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Lawless Element - conducted by Bill "Low Key" Heinzelman  

Lawless Element

September 2005

Drawing comparisons to Slum Village and A Tribe Called Quest, Detroit natives Lawless Element are a breath of fresh air in this Hip Hop game. With their debut album Soundvision: In Stereo dropping on September 20, 2005, producer Magnif and emcee Griot spoke with about their album as well as their history in this game.

MVRemix: I just want to start with some background questions so the readers can get to know you guys beyond the music. So where were you two born and raised, and what was it like growing up there for you?

Magnif: I grew up on the eastside of Detroit where a lot of crazy shit goes down. Growing up the way I did, I witnessed a whole lot of shit that probably wasn't in my best interest as a kid. Going through what me and G had went through would either break you down or make you stronger. But it made us both stronger and we are still here and able to create good music, so its a blessing.

Griot: I'm from the east side of Detroit - it was rough place to grow up

MVRemix: How do you think your environment and surroundings helped shaped who you are as men today?

Magnif: I think the environment I grew up in shaped my whole outcome. I feel it made me very strong and able to deal with all the problems I face and everything that will come in the future.

Griot: Living in harsh conditions prepares you for anything. There is nowhere to go but up.

MVRemix: How would you describe yourself - introverted or extroverted?

Magnif: It could be either or. At times, I could be both introverted or extroverted, it all depends on the situation I'm in. I cant really label it.

Griot: Extroverted. I like to express myself, so I usually have a lot to say.

MVRemix: What is your first memory of Hip Hop?

Magnif: My first memory of Hip-Hop is Rakim's Paid In Full. It was the hottest shit out. I remember house parties we used to have at my crib when I was real young and hearing hip-hop music all night. That's how we came up ya know - it was a family thing me and G playing video games while our parents was chillin' out to good music.

Griot: My dad listening to his NWA tape. It was the hottest thing out then - every hustler had that tape.

MVRemix: What was the one album you constantly listened to growing up?

Magnif: That first album probably was Dr. Dre's The Chronic. The music on that album was just incredible.

Griot: Nas' Illmatic - It Ain't Hard To Tell was amazing - raw poetry over dope beats.

MVRemix: Being family, when did you two know you wanted to hook up and do music for a living?

Magnif: It all started in the 93-94 era - just chillin' out watching videos on the box. The joints that inspired us a lot was Gangstarr's Mass Appeal and Nas' It Ain't Hard To Tell.

Griot: Around the time I was 9 and I got a small boom box for Christmas that could record audio. Mag and me recorded a beat box and rhymed over it, which was my first rhyme.

MVRemix: How did you guys start to make a name for yourself locally at first? How did it grow from there?

Magnif: Grinding, promoting and doing everything we could to get the name Lawless Element out there. Just straight up non-stop hard work and it got us in the position that were in today, which I feel is a very great one.

Griot: We put out a record called Mic Check and everyone went nuts. We did a single release show and people liked it so much people started asking for autographs and after that, the rest is history.

MVRemix: Magnif, how would you describe your production sound/style?

Magnif: I think its a mixture of every great producer that came before me, my struggles and the influence of my father's music taste all in one. So its new and I definitely think its a new sound. You can hear the influences in it sometimes, but for the most part my surroundings created my music/production style. There is a wide of a range of shit that inspires. This is me, all me and this is what I do 24/7 - create music from within.

>>> continued...

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"You will hear the hunger and passion for success in this album. Its like we were trying to prove a point with this album. And what we are trying to prove is that we are two very talented artist who can hold their own with anyone in the game - this is only the beginning."