Mista Lawnge Interview

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Check out I2G’s exclusive interview with Black Sheep’s own, Mista Lawnge. We discuss his new single, World Needs Love, his upcoming album and much more so check it out.

I2G:
All right, we’re here with Mr. Long. How’s it going, man?

Mista Lawnge:
Chilling, man. Everything’s good. Feeling good. Positive. How you doing?

I2G:
Good, good. Let’s get right into it. You just recently dropped … you have a new single out, World Needs Love? Tell me a little about the single and how it came together for you.

Mista Lawnge:
I’m currently working on an album, that’s one of the songs I put out to kinda intro the album. The World Needs Love is pretty much because it’s a true statement, you know how there’s a lot of hatred going on, be it racism, and a lot of other things, politics. The world seems like it’s in a real crazy place right now, and people seem to be embracing the craziness and holding it up, and I don’t feel like that’s the way we should be handling that at all. I think we need to squashing everything and trying to make peace with each other so we can all continue to live.

I2G:
Ok.

Mista Lawnge:
But yeah, that’s one piece of the puzzle. The name of the album is called A Clean Slate. I named the album A Clean Slate because there’s no profanity on the album. I’m not even saying the N-word. Trying to hold the flow on all things positive. Trying to come with relevant content that people can really grasp onto and understand and they can really apply it into their lives and what they’re doing. I was trying to stick to the script, you know what I mean? Stick to the script. Keep it clean, keep it positive, and really hope people grasp on to something more positive than negative.

I2G:
Do you have a release date set for the project, or maybe who are some of the guest appearances, do you have anyone who worked with you on the album?

Mista Lawnge:
So far no features. My first album, in 06, I had no features as well, because I feel like a solo album needs that, just a solo album. Not to mention the other problems that occur when you deal with features. Like if you’re out on the road, you can’t really rely on people and their schedules to match what you’re doing. So if you put out a big record, maybe you have conflicting schedules with whoever’s featuring, and you end up doing your show all by yourself, you have the audience expecting the other person. That’s why it’s best to keep it a solo project. The date so far, let’s push the date to April 7th, because I’m really giving myself time to write more effectively and not be rushed. I have the date at March 15th, but I want to push it out a bit.

I2G:
Okay. As far as visuals or videos, do you have an idea of content or anything for World Needs Love or any other singles, maybe that you’re gonna drop in the future off the album?

Mista Lawnge:
Yeah. In the future, actually, shout-out to my man, Pete Spray, he’s from 90’s Now, touring London. I did a song with these guys, they sent me the data for the song, everybody’s kinda gearing toward that one, so we were just discussing to shoot the video for that. So that’s in the works right now, that’s one of the ones we’re planning. So far these guys are the only guys I have going outside of production right now. It’s one track with them so far for 90’s Now, cause I don’t do that much love.

I2G:
Now being in the group Black Sheep and doing a solo record, and also being a producer, is there one that maybe you prefer more than the other or do they all tie in one and the same? Do you prefer being a rapper or being more of a producer or just all in one? Do you have a preference more one than the other?

Mista Lawnge:
Really all in one, man. I like doing it all. Doing the beats, doing the rhymes, doing cuts. I could do it all. Now of course I get more toward vocals, now, but the love is doing the beats for rapping. It’s neck and neck for me. It’s all good.

I2G:
It leads right into my next question, what is the current status of the group Black Sheep? You guys planning on maybe possibly reuniting, doing another album, maybe after this solo run?

Mista Lawnge:
We actually announced 25th anniversary in October last year. Let me tell you, it’s still kinda up in the air. Still want to do a 25th anniversary tour for Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, everything is still floating, still trying to find the right motors, you know, make the right offers. Right now, yeah, we already made the announcement, so it’s out there.

I2G:
All right, then I had a couple throwback questions for you. First one at the top, you did a remix for the group Queen, back in 1991, Flash’s Theme, can you tell me a little bit how that track came together and linking up with Queen and the experience doing the remix for them?

Mista Lawnge:
Oh wow. Actually, I never met those guys. That remix came by way of Dave, rest in peace. He’s the guy that was working with Red Alert, and he had a project come across and that was before Black Sheep, so I would do these little quirky projects and that happened to be one of them. It had to be just remix different things. At the time also, did a couple of Red Hot Chili Pepper remixes, through my man Dave. Different things would just pop up and I would grab them and see what I could make happen from it. But the Queen project was pretty fun.

I2G:
What was the feeling you guys were actually the first, Black Sheep was the first hip-hop act on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, what’s the experience that you guys had performing on Jay Leno’s show? Any fun memories or anything that sticks out for you guys performing on the show?

Mista Lawnge:
Yeah. The Jay Leno show, it was a different audience, it was more conservative, quiet, they just kinda applauded after. It wasn’t what we’re used to, the amped up, rally, stand up and dance kind of audience, so it was a little weird, but I’m still impressed that we were able to be on there as the first hip-hop group. Everything is a blessing for me, man.

I2G:
Absolutely. Absolutely. Now as far as, we’re now in 2017, and you’d actually mentioned with your solo album that you have no profanity or cuss words or anything on your upcoming project, and me being a, definitely from the golden era, fan of Ice Cube and Pharcyde and Cypress Hill, a lot of different groups like that, what’s your thoughts on the state of hip-hop right now, going into 2017? Just the music that’s out, new artists, what you’re currently listening to.

Mista Lawnge:
I listen to everything so I can know what’s going on, but I like very little. I just listen to it, keep my eyes on situations, because that’s part of my job in writing, and I need to know what to be able to write to, according to what’s going on in the world. The state of hip-hop right now, the focus is of course, again, it’s on stuff that, to me, is sort of irrelevant, they are promoting and doing whatever, it’s all negative nonsense to me, the part that’s being commercialized. But then you have your artists that I do appreciate, I appreciate the Kendrick Lamars, the J Coles, Rav, Kaz, I appreciate lyricists that are doing their thing, cause there are some cats out there that are doing it.

I2G:
Absolutely, absolutely. Now as far as any other outside, do you have any other projects, are you writing a book, or any other projects currently that you’re working on outside of music?

Mista Lawnge:
Oh yeah, absolutely. I have them in the works now and I’ve been working on them for the past two-three years, it’s called Who’s a Black Sheep: The Untold Truth, hopes of getting it out the end of this year, the top of 18. It’s a big process. Life keeps happening, so I keep adding. But outside production, right now I’m focusing on the Clean Slate album. That’s pretty much it, trying to put full focus on that, trying to make sure that I’m giving that my all.

I2G:
As far as shows or tour dates, you have anything coming up for you all of us need to know about?

Mista Lawnge:
As of right now, working again with Pete Spray and the whole 90s Now crew, they’re hooking up some dates from overseas with me and my brother Sammy B, from the Jungle Brothers. We’re gonna do a DJ run …

I2G:
Oh wow.

Mista Lawnge:
Yeah, we’re gonna do a duo DJ run, probably starting overseas more than likely. But that’s also there, that’s being worked on.

I2G:
What’s your website information for people looking to check out your music and see what you got going on?

Mista Lawnge:
It’s www.mistalawnge.com. M-I-S-T-A-L-A-W-N-G-E.com.

I2G:
All right, well I appreciate the time, appreciate the interview. Been a big fan of your work and Black Sheep over the years, so definitely extremely honored to sit here talk with you. Do you have any last words or shout outs going out to the people?

Mista Lawnge:
I’d like to shout out to you, man. Thanks for having me do the interview. I appreciate you posting up the song. Shout out to 90’s Now, Pete Spray, people that’s part of the Clean Slate album, my home team, Big Al. And hey man, look out for it, I’ll be shooting you guys some more songs just for you to check out.

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