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The Cornerstone - conducted by Ryan McManus  

The Cornerstone

February 2007

MVRemix: Minus, did you keep the sticky pumping in the studio? I've been showing everybody "Getting High".

Minus: Word up, it was one of my favorite tracks to do. And to answer the first question, you heard the song, if I can roll it, I'ma burn it.

MVRemix: The "off the radar" spot in Source was some great exposure, Congrats. You have caught some much deserving breaks in the last few years with your hard work paying off. How does D.One's personal success play into what the group is doing?

D.One: Thanks man, yeah that was a good thing. We're all working hard My personal success had a lot to do with getting out of New England. Lace has been in the game a long time, he was a vet before I even came into my own. Burna and Minus have been grinding for a minute. I really went after it though, moving out here and just being relentless with the all the press shit and big name features. Not taking anything away from my dudes, but I made a few things happen for myself and that should def. play into more exposure for the group when we drop.

Lace: I can't speak for everyone else but, I was about ready to move on career wise before D.One and I politicked fucking with each others sound. I respect my niggas grind to the effect where it's like this, I wouldn't probably be talking to y'all motherfuckers if it wasn't for my homie. I got kids and shit and I'll always have a burning desire in my heart for Mcing, period.

MVRemix: You guys all have a real indie hip hop feel to your rhymes and beats, what artists are you guys listening to and what artists are still under the radar.

Burna: We are what we are. Music is the thing here. This is all energy here. I'm feeling so many types of music. Categories suck. Association is bullshit. We are doing our thing. This is what we have in us. We said let's get together and get out it out there, be real on this one. Indie? Sounds good to me. Whatever the genre is I will put my face on this group thing. The Cornerstone is just that, you know? Groundwork doesn't stop. This is life, everyday is something else. I roll with it knowing that I am setting the stage for my future. Under the Radar I think my crew here forever brings fire, on this and on their solo shit. Can't believe all that we have accomplished from the jump. Otherwise, I am def feeling a lot of Nas' new shit. I have that in rotation. Redman is sick, AZ can kill it, Pac can bring me tears, Jay is dead on when he is on, Common is reality, old Mobb can help me stay pissed and drunk driving my car around. It all depends on the day, fuck. This minute I guess... I will wake up, burn something, listen to some Rastaman 'Vibration'. Then go to sleep to 'All that I got is you' on Ghost's first shit. I listen to music that is saving music.

Lace: Me personally, I gravitate to that touch and feel sound. You can kinda hear the sincerity in an Mc's rhymes through the way he or she channels their message to us. I'm a huge Jay-z supporter and fan. Nas is serious too. A lot of rappers are making disposable music. It's not good for the culture cause it waters down the drive, effort and insight a real mc puts into their craft. Personally off the radar underground hungry mc's are a lot more compelling than these lackadaisical rapper dudes. I ain't naming no names, cause it's all about Cornerstone right now.

MVRemix: D.One, I caught a Nas sample on the off the hook "What We Do.". And you listed Nas as one of your influences. Sticking to an overused topic of the times, but I still want to get all of your feelings, being as your all on the come up, is hip hop dead? Where is it at?

D.One: I don't know man. I feel like I contradict myself all the time with this question. I mean, as long as there is real music out there somewhere, it can't die so no. Mainstream has always been mainstream. But something has definitely changed for the worse with that whole area. I mean I had Sirius satellite for a while and cancelled it because it still sucked. We're just gonna keep doing our thing you know, making and supporting the real. I keep that garbage out of my head because it's bad for my creativity. Keep bumping quality music, every genre. Me and my girl went to an Aaron Lewis (of Staind) acoustic show a couple weeks ago and it was ridiculous. I try to keep and open mind, and the new school nursery rhymes on mute.

Burna: Hip Hop lost its' balance and passed out...too much partying and balling ended up flat on it's back...on a hospital the Doctor is yelling 'Clear! The diagnosis said it wasn't drinking enough water and all the lies fucked up his karma and and the lack producing any real substance brought on a nervous breakdown. [Hip Hop's] still got a pulse though. But on the real side of things, I feel exactly what Nas is speaking about. The heart of the true hip hop game has almost stopped beating. What we hear on the radio is watered down. It's predominantly mainstream entertainment for the kids. Real hip hop has soul though, it will come back. Nas is doing his thing to bring it back and we are doing ours. I don't think about it like that too much though, I am just living what I'm saying. That is the real shit, the truth is the realist shit.

Minus: Again, I'ma have to agree with Burna about quoting Nas that hip-hop is dead. I give credit where credit's due, and don't have anything bad to say about the grind of some of the mainstream rappers out there, but I definitely think that Hip-Hop kinda lost its feeling. And if anything, I think we can bring some of it back.

MVRemix: And if you guys were to get online and search for "hip hop", other than seein' The Cornerstone pop up, what would you want to see to give a true portrayal of what Hip Hop is today?

Lace: If my kids googled Hip-Hop, I would want them to see what I saw in 1981. The intensity of a culture birthed for the underdogs in society. Back in the day Hip-Hop was the way people communicated from city to city through B-boying, breaking, Graffiti art, DJinng, and rhyming. If you do your math correctly Hip-Hop was the voice of the unheard. When the civil rights movement took effect it gave the hood the backbone to exercise the first amendment. That freedom of speech shit is real but a lot of people never knew they could speak their minds from their hearts until rap music spread. It gave the unfortunates a chance to build together and strengthen our minds bodies and souls. That's why real hip-hoppers don't see color cause we all are in this together and everybody gets a chance to speak and express themselves...

MVRemix: Cornerstone, thanks again for talking to Everybody look out for the new releases this spring. Any last words?

Burna: Keep your eyes red and your ears wide for The Cornerstone's debut album 'Groundwork'...Watch out for Mike Burna, D.One, Minus & Lace Payne, 'aka' The Cornerstone when they take the stage near you...From the MA to CA! Evolvement 'til the death! and we're Chillin' Chillin'... Check out all of us on MySpace...,,, /,

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"I'm a huge Jay-z supporter and fan. Nas is serious too. A lot of rappers are making disposable music. It's not good for the culture cause it waters down the drive, effort and insight a real mc puts into their craft."