So far, you are mostly known for your featuring on the Jedi Mind Tricks classic album The Psycho Social... Are you still in touch with them?
No, not really.
You and them took quite different ways. What's your opinion on them becoming thugs on Violent by Design?
Rasul Allahu of Lost Children and Vinnie Pas of Jedi Mind met long ago. Vinnie Pas convinced Rasul to team up with him for The Psycho Social... album, assuring him that it was all for spiritual hip-hop. But soon after, Rasul saw that Vinnie was not really spiritual at all, but only interested in tapping that fan base. Vinnie offered for Rasul to become a member of Jedi Mind Tricks at one point, which Rasul declined. That constituted a split,at which time Rasul assembled The Breath Of Judah, Ancient Kemetian, Richard Raw and Cosmic Crusader to complete a true spiritual hip-hop album, The Equidivium.
Your album as a strong identity based on mysticism. Can you tell us about Nuwaubu? What is this system of belief? Who is Malachi Z. York?
Nuwaubu is not about mysticism as much as it is about Right Knowledge, Wisdom, and Overstanding. Right Knowledge is the study of ancient texts, like the Bible or Koran, in their original languages, like Aramaic and Arabic. To study a text in it's original language is to avoid all the linguistic manipulation these texts have suffered through the ages of translation they have endured. When one begins to embrace this system of Right Knowledge, all sorts of portals to different information are opened, most of which trace back to Africa in general and more specifically to Ancient Egypt, or Kemet. Malachi Z. York is a teacher who has revived the ancient practice of Nuwaubu in the West. More can be learned about him at www.egiptianmysteries.com.
How can a strong atheist such as myself listen to and understand your lyrics?
The lyrics one encounters on The Equidivium are innovative in the Hip Hop realm alone, regardless of one's spiritual relationship with the universe. Even if you are not capable of grasping the full meaning the rhymes being said, they can be appreciated purely on a poetic level.
What's your advice?
If you are interested in the things being said in mainstream rap, that's fine; but if you are interested in any form of elevation, mental or spiritual, you may benefit from analyzing and cross referencing the themes discussed on 'Where Light was Created'.
Your album deals with all the biggest beliefs and religions. But I haven't noticed anything about Ancient Rome and Greece mythology.
On the "Pythagorean Theorum", Rasul Allahu explores the teachings of Pythagorus (which were derived from ancient Egypt), a Greek mathematician of antiquity. On 'Egyptian Magic', Cosmic Crusader talks of how the Romans of the Roman Empire grafted many elements of ancient Kemetic, or Egyptian, culture into their belief system, including Roman Catholicism.
Is it because it is more tales than mysticism?
Many different cultures practice knowledge that originated in Egypt, whether they know it or not. Tales and legends from civilizations all around the world point to the same place in history. Mysticism is often passed on from one generation to the next through oral storytelling. Ideas which are the legacy of a lost civilization have been personalized and transformed by different cultures throughout history; much the same as a particular slang is word translated into various languages over time.
A new album is already about to be released. You'll change your name on it and become The Lost Children of Egipt. The Equidivium itself is highly about Ancient Egypt. What's the difference with the new album?
If one reads the paragraph explaining The Lost Children Of Egipt on the liner notes of The Equidivium, they will notice that The Lost Children Of Egipt are actually souls of Pharoahs passed from pre-dynastic Egypt, (Egipt or Kemet,) who have traveled through a stargate from the neitherworld (the Duat N' Ba or Neitherworld of the Soul) to the physical plane of Earth (particularly America or Babylon), therefore incarnating as the Lost Children Of Babylon. So, you could say that the upcoming album, The Book Of Anubis: Words From The Duat is a record cast from the heavens.
And what about Richard Raw's and Cosmic Crusader's solo albums? Will they also deal with religion and esoteric lyrics?
Of course. However, you may be surprised to find some different styles on those albums. Raw is not confined to any style while Crusader's upcoming piece, CosimiCalculations, promises to take you on a journey.
Although your lyrics are quite noticeable, you also have a strong producer with DJ Man E. Who is he?
Man-E has done tracks with LM Mental, Shipwreck and other underground acts coming out of Philadelphia. He is working on a compilation right now. Basically, don't sleep on him.
Does he produce the forthcoming album and solo projects as well?
Yes, he is producing the Egipt album and the Crusader album. While he will be contributing on Raw's upcoming solo, Raw is quite a prolific producer himself. Definitely don't sleep on him. Mach 7 also does beats on the Egipt and Crusader albums.
It's now time for my standard questions : what is on your playlist right now ? Hip hop or non hip hop?
(Crusader) I definitely am feeling all the recent production from Dan The Autuomator. I especially like a lot of the instrumentals from Handsome Boy Modeling School, Deltron 3030, and Gorillaz. I'm also banging the new Bjork and the old album from Sade's band, Sweetback.
What do you know of French hip hop?
(Crusader) Not much, I've heard some tracks via the Internet. I liked the production. I lived in Rome for a while and went to some Italian Hip Hop shows there. I can appreciate European Hip Hop if I feel it is good. I don't necessarily need to know what someone is saying to know that they have skills.
Would you enjoy playing in France? Do you think this would be possible in a short or middle term?
We would love to do a European tour. We feel that people may be more accepting of our music abroad. We are constantly in search of connections in Europe and Asia. At the moment, we are extremely underground. Perhaps when we have achieved some more notoriety, we may actually get to meet in person.
Respect to Sylv for arranging this interview.