First off we just want to say thanks for taking the time out to do this interview for us at Monsta Musik.
Thank you for having me!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you have released?
I am a warrior and advocate for all elements of hip hop. I am from Southern California/Los Angeles and have been doing music since around 2002. I rep Guerrilla Republik, Dead Silence & the Animals. The good people at Puma also support me with gear so shout out to them.
La Pura Vida – 2007
Almas Intocables – 2008
Spiritual Warfare – 2008
Spiritual Warfare 2 – 2009
Cold in the Hot Sun – 2010
Spiritual Warfare 3 – 2010
Shipwreck Diaries – September 2011
“La Guerra de la Mente” – my international collaboration album is coming November 15th, 2011. Been featured on Kemo the Blaxicans album, a Wu Tang Compilation “Deadly Dosage,” Two Towers from Denmark’s 2 releases, some Guerrilla Republik compilations featuring hardcore truth spitters from all over the world and more. I just did my 3rd European tour in 10 months and I’m about to go to Nicaragua to perform in October 2011.
A lot of independent artist’s now run their own labels. Do you think this is the way forward? Or do you hope one day to get signed to a major or another label?
People need to take a look around and soak up game. Analyze the game and find your lane and go. Too many lazy artists, I’m allergic to non-productivity. I’ve been independent since day one. Kemo the Blaxican got me started and I’ve been going ever since. I performed all over the US, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Scotland, England, Norway, Denmark. Most of these countries, 2-3 times each, all on my own hustle. 100% me and the people who believe in me. Our company is called Outstanding Media, though more of a music business related company than record label but we get it in.
Formats of music are changing all the time, but we asked you ‘CD or MP3’ which would you say is better and why?
I like CD’s because I like tripping out on the artwork, production credits, etc. The full package. In my car, I play CD’s and there is nothing like loud bass with the windows down.
Are you releasing your music on CD or MP3 and how are you finding the different formats?
I do both. CD’s are good for the albums, MP3’s for mixtape/street albums. With MP3’s, I can reach people in far away places and introduce new people to my music. This strategy has worked well for me.
Apart from the genre of music that you make what else do you listen to?
I like dancehall, reggae, music like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Black Keys, Manu Chao, classic music from Mexico & Cuba. I’m a music lover in general as it has always been a way to express our joys and sorrows.
Is there any music that you hate and just can’t listen too?
American Country music. Recently, I was on tour in Norway with my brother Capital X and they were playing country music in the gas station. It shocked me to see American music being popular in other countries. Few things annoy me more than cowboys.
So let’s talk about how people can support you. Do you have music out there people can buy?
Cold in the Hot Sun – 2010 – my 2nd solo album
My 1st album is there too.
Go to www.guerrillarepublik.net for hardcore hip hop. I’ve been featured on some of their compilations alongside some of the illest fire spitters hip hop has ever seen. Recently, they put out a compilation with all proceeds going to the Troy Davis scholarship fund. This is a man murdered by the US government, unjustly.
Aside from that, check out:
Shipwreck Diaries – Listen/download my recent European promo album
Spiritual Warfare 3 – listen to this dose of raw fire power:
Do you have any merchandise for sale yet, or do you do anything in the industry that you want to talk about?
I made some shirts recently for a couple of shirts and will make some more. More importantly, than me is this global movement of #occupy___ city of your choice. This is a beautiful paradigm shift and the wind of change is here, now. From the riots in the UK, the Middle East where they are suffering brutal consequences, to the mass protests all over the US. In protest of the 1% depriving basic necessities to the bulk of the human population.
If there was a position of power that was ‘world leader’ and you was chose as the person to fill that position, what laws or things would you change and why?
These racist politicians in the US and their laws regarding immigration on stolen land would be thrown out into the abyss. We need laws protecting the environment, do away with the prison industry and make an attempt to rehabilitate law breakers like they do in Norway. Stop all these oil wars. What was Iraq is now Libya with the same motive. IMF, UN, puppet shows seemingly. Pharmaceutical companies would go down. Chemicals in food would stop. Monsanto would be gutted, their seeds burned. I could go on forever. I see good examples in Europe regarding some of this stuff.
People are saying that live shows are the way forward for acts to earn money, but then we hear it’s hard to get bookings? What’s your take on this?
Live shows, for sure. If you not getting booked, you need to network, hustle, etc. or throw your own event. Throwing shows is not easy, but gets easier over time. No one wants an internet rapper.
Who is or was the best musician in the world and why?
I’m really into the musicianship of Black Sabbath, Buena Vista Social Club from Cuba, Led Zeppelin, Rage Against the Machine and a lot of blues. Couldn’t name just 1.
So what does the future hold for you?
Shows in Nicaragua, Mexico, all over the US and back to Europe. “La Guerra de la Mente,” with Guatemala’s DJ Flako which is my collab album with MC’s from 8 countries is coming November 15th. “Bittersweet,” my 3rd official solo album is coming soon and I will release a mixtape prior to the album dropping. This is within the next few months.
Once again thanks for your time. Anyone you want to shout out or anything you want to add before you go?
Shout out to the homie Nick VanKrunk for schooling me on the old school show, “Graffiti Rock.” Respect to my Guerrilla Republik collective, Capital X/Bosslady, Dead Silence. Shout out to D’Marc for helping with literally everything. That’s my Manager/Co-conspirator! La Chinita for being down, period! Special thanks to Ikuestion, Anura, Nibu, Gabe Rosales, Carlos for all creating my sound on “Bittersweet.” Thank you to the legendary Wilson/Reporte Ilegal from Mexico’s 1st political hip hop group. Thank you to el Gafeto. To Scotty, for years of support. To all the sites in the UK, Norway, Mexico, Argentina, Guatemala for showing me love. Shout to JDubs for everything. From filming videos for international TV channel Mun2 of me in a lion mask in the middle of the street in downtown LA, to the interviews. Shout to Marsha in London for her support. Check out www.jessehazelip.com for prolific art & www.michaelalvarezart.com as well. These 2 do all of the album artwork for me. Ain’t no pictures of me posing on my albums, noooo! To all the warriors worldwide dieing to live, fighting for peace. Revolution is love.
Okay please give us all your relevant internet links so people can connect with you.
Thank you again!
Interview by David Wellar