In the year 1997, that
was a explosive era in rap music. The culture had an upside with major
companies putting dollars into advertisements. People from Omaha
to Oakland were
now able to get spotlight for their music. A crew from parts of Elmont and
Roosevelt, Long Island, New York were looking to follow suit. The League,
originally signed to Mariah Careys Crave Records, were poised to make an
impact but, with no project released, the group had to continue to make their
moves in silence.
Fast forward ten years
and the combination of Merse, Flix, Reem and Flip is ready to turn the world on
its axis with their amazing sound mixed with gritty and introspective lyrics.
The group has cultivated a steady buzz, being featured on mixtapes by DJ Kay
Slay, Big Mike and DJ Gooch. Powered by a new creative lease in their musical
life, this league of extraordinary gentlemen are hungry and determined to crave
out their own niche in the game.
AllHipHop.com sat down
with the talented group as they talk about their association with DJ Kay Slay,
what they learned from Sha Money XL who produced their song "Shoot
Or Bleed," and
how their movement got respect from the likes of Chuck D.
AllHipHop.com: You guys
were raised around Elmont and Roosevelt in Long Island.
How were you able to gain exposure in other parts of New York?
The League: Basically
what we did was we made appearances in a lot of mixtapes. We would do a lot of
showcases and just built our name up within the underground scene. It was a lot
of hard work, but we were able to cultivate a buzz off of our labor. There
hasnt really been anything too difficult with building up our name; people
have been showing us a lot of love. We started doing a lot of showcases in the
underground. We got a buzz off of that. Our shows havent been too difficult;
theyve been showing us love. We just do our thing, nahmean.
AllHipHop.com: How did
you guys link up with DJ Kay Slay?
The League: Well, we had
our buzz going strong in the streets and we wanted to make our presence felt in
the mixtape game. So, we met up with Kay Slay and Big Mike. They dug our work
and weve been able to build up a strong relationship through working with
them. Weve made appearances on the radio to satellite stations like Shade 45.
AllHipHop.com: New York is a tough
place to make it in. A lot of people just hate on your talent just for the sake
of doing it. So, what would you guys say to someone who was "Hate
On The League"?
The League: If youre not
being hated on, then you must not be doing something good. You got to be talked
about in order to know how much progress you need to or have been making. No
one has ever blatantly done that to us, though. Weve been doing shows so much
that people have been giving us nothing but love. Its a respect thing between
the MCs and the crowd. We return that respect to them. Its understood without
having being said. You get the majority of the crowd who respects you, but at
least there is just one hater in the crowd whos a heckler.
AllHipHop.com: You guys
have done a lot of shows in New York.
Whats the hardest thing about performing there as opposed to anything else?
The League: People are
more honest with you here. We came into the music with the passion to do this.
This is something that weve worked for and we wanted to be able to do that.
Weve performed for a lot of crowds to, so theres nothing really hard about
argument has always been that the music isnt what it used to be ever since big
business aligned itself with the Hip-Hop culture. How can your group remain
true to the culture and appeal to a mainstream audience?
The League: Thats
particularly important with everyone especially with New York Hip-Hop. Were
from here, so we know how people want their Hip-Hop music. Were not thinking
about appealing to the masses in a manufactured way. These songs are coming
from our hearts. Were not making songs for the charts. Our sole objective is
to be able to put our passion on paper and express it to the masses.
was produced by Sha Money XL. What did you learn from him that you guys used to
help navigate the business?
The League: Stay on your
grind. At the end of the day, you cant stop! You must always stay consistent.
People always have to remember who you are. That gave us the motivation to keep
going and to keep pushing.
AllHipHop.com: You also
have a song on your page called, Malcolm and Martin. Its almost reminiscent
of another Roosevelt, Long Island,
New York group by the name of
Public Enemy. Have you ever had the chance to build with them?
The League: We never got
the chance to build with them, but we did get good feedback from Chuck D,
himself. He liked our movement. Chuck, regardless of anything, his whole career
is legendary and we took that and moved with it. He always had great words of
encouragement that we picked up through his music.
Timer" is a
nice song, but also indicative of something that goes on in life. As a group,
as an act involved in the Hip-Hop culture making rap music has there ever been
a time where someone made a promise and didnt live up to it?
The League: As far as our
group is concerned thats never happened; we keep each other up. We live up to
our words and our balls [laughs]. You cant break them for nobody! It is what
it is, were all human, so things like that are bound to happen. It is life
you can learn from whatever happens or keep it moving. We speak about what goes
on and it happens in our lives.
AllHipHop.com: Talk about
how you guys came up with the song "Not The Day"
The League: We go through
emotions everyday. I mean have you ever had a day where just what people to
stay out of your way? Thats basically what the song is about todays just not
the day. Were going postal on that song. Honestly, what really inspired us was
the beat. The track just brought out a certain emotion that was inside of us.
Of course, you come across those times in real life, but we had the beat and it
just brought it out of us. So, sometimes when you have a group of guys all
together and theyre all talking shit, concepts just manage to find their way
The Leaugue's Mysspcae Page is www.myspace.com/lcrookedi