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Pigeon John - conducted by Todd E. Jones  

Pigeon John's Pool Party Never Ends

November 2006

MVRemix: That's why hip-hop has crossed raced barriers, genres, and different ages.

Pigeon John: Oh yeah, brother! I love it because it wasn't done because they thought it was cool. They needed it.

MVRemix: Yes. They couldn't afford instruments. They didn't even know how to play instruments either.

Pigeon John: Yeah. I think that all music starts there.

MVRemix: The song, 'The Last Sunshine' features RJD2 and J-Live. How did you hook up that collaboration and what was the genesis of that song?

Pigeon John: I put out the word for Rjd2 through Lyrics Born. Lyrics Born reached out to him for a selection of beats. That one stood out. I wouldn't say that it stood out the most, but it stood out the most for that album. I really felt that. It kind of made me think of saying goodbye to your youth, not on purpose but, because you have to. Also, things that you miss. I thought that was a very common thing that everyone goes through. I wanted to make a record that a lot of people can relate to. I thought up the concept and the first portion of the song. Then, I just wanted a different element, a different experience, from a different perspective. At first, Brother Ali came to mind, but then, 'One For The Money' came around. I thought Brother Ali fit that song a lot better. So, I thought of J-Live. I toured with J-Live, I think it was in 2005, on the 'Pigeon John Sings The Blues' tour with Living Legends. I befriended him and loved his show. I wanted someone from the East Coast and with that East Coast flavor on the record. I thought it would make everybody feel at home. That's how it came about.

MVRemix: Was the track 'The Last Sunshine' recorded with J-live, Rjd2, and you all together, or was it completed via the mail or Internet?

Pigeon John: It was done through the Internet.

MVRemix: Do you think that collaboration through the Internet or mail has a major effect and change on the way the songs come out?

Pigeon John: Hell yeah. For my next record, I am trying to have an 'all in' kind of thing. I don't like spreading it out. This record was very tedious. At times, it was tedious. I want to go somewhere and knock it out. Back in the days, when people didn't have their own home studios, they had to get songs done that day. There was a certain magic in that 'hurry up and get it done' kind of thing. I really want to go back to that on my next album. I would like to record the whole thing in Nashville in just one month. Get it all done. When I'm done, I leave it there.

MVRemix: On the incredible concept track, 'As We Know It', you are talking to Jesus Christ during the Armageddon. With a very aggressive anger (for your standards), you ask Jesus to answer for the horrible incidents in human history. (i.e. wars, child molestation, racism, etc.) Did you find people that people misinterpreted the track? How have people reacted to the song?

Pigeon John: Not yet. I'm surprised. Actually, no. I'm not surprised. I'm happy that people are feeling the song and like that song.

MVRemix: When I first heard that you were using and interpolation of R.E.M.'s 'It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)', I originally thought it would too 'easy' or too blatant. After I heard the whole track, I was very impressed.

Pigeon John: Yeah! I know what you mean. Thank you.

MVRemix: Do you consider yourself a spiritual person?

Pigeon John: Yeah! I'm a Christian, dude.

MVRemix: How has being a Christian affected your hip-hop life?

Pigeon John: I think that is the foundation of my life. It kind of dictates and lends itself to my music, my life, my marriage, and everything. Oh, yeah. I was talking to some dude in Chicago. He was, what I like to call, a neo-hippie in disguise. It's kind of idiotic for me when I see simplistic stickers like 'Impeach Bush'. I mean it sounds good. It'll never happen. I saw another sticker that said, 'When Clinton lied, nobody died'. There was a war going on in Kosovo that no one talked about. It is very dumb. It lends to one side. It's either the Republican side or the Democrat side. If there's no balance, I think there's no reality. Everyone is lying. Anyway, the neo-hippie guy asked me, 'Aren't you a Christian emcee?' I knew that he was doing it in the cloud of clowning. Yeah, I'm a Christian dude. I came from that scene as well as this scene. I came up doing both. He said, 'I don't think music should be a way to talk about politics or religion.' I replied, 'Can you name one great band that didn't?' Look at U2, Rage Against The Machine, Public Enemy or The Beastie Boys. Every single band did! Probably the only ones who did not do that would be The Beach Boys.

MVRemix: Actually, my brother is a big fan of The Beach Boys. I think that they may have had some socially conscious songs, which are B-sides.

Pigeon John: See! Right! I think that usually people think it is cool to say that it should not be a platform, but it absolutely has to be! As for me, God goes hand in hand with everything I do.

MVRemix: When did you get married?

Pigeon John: 4 years ago.

MVRemix: The final song, 'Growin Old' is a magnificent way to end the album. In the hook, you name groups like A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan, and Beastie Boys as a way to mark our generation. I'm 31 years old and I'm coming to grips that those groups may be considered old these days.

Pigeon John: Well, I didn't mean that they were old, totally.

MVRemix: For this new generation, they may be considered old.

Pigeon John: Yes, for this new generation. I think I'm okay with that. It's just a new generation of hip-hop. My nephew is a freshman in high school. It just seems like they are literally the 2nd generation of the hip-hop world. Their hip-hop has no history, but the way that he loves his own hip-hop is just like the way I love my own hip-hop. It gets me excited. I'm not a fan of a lot of the new stuff, but neither were my parents.

MVRemix: If parents didn't like it, the music felt so much better.

Pigeon John: Yes! You know, I was glad my dad didn't like it. You never hear, 'That reminds of The Isley Brothers!' That would make you feel stupid. I think, with the whole movement, I know that E-40 was staying in-tune with literal producing. I can definitely see how things parallel old school hip-hop because it is definitely electronic. It is just what we used to listen to. It's like Roxanne Shante. It's real simple. 'We like the cars. The cars that go boom!' That's what they are doing with Puff Daddy and the Danity Kane record. It's the same feeling, but I don't think that there is anything wrong with that. We thought it was cool because we're young. I just love music too! Making new dances? I love it! You know why? It makes me think that I'm alive. There's no new rock and roll.

MVRemix: Primal Scream is one of the last rock & roll bands.

Pigeon John: I likes that.

>> continued...

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"He said, 'I don't think music should be a way to talk about politics or religion.' I replied, 'Can you name one great band that didn't?'"