It kinda came as a shock when Mr. J announced on his Myspace that The Procussions are no more. This interview provides you with in-depth info about the break up, their solo careers and new projects.
For the readers who don’t know you yet, can you introduce yourself and tell them something about your music?
I’m Mr. J. Medeiros and I rap. Oh, I make beats too.
Your new solo album Friends Enemies Apples Apples will release early in 2009; what can we expect of your new release?
I’m not sure, I’m never sure what someone will get from it, if its what I get from it then expect a serious album in tone and content with a lot of soulful singing, it’s a little darker, a little west coast sounding (so I’ve been told). Lots of bass, strings, piano, and spacey noises. Lots of stories, mostly rooted in something the Portuguese call “saudade”, a great word to look up!
Can people who liked your debut-album expect something similiar or will Friends Enemies Apples Apples be completely different?
I have tried to rap about different things but maybe its in my blood, I think my content, the words that I choice to say end up coming out of mycenter, maybe its “Fado” maybe its “Saudade” but its in me and im not ready to escape it, there is a feeling in the song “Constance” that is spread throughout this album, that’s the only thing that bares resemblance. As far as sound I think this album sonically is a 100 times better then “of gods and girls” and overall I would say that “friends enemies apples apples” is a much more grown up version of “Of Gods And Girls”.
The official tracklist says there’s only one guest on your album: Tara Ellis. Can you tell us more about your collaboration and the reason why you picked her to be on the album?
I love working with Tara Ellis, our first track we did together was on The Procussions album “5 Sparrows for 2 Cents” on a song called “Ill Fly”, she is really able to take something and make it her own, she did wonderful, incredible, beautiful things for this album and I knew she would. Her voice is so versatile without loosing her identity, she sings like she wrote the song and that’s what I was looking for.
And why did you choose to only have one guest on your album instead of multiple guests as on Of Gods And Girls?
I’m really not big on rapper collaborations, I think its because I end up trying to write stories and a lot of personal things I just don’t think I could share on a track with someone else. Plus, the rappers I would really like to have on this album probably don’t like what I do. As far as singers and musicians? I am ALWAYS looking for a good collab! I have just noticed that people either want money I don’t have or they really are not up to working with a rapper. I try to get folk singers that I look up too all the time, most of the people I have contacted do not listen to hip-hop at all, and the little stuff they have heard…they hate. So….yeah its not easy to convince people that hip-hop is worth it sometimes, but it is.
I’d read several bulletins on Myspace of you and apparently you’re really against downloading music. Can you tell us what you think of people who download your album?
I don’t see why anyone in my position whos paying out of pocket for absolutely everything in order to create something that someone can appreciate, to help enhance anothers life, (including my own) WOULD be ok with people stealing their music.
There is no dignity in that and it truly takes down the value of a musician’s work and the personal transaction in offering a “good” or “service”. If I want to give you a free CD (which I do 9 times out of 10) it should be on my terms, it’s my product, it’s what I have to offer you, it’s my contribution. We have socially conditioned ourselves to use the word download instead of stealing to help with the guilt.
And what will you do to fight it, or are you just gonna accept it as the harsh reality nowadays?
I fight by not doing it, by buying all my music and by sticking up for myself and not “accepting the hard reality,” even if just in thought, and by not being afraid to piss people off who believe otherwise. At least in this way, I have created a value for myself.
And what do you think about the industry nowadays? How do you feel about that?
To keep it short: it sucks.
This question is very cliché but I still want to ask you this. What do you think of Hip Hop nowadays and the way it’s evolving?
Im just trying to keep my eyes on what im able to offer.
Can you name some new music/Hip Hop that you like a lot?
I like Lupe Fiasco, Elzhi, Black Milk, Pigeon John, Hocus Pocus Flying Lotus, ….lots of stuff.
And what about music you listened to back in the days, what artists inspired you the most?
RUN DMC, A Tribe Called Quest, The Roots, L.L. Cool J., Souls Of Mischief, Pharcyde, De La Soul, Public Enemy, WU-Tang, Ice Cube… Lots of stuff.
And how do you think Hip Hop and its culture will be in 10 years from now?
I definitely do not know.
And what can we expect from Mr. J Medeiros in the (near) future?
Hopefully people will enjoy, like, and love “Friends Enemies Apples Apples” in 2009! Im working with a band right now, I really cant say anything about it yet, but they are some monster musicians. Im also working with a producer that is just amazing!!!, (In my opinion) we are called Thousand Pound Gorilla (1KLBG) and hopefully that will be out soon!
On another note, I want to ask you something about The Procussions. On Myspace you said the following: “Can’t do it anymore y’all. The Procussions have officially been destroyed by the system, the industry, and those kids who just don’t understand you “can’t burn independent albums. You will kill their career”. But I also remember you said that their will be a next album by The Procussions (you and Stro).
What can we expect? Will there be another release?
I don’t think there will be another Procussions album, I’m officially off on a solo career and Stro is doing the same. Stro however DID produce this whole album “Friends Enemies Apples Apples” and, wow, dude is just incredible! His solo album should be out soon!
If you want to tell the readers of The Find Magazine something, if you want to make an announcement or if you want to give some shout-outs or something, then this is the time:
I love you!