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Mojoe - conducted by Dru Hepkins  

New Faces of Hip hop Soul

September 2006

As we wait for new, different, and inspiring music, what styles and experiments with Hip hop will grab us? Can jazzy Soul in Hip hop have a resurgence? Will the success of some styles be a regional issue? Mathew Knowles' new hip hop group Mojoe will definitely make you think about it. Mojoe is a smooth, poetic and soulful Hip hop band with a fresh, live music vibe. Backed by a band, and the managerial proficiency of Mathew Knowles, Mojoe is ready to set their mark to those ready to listen.

MVRemix: What does your group name "Mojoe" mean or stand for?

Tre: Mojoe is like more than the average Joe.

Easy Lee: Yeah--Mojoe basically means more than the average Joe but it also means spiritual, or magical or progressive. You know like when they say you got your "mojoe" on--it's working.

MVRemix: Is this a 2 man group?

Tre: Yes

Easy Lee: Yeah, just me and Tre and we backed by a band.

MVRemix: How did you form?

Tre: Me and easy been knowing each other for about 10-11 years already. We used to just vibe out and listen to music like Marvin Gaye, D'Angelo—you know? So we always had a musical connection. When we got a little older we hit the poetry scene and singing around until we just decided to put the whole thing together. We threw a live band with it and this is where it all ended up.

MVRemix: How did you guys connect with Mathew Knowles?

Easy Lee: We met Mathew Knowles over Christmas in 2005. We were invited to a Christmas dinner by the GM of Music World that he attended. We played and before we even finished our set he was ready to sign us. It jumped off right there and we've been rolling with him ever since.

MVRemix: What is Mojoe bringing to the table that's special or different?

Tre: Well, we're definitely bringing originality to the table. We're not saying nobody out here don't got originality, but we definitely brining things back to the roots of hip hop. Back in the day you had to be your own person you know? We're bringing live instrumentation back. And the thing about Mojoe man, we write songs and we're going write songs like they used to.

MVRemix: Do both you guys sing or play instruments?

Easy Lee: Tre sings.

Tre: Yea and I play keys, I don't play in the show or anything---well not yet anyway.

MVRemix: Describe the content of your lyrics and the substance to your songs.

Easy Lee: A lot of our lyrics have to do with what's going on with us and being honest with our lyrics and also making it colorful so it's entertaining. The message is to just go from the soul because if you follow your soul, you won't have too many regrets.

MVRemix: Did you have a demo ready or did you have an album done?

Easy Lee: We had a whole album done that was made with dedication in the grind. We didn't have money.

MVRemix: Is this the same album your pushing now or was it reworked to some extent?

Easy Lee: It was originally done with no money so it wasn't mastered at the top place. When Music World got a hold of it, they saw that it had originality, it had substance. They also came to know that a lot of the songs were done in 2000 so when they realized it been around that long, they realized this thing had some legs to it. So Music World just polished it up, got it to better mastering facilities and Mathew Knowles and his staff just used what they knew about the industry to line it all up right but really they just let us run with what we had.

MVRemix: I know the grind is rough. Describe a typical moment stuck in the grind before being picked up by Music World?

Tre: There was a particular time where we were trying to get a deal shopped in LA. A middle man gave us all of this, "Hey---I can get you deal…" stuff and whatever. We went up there and it wasn't nothing like that. We spent our money, stayed in a hotel out there and none of the stuff turned out the way it was supposed to. It was a mess man. We used to always grind really hard, we used to have to take the Grey Hound every where we had to go. A lot of people pay they dues like this, especially back in the day. Like that Ray Charles grind [laughter]. Also, it was at this time where the people that were originally dealing with us stopped dealing with us. That's when the question came up; "Are we really meant to do this?" You know what I'm saying? I think it was a test from God because if we didn't pass the test and keep it rolling we would've definitely fell off.

MVRemix: You guys have been grinding for a long time and it obviously wasn't easy. What made you stick with it despite all of the road blocks?

Tre: When we realized people liked it. When you put what's going on in your head down on paper and people come back and let you know, "hey I really liked that", or, "Hey that song really moved me…" it inspires you to keep on being creative with it.

Easy Lee: And we were friends before the music so we just have fun with it.

Tre: And it hasn't been a long, long grind. But I consider it like 10 years packed into 5 you know?

MVRemix: Was there ever time where you strongly considered or almost turned back?

Tre: Oh yea.

Easy Lee: For sure. That happens sometimes when you gotta pay bills [laughter]. In them moments you gotta say fuck the bills then people gonna start thinking you crazy [laughter].

MVRemix: Despite all the obstacles and lo points, what would you say kept you motivated?

Tre: TI brought up a good point about people hating in one song. You know, when people started falling off and people that was supoosed to be with you start falling and off, it just motivated us even more you know?

Easy Lee: And we knew a mixtape or nothing like that was gonna work for us. We knew that we had to go take our live band and play for a bunch of people over and over and over again.

MVRemix: You guys definitely have a smooth style that's not out right now. Did you have designes on mainstream success?

Easy Lee: Mainstream to me means reaching a lot of people. I would like to reach a lot of people with our music. A lot of artists now want to sell platinum and buy this and that and that's cool--- but sometimes you gotta be bigger than that.

Tre: You gotta be bigger and there's nothing like leaving a legacy.

Easy Lee: We definitely want to feed our families and all that but its about being something more, leaving something behind. We wanna be able to leave something behind. We wanna leave something that you, your friends, your family, and everybody that's been through the struggle with you---you wanna make sure everybody gets there voice heard through your music. You want to leave something to represent all the people that have been in your life.

MVRemix: Any parting words on the record?

Tre: I always say this; it's really ah'right to be you. And that's what we're bringing to the table. You know when you by yourself listening to the Blues, to Jazz or Hip hop and you just vibing out. Listening to us is a roller coaster ride with all of that but it's gonna be a good one.

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"Music World just polished it up, got it to better mastering facilities and Mathew Knowles and his staff just used what they knew about the industry..."