From a root of a knowledge of self – that there is no mysterious being, energy or force that controls our reality. That oneself shows they are an Original man, that Black man with no said birth record, and realizes they are God, with the ever learning life of knowledge, via the most scientific ways, that this is indeed so. Insight with references, scholarly notes with exemplary logic, scientific disciplines in accord with the most enlightening spiritual daring and still denounced, dismissed and disregarded.
And so for scores. Of years angry at the world, this devilish cipher of injustice and consistent inhumanity. Scores of time on our hand so scores get tallied. Losing scores cause sores and leads to great suffering. Suffering scores of Original people somehow know they need scores to get past these oppressive and judgmental ways they are scored on. And my people walk fix broken minds and hearts with breakbeats and scores and scores of words in rhyme. From NYC to the rest of the universe, the score we let orchestrate through our wars is coming from Love Allah. Los Angeles, with purity in the music and full representation from the true and living for scores and scores, about 200 and more, tracks, stacks and stacks of tapes.
Now uploaded for us to scour the scores we sound our fight with, JMega the God of True Masterz. Now we premierely analyze the scores with some history behind the scores from JMega’s journey as a God MC, the God that MCs…
SUNEZ: I had read you got knowledge out in Chicago and got knowledge of self out there.
JMEGA: I’m originally from LA but I was out in Chicago for a few years. That’s where I was first exposed to it. I was out there for a few years and met this brother named Jake and he spoke to me about supreme math. He was one of the first people I ever heard say the Black man is God and it appealed to me.
SUNEZ: When you got knowledge of self were you already making music?
JMEGA: After my brother Vic had spoke on a few things I had gotten into trouble and had to come back out here to L.A. While I was out here I was still making music and I was incorporating the [knowledge of self]—of course, you get into reading and research, you get into a guerilla way of searching and you incorporate a lot of stuff into my music. It wasn’t really until I met MyGawd, Godfather Mello G, the producer of Truemasterz. We were both staying in Long Beach and he heard some of my music. It started off that he had beats and I had rhymes but he had supreme knowledge of self. I can’t even speak on it too deep but this man is the one who enlightened me. He was the one who took the time to speak on the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the transition to Father Allah. He really opened my mind to it all. From then on I had to incorporate it into my music. Everything I wrote had to be the truth.
SUNEZ: Your cadence, your vocal presence and ruggedness make it all something a straight savage could get into.
JMEGA: [laughs] I never been one to like to get preached at. You have to find a way to speak, know your audience and know what language you’re using to bring him in. When dealing with a savage, you can’t come at him from a righteous standpoint. You gotta get down on their level and lead them to that righteous path. If you are coming from the mountain top and looking down they’re not going to understand. The realest ones are always down in the trenches with them to lead them to the righteous path.
SUNEZ: A crucial question about the knowledge of self. We see Jay-Z with the Universal Flag, Jay Electronica wearing the Universal flag over an NOI [Nation of Islam] uniform. It has caused confusion with people asking what’s what. We know that this knowledge of self was articulated by the Nation of Islam but it was Allah, the Father, who actually lived it out. We are not muslims who submit to the will of Allah; rather, we are Allah, himself. That difference is so big that it deserves a distinction. How do you see all of that?
JMEGA: It’s interesting you say that. My personal opinion is it’s like the apple and the apple tree. There is obviously a difference but the similarities are so close. You know this apple came from this apple tree. We can make distinctions how this apple provides this nutrition and the tree provides that nutrition for the apple. It kind of goes hand in hand. But I do see what you’re saying because there is a distinction with recognizing Allah and recognizing one is Allah. That, I believe, definitely needs more of an emphasis. But it does all go together.
SUNEZ: Indeed. I’m not saying this for separation but for the deeper distinction of what the Gods and Earths did. First Borns I learned from as First Born Prince were even told to change their names from their early muslim names to not cause confusion. In acknowledging this, then we can have understanding in unity.
Now on separation, you are out in L.A. and the so called African Americans and the Mexicans are very blatant enemies from what we hear here. How is it having knowledge of self, knowing that separation is false and making music in and from that cipher?
JMEGA: That’s another very interesting question. There’s kind of like two parts to that. One of the things that’s obvious is once you stay out here and witness the dvision. The division between Original people is contrived. With true knowledge of self, if everyone gained it and understood it. Black and Browns, in terms of the history and how Mexicans, Cubans, Haitians and Puerto Ricans and how we all truly came to be where we at now they would understand the common seed. We’re more brothers than anything. It’s just certain slaves got dropped off at the islands, certain slaves got dropped off in South America, others got dropped off at the colonies. The separation is an illusion. They be trying—I ain’t gonna say who cause you know who—causing division based on something that’s superficial. We speak different languages. Okay, you speak Spanish and I speak English. Those are the motherfuckers that conquered us. What needs to be done is unlearn. We need to unlearn all the garbage and the nonsense we’ve been taught all these years. All the separatism and tribalism. They’re the minorities.
SUNEZ: That’s peace. Your music is warrior music and there is so much war outside. The police continue to be immediate overseer oppressors. What do you say to the youth of what they should do?
JMEGA: Word. That’s serious. The Ferguson event, the murder of Mike Brown, is just the latest one on TV. In the battle, there are many fronts to fight on. Some people are better at some things than others. Some will protest. I’m not saying, ‘don’t protest.’ I am going to point out that we’ve been protesting a very very long time and if you look around and there hasn’t been much change. On the surface it may appear that way with a Black president. You can keep protesting but it’s obvious this is a war. One side recognizes it and the other doesn’t. You’re out there protesting against tanks, body armor, military grade weapons and night goggles. They got gunboats now on the borders of Mexico. And we’re out there with our arms up saying “don’t shoot!” It’s a battle out here.
SUNEZ: I myself started as a protest marcher back in 1994 and we’re all at the same place again, maybe even worse.
JMEGA: Same place. Right back around. What’s the definition of insanity? To do the same thing expecting a different outcome.
SUNEZ: What is knowledge of self?
JMEGA: The true knowledge of self is the absence of ego.
SUNEZ: I definitely see that. In my martial training, it’s the stressing of the idea that you let go of who you think you are to truly see what you are.
JMEGA: Exactly my brother.
SUNEZ: What’s the responsibility of the artist with knowledge of self?
JMEGA: That’s a great question. As an artist you want to create and say whatever it is you want to say. But at the same time when you know you have to act accordingly. If you know fire is hot then you are going to do your best to avoid it. When I truly gained the knowledge and the science behind all of this then I knew I couldn’t just write ignorant shit and it has to make sense. If you have knowledge it is your responsibility to act accordingly or else you are doing you and the world a great disservice. What good are you if you know the truth and ain’t sharing it?!
Forever in record mode, JMega is an MC blessed with a voice of ruggedness, an emphasis of war in his inflections and a non-didactic righteousness that makes principles of Hip Hop music making and the deeper spiritual realities merge ill. Still, there are crates and crates where he had to develop the skill, using the techniques as he studied them. Chopped flows, rough statements, declarations of supremacy and beats that as dark as possible. These are the works where young Black men learn to make oppression a welcome grit and the learning of one’s self and power like the repatriation of jewels once stolen. These are the cassettes that make JMega’s Lord of Lordz and King of Kingz collections…
JMEGA: There’s a few things I might do that I’m not satisfied with. It might have sounded better in my head and I won’t put it out. When I’m writing and make music I try to make something I’ll be proud of and won’t regret. Some artists will make some songs to try to appeal to whoever and such. I try not to do that. I make a song. I like it. I put it out. If I’m feeling the song I put it out for better or worse. I just do it because.
SUNEZ: Let’s go through some of these albums. You have two collections of older work, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords collections.
JMEGA: Those are old songs that I’ve recorded over the past ten years. I have a lot of material. That’s just a few joints. I have so much older material that I haven’t put out yet.
SUNEZ: Has it been easy to get recording space then and now?
JMEGA: I’ve only really been in major studios—I could count them on one hand. I’ve always used my own equipment. I write so much and I want to record so much it’s impossible to pay a studio money every single time I’d want to record. It was a better investment to figure it out myself. Buy my own mic, get a laptop. Put it together and I’ll save money in the long run. And that’s what I’ve been doing.
SUNEZ: How long have you been recording your own music?
JMEGA: Probably since I was 14 or 15 (years old) recording stuff in my room. That’s around the late 90’s.
SUNEZ: Are there techniques you practice or you are thinking of working on?
JMEGA: I’m always trying to craft new styles. It depends where you are as an artist. You never want to force anything. At the same time, you want to aim for something higher. I noticed my own changes and developments at the starts. I saw differences in my breath control as some verses take less breath to spit certain verses as it once was.
SUNEZ: You’re a great beat selector. Are all your verses inspired by the beat?
JMEGA: Most of the time. At times, I’ll have a few lines in my head for the next time I write something I will try to work them in. Nine times out of ten it all depends on the beat. Migh Gawd will have a beat and it takes me there. If it takes me there then I write the song. It rarely starts differently. It always starts with the music.
The knowledge has become wisdom, flows faster, breath gaps closed and the understanding of a master peaks through. Focused militancy and the notes from concrete’s withered crevices make the contradictions the armor of conviction. The God is building and who are you to tell him how rugged it gets. Snares and breaks only subdued by deafening bass with the musical highlights sampled in the character of a brother’s stride, tempo’d in the key of Black, like a walking tree that shades us from commercialization ultra-high hat haze.
JMEGA: That was our first LP as True Masterz right around the time we really started building. When Migh Gawd was really showing me all these different truths and enlightening me. It was coming out on that album. We’d have a conversation and I’d write a song, another conversation and I’d write a song. Everything he was saying I had to write it down. The whole process was a learning process because it was the first time I was hearing all of this stuff I’m writing.
Angry Jazz like the trombone’s blare deafness and the horns mute lies. Militant Funk like the basslines bash pigs and beats pound civilization anew. Focused Reggae like the chants serenaded one, two, three we no more see Babylon. Then Hardcore Hip Hop like the JMega rants that riff with rhythm and a depth that multiplies over listens. Tracks with a snares that return speakers to the essence and now the score of a soldier is coming into a peak. Like the moment of enlightenment when a mere atom learns it is Allah, The Original Man.
SUNEZ: The First Atom LP
JMEGA: Gman, he got beats for days. Talking about hundreds and hundreds of beats. The way I write rhymes, he makes beats. When we first linked up and he started showing me his library of beats I really stated paying attention to how many he has. All of them shits was dope. All of them! I told him we have to be a group. I’ve never made anyone that did it like that.
SUNEZ: Now such a long catalog, are you taking the time for marketing and promotion? I always get the impression that you all really don’t give a shit about promoting. You just make it.
JMEGA: We just put it out there and people catch it. Sometimes I’ll think about it a lot on occasion. I notice that a lot of the way the game is played these days is beyond what your song sounds like. You can make a song that sounds like whatever but as soon as you put some money up and a hundred different websites, bloggers, DJs, whatever, the money talks. Maybe I’m a purist or just ignorant I just can’t get behind that. I put money behind my music then I know you are only playing my records because I gave you this money. I want you to love my record. To hear it and say, ‘I got to play this!’ I can’t have it no other way. And I need you to tell your friend about it – ‘Have you heard this record?!’ That’s how you know you making some good quality craft. The craft gotta speak for itself but once again doing it like that you risk making yourself in isolation and obscurity. Which is where we’re at. At the same time, we have brothers as yourself paying attention to what we do and I always thought our music wasn’t for the majority. The majority are in the music are like a reality show. We don’t appeal to that kind of audience.
A swollen journal, once soaked in a flooded Kemetian cavern. Passages on the golden ratio for the soon to be refused stone were dormant like the ankh amulets no longer channeling melanated qi, the only kind, from fingers of creators into their creations. Dried thousands of years later into the bars of a supreme descendant, the brother drops Plus Degreez, a volume one of what can be infinitely more. Broad range, distinct skill, freedom flows with the cultured codes. Expansions of words that rhyme and climb over booms and snares where introspection can become an abstract journey (“Fertile Ground”), the physical conquest (“X Rated”) or the militant bop with the tilted crown (“Hold The Crown”)…
JMEGA: When it came time to record Plus Degrees we were in a good groove, a rhythm. We were dropping albums every two, three months. I was noticing that year alone we dropped about 3 or 4 projects. So when it came time for Plus Degreez we were thinking how can we make this one different. And G was like, ‘why don’t we just flood them with as much stuff as we feel like. Put forty songs on there.’ It made sense. I don’t know too many groups that would just drop 40 songs on an album and put it out for free. We did it in about five months.
SUNEZ: Another reason I say you guys don’t give a fuck.
SUNEZ: Albums with forty songs. You break all the rules–
JMEGA: Our love of Hip Hop goes back to Melle Mel. That essence of just bringing your shit to the park and putting on shows for free. It’s out of the love. It’s Hip Hop. That’s always…whatever we do we always try to honor that. Hip Hop is a culture that we have to keep true to ourselves. We grew up on it. We love it. Why would we take it for granted?! Why would we mistreat it and try to manipulate it and transform it into something that we don’t even believe in.
A determination distills into the destitute, beat by break, snare for high hat, punchline bar to proclamation verse. Music that builds a character of man that the boy was told he was better off without. Born Universal Truth with Junior Makhno’s themes of victory through cryptic guitar womps, savage horns and piercing keys, JMega layers lyric clips verbatim, cites self penned mantras for war and prepares the details of violence in the booth barracks. Pure hardcore Hip Hop penned and heard as it’s titled…
JMEGA: Makhno reached out to me. He had heard some of my music and proposed doing a project together. At the time, I was feeling his beats’ vibe. His beats are very dark and dramatic and at the time that’s kind of how I was feeling. It’s a dark time and it just fits. It really didn’t take much time to put together. The music came out pretty good too.
SUNEZ: In all your albums, would you say that the albums are collections of that particular moment?
JMEGA: Most of the time it is like that. Rarely, you’ll get the inspiration to do somewhat of a concept album. You’ll put something together like a movie. Those are the ones you really write for. You write all the songs when you’re in the moment to reach the point where you’re struck with this idea, this vision to put it together. That’s what it’s really about. At the same time you gotta write, keep doing what you do. Just write and keep crafting and whatever moment you’re in, it’s like therapy.
Now, kings are born still so still a nigga he seem. Niggas been so niggas can be. But forever is a furious clock that even can wear through ignorance where the residue of supremacy can sparkle in subtleties of incredibly collected songs. “Niggaz is Kingz Forever,” JMega says and every line to hype a nigga chisels the ol’ word is bond that we used to mind our life with. God build, young listen building power in a knowledge cipher that was taken from them. A powerful score soldering the limbs of soldiers one, two, three, four, five percent at a time…
SUNEZ: For you, is there an album that reached that?
JMEGA: The Niggaz Iz Kingz. That album had a very specific message for specific types of people. More so people that are like me. I did that record thinking on all the problems going on, that we’ve been speaking on. And I feel that one of the problems that’s always been going on is our own lack of value for self. It’s a value of life that people are missing in terms of our own self. That’s why we’re so quick to kill ourselves and each other. Live a life where you don’t give a fuck if you’re here tomorrow. You don’t even care. This is a mentality that I was at but I broke out of it. Looking back on it I’ve seen how self-destructive it is so I put together this Niggaz iz Kingz. You got this nigga mentality but let’s split that into a mentality of kingship and royalty. That’s why at the end of the album it’s to let niggas live. I timed it out like that.
Excitement when the dial stopped spinning. To musical lectures once lost on frequency modulation. A station streaming a careful nonchalance as if the real never made any commercial offerings. No static, the advertisements are the second pause between tracks and the delights of Mister Señor Love Daddy from the studios of the early glory days. An hour of crates and exclusives, JMega’s fluidity and non-compromise build, destroy and verse some more…The ideal prototype hardcore MC, a living crate for these times.
JMEGA: The way that came together me and G were just having a conversation and he had the title in his head, True Masterz Radio. It was kind of like a metaphor of what we listen to on a daily basis. We used to listen to the radio all the time when they had specific shows like the Wake Up Show where they would just play real Hip Hop. So we were just trying to recreate that atmosphere where you’re just tuning into your favorite radio station and it’s nothing but raw Hip Hop. But it’s True Masterz Radio. Some of those songs are actually a few years old. That’s why we called it a mixtape.
SUNEZ: Tell me about the Darker Than Black album coming.
JMEGA: I’d say it’s about 80% complete. There are still a couple of things I have to piece together. There are a few extra garments I gotta sprinkle on that. Aquarius Minded is doing all the beats on this album. He reached out to me and I noticed his beats are real different. There’s an electronic feel to it but it’s still Hip Hop. It’s got the drums and the rhythm. And he does all of them from scratch.
I’m calling it Darker Than Black because there are so many negative connotations about Blackness, the true meaning of Blackness. I’m going darker than that.
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Knowledge the Niggaz Iz Kingz Forever #ArtOnArt Review HERE