Back in the 90’s I had a show that my man Goob created called UDTV. A public access show that was the same premise as this blog.Showcasing Connecticut Rap artists and Rap in general. I had a few big breaks. I’ve interviewed Bobby Konders and Jabba, Lady Luck and PMD (from EPMD), The Cocoa Brovas ( Duck Down Records, Boot Camp Click), Memphis Bleek, to name a few. One interview that actually had me HYPED was the group Mood. I had heard of them from my cousin out in Ohio and then a record label ( TVT) let Goob and I listen to their album before it came out. They had a song called ” Karma” that was knocking on the radio!
UDHH:What got you rapping?
Mr. Donte:I started rapping.. in jr. high school…. it was pretty much an
extension of my poetry. When I was about 10 years old… my mom bought
me 1 of those classic turntables that came in a suitcase, with
speakers on the side.and 3 pieces of vinyl. Stevie Wonder “Keys of
Life” and Run DMC’s 1 st album (Run DMC) as well as ” Hard Times and 30
Days” on a single. Me and my brother learned every word of every
song…. and … I started writing as a hobby, when I got better @
it… it became a form of self-expression
UDHH; Why did you join the big game (Rap)?
Mr. Donte: Joining the record industry was a natural progression. I use to be
more of a battle rapper, we would win talent shows, go around the city
battling the best rappers, have cyphers, and eventually dominate hip
hop in our city. Getting local radio play, in that era was even harder
than it is now… believe it or not. . .
we met Jahson in 92… and Hi Tek in 93.. me and Main Flow were called
Rhythm Mafia @ the time…. we added Jahson to the group….. as our
d.j/producer. … up until that point we would make songs over other
peoples tracks and knew little about production. We would literally
pause mix tapes/songs..and record em as loops….. our 1st original
recording was called “Whats Goin On” …. Hi Tek was a part of a crew
called …”Uprok” ….we did a few collabs with them…including the
remix to “Hustle on the Side” our 1st single…. I remember Biggie
Smalls came to cincy(Cincinnati), did a show @ Surf Cincinnati… where he
performed his 1st hit single “Juicy.” we caught him and Craig Mack in
back of the venue….. freestyling and battle rapping… against
some other local artist….. and me and my nigga Rashad from “Laq Nun”
let em have it….. we got in the cypher and got carried off like
Ceasar… lol… I’ll never forget the look in Biggie’s eyes… and
Craig Mack stood no chance…. lol…. after that I knew we could do
it… we did hustle on the side…did our own video… pressed our own
vinyl…. started going to NY and shopping our single…. where we
met Talib Kweli….. became good friends… and thus the cincy-bk
connect was made…..and we formed the Wanna Battle Crew and we had
offers from Shakim @ Flavor Unit, Jive, and a few other labels in New
York City…. we eventaully signed w/ TVT we featured Kweli on 5
songs on the album and Hi Tek produced half the album, Jahson did the
other half…. the rest is what they call history….
UDHH: What’s the scene like in Ohio?
Mr. Donte: Its decent… we have a lot of talent here… very few outlets….
hip hop is alive here… and its alive in all forms… commercial,
underground, gangsta, conscious what ever….. the city/state is poised
to do some great things thus our…. slogan “O”hio Against the World
UDHH: Who do you look up to in Life? Rap?
Mr. Donte: In life… I look up to those who came before me… and respect
those who came after me. Of all the rappers… I think I was most
influenced by Rakim,Nas,Scarface, Ice Cube, Tupac, but my biggest music
inspiration has been Bob Marley…. and reggae music… in
general….. I studied Bob with hopes of learning… how to be
relevant 23-30 years after your gone. What I found out is music is
about substance, self-expression and relating to other peoples
struggle… if your music isn’t “faddy” it won’t fade with the fads.
if u make music that’s relevant to real life…. it will always be
relevant. not just @ the moment of its inception!
UDHH: Name projects you’ve been involved with (Past, Present, Future)
Mr. Donte: I have been involved in many, many projects starting with Mood. The
Doom album gave us international exposure and is considered a classic
by many. I now have a new group called “The Famous Mr. Nobodys”
I PLAN ON DROPPING.. SOLO PROJECT EVERY QUARTER FOR THE NEXT 2 YEARS.
Here’s some links:
www.thefamousmrnobodys.bandcamp.com (downoad or listen to whole album for FREE)
www.youtube.com/moodhiphop (MY YOUTUBE PAGE WITH 100’S OF SONGS VIDEOS)
MOOD SINGLE: DRUGS WAR AND CRIME VIDEO: http://youtu.be/Z9JkEKmRN20
MOOD SINGLE: LIVE AGAIN: http://youtu.be/oij8OYzY3Ow
MOOD LATEST ALBUM LIVE AGAIN (FOR FREE) http://youtu.be/GDMwgpT8ATU
MOOD SINGLE KARMA: http://youtu.be/6u1NKH_LelU
MOOD SINGLE HUSTLE ON THE SIDE: http://youtu.be/m2jxB1zFtPQ
MOOD E.P. LIMITED EDTION THROW BACK E.P. PRE DOOM:
MOOD TELETHAPY: http://youtu.be/iTpozzoaB7s
Mission Control Presents: Prehistoric Sounds feat. Mood (2000)
Live Again (2011)
Grey Boy Under Attack (2001)
All of Main Flow’s solo projects:
MAINFLOW FEATURING RAGGA ALL GOES DOWN: http://youtu.be/-bRx4pYhUrc
Castle Diplomat (2001)
Notebook Assassins (2005)
Flow Season (with DJ 7L) (2006)
Return of the Castle (2010)
Main Flow Presents: The Flowfessionals (2005)
HI TEKS 1ST ALBUM:
I HAVE SONGS WITH ARTIST /PRODUCERS LIKE BLACK THOUGHT, CHALI TUNA,
THE GROUCH, KILLA PRIEST, BUCKSHOT SHORTY, M1 FROM DEAD PREZ., CHASE
INFINITE, JAKE 1, D.J. KAHLIL, POKER BEATS, TO NAME A FEW…..
UDHH: Who would you like to work with?
Mr. Donte:I wanna work with people as talented as me or better…. I’d like
to get on a few Dr. Dre tracks, DJ premier, Mos Def, RZA, Rakim,
Nas,Sizzla, to name a few… … I’m nosatalgic….
UDHH: Who do you rep?
Mr. Donte: I rep those who are voiceless, yet inspire to change the world with
their voice, I rep Cincinnati, I rep hip hop.I rep for my
ancestors….but, I think Holmskillit said it best….in our song
“Cincinnati” from the Doom album … “I manifest not just midwest… I
represent the fucking planet”
UDHH: What do you rep?
Mr. Donte: I rep… me and what I am… a lyricist, emcee, master of the
ceremony…. the art of emceeing is long-lost… and I rep the last of
a dying breed!
UDHH: I see you still work with Hi Tek. Who else does your beats?
Mr. Donte: I have worked with many producers… Jake 1, Kahlil, Buckwild,
Jahson, Poker Beats (Austrailia), Merlin the Wizard (Germany),
Killwill, L.F. Daze (beats for days), and honestly… I have over 100
producers send me tracks annually…. CANT EVEN KEEP UP
UDHH:What do you like to Rap about?
Mr. Donte: I like rapping about what ever I’m inspired by @ the moment….
though I think I do conscious political hip hop the best….. I’m a
jack of all trades…. I’m far from a saint…. don’t pretend to be….
if you don’t know what’s wrong you can’t do what’s right… 360… karma…
what goes around comes around… I like making songs… not just
rapping…… it’s a science to it….. and I’m a lab rat!
UDHH:What do you like about the Rap game?
Mr. Donte: WHAT I LIKE ABOUT RAP IS ANY ONE CAN DO IT… doesn’t mean any
one is good @ it… before if you were like me and couldn’t sing… you
were pretty much shit outta luck… lol.. it gave a voice to the
voiceless… and gives a choice to the choice less… so many different
forms of hip hop…. you can mold it to fit you as a person… you don’t have
to fit into a mold….
UDHH:What don’t you like about the Rap game?
Mr. Donte: I don’t like the fact that hip hop doesn’t have standards or
law….. .. too many artist not enough fans, now… so I don’t like the
same things I do like in a sense…. while it gives a voice to the
voiceless… it also lends a platform to ignorance… and the dumbing
down of our society by being as such….. the record industry is
unregulated… and there’s a lot of money owed to people who will never
see it because of that. I think its funny that hip hop is pretty much
the only music bootlegged…. u never see Taylor Swift’s album in the
African bootleggers stash…..hmmmmmmmm? The fact that it’s widely
accepted…. is just crazy….. and I don’t like the perping and lying
by artist now…. the theme is pretty much fake it till u make it….
but I guess we figured that out… in the mid 90’s while traveling
back and forth to NY …….. there was a lottta niggaz perping back
then as well.. but if you got found out niggaz called you on it…. now if
you get called out for being shitty… they call it hating… go
UDHH:Do you still rep Mood?
Mr. Donte: ALWAYS
UDHH:Who do YOU listen to nowadays?
Mr. Donte: MOSTLY REGGAE… I LIKE NAS’ NEW ALBUM…EM.. SLAUGHTER HOUSE… .
I DON’T LISTEN TO A LOT OF RAP .. ANYMORE AND WHEN I DO… IT’S USUALLY…
CLASSICS…. DON’T WANNA BE INFLUENCED BY ALL THE NON-SENSE AND WICKED
SYMBOLISM, LOTTA THESE YOUNG CATS AND OLD SUCK…. SORRY HAD…. TO
UDHH:How have you been using the ‘Net for your career?
Mr. Donte: NEW WAY TO DO PROMO, ELIMINATE THE LABELS, AND COMMUNICATE WITH
FANS..DIRECTLY WITH OUT BEING THERE… IN PERSON…. AND TRULY BE
UDHH:Is MCing your 9 to 5?
Mr. Donte: YEP… AND WHAT EVER ELSE IT TAKES… FEEL ME?
UDHH: Yep!Any shout outs?
Mr. Donte: YESZIR …. MOOD, MY NIGGA MAINFLOW, JAHSON, TALIB KWELI, HITEK,
CRUNCH EX., LAQNUN< R.I.P. HARDCORE, CHARLES COOPER QUARTET, J. SANDS
AND J. RAWLS, HOLMSKILLIT, OLD SKOOL. IANIGMA (THE FAMOUS MR. NOBODYS)
MY WHOLE WANNA BATTLE FAM… ALL MY/OUR FANS… AND LAST BUT NOT
LEAST….. THE MOST HIGH….. THANK U FOR BLESSING ME WITH THIS AS A
GOD GIVEN TALENT…THAT I LOVE TO DO…… IF ANYBODY NEEDS TO REACH
ME/MOOD/OR FMN HIT ME @dontefrommoood (twitter) or
go download that FMN NOW FOR FREE www.thefamousmrnobodys.bandcamp.com
my gift to you…. holla inky… great interview…..
UDHH: Thanks, Donte..Appreciate it!
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