Supernatural - conducted by Bill "Low Key" Heinzelman
Supernatural is widely known as one of the finest freestyle and battle emcees, and has come to fame through his famous battles with Juice & Craig G. He is releasing his debut album "The Lost Freestyle Files" on March 25th, which features a collection of classic freestyles, battles and studio recordings.
MVRemix: First off, why don't you introduce yourself for those not familiar with your music.
For those not familiar with my music my name is Supernatural, I have been in the game for a long long time. I am the master in the art of freestyling off the dome, that's my forte. That's that; that's who I am.
MVRemix: Lets talk about The Lost Freestyle Files and how that came about?
The Lost Freestyle Files was basically an idea from me and another friend of mine who runs the label Babygrande. Basically what happened was, we were just talking about having a legacy in the rap game and just having stuff out. Me and him sat down and we just started going through shit and started realizing well damn, even if I haven't recorded a written album yet, we can still put out an album. That's what the whole thing is about, we galvanized all of the classic material we could find. There is much more than that, which is on the album. But that is what we picked to put on the first one. We galvanized all of the classics and I recorded some new songs and we put together a record, and that's how that came about. We decided to put it out as the Lost Files, cause that's what it is. Cause most of the stuff on there is like my first appearances on the radio, my battle with Craig G, my battle with Juice is on there. Just for people who weren't able to obtain those materials, we wanted to put out something for everybody to say, "well I got that too". That's how that came about.
MVRemix: One of my favorite tracks is "Work It Out", which is just amazing. How did everybody come together for that track?
That track is exactly a last minute thing. We were all in England, and we were all on tour together, me, Rakaa and J5. I had been working with this kid named Joe Buddha over in England, and Joe had the track and we took the opportunity of having everybody together in the same room and recorded it. That track was probably recorded at like 6 in the morning, we had just finished doing a show actually and we went and recorded right after that. That's how that whole track came about.
MVRemix: Your freestyling session opening up for the Wu (featured on the album) is simply astonishing. How do your prepare for something like that?
Basically just jump on the stage. I have been freestyling for so long. The one thing I do try and do is settle my spirit before I go on stage and get focused. I kind of let the anxiety of the situation feel me too, ya know what I'm saying.
MVRemix: You have made a huge name for yourself through freestyling and many call you by far the greatest. Do you feel you are the best freestyle emcee?
I feel, hmm, ya know man, for a person to sit and be boastful, it kind of takes away from your mystic. I let the people say that, me I am an emcee at heart and I do what I do good, and do it really well. But I would never sit up and say I am the best. That shows a lot of conceit and I'm not really into that. I know I am good, and in my mind I think I am one of the best, but I don't sit up and be boastful about that. Because that what keeps me powerful. If I walked around 24/7 and everywhere I went I was just doing that, I think that would be taking away from who I am.
MVRemix: Is there any emcee out there that can hang with you freestyling or you respect on that level?
I don't really like to get into questions like that, because when you start answering shit like that, it leads to other things. That's leads to "O.K. lets get a battle started". I don't really answer questions like that, so lets just skip to another question.
MVRemix: Why do you feel, if so, that true freestyle emcees have basically died out? Is it because a lack of skill?
That's kind of a hard one to say, because everybody still freestyles. The definition of a true freestyle emcee…I really couldn't answer that question, because the guys that I know still do it. The guys in my immediate circle, they are still good and nice at it. Another thing too is the record industry is based on writing records, that's where the money comes from. Cats mostly focus on that, but I am an exception to the rule. I am a little bit different; everybody doesn't freestyle like I freestyle. So that makes me like an exception to the rule.
MVRemix: Aight, how do you feel than about artists who claim to freestyle, or do a little freestyle on the radio and whatnot, but only spit their written's? Do you respect that?
You got cats who freestyle, then you got cats who do their writtens. I don't look at either one of them as bad as the other. If a cat gets on the radio and spits a written I can appreciate that if it's a dope written. Whats the difference? If a cat gets on and spits a freestyle I can respect that to. It's just preference. I think that people put too much emphasize on that sometimes. "Well damn, he didn't freestyle, I wanted to hear him freestyle". Well, everybody can't. So if you can't why would you pretend to and play yourself short. Do what you know best, if you are a writer then that's what you do and when you get on the radio spit your writtens. It's a choice of preference.
MVRemix: Do you ever get tired of all the questions about the battle between you and Juice, and the amount of focus put on that?
No I don't get tired of talking about it. It's something that happened, and for the kids that don't know, if you don't know, then you wanna know right? If you ask a question about it, then I don't mind answering it. But it's not something I go into an interview and say "hey ask me about Juice". For me its just another battle that I had and I move on. If an interview is that in-depth and he digs that deep to find out that we battled, then ask me a question.
MVRemix: Do you think though that people tend to focus too much on your battling and not your recorded studio material?
Exactly! Yeah, I definitely do. I think that the battling has made it difficult for me to even put out the recorded material out. People classify me as a battle emcee, Supernatural the battle emcee! I am an emcee first, and I will battle any day, but I am an emcee first. So yeah, sometimes it does become a bit annoying. Instead of seeing in a magazine article Supernatural the emcee, it says Supernat the battle emcee. I'm down to battle, I'm not afraid to battle, but I'm an emcee. Battling is part of emceeing. That's the thing that people get mixed up. It's not battle emcees, written emcees and freestyle emcees. You're an emcee first and all the other things are increments that are part of emceeing. Freestyling is part of emceeing, battling is part of emceeing, written rhymes is a part of emceeing, storytelling is a part of emceeing. Those are all increments that are under the word emcee. That's the thing people need to really define. So yeah, it does bother me sometimes if that answers your question.
MVRemix: Aight, I'm just gonna ask you two random questions. The first one, did you see Eminem's "8 Miles" and do you think it accurately depicted the culture of freestyling and battling?
No, I did not see it, but I want to.
MVRemix: Aight, my second one, should we go to war with Iraq?
MVRemix: Would you like to give any reasons?
My personal reason is I feel that in going to war with Iraq, and I understand there is a lot of politics that we don't know about, and there is a lot of people behind the scenes we don't know about. But anytime the word war comes to play in life; it is never good, because when there's war there is always casualties of war. And a lot of people that become these casualties of war are often sometimes innocent people. When innocent people have to look death in the face because of the powers that are higher or the hierarchy of power, I don't ever think it's good. I don't think personally that we should go to war with Iraq. But if our troops have to go over there and hold it down then that's what they have to do. But I don't actually support the war, cause it's like innocent people are going off to slaughter. Not only on the American side but also on both sides. And there is so many things that deal with the government that we will never know. We are all pawns in this game at the same time dealing with this war, because it leaves us vulnerable as civilians for things to happen. Who knows with the way the terrorist act as been passed? So even if you say anti Semitic statements about the President you can be picked up. It's going to change a lot of things if we go to war, if enough things haven't changed already. I am not really in support of this war because as I said already it's going to bring about a lot of pain, death and destruction on both sides of the water. And that's the thing we have to look at, when innocent people have to die its never good.
MVRemix: Aight, now onto a lighter note, how has your situation over at Babygrande records been?
Babygrande has been treating me well. I have known the guy over there for many years, so it's a pretty comfortable situation being there. We are just trying to make it happen, it's a very grassroots label, but we got good distribution. So, it's pretty good being there. It was adventure for me to do this, to venture out on this little deal and embark on it. To hear from guys like you that you liked the record is satisfying to me. But being at Babygrande has been cool. I'm using Babygrande as a stepping stone, hopefully to take it to another level and give the people what they have been wanting for so long. I think it's my opportunity to finally step through the door and do that. So Babygrande has definitely been a vehicle for where I can do that with. I get along everybody there real well.
MVRemix: When can we expect your full-length debut album?
This is actually a full-length album as well, but I don't know. Its coming soon, I am recording shit right now as we speak. I just came out the studio last night. It's going to be really dope bro, that's the thing I can tell people. Realistically speaking I would say sometime next summer, maybe, if everything goes right. I plan on working throughout the summer and winter. I might try and drop a single this summer, just to see what's up. I got a few things in my vault that I might wanna pull out. But I am definitely working on one, for sure.
MVRemix: Any guest appearances on the album, whose gonna produces some tracks? Any names you wanna let out?
I am just trying to keep that under wrap, so I don't swell it. But there is going to be some pretty good producers on there. Better than pretty good, a couple names you might know. I'll leave that a mystery to the people until then.
MVRemix: What is the mind set going into the up and coming album? What do you want to accomplish?
Basically with this album I just wanna show the world that once and for all I write records. Everybody has this myth about Supernatural, that I don't write records. The only thing is, that I never put any records out. It's not the fact that I don't write or I can't write. Sometimes in the industry one person can say something and that sets the precedent and people just follow that standard. That's basically the mind state I am going in, just trying to make some dope Hip Hop music, try to make something different and also just prove to the critics, that "hey I put the pen to the pad at all times". Basically that's what it is. Just to inform people that there is more from Supernatural than stage antics and that hard-core freestyle shit that they hear from me. Which is always going to be my forte, I am never going to change that but at the same time I want to be able to sit down and put together a body of work that is going to take it there. That's what I'm trying to do with this record and that's the mind state that I'm going in to kill all myths and kill all rumors.
MVRemix: How has Supernat progressed over the years?
As an artist?
Man, I have grown so much. I have progressed over the years by learning stuff about the business that I didn't know. Going through ups and downs, which made me a stronger person. Just the progression as an artist within myself, just being to progress through my writing, the progression of my freestyle skills, stage presence, the way I present myself. Every year that passes by and I am still doing Hip-Hop I grow. The progression throughout these years has been a slow one, but it's been a good one. And I have learned a lot and I am still learning. To this day I am still learning, so progression is a constant movement for me as a person. I have grown a lot in just the whole aspect of dealing with the industry, being able to cope with the industry day to day. I have grown alot spirituality, mentally and physically.
MVRemix: You are about to go on tour with Linkin Park right?
Yeah, I am going on a tour with Linkin Park, Xzibit, DJ Z-Trip & Rocky Rock.
MVRemix: What are your plans for the tour, do you have anything special planned for your set?
I have my regular set that I am going to do, but I am still up in the air with that. We don't actually know how it's going to be set up, but I got my Supernat set. Have you ever seen my stage show?
MVRemix: Nah, I haven't.
Oh O.K., but once you see it you will know. Well you heard it, but that was more loose, the Wu Tang one. I have a show now where it's a fine tuned engine from beginning to end. It consists of crow participation, depending on what type of stage I'm on. If I am on a stage that is too big then I really can't go down (to the fans) like I normally would. But when I'm in those intimate, closed in club situations, it always comes off crazy.
MVRemix: What's in store for the future?
I am working on this movie right now, and I am just trying to break into the mainstream market of Hip-Hop and bring what I do to the forefront. I also wanna work with my son; I got a project I wanna do with him. Eventually I wanna actually start teaching the art of freestyling. I think I have done it long enough now that I could probably start a class and form some sort of curriculum and actually teach kids the art of rhyming, cause there is an art to it. Those are the things that I look forward to in the future. Raising my kid, forming a family, and that's about it. Mostly more than anything, trying to break into the total mainstream of the rap world. When I say that I don't mean going commercial, I just mean bringing what I do to the forefront. There is no reason why a cat like me shouldn't be on David Letterman, or in the basement with Tigger, or on Conan O'Brian, or any of these crazy late night shows that they feature a lot of these rappers. If the freestyle element or the underground element was shown in a proper aspect, it is something that could be very viable for all of us. That's what I see for the future. Just really try to put myself back in the loop of things, in the underground and in the mainstream.
MVRemix: Any last comments or thoughts?
Those that are true to Supernat continue to support Supernat. Those that don't like Supernat, keep don't liking me cause it keeps me alive. For any kids or young cats that are up and coming, always find somebody you can gravitate to in the rap game and look up to. Always keep your skills on point, practice and stay focused. And most of all stay true to yourself and one another. That's the best thing I can say.
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"Well damn, he didn't freestyle, I wanted to hear him freestyle. Well, everybody can't. So if you can't why would you pretend to and play yourself short. Do what you know best, if you are a writer then that's what you do and when you get on the radio spit your writtens. It's a choice of preference."