AHHA: Any new producers for this album?
Mercedes: No, not really. We’ve definitely gotten into the do-it-yourself thing. It’s cool if we come across people that have time and wanna do some stuff with us, but at the same time we just have to keep rolling and doing our thing.
AHHA: You guys have such an inseparably beautiful chemistry, with that said, have you thought about solo ventures?
Mercedes: We’re not closed to the thought. But we have such openness and ability to do whatever we want that we don’t feel the need to do our own thing.
Tracy: Right, it’s like we’re two solo artists in a group…except we don’t have to be on stage by ourselves [laughs]
Mercedes: I think that what makes our stuff special is the combination of the two of us.
Tracey: I’ve come to realize in the last few years that I have no desire to be a solo artist and it’s not that I don’t think I could, I do believe in myself enough to think that if I wanted to go after something like that I could, but I don’t have the energy for that, and I like what we have together. We help each other out so much, I like having a partner. I like having someone in this with me, cause it’s times when you’re doing good and it’s times when you’re not and if you don’t have someone to go through that with, it can be so frustrating. My mom, man… there’s been so many times when she’ll be like ‘baby, you should just get a job’ [laughs].
AHHA: Your last album was critically well received by a host of outlets including an A- from Entertainment Weekly, is there any frustration associated with being so talented and adored by those that know your music, but still so overlooked by the masses and not seeing your talent reciprocated in dollars?
Tracey: I think that the masses will come, you can’t blame people cause they never heard of you, I mean I wouldn’t have heard of me either if I wasn’t the one doing it [snickers]. So I can’t be mad about that. I get a little frustrated at our peers, because as much as they may put on airs that they’re a certain way, they have a way of making people feel less cause they haven’t done X, Y or Z. I don’t worry about our reception by the public, cause we get so much love on our website that it’s amazing, when I read some of that stuff, it’s like wow, we really touch people. I’m happy, I’m just happy that somebody feels like they got something out of a song that I wrote.
AHHA: One thing I was always impressed with, was that you never have features on the album just for the sake of having some cat rap a verse, are you keeping that the same or are there going to be a couple of guest spots.
Mercedes: Well there is one major collaboration on the album, and it’s with Jean Grae.
AHHA: Now that works…that’s a perfect fit.
Tracy: It is…it just makes sense. Once I hung out with Jean and talked with her, we have very similar stories and she’s just an incredible emcee, I love her. I love her lyrics and what she chooses to address in her music, in that way I also thinks she’s very similar to us. When’s she what’s to say something, she says it and she doesn’t care what you think.
Mercedes: Yeah, cause we weren’t into the cheesy now-here-comes-the rhyme-on-this-song concept and it just so happen that on this particular song, that the vibe and where she was coming from, the emotional texture of it just fit the song. We were honored that she was just completely down and into it.
AHHA: And not to be sexist about it, but it seems right that your first featured rhyme be from a woman?
Tracey: Yes definitely…here we are cool with all these guys, Black Thought, Talib, Common, all these guys who would be natural first choices. But we never felt like we needed to have a rap break just to have one for the sake of it…our music was never about that.
AHHA: Does the album have a date?
Tracey: June or July
AHHA: Any last comments?
Mercedes: For all people who have supported our music in the past, I just hope that our next project meets those expectations and more.
Tracey: Keep an open mind, you’d be surprised what you’ll like.