R.O.T (Revenge of the Truence) is a New York City Duo com­prised of Lyr­i­cist MuG­Gz (aka MuG­G­zOn­DruGz) and Lyricist/Producer Tay Dayne (aka Guru Morah). Togeth­er they bring a fresh and authen­t­ic brand of Street Sci­ence to the New York Hip Hop sound, remind­ing you when NY ran Hip Hop. The duo does a great job of com­bin­ing golden-era Rot­ten Apple influ­ences with con­tem­por­ary fla­vor, deliv­er­ing street-smart verses over pro­duc­tion that ranges from rugged and digit­al boom-bap to bass-heavy, jazz-infused beats.

Revenge of the Truence new ep, H1N1 is cent­ral­ized around a dif­fer­ent kind of ill­ness and dis­order. To this day in many inner city com­munit­ies, young men and woman are plagued by poor edu­ca­tion, lack of resource and dilap­id­ated build­ings. This along with oth­er vari­ables cre­ate envir­on­ments in which the gen­er­al pop­u­la­tion have an inab­il­ity to advance from. Revenge of the Truence describe and chal­lenge this nor­mal­ity in with their Endem­ic Emer­ald pro­duced 6 Track pro­ject. From records like “The Out­break” to “Major Way”, R.O.T show us that although you may not start with much you can always build your own way out; and do it in the best New York/Boom Bap fash­ion!

We catch up with the duo to find out more…

Firstly tell us a bit about your indi­vidu­al journey’s in music?

Tay:  I always had a love for music, played a couple instru­ments grow­ing up. Got into writ­ing around 14 years old.

MuG­Gz: I star­ted writ­ing stor­ies in marble note­books when I was 10 and even­tu­ally around the age of 13–14, I star­ted writ­ing rhymes with the dudes I went to school with. I stuck with it and get bet­ter every day.

How did you form the duo R.O.T (Revenge of the Truence)? What brought you both togeth­er? And how did you get the name?

MuG­Gz: 2011 I atten­ded the Insti­tute of Audio Research (IAR) in NYC. There I linked with Tay as well as our then teach­er and now pro­du­cer Scene 5. Everything hap­pens for a reas­on. Along with our guy Stizzy we all came togeth­er that year and have been build­ing ever since. Revenge of the Truence…we were the kids too smart for school. When there’s noth­ing they can tell you they say you’re com­bat­ive, the teach­ers write you off, try and down play you but they can­’t. R.O.T It’s our time. 

Tay: The link­ing of like minds brought it all togeth­er. The love and respect we have for the craft, as well as the tal­ent. I remem­ber one day in class the teach­er (Scene 5) threw a beat on and dared any­one to spit on it. Might have been “Dwyck” MuG­Gz stood up, spit like 24 bars, I jumped up right after. The bond star­ted form­ing from that point on. A lot of tal­ent was in that classroom, Shout out to AL MILLER & ZOOK­IE if they are read­ing this! 

How would you define your style? And where do you draw your influ­ences from?

MuG­Gz: If I had to label my style, it would be con­sidered street sci­ence. Most of my verses double as cau­tion­ary tales. Big Pun is my biggest inspir­a­tion.

Tay: Street Sci­ence is our over­all style. I draw influ­ence from my favor­ite emcees espe­cially grow­ing up; Smif n Wessun, Sean P, M.O.P, CNN, Mos Def, Big L, Big Pun, 90s rap as a whole

How import­ant is it for you to use Hip Hop to edu­cate?

Tay: All music will teach you some­thing. I think it’s import­ant to under­stand that no mat­ter what level of sub­stance your music has, wheth­er its “con­scious” or “mumble rap”, as an artist you may not always edu­cate, but you are always con­vey­ing a mes­sage. I think the issue now is there is less hon­esty and authen­ti­city to the music. Know who you are as an artist, know what your mes­sage and your goal is.

MuG­Gz: Be real to your­self and your art. People will learn who you are through the music.

Tell us a bit about your latest EP H1N1? What is the style of pro­duc­tion and what themes do you cov­er in it?

Tay: H1N1’s theme is based around “sick­ness” and “dis­order”. We thought about how in a lot of inner city neigh­bour­hoods (like the one we were raised in) it’s the same thing occur­ring; little to no oppor­tun­it­ies, sys­tem­ized racism, the decay of build­ing struc­tures and men­tal states. This dilap­id­a­tion causes “sick­ness” and “dis­order”. We wanted to find a way to describe these issues and the idea of it breed­ing sick­ness. The name H1N1 came to mind. This was last year right before Cov­id was what it is cur­rently. It just so hap­pens that it is even more rel­ev­ant now.

MuG­Gz: Facts. We used that as the start­ing point and did what we do best. Endem­ic came with the A1 pro­duc­tion after that the rest is light work. As a whole though it’s about the envir­on­ment many of us come up out of and over­com­ing chal­lenges in life.

Tell us about the latest track you released ‘The Out­break’?

Tay: “The Out­break” exactly that. It’s our first offer­ing on H1N1, and sim­il­ar to how a vir­us breaks out, we too are break­ing out into the 2020 Hip Hop scene with some­thing unavoid­able. This is our invit­a­tion to all Hip Hop Heads.

What are your per­son­al favour­ites on the EP?

Tay: Mine are The Out­break, Table of Ele­ments & Major Way

MuG­Gz: It’s the Whole EP for me

As you hail from NY, which is a epi­centre for the cur­rent COV­ID-19 crisis,  how has the lock­down affected your cre­ativ­ity?

Tay: Hon­estly besides our weekly stu­dio ses­sions we haven’t slowed down too much with the music. Still have a lot of art com­ing soon. It’s just been a shift being in the house 90 per­cent of the time. It’s also a bless­ing to spend the time with the fam­ily.

MuG­Gz: Same here, been a change in pace but always great to be home with the fam­ily. We still have a lot on the way!

Where can we find out more about the pro­jects you have com­ing up?

MuG­Gz: Fol­low us on IG: @ROT4Ever and @LivethruYours to sup­port our mer­chand­ise. Our solo IG’s are @MuGGzOnDruGz @GurumorahLTY. Also on band­camp for exclus­ive music . Or hit your favor­ite stream­ing plat­form and search “Revenge of the Truence” and add us to your playl­ist.

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Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal

Edit­or / PR Con­sult­ant at No Bounds
Rishma Dhali­w­al has extens­ive exper­i­ence study­ing and work­ing in the music and media industry. Hav­ing writ­ten a thes­is on how Hip Hop acts as a social move­ment, she has spent years research­ing and con­nect­ing with artists who use the art form as a tool for bring­ing a voice to the voice­less. Cur­rently work­ing in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media know­ledge to I am Hip Hop and oth­er pro­jects by No Bounds.

About Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal
Rishma Dhaliwal has extensive experience studying and working in the music and media industry. Having written a thesis on how Hip Hop acts as a social movement, she has spent years researching and connecting with artists who use the art form as a tool for bringing a voice to the voiceless. Currently working in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media knowledge to I am Hip Hop and other projects by No Bounds.