Interview: Muja Messiah / Album Release July 25th
Clara Wang caught up with Muja Messiah at last weekends For the Love festival in Lowertown to chat about his new upcoming album Angel Blood Soup. MM will release the new album with a performance at the cabooze on July 25th.
CW: Your latest track, “Burn This Bitch Down,” starts with, “I want to kill a cop, but I don’t know if I got the heart.” Mind elaborating on that sentiment?
MM: Just always as a young kid Hollywood embedded in my brain the cops and robbers aspect. The robbers were the bad guys, always rooted for the bad guys, and always wanted to kill a cop.
CW: So you were always the robber playing cops and robbers as a kid?
MM: Nobody ever wanted to be the cop, because those were the bad guys. It’s like reverse psychology.
CW: It’s interesting, because a lot of Minneapolis Hip-hop artists tend to be more, how do you say it…
CW: Well, that’s one way of putting it. I would say more, I guess, like, “conscious”…
MM: I wouldn’t say conscious is a good word. I would say more oatmeal.
CW: You think you’re a lot more badass than anybody else?
MM: No, I eat granola, I love almond milk. I eat oatmeal more than anybody. I’m a hippie as well, you know what I”m saying. I just like to say things that present a conversation. Create a forum for people to discuss. So when I say “Kill a cop, ain’t got the heart,” I’m just mad at the way they’ve treated us over the years, and the intensity has just built up to the point if they were to kill my son, I would have to react the same way.
CW: Let’s talk about your thoughts on the Baltimore Riots
MM: I mean which ones? The ones in the sixties, the ones in the seventies, I mean which ones. It’s all the same thing that’s been going on. It’s just oppression. Of black and brown people. It’s boiling over the point where white people are feeling the effects now. It’s something that’s been going on since the beginning of this country. It’s nothing new. I just use music as a forum to address how I feel about it. They’re just my ideas and concerns. I make music like movies; it’s not to be taken literally all the time.
CW: You got a new album coming out. Angel Blood Soup. Do you think it’ll be radically different from your last album, or which direction do you think it’s going in?
MM: My last album was God Kissed It, the Devil Missed It. It’s different. It’s more personal. It’s more relaxed. I’ve got another album coming out, called “Southside Samurai, that’s the exact opposite, it’s just very intense, very violent. This one is more about family, hence “Angel Blood Soup.” It’s about family, relatives growing up, it’s about loved ones.
CW: What’s it been like having your son follow in your footsteps?
MM: It’s just interesting seeing my son develop into a man. Aside from the music, aside from anything. It’s just interesting being a parent. Interesting is an understatement. It’s overwhelming, it’s amazing, it’s exciting, it’s phenomenal, it’s one of the greatest joys in life, and I’m very proud of him and I’m very proud of my daughter. And I love him. He’s followed in my footsteps as far as awareness, as far as how the government feels about us, and he loves Hip-hop. And I’m proud of him.
CW: A lot of your music is, like what you were discussing, a forum, to create a discussion for Hip-hop. Were you always very conscious and aware, very into promoting the cause?
MM: Ever since I was four or five years old, going to church with my Mom, I knew something was wrong. I didn’t like the way it felt, I didn’t like the way religion felt. I didn’t like how the cops called me and my friends girls when they walked past us when I was nine or ten years old. I knew something wasn’t going on from a very early age, from my very earliest memories. Sixth or seventh grade, fifth or sixth grade, I just used Hip-hop, poetry, as a way to express the cause, to talk about what was going on. It ended up consuming my life. It’s a blessing and a curse, understanding the consciousness, and knowing what’s going on. It can give you an understanding where you could be hopeless, or feeling overwhelmed and insecure, or you don’t know where to turn. But music provides that outlet, it keeps me sane.
Muja Messiah’s new album Angel Blood Soup will be out on July 25th and the release show will be that evening at the Cabooze (with Roc Marciano). Tickets here.