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Reef The Lost Cauze - conducted by Hugo Lunny  

Reef The Lost Cauze

November 2005

MVRemix: How do you feel about the response it's received thus far?

Reef: I mean I'm happy. As an artist, anyone that knows me will tell you that you can't really say anything bad about me, I'll get upset. I'm not one of these people that says "Ah, you need to learn to take the constructive criticism." Nah! Because I made that shit from my heart and I made that shit from my soul for people to hopefully appreciate and if you don't appreciate that, then I can't really fuck with you. But so far, aside from a few people here and there saying little comments - even people that said bad things about it, still the general response with "Oh I love it," or "What was wack about this..." I'm realizing with Hip Hop it's always gonna be like that. No-one's ever gonna really like something 100% universally. It's very rare that that happens. Basically man, I'm ecstatic with the response. I would love to be always given A+ reviews and all that other shit, but so far I haven't heard any terrible things about it. So that right there inspires me to keep working towards and tryin' to get it. It lets me know that I'm not doin' the wrong thing.

MVRemix: What's currently going on with the Juju mob and Army of the Pharoahs?

Reef: A.O.T.P. album is done, it's just waiting for a release date. It's fire, I know people have been waiting and it's on. Juju Mob album was released last year and received critical acclaim. Sales weren't all that great and I basically feel what we were talkin' about was a little too street for what is known as the current underground consumer these days, they want things a little more safe. I feel like we're smack dab in the middle of the "mainstream" world and the "underground" world. I feel like a lot of people didn't get what we were trying to do, but I'm proud of both records. I know that the Army of the Pharoahs is gonna be incredible when it gets out there and people are gonna love that. I'm proud to be a part of both of these acts out of Philly and they both asked me to be a part of them, so I'm honoured, you know?

MVRemix: A lot of independent artists seem to have MySpace pages, including yourself, what is the draw?

Reef: My publicist told me about it, and he was like, "Yeah, we'll get you a MySpace page" and I was like, "Yeah, what's that?" "MySpace is a place where you can put up pictures and your music up" and I was like, "Alright, whatever." I didn't think the impact would be that great but now that I go on there I have 10,000/12,000 plays of my music. It's just a really, really bangin' website where you can pretty much tell your story and show what it is that you do. I think it's a pretty ingenius idea - I don't know how they make money. Somebody would have to explain that to me, but it's a dope site. I would [it to] recommend any emcee, any artist period that wants to try to get a good platform. It's different than shouting out your personal website, because you can shout out go to, some people might, some people might not. Well on MySpace you'll have people on that have friends on that'll see your picture and be like, "Oh, I've seen that guy before" and click on it and they'll hear a whole bunch of new tracks. Then you look on mine and you'll see my friends and you'll see somebody on there that you might not have heard of and you can click on there and you're listening to their tracks. I think it's a great tool. A great marketing tool, a great promotional tool and it's also a great place to meet people and network. I've met a lot of great people on there, made a lot of great connects. I met a guy Mick Knocks from Sirius satellite radio. Me and my producer went up there last night... that's an honour. I was on Sirius satellite before Howard Stern, just from building with this guy on MySpace, so it's definitely, definitely worth it. I think that anyone out there that wants to be heard. Just get yourself a MySpace page, it works. It really does.

MVRemix: There has been a lot of friction between E.C. and Cage with Cage claims of being exploited and such - do you have any thoughts on this?

Reef: Nah man, my deal is through Good Hands/Eastern Conference, you know? I speak with Mighty Mi and them, I speak with Eon, but as far as what happened with Cage and EC - I have no clue. I don't know what went down with them. Obviously shit wasn't right between them and now you have the situation where Cage is with Def Jux and EC is on their own doing their own thing. I mean, it's a shame man, it sucks because in this business I feel like a lot of friendships, a lot of connections that were made outside of music, the business aspect comes in and ruins it. It happens all the time. [Chief] Kamachi said something on his album that is very true. He said, "Music is love, business is painful." That to me pretty much sums up the whole Eastern Conference/Cage situation. Music is love, business is a whole different story and I don't know what happened in that arena between those two, but obviously something didn't go down correctly and now you have that type of situation. It happens all the time, it happened to me and my former label. It happened to a lot of emcees I know and their former labels. It's hard, it's just really hard sometimes because you think people are tryin' to get over on you and they're not or sometimes people are tryin' to get over on you and you don't realize it. It's just really tricky, this business man. I mean I really don't know what went on between those two. I know they made a great record, "Movies For The Blind" is a classic. That can never be taken away from either one of them. They together put out a classic independent Hip Hop record. They at least can look back and say, "We did that together."

MVRemix: Do you have any further plans to do anything with film?

Reef: Yeah, absolutely. I really wanna use this music platform to get into other avenues and arenas of entertainment. Whether it be film making, whether it be acting, whether it be producing or things like that. I've always, always, always had a love for film and movies. That's something that if ever I'm given the opportunity to, I will with a vengeance.

MVRemix: Tell me about the "Commander and Chief" video.

Reef: Yeah man, basically James McGillan directed it, a very good friend of mine - good guy at Good Hands. He definitely is a hands on type of producer and he loves ideas and input. What we gave him was pretty much what we had conceived of the record at the time. We let him listen to it and he came back and said "I'd love to do a video for Commander and Chief." He said, "Visually, this is the one that I think I can have the most fun with and we can make a great video with." I agreed, we all agreed and we shot it all around Philly. All my family and friends are involved in it at one point or another. It was done on a shoe string budget, but it doesn't look that way at all which is something that I've always prided myself on. You don't have to spend all this money to put out a bangin' product and we showed that with the "Commander and Chief" video. I'm very proud of that video. My favourite scenes are definitely towards the end for those who have seen it and those who hopefully will see it eventually, is a scene where I'm walkin' down the street, pumpin' my fists and sayin' the hook and behind me, everyone you see behind me is my family or friend from a long time ago. That right there, man, to see that many people come out and support and show love for me was amazing. It was great.

MVRemix: A la "Fight Club," "If you could fight any celebrity, who would you fight?"

Reef: [ponders] That's a really good question, I never thought of that. But I'ma think about someone that I would really just wanna punch in the face. Yeah, yeah, you know what I would probably fight any of those kids that are on that show "The O.C." I'd fight those cats because that shit is mind numbing and annoying, I can't stand it. It's terrible. It's a terrible show, they need to take it off the air. Seriously, so that's my answer.

MVRemix: Aside from promoting "Feast or Famine," have you been working on any other compilations, guest appearances or such?

Reef: A compilation that I'm most proud of is a compilation called "Workman's Comp" with my primary producers I go direct, these two brothers from Philly that I've been working with since "Invisible Empire." They put together their compilation and features myself and was released in Philly last year to critical acclaim, but we're gonna try to get it out there worldwide. So look for that next time around. Obviously the Army of the Pharoahs project, my man Fat One who's a legendary DJ out here in Philly, he just put out his record; I'm on there as well. My man Adam 12 out of Philly just put out his record, I'm on that as well. I just did a joint with Planet Asia for a compilation called "Home-made Hip Hop." My main cat Devine Walter did the artwork. I just hosted a mixtape, I'm putting out a mixtape myself. I mean right now I feel like it would be stupid for me to not be in the studio everyday and not capitalizing on the opportunities I've been blessed with so I'm trying to get on everything I can, be it compilations, mixtapes, all that stuff. So the response has been really good

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"I made that shit from my heart and I made that shit from my soul for people to hopefully appreciate and if you don't appreciate that, then I can't really f*ck with you."