Q. Thank you for the chance to interview you. What where the main factors that lead you to pick up a mic and start rapping?
My older brother Troy introduced me to hip hop and told me I was going to be a rapper. I fell in love with break dancing and listening to the different emcees like Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, Kool G Rap and LL Cool J, Too Short and others. Eventually I started writing my own verses and winning local battles and contests and my mom and general community encouraged me to keep it up, telling me I had some potential to be really good if I kept at it. I wrote a rap for a black history month program that got me kicked out of school and ultimately really helped me to see the importance of the message and lyrical content of my music. It influenced me to always strive to express what’s really going on in the hood from a positive perspective. So I been on it ever since.
Q. If you had to use a particular name to describe your style of rap what name would you give it and why?
I do not believe in styles. I would say I strive to articulate the concept of my songs in any way that is relatable, realistic and in some way inspiring. I value versatility. I explained my approach to song writing in much detail in my book The Art of Emceeing. It has been used in many school and community programs teaching the art form of song writing. My approach is to be fluid so that one can adapt to the music in a way that is not stiff and rigid but fresh and interesting.
Q. How powerful do you think Hip Hop can be in educating and empowering people?
It is only as powerful as the level of consciousness that creates it as well that absorbs and interprets it. Hip hop is a worldwide phenomenon now and has given livelihoods to so many. It will be what we make it be. I value not only the music but the culture and lifestyle of creative self-expression it has given me. It is perhaps our generation’s strongest media platform. A weapon of progress in the right hands.
Q. Who have been your main influences thought out your music career?
I’ve had many. Bruce Lee, Malcolm X, 2 PAC, Will Smith, Assata Shakur , Outkast, Goodie Mob, Snoop, Mob Deep, Bob Marley, Mike Tyson, my mom, my wife Afya, my whole family, my friends, my partner m1, all of hip hop continues to stimulate my creative juices. I read a lot. I work out regularly. I’m inspired by life all the time.
Q. You song No way as the way from the Information Age Album contacted with me on a very personal level. How important to you is it that we as a people learn to grow and expect people of all believes and faiths?
It’s a beautiful space to be when u can accept yourself and others with appreciation and less condemnation. To see what we have in common and not only focus on the differences. We do not have to all be identical twins to know we are connected. Diversity is strength. I’m thankful to be a part of the tribe of life and to have so many great teachers in nature as well as the human family. The more we can learn our true nature and recognize its reflection from each other I think the better our lives will be.
Q. You have written two books the first, entitled Warrior Names from Afrika, and your second book, The Art of Emceeing. What lead you to write these two books and what do they each cover?
Warrior names is a collection of names that I gathered in Afrika searching for a strong name for my son back in 1999. It was my first book and I just explained the why’s and how of African naming traditions and how it applies to our psychological well-being.
The Art of emceeing was my way to document my 20+ years of experience as an emcee and a songwriter in a step by step guide for other aspiring hip hop artists. It comes with a free cd of beats I produced as well.
Q. To people that have not heard of the RBG fit club could you explain to us what it is and what lead you to set it up?
RBG fit club is a health and fitness movement aimed at inspiring and empowering people through promoting holistically healthy lifestyle choices in a manner that people can relate to and aspire to in real life. We currently are working towards 1 million miles of community exercise via running cycling or walking in our campaign called the million miles movement. There are workouts recipes music and merch and much more at the site.
I made a 180 lifestyle shift that has taken me from a lifestyle of poor diet sedentary activity and marijuana and alcohol abuse to one of martial arts and yoga student, marathoning, daily meditation, way healthier eating via a mostly plant based whole food diet and I no longer drink or smoke.
So RBG FITCLUB shares my enthusiasm with as many folks as I can reach. We have thousands of members worldwide and growing. My wife Afya Ibomu CEO of nattral.com and author of the vegan Soulfood guide to the galaxy has been a huge inspiration for my passion for health and fitness as well. We are currently touring doing RBG FIT CLUB /Nattral workshops together.
Q. What can we expect from Stic of Dead Prez in the near future?
My next album is The Workout part 2. I am training and planning for filming a feature length documentary on my passion for running and doing a marathon in Ethiopia. Also finishing another book with my wife. More touring and performing with dead prez. More smiles and much more productivity and much more productivity at RBG Fit Club
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