Mr. Green Interview
by Guy Emanuel
It’s hard to believe that Shemspeed is Mr. Green’s frist interview. After all he has produced tracks that feature C Rayz Waltz, Kosha Dillz and Matisyahu all rhyming together. Well, regardless, it is his first interview and maybe we are so ahead of our stuff that we caught him before anyone else. That said. welcome to the mind of Mr. Green a mysterious fellow whose myspace photo shows him adorned in headphones in a field of green grass. A play on more than just his name, I’m sure.
S. What if any is the relationship between cooking and making music?
M. Haha, they actually have a lot in common. In both art forms you always have to take into consideration your audience. Some people like to try something new, and to take risks. Others simply prefer to have something that they are already familiar with. When I create, I aim to please both crowds.. which is definitely no easy task.
S. How long you been in the rap game?
M. Officially, 2 years. I actually started djing when I was 16 in 1999. When I was 17 I got a chance to play at the Tunnel where Funk Flex used to spin. I continued spinning into college but my interest dwindled as I found myself being forced into playing records that I didn’t like. A big part of being a DJ is enjoying yourself. A good dj should always be having a good time, such a good time that his/her energy projects into the audience, making everyone in the crowd have a good time. I’ve always been an advocate for the classic hip hop of the mid to late 90’s, and around 2001 it was like all of a sudden everybody only wanted to hear tacky club songs. I simply hated the songs I was spinning and when I played them, it showed. I took a step back from the music scene publically, but never lost interest in the authentic hip hop that i grew up listening to. I got into making beats because of one of my college roommates, but never took it as seriously as he did, I would just make loops for fun. It wasn’t until march 2005 when I was convinced to enter a beat battle, that i even realized I had a shot in hip hop. I played two beats, and although I was competing against real professional producers. I got one of the best crowd reactions of the night. I, a few days later, March 15’th 2005, made the decision to pursue music.
S. Why do you think you ended up being the beat maker for some of the most interesting Jewish rappers? (Niz, Kosha Dillz, that track with Matisyahu and C Rayz…)
M. The reason why.. thats a complex question. I’d like to think it’s because I make beats that give rappers room to open up. The producers who make hip hop nowadays
are overdoing it. Using fast drum rolls and breakdowns frequently as though it will bring more life to their tracks, which doesn’t work. The beat is supposed to be the backbone, a heartbeat or pulse that guides the MC to bring the song to life. If there is too much going on in the beat, the content of the lyrics gets drowned out.
S. What are some of your thoughts on religion and music?
M. Music, in its most powerful form, has the power to bring people of differing cultures together. Thats exactly what we are trying to do with Jewish Hip Hop.
S. How do you get samples cleared?
M. If someone asked me that question six months ago, I wouldn’t have had an answer. I’m happy to say now that I have a lawyer for that, we are in the process of
clearing something really serious for my Pacewon project as we speak.
S. What are your weapons of choice?
M. My weapons of choice are my ears, hands and eyes.. haha.. all I will say is that I use alaptop PC I bought at Comp USA to do everything.
Who is a better MC, Kosha Dillz or Niz?
M. Neither, Music is about self relection and connecting to an audience. Both artists make music to help find new things about themselves and to in turn make their audience relate and find new things about themselves. Kosha Dillz uses comedy as a way to get his fans attention, Niz takes a more serious approach and as a result has a strong following in the orthodox community.. both are very good at what they do..
S. Also, who is better looking?