Mercy Gang Emancipates Hip Hop With Their Latest Album “M.E.R.C.Y.” (Murdering Every Rapper Coming at You) @MercyGang1

MJ here your favor­ite Hip Hop blog­ger!  Tonight it is more than a pleas­ure, it is an hon­or to inter­view Pennsylvania’s and East Coast’s own Mer­cy Gang!  Mer­cy Gang embod­ies the defin­i­tion, life­style, and cul­ture of Hip Hop.  Album after album the group con­veys unity, broth­er­hood, and Hip Hop in it’s true form.

Their latest album “M.E.R.C.Y.” is an imper­ish­able work of art cre­ated with blen­ded tal­ent and a mas­tery of lyr­i­cism, beats, and straight bars! This album is in trib­ute to the group’s fallen sol­dier Hefty Metal…

MJ: Let me begin by thank­ing you for tak­ing the time to chop it up with MJ. Its an hon­or, you’re an amaz­ing journ­al­ist, and poet.  Let’s jump right in and talk about the new album M.E.R.C.Y.  You have some of my favor­ite emcees on the album as fea­tures such as Chris Rivers and Ren Thomas.  Give every­one the who, what, where, when, why, and how of M.E.R.C.Y.  What does the acronym stand for?  Talk about the pro­duc­tion. Talk about the cov­er art. Talk about the mean­ing behind it.  How was it cre­at­ing music and an album without the core mem­ber Hefty (RIP)?

MG: The acronym M.E.R.C.Y. stands for Murder Every Rap­per Com­ing at You. It was an hon­or to work with some of the nicest lyr­i­cists in the game.  Ren Thomas is like fam­ily, we have done plenty of shows with him and our broth­ers over at Sensi Starr so it was bound to hap­pen. Our fel­low Bax War brother Pry­me Pro­li­fik did the pro­duc­tion on that record. As for Chris Rivers we chopped it up on the phone with him, sent him the track and he murdered it. We also have U.G from the legendary Cel­la Dwel­las. He has been like a big brother and ment­or to us since we went on tour with him, and Adlib in 2013. We wanted to work with some pro­du­cers we didn’t get a chance to work with on our first album, but still keep that in your face sound that our fans were used to. We had some of the usu­al sus­pects like JL Stu­di­os, Level 13, U.G, Chris Fields, Nysom, and a couple of new pro­du­cers like Hol­la da Schol­lar, Will Sully, and Pry­me Pro­li­fik. The art­work was done by the Soloist. We wanted to let Hefty know how much we miss him and that we know he is watch­ing over us. This was a long and emo­tion­al 2 years; a lot of tears were shed work­ing on this album without him. He was very cre­at­ive and had such a power­ful voice that was a big part of our sound. We appre­ci­ate the amaz­ing poem you wro­te for Hefty on this album; it really meant the world to us and his fam­ily.

MJ:  What do you want fans to embrace most from this album? Tell us what three words would Hefty use to describe the album.

MG: We want the fans to truly appre­ci­ate the blood, sweat, and tears we put into this album. The three words Hefty would use would be amaz­ing, com­pel­ling, and honored.

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MJ:  Will there be a M.E.R.C.Y sopho­more album or tri­logy?

MG: Yes, we’re con­stantly work­ing on new mater­i­al. Maine has a pro­ject with sus­pect from Marmel com­ing soon, and DJ Merc is work­ing on a mix­tape.

MJ:  I have to share that Mer­cy Gang is in my top 5 of favor­ite Indie Hip Hop groups for many reas­ons!  To begin each of you share the same core belief that Mer­cy Gang is a reflec­tion of a fam­ily and true broth­er­hood.  To fur­ther, the group has an incred­ible know-how and skill to com­bine indi­vidu­al unique tal­ents into fused per­fec­tion!  So often you hear of groups that break up or call it quits after a few hits or an album.  2017 Mer­cy Gang is still thriv­ing.  Share the secret of a suc­cess­ful group. Also what would you say are some chal­lenges?

MG: Thanks MJ! That’s means a lot com­ing from you, being the Hip Hop head you are.  We trust each other’s cre­ativ­ity and respect each other’s point of view as it comes to beats, rhymes, and life. We argue and bump heads like most groups do, but the love and respect that we have for each oth­er and for our Mer­cy Gang Brand is stronger than our pride or any egos.

MJ:  Listen­ing to M.E.R.C.Y talk about how the group has pro­gressed music­ally from pre­vi­ous albums.  How would you like to fur­ther pro­gress as a group?

MG: Just con­tinu­ing to make the music from our hearts, and dar­ing to be dif­fer­ent. We’re not afraid to take risks, always giv­ing our all on every song, verse, or hook. We don’t sit around try­ing to make a hit. We just let the music bring the best out of us organ­ic­ally.

MJ: Mer­cy Gang has shared the stu­dio and stages with sev­er­al major artists!  Talk about a mem­or­able time in your career that still stands out to you.  Also, who would you like to add to that list of col­lab­or­a­tions?

MG: We have had a few but the per­form­ances that stick out the most were the Staten Island shows where Meth­od Man came on stage and star­ted rock­ing to our song. We have also had the hon­or of rock­ing the stage with both Sean Price and Prodigy who sadly are no longer with us. May they both rest in peace. Our buck­et list of artists we would love to work with, for Maine would be Red­man and Nas. Paul­ie would like to col­lab­or­ate with Eminem and Tech N9ne. We would also love to work with Philly’s own the 30 and Over League.

MJ:  As we move into the new year give us some inside scoop on upcom­ing shows or oth­er pro­jects you will be work­ing on.

MG: We’re work­ing on some dates for a couple of mini tours in Canada with Marmel and with uni­ver­sal entit­ies from MA, VA, and NC.  We are work­ing on another Mer­cy Gang album. Maine and Sus­pect are work­ing on a pro­ject titled “Cross Boarder Con­nec­tions Vol 2”.  DJ Merc has a mix­tape com­ing out, and we have a couple of sur­prises under our sleeve as well, so stayed tuned!

MJ:  Let’s talk about sup­port!  I find it amaz­ing how incred­ibly sup­port­ive and encour­aging you are to oth­er artists.  I remem­ber one show, our first time meet­ing in per­son, you arrived early, sup­por­ted every single per­form­ance and per­former, and even stayed after­wards to net­work.  Why is that so import­ant to you?  How does that help you as artists?

MG: Well first and fore­most I’m a fan of the cul­ture so I love to see oth­er dope artists, and we are always down to do build for col­lab­or­a­tions. Net­work­ing is extremely import­ant when you’re an artist, dj, pro­moter, man­ager, or even just a fan. So many doors can open up through net­work­ing. We’ve met some great people who share the same love and pas­sion as we do.

MJ:  I get called an ol’ head quite fre­quently because I debate and cri­tique music that so many are quick to cat­egor­ize or label as Hip Hop.   When I think of Hip Hop I think lyr­ics, boom bap, know­ledge, deliv­er­ing a mes­sage, instru­ments, poetry, art, etc. I think of a 4-minute track with a hook.  I think of catchy intro’s and outro’s.  I think of longev­ity; I can go on forever.  Tell me in your own words how do you define Hip Hop?  Do you see Mer­cy Gang ever con­form­ing to fads or trends?

MG: We will nev­er con­form to fads or trends, that’s just not us. Hip hop is a way of life for us!  we eat, sleep, and shit Hip Hop…Hip Hop is a feel­ing, Hip Hop is com­pet­it­ive, Hip Hop is beats, rhymes, ori­gin­al­ity. It’s being true to your­self, and not try­ing to fit in.

MJ:  I’m curi­ous, how did every­one link up and cre­ate Mer­cy Gang?  If it wasn’t for music where would you be right now in life?

MG: Maine did a record with Sway one of our earli­er mem­bers, and Hefty came to the ses­sion and the three of them hit it off instantly. I was part of a group called Unstable Minds when Hefty reached out to me about join­ing the group. The ori­gin­al group con­sisted of Hefty, Maine, Ace, Sway, myself, Paul­ie, and Bagz. Our name was “The Mer­cen­ar­ies,” but Maine wasn’t feel­ing it so he star­ted say­ing Mer­cy Gang and it stuck. We met DJ Merc at a show we did in Jer­sey and he was dope. So three months later Hefty approached him about being in the group and the rest is his­tory. We still try to keep the essence of the ori­gin­al group by put­ting the former mem­bers on a lot of our pro­jects. If I weren’t doing music I would prob­ably be pur­su­ing my interest in writ­ing scripts for movies (Maine).

MJ:  Play along with the quick 3…. Name three places you would like to tour.  Name three artists in your playl­ist regard­less of gen­re. Name 3 people who have influ­enced you both per­son­ally and music­ally.  Describe in three words a Mer­cy Gang per­form­ance.

MG: We would love to tour over­seas like Europe, Japan, and def­in­itely the United States. My playl­ist right now has Red­man, John May­er, and Con­way. Paulie’s playl­ist right now has Twiztid, Wu Tang, and Benny from Griselda. My three influ­ences would be my cous­in Sudan who I learned how to rap from. My mom who made me the per­son I am today and I would have to say the cul­ture of Hip Hop.  Three words to describe a Mer­cy Gang show without a doubt would be ener­get­ic, raw, and amaz­ing.

MJ:  Each mem­ber of the group has their own per­son­al lives, where does the bal­ance come in?  How do you bal­ance career and fam­ily?  Some­times in this industry to be suc­cess­ful in both is extremely dif­fi­cult.

MG: It’s a thin line, because one is going to effect the oth­er.  For Paul­ie and myself we both have wives and kids, and both of our wives are nurses and their sched­ules are crazy.  So when it comes to tour­ing we have to work around our family’s sched­ule. But the thing that makes it work is the love and sup­port our fam­ily shows us when it comes to our music, they know how much it means to us.

MJ:  As we wrap up, is there any­thing else you would like the world to know about Mer­cy Gang?

MG: We would want the world to know that we love what we do, and we try our best to give our all on every track we do. We love Hip Hop!  We love our fans, and we love mak­ing music.

MJ:  I wish Mer­cy Gang a future filled with suc­cess and extraordin­ary accom­plish­ments! Thank you for being true to Hip Hop, salute!

MG: Same to you MJ.  We want to thank you for being our voice for Hip Hop. Con­tin­ue to hold it down for us inde­pend­ent and under­ground artists. We salute you and it was an hon­or to do this inter­view with you.

M.E.R.C.Y. The Album

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MJ Savino

MJ Savino

MJ is Hip Hop Blog­ger, Pub­li­cist, Book­ing Agent, Act­iv­ist, but fan first and fore­most. “Hip Hop saved my life, it is only right I give back to the cul­ture”!

About MJ Savino

MJ Savino
MJ is Hip Hop Blogger, Publicist, Booking Agent, Activist, but fan first and foremost. "Hip Hop saved my life, it is only right I give back to the culture"!