By: Darin Gloe & Cardiff Giant
HHS: The story of how Little Brother came together is well-documented, but how did Away Team come together?
Sean Boog: Basically we (Khrysis and I) met at Missie Ann (Missie Ann is the studio that Cesar Comanche runs, Little Brother recorded all of The Listening there and we recorded half of National Anthem there) through Comanche and 9th. It wasn’t till about a year or two later that we decided to do this Away Team shit
HHS: L.E.G.A.C.Y., How were you indoctrinated into the camp and when?
Legacy: It was mid 2001, thanks to Leaguer Mike Berv AKA Mikey Whispers, he took me to 9th, I dropped a song and it was dope, a week later it was like “Leg you wanna be in JL”?
Khrysis: And after we jumped him in!!
HHS: Khrysis, there’s only so many accolades that can be thrown around in one camp, with 9th being such a hot commodity these days, and considering your very ill in your own regard (recently produced tracks for Sean Price, Smif N Wesson, Jean Grae, Masta Ace), which your work on National Anthem more then verifies, but do you ever feel under-appreciated?
Khrysis: Nah, not at all, its just that I don’t have as much material out, I’m very happy with my role, people are starting to recognize my talents, it was only a matter of time!
HHS: Sean, your ode to happy hour “Likka Hi (Last Call)”, struck an immediate chord with us, if we saw Sean out at the local watering hole, what would he be sipping on?
Sean Boog: Coors Light, Bud Light, Heineken, Crown Royal, it really depends on the money situation… Why you buying?
HHS: Leg, Project Mayhem is a darker sounding LP that gives a different feel then anything else we’ve heard drop from the JL camp thus far, would you say you’re a dark person?
Legacy: I would say I was light skinned (lol). Nah, but really, I would consider my life and my dealings to being dark. I’ve been through some things to say the least, which have made me this way.
HHS: Were all very curious as to how long it took you too come up with L.E.G.A.C.Y. (Life Ends Gradually And Changes You), did you have a â€œGuruâ€ like moment of clarity, or was it mulled over for awhile?
Legacy: Didn’t take long at all. I heard of another “Legacy” in my area and I was like fuck, I gotta distance myself from this wack bastard; this was about 1995 I think. So why not make it (my name) mean something?
HHS: Leg, you kind of carry yourself with a rock star swagger, so is it sheer irony that the title of your lead-single is “I’m A Star.”
Legacy: I thought it was ironic too, I found out “I’m A Star” was my single or hell my song for that matter when somebody sent me the artwork for the 12″ in an E-mail (lol). I’ve grown accustomed to not knowing what the hell is going on and moving with the times, these are wild times for me right now!!! I love it though!
HHS: Similar to the ideology that Gang Starr, Reflection Eternal and Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth symbolized, National Anthem harkens back to hip-hop’s Golden Age and reinstitutes the chemistry between emcee and producer. Was that an aspect you really wanted to focus on for the LP?
Khrysis: Yes, it’s something that you don’t see very often, or has been forgotten these days; especially in this generation. Not to mention, the chemistry between a producer and an emcee who work exclusively with each other is like no other. We challenge each other in crazy ways; we throw around new ideas and basically grow together as team mates and as individuals.
Sean Boog: Yeah, most definitely, that’s what artists are missing these days. When you’re able as a rapper to have one producer that you can sit down with and come up with the same vision, I think it makes the music that much better. I think it’s harder to create a vibe throughout a whole album when you have beats from different cats, “uhh let me get something from over here, something from here, something from there” those producers can’t truly understand what your looking for. Also, to be mentioned in the same question as cats like Gang Starr, Pete Rock and CL Smooth is a blessing, so we definitely want to keep that tradition going.
HHS: Sean and Khrysis, you named your debut National Anthem, any significance behind that?
Sean Boog: This is our entry into the game, our beginning, everyone pays attention to the “National Anthem”, this is our way of saying “stand the fuck up”.
HHS: Khrysis, everyone knows that you and 9th have beats, but there has been some criticism about the use of the same drums…what do you have to say to the critics?
Khrysis: I’ve never heard such nonsense, but I don’t care what the critics are saying, I ignore them for the most part. They just mad cuz they aint got drums; a lotta niggas drums be sounding pussy anyway; I’m not concerned!
HHS: With the buzz the Justus League has right now, is there any competition in the camp, for tracks, producers, how do you balance it all out?
Sean Boog: Not really competition, but having so much talent around, you have no choice but to step your game up constantly. I know for me it keeps me focused, like if I hear a new Leg joint I’m feeling, it’ll make me want to work that much harder. I’ve actually learned a lot about how to make music from my team. I used to sit back and just watch Little Brother work, watch 9th work, watch Leg work. I picked all the details up from them, and just built my own shit off that.
Khrysis: Of course, that’s how we make each other better and stronger. Occasionally somebody will rock a track and somebody else will be like “I coulda rocked it better” and sometimes me and 9th had gentlemen’s battles. Sometimes we’ll have the same record and it’ll go unsaid, but we’ll see who would make the most beats out of it. All kinds of shit goes on here, but it’s all love; every family should work like that don’t you think?
Legacy: Damn if I know? Maybe, maybe not? If there was a comp, I wouldn’t get involved. I mean fuck that, I always figure if everybody’s getting better with time, then the best beats haven’t even been made yet, so I’ll wait my turn, or go elsewhere for tracks if need be—they’re not the only show in town!
HHS: And with that buzz also comes pressure, did you feel any while in the recording process?
Legacy: No pressure at all, in the studio is one of the few times I’m relaxed/content being an artist. I’m so far ahead and so much better then my previous work, that I’m giddy like a school girl with the thought of getting back in the studio for my next shit; I think I have a woody right now man lol….I’m entering my prime now, I will not always be this hot, get it while the getting is good!!!
Sean Boog: No not at all, I just had fun with it. After we did the first couple songs I knew it was a wrap, shit was just coming so naturally. Plus back when we were making the album, we were not even thinking about what we were going to do with it, what label, what market; none of that, we were just making music.
Khrysis: I don’t feel it in the recording process; we challenge ourselves like crazy as it is. We’re just starting out and there are so many angles that we haven’t even touched just yet. We joke around too much to run outta things to do when it comes to just plain making a song. We damn near live by trying some new/other/wierdo/funny type shit!
HHS: L.E.G.A.C.Y. (Project Mayhem) and Away Team (National Anthem) drop on the same day (5-17), with 9th Wonder’s unreleased Dream Merchant Vol.1 included in the package deal (National Mayhem), why did you guys decide to go that route?
Sean Boog: We did it for the fans, we are tired of people selling CD’s for 17 dollars a piece so we give you 3 for that price!
Khrysis: Because these albums are crazy, there nationally causing mayhem, hide your kids, lock your doors (lol).
Leg: Because Big Dho (manager) made us! Nah, not really, well kinda (lol). We kinda voted on it. I was against it in the start, but then the albums leaked, then I was like damn; I’m glad we’re throwing that 9th shit in there!!
HHS: Joe Scudda you’re featured on both L.E.G.A.C.Y and Away Teams LP’s, are you the next emcee to drop a solo-LP out of the JL camp?
Joe Scudda: If everything goes right I should be, either me or Chaundon. I’m working on my debut, The Authentic, now with 9th Wonder and Khrysis, there will be other producers involved as well, but I’m keeping that under wraps right now. If everything goes right, you’ll be hearing more from me soon!
HHS: Pooh your solo-LP, Sleepers, dropped a few months ago, were you happy with the results and did it meet your expectations?
Big Pooh: I was happy when the album was released, of course I wish the numbers were up a little bit, but thatâ€™s the way it is. My main expectation was to release this record. Once I accomplished that, the rest is icing on the cake!
HHS: Why was it so important for you to release a solo-LP?
Big Pooh: For three reasons, One, to show everybody that I was working. A lot of times if people don’t hear from you, they don’t know, or believe you are working. Two, to show the doubters and nay-sayers that I can hold my own when it comes to this music thing. Three, to show myself that I could hold my own when it comes to this music thing.
HHS: Little Brother’s major-label debut, The Minstrel Show, has been given a release date of 9-13-05 and expectations are thru the roof, what should we expect and did you ever feel any pressure when recording tracks for this LP?
Big Pooh: What you should expect is some of that Little Brother shit! We all have grown and stepped our game up, so this album is a little different from The Listening in that aspect, as well as we know we couldn’t and wouldn’t make the same album again. There is always some level of pressure when you start working on your second album but nothing major for us. We just put pressure on ourselves to make an album better than the last one; and I know we accomplished that!
HHS: Has the first single been chosen as of yet? And if so, care to disclose what that is?
Big Pooh: The first single has been chosen and it’s “Loving It” feat. Joe Scudda
HHS: We all know 9th is going to handle the bulk of the production, but will Khrysis, or Nicolay contribute any tracks?
Big Pooh: 9th will handle all of the production except for one track, which Khrysis produced.
- Ludacris – “IDGAF” (prod. Bangladesh)
- Wu-Tang Clan – “Execution In Autumn”
- Create & Devastate – “Most Confident” (feat. Wildchild & MED)
- Kid Ink – “Bossin Up” (feat. French Montana & A$AP Ferg)
- Mr. Mutha*****n’ eXquire – “Illest N****z Breathin’” (feat. Goldie Glo)
- Joell Ortiz – “U.O.E.N.O” Freestyle
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