates enthralling and timeless British indie-rock music. Any fan of his music will appreciate his latest solo effort. “Off My Rocker At The Art School Bop” represents the true underworld and unpublicized side of England. Cheers to Mr. Haines!

Original Article

Evidence: The Evidence Is All There

by Dwain Lucktung

“I mention her a lot on the album, as I realised I could be depressed for the rest of my life or I could just understand that it’s a part of a life cycle, and just to keep my head up and give her her props and the life that she deserves,” he says.

Evidence utters these words two years after his mother’s death. The reserved Californian has rolled on stage for years as an integral member of rap group Dilated Peoples, but is now alone in the limelight, with the March 20 release of his solo debut, The Weatherman LP. It is dedicated to the woman who raised him on the streets of Santa Monica.

Evidence

On the 21-track album, bouncing beats, ill scratches and catchy hooks revolve around the relentless Ev, who spits pure adoration for his mother. It is obvious from the opening track, “I Know,” to the final song, “I Still Love You,” who the inspiration was for the record.

“Sometimes it’s a tricky situation because I feel like she’s not physically here to hear it,” he continues. “So I think, ‘Am I too late?’ Or ‘Am I doing this for selfish reasons?’ But after a while, I figured out its really good therapy for me, to give her the credit she deserves by celebrating her life through this album.”

It’s possible to say Ev literally jumped at a solo release after Dilated weighed out their contract with Capitol Records in 2006. The presentation of a platform to alleviate his status as a solo artist on the hip-hop map was too tempting, as Mr. Slow Motion explained that he has never let fans get too close to his private world over some 10 years of spitting and crowd-pumping alongside, and at times behind, close friends Rakaa and DJ Babu.

“I had a line on our last album, 20/20, where I said, ‘I wear my heart on my sleeve/I just got my jacket over it.’ That’s how I’ve always been, I put it out there but not all the way,” he says. “But on The Weatherman LP, you get to know Evidence because I’m letting you into my life and my guard isn’t up so much. I’ve shown a lot more vulnerability, so I’m not just that guy in a group; I’m establishing who I am as a person.”

Countless hours in the recording studios went into the album. The proud perfectionist claims he re-recorded each track around five times, and despite others’ praising him, saying, “This is good, we’re gonna make it, it’s the shit!” Ev would always respond with something like, “Fuck man, I gotta do this again!” Hard grinding, heart and soul, nothing less.

When asked about the creative process, he complains less about the stress and reminisces over the mad collaborations on the album that signalled “when the fun really started.” He described working on “Let Yourself Go” with Phonte from Little Brother as “incredible,” doing “Perfect Storm” with Rakaa as “really just fun” and watching singer Res do the chorus for ‘Believe in Me” as “amazing.”

Other artists featured on The Weatherman LP include Alchemist, Mad Child, Defari, Joe Scudda, Slug, Chace Infinite and Sick Jacken. “All of these people who came through for my album came through out of love,” says an appreciative Evidence. “They’re not strangers I was put in a room with. These are people in my phone book, who are incidentally a lot of the people I’m feeling right now.”

One can only wait and see now if he can exceed the rep he gained as a soldier in the Dilated crew. In the mean time, Ev will be rapping it up with Alchemist in one-off pockets around the country. The man is unlikely to sit and stare, as he has had little more than the hip-hop game on his mind since being that “bugging” 13-year-old on Venice Beach who moved in so fatefully next door to QD3, the son of legendary producer Qunicy Jones.

That was then. This is now. Nothing’s changed, as Evidence remains “running around looking for someone to do a song with.” He epitomizes the quotes “Patience is a virtue” and “Good things come to those who wait.”

Whether The Weatherman LP—and Ev’s solo career, in turn—soars to hip-hop acclaim or flops at the first hurdle, two things are undeniable: A proud mother is watching over her compassionate son, and this rapper is enjoying his time in the limelight.

“Now when I’m doing my shows, even though it’s not as big as with Dilated, they came to see me and that’s a good feeling. I’m just building it up from ground zero but it’s going to be a lot of fun doing it.”

Original Article

Mr. Lif Interview

MVRemix caught up with Mr. Lif while on tour with Cage at Richards on Richards in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, (July 2006). This interview was never added to the site in a transcribed form and is only available through this video.

We interviewed Mr. Lif twice in the past. Those interviews can be read here and here

Raekwon Interview (Transcripts + Video)

It’s hard to believe that it’s been more than a decade since the release of his highly-acclaimed solo debut, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. Despite having dropped two other solo albums since – 1999’s Immobilarity and 2003’s The Lex Diamond Story – the streets have been fiending for more of Raekwon the Chef’s grimy street appeal that first caught their attention back in ’95. The streets asked for it, and the Chef responded.

This summer, Wu Tang Clan’s best storyteller will drop Only Built for Cuban Linx II. On one of many mini-tours to promote it, the Chef sat down with MVRemix to talk about the album, being an icon and a teddy bear, and hip-hop as a tall bitch with big feet.

Raekwon MVRemix.com interview

MVRemix: So how long you been on tour, like late March to mid-April?

Raekwon: Yeah, something like that. A two-and-a-half week thing.

MVRemix: Is that just on the west coast?

Raekwon: Nah, that’s international right now, you know, all the different countries, just letting people know to get ready for the album. Not too many artists that take it all across the world. I like to just travel the world, let the word be known, so I can be like, ‘Yeah y’all.’ At least the places I won’t be able to always to be at, at least I can show them some honor, you know.

MVRemix: The obligatory shit: You got a release date for [Only Built 4] Cuban Linx II yet?

Raekwon: It’s gonna be in the summer, you know. It’s not really no date solidified yet, because things can happen and change, you know. We’re gonna be shooting for, like, June or July, you know. It’s probably looking like a 70/30 probability.

MVRemix: I know you don’t want to give away too many details about the album. You’re very secretive about it—

Raekwon: Very much.

MVRemix: But Busta’s executive producing?

Raekwon: No doubt.

MVRemix: And mostly RZA beats?

Raekwon: Mhmm. [Nods]

MVRemix: Some Dr. Dre, some Erick Sermon, some Alchemist?

Raekwon: It’s possible, it’s possible. I mean, you doing all the answering! Saying everything that’s correct! You know, I don’t really want to give too much information, because it kind of takes the fun out of it. And, you know, my whole thing, at the end of the day, this album is just me with a street mentality. I’m not really worried about any press or any commercial radio, you know what I mean? I couldn’t make Cuban Linx [II] with that frame of mind because that wasn’t my frame of mind when I made the first one. So basically I just zoned out and just really got on some strong production shit, you know, compliments of Dre, RZA, Scram Jones, you know, J. Dilla, God bless him, he’s a maniac on the beats. Couple of things that are already going to make it classic, so I feel good right now.

MVRemix: Yes or no: the whole Clan, minus the late ODB, is confirmed to appear on the album.

Raekwon: [Nods]

MVRemix: The tracks you and Ghostface did together were done via e-mail. How do you feel about the chemistry between the two of you when it’s done that way as opposed to in the studio together?

Raekwon: One thing about me and Ghost, we both extremists. We like powerful production and we know we got our hands on some big production. To me, it’s just natural, because when we get in a room together, the chemistry just falls in place. It’s like being around somebody that’s an athlete, and you an athlete, and when y’all talk the same talk and move the same way, things start to play out better towards the future of whatever you’re doing. It’s about that confidence, you know what I mean?

MVRemix: You’ve said repeatedly that this album is going to be what the fans want, what they asked for. For example, you told MTV.com: “Nobody’s ever satisfied. At the end of the day, this album is gonna be the album dudes want. It ain’t gonna be the album Rae felt he should have given. This is gonna be what y’all wanted.” What is the album you felt you should have given?

Raekwon: One thing about me, you know I like to be versatile, and not just go into a certain kind of world where— this world, which is basically the cocaine era. This is a movie right here, you know what I mean? This is a movie of my life and where I had been before I even became the successful Raekwon. So for people to want that, that’s cool for me, but when you look at my name chef, I have many different dishes that I like to serve, you know. For this fortunate album here, that I’m able to make, I love the passion of this album right here, because it takes it back to the hunger of hip-hop. It’s needed right now. I understand that I may be the last man on the totem pole that can pull of such an album with this kind of sound. You know, it’s about the production as well the gangsta lifestyle, you know what I mean? It was more or less about, we street, like all the way. You didn’t have to look at Wu Tang on any commercial level, or how big our fanbase got. We always had the slang, the talk, the style, the different kind of music, the beats. The formula was just totally upscale. Now, you just get a bunch of whatever. You don’t get art at its best no more.

MVRemix: Real quick: Any updates on the [Wu] reunion tour?

Raekwon: I can’t comment on that. [Smile] I can’t. I’m sorry.

MVRemix: Ghost was saying he was a little disappointed with the last couple [Wu Tang] albums [The W and Iron Flag]. What are your thoughts on that?

Raekwon: Ghost can say all that shit, but at the end of the day, it’s like, one thing people gotta realize about Wu Tang: we make good albums, man. We might not be the best single-pickin’ dudes, but I know as far as making good albums, you compare any Wu artist to anybody’s album and they can’t fuck with us when it’s more than one song. You may have one or two good videos, but— sometimes Ghost be exaggerating, you know what I mean, with his mind frame of thinking that the albums be wack. I know anything I do, I don’t never make nothing wack. Any of my songs, we might not have as much focus as we wanted to, but we don’t make wack shit, so I’m not going for that. You can go get anybody’s album, put our shit next to it, lyrics, beats, whatever you want to do, it’s self-explanatory how we really get down. That’s what people look at us for; they look at us for album. Wu is a whole different family. People gotta remember that. We can talk about tennis balls today and talk about big, heavy pieces of ice tomorrow. It’s about the creativity that lives inside of us. We’re unpredictable. You gotta remember that, you know what I mean? For me, it’s like, I learn from every album. It’s just a vibe. Everything is not made to be the same, so that’s just him talking that bullshit. I ain’t going for that. He might have not liked it, but that’s cool. To me, I think we overkill ourselves sometimes with just being our worst critics. Sometimes we don’t get a chance to promote our albums either, so they won’t get the proper loving they get, because there’s no promotion on it. We’re not moving it like that.

MVRemix: What did you get your first big pay check from and what did you do with it?

Raekwon: Robbin’ and stealin’! [Smiles] Nah. Um, I don’t even remember, actually. I think I bought me a car. Bought me a Lex, or Acura or some shit. Got up out the hood, you know what I mean? Gave my mom some money, my family some money, then kept it moving. I wanted to get out of the neighborhood. I went and bought me a house.

Original Article [extended]

Dru Down Interview

by Jeremy Simmonds

MVRemix: Where in the world have you toured?

Dru Down: I’ve been all over. Everywhere except China.

MVRemix: That would be pretty big if Dru Down rocked China. Have you been to Canada?

Dru Down: Yeah I’ve been to Canada a few times. As far as rocking shows, I’ve never done one, but I’ve been there cuz I do this pimp thang! You know what talking ‘bout I’m real in the fields.

MVRemix: In September of 2006 you dropped your sixth studio album titled “Cash Me Out” in collaboration with your cousin Lee Majors. Tell everyone out there about this project and your upcoming “Crack Muzic” mixtapes?

Dru Down: Crack Muzic is all out about taking a mutahfucka-it’s going to be inspired by it’s some different from Dru Down. People ain’t heard me rap over others, been waiting for. It’s with my blood cousins, but at the same time there gonna have to love my cousins…which is real family.

MVRemix:In your music you make a point to express your roots and where you come from. Tell me about how Oakland shaped you as a person and why you take such pride in representing your town?

Dru Down: I’m 35, people don’t know. I feel like I’m still 20, like Jay Z. We’re out here in the gusto, if you see me you think of that. Hyphy is just another term of mobbin’. As far as the 50s, that’s the hometown. That’s my base, that’ my heart, that’s where I was raised. I been here for a lifetime. Everyone have a grandchild when they been here, I been back in forth between counties in La. But you know I stay town bound to the fullest. East Oakland, North and West, that’s my town, we all Oakland.

MVRemix: Do you ever feel as though you’d get more acclaim and attention if you were based in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta?

Dru Down: Well right now maybe Atlanta, ‘cause it’s on fire. Right now they on fire. We had that, then LA took it, and New York. But as far as respect, I get respect as soon as I step off a plane. I’m different by my ways, I stay oceaned up, curls, gold teeth, town business all the time. People ain’t gona say I’m NY, people know I’m a Cali cat, you know East O.

MVRemix: On a number of your songs you talk about police corruption and police brutality, such as “Bad Boys” among others.

Dru Down: Police ain’t nothing but a gang. They’ve been a gang, that’s way back if you look at the Al Capone days. They made it bigger, legit, just to stop him. People may do crime in the streets, and they’re made to catch it. That’s all it is, some people don’t understand crime, they a gang. Fuck the police, in my book. Any time they try to arrest me, I’m running. Any time they try to put a cuff on me, I’m out the dirt! American society is up on police brutality, that’s why people run, cuz of the situation of brutality. They don’t know what’s gonna happen. But when you’re legit, you can talk shit! [laughs]

MVRemix: Explain the origin of your word “pimpydoism” and what it means.

Dru Down: Oh pimpydoism is a mix of everything. That’s me, within all the game a mofo got and what goes with it, town business, within family origin of blood line; a pimp.

MVRemix: You have a lot of character and creativity in your writing and rapping. Among them is Jackrabbit the Bugsy. How would you describe that character, how it is incorporated into your music, and you come up with it?

Dru Down: Just fast rapping, Dru Down is typically more slow, but from my album “Pimpin Phernelia” that’s how everyone know about Jackrabbit the Bugsy. The fast style of rhyming.

Original Article