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Interview with John Robinson


31 July 2006 No Comment

This week Miss Contro speaks to Mr John Robinson who is also known as Lil Sci. For those who don’t know she was in the big apple a few months ago and got to hook up the man himself. In this interview JR (of Scienz of Life and Sol Uprising) speaks about his album Leak Edition, working with MF Doom and Madlib, the album “One Day…Everything Changed” and with working on the new CL Smooth LP. He also touches on his label Shaman Works talking about current projects and the artists signed to it.  He also let’s us know whether Sol Uprising will be releasing another project or not.  Read on to check it out…

From the mind, body and soul of John Robinson… Misplaced in the wilderness of North  America! “Every time I feel the music, makes me think of the beginning, things are just so  different now, and I wonder where we take it next? I’m feeling that statement…the current state of hip-hop, what’s your opinion on this?   

Thanks I am glad you appreciate my work! The current state of Hip Hop is great! It is  so vast now that it allows myself and so many others speak to the hearts and minds of  people all over the planet. Hip Hop is truly a phenomenon it continues to reach  unimaginable heights and progresses so gracefully! Just think about it from the music  aspect alone there are so many different levels of Hip Hop music that exist today! For Example: Raw Hip Hop, Hip Hop Soul, Hip Hop Jazz, Hip Hop Rock, Hip Hop Poetry and  the list goes on! And remember that is only one of the elements of the culture! 

I had a serious listen to the John Robinson – The Leak Edition and as far as I’m  concerned this album is a blueprint for aspiring emcees on the real, from the flow,  eloquence down to the actual concepts. What’s the difference between Lil Sci of  Scienz of Life and John Robinson other than this being a solo album?  

The main difference between Lil Sci and J.R. is that J.R. is much more conversational  than Sci would be! Sci rhymes on tracks Live as if he is on stage while in the booth.  J.R. speaks to the entire world one person at a time so that it feels much more  personable. Big Shouts to the Metal Faced Villain! He is the one that inspired me to  use my Gov’t name. I always despised my name as a youngster because at an early age I  became in tune with my true self and the story of my people and I just knew my  ancestors were turning in their graves each time I was address by that slave name!  “John Robinson” Another Difference would be that J.R. moves in stealth! No one truly knows his agenda.  He disguises himself as a regular guy but those who know of course know better!  

How was it working with Mf Doom, Madlib, Count Bass D, Flying Lotus and so many other  brilliant producers? Not too familiar with King Geedorah, Locsmif, Descry and G-man,  tell me a bit more about them too.  

Hip Hop music is very synonymous to the late 50’s early 1960’s Jazz revolution that  took place in primarily in NYC. So it is natural that through different networks and  affiliations we are all connected and it is a beautiful thing when such gifted  individuals can come together and create beautiful music to give back to the universe  and bless the people with pure inspiring vibrations in the form of music. So trust  this is only the beginning I feel the collaboration is a big part of the culture of  real music with substance! It not only shows unity but also allows you to enter the  minds of others taking what you do to the next level! I say give thanks to all these great brothers for allowing me the opportunity to work  with each and everyone of them! Hip Hop = Love. 

African hip hop is expanding rapidly on a global level from K’naan to J-bux, Wale  Oyejide (how did you link with him) 

Well Wale Oyejide originally from Nigeria Move to the U.S. with his family as a child  and attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. Where my partner and owner of Shaman  Work Recordings Chris Craft met Wale and the rest is history! Wale is really making a  name for himself throughout the world; Check out his new project entitled “Africa Hot”  in stores August 22nd. 

Tell us a bit more about him and the album “One Day… Everything Changed”  

One Day is an Album that makes a Statement not just in terms of subject matter but  also within the creativity in the music! It let’s music lovers all over the world know  that it is ok to be free and express yourself musically in more than one fashion! Hip  Hop culture as I mentioned earlier has boundless dimensions! We must continue to  support artist like Wale Oyejide so that the culture continues to grow to the next  level. For more info log on to: www.waleoyejide.com or www.Shamanwork.com  

What’s your opinion on some of the artists hailing from Africa?  

To be honest I need to hear more but I definitely love the Passion in the artist that  I am familiar with like K’naan, Wale, Akon, J Bux and Contro. In each of the mentioned  artist there exist this blatant level of passion and natural pain that tells the story  of the struggle of my brothers and sistah’s walking the soil of the motherland. I look  forward to working with some of the artist in the near future too. Hip Hop is Massive! 

Not too long ago Shaman Works signed the Infamous CL Smooth who will be releasing  American Me shortly, tell me more about the project? 

 Wow! It has been such an amazing experience working with CL Smooth. His entire essence  itself is inspiring! Here is what CL says about his upcoming album “American Me” on  Shaman Work Recordings “American Me” is about misconceptions. It’s about the things  people say, the things people perceive, right or wrong it’s about the speculations  that we force on each other. C.L. is spelling it out, politically and personally,  he’s bringing the real deal, in spite of everyone and everything else.  I am learning a great deal from CL just observing his work in the studio as well as  out in public whether on stage or on the radio. CL Smooth = LEGENDARY! 

So what’s going on with the label, current projects and other artists signed to  Shaman?  

Things are great over at Shaman Work! I currently operate as President of the company  along with a small but powerful staff of humble hard working like minds that are very  much in tune with one another! New releases to look out for are Edgar Alan Floe of the  JUSTUS LEAGUE crew drops Floe Almighty July 11th W/ Production from 9th Wonder,  Khrysis and more.  On August 22nd look out for new music from both Scienz of Life and Wale Oyejide.  Scienz of Life will introduce the world to “The Blaxploitation Sessions” and Wale O  Brings “Africa Hot”. Also September 19th Marks the Return of the Mecca Don as CL  Smooth makes his solo debut with the highly anticipated LP American Me. Also Stay  tuned for John Robinson’s The Leak Edition Vol.2 on Oct. 17th so as you can see we  still have plenty to unfold this year and plan to enter 2007 with a vengeance. For more info log on to: www.Shamanwork.com or www.Essdub.com 

Can we expect any Sol Uprising projects in the near future?  

Unfortunately it is highly unlikely that you will hear another album from Sol  Uprising! However I recently along with another High Powered Vocalist Tiffany Paige  have formed a collective known as Royalty INC. the collective also includes Producers  Chris Craft and Hammadi Boujmal along with DJ 2Tone Jones. So look out for Royalty  bringing that Hip Hop Soul lead by the soothing vocals of Tiff Paige! For more info on  Tiffany Paige log on to: www.Tiffanypaigemusic.com.  It’s a beautiful thing trust me!  

HiphopConnected have some projects in the pipeline which include possibly bringing  Scienz of Life AND MF Doom, to South Africa, you ready for the headz down here? 

 I am beyond ready for the heads in the mother! It is a trip I have been looking  forward to my entire life. I have been preparing myself for this voyage mentally for  quite some time now and I am sure it will be all that I expect it to be and so much  more. Maybe I will meet my wife there and never leave or something! Lol! I look  forward to it to say the least.  

Any collaborations we should look out for John?  

Hmm Plenty collabs floating around! Check out Emanon and CL Smooth collabo on a 12”  coming on Shaman, Also of course the long awaited The John Robinson Project Prod. By  MF DOOM, Lil Sci appears on the Juggaknots new album “Use your confusion” there are  more but I am drawing a blank! Stay tuned www.Shamanwork.com, www.Scienzoflife.comwww.Thejohnrobinsonproject.com.  

Been getting mad response in Cape Town, South Africa with the Leak Edition, what’s next for Sci or should I say John Robinson?  

As I mentioned earlier I have both The Leak Edition vol. 2 dropping Oct. 17th and the  official John Robinson Project later in the Year on MF DOOM’s own Metal Face Records.  Also just a host of brilliant releases on Shaman Work Recordings as well. Also been working on some other things outside of music that I won’t build too much on  but let’s just say movies are not out of the question.

 Any messages for the heads back In South Africa? 

Remain focused on what ever it is that you dream about accomplishing and rule number  one is never give up! You will make it. There are no easy steps to greatness!! Always  Bless  J.R. 

Thank You for your time, Cape Town loves John Robinson and Scienz of Life! Peace  

We love you too! We will see you soon! Keep in touch with us we want to hear from you!!! www.Scienzoflife.com www.Thejohnrobinsonproject.com www.Shamanwork.com

 J.R. and the Scienz of Life Fam!

Interview by Ms Contro for AG

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