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Interview With Musik G – The Underground Can’t Be Stopped


23 July 2004 No Comment

Do any of you remember Musik G from the track “O Freedom” on the Heal (Human Education Against Lies) album?  Well he’s still busy with music and recently released the EP titled “The Underground Can’t Be Stopped“, which was reviewed on this site last month. Our crew member Bandile wanted to find out more so he interviewed him…

You’ve performed with many well-known artists, such as your work on the HEAL project, how did that come about and what was your contribution?

I was in a crew from my old hood doing demos back in the day. We got down with Ziggy Marley’s manager Sky High who had a label. We started recording lots of demo’s. Sky High played a song for KRS-One and he liked it. He then put the song on the HEAL LP. I broke up from the crew but remained on the song. That song was called O Freedom.

You’ve released your EP, “The Underground Can’t Be Stopped”, is this your first release?

No, we had a few singles out since 98.

When I first listened to your CD, I was under the impression that you are probably a great appreciator of the old skool and that you are probably part of the old skool too. Are these assumptions correct?

Yes, I’m from the 80’s school of hip hop. I started in 1985.

It seems to me that the raw essence of hip-hop is hardly practiced by today’s artists. What do you think are the ingredients for a real hip-hop track?

I think it should have some deep bass, tuff kick and snares. It should have some elements of the dj in there. Scratches should be present. Some hip hop tracks don’t have all these elements but are still hip hop.

You’ve obviously had a lot of experience in doing your own radio shows and would’ve gotten the opportunity to meet plenty of people. What are your memorable experiences in radio?

I think the most memorable was our last show. It was a 5 hour special we did. We had so many underground artist rotating in the studio as well as 5 dj’s rotating on the decks plus phone interviews with different artist. We had Poor Righteous Teachers on the line and few others. It was dope!

Today when you buy an album, it’s not the same. We have too many amateurs running around…

Well, technology opened the door for anybody to get in the game. Before you had to make a big investment to get in the game. Studio time was very expensive. There was no internet to put out records. The industry had a lock on what came out. Now any fool with a computer can say they are a recording artist.

Which producers out there do you think really pushed the envelope on creativity and can you give reasons why you think they are so dope?

The Bomb Squad changed the game back in the day. They put so much complexity into there production. Eric Sermon is the original funklord! Dre mastered that clean sound. RZA mastered that dirty sound. Premier perfected that cut and paste style. Just Blaze has an new approach with an old flavor. He really nice with it. Timbaland took a chance and won with it. The Neptunes followed suit and dominated.

For people out there who’ve never heard a Musik G album, what subject matter do you rap about?

I try to write enlightened lyrics. This Ep has a lot of education in it. If you listen close. My mental state is that of a grown man. I don’t have the same perspective on life I did 10 years ago. I put my topics together from the point of view of an educator. I would like to inspire other emcees to do the same.

How would you define your style?

On this EP the style was straight forward 4 on the floor hiphop. No funny styles or word trickery. You will see a different style with each release. It will take you 4 or 5 releases to really understand the scope of the Musik Generator.

What is your live show like?

It very energetic! I take full command of that stage and that mic! From the time you hear my voice you know that I aint playin! I give my audience my all!

I read somewhere that you tour all over, like in Europe, what were those experiences like?

Europe is my favorite place to perform. The vibes are so right there. The hip hop heads over there are really into the live shows. That’s what its all about! You record so that you can PERFORM!

How different is the European scene to the American scene?

Much different in my experience. In Europe they are not afraid to show you love it your show or music moves them. Not so in the USA. You gotta pull teeth sometimes to even get a reaction. Then when you get off stage you might hear someone tell you your show was good. You wouldn’t know it by the way they act!

Do you think the old skool is biased in thinking that their time period was more important and more realer than the current time period? For instance we might have people who got involved with hip hop in the 90’s who will say in 10 years time that their scene was the realest. It sounds like the age-old problem of people thinking the past was better than the current. What do you think of that?

Its true, each generation thinks there the best. What each generation needs to understand is that they are influenced by the last generation. Pay homage and respect to those who came before you.

What do you think will be the next big thing in hip hop? 

I have no clue. Your guess is as good as mine.

Is Hip Hop going the way of Rock n Roll where white artists will dominate? Is this the Elvis Presley thing all over again?

I don’t think so. Hip hop is gonna have whole bunch of other hip hop stars in the future. Your gonna have a big Asian star soon. Watch. Then a Indian star, and so on. Hip hop is just too big for anyone group of people anymore. 

Today many artists are no longer sampling, do you think this will lead to the death of hip hop?

Life goes in cycles. Soon sampling will be back in again. As long as they can cut good deals with the publishers. 

You’ve performed with artists such as Afrika Bambatta, Slick Rick, KRS-One, ED OG, etc Craig Mack etc. What were these experiences like, to be performing with legends?

Its inspirational man! When you in the same room with Bam and he enjoys your performance what more could you want?

Where can people buy your album?

They can get it at www.undergroundarmy.com or any other fine online retailer such as www.virginmega.com

Have you released anything on vinyl?

Yeah, we had some of our other singles on vinyl. The EP should be on vinyl real soon too.

How has your EP been doing?

Its been doing well. Its starting to pickup as these interviews and articles come out. 

When is the follow up coming out?

It should be out be late 2005.

What’s a typical day like for you?

Gotta get up and exercise, then get to work! After work, I chill with my wife and kids. On Sunday I will go to church and give praise to my Lord!  Thank him for each day and each blessing!

What tools do you use for production?

I use a lot of different stuff. I have one foot in the old and one in the new.  I use lots of hardware and combine it with the software. 

Tell us your 5 favorite all time hip hop albums?

This may change from interview to interview cause its such a hard question. In no particular order they are:

1. Public Enemy – It takes a Nation of Millions
2. Boogie Down Productions – By Any Means Necessary
3. Brand Nubian – One 4 All
4. EPMD – Unfinished Business
5. Run DMC – King of Rock

If people wanna catch you live where can they go?

Go to the website and see what’s happenin @ www.undergroundarmy.com

Thanks for talking to us, do you have any last words or shoutouts?

Musik G: Nuff respect to Africasgateway.com! Peace and Blessing to my place of origin! Mother Africa! Go out buy the New EP entitled “The Underground Cant Be Stopped!” on Activity Records NOW!!

Interview by Bandile Somdaka

CHECK FOR MORE INFO @ www.undergroundarmy.com

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