Last week I had the opportunity to meet up close and personal one of the
Super Novas that Black Hole loves to
spread the word about. MYSELF is a Hip Hop artists who decided to bring his
Southern Foundation (Up North) to
give people some of his eccentric flava. That is no less than ingenious. He
incorporates it all with Missing Pieces on
his live album. Not able to be categorized, he utilizes his written talent and
breaks it down for us in his raw style. He
asks you all "Are you ready for it?" time and time again. I will answer for
you... We have been ready for it for a
while and we are glad that someone with his creative impulses is dipping our
mind, bodies and souls deep into these
"ghettoglyphics." Let me take you all a little closer to MYSELF. Look out
for the audio stream, coming to you in a
quickness when we appear next time @ a computer with speakers close to you.
babyBREE: We are here with MYSELF. Myself, that sounds intriguing...
MYSELF: Yeah, a lot of people compliment me. Because MYSELF is a part of everybody;
it's totally coming clean with
yourself and just being yourself and that is why I adapted the name.
babyBREE: Don't tell me that was your original name. What was your original name?
MYSELF: Sometimes a lot of people still know me as Goldi Locks, obviously because
of the locks and the golden
personality. But that was the phase period and we all have to go through that
at some period. It's a name that stuck
with me for almost ten years and I kept growing as a person on
spiritual and mental aspects. Just evolving
and I just kind of felt the need to just cut off the past negative energy and
just come clean and start fresh. So it's still
a part of me and I embrace it but it became so overpowering it was like
living within the whole aspect of being a
whole artist and not really finding yourself. I wasn't able to really
express my sensitive side, or me just being who I
am. So I started fresh and I just had to break off.
babyBREE: At what point was that? We are in 2000 now, how many years was that?
MYSELF: About two years ago. I just started noticing that like, man, it's catching
up with me. A lot of people knew me and I
wasn't able to just be myself, so in order for me to go into the 21st
century and to grow as an artist, I had to make
some commitments and changes within myself and that is how that whole concept
babyBREE: So you tell us you're an artist (Smiling). Break that down for us, for
people who haven't been able to be blessed
with your creations.
MYSELF: I am the type of cat that I really don't like to put limitations on my
art because not only am I a recording artist
but I promote venues and I do artist development for other groups.
babyBREE: You do the business aspect as well as the creative!
MYSELF: Exactly, so when people ask me, how do you define your music, Hip Hop or Spoken Word? I don't really
classify. I classify music into two categories, Good or Bad. If it has a
soulful element or vibe to it, that's what I pretty
much go off of. I am trying to really develop Hip Hop so that 20 years from
now it can sound like an Al Greene
babyBREE: Hip Hop is a timeless thing if you go back to the roots. It only
continues to grow stronger. On a personal note,
cuz I know that you deal with a lot of artists, tell us more about yourself
before we go into those artists that you are
MYSELF: Well essentially, I started out like ten years ago really delving into Hip
Hop - went through different groups. I was
in a group called the Fugitives at the time and I was always the real
vocal one in the group and it kind of
pushed me to go solo because the other guys in the group weren't as committed
and serious as I was.
babyBREE: That's hard, dealing with a group.
MYSELF: Oh yeah, dealing with personalities and egos. Mine was big enough at
the time, so I was like let me
just concentrate on me. And seeing that I had a natural knack for bringing
different artists together, networking with
live musicians. That's when Acid Jazz came out in the late eighties, early
nineties. I was really pushing that
envelope being from New Orleans.
babyBREE: New Orleans?!!
MYSELF: Yeah, New Orleans.
babyBREE: What brings you to New York? First of all, you would leave New Orleans? I heard so many great
things about that.
MYSELF: Changing and evolving. New Orleans is a great place because it is culturally
diverse and there's a lot of positive
energy going on. But if you are from there, I felt like I was tapped from my
resources and that I needed to meet
different people, to really take my music to another level because if you
really notice the New Orleans music scene,
it is more on that Dirty South bounce type funk flavor and my stuff is
totally on the left side of the spectrum
compared to that. It's like finding the need to just break out and find
some other markets that could appreciate
what I was about and what I was doing. Like I mentioned earlier about the
Acid Jazz thing, picture an artist in New
Orleans doing Acid Jazz in the eighties - it was like come on man, you wasn't
trying to hear that. So I always wanted
to come to New York and weigh out the options and I feel that it just fell
babyBREE: So you feel like you are happy with that transition?
MYSELF: Oh yeah, I always go back home once a year. Because the family is there
and the support system is in place and
the people, it's genuine. Genuine energy. But I also see the down fall
-people are very complacent and the kind of
get caught up in the everyday run of the mill. So New York keeps me on my
toes and keeps me channeling my
babyBREE: It wasn't a crazy shock? Because I know for non-native New Yorkers, it
can be shocking at times.
MYSELF: Yeah, it was. Cause when I came up, me and my fiancee, (at the time we moved
together and she's from New
Orleans to), we didn't know anyone. We stayed with a friend for a month
and nobody showed us anything and
they just kind of threw us on a train and said "You find yourself around."
And that was good that they did that,
'cause it made us really get the hang of the city. So it took a while, it
took almost a year for me to get comfortable in
the city, and even now, I still get lost.
babyBREE: You still get lost? What's your favorite spots in the city, what's your
favorite place to chill?
MYSELF: I like chilling in the city, I like the diversity. The village kind of
reminds me of home, it reminds me of the French
Quarters - culturally diverse. There are a lot of places to go and chill
without spending too much money. And watch
babyBREE: That can be (BREE for lack of a better word) shocking at times.
MYSELF: Wherever there is a cultural vibe. I like Brooklyn, though, I really have
not tapped into it as much as I would have
liked to. I give every place its fare share. I like to bounce around to
different spots, but right now, I like downtown,
that's where most of my events have been taking place.
babyBREE: Speaking of events, a perfect leeway into your events. You have a few
events coming up. Tell us about that MYSELF.
MYSELF: Definitely, March 25 is a showcase. And what we are doing is a series called the
Black Roots Festival and we have been doing it on a monthly basis, showcasing
Hip Hop or progressive Soul artists.
Just trying to concentrate on a lot of the new genres that are not really
getting enough attention, like Drum -n- Bass and
Spoken Word. We have acoustic sets and what not.
babyBREE: Tell those people out there who, unfortunately, don't know what Spoken Word is.
MYSELF: Spoken Word, it's not really a new art form because it has been around
forever. If you have told stories to your
family members in ancient traditions, that's Spoken Word. It's basically
like old teachings that have been passed
down different generations. African tradition and Brazilian traditions. When
you have cats who are doing poetry and
short stories - word combining with Hip Hop beats and live musicians. And
Spoken Word has become the new
adopted child of Hip Hop and the scene is growing everyday and for all of you
out there who don't know, it's about
to blow. Social and political commentary.
babyBREE: And the Spoken Word, people can check that out at the Nuyorican and there
are a couple of other places in the vill
where people can check that out, but that's basically the place.
MYSELF: That's the premiere spot, if you are trying to break into Spoken Word as well as to network, you know
what I am saying. Because actually it is a theater space, it has been around
for 25 years plus.
babyBREE: And it has a very political history.
MYSELF: Yeah, so that's spoken word, to my understanding. Drum
-n- Bass came out more of a
Techno and Jungle birth child. A lot of people don't know that Drum -n- Bass
and Jungle has huge roots in Jazz
music. Because if you listen to the drum patterns of Drum -n- Bass,
essentially it is a drummer who has sped up his
rhythmic pattern to fit the trumpet player or sax player. Really back in the
day, Drum and Bass was really like
avant garde Jazz music. The stuff Miles was doing, that was Drum -n-
Bass, so we are not really doing
anything new, it is recycled. And I think a lot of times people don't
really give respect to the older artists because
we ain't doing nothing new. All we are doing, essentially, is just taking the
foundation that they laid and just channel
and recycle. And once you hear my material you will see that I really like
giving it up to the older people.
babyBREE: Right and at this point in time it's unfortunate but if you go back to
the history of it. Much of the art and the
product that was created was not giving credit to the people who deserved it.
babyBREE: And now, that is where things are changing.
MYSELF: You can look at Hip Hop as going into the same direction if you don't
catch it, because it is about preserving the
art. It's not just about performing. But it is about the educational aspects
that Hip Hop has, the role that it plays in the
community. It is a powerful medium and if we utilize it right, we can do so
many things with it, so that's essentially
what I am really trying to do, really trying to get to the roots of it and
really trying to get to the positive aspects of it.
babyBREE: There are so many things that I want to touch on with you. I feel that
you are packed with all this knowledge and
this energy and a great vibe. I feel that your help with kids, that is
MYSELF: Yeah definitely. Just as I was speaking about earlier about the Black
Roots Festival, we started a Black Roots
Foundation. We are developing a system where we are going to
start writing and poetry workshops in the
public schools to show kids about publishing and about writing techniques
to really get them involved in writing
and not rapping so much per say. Because if you are an artist, you can break
out into film, you can do background
music. We are talking with ASCAP and a few other companies that want to do
this on a monthly basis so that young
kids and artists can get together and spark dialogue so that we can bounce
ideas off each other, like a panel
discussion and just try to develop our craft and shape it.
...The Spoken Word (So to speak) does not stop here... Check out the
extended audio version when we stream it for
you Black Hole folk in the nearer than farther future.
PEACe and LOVe