The High & Mighty - conducted by Bill "Low Key" Heinzelman
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Think Eastern Conference Records is dead? Think again! Mr. Eon and DJ Mighty Mi are back to put the label back on top with their best album to date The 12th Man. While many fans felt disappointed with The Highlite Zone, The 12th Man sees a return to that vintage High & Mighty sound. Mighty Mi produces the entire album, giving Eon some incredible backdrops to work off of. The Philly duo took some time out to speak to MVRemix.com about their new album, as well their reaction to fans displeasure with The Highlite Zone. In addition, Eon and Mighty Mi address the misconception that E.C. Records has fallen off and is on a downward spiral. It gets no realer than this!
MVRemix: After listening to your new album The 12th Man, I came away feeling this is your most cohesive and best album to date. Do you agree?
Eon: Yeah man, we real proud of this joint. It is our answer to all the heads that dissed Highlite Zone. See me and Mi are throwbacks to that time when shit was real and ill. Now you got all this artsy fartsy shit, with people bitching about their girlfriends leaving them or some shit. To us hip hop is about ill beats and rhymes...That’s it! Me and Mi worked hard together to take it back to what we feel is true hip hop. But hey what the fuck do we know! I mean I personally liked Highlite Zone but I guess it wasn’t what people were looking from us. I don't think our sound has ever really drastically changed from album to album. Mighty produced the new album entirely so maybe it has some consistency in the sound the others didn't.
MVRemix: What was your mindset going into this album?
Eon: We wanted to have fun making this jawn. Shit is crazy with EC and the whole distribution shit. So we went out and had fun making this shit.
Mighty Mi: We really didn't give a fuck anymore about what people say about our
shit. High & Mighty As Is....
MVRemix: For fans who have not heard the album yet, can you talk about the songs, concepts, and issues you have on The 12th Man?
Eon: It’s about hip hop. It’s about two kids who grew up on hip hop and have seen it get even worse. Now the indie scene is a joke and not what it was in say 1999. I mean does all the shit we hear now touch the Rawkus days? I mean now it’s about white dudes who cannot rhyme. I mean white kids who literally have trouble staying on beat; and they sell 20,000 units. Where are all the heads who loved all that Rawkus shit? Too me, that was a fad these 15-year olds were going thru back then. Now they listen to Blink and those other rock groups. There are too many issues to discuss.
MVRemix: Eon, how do you feel you have progressed as an emcee from your first release to now with The 12th Man?
Eon: I still am the same basically. I think my observation of this world is certified as an artist, not a fan. I stopped being a fan a while ago and can count the emcees I am checking for on one hand. I say, comment, on the world today as well as my life. Heads never really heard all the lines about me being vulnerable and being a thinker about the state of the world. I am more then pussy, blunts and sports. I think it’s deeper in there. The flow is tighter and what I speak about differs from HFA. I’m just trying to be my favorite emcee and that’s what I always tried to do.
MVRemix: Mighty Mi, you continue to be one of the most consistent producers in the game. What do you attribute to your success, particularly being able to stay on the cutting edge for so long?
Mighty Mi: I just keep on digging and try to make my sound bigger with each production. I usually make a beat and then go through a whole other stage of adding onto the beat, either with musicians or cuts or vocal snippets from movies.
MVRemix: Mighty Mi, in regards to The Best Dam Rap Show with Vast Aire, are you happy on how the album came out and has been received?
Mighty Mi: Yeah, I'm definitely feeling the vibe working with Vast. The reviews have been positive for the most part which is cool.
MVRemix: Overall, do you have a main goal you want to accomplish with this new album?
Eon: I want heads to come back and say, “Damn those kids are still doing it.” No one in this little game understands what me and Mi have done. Probably be like all my favorites, appreciated after the fact.
MVRemix: Going back to The Highlite Zone, were you happy how the album was received? Some fans and critics felt it was your most disappointing release. Do you have any comments on that?
Eon: I just don’t understand what wasn’t to like? I mean of course I am saying this, but look at that shit. I mean “Right Here”; Jesus that shit is crazy to me!! Most of all I think people didn’t really get it. I have no idea!
MVRemix: Let's touch on the current status of E.C. Records. A couple years ago the label was one of the hottest in the underground scene. However, some feel the label has lost that momentum? Do you agree?
Eon: People have no idea what happens behind the scenes. If we were to tell a “True Hollywood Story” on cats we worked with, it would blow peoples shit completely. When you run a label with two people (no employees), you have to see that what we’ve done as amazing. Holding down peoples livelihoods is a 24-hour a day job. Part baby sitting, part mentor, part manager. We’ve taken care of people’s lives for 5 or 6 years man. It’s really about money and distribution. When you have someone who knows nothing about hip hop making decisions about all your work it can become frustrating. I mean you think we didn't want to do shit with Cage and Copy? There are labels reaping the benefit of Milo and my hard work. It’s all about numbers and what the perception of what you are doing is. There’s money, there’s shit people don’t recognize or appreciate. We have a formula, if you want in, you can get some shit out there.
Mighty Mi: It really bothers us when people are like "Yo EC fell off, even Tame is leaving" and they know nothing about the reasons or behind the scenes shit. They just draw their own conclusions based on what they see on the peripheral.
MVRemix: When I interviewed Tame One, I asked him the same question about the label falling off, and he answered.
Tame One: Probably because they are having distribution problems, plus their roster is going through its changes. It's not really my place to say, but in my personal opinion those are the reasons."
Any reaction or comments on that?
Eon: No one understands what we do for them. On the outside it looks one way, but the reality is quite different. Like I said above, you are at the mercy of another person who is in sales. Plain and simple. They have no idea what we do, nor appreciate it. Trust me I would like a million dollars to give Tame, cause he is so dope. But when your resources are limited, what the fuck can you do? Tame is ill and so were the other heads who left.
Mighty Mi: That's why we signed them. If they leave and go make a million dollars in the independent rap world, then god bless. Then I can say we didn't know what we were doing all these years.
MVRemix: What has been the biggest headache you guys have had to deal with in this Hip Hop industry?
Mighty Mi: Watching shit blow up that I know no real hip hop heads wouldn't even
understand if they listened to it.
MVRemix: Since you guys are big sports fans, what do you think about the current contract situation with Terrell Owens?
Eon: T. O. needs to chill! This is a ploy to try to get the Birds to budge, but they won't and T.O. will be there in September, trust me!!
MVRemix: What about the Phillies chances this year?
Eon: I’m a Mets fan!! Love 'em.
MVRemix: What other EC releases can fans look forward to this year?
Mighty Mi: JuJu Mob "Black Candles", Mighty Mi solo album "The Boi Wonder” and Reef The Lost Cauze "Feast Or Famine"
MVRemix: Mighty Mi, besides artists on EC, have you worked with or sold any other beats to anyone else?
Mighty Mi: Yeah I did remixes for Mobb Deep "G.O.D pt III", Ghostface "All That I Got Is You" and "Legendary Street Team" by M.O.P and G Rap
MVRemix: Any last words or shout outs?
Eon: Hip hop is wack. We aren't!! If you want some real shit (not guns and jewels) and love ill beats and rhymes, then come see us and buy this album.
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"I want heads to come back and say, “Damn those kids are still doing it.” No one in this little game understands what me and Mi have done. Probably be like all my favorites, appreciated after the fact."