Mayhem Morearty [Interview]
Toronto, ON – February of this year saw the release of the Hustlemann crew’s first mixtape, Hand Over Fist Volume 1 that featured all and only members of their camp; for their follow up, Hand Over Fist Volume 2, due out in late November, they are looking to branch out, get artists from Toronto and across the nation to contribute to the project. People in mind at the moment include Point Blank, Jugganot, Golden Child, and “many more surprises,” said Mayhem Morearty from Toronto before heading to the studio last week.
“If it’s hot it’ll make the cut.”
Besides that business though, Mayhem’s been dropping things on his own as well; keeping on with other Hustlemann – related projects and mixtape appearances around the GTA, he’s also got a solo debut album set to drop later in 2004, following the Kontraband release. At this point he doesn’t really have too much info on the solo LP, due to wear the title The Audiobiography of…, except for the name, producer spots (set to feature ToneMason, Fin-S and Hustlemann’s Soze and Ignay among others) and the effect he hopes for.
“I just really want to make sure it has a heavy impact,” he says.
It’s going to break down Canadian/ American barriers with raw talent, he predicts. “That’s what’s missing: there’s a gap. And I want to smash that.”
Following the releases in the New Year he’s down to tour, of course, though there’s nothing feasible in the works at the moment. He’s feeling that it’s important to hit both Canada and the States, though below the border, he notes, is NOT where he’s most concerned about. “Europe and Asia are the most viable places for hip-hop right now…But we definitely want to get to a block near you.”
I make you relate to me/Like you got no choice/Cause I’m a keep rappin’ till I got no voice – How I Move
Speaking on much of the hip-hop out today in the American market, Mayhem says “it’s real uncreative, real monotonous. But at the same time, it’s selling more and more numbers, so it’s kinda a catch 22.” Who does he give props to? “Kool G. Rap. People don’t give him ’nuff dues and I’m not gonna say anymore because he’s just a pioneer…50 and them, they didn’t come up with all that out of nowhere, you know what I mean?”
Hustlemann crewmate, Franz Thomas, popped onto the line at this point to say: “Shout out to my mans dem!” and ring out a big, fast list of names before bouncing. (And due to technical difficulties I missed most of them so I apologize to Franz and the names that consequently won’t appear on the page. But his mens know who they are.)
“Mayhem Morearty, Prince of the Ghetto/Leave no prints on the metal/When I grip it and let go” – Same O’L G
Anyway, before he handed the phone back to Mayhem he did say this about Toronto’s rep of being full of haters: “I think Toronto’s full of people who are fed up with bullshit. For what we’ve been doing, no one’s been coming like us.”
“A lot of rappers rap about everything, circumstances in life, but a lot of cats will test you,” added Mayhem. “People see us, it’s not like we’re up on something that we’re not, that we’re not doing. People know us in T.O.”
“Ya’ll need to stay tuned to the Blockumentary.” Blockumentary is another Hustlemann project, a documentary that will be featured on the limited edition Kontraband album, and then sold on DVD itself later on. More info will be available on that as it develops.
Putting out solid hood-hop as the “next level of gangsta rap,” Mayhem and the Hustlemann follow the motto of “live from the red stop signs and yellow lines.” You could say there’s a relation to Hemingway, the way we’re just living the art form, he says. “We’re smart and street smart.”
“I beat up beats/I Smack up tracks/Go mental on instrumentals/Never whack on wax” – Hand Over Fist
The collective of eight are also starting up a community centre project whereby the big hearted brothers will hit up community centres in the GTA to perform and more importantly, says Mayhem, hold showcases for the artists in those areas, with proceeds going to charity, in order to give something back and bring more unity and support to the game.
“We want to bring more unity, and hopefully people will respect that and won’t come with no bad vibes. It’s a new day; nobody’s trying to hold each other down.”
If you’re interested about the community centre business or want to inquire about it, hit up Mayhem and the boys at 416.209.5488. (And on a side note, if you’re a promoter wanting to book them, artist wanting to get up on the mixtape or in the showcases, etc. etc., dial it up!)
If you’re looking to support as a consumer, hit up the radio stations to request “How I Move” and cop the vinyl for Homegrown, put out by Universal. “It’s hot vinyl though, hit us up now if you don’t got it. That should be in the pool!” They’ve got no video production on the go right now but videographers can also holla at the number above (or at 416.579.9711). They’re currently going through the whole paperwork spiel with VideoFact and will soon have word on their grant status so keep an ear to the ground and an eye on MuchMusic!
“Talk is cheap and action’s expensive/That’s why I walk these streets strapped with a weapon” – We Shootin’
“There’s a lot of red tape to cut through,” Mayhem says. “We’re grateful for their existence,” although, like most outlets geared for mainstream play, he said, “you have to deal with the art form restriction and manipulation.”
Hopefully something Mayhem and the whole Hustlemann crew will be able to continue to avoid.
“To HipHopCanada – ya’ll are doing it up big, you’ve been supporting us so we’re definitely gonna support ya’ll back. Holla at your 416 boys, you know….. Look out for Kontraband coming out soon, Hand over Fist mixtape…… Big up to all the real dudes doing it up: Concise, Checkmate, anyone doing their thing, strugglin’… I ain’t even gonna pump names this time.”
Written by Jessica Linnay for HipHopCanada