you been lately?
"Funky Fresh in the Flesh: Volume Two" is in stores now, that's
what it is.
a real dope project. What can you tell people about that?
music, Hip Hop in its essence. We have strong production, quality producers,
strong lyrical content, and strong MC's that have been doing this all
their life. That's what it is, good music. No more, no less.
it working with Diamond D on it?
good people. We have history with Diamond. We've known Diamond since '92
or '93. Diamond is family. Whenever we call him to send tracks, it's done.
He's always looking forward to working with us, so that's a plus. He did
"Manifest Destiny" on the U.T.P. project too, and he did the
second track on this CD called "Green Boogie."
it working with Da Beatminerz?
They come from the real essence of Hip Hop. Whenever you pick up a Medina
Green CD, it's going to have those classic Hip Hop elements in it.
feel like a lot of music coming out today is missing out that authenticity?
To tell you
the truth, I don't get caught up in the matrix at all. I know where I've
come from and I know where I'm headed, so I don't point fingers and criticize.
It is what it is. We still elevate and grow, so that's a plus.
a Medina Green song made?
We make vibe
music, we make zone music. We don't go into the studio with a topic for
the day or saying we need to talk about this or that. We just go into
the studio. Of course we do some pre-production, but we just go in the
studio and go with the vibe or feel.
does that vibe come from?
being family. It's different when you get together with the homies from
around the way, the homies that you chop it up with. What keeps us grounded
when we go into the studio is that we are family first. I'm not going
to do something that's out of my character, because if I do, somebody
in my circle is going to ask me what I'm doing, and vice versa. Being
family first keeps things grounded, and knowing where we come from. We've
been doing this for a real long time and we come from the real essence
of Hip Hop with DJ'ing and when microphones were on cords. We had a following
before Medina Green and we had a following as U.T.P., so people know.
element is able to go past the music as well
right. It's business, but at the end of the day it's a lifestyle and more
than a business.
you and Mos Def help each other?
and support that we need. We're brothers. We're the same, but we're very
different also. You get to learn that through listening to the music and
by seeing some of our shows.
Green has been working hard, putting out a lot of product in the past
year. How important is it to have fresh material on a consistent basis?
important nowadays. You can't take any lay-offs nowadays. You have to
stay consistent. If you do take a lay-off, somebody will be creeping on
the come-up. You have to be on your job. You have to be up very early
and in bed very late.
DCQ bring to the group?
to make sure that the beats are right and that it's something we can get
down to. I keep things in order, I scout beats, I take care of all of
I'm like the head of the Voltron over here. We have
our own mini-Voltron over here and I'm the head. The music we make, you
could put it along the lines of a Mos Def or a Talib Kweli, or the Common
Sense's or the Kanye West's, the "Native Tongue" style, but
we're doing our thing with our own twist. I may kick it about things that
you may not hear a Mos Def or Talib kick it about, and you can also hear
me drop some jewels and the group drop some jewels.
been MC'ing for awhile. How have you seen yourself grow from when you
first came on the scene?
elevation and making the right decisions in life, by being responsible.
sister Ces still rhyming?
is for the most part. Right now, she's just laying low. We've got the
treats in the oven cooking up on Ces right now. She's laying low, but
you should be expecting to hear some things from Ces real soon.
did U.T.P. have on the underground when you first came out?
people. People weren't ready. We were way ahead of our time. For us to
be able to put the album out 10 years later, and it's still a success
and still does well, it just lets you know that there's a place for everything.
Even though the project got shelved 10 years ago, we can still put it
out and it's well-received.
branched out into a lot of different things since becoming an MC, are
there other things that you want to get into?
and working behind the scenes. There's always going to be someone new
creeping on the come-up. I'm just here to make sure we have the vehicle
to release our music and control our own destiny. That's why I created
Illson Media. There have been a lot situations in the past where we have
record deals, but the material doesn't get released. We've been uncomfortable
going through that. We had to take some steps backwards to go forwards.
I created Illson Media and I was able to ink a deal with Studio Distribution.
the most difficult part about running your own label?
I feel good. I can only talk about frustrating things when I'm frustrated,
and I can only talk about stressful things when I'm stressed. I love what
I do. I'm getting up every morning and I'm working for myself. It doesn't
get any better than that. Whatever frustrating things we face, we're going
to get through it. It's only frustrating when you make that frustration
and stress on yourself. I do the best to not allow anyone to bring frustration
and stress onto me.
have any plans to go solo?
next project is to going to be solo. The next release on Illson Media
is the "Money Boss" album featuring Minnesota and also my solo
project. What made you ask that?
I was just
going to test the solo waters. I also have an artist that I'm developing
right now named Ali Shine, and he's featured on Volume One and also Volume
Two. That's what it is. I was able to release the U.T.P. album, both Medina
Green albums, hopefully everything goes well with the Minnesota situation,
and then in February hopefully I can release my solo project.
you give fans with your live show?
Whoo! A lot
of times when we do shows, the fans are cheering for more. It's a breath
of fresh air. It's just a raw vibe. It's a breath of fresh air. It's like
back in the days and going to see Q-Tip and A Tribe Called Quest in their
prime. Going to see De La in their prime, and going to see Mos in his
prime. We got a lot to give, and we don't hold back. Some artists get
a little success under themselves and then they start getting chubby and
lazy. We haven't had a chance to get lazy because we're doing this ourselves
and making it happen independently. The show is raw. You wouldn't want
to go on after us. I'll tell you that much. When we come off stage, you
better come with it if you're going on after us, because I know when I
go on stage, I brings it, and I do it without yelling and screaming and
embarrassing myself. We strive to be professional and perfectionists.
you want to say to everyone out there?
the love. Thanks for the support. We have our vehicle now to stay consistent
and to keep releasing material out in the market. If fans want to hear
more, they can go to IllsonMedia.com. Check it out. We have a lot of material
up there. That's what it is.