Hard Raps for Raps' Sake: Interview with M-1 of dead prez

The-Quotable.com caught up with M-1 following dead prez's 2009 Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival performance - politrikkin' on their recently released mixed tape (Pulse of the People), the election of Barack Obama, and just hard ass raps for raps' sake. Read on.

TCM: So how’d you feel about Brooklyn Bodega and your show today?

M-1: Brooklyn Bodega was what it was suppose to be - represented for Brooklyn. It gave us an opportunity to present our Hip Hop as a revolutionary force - a cultural weapon. Thats what it was. We was able to do it. A lot of great people - Styles, Grand Puba - we understand how to put on something thats gon‘ really be able to feed the people. The people need it right now. People need feeding.

TCM: Well the people are really in to who you guys are and what you guys have coming up next. What can we expect from the mixtape?

M-1: On the mixtape, its a cross section of life in Brooklyn. Or, life in the world, actually. All over the world. Thats why we call it The Pulse Of The People. We want to take a quick cross section of what was happening all across our communities, and even internationally. [We] called in some help from people like Styles and Chuck D. Um, you know, people like Bun B and my man Johnny Polygon, who is Green Lantern’s artist. And we did some stuff that we normally wouldn’t do. We made some rhyme decisions. Raps. Just hard ass raps for raps sake. Like, my brother Stic - whose the illest Emcee thats out right now - and Green Lantern, we come together and just talk about New York. We talk about Africa. [We] get a chance to talk about everything that really matters to our people. So thats what you got with Pulse of the People. And its really like a pre-album. Its a prelude to the Information Age which is the album thats coming out the end of the year or the beginning of next year. Thats what it is.

TCM: So are you guys still doin‘ it behind the boards? More production? More thumpin? More...

M-1: Well this was Green, but we got all the production coming. Nah, we gon’...oh yeah, we comin’. We’re crazy. Yeah. We’re just diggin‘ in, right now, real heavy. So...yeah. Ear to the ground. Got my ear to the ground, man.

TCM: Thats whats up. You guys are one of the few groups that are both enlightening and entertaining at the same time. Whats your formula? Whats your creative process like?

M-1: Um, stay sincere. Stay sincere to who we are and what it is. Also, keep your head eye-level to what the people need. Cause sometimes you can’t give the people what you don’t have. You know what I’m sayin? But if you have it, we expect you to give it to us. A lot of times we be disappointed with the artists that have it and don’t give it. So its my duty, I take it as my responsibility. And thats all it is. I can’t be no more than I am and no less than I am. And really I’m a student of the people. I learn from the people. I’m...as much as I can teach somebody, I’m more learning every time and I’m humbled to that. And thats what you...hopefully you’re gon‘ hear that in the music.

TCM: Absolutely. One more question for you. Being a student of the people, being that the people chose Barack Obama, did you vote in the 2008 election? And if so, either way, how do you feel about the first 6 months of the new administration?

M-1: Well, course I voted. But I didn’t cast a vote in a ballot box that went towards the President of the United States of America. I casted my vote when it comes down to my organization. Economic development. When it comes to where I put my dollars. Where I put my thoughts. Where I invest my energy. Where I build my community. And thats been about change far beyond, far beyond the kind of new push we have...

And so, I’m inspired by people who want Change as well. I been wantin Change. I think that Change is so necessary in emergency form before we ever got it in this office. So, anybody whose charged up with Change right now, if you see it through Barack Obama, great. I say look at it through the most political eyes that we can and really look...make a vision outside of the box of what real change is for the future. Dare to see a future for our people thats got all of us doing exactly what we need to do. And thats not exactly what the United States Government has planned for us. Its still Politrikkks time again. So, one love.