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Mr. Greenweedz - conducted by Todd E. Jones  

Mr. Greenweedz Is The G Of Strings

November 2005

MVRemix: What is it like working with G.Riot?

Mr. Greenweedz: G.Riot has a doctorate in creative writing. He has 2 MSA’s in creative writing. I would not have done the project any justice if I came to it so straight forward and linear for a person who is asymmetrical as G.Riot. I’m definitely an asymmetrical cat. There is nothing symmetrical about me. My lochs are all uneven.

MVRemix: Individuality is important in hip-hop. These days, many emcees are being honest to themselves and not playing a role.

Mr. Greenweedz: Ain’t that what hip-hop is in a way? Integrity. There are cats out here who are on this positive tip, but the integrity is not there on the records. There are people who are on negative stuff, and the integrity is not there. That is why groups like Public Enemy came. They were timeless. N.W.A. came. They were timeless.

MVRemix: Do you think credibility and success are mutually exclusive?

Mr. Greenweedz: Explain that to me. Do you mean that they can’t have both? Well, yeah, they can have both. You have to just reach that audience.

MVRemix: Success is relative anyway.

Mr. Greenweedz: It is. There are a lot of cats in the industry who are successful. They used that formula for success and came back to doing music the right way. Definitely, nowadays, it’s so cookie cutter out there. People expect something. They expect you to give it to them. At the same time, there is that audience out there who wants to be a cult. They want to be up on something first. You can reach that audience. I have a chance to do that by touring and making music that I believe in. That’s the dope thing about All Natural Inc. They have allowed me to make as much music as I could make.

MVRemix: How did you hook up with G.Riot?

Mr. Greenweedz: Through Capital D, actually. He came to my wife’s dorm back in 1994. Back then, she was in the University Of Chicago. We hit it off immediately. G.Riot told me that he would get up with me and he did. He wasn’t even producing then. He started to tell me about how was doing beats. He had an ear for it. We encouraged him. That’s the kind of brothers we are. None of us discourage anyone else. He immediately got it and knew what he was trying to do. He wasn’t trying to do what someone else was doing. He definitely looked up to No I.D. and Dug Infinite, but he was trying to put out his own sound that he believed in. We clicked immediately. I’ve been traveling back and forth to Denver, Colorado. We get up and record. Especially if I have a show in Denver, I make sure that I get up with him to record. We’ve been cool for a while. One thing that G.Riot did for me, he opened me up to Miles Davis.

MVRemix: Miles Davis and Bird aka Charlie Parker. They don’t make them like that anymore.

Mr. Greenweedz: You know what is crazy? There are hip-hop cats like that. If we really recognize it, we are, in a lot of ways, like them. We are always trying to recreate our own sound. What I learned from Miles Davis is have integrity, believe in what you do, feel good about it, and don’t over-think the music. That was the approach I took. I’m not trying to do what Cap or All Natural did. I’m not even trying to do what Family Tree did. That’s why it’s a solo record. It’s supposed to be me. We are supposed to give the consumer something different.

MVRemix: Do you have a favorite song on ‘G-Strings’?

Mr. Greenweedz: I love ‘Rex Cortez’. I love ‘Carlos Castaneda’. I love ‘Rex Cortez’. I didn’t do that song for shock value. I wanted to see if people would pay attention. I wanted to see if they could listen to a song all the way through or just experience power words. Listeners don’t listen, they just hear. Words come at them. Then, they feel that they get the song. Then, they are offended. They are only offended because it is something that they wanted to say.

MVRemix: When you go into the studio, do you have pre-written rhymes or a set theme? Or, do you write to the music?

Mr. Greenweedz: I hear the music first and write to the beat. I definitely have a mental rolodex of ideas like some Terminator shit.

MVRemix: What was the last incident of racism you experienced?

Mr. Greenweedz: Well, I experience it everyday. I don’t let it really bother me. One that comes to mind is a year and a half ago. I got a D.W.I. by this Asian cop. I was driving a Range Rover. He stopped me and gave me a sobriety test. He said that I failed it when I didn’t fail it, but I had herb in my system. I was trying to get to a certain destination. I was cooperating with these cats, which you should never do. Plead the 5th Amendment every time. You have that right. Use it! He pulled me over and fucked my stuff up. It was crazy to me because we are all in the same boat. I had a lot of incidents where that happened, but that was a memorable situation.

MVRemix: Where were you on the September 11th terrorist attack? How did you deal with it? How has it affected the music industry?

Mr. Greenweedz: My birthday is the 10th of September. The day before my birthday, me and wife were in Havana, Cuba. We flew back on my birthday and we were going to leave the next day for Nassau, Bahamas. We were supposed to leave at 3 pm. We were watching TV that morning and obviously, everything happened. It did make me resilient. I knew exactly what was going on. I called the U.S. embassy, so we weren’t going to be stranded. Got a hotel and got 4th off the price. I had a bunch of Cuban cigars. I took it in stride. It was tragic to me. One thing that I did learn was that nobody learned anything from it. The pop is eating itself.

MVRemix: That’s also a name of a band, Pop Will Eat Itself.

Mr. Greenweedz: I know. I like saying that phrase. It is. The new Negro is Muslim now.

MVRemix: What has been in your CD player in the last couple of days?

Mr. Greenweedz: A lot of reggae. I’m really feeling that Damian Marley.

MVRemix: That Ky-Mani Marley joint on Afu-Ra’s ‘The Body Of The Life Force’ LP was dope.

Mr. Greenweedz: He’s my man. We’re actually doing a tune together.

MVRemix: What emcee/group would you like to collaborate with in the future?”

Mr. Greenweedz: I’m doing it. I’m hooking up with Jungle Brothers right now. We’re setting up a tour and starting a Family Tree & Jungle Brothers album. Chuck D is someone I would love to do something with. To clear the air, John Popper from Blues Traveler. Me, him, and DJ Logic are doing something. All the Marley’s too. Me and the Marley’s are cool. We play Madden all the time, when I’m out in L.A. I mean, Prince and James Brown are two other artists.

MVRemix: Word association time. When I say a name, you say the first word that pops in your head. So, if I say ‘Flava Flav, you may say ‘Clock’, ‘The Surreal Life’, or ‘Crack’. Okay?

Mr. Greenweedz: Sure.

MVRemix: Capital D.

Mr. Greenweedz: Brilliant.

MVRemix: Iomos Marad.

Mr. Greenweedz: Talented.

MVRemix: Jay-Z.

Mr. Greenweedz: Golden.

MVRemix: Dead Prez.

Mr. Greenweedz: Resilient, determined.

MVRemix: Happy Mondays.

Mr. Greenweedz: Wonderful.

MVRemix: The Stone Roses.

Mr. Greenweedz: Don’t know who they are.

MVRemix: Curtis Mayfield.

Mr. Greenweedz: Forever.

MVRemix: Public Enemy.

Mr. Greenweedz: Trendsetting.

MVRemix: Jimi Hendrix.

Mr. Greenweedz: Ridiculous.

MVRemix: Brand Nubian.

Mr. Greenweedz: Flavor.

MVRemix: George Bush.

Mr. Greenweedz: The devil.

MVRemix: What can fans expect from Mr. Greenweedz in the future?

Mr. Greenweedz: First of all, I don’t consider them fans. I consider them counterparts or family. I don’t know, man. I’m just doing what I’m doing everyday, evolving my sound, and evolving my rhymes. They will expect dope music from me regardless. Whether they think that it is dope or not, it’s something I felt good about. Whatever you hear from me, it is something I feel good about.

MVRemix: Final words?

Mr. Greenweedz: Just do you. Do you. As long as you believe in what you are doing, it doesn’t really matter what anybody says. It isn’t even about believing. It’s about what you subscribe to, your faith, God, and Jah.

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"What I learned from Miles Davis is have integrity, believe in what you do, feel good about it, and don’t over-think the music. That was the approach I took."