Realness in Hip-Hop is at an all-time low. Everyone is a trap star and a killer, but in actuality, 99 percent of them are sheep in wolves’ clothing. The one percent of real emcees rarely receive radio attention, but crush the underground circuit. Bronx wordsmith Mysonne belongs to the exclusive one percent. New York’s General has gone through heaven and hell, but now he’s prepared to take over the Rap game as he was poised to do over a decade ago. Mysonne took time to chat with Planet Ill about T.I. snitching, Rick Ross, 50 Cent, The Bronx, French Montana, Black Wallstreet, his insightful documentary, Bang Bang Boogie, Hip-Hop’s troubling state and more. Peep the realness.
Planet Ill: You recently were touring with Game in Europe, how was it performing for fans that might not be too familiar with Mysonne’s music?
Mysonne: Surprisingly, the response was like they already heard the music. Also, I was surprised to find out that I have a lot more fans in Europe than I anticipated. It’s crazy performing in front of thousands of people and at least a couple hundred of them rapping to your music and asking for autographs after the show. Game told me about the love, I and the team were going to get, but I had no idea the love was that strong. I have nothing but love for the fans and I appreciate all the love they showed me and it was humbling in a way.
Planet Ill: Isn’t that somewhat frustrating that you might receive more love outside the United States than in your own backyard?
Mysonne: It’s more confusing than anything, because I rap about the trials and tribulations of the American youth, but it seems that they appreciate it more and connect to it more. At the same time I understand how the industry works. We live in a time where they play the same five artists on the radio and there’s no diversity. It’s like if people in New York don’t hear your music ten times a day then they think you’re wack and they won’t give your music a chance. People overseas enjoy your music and it seems they listen to the music and the message. Your name doesn’t have to be Drake or Lil’ Wayne. A name doesn’t matter to them. It all depends on what [the artist] is saying. We’re in an era in the United States where everyone follows the leader and everyone is trying to copycat. Whoever Puff [P.Diddy] says is hot today, is going to pop tomorrow and last for six months and the cycle continues. There is a lot of talented artists out here and they just go under the radar, but in due time everything comes full circle.
Planet Ill: How frustrating was it to be the next dude to blow from New York City, then all of a sudden doing a seven year stretch in jail?
Mysonne: It’s really frustrating and heartbreaking and if I was a weaker individual, it would be devastating to the point where I would have given up on hope and life. Thankfully, I am a believer in God and I have faith that everything happens for a reason. I used that time to grow my mind, body and soul, but of course it’s frustrating to be the hottest artist and I was getting cosigns from the biggest artists then all of a sudden it’s gone and you’re in a correctional facility. Nothing can prepare you for that.
Planet Ill: Does it ever bother you that you spent over five years of your life for a crime you didn’t commit and due to the code of the streets you had to keep your mouth shut?
Mysonne: That shit bothers me every day, but at the end of the day, it’s karma. You take the good with the bad. I have never been an angel and there have been negative things I’ve done that helped benefit my family and at times people got locked up for things I’ve done. So it’s kind of like karma coming back. Sometimes you do things and get away and other times you’re punished for things you didn’t do. It’s all in the act of survival and like I said, sometimes it works in your favor and other times against you.
Planet Ill: As an artist and as a man, do you think jail was in anyway beneficial?
Mysonne: Every great man in our history has experienced a period of solitude. That’s why all great men take pilgrimages in order to get in tune with themselves. Nelson Mandela is good example of a man that was sent to jail and was real influential. Every great man needs some type of seclusion in their lives to remove themselves from the equation and to think things through. It’s like two chess masters can be playing and if a regular chess player on the side is always watching then he is going to see moves that the chess masters don’t see, because the masters might overlook simple things whereas the dude on the side is taking every move into account and at the same time thinking of their own moves in order to change the game. Sometimes you have to take yourself out the game in order to play it better. So, it was very beneficial.
Planet Ill: Back in 2000, you were the talk of the town and you had a lot of industry in the palm of your hand. How much has the industry changed since your release from jail?
Mysonne: The industry changed in a big way, because it’s not about talent no more, it’s about hype. When I banging it was all about talent and now they don’t care about your talent. It comes down to hits on YouTube and it doesn’t matter how you get the views; if you have a mill or more then it’s like you’re a credible artist. The industry sees these guys as easy money and they use them. Even the radio is trash. Nothing on the radio has a message, but you play that trash enough times on the radio then after a while, you are going to start rocking to it.
At the end of the day, we are all trying to better ourselves and feed our family, so if you trying to use the internet or Hip-Hop then I’m all for that. But there still has to be a level of maturity and integrity in the music and I believe it’s gone. It also comes down to the leaders of the game, because they have the power and know good music, but they’re cosigning trash and ruining the art of music and due to their clout in the game, the fans also cosign. If you notice R&B is the only thing still selling in Hip-Hop, because no one believes these rappers. The shit they are saying doesn’t even make sense and it’s demoralizing.
Planet Ill: So our Hip-Hop leaders are a major contributor to the decline.
Mysonne: That’s exactly right. There are no standards or regulations in the game. It is what it is though and I wish everyone the best, but I know better, so you can’t try to play me. I just so happen to be a student of Hip-Hop and there are standards in creativity when it comes to that music. You can’t take Picasso and a nigga who grabs two paint brushes throws them on a wall and say that they’re the same thing or even in the same class, but with Hip-Hop, it’s okay? Fuck out of here. [Industry] tries to put Lil’ B in the same bracket as Jay-Z. The shit going on now is not Hip-Hop. If you want to call it an art then don’t call it Hip-Hop, because our culture was never that. Think about it, Rap music is like the only genre where talent and skill is no longer required. So basically the game is super fucked-up right now more than it has ever been.
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