Myzery Interview [2021]

Hodge: Welcome Nene. It seems like our interview series always resumes in the weeks leading up to the Gathering. Which in a way is a good thing, because it brings your fans up-to-speed on all of your latest happenings, and right before they get to see you back at home on the grandest stage of them all. I guess the first thing we need to cover is all of the recent losses of so many beloved hip-hop figures.

Myzery: I figured we’d better start there too. These losses have been heavy on this culture I love. DMX, Shock-G, Biz Markie, MF Doom. C’mon. Way too soon. R.I.P. to these greats.

Hodge: I’m assuming that the passing of DMX was the toughest one of the bunch, as you’ve obviously followed his career closely. In your staple song “All I know is pain”, the entire hook was a stylized homage to DMX’s lyrics from his popular song “Ruff Ryders Anthem”.

Myzery: Yeah, that one hit like a ton of bricks. He still had so much more in the tank too. That final album was fire! Glimpses of the most potent DMX we all knew. But even though I gave him that nod on my track, all those artists deaths were deep to me. In either 2012 or 2013 I actually closed for Biz Markie, which I often looked back on with lots of pride. Shaggy did like an impromptu backup dancer routine for me that night and it was a great time in my life. And Shock, I know you knew dude well back in the day. But for me, being such a Tupac student, Shock’s death made me really reflect. We all know Pac lived an intense life. Filled to the top with conflict and a passion to put injustice on full blast. But him riding with Shock though, Pac always spoke of those times as his uncut moments of fun and freedom. I was always relieved to know that the man that paved the way for so many emcees like me had a Shock-G in his corner to at least let him tap into some years of good times ya know. If anybody, he deserved it. Shock-G was no saint, but he kinda was, and will forever be one now. R.I.P. to all those brothers!

Hodge: Well said. Hopefully all these losses in hip-hop takes a breather. It’s been a really rough year for the community.

Hodge: For years in our interview series we’ve been covering the rising trend that trap music has been having on hip hop and the subsequent decline of mainstream boom bap.  While trap is no doubt at the forefront of commercial rap nowadays, I can’t help but have noticed a resurgence of that multifaceted sound that your class ushered in.  I’m talking about modern classics like- Rass Kass’s super group “Jamo Gang”, Busta’s E.L.E.2, Royce 5’9 & DJ Premier’s “PRhyme” albums, anything by Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), anything by Czarface, and Dj Marco Polo & Masta Ace’s recent “Breukelen Story” album.  Hell, Slaine’s new “The things we can’t forgive” album is so impressive, it’s like the blueprint of how to school it with boom bap, and still thrive in this modern era. What’s your take on this feeling that rap might be rounding the corner towards that renaissance of its boom bap glory?

Myzery: You know me Hodge, I’m always loyal to the style I was birthed in.  I’m from the BX, Hip Hop’s cradle of life.  Trap wasn’t ever dominating where I’m at.  I do feel it has its place though.  People aren’t always in the mood for that deep substance, that stick to your ribs hip hop.  Sometimes you just wanna unplug from the heavy stuff and put your lyricist radar on cruise control. Ya’ll know my boy Fuego.  Fuego Flamez.  He’s real familiar with that modern stuff.  He gets a lot of props for what he’s doin with his trap stuff too.  Madchild too. His new “Shane” joint, it’s heavy on that trap production. He’s so clever wit it though. He figured out a way to seem trendy to the ear, but never abandoned his quality of bars either. Props. So who’s to say which lane deserves to stay and which don’t.  I know what I’m into, and that fire that these OG’s been bringing back lately has been a beautiful thing to bear witness.

Hodge: On Episode 19 of the popular Lars & Snax Hatchet Chat show, your old cohort The Rude Boy was a guest, as they took an in-depth look at your Psychopathic Records debut “Para La Isla”.  The whole episode was fortified with flattering testimonials of your now legendary status debut. Did you have a chance to catch this episode at all?

Myzery: Yeah, Flamez gave me a heads up about it.  I peeped the whole thing.  All those guys really showed some love.  Much respect.

Hodge: One thing I found a bit puzzling in that episode of Hatchet Chat, was that Rudy mentioned that right after your departure from Psychopathic Records, you outwardly dissed the label.  I consider myself pretty well versed in your career, and I cannot recall this at all?  On the flipside, I do remember Psy taking two very playful shots at your departure.  One was during the announcement of the 2nd Rydas album, in which it was said that a masked gangster delivered the note about the upcoming Rydas album with a “PS” that read “No more Twin Gatz” and also a verse from that same album in which Violent J (as Bullet) joked about “I’ll leave you missing like Twin Gatz, lost deep in a cave, with the rats & bats”.  But as far I know, you’ve never dissed them on a track, not ever.  Do you know what Rudy was touching on?

Myzery: I mean, I heard a few things on that show that were a little off.  For one, I never dissed them over there.  Well, I guess I did on “untwisted”, but that was only towards one cliq within that label, and about a very public incident that happened.  That was in 01, not from when I dipped out.  Put it to you like this, I have thrown jabs at a cliq, but not at ICP.  Those are my brothers right there.  And when I speak on that label, I don’t even consider anybody else as Psychopathic, just ICP really.  So yeah, I never dissed them…even when all these parties tried to sway me to do that. We grown together, and I always consider us bonded in this world.

Hodge: You mentioned a few things being a little bit “off” from that episode of Hatchet Recap.  What else were you puzzled about?

Myzery: Well, one of the hosts acted sort of suspect or dismissive about why I dropped The Demon Angel as part of a re-release of the EP, and mentioned something about why would I release an album I’ve been working on for 20 years, as part of a re-package with the EP.  It seemed like he was saying that I been stuck making an album for 20 years.  I dropped Red Eye, Bad Influence, FU Hate me More, Love & Hate, mixtapes, EP’s, and two Rydas Solos within that 20 years.  Not just sitting around working on one thing since Para La Isla.  And the 20th Anniversary wasn’t just a re-issue either, it was the full LP version that never been released before. They got it sorted out better at the end of that show though. So it’s all good.

Myzery: Also there was some mention that my Green Willie character in Big Money Hustlas was due to him being a fake jewelry hustler.  About how fake gold changes your skin to green. I’ve heard that more than once though.  Maybe it wasn’t even them that said it. That movie was really just a Dolomite spoof.  Wille Green was the main enemy in Dolemite.  My character’s name was just homage to that character.

Hodge: Within a dense layer of props by Rudy, he also mentioned how a lack of promotional measures, via Psychopathic (and beyond), hindered your professional visibility.  He said that if your talents had been marketed properly, you could have been as household of a name as Pitbull or other Latin powerhouse rappers.  In fact, he suggested that you were the only one in Psychopathic’s history that had that type of mainstream appeal potential. What’s your take on his bold interpretation?

Myzery: I mean, those were some very kind words right there.  When an industry vet, that’s seen decades in this biz, when he makes claims like that…I dunno it just makes you feel pride. I don’t feel salty about the “what-if’s” or whatever.  I’ve been lucky enough to live this dream in the first place, and nothing is ever guaranteed.  Plus, I always got total creative freedom.  And that doesn’t mean “I have no management”, of course I do.  Nobody makes entire full albums solo, with zero Team.  It’s no mystery that I’m not some social magnet starved for attention.  I don’t reach out to nobody or network. I’m an observant type. Now, would a major label have let me be Myz to the fullest, or try to neuter me to fit the pop money making machine?  Plus, you heard Rudy mention that I was never afraid to step to management right?  That could be bad for business, and major labels probably woulda cut their losses with me before I ever dropped anything. But he’s right though, my Team can be wild at times.  Most of the time, it’s a reason for that, other times…my bad on that I guess, but they Fam and we roll together regardless.

Hodge: Rudy also mentioned how he would always be just speechless at your recollections of run-ins with Hip Hop royalty.  He mentioned Fat Joe, and I know you chopped it up with Eminem, Freddie Foxx, B-Real, and Eric B. as well.  I even remember Ponch (formerly Da Minority) recall a chance encounter you had with Latin legend Kid FROST before.  Any more memories of run-ins with Hip Hop greats?

Myzery: I don’t know if I’ve ever spoke on this, but I was hand scouted by Pun’s people to open a concert for Fat Joe and Big Pun.  You know who else was on the Bill that night?  A rookie named Eminem.  He was booked as opener too.  It was January of 98.  Pun didn’t really do shows that much, so this was kind of a one-off. Can you imagine that, Big Pun and Em on the same show?!?  As for me that night, i no-showed. Ponch was there. Him and Pun kicked it backstage for a minute. But your boy left him hangin’, and it’s one of my worst regrets. To this day, I can’t even explain why I bailed on that show either…smh. Was just too young n careless back then.

Hodge: You mentioned earlier about releasing two Twin Gatz solo’s before.  In fact, you were the only Ryda to drop any solo’s, until ABK recently released his Sawed-Off EP. I know you were starting to discuss another Twin Gatz album last summer titled “The Last Ryda”.  Have those discussions materialized into another Twin Gatz album?

Myzery: Its basically done. It just got shelved. I was set to drop it a while back.  Even reached out to Joe about appearing on it.  Those discussions kinda fell through though.  I think I was taking aim at too many people on it.  Shit was super fired up, zero humor.  I will get back to it soon.

Hodge: Speaking of Rydas, what was your opinion on Madrox giving you (Twin Gatz) a shout-out on the MNE Rydas track “Ima be a Ryda”?

Myzery: Fake.  Its fake props.  Fake name drops for clickbait.  If they wanted to iron stuff out with me, they wouldn’t do business in certain ways and with certain people that have direct conflict with my blood fam.  Cheap move, given the circumstances. And my stance will probably only make sense to me, but that’s what personnel shit is intended to do, right?

Hodge: Speaking of Twiztid, that Hatchet Chat (Ep.19) briefly mentioned how your debut album featured several mentions of the term “twisted”.  They even alluded to the fact that perhaps Jamie and Mono heard those lyrics and decided to “adopt” it as their own namesake.  Your album did come out first, and those songs were more than likely recorded by you when they were still in the era of House of Krazees. Any belief in the notion that your lyrics inspired their longstanding moniker?

Myzery: Facts. Except they didn’t borrow it from my verses at all.  I suggested that name to Violent J.  So yes, that name was a Myzery brainchild.  Joe will co-sign that.

Hodge: We already kinda touched on ABK for a second.  I was there for a quick reunion of sorts with you guys during the GOTJ 2019.  Can you paint that picture for us?

Myzery: Yeah. It was my Camp, ABK and his team, Esham, and Lyte.  We were on the side stage watching Bone Thugs do they thing.  In fact, just before meeting up with Killa and all those guys, we got on stage with Bone, chillin in the background, but totally feelin the vibe.  The crowd was all the way up too.  Felt like the whole campground all came out to see Bone Thugs lay it down.  Anyways, after that we somehow all met up on the side stage.  All ex label mates and their teams just chillin together. Well, I may have went off on an undercover 5.0 for a minute, and a golfcart may have somehow become a convertible model.  Other than that though, it woulda been a crazy site for fans.  No bad blood, all love.  Lots of talk about collabs with each other and music shit.  Oh yeah, and Sandman.  Sandman was there.  Kendo stick dude from wrestling.

Hodge: I remember that!  It was wild.  There he was, a hardcore wrestling Icon from ECW’s heyday. He was in a hilarious desperate attempt to get on the stage during BONE’s set.  Four security guys were following him everywhere trying to barricade him from going on stage.  It was a total game of cat n mouse, Tom n Jerry style.  He would like juke left, they would dive right, then it would start all over again.  This went on for like 10 minutes.  He was in such a good mood too.  Just a middle-aged hardcore wrestling legend, frantically trying to outwit a bunch of young security/handlers, to get on stage for a hip hop set.  Only at the Gathering!  Do you remember if he ever got on stage?

Myzery: Yeah he did.  I remember he threw his hands up like to say, “okay, you won.  Imma stay put”.  Then as he walked away defeated, he pulled a sharp U-turn and RAN all the way behind the stage and found another entrance door, with security still chasing behind.  He rushed in mad fast and slammed that door behind him.  We was all cracking up cause he did it.  His mission to get on stage worked out.  Next thing we see is Sandman, dancing hard behind BONE THUGS at the back of the stage.  Security all around, all pleading with him to get away.  He wasn’t fazed though.  Dude invented some crazy sloppy new dances to go along with Bone songs.  Not even sure why security was stressing so hard either.  He was being harmless.  Just keepin to himself and having a good time. Ray (Fuego) talked to him for a minute afterwards.  He was droppin inside gems about his time in WWE and how that one rican dude Carlito was such a wasted talent there.  He was telling him about how Pondo had tried to get him into the JCW scene for years. He wished he woulda done this a long time ago because it was one of the best scenes he could remember being at.  Great time. Good memories..

Hodge: We already discussed the new sound of hip hop versus the classic sound of hip hop, but what’s your take on all these younger emcees taking shots at OG legends, like Lil Pump’s recent jab at Eminem, Lil Xan calling Pac boring, Young Thug’s barbs at Andre 3000, or even Tyler the Creator’s insults at Flipmode’s Rah Digga (an artist you’re collabed with), back when Tyler was on the come-up?

Myzery: Why poke the bear.  Gotta leave these Apex predator’s the fuck alone.  Hasn’t Em already shown why you don’t try to overthrow a King of his craft, while he’s still in his prime?  Countless bodies laid flat by Marshall already.  Shit, Andre is no doubt one of the best to ever do it too, just like Digga, who will be forever mentioned as one of the greatest female emcees, period.  I’m blessed I got to work with both her and Freddie Foxx on a track. But yeah, a healthy beef is entertaining.  Entertainment equals cashflow.  But, content wise, I don’t think one of those generations can afford to beef with the other.  C’mon, how’s any rapper gonna judge PAC as boring.  Lemme see them go diamond, before they tell me what’s boring. And I dunno about most of these beefs, real or fabricated, but in a situation where if both generations spit bars judged on substance strictly, I’m backing the OG’s all day.

Hodge: Let’s stay on the topic of Eminem for a moment.  I have to ask, how does it make you feel when you personally narrow down your list of potential collaborators, to maybe pick a great that most new listeners may not remember (or appreciate to the fullest). But, then you hear that Eminem acknowledged that same emcee via a shoutout on his “Music to be Murdered By” album. I’m talking about Em’s mention of ED O.G, on the song “Yah Yah”.  You recorded a song with EDO, for the remix (for the Couch Party Game Night soundtrack) of your banger “Don’t Make Me Angry”.  When a G.O.A.T like Eminem cosigns the creds of people you hand pick for your collabs, how does that register with you?

Myzery: It’s validation.  Who else in the rap game continues to smash all chart records, without even promoting the album’s release…at all?  Well, NAS got it like that too I guess. But yeah, I heard that name drop, and it was like a co-sign.  I had people on my own team, much younger than me, be like, this tracks dope, but whose Souls of Mischief, or Ed OG?  How you know them anyways?  Homework son. These men paved the way.  And yeah, if Shady co-signs you, you got that special something.  Em is not just an admirer of this culture, you can tell he’s a scholar.  Maybe more than anybody out there.  He really studies.  He calculates who is worthy of a mention, and he’s scarce with those flowers.

Hodge: We’re all living in such unique times due to this worldwide pandemic.  I hear Myzery Camp was affected very deeply by COVID-19, to include loss of blood Family, and also close musical peers, such as esteemed NY rapper Fred The Godson.  Care to touch on this touchy subject at all?

Myzery: Yeah, my moms was a nurse and she knows the true damage COVID can cause, and on anybody.  Its different for each host.  Fuego lost blood Fam outta this mess.  And yeah, Fred the Godson was Fam to Spanish Side member Caspa.  That emcee had skills enough to earn XXL’s freshman class of 2011.  Barely anybody makes that cut.  That’s a true loss to the game right there.  Only 35 years old too.  Crushing blow to hip hop and to the Team.

Hodge: Not to stay on the topic of death, but were you aware of original KMK member Saint Dog’s passing late last year?  Another pioneer gone too soon.  R.I.P. Saint.

Myzery: Of course, it was all over mainstream news, for like a week.  R.I.P. to a peer from the same era that I started in.

Hodge: While Saint Dog’s passing was a shock and deeply sad to hear, it was also very revealing in just how far of a reach the Underground Music scene spans, cause you are right, the news of his passing reached every corner of mainstream news coverage.  So often you hear underground emcees cast in this pale light, as if they are in some kind of almost-made-it fraternity.  But judging from the impact of Saint’s passing, the underground may have just as large of a reach as mainstream music.  What are your thoughts on the value the underground scene maintains?

Myzery: The underground culture nurtures its roster much more.  Mainstream artists are discarded by a fickle fan base the moment they don’t reach a sales figure or chart bigger hits than before.  Done.  Laughed at.  Punchline joke, and forgotten.  Look how the mainstream treated DMX before he passed away.  Shameful.  Dude was a legend.  Treated like dirt by media and mainstream fans. Underground music has a following that’s way more diehard, which might mean less money right away, but more dough for its artists over a much longer career.  The underground’s fanbase seems much more passionate also.  Do you still see any fanbase for Chub Rock or Young MC? If so, are they ride or die?  I personally got homies from those same era’s who still have those same rabid fans, plus all the ones they’ve picked up along the way.  Still diehard and supporting their emcees strong.

Hodge: While talking about underground music, how about the fact that Sub Noize’s own Hed P.E. was up for a Grammy last year!

Myzery: That’s huge, and that’s straight outta an independent label.  You think all that buzz came from mainstream fans.  Hell nah.  That’s the reach the Underground fan base has on full display right there.  Respect.  Back to Saint though.  I regret not reaching out earlier.  Still got his info in my phone.  Can’t keep sleeping on these collab opportunities, life throws too many curve balls.  R.I.P. to a trailblazer of that riphop sound.

Hodge: Let’s talk Producers.  Who owns the crown- J. Dilla, RZA, Dj Premiere, Scoop DeVille, Just Blaze, Dr. Dre, Eric B., Prince Paul, Organized Noize, DJ Marco Polo, Muggs, Timbaland, A-Plus, Shock-G, Ninth Wonder, Rob the Viking, Mike Clark, Dan the Automater, or the late MF DOOM (R.I.P.)?

Myzery: Dre. Everybody else gets honorable mention. Crazy about MF Doom also. R.I.P.. Most know he was a dope emcee no question, but he was so sick as a Producer too. Gone way too soon.

Hodge: It was unearthed by former Psychopathic Records employee Kevin Gill that he was once slated to become the President of the label, just before a series of events led him to part ways with the company.  In the months leading up to your highly publicized 2018 reunion with the label, KG was very outspoken in his support of you.  If he and Psychopathic Records hadn’t parted ways, do you think that the strong momentum you had with Psy in 2018 would have carried over to this day?

Myzery: KG was a workhorse.  He’s super aware of all things music and wrestling.  I was glad to hear all his support of the album.  He kept that support goin even after its release too.  I felt what he was sayin.  I don’t I know for sure that things woulda been different with me standing over there, but I’m guessing his vote wouldn’t have hurt.  I’ve heard for years that I have some forever supporters at the label, but had a few skeptics or blockers at some point also.  I know the main player though, like I know him.  No matter what, we always got love and respect for each other, and if nobody was ever in his ear, I think I woulda been beside him through this whole saga. You heard how hyped Violent J was about my set this year right. To this day I’m still blessed to have his support like that. His stamp carries a lot of weight wit it. I just don’t know if they’re aiming to support a full roster like that now. The business has changed. Some things ain’t even practical like they was before. I had a follow-up album immediately ready to release on Psy after Demon Angel. It was the next chapter of D/A.  I was calling it “More Demon Less Angel”.  It had the features with Opio (Souls of Mischief), Danny Diablo, Kuma, Twisted Insane, King Gordy, Scarab (living legends), Mastamind, Ed OG, Slaine, Rah Digga (Flipmode Squad), and some more underground Fam.  I didn’t hear anything back.  Honestly, I don’t think nobody even got word to Joe about this record, cause I doubt he woulda passed on it. Dunno, but I think if KG woulda been in charge then, it might have come out under that Psy flag.  Why pass up an already completed album with gold status rappers like Digga and Opio, not to mention underground beasts like Slaine, and Legends like Edo G?  A shame I couldn’t bring that to heads, but it’s not gone forever.

Hodge: There’s an ancient ICP hotline clip from the late 90’s in which Violent J introduced the world to a new iteration of Nene dubbed Dr. Gigglez.  That was for a project that we later got a taste of on your “4 Faces” EP.  However, that hotline clip also featured J’s announcement of Dark Lotus, to which you were announced as a member.  He then played a brief snippet from the Lotus project and the both of you talked about the snippet as if it was already a recorded song, and one that you were perhaps on.  Do you remember ever recording a track for the Dark Lotus debut album, or was this some other long lost track you guys recorded around the same timeframe?

Myzery: Oh wow, I barely even remember that hotline stuff we did.  I know I was in Dr. Gigglez mode though.  I do remember being on board as a Lotus member, and we did record stuff around that same time, but I don’t remember what the track was for though.  So much goin on back then.  Can’t remember what even happened to that track to be honest.

Hodge: I know that when your name gets brought up by fans, it never fails that your real-life family ties to the Bruce Brothers always gets referenced.  Sometimes it feels like your intro chapter in the rap game gets diminished a bit, as if Violent J just did you a solid by creating this new career path for you…cause you’re family.  I’m assuming this gets annoying to you.  Care to speak on this?

Myzery: Yeah.  I hear this all the time.  I don’t stress over it though.  Since the early 2000’s this has been the most common comment I’ve heard as far as people’s assumption about how I became a rapper.  Nope, that’s just how I became a more noticeable rapper, for which I’m still grateful for.  When I met Rob (Jumpsteady), I was already doin my thing as an emcee.  I didn’t go by Myzery yet, but I had lots of material I already recorded and floated it around my inner circles in the BX.  Many years later I dropped a whole album of those pre-Psychopathic joints called “Myzery Classics”.

Hodge: In our last interview you touched on a very experimental project you were working on, a rock project nonetheless.  What ever became of that venture?

Myzery: I love to express myself in the booth.  It’s actually more natural for me to put my thoughts into song than conversations sometimes.  Even rich hip hop beats can’t properly steer my lyrics at times.  It’s not that I’ve been toying with a rock release, but an album with some familiar rock production. It allows me to channel my bars in a more aggressive style.  And I never bailed on it either, it’s just a very different beast to tackle, so I approach it with more patience.  I’ve got a lot of it completed, and it’s not like any of my stuff you’ve heard before.  I like to test myself outside the comfort zone sometimes. When i drop this, it should turn some heads for sure.

Hodge: Okay so before we wrap-up this latest chapter of our interview series, can you point your audience towards any music out there that you’ve been inspired by?

Myzery: I can’t really tolerate too much of the modern trap sounding stuff, but there’s a lot of these unassuming b-sides touching on some really untapped subjects.  Like listening to strokes of genius.  Some of this won’t click as what I’d be into, but really think about what these songs is sayin.  Hunt these down- Wrekonize “Call for my name”, Busta Rhymes “best I can”, R.A. The Rugged Man “Golden Goldies”, Immortal Technique “you never know”, Slaine “this is our moment”, Warporn Industries “dazed and confused”, Serial Killers “in the sky”, or Mystic’s “worth saving”. I could go on and on with this list, but these were just some of the ones that stood out to me.

Hodge: I wanna thank you again for pulling back the curtains on so many topics that needed elaboration. For such a reserved and collected person, you always seem to launch these bursts of clarity that really enlightens your audience.  I thank you for all the years of unmasked honesty Nene.

Myzery: Of course.  It’s always good to be able to verify things, or axe the false info that’s out there.  Plus, much of this stuff isn’t quite at the surface yet, but is quick to get there once we start getting into it.  So it’s always good to be able to have that lane to vent or dive deeper.  Thanks Hodge for dredging this stuff out, and a big thanks to anyone that’s been following along, and for so long.  Keep an eye on your boy, I got years of this passion left for y’all.

from Faygoluvers


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