Full press release for Mega’s oft-delayed, but long-awaited 2-disc September 27th release.
One of hip-hop’s most prolific poets, Cormega, announced the release of his forthcoming musical collection:Cormega: Raw Forever to be released September 27th. The double disc set features a collection of Cormega’s classics as selected by fans and a companion disc featuring a live band, The Revelations (of Wu-Tang’s Chamber Music and Legendary Weapons fame) whose remixes bring a new live sound and instrumentation to some of Mega’s fan favorites.
The classics included on disc 1 were easy for him to select because the selections came from his active message board on Legalhustle.net and from paying close attention to audience response at his live shows. “For Raw Forever, I knew I had to put “Saga,” “Killaz Theme,” and “Dead Man Walking,” on there even though, I, the new Cory, am not a big fan of “Dead Man Walking.” I don’t use as much profanity as I used to and I’m not as graphic now as I used to be. I know Dead Man Walking really resonates with people, so I included it for the fans. There are also songs that I really love like “Love Is Love” which I added to give the collection some balance.” Other tracks include “Journey,” “Testament,” ‘True Meaning,” and more.
The music on the second disc is a mixture of original songs and Cormega classics remixed and reinterpreted by The Revelations Band and features Lil Fame of M.O.P. and Baby Pun (Big Pun’s son); AZ and Nature; Blaq Poet, Tragedy Khadafi and Havoc; Red Alert, Parrish Smith, Grand Puba, KRS One & Big Daddy Kane. “The first time I worked with The Revelations was on the Wu Chamber Music project. The idea was really raw to me. I always had the curiosity of working with a live band, but what actually manifested our collaborations was seeing the audience’s response when we performed together at Santos [Party House in New York City] September 1, 2010. The response from the crowd was over-whelming! It was incredible!” After the show, we recorded and leaked a remix of my song, ‘Journey’ and it too got a lot of love, so I decided to take the experiment even further and see how it would sound if they redid some of my other songs and that’s how this project came about.”
“I wanted to do Raw Forever to bring something back to hip-hop. As far as the culture [of Hip Hop], I think of it as a pretty girl…If you remember my song, ‘American Beauty,’ you recall that I compared hip-hop to a woman. Hip-hop was a beautiful woman, and then she started hangin’ out with some chicken-heads, and she wanted to be like them. The chicken-heads took her to a club and introduced her to some dudes and said, “If you do this, they’ll give you this.” That’s where Hip Hop is; she started becoming a whore. At this particular moment, she needs some sophistication. A lot of emcees, don’t want to grow up, and that’s what’s making Rap/Hip-Hop look bad.”
Although he considers himself a veteran after over a decade recording, Cormega explains that it took him a while to finally decide to put out a best of collection. “I always wanted to do aBest Of, but I didn’t feel like I accomplished enough – sometimes I still [feel that way]. At the end of the day, I’ve been in the game for a while. I’ve been making albums for 10 years and while I consider myself to be a veteran now; I don’t consider myself to be a legend – that’s a word that’s too easily [said] from people’s tongues. Certain people ain’t legends. You can’t call me a legend, and then call Eric B. or Pete Rock “legends.” They’ve contributed so much more than me, and they’ve had so much impact that callin’ me a legend is an insult to real legends. I finally decided to put all the songs that people love most together in one compilation, but I also wanted to offer them something new too. The band definitely brings a different vibe to my lyrics. For example we remixed the song “Get It In” from Born And Raised and added [Big] Pun’s son, Baby Pun. The version on Raw Forever sounds better than the one on the original album!”
“It’s not on this album, but The Revelation and I also recorded a benefit single “I Made A Difference” to support the work that Sean Penn’s organization is doing in Haiti. I visited Haiti after the earthquake and was so moved by the spirit of the people that I wanted to do something to help. The Revelations laid down the instrumentals with keyboards by Jazimoto and I got Redman, Steele, Stic Man of Dead Prez, Lil Fame of MOP, and singer/songwriter Maya Azucena to record verses. The song was released digitally through RED/Sony distribution and is available on iTunes.”
When asked how it feels to compact almost his entire musical legacy onto a double disc and then experiment with a band to recreate classics, Cormega responds, “When I look back at my career, I see growth. Born and Raised might be my favorite Cormega album; some people might say I’m crazy for that and argue that The Realness is better. I think Born and Raised is my best album, ’cause it shows growth. I must’ve lost a few people with that, ’cause not everybody’s ready to grow. Rap is like the guy that’s getting older that doesn’t want to get older, that still wants to be down. There’s nothing wrong with growing and that’s what I’m doing with Raw Forever, bringing a little sophistication back to hip-hop. When you have a live band, everybody is bringin’ a different ingredient to it, that’s what keeps music alive.”
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