What were your first impressions of Honolulu moments after you landed?
I love landing in Honolulu, the humid air and warmth always is the first big difference from Cali air. I stay in Oakland so we always got more mild weather. This time our first destination was Lucky Bell in Chinatown to get some ramen before we headed to the UH radio show “Got Rice” right off the plane keeping it moving (laughs).
What’s your favorite Hawaiian Word?
Describe how you’ve grown as a man and as an artist since your early Living Legend days.
Early legends days were my early 20’s and on so you know how those years are but I would say as far as growth that I’ve come across more OG wisdom that has helped me to understand the way the world works energetically and karmically so I am able to set goals and move towards them with better time.
Talk about the relationship you have with Opio and the Heiro crew.
I was just talking to Elijah (black mercury /a.a.g.) about how hiero agreed to put us on tour with them in 97 and we got to meet all these cats that I had grown up listening to outta high school and during the golden era …how they were so dope to me as far as how I learned of them through the inside of Del’s first album and seen all their pictures and then ended up doing shows with them…it was all very iconic on that first tour…the dopest thing about it was the respect was always there from those guys when we all touring neck and neck and runnin into each other all over the map…I love their whole movement ,their business and tenacity over the years…cats like A-Plus, and Opio always show big love and it seems that me and opio end up having a show together at least once a year…its kinda trippy you asked.
How has Alien Art Gang upped your creativity. How did the group form?
So I tweeked my back bodyboarding back home in cold waters and was out of comission at the start of this year…it ended up being a blessing in that it layed me down in front of my MPC and I started bangin out beats again like I was hungry again…Elijah was one of my old students from a beats flows class that I used to teach at a cultural center in east Oakland..(big ups Eastside Arts Alliance) and I knew he and I always had chemistry in the studio…he is a very talented poet and comes from a special line of creativity…I tell him we were from the same tribe in earlier lifetimes…so out of all the beats I was making we just started writing again at my crib and recorded some magic…the songs were raw and felt refreshing to make so I felt like I was back onto something inspiring…the name just came to me one day at a freestyle showcase I did in Berkeley at Earpiece Records…it was the freshest sounding combo of describing words I could think of for a crew…at the time.
Why will underground artists and music never die?
Underground artists and music are based in an energy. Its the energy that comes from congregating peacefully and creatively and for expression and appreciation of an art form…weather it be dancing, visual, or musical, beyond peoples everyday jobs and hustles there is a need for an energetic exchange to take place….its like the nature of humans I think….so as long as this medium exists there will always b someone who creates and someone who will listen and that’s where the exchange takes place, its magic.
Your Top 5 inspirations and hip hop?
Top 5? Damn that’s a lot…ha ha. I’ma make it brief…
FAT Boys at age 11 cause I was amazed at beatboxing. I actually became a very skilled beatboxer first before rapping…RUN DMC cause they were the sickest trio stage presence wise and the perfect mixture of tone in their voices…I think Run in 1981 was probly the definition of what an emcee is…KRS ONE (boogie down productions and PUBLIC ENEMY added an educational element to my hip hop life…they brought in a consciousness in the music that was revolutionary and a big part of the flow. Then the NATIVE TOuNGES cuz they made it funny and fun to be different and original…that’s my foundation…currently I’m inspired by Mellow HyPe, Shabazz Palaces, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye, Flying Lotus, Dilla , Erykah and Tame Impala…lots of fresh stuff out there..
Shouts, Propers, Plugs.
Shouts out to GAVIN, Spirithaus Arts, Lamat Life Wellness, Eastside Arts Alliance, DJ Free Leonard RMD and Ten Mile Farms , rookies crew HI, Third eye vision, Axiom , and of course all my brothers and sisters that love original art…Living Legends crew! West coast in general…Bicasso says “make sure to treat everyone with LOVE and take care of our mother earth…its the only one we have.”