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Hell Razah - conducted by Bill "Low Key" Heinzelman  

Hell Razah - The Struggle

June 2005

With over ten years of experience in this Hip Hop game, Hell Razah has certainly paid his dues. As one of standout members of the Sunz Of Man crew, Hell Razah has always been respected as one of the premier emcees coming out of the Wu-Tang family. Now Razah is aligned with Killah Priest, Tragedy Khadafi, Timbo King, and William Cooper to form the underground super group the Black Market Militia. Right before he went on tour overseas, MVRemix spoke with Hell Razah about the Black Market album, as well as his own solo career. Respect the movement!

MVRemix: How did the Black Market Militia crew form?

Hell Razah: Killah Priest basically formed the whole thing from meeting Tragedy at The Source party. So we pitched the idea around to each other and everybody was down. We wanted to make something happen, and we are all similar artists, as far as what we talk about. Plus, we knew it would be real crazy, because it would be a Brooklyn/Queens combination. From there, Priest had some studio time and we just went in and knocked out mad songs. Before you knew it, we had the album finished. We really have two albums done, that is how much material we have. It happened so fast, because we only did a couple of sessions and we ended up with two albums worth of songs. Know we have a classic album!

MVRemix: With so many members, what was the chemistry like recording this album?

Hell Razah: The chemistry was cool, because we talked a lot before we did the songs. It wasn't just a business thing, it was a friendship. We got to relate to each other, and we touched on a lot of topics. We were all in sync with each other, even though there were times when we all weren't in the studio at the same time. Plus, we didn't stay on one song for too long. You know how sometimes you work on one song for like two weeks? Well, it wasn't even like that. Whoever had the idea for the song, there wasn't nobody shooting your idea down. Everybody was pretty much open to all ideas, so it worked out pretty well for us. The chemistry was beautiful man.

And basically, this album is an introduction to everything else we are going to do in the future. Its introducing The Maccabeez, as our album is already done. Then we each have our own solo projects. Killah Priest is finishing his next solo, The Offering. Also, I'm in the studio recording my album, plus we are finishing up Timbo's shit. Tragedy has his 25 To Life project, Thug Matrix Part 3. So the Black Market album is like the red carpet for all the shit. For the next two years, we are going to be flooding the market.

MVRemix: Overall, what does the Black Market stand for and what is your message on this album?

Hell Razah: Black Market is something that you have to get in the underground or in the underworld. You cant get it from Blockbuster, or any place like that. You have to get it from the streets, so with this album that is our focus, we ain't looking for the radio. So we are using the black market to our advantage, because that is how you get the word out to the streets. Most of the stuff I get, like tapes, Illuminati movies, books, things of that nature, are from the black market. We got a song on the album called "Dead Street Scrolls", and Trag is naming a lot of books and stuff from the black market on that record. William Cooper, who is part of the group, he took that name after the guy who wrote the book Behold The Pale Horse. That is a real deep book, and that is black market. Black Market is controversy given to the people that isnt going to be on the radio. You get the message and the truth on this album. We are giving it to you raw dog, its not watered down and edited. And originally the Black Market name came from The Maccabeez album title. Then me and Priest, were like, 'Yo, that shit sounds like a bangin' ass title for a group'. Then we came with another name for The Maccabeez album, and took the Black Market name for this group project. So now we are the Black Market Militia, because there is a lot of us. A militia is a whole entourage and shit, so the name is perfect. We represent underground Hip Hop in its purest form. We ain't trying to make commercial records for this album.

MVRemix: Do you have a main goal that you want to accomplish with this album?

Hell Razah: We just want to get the word out there and make good music for the people. We want everyone to know that real Hip Hop is back! I know there is a lot of commercial and watered down shit out there, but right now its time for Hip Hop to go back to its original form. So we do what we do, and everybody else can do what they do. Overall, everybody can have a good time and respect one another. But I see the goal is for us to continually build this empire. We are starting our own empire now, because there is no Wu-Tang helping us do this shit. All of this that we are doing is brand new, and its a new movement. It's like a new born baby, and thats another reason why I call myself The Renaissance Child. Because my new album is going to be called The Rebirth. We had to go and reinvent ourselves, but we kept our origin of what we do and how we make music. So this whole thing that we are doing now is a new movement, and we want to get it out properly. We want to keep feeding our fan base, and the people that have been supporting us. Then grab hold of those people that are our there who are tired of the same bullshit music. Not all music is bullshit, but some of it is, and that makes us work harder. Its like the more commercial the game gets, the more deeper we get. If niggas start making records about taking your clothes off, then we are going to get more militant. We'll make a song like "Mayday". The more signing and R&B niggas do on records, thats when we'll make a record like "Black Market". We are in a completely different world than the average emcee. But our music is based on reality, its the real world. This album is going to affect you consciously, because there are a lot of conscious lyrics on it. This shit will change your life around. If you had a lot of bad things going on in your life, you may be out to hurt some people. This album will spark you to change your life around. A lot of emcees are going to change their lyrics around after hearing this, and try and get more conscious. They are going to see that what we are saying is real shit, dealing with real issues and topics. We ain't talking about no fantasy shit that people can't relate to. We ain't talking about partying at the Hamptons and shit like that. Even though you'll catch us there, but it will be in Black Market style. We ain't coming with button up shirts and shit.

MVRemix: You hear about Puffy hiring Kweli and Common to ghostwrite for him, because he wants to rap political now?

Hell Razah: That's the thing, because that's what we do. Talib comes from where we are, he used to be with us back in the day. He knows the deal, and he knows who we are. He used to roll with Makeba Moon Cycle, and she was related to Prodigal Sun. We all used to live in the same house, so he came from out of the same umbrella that we came from. That's why we came out like this for this album, because we knew that commercial bandwagon is over. This always happens man! You will have MC Hammer time, then you will have "Self Destruction" time. You need that balance, because without it, you can't have one without the other. You can't have good without the bad, love without hate, or heaven without hell.

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"We just want to get the word out there and make good music for the people. We want everyone to know that real Hip Hop is back! I know there is a lot of commercial and watered down shit out there..."