At first listen you can tell that Melo Kan's music is well thought out. He includes elements of the streets, spirituality, and knowledge is his lyrics. Kan reaches back to a time when Hip Hop meant something. When albums brought tracks full of messages and inspiration. Back to a time when music was used to voice the opinions and frustrations of the people. If you love classics you are sure love this artist. His illustrations are vibrant and lively, yet sobering and realistic. He is Hip Hop's reporter, live on scene whenever he steps to the mic. Melo Kan is a very community minded individual, down for any cause that will uplift and further his people. Checkout the interview below to get a glimpse inside the mind of this young man.
Your talent is undeniable, when did you decide to pursue music seriously, and what was the catalyst that caused you to do so?
Thank you nod, it’s much appreciated. Let’s see, I decided to push the line on this music thing in about 2001. That’s about the time I broke off from my group Klassick and dropped my first solo “Bring Da Bluez”
It seems that you are on the right coast being on the Left or West Coast, as there is a renaissance of sorts out there right now. What do you think attributed to the national decline of the West Coast and what's making it a hotbed right now?
Honestly, the decline of the West occurred after the death of the late great 2pac Shakur, Rest in Peace. After that, hip hop turned its back on us like were a bunch of gang bangin’, no substance, non lyrical dudes that really had nothing to add to the culture. Speaking on what is occurring currently, there is a resurgence of attention so to speak, but once again, the most notable figures are gang affiliated (i.e. The Game, Nipsey Hussle, Jay Rock, etc.).
To tell you the truth it’s really pissing me off because there are a bunch of spitters out here, however, the industry is only interested in promoting one side of what we have to offer. They are basically type casting us, and it’s keeping us stagnant in the eyes of the rest of the hip hop world.
Your music is more like that of N.W.A., in that there is a street element combined with knowledge. Would I be correct in saying they were influences for you, and who are some other influences?
I would be remiss in saying I wasn’t influenced by NWA, Ice Cube and those guys. I was eight years old when I took a 12 inch record from my uncle. It was “Eazy Duz It”. Man I used to play that shyt every morning before I went to school. Even when Cube left the group, I was siding with him more than them dudes because Cube had more to say as far as what was really going on in the community. Other influences, Pac of course, Scarface, Bdp, Dj Quik, Rakim, I could go on and on (Laughing).
Melo Kan upon listening to your music I noticed that it’s more than just music to rock or vibe to. You combined the best of the streets and lyricism. How important is it for you to combine social matters in your music?
Wow, I like how you put that. (Laughing) Straight up though. I feel it’s very important to actually say something when your mic is on and people are listening. We as mc’s or rappers or whatever you want call us are really reporters. The problem is, most of these dudes are reporting live from the club, and I’m reporting live from the streets, live from the struggle if you know what I mean.
On the song Blood Money off the album E.P.U. (Available on Itunes now), you tell the story of pretty much how all money is tainted. Why did you feel it important to illustrate this for the people?
Word- up; it’s like everybody is praising this piece of paper; this government issued debt instrument like its almighty God himself. People lose themselves, their families, their dignity, even their lives for this piece of paper. It amazes me. I had to just put it out there like, all this shyt is blood money really. The suits in the board room plotting on how to stay rich at the expense of the poor and middle class, want to point they little crusty fingers at the brothers on the corner trying to get it by any means, when in reality America itself set the standard of this “get rich by any means” mentality. It just so happens my people are the only ones getting locked up for chasing their version of the American Dream. It’s the epitome of hypocrisy.
The song Still Wanna Leave has to embody the inner turmoil of anyone that has ever been a hustler, or just stuck in the ghetto. What more do you have to say to those in the struggle that can't see past right now?
All I can say to those brothers and sisters, is the only thing constant is change. Shyt might not be in our favor now, but if we mash (fight) for our ration and push the line for real in all aspects of our lives, we will see better days. Real thought.
You have some very nice production on your tracks. Are you a producer as well as a writer, or do you have a team you work with regularly?
Haha. Nah. I’m strictly a writer. I should learn how to produce though before I get left behind. I have a set of producers I usually work with; THX, FOC, Conrizzle, For’Son, T.A.T, and a few others. But I’m always down to vibe with a producer that has some passion to his tracks.
I noticed that you compared your music illustrations to that of Rembrandt with a brush. Are you a purveyor of art and painters as well as music?
(Laughing) I wouldn’t say a purveyor. I just recognize those who are ill at their craft and try to align myself with them. I can’t paint with a brush, but I can paint with words.
Recently many artists have branched out into various other fields as in; oil, clothing, television, etc. What are some of your plans for diversity?
Really, I want to do a bunch of things and they all relate to rebuilding the community and raising souljahs. Reminiscent of Hitler, except for righteousness; I want to have a legitimate school of education, a martial arts dojo, and a grocery store that serves food grown without all the bullsh*t they put in our foods today. These are just a few of the things I want to accomplish. Can you imagine children growing up where there are being challenged mentally, spiritually, and their diets are healthy!? Man, under those conditions, we will stand a chance to actually make a real difference on the world stage!
Evidently you follow politics and have some very strong thoughts as far as the subject goes. What do you think is driving Congress to be so uncooperative during President Obama's term? Also does it seem to be more people being overtly disrespectful toward our President than in previous terms, as in Congressmen having some many verbal outbursts during sessions?
Yes, it’s really getting outrageous. Personally, I haven’t been in total support of some of our president’s decisions, but the true nature of some people is being unveiled now that there is a non white man running the country. These people are funny to me, because of all the shyt this Bush did, they gave him eight years. After a little over one year, they are screaming bloody murder for Obama. I can’t say I didn’t expect it though. We know America is racist; we just like to put the blanket over our eyes hoping that the monster isn’t going to be there when we remove it. Its still there Amerikkka!
What are some changes you would like to see happen in the American society as a whole not limited to legislative issues?
You are trying to get me assassinated! (Laughing) Let me just say, I feel America is Babylon, and for all the wrongs she has done to attain her position in the world, she will pay dearly at some point. I think America is beyond saving at this point.
Also you refer to the Bush family as a crime family, why is it that you view the entire family as a crime syndicate, when so many people regard former Director of the CIA and President George H.W. Bush as a great man?
Oh yeah? Who? Haha. Herbert Walker was in the White House when the Iran-Contra brought crack to our urban neighborhoods, under the rule Hollywood Regan. As far as I’m concerned he declared war on my folks with crack as the first shot fired. Shyt, Prescott Bush had ties to funding of Hitler’s regime. So you tell me if they are criminals or not.
Who are some new artists that you are listening to these days, also have you worked with and who would you like to work with?
Some new artist I’ve worked with are Bad Lucc, J Dawg of the Boss Hogg Outlaws, S Mak, Danny Meyers, Those Chosen to name a few. I would like to eventually work with Erykah Badu. She is so dope to me. Real heavy sista and I think she would feel what I’m on too. Andre 3000, Jay Electronica, Drake would also prove to be some heavy collaborations as well.
So E.P.U. is your latest work, what are some other projects that you have out that people should check out?
I just released an EP entitled “Bring Da Bluez II” about two months ago. It’s available for free download at www.eazeest.com . 15 straight tracks of no fluff; I will follow that up with another free promo called “The Uncomfortable Silence” which will feature me along side of a bunch of other up and coming artists and producers. It’s a real well rounded project and I’m excited to see what the people think about that. Then I will drop my official album “The Heart of the City” after that which will be on itunes and all that. That album is produced entirely by THX and will definitely be something special.
I noticed that you mentioned Janet Jackme in Blood Money it seems that Hip-Hop has had a long standing relationship with porn. What do you think has forged this link over the years?
I mean I knew it wouldn’t take long when you have artists like Lil Kim and Foxy Brown talking all that raunchy stuff bout how they give it and get it. The porn industry slid right in to place laughing.
Where can people hear and get your music or find out about upcoming shows, also where can fans connect with you? Do you have a facebook, twitter, or myspace?
Yes indeed. My twitter is @Blokkmovement, myspace/dablokkmovement, and facebook/melokan.
The one stop shop for any thing Melo Kan is always www.melokan.com. I appreciate y’alls time, thanks for having me and asking some real interview questions and not that template shyt. One love …bubba bubba Blokk Movement!!