Back in 2008 Pace Won & Mr.Green released their, already classic, album. Over two months the follow-up ‘The Only Number That Matters is Won’ is scheduled for release. Two singles have already been released and a third one is on its way. Going crazy with anxiety I talked with Mr.Green about the new album and how one builds up suspense. He explains why they are not signed by a major label and his upcoming projects (quite a few interesting ones).
The interview has a couple of references to the previous interview. You can read the previous Mr.Green interview here.
MusicRemedy, Jermy Leeuwis, asks [Q]: Quote previous interview: “I get up at about 11 a.m. and check my email hoping someone will have some money for me.” Sorry for not mailing you some money.
Mr. Green answers [A]: It’s all good man, one day…
[Q]: Quote previous interview: “I am a starving artist and my life is very frustrating here in America. There are a lot of ups and downs. When things are going well I’m getting paid to travel and party in different cities all over the country (and the world). When they are going bad, haha, like now (October, 2008), I’m back home in my apartment (that I share with 4 other people) depending on family and friends to help me float by until my next tour or royalty check comes through.” So, what’s up?
[A]: I have a little bit more money now but I’m still living with four other people in a pretty small apartment. It’s cool though, I have awesome roommates that are into my music. They never ask me to turn my beats off or even turn them down. The other day Pacewon and I shot a music video at the apartment and we had to tear the place apart to make room for the director Jimmy Giambrone set the lights up. My roommates didn’t even complain. To make a long story short, money is tight, but life is good.
[Q]: Quote previous interview: “That’s right, A MAJOR LABEL. Don’t worry though, if it goes through, we are not going to do what most indie acts do when they go major… change our style up and put out a wack album or worse, get shelved by the label and never put out anything again.” How is it moving along with the major label?
[A]: They wanted me to change so… fuck a major label, I’m happy with being indie. If an opportunity arrises for me to make classic hip hop for a major label, I will do it but I’m never gonna switch my style up for a chance to be popular. People who do that are followers, not leaders.
[Q]: March 2011 and 2 singles have been released – the latest being in December 2010. Are you building up suspense for a particular reason?
[A]: Making the album’s release suspenseful was never something we planned to do, it just happened. Every time we think we are done with the album, we go in the studio and make one more song that is too dope not to be on the album. That has happened like four times so far but now I think we are finally done. In a perfect world, If it was up to me, I would get the album to the fans as soon as possible because I’m not into making people wait on purpose. At the same time I’d rather put the best album out possible. If that means leaving some of our people in suspense, I think it’s still the better decision. If you make a quality album no one will really remember how long it took to come out or if the release date got pushed back, they will remember the music. I’d much rather release a really good album late than an ok album on time.
[Q]: Now it is already time for your second album as a duo. What can we expect compared to the previous album?
[A]: It’s the same format as the last time, Pacewon on the rhymes and me on the beats but we’ve both gotten better. I’ve improved my beats game and Pace is rapping about all kinds of subjects that he didn’t used to rap about now. I think people will notice Pace’s personality on this album more than the last and they will also hear improvements in the sound quality of my beats.
Another difference with this album compared to the first one is that I did more scratching on it. This time I think I scratched on 5-6 songs where as on the “Colors” album I only scratched on 2.
[Q]: Scratch Perry and, the one and only, Snoop Dogg are rumoured to appear on the next album. True or false? Any other artists doing a guest appearance?
[A]: Yes, that’s true and Masta Ace is on the album too. When we got the chance to get Snoop on a song, I considered going the commercial route and making something that sounds like the music they play on the radio, but instead I did the opposite. I put Snoop Dogg on the hardest, grimiest, dustiest beatI could make because that’s what I like. The other guest appearances are Burnt MD, Elephant Pelican, Lawrence Arnel; and AYB.
[Q]: Most bands tend to change their style due to personal ‘growth’ or other changes in their live. Over the years what has changed your music? What are the negative sides of this change?
[A]: Well I’m definitely a crazy human but I do my best not to change. I’ve had a couple opportunities to make commercial hip hop but it never felt right. I love the music I make and I’m just gonna do my best to make dope hip hop beats forever. Change is bad.
[Q]: Have you ever considered letting another DJ or producer co-produce a song?
[A]: Yeah, I did a remix for the Snoop Dogg song with my boy Point Blank. He’s a dope producer and we grew up in the same town (Highland Park NJ) so I wanted to have him work on the remix with me. The remix will be released after the album comes out.
[Q]: A few weeks ago you released the track “Can You Hear Me” as a tribute for the people in Tunisia. Why didnot you involve Tunisian rapper Balti which you previously worked with?
[A]: I don’t know exactly what happened but I heard that Balti was being pressured by the Tunisian government NOT to do a song about the situation. They told him if he does a song about the situation they would throw him in jail again. Last time he did something to upset the government he was thrown in Jail and tortured by having his fingers slammed in a door. When Pace and I heard that we decided to step in and make a song ourselves because Balti is our homie. I did a show with him in Memphis last May and it was great to finally meet him. I’d been working with him on and off for nearly four years and I always had wondered what kind of dude he was. His personality, like his music is very intelligent and powerful. He’s definitely the type of person that you can learn from.
[Q]: This song “Can You Hear Me” is your first political song. At the moment the United States are not the most popular country in that region. In what way can you explain that a country can be hated and at the same its people support it?
[A]: Well, I haven’t been oversees in a while, but as I remember it, people around the world seem to love Americans but hate the American government. It’s definitely weird when people come up and tell you how much they love your music or clothes or movies or whatever and then tell you that they also hate the people ruling your country. Being from America these days kind of feels kind of like being from the best place in the world and the worst place in the world at the same time.
[Q]: I remember watching a South Park episode entitled “It’s a Jersey Thing”. You are from New Jersey and moved away as well. In what way can you relate to their story? Did not see see the show, answer this one instead: To what extent can you relate to the Jersey shows “Jersey Shore” or “Jerseylicious”?
[A]: I’m glad you brought this up. New Jersey is NOTHING like the Jersey Shore or Real Housewives…. most people here are very normal and they don’t have italian accents. If you want to go find a flashy, stereotypical outspoken Italian-American person (guido), you can, they are around… but it’s not like everytime you leave the house you see ten guidos. Aside from television, I haven’t seen a person like one of the Jersey shore cast members in over 6 months and I’m in NJ almost all the time.
To make a long story short New Jersey is great… and it’s nothing like what they make it to be on TV…
[Q]: Hip hop, graffiti, BMX & skateboarding. How do these things define your life?
[A]: Hip hop is my life. The other things are activities that I’m a big fan of that I feel relate to hip hop very closely. I get the same feeling when I scratch on a turntable as I used to get when I would bust tricks on my skateboard or bike.
[Q]: Aside from your work with Pace Won you have also released a couple of b-boys/DJ albums ‘Classic Beats 1 & 2″ and “Green Future”. What were your expectations for these records? What are you plans in the future for these projects?
[A]: I made those so all the mc’s out there would have some dope beats to freestyle over. I always felt like the best producers (Alchemist, Primo, Rza Etc.) were the ones that made beats that make people want to rap. One day I want to be known as the guy who makes beats that make people who don’t even rap want to try.
I’m putting out two new Classic Beats albums soon: Classic Beats Volume 3 and Classic Beats Volume 4.
[Q]: You have posted two videos “Live from the Bedroom” on YouTube. First one is on a CD-panel and the second one on a turntable. Are you so versatile or are you messing with our mind?
[A]: Live from the bedroom is a monthly series I put out. It’s just videos of me spinning the classic hip hop that I love live from my bedroom studio.
When I filmed the first one I only had cd turntables in my studio. When I filmed the second I had bought a new vinyl turntable. I prefer real turntables over Cdj’s but if Cdj’s are the only thing available, I will rock them too.
A couple of ‘simple’ questions:
[Q]: What is your favorite movie?
[A]: Right now my favorite movie is Get him to the Greek because it’s hilarious and the main character has the exact same name as me (Aaron Green).
[Q]: What is your favorite music?
[A]: Classic hip hop.
[Q]: What is your favorite YouTube clip?
[A]: You know how I feel about crazy people so youtube is one of my favorite places to visit on the internet. Right now my favorite clip is of the 7 year old kid who steals his grandmother’s car. That kid is hilarious, I sampled him in Classic Beats Volume 3.
[Q]: Recently, what is a typical day like for you? (yes once more)
[A]: I get up at about 10 am, eat a healthy breakfast… workout on the turntables for an hour or so… then I hit the internet to promote my music and book shows. I’ve been doing a lot of dj gigs recently so I spend a lot of time researching, practicing my skills and finding shows that I can perform at.
I don’t make beats in the day anymore… I used to but I’ve found that my best stuff comes out at night so these days I don’t work on beats until after 6P.M.
[Q]: Final words?
[A]: Yeah check out Pacewon and Mr. Green “The Only Number That Matters is Won” featuring Lee Scratch Perry, Snoop Dogg and Masta Ace. It’s coming this June on Raw Poetix Records.
Also be on the lookout for Classic Beats Volume’s 3+4 and the crazy album I’m working on with Young Zee called “One Crazy Weekend”.