Who Is Godsilla? Interview
Acem, Truth and Powerful are their birth names. Gods’illa is their moniker. Three “physical” brothers from Brooklyn, New York and PG County, Maryland, raised on Hip Hop and the teachings of the Five Percent Nation, dropping truth bombs like Tracy Morgan. Their self titled album is loaded with ear catching bars and pristine beat selection. It’s the type of project that loiters in the dome long after first listen. Add the trios triumphant live show — one where the acapellas hit as hard as the bass lines — and the question must be asked: Who is Gods’illa?
BrooklynBodega.com spoke with the Show And Prove alums following their performance at the Duck Down versus Blacksmith showcase during this year’s CMJ Music Festival about their origins, their break though debut offering, their chemistry, and their place amongst The Nation of Gods & Earths rich legacy in Hip Hop history.
BB: How does it feel stepping off stage after your first performance at the CMJ [Music Marathon & Film Festival]?
Ace: It feels beautiful, man. It feels great. Just to open up for who we’ve opened up for [Duck Down Records and BlackSmith Records] — as far as inspiration is concerned — we grew up on Hip Hop music and for us to be fans, that comes first. And secondly, it just feels good to be out here with a nice Hip Hop crowd. We out here in Brooklyn, New York City. Shout out to Brooklyn Bodega. And this is [Powerful’s] home. How you feel, P?
Powerful: I feel great, man. These are our legends from my hood. They’re actually from Brooklyn. [Duck Down’s] been holding it down for over 15 years. And I’m just happy to be a part of something like this. I’m from Brooklyn, East New York. When I moved out to Maryland and PG [County], I felt so good about the vibe there that it was like my second home. Now to be back in my original home it’s great, man. To be here for music, for business, for what I love to do. This is great, man.
Truth: The stage is natural so it feels great to be on stage and see a Hip Hop crowd. To rock with Brooklyn Bodega, to open for Duck Down, 9th Wonder, Jean Grae, the whole Blacksmith camp, it’s surreal because, like [Ace] said, we’re fans first. We got to see this experience just yesterday in DC. They came to our home, now y’all invited us to your home to celebrate 15 years. It’s surreal because 15 years ago that was us with Duck Down in the tape deck. That’s real! We go word for word with them. It means a lot to be able to say Gods’illa opened for Duck Down. And we’re back there building with them and we have a relationship with them now. It’s surreal. It’s a great feeling. Thank you. Thank you Brooklyn Bodega. Thank you everybody who’s supported the album and our music.
BB: One of my favorite tracks on Gods’illa is “Who is…?”. I think it introduces you all very well. So who is Gods’illa, because a lot people have never heard of you?
Ace: First and foremost, Gods’illa is three physical brothers that grew up in a righteous way and that’s definitely reflected in our music. Other than that, we’re relative to all the people out there. We are everyday people in that sense. We relate to people. Our music reflects the struggles and triumphs of our people. So that’s who Gods’illa is. It’s three physical brothers out here speaking what we know and we live. Nothing more than that.
Truth: Indeed, that’s funny that you say that, the insight that you came with that particular question because — I don’t know how many people are Hip Hop — but if you’re Hip Hop, you remember the Redman “Soopman Lova” series or the EPMD “Jane” series. Who is Gods’illa, we plan throughout our career to continue to answer that question. So look forward to the answers to that question because the first one is “Who is [Gods’illa]? Probably just another group of rappers talking murder”. So hopefully now that the first album came out, listen for the second piece that we release and you might here that track again.
BB: One of my favorite lines, Truth, is when you said “I’m sicker than anybody with they own disease / I’m in a league with Parkinsons / Lou Gerhig’s / I’m blowing trees”.
Ace: That was sick! That’s one of my favorites too!
Truth: Thank you, man. I try to pride myself because I rhyme next to some amazing dudes. [Ace] is my big brother. Lyrically, for real, growing up — and it’s personal for me so I’m biased — but he goes under Rakim on my list. And it’s been like that way forever because I got to see his growth in what he’s doing. If you listen to Acem on the album, that’s why I gotta come like that. And then I rhyme with my younger brother, [Powerful], whose energy I couldn’t match if I tried. You can’t invent that [Brooklyn sound]. You hear Brooklyn from him. So I’ve got to come like I’m an Emcee’s Emcee. I grew up studying Emcees. I’m a big Raekwon fan, Redman, Sadat X, Ol’ Dirty [Bastard]Pharoahe Monch — these styles unorthodox styles I had to listen to because I’ve got to write to keep up with [my brothers] so I thank you because I don’t know if a lot of people are picking up on some of what I’m saying. Thanks you.
BB: What stands out to me most about Gods’illa is that you put together a complete album. I run across so many albums that either provide too much or too little, that are too broad or too narrow as albums. When you made Gods’illa the album, was there a concept and strategy?
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