MVRemix: What's your first memory of Hip Hop?
Smoke: I guess I gotta say Salt N' Pepa, I ain't gonna lie - it was when Big Daddy Kane came out. I was like, "That man smooth!" Him and Salt N' Pepa they was about the same time. I'll leave it at them. When they was on their shit, I was diggin' it.
MVRemix: When did you first start writing?
Smoke: I think the Tupac-Biggie era. I think when the Tupac-Biggie era hit, I was like "Damn, they on! They tellin' they stories!" More so 'Pac. Biggie done made me wanna listen to music, Pac made me wanna do shit.
MVRemix: Your lyrics are very well written, how do you go about writing?
Shawn Jay: I like you! Yeah... It don't matter, you know what I mean? Sometimes we might be riding in the car or you know, I came up with a line one time watching Eddie Murphy's "Raw" and I ended up havin' that line on my album. So I be comin' up with punchlines comin' from Eddie Murphy's outfit on "Raw." Whenever we think of a rhyme, it don't matter. Sometimes we might hear a different melody and it may tell me what to write. You gotta be inspired to write stuff. Sometimes you come up with a line and like a seed you kind of water it and it grows. Writers need growth to make their substance better.
MVRemix: How did the DTP signing come about?
Smoke: We been friends with DTP forever. I been friends with DTP when DTP first started and we just really always had a relationship with them in the beginning of our career. We had our first single out as Field Mob, we were still Field Mob before Chris Lover Lover was Ludacris and he became the Ludacris you all know today already. So we been friends with Chaka and Chris.
MVRemix: Who's going to be handling the majority of your beats since you're on DTP now?
Smoke: It doesn't matter to the beats because we like Mannie Fresh, we like Swizz, we like Pharrell - we like everybody that do beats. We love 'em, so there's no particular person. But, we prefer Kenjo. We got our dude Kenjo, he did like 50% of our album but we like workin' with anybody.
MVRemix: Tell me about "Light Poles and Pine Trees"
Shawn Jay: Well the name of the album is "Light Poles and Pine Trees" and "Light Poles and Pine Trees" really describes where we're from - a country place. Not everybody got a skyline like New York; they got the Twin Towers, they got the Empire State building, they got the Statue of Liberty. In St. Louis they got the Arch, in L.A. they got Palm Trees and beaches. We from a country town called Albany and if you look at our skyline, if you look at our city it consists of light poles and pine trees - that's why the name of our album. The album's really just we took songs from personal things - we doin' the same thing we did on the first two albums, we just grown.
Smoke: We doin' it another way, 18 from 25. Definitely, definitely.
MVRemix: What percentage of your record is currently complete?
Shawn Jay: The album is done! But we ain't stopped recordin' shit. We ain't stopped recordin' yet. We gon' pretty much be doin' that 'till this shit over with. We got other shit, but the album is done for late October/November release. Then we got the compilation; "Ludacris presents: Disturbing Tha Peace" compilation, comin' out December 13th. We on there. We makin' up man, we makin' up for them two years out of the scene.
MVRemix: You've said that you feel your last two albums have been slept on, what are your feelings about this project? Do you feel it'll be as successful as you're looking for it to be?
Shawn Jay: I feel like yup. I really hate to say number wise, unless I'm talkin' to Smoke. But outside of the numbers, I just know the opportunities this shit gon' have because we been signed to bullshit companies and done excellent as far as eatin' as far as survivin'. Every album has been a big difference - it get better and better, so with the third album it's already like we know what to do, what not to do... We been through the "blow your money stage," it's just it's these opportunities that come with this third album we ain't gon' sleep on.
Smoke: We gon' wake people up on there too. A lot of people that love us are gonna be happy because there ain't really a lot of good shit to listen to now. I know it, you know it. You got a lot of CDs you can listen to inside the club, but not outside the club. That's really how we're tryin' to fuck everybody up.
MVRemix: What made you stop using the moniker's "Boondox" and "Kalage"?
Shawn Jay: More so what that it is, is knowin' you signed away from you record [label], I know I don't want nobody to own my name Shawn. Like his name Smoke, but they call him Chevy P. for real - you don't want nobody to own you. You signed to a rapin-you record contract, you don't wanna sign under your name 'cause then you can't use your name. That was just a part of the growth. You get older, you get more mature. But yeah, they can have that! Send them names over to MCA!
Smoke: [chuckling] They can get them man, they paid for 'em.
MVRemix: In my last interview with you in 2002 you told me you had sit-coms and cartoons in the works - what's the situation there?
Shawn Jay: Excuse me now, you know you got that accent, we country as fuck - can you say that again?
MVRemix: Basically I did an interview with you in 2002 and you told me you had sit-coms and cartoons in the works - is that still the case?
Shawn Jay: Oh... you mean like the old shit, the old money that they owe us? We still goin' for that. We ain't lettin' it go, but we lookin' at the future bread. If there's any way we can get that old paper, we tryin' to get it.
MVRemix: A la "Fight Club," "If you could fight any celebrity, who would you fight?"
Smoke: As a joke huh? Any celebrity... [chuckles] This one of them trick questions!
MVRemix: Oh no, no. This is completely for fun.
Field Mob: [chuckling and talking between themselves]
Shawn Jay: I know who I would fight - we would fight somebody at MCA. They all famous, they got Benz's, a lot of Benz's off that Field Mob budget.
MVRemix: What's the biggest mis-conception of you?
Smoke: We feel it, they love to say we feel like country guys. We got giant personalities; we got great sense of humours, so they like confused it and get it twisted with fam in the press. They try to discredit us like we not serious, whatever and really we don't just like to walk around with mud on our face all day. You got a lot of mad rappers out there, we're not one of them.
Shawn Jay: They be actin' like our albums don't talk about racism, slavery, everything under the sun... That's the biggest Field Mob misconception. The other day, somebody tried to put us in a category and it hurt my feelings, that's why I'm sayin' it. They was like "You guys are like the Ying Yang Twins!" I was like "No!" That shit hurt, because I love the Ying Yang Twins, I love what they bring to the game but that shit is fucked up considering I really do believe that we top five as far as lyricists in this rap shit - East/South - wherever you from... Believe me and my nigga is like top five and that's how they downplay us? 'Cause we well rounded, we got more subjects that just cocaine, we talk about everything. Then a nigga tried to steal our credit by sayin' we just fuckin' Ying Yang... How the hell?
Lâ€™Orange and Stik Figa â€“ The City Under The City album review
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MVRemix Urban | Online Hip Hop Magazine | US and
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MVRemix Urban | Online Hip Hop Magazine | US and Canadian Underground Hip Hop - exclusive interviews, reviews, articles