The Cunninlynguists: Rappin’ For Food

The Cunninlynguists’ first album was aptly titled, “Will Rap For Food.” The duo made a record that illuminated a whole breed of conscious MC’s from below the Mason-Dixon. In the last two years, they’ve picked up a third member: SOS, built the rep, and rocked many stages. The group is comprised of two producers DJ […]

The Cunninlynguists’ first album was aptly

titled, “Will Rap For Food.” The duo made a record that illuminated

a whole breed of conscious MC’s from below the Mason-Dixon.

In the last two years, they’ve picked up

a third member: SOS, built the rep, and rocked many stages. The group is comprised

of two producers DJ Kno and Deacon the Villian who each have been responsible

for bangers behind KRS-One, Jugga Da Bully, and even that King Tee, Masta Ace

collabo. If you hear the record, DJ Kno will make your beatmaker top five list,


Ushered into the scene by ToneDeff, the linguists

are in great company. Their new record is terrorizing the underground like a

tornado in a trailer park. It appeals to a vast array of hip-hop fans. Still,

the Cunninlynguists are relatively undiscovered to many people who would love

their sound.

AllHipHop thinks you need to listen to their

new LP, “Southern Underground”, and hear the group out. See how they

analyze their chemistry with typical underground humor. How was Cunninlynguists born?

Kno : Well, when a man and a woman love each

other, Timmy, they…oh. I see, yeah…we met at the Blaze Battle in Atlanta

in 1999, and I was always at the hip-hop events at Morehouse where Deacon was

attending and Jugga the Bully was a graduate. I produced one track for him and

we decided to do an EP, which turned into an LP and into a full fledged wack-rap-fiasco.

AllHipHop: Kno and Deacon are both successful

producers. Out of curiosity, why are there no Deacon beats on the new release?

Deacon : I feel like my style of beats didn’t

fit into the equation that we

were working with for this album. My beats are more radio friendly…this album

was more emotional than most of my beats would allow.

Kno : Plus, he’s wack.

AllHipHop: These days hip-hop is plagued with

the Jarobi syndome. Groups cut members without hesitation. Why did you guys

add SOS? How did his existence in this LP change the Cunninlynguists vision.

Deacon : SOS brings an element to the group that

makes us feel more whole…it’s hard to put into the words. His rhyme schemes

are different than ours, but at least equally ill. He helps bring the best out

of the tracks.

SOS : Thanks Deacon… you’re dope as f*ck too.

Nah, but seriously, Deacon

and I were aware of each others skills long before CunninLynguists was even

born. We both were southern emcees with the same drive to break into the scene

so I heard alot about Deacon, talked to him, made a few tracks with him, and

when we all three met up in Daytona Beach right before "Will Rap For Food"

dropped, is was inevitable that we were gonna be doing more s### together.

Kno : Yeah, Black College Spring Break 2001 *laughs*.

I was there for the NASCAR race, wasn’t that the running joke? But yeah…SOS

gives me the freedom to concentrate more on the beats, and rhyme where I’m needed.

Plus, he has a very distinct style next to us, so it’s not like adding another

"Kno" or "Deacon"…it gives us a third dimension like…some

sort of…three dimensional thing.

AllHipHop: “Love Ain’t” is an

uplifting track to anybody who’s ever been hurt. Tracks like these have

become what we expect from you. Issues with flow. Does it bore you/sadden you

when you rappers spit bars that are punchlines about nothing?

SOS : Yes… unless it’s me.

Deacon : It bores/saddens me when anybody spits

anything about nothing…if

you’re rapping about nothing, you’re not in my CD collection.

Kno : Depends. I like punchline s### when it’s

done right, cats like Rise,

Wordsworth…but damn it if I have to hear someone say they are sicker than

*insert random penicillin treatable disease here* one more time…

SOS : Yeah, I’m just kidding. I don’t rhyme like

that… all the time.

AllHipHop: Your big guest is Masta Ace. I’m

a big Ace fan, and I love the track concept…and RJ is crazy. Were the five

of you together for those sessions? What was the recording like? Did Ace offer

you any advice?

Kno : We initially intended on recording the

track at the same spot, but Ace is on tour alot, RJ had just started a tour

and we had no plans/means to get to NY for a while, so I planned out the sequencing

with RJ and he sent us a DAT and we talked with Ace about the concept and where

we were going to go with it and he wrote and recorded his vocals at Tonedeff’s

crib after he heard our verses.

Deacon : I whooped Ace’s ass in Dreamcast a couple

years back, so he asked that I not be present during recording.

Kno : That and he was sued for that snare sample

you failed to clear on "P.T.A." off of "Disposable Arts".

Ace hates you.

AllHipHop: Last time I talked to ToneDeff, I

asked him what it was like the first time Kno and Deacon got to New York. It

sounded like a pivotal moment in your development. Can you elaborate?

Deacon : Tonedeff don’t know what he’s talking

about. Pivotal my ass. Jus’ kiddin’. Ummm…New York is a great city. I feel

like in NY you have to come with your best show, so performing in NY was a great

learning experience back then.

Kno : Being accepted in NYC is very important,

it’s the birthplace of hip-hop. You know what they say, if you can make it there

you can make it in Boise. Or some s###.

AllHipHop: I love your “War” bonus

track. That production just blows me away. I think it fits well in our time.

Without getting too political or boycotting freedom fries, what’s your

take on the Iraq situation?

Kno : Funny thing to have your finger on the

big, red button and you can’t spell "button", if you namtalkinbout.

I really don’t have anything else to say about it.

AllHipHop: You still fit “underground”

into your album title. Some acts take offense to being called underground. You

don’t seem to…why?

SOS : Well…I think that has alot to do with

the fact that…we ARE underground. I mean… how can you be underground and

take offense to being called underground? That would be like Birdman taking

offense to being called "flossy".

Kno : Really, the underground is anything that

isn’t mainstream and popular, to me. Last time I checked we weren’t on BET or

TRL, so ya know. F### it…embrace the truth!

AllHipHop: On the “Will Rap For Food”

album, there were many references to your sister dying. That was something a

lot of us could feel having had our losses. How much motivation do you get from

losing a loved one, or refocusing that pain?

Deacon : Before my sister passed, I just lived

alot more carefree. Got into trouble, all that. That happening gave me a moment

of clarity that was a turning point in my life. Now I was the eldest, I had

to be grown. I started to focus more on accomplishing goals, which included

music amongst other things, so the effect that it had on me comes through in

the music.

Anything you can add for flavor….or how we

can plug live show/etc….just

add at bottom.

Kno : Peace to everyone who bought the albums,

downloaded the albums, dubbed

the albums from a friend, stole the album, or whatever. If you listened, peace.

We have a few one off shows and an east coast tour jumping off this summer,

just check and often for updates and details. Peace

to and Paine for making it happen!