DJ Green Lantern: The Evil Genius

Super heroes have often been linked to saving lives, fighting evil, and overcoming tremendous odds. With titles like Super, Incredible, and Fantastic, they are expected to travel far beyond the realm of human capabilities to widen the difference between human and Immortal. Although The Green Lantern has yet to become super-human, his growing profile does fit the characteristics of a super hero. From hitting the streets with classic mixtape albums, to providing track assistance to artists from Immortal Technique, Ludacris, and Papoose, The Evil Genius’ notoriety and credibility is fast spreading through the land of mortals. He has scathed off personal battles such as being relieved of his DJ'ing duties for Eminem to return with his latest producer driven mixtape “Alive on Arrival.” Green Lantern started making beats to impersonate Marley Marl. If 2006 goes his way, kids will be playing with records trying to emulate Green... Tell me about the new project that you have out on the streets right now…

Green Lantern: Alright , this mixtape right here is called “Alive on Arrival.” It’s the first non-one-artist based mixtape [of mine]. It’s basically a return to the block type of s**t. I’ve done artist based s**t like the [Juelz] Santana joint. This is the one with everybody on it, the real Green Lantern mixtape the fan would want to hear. How many joints do you have on there?

Green Lantern: 35 Joints. Everything from your super exclusive A-list Pharrell appearances, to the up and coming dude on the block that no one knows about. Did you do all the production?

Green Lantern: I produced a good 20 of the joints. Basically, this tape is definitely showing off the production. It definitely has a grimy undertone to it, because it’s a mixtape, and it’s New York, and it’s winter time. Let’s take it back to the street you know what I’m saying? Basically if it’s not produced by me, it’s a old classic beat that you love. So I got Ghostface doing a freestyle over “Ambitions of a Rider” and Juelz over this old Mobb beat, just because it’s a mixtape. You’re getting hit in the head crazy with beat after beat from me, but let me just give you a break here and there with a classic beat that you love. Like Fat Joe over “New York State of Mind.” What made you want to change it up?

Green Lantern : I know what people want and what’s been missing. Most mixtapes is just compilations of other artists’ material. This is like a street album - like an artist who puts all their music in the streets before the album because they have a whole other batch. This is what I did. I went and made songs that you would make for your album and I said, “Nah, that’s just for the tape.” Like I got a record with Fat Joe and Styles P called “Shotgun Season,” that’s really retarded. Joe was like “Yo, that’s going on your album right”, and I said, “Yeah, the street album.” He was like, “Yo, ‘cause if you’re not using it, I’m using it,” it’s like that quality of material. You gotta understand the power of putting fire in the street. You definitely got to have more to back up you know, more in the chamber so when your real retail comes out. So you will definitely be doing a retail album still?

Green Lantern: Yeah, that’s what the RSMG/Def Jam album is gonna be a retail released album. So that’s what that’s gonna be. So basically “Alive on Arrival” is a street album featuring everybody in the industry that I f**k with. It’s got me all over it. If you f**k with my beats, then I gotta whole lot of s**t for you. How do you benefit from putting that much into a straight street album?

Green Lantern: Trying to get a check off it would just f**k it up. I got the album deal, I’m coming out through RSMG/Def Jam, so I’m good with all that. Let me just serve the street with what they need, when they need it and not get f**ked up trying to get a bulls**t check, because that’s all that’s gonna be. My promotion network is so strong that it’s gonna get where it needs to go anyway. Some rappers get caught in the mixtape circuit and are labeled mixtape rappers, are you concerned with that as a producer? Or over exposing yourself by putting so many beats out there?

Green Lantern: Not at all brother, because in this game you have to be your own cheerleader, and you have to put yourself out there. I’ll give you the perfect example: Papoose, motherfu**ers know this guy, they know his whole s**t because he keeps hitting you in the head. You gotta keep putting yourself out there. You have to sell yourself. There is nothing more powerful than music to sell yourself with. There is nothing more powerful of a tool than music. Posters and flyers all that s**t’s dead. Motherf**kers need to hear what you’re about. Tell me about your Invasion movement. Is this a production company?

Green Lantern: Yeah, that’s my movement, that’s my company. Team Invasion is music marketing management. It’s not a production thing. My thing is, I shop my beats myself. I got a certain knack of putting together music with artists that they seem to not have themselves. Artists are so into themselves, they are so inside their own circle, they don’t even realize what the best type of song is for them. I end up making their anthems. You could go down the joints that I have made from “Two Guns Up”, “The Champ is Here”, to “Number One Spot,” and two new songs on Ludacris’ album, and four songs with Papoose. I got a bunch of s**t out there. I got a knack to see what an artist represents and put that in a song for them. How do you vary your beat styles?

Green Lantern: I’m basically versatile with my s**t - with the keyboard s**t, to the chopping up samples. I actually play a little keyboard by ear. Just doing some Down South keyboard s**t. The first single off the tape is a joint with Juelz Santana and Dem Franchise Boyz called “Show You What I’m Workin With.” It’s like half of a New York B-boy record, and half of a snap record. The beat keeps switching back and fourth. What do you think the South is not working with New York rap?

Green Lantern: If you think about a new artist coming up in New York trying to break nationally, it just seems like such an uphill battle. Everything is just Southed out on the radio. It just seems like a really uphill battle to be like, “Yo, I got my man from the Bronx”… But is he in love with a stripper? New York needs to stop doing certain things that keep them in a hole. Like all that shoot up the block or killing everybody on every bar and all this dark grimy music. That is New York but, I’ll give you an example of a New York artist that made a national record. Juelz Santana with the [“Oh Yes”] record. That had almost like a South bounce to it. I go all over and I play that record and it fits in with everything else that’s poppin’. What New York artists are you working with now that you think will change that?

Green Lantern: I got a joint on Maino’s album, just on the producer side. I’m working with some of the up and coming dudes like Corey Gunz a little bit. Obviously like Tru Life and just keeping it New York [as well as] Papoose. Why did you adopt the name Green Lantern?

Green Lantern: Around ‘92. I wanted to find a name that would be ill when you looked at it on record. Produced by the Green Lantern, that would be ill. You’d be like, “God damn, I want to hear what else he has.” Did you read comic books as a kid?

Green Lantern: Never ever. The Green Lantern part came from the cartoon. Everybody always asks me that like you must have mad comic books. I respect that, but that was never me at all. It’s just a cool name. I was asking because if you knew the character, he stood for good. But then you have the Evil Genius on the back of it.

Green Lantern : Really, the Evil Genius is Lex Luthor. I’m giving s**t away right now, but when I was finding the sound effects for the name, I just adopted that as Green Lantern is not gonna be a good guy, f**k that. He’s gonna be sinister.