by Hugo Lunny
MVRemix: For those that are now hearing about Cymarshall Law for the first time, tell us about yourself.
Cymarshall Law: Lets see Born in the U.K. ended up with LL Cool J’s “I’m Bad” tape sometime in the 80’s, loved it. Moved to NJ when I was 9… fast forward somewhere between a Snoop Dogg “Doggystyle” tape and “Ready To Die Album” I started MCing, no one would let me get studio time so I busted my ass bought my own equipment studied and learned how to use everything from beat machines to Pro Tools. Now I wake up and roll into the studio in only my boxers – gotta love the comfort of having a studio in your home.
The Cymarshall Law is to be you stay true and get yours while you can, so I try to display that through my songs by way of me being a creative artist finding new ways to express artistic appetite. I’ve either been on stage with or made songs with all my favorite indie artists and probably yours too, toured Canada, Europe, been on the Vans Warped Tour 2007, EOW MC Champ 2007, Unsigned Hype in the Source’s Hip Hop Weekly October 2007. Got a non-exclusive deal with Rawkus Records by way of the Rawkus 50 situation to release my album “Hip Hop in the Flesh” digitally that dropped all over the net November 27th iTunes, Amazon etc.
It’s been a big year, I may have missed something but in a nutshell. I love hip hop and I am that in the physical form. My Rap style is very similar that of Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kun Do, to be….as you are. I’ve been called true and real hip hop but I’d rather just be called me hip hop. I consider myself lyrical, creative and I love to bounce on beats like Tigger. Oh, I write a lot of stories too, because I had so many stories on my last projects I got a bit of name for being a really good story teller.
I use my imagination…that’s one thing I think the game lacks, a lot of heads are the same…..but it’s crazy ‘cause sometimes an artist such as myself maybe over looked for being different. I find that highly ironic. Everyone crying for something different but when something different comes along its like, “Oh, he different I don’t know If I can mess with that…” Funny stuff, but I’m sticking to my guns, that’s what all the greats did then soon everyone began to follow like they knew all along what was good.
Anyhow I have at least 2 albums coming out in 08 , the part 2 to my 07 album “Hip Hop in the Flesh,” it’s called “Hip Hop in the Soul” coming in April or May 08 and also about a month earlier my group Everliven Sound has an album coming out in March. I’m flirting with getting a deal for my projects , but the right company has to present itself, I am looking too….but will not hesitate to put out the projects on my own label Freedom Entertainment it was done this year and I found great success because the ultimate goal is to be your own boss, ya know? I know long answer but it could have been much longer. Anyhow let’s move on.
MVRemix: How did the moniker Cymarshall Law come about?
Cymarshall Law: I was told by my bro Skit Slam that before I went head first into rapping I needed a name that represent who I was at the time; Playstation had just came out we was the first on our block to have it . One of our first games we had was Tekken, people came from far and wide to catch ass whoopings by me using the character Marshall Law, so one day when I’m flipping through this Gamepro video game magazine looking for a Emcee Name, ‘cause back then Emcee’s were Superheros or just like ill characters to me so I wanted a name like that. Marshall Law was just sticking out, so I started rolling with that for my first years, then I started hearing about 3 different other Marshall Laws and I couldn’t take it. My whole steelo is to be original, so one day after hearing a Marshall Law get shout out on this mixtape in like 2001 I was like I’m switching it up.
Luckily my real name is Cymar. It’s an original name my Dad made up so I just added the Cy in front of Mar….so now if anyone try to come talking bout they the first Cymarshall Law besides me they on some BS cause I was born with this name homey! Besides that I feel like I’m the martial law of hip hop ,when things are out of control I come through to make things right , when people say “Hip hop is dead,” I come to say, “No… I am hip hop in the flesh and have hip hop in the soul and the soul can never die it is for everliving,” hence my group name Everliven Sound.
MVRemix: As a writer, who has influenced you?
Cymarshall Law: When I first started rhyming everyone used to say I sound like my brother Skit Slam so he was the first influence, before I rhymed I used to jump up and down on my bed spitting his raps. Besides that I’m influenced by everyone and everything I can always find something in anything that I like.
MVRemix: You’re originally from the UK; do you follow the Hip Hop scene over there much?
Cymarshall Law: I can’t say I do too much I would like to more though , when I go over there I’m always asking the locals who’s hot out there then and bringing back a CD or two. The last one I liked was a brother name Klashnekoff. I know Dizzee Rascal is big my boy DJ Ings had a dope track from him on his most recent mix CD….they do this thing called Grime which is a form of Hip Hop , these boys go in so yea I try to follow a bit but its hard when you’re not always on that scene.
MVRemix: Although you’re now affiliated with Rawkus, did you, like many others feel that they had taken a turn for the worst after the “Soundbombing” series went in an unexpected direction towards it’s end?
Cymarshall Law: I mean they went on a definite hiatus….I’m really not sure if that was planned or what so I don’t know if it was a turn for the worst or what…. I do know if that never would have happened my sss might not have no deal with Rawkus right now even though it is non-exclusive at this point so…. It is what it is.
MVRemix: What exactly is the Rawkus 50 and how did you get involved with it?
Cymarshall Law: Rawkus 50 is a movement of artists coming together to make a change in the game for the better. According to Rawkus we’re the next 50 hottest emcees in the game. One of the guys who works with Rawkus knew me for a while from me doing shows with Pumpkinhead when I was still a youngin’. He liked me then and wanted to help me out and finally found a opportunity to get me in, so he offered me a spot on the 50 . They did have a contest were apparently thousands of people entered to be on the 50, I however had no knowledge of the contest and no one told me about it, luckily one day I opened my MySpace and there was an offer to join.
Cymarshall Law: MVRemix: How did you end up hooking up with KRS-One?
Cymarshall Law: My main man Aubrey who has been helping me with things Hip Hop related recently linked us together. I hit KRS with my album “Hip Hop in the Flesh” at an in-store he did at Fat Beats earlier in 2007. Aubrey let me know he was feeling it especially my single “Addiction,” KRS was in town for some shows and when the opportunity presented itself and I was ready, KRS was kind enough to lay down a verse one night. I’m sitting there watching him lay his verse just in Awe it was surreal like, “Yo, is teach really in front of me laying down ad libs for my song? Wow!” KRS is the ultimate hip hop figure and he gave me the stamp of approval. We had a great convo he got into my head I asked him some things I wanted to know and history was made that night.
MVRemix: Tell me about the group Everliven – how did it come about and who’s involved?
Cymarshall Law: My brother Skit Slam was an emcee before I even started writing he had a group called Everliven Sound, just him and his DJ/Producer. They were right in the mix in those Golden NYC Nuyorican Lyricist Lounge Days. When I got to be like 18 or 19 after he had already been on several Scienz of Life Records one of which was on Bobbitos old Fondle Em Records (“Nine Ether Remix”) he moved back from ATL where he had just secured a deal with Big Juss’ then Subverse Music and asked me to join the group because he felt the best way to make music was with your family. He decided after a convo with MF Doom, who at the time was also on Subverse. So yeah, Cymarshall Law and Skit Slam are Everliven Sound and when the Brothers unite its something serious. We have a whole album coming out in March called “Freedom” its fully produced by these boys from Sweden named the Beatnikz. Everyone says I pick good beats well these boys beats were so hot we had to make a whole album with them…check for that new Everliven Sound Album March 2008.
MVRemix: What about the “Cyology” series, how did that begin?
Cymarshall Law: “Putting me in a box is like getting a Lion in kittens cage” off a joint I did called Laxative Rap. Because my music style enables me to go from A to Z all while maintaining who I am, very versatile I’d say is one of my best strengths. “Cyology” means the study of Cy, so on these projects I wanted to allow the listener to study all of me. There’s a little bit of everything on these CDs’ stories, straight spittin’ topics… sometimes my boys be like, “Yo Cy come with a whole CD just straight Spittin!” But I like to mix it up because I can, some people can’t.
The response from the first CD was incredible, so I Did a part 2 – surpassed 1 in my eyes, then in 2006 I had a chance meeting with Jay-Z tried to give the man a CD and he didn’t want it because there were some unoriginal beats on there. I kicked myself for a month after that… So “Cyology 3” will be a street album with all original beats.
MVRemix: Now I’m one of the many people that can’t stand Myspace, but it seems to have done wonders for a great number of artists. What are your thoughts on the site and how it has contributed to your following?
Cymarshall Law: All hail Myspace! I’m sure my fanbase has quadrupled because of it, I’ve landed myself shows in Europe because of it, got on TV because of it, found my favorite producers because it. I can go on and on like my favorite Badu Song. Man why do you hate MySpace? You shouldn’t hate anything.
MVRemix: Tell me about the album, “Hip Hop In The Soul.” I know you’re working on it and have yet to find a home, but how’s it going thus far?
Cymarshall Law: I have 20 Tracks completed; the whole album is produced by Mr. Joeker, a beast of a producer from Hungary – found on MySpace. Because I have him I don’t feel to bad about not getting beats from the producers with a bigger name that were quoting me 1500 for a beat that’s pretty impossible with 2 kids and no label backing besides my own. Anyway he’s that dope. I’m going to make about 10 more joints then wrap it up, its like a part 2 to my current album “Hip Hop in the Flesh.”
The only guests so far are KRS-ONE , Skit Slam and Supastition. I’m not big on having an album loaded with guests you don’t even know, maybe 1 or 2 more features but they have to be right. I step it up on this album….I got some songs were I’m just straight spazzing on the mic. I wanted to show everyone like, “Yo…I do these topics and stories but some of my favorite albums growing up the Redman’s and Bustas these dudes just got on the mic and spazzed for a whole album!” So I got a few joints like that, I always will come with the hot Stories since I found people seem to really like that about me. I have some ill Topics and an altogether tight project. The first album I did was really good, but if you liked that one you’re going to love the new one, “Hip Hop In The Soul” coming April 2008.
MVRemix: How did the title come about?
Cymarshall Law: I was building off the title of my current album “Hip Hop in the Flesh” the next step to that would be “soul.” What’s the difference you ask? The soul is deeper than flesh.
MVRemix: What do you wish to achieve with the album?
Cymarshall Law: Well according to everyone I talk to I have a buzz in the game right now, but I feel like a bigger buzz is on the way and this album is the push that I will need. I’m respected by my peers, but I see more respect. I see more tours and more publicity; I see those who didn’t get the memo before getting to this time. Since the album came out I’ve been living off the money my label has made me, it’s going well because I don’t see me ever getting a regular job again, but I see it getting better with the release of this album. CD and MP3 sales have been real good for this boy who came from a small town in England that’s not even on the map, to doing a song with KRS-One – the proof is in the pudding , things are getting better and will continue too.
MVRemix: With regards to “Hip Hop In The Flesh,” how long did the record take to record and how planned was it – ie did you set out with a tracklisting and stick to it or record a number of songs and chose a select amount leaving the rest on the “cutting room floor”?
Cymarshall Law: Actually I thought I had a deal secured with Red Army Music / Soulspazm then at the time I believe they lost there distro with Studio Distribution and I was out the picture with them back then I was supposed to come out with an EP called “The NeverEnding Story” EP with all concept stories, that was done. Then when things fell through I turned that EP into the full length album and did more than just stories that’s why there are so many stories on “Hip Hop in the Flesh,” there wont be as much on HH In The Soul I did have a few songs that were gonna go on the project then at the last minute I took them off. I didn’t feel they were strong enough and didn’t have much of a place on the album… I already had like 17 joints so they got left on the cutting room floor. They may resurface on “Cyology 3” though. The record took I’d say six months to get done maybe seven, this one isn’t taking as long because I’m only working with one producer.
MVRemix: Any videos planned?
Cymarshall Law: For sure, I mean I went from having no videos last year to 4 this year. I found some great outlets to get that accomplished I’m just deciding which songs to do for the new project.
MVRemix: What separates you from other rappers? Why should I opt to listen to your music above others?
Cymarshall Law: Because you’ve never heard nothing like me before and if you did it was a mix of that early nineties golden era. But I’m coming with a new school twist, because I’m representing you and your everyday grind not some fabricated b.s., because when you hear me you don’t have to wonder who it is on the track. If you’ve heard me once before when I start my verse you know it’s me because of my distinctive voice and style, not only am I different but I’m excellent at what I do. It’s one thing to be different but then to be able to do something with it is what’s up. I have mad flavor more than sometimes I know what to do with.
I’m constantly growing and becoming more, every time you hear me I get better and its not by accident I know exactly what I’m doing. I see other people looking to other artists for how they should move next. Me, I’m moving on my own accord making others follow me mess with people I’m messing with use ideas I used etc. Been doing it my whole life, I’m the one who busted my ass working a $7dollar an hour delivery job to buy my mac and other studio equipment to record my own music. When I bring my studio equipment places and pull it out of the box dudes look at me like I’m an Alien . “How Did You?” I busted my ass because I believe in myself! You can too I say, but do they do it? No. I’m the one who busted my ass working three jobs to put out my HHIF album because I was tired of trying to get labels and people to take interest by asking for a handout. Are they taking interest now? Hell yes! Hip Hop is fighting for a cause I’m fighting for mine. Because in a sentence I am hip hop in the flesh.
MVRemix: Have fun with this one, a la “Fight Club” – “If you could fight any celebrity, who would you fight”?
Cymarshall Law: Damn… Oh, I Got It, My Man Randy Jackson from American Idol you know, “Dude, you just don’t have it this week.” Is he a celebrity? I mean he’s on T.V. [laughs] He just don’t seem… I don’t know when he’s talking I find myself looking at the T.V. like “Oh shut the fuck up Randy!”
MVRemix: Would you win in the fight against him?
Cymarshall Law: It would be like the Hulk with brass knuckles fighting Bambi. I Win.
MVRemix: What next do we have to look forward to from you?
Cymarshall Law: I’m gonna drop this Single with KRS soon , its called “Control” and the first single off “Hip Hop in the Soul.” I’m doing some work with a Label from Cali called Raw Poetix look for their compilation coming out soon… Everliven Album… “Cyology”… and relentless touring.
MVRemix: Any last words?
Cymarshall Law: 2007 was an excellent year for me. Thanks for the interview, thank you for you all being a part of it. Thank you for my rapidly growing fanbase, labels, booking etc. Hit me up, I’m interested to make some big things happen in 2008 my email is firstname.lastname@example.org Big up to the new generation of dope emcees I’m coming up with, I respect ya’ll, you motivate me. I hope I’m doing the same for ya’ll. Add me on Myspace people holla at me before I blow and have some person at the label checking my shit for me! [laughs] Nah I’m playing Ill always check my own email but seriously hit me up www.myspace.com/cymarshalllaw and check out www.myspace.com/everlivensound too and www.cymarshalllaw.com I have god’s favor and I’m thankul for it. Now lets get it! I’m going in! Peace!