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MYSELF
By babyBREE
(more articles from this author)
2000-03-15
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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 came about.

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 record.

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 promoting.

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 into place.

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 energy.

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 the sites.

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.

MYSELF: Definitely.

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 something great...

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


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