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Mes The Jive Turkey No bullshit! Location: Dallas, Texas. Down with: The Socialists, Ground Opening. Latest album: 'Songs About You' on Mr Dibbs' Self Core Records. Makin albums since: 1998.

Wassup Mes, first let's talk about your new album... How did you get with Rhymesayers for the distribution? It must be a great way to get the name out?

Well, luckily this album was released on Self Core Records which is a satellite label of RSE. In turn, they gave us a little push that is helping to take the record a long way. Def gotta thank Siddiq and JBird at RSE for all the help.

Why wasn't the album entirely released through Rhymesayers?

My deal is actually with Dibbs/Self Core so that is what this album came out on. That isn't saying that I won't ever have an album on Rhymesayers, this one just isn't.

Sometimes one doesn't know whether to cry or to laugh with your music, what mood/message do you want to bring across with your music?

I'd just like people to know who I am. Sometimes I feel like listening to happy music or sad music or angry music just like everyone else. So it's the same with writing. I translate my different moods into different songs, just like people feel. You feel. Essentially they are songs about you.

How important is irony in life?

Man, without irony or sarcasm, I wouldn't have any friends, family or people to relate to.

How did you hook up with Mr Dibbs?

We met in '03 when I was able to open up for Atmosphere in Dallas on their GLU tour and we hit it off quick. We became good friends, the more I stayed on his couch for Scribble Jam, tagged along on Atmosphere tours and helped him run errands the two years we toured side by side on the Van's Warped Tour. He's like family. Him and my dad get along well too. One day they are gonna end up in jail, naked and drunk.

Who started Ground Opening and why?

Me and my brother Riq the Briq started it as 'our label', since no one would put us out. It grew into much more as Riq was basically paying to put out my records and we were meeting dope heads in Dallas to crew with. It's still a label when it has to be.

How important has Riq the Briq been to your music career?

He's been my heartbeat. He's financed, sacrificed, written, drove, recorded, mixed, mastered, beat people up, and everything that he possibly could have to make sure that we get to where we needed to be. It would take days to tell you everything he's done for me. For starters let me just tell you that he drove the entire time we've ever gone on tour. That's hardcore.

How would you define Ground Opening? 1) a label, 2) a crew, 3) a mindstate?

Option 3. It's an opportunity for friends that think like us to be a part of what we've made. Rob Vik, Los Hip Hop Guys, Headkrack, Bavu...everyone of them hustles like we do. Now's the time to take what we've built and use it to prove to people what we can do.

'I try to make 25 out of a buck fourty-nine' you rap on your album, how are you going to do that?

Anyway I can. Make a CD, sell a CD. Graphic design, I print t-shirts, I build websites, I print posters, I sell my possessions, I do whatever it takes. This is my life.

Since when has Bavu Blakes been down?

We KNEW he was down with Strange Fruit and Whut It Dew Fam. But never 'saw' him mention G.O. He's been down for a little while. We've always been friends and it seemed like a good hook up. He reps us on newer stuff as we do with him. Vu is fam for sure.

How did you hook up with Philly's Icon the Mic King and NY's Headkrack?

Icon came down to Texas for shows and we always showed him love. He's actually got a G.O. DJ, Fisher Pryce, with him on the road now. Check for that. Krack moved to Dallas and started making moves from Day 1. Nothing but respect between us and we couldn't believe he didn't have a crew. He was just as excited to be crew as we were to have him join. The man spits like no other.

What artists can we expect on Ground Opening?

The ones mentioned in this interview are your best bet. If I gotta pick one you're not gonna lose sight of, it's Rob Viktum.

When did you start The Socialists?

2 weeks after Rob Viktum moved to Dallas from Amarillo in '04. We made a song, thought it was dope, hooked back up and made an album in 5 days.

How much did 'Songs About You' take?

It took a couple of months. We were trying too hard to make another Socialists album and not putting the focus where it should have been. I took some of the songs we had done, told Rob what kind of beats I wanted, hit up a few other homies for beats and made some myself. After gathering the dopest tracks I had, I pounded out the rest of the album in a few weeks and sent it off.

So what's the essential difference between your solo album and a Socialists album?

I had control. This was definitely a Mes album with Rob beats. You can feel the difference on the Socialist stuff.

You've mentioned touring a few times before. How important has that been for spreadin the name? Did you go to Europe yet?

Never been to Europe. I would love to go soon though! What's it gonna take? Touring is the most underrated thing a musician can do. Any up and coming artist HAS to tour. It's the best way to spread the name. There is always one kid at a show that never heard the music before and becomes a fan for life. I definitely have one new fan from ever show I've ever done...that adds up. Plus, Dallas isn't even close to being my best market. Any opportunity to play for people outside of my hometown is the best opportunity I've ever had.

What are some of the most remarkable performances you've done?

Performing on Warped Tour sucks until you have actually grabbed a crowd's attention with nothing but your actual raw talent and impressed a bunch of punk rock kids who have sworn up and down that they despise rap music until they heard ME. Imagine that feeling. I changed someone's mind being 100% ME. It's amazing.

It seems like the Dallas/Texas underground hip-hop scene is growin bigger and bigger. K-Otix, Ground Opening, Strange Fruit Project, ... Who else is on the come-up and how would you explain this burst of creativity?

I wouldn't call it a burst. We've all been here doing this forever. Be on the lookout for cats like 1Self and Verbal Seed, Hydroponic Sound System, the Coffee Nods, and a ton of other dope cats out here. Check the links to our friends at groundopening.com.

When did you start rappin?

I started when I was 13 yrs old, biting other rappers for ciphers at school. It's terrible, I know, but hey I was 13!

Who are your influences?

When I was starting, I listened to a lot of Wu-tang, old Fat Joe, Redman, etcNowadays it's all about Living Legends, the homies at Rhymesayers, Sims of Doomtree, Kanye, and my crew.

What was your first rap record?

I think it was 'Illmatic' or '36 chambers'. I can't remember.

What rap artists are you listening to at the moment?

I have revisited 'Illmatic', 'Resurrection'. Sims, Lupe Fiasco, Lazerbeak, Kanye, Mr. Lif, Tahiti...euhm, that's pretty much my rotation.

What are your favourite kind of lips?

My girlfriend's.

How do you eat your turkey?

Texas State Fair has the giant deep fried greasy foil paper fowl. There is no better way to have a turkey leg. Chase it with a corn dog and a deep fried peanut butter jelly and banana sandwich. The Lone Star State of Fatness...hmmm.

How excited are you about the Mavs reachin the NBA finals?

I will be excited when they pick it up and take this in game 7!!! (helas, the Mavs have lost game 6, shortly after this interview was conducted, ed.)

Did you know Mbenga comes from Belgium?

Really? I had no clue. He's a great player... Very slept on.

Who started the Free Mbenga rally on Myspace?

My homie, Raymo, at illmindsink.com

Please leave a comment:

MURS

Once told me that he would do anything I needed him to do to help me be successful in stealing his spot. Still waiting homie...

Atmosphere

I want to tour with Slug again. Help a homie out, Sean.

Wu-Tang Clan

I'm very jealous of my girl because she's seen the entire group perform together and I never will be able to. Ghost has the best album of 2006 hands down and I'd murder my own child for a RZA beat.

369th Regiment

Wow. You are a true fan. Won't happen again, but sometimes I listen to old songs and think 'man, I wrote that?'

Fat Joe

For some reason I'm in his Top 8 on Myspace! No joke, check it out.

The D.O.C.

He's a bandwagon bandit. People started making moves in Dallas, he started repping it. Who knew he was from Dallas back in the day?

Yeah, thought he was from the CPT!

Another Dallas legend: Erykah Badu

She used to beatbox for our ciphers back in the day. She's awesome. VJ (Smooth, ed.) used to spin at her birthday parties too. Dallas can be proud of something for sure...

JR Ewing

I was too young to watch Dallas when it came out!

Dallas Cowboys

Not a fan but def am a Mavs fan for Life. I'm interested to see what T.O. does though.

What's next for Mes?

I'm working on a new full length with a lot of production of Doomtree's Lazerbeak. I'm hoping to work with a lot of new producers and make the best music I have ever done. I think you guys will like it.

Shout-outs?

GO stand up, Pitch Control, Fingerprint, all extended fam and sneaker heads...it's all about us in the future ya'll!

 

POSTED 06|01|2006
conducted by cpf

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