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Strange Fruit Project - conducted by Crystal McMillian  

Strange Fruit Project

September 2006

New label. New album. Things are happening for the Strange Fruit Project. Fresh off the first leg of their domestic tour and in the tradition of true southern gentlemen, these young emcees/ crooners, with their country twang and easy demeanors spoke with MVREMIX about staying positive, J. Dilla, and overcoming their own hype. Their third album "THE HEALING", is not just an album, it's an experience. The progression from "Divine" to "Soul Travellin" to the current project "The Healing" is obvious. As Symbolic Elementz, they caught the attention of The Source. Having been compared to some of hip hop's heavy weights, although the influences are apparent, Strange Fruit Project is holding their own.

MVRemix: Are you guys currently on tour?

S1: Right now, we just came off our first leg of our tour. We head back on the road next week.

MVRemix: I'd like to know why you changed ya name to Strange Fruit Project. Why not just stick with Symbolic Elements?

Myth: [pause] that's a good question. Symbolic Elements …that's when we formed, actually we were working with MyOne. MyOne was actually a solo artist. And LaSoul, a female, she was also a friend of mine, we were working with her. So uh, when we decided to work on a project together, it was gonna be a side project, our stuff. It just kind of evolved. We were gonna do an EP. EP turned into an album and we put the album out and people was well receiving it. Tha's how it all evolved.

MVRemix: Ok, that's hot. And that was the first album "The Divine", right?

S1: Right.

MVRemix: Can you explain to the folks why you chose the name Strange Fruit? Can you explain to us the Waco connection?

Myth: Well I mean, the name, it was from the song that Billie Holiday was known for, it dealt with the lynchings in the south, With us being from the south, the history in the south, and Waco in general. It just, the song was so powerful and the movement it started…what it represented, how it inspired people. With us coming form the south, what we represent, trying to inspire through our music. That stuff went all in there.

MVRemix: Do you consider ya self conscious hip-hop? You know how you get "conscious" hip hop versus Mainstream hip hop versus…

S1: I mean, people tend to put us in that category. I guess you can say that.

MVRemix: What do you say to those people who say that "conscious" hip hop is soft?

S1: Soft?

MVRemix: Yeah soft, you know? Like "aw I'm not listenin' to that...Common"

S1: Like it ain't street enough or it ain't hard enough?

MVRemix: Yes.

S1: I mean its ignorance... negative. Negativity right now is definitely out shining the positive.

MVRemix: Yes it is.

S1: If it's positive it's soft? Some of the strongest brothers are, you know, socially conscious, and positive. I mean...

MVRemix: Have you guys been compared to any other groups that are out right now, or that have been out.

S1: We've been compared to everybody [laughter]. We've been compared to a lot of people. It really just depends on the listener. Little Brother, Outkast, We heard, Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Pharcyde,

MVRemix: Whoo.. Dig it?

S1: Yeah. Yeah.

MVRemix: Alright, So how does it make you feel to be compared to such great artists?

S1: Man, it, it's great. It's actually an accomplishment that people put you in the same vein as those artists, so ay know, we don't' take it lightly.

MVRemix: Okay.

S1: Like, it's something that… those are artists that we looked up to, ya know, coming into this, when we were brought up.

MVRemix: That's a good lead in to my next question, who are other artists that have inspired you?

S1: This is S1 speaking. I'd have to say artists like Common and Rest in Piece to Jay Dilla.

MVRemix: Jay DILLA!

S1: Yeah!

MVRemix: Detroit City!

S1: Detroit! [laughts] I mean, it's a lot of artists, Common, D'angelo. You got like, Mos Def, Kane'. I mean the list goes on and on.

Myth: For me, I was more of a big jazz fan. So I listen to a lot of jazz; Miles Davis. Duke Ellington. I'm a big Prince fan.

S1: No doubt! I got a whole lotta Prince! I guess she like Prince too, huh? Rakim is probably my favorite emcee. And everybody that influenced me.

MVRemix: Have ya'll copped "The Shining" yet?

S1: Nah, hadn't got it yet.

MVRemix: Wrong answer.

S1: I know, right?

MVRemix: That's alright. It was sold out in Detroit yesterday. I couldn't get it either.

Myth: The Shining?

S1: The new Dilla album, the Shining.

Myth: Oh.

S1: I'll have it by the end of the week though.

>> continued...

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"Negativity right now is definitely out shining the positive."