Earlier this month, DJ Revolution and emcees KB iMean and Styliztik Jones joined forces as Malcolm & Martin to release their critically acclaimed debut Life Doesn’t Frighten Me. Yesterday, The Smoking Section has caught up with the Los Angeles-based trio to discuss their origins and music.
Armed with the single “Movement Music” Malcolm & Martin explained that their hope is to honor and continue on the legacy of artists like James Brown. Although both KB iMean and DJ Revolution say they’re not starting anything profoundly new, they do feel that their music is a rebirth of the music of years past.
“I’ll just say we’re not trying to start a movement,” said Revolution. “We’re just trying to continue the movement that was started by the people before us: Rappers, people from the ‘70s like James Brown, Curtis Mayfield and the list goes on and on. It goes back before that even; it goes back to the blues. Intelligent music made by true musicians and artists. So we’re not really starting it, just keeping it going.”
The group also had some choice words for some of Hip Hop’s biggest emcees, including Kanye West and Lil Wayne. Styliztik Jones said that he feels many major artists are doing little to promote consciousness in Hip Hop. He says that while Malcolm & Martin may not reach as wide an audience as other artists, he hopes that their message will resonate with anyone who listens.
“When we were kids we had street dudes like Ice Cube and N.W.A.,” said Jones. “Although they had a gangsta image, and may not have even been real street dudes, but they had songs like “Express Yourself.” They had albums like Death Certificate or Amerikkka’s Most Wanted. We had groups like Public Enemy and the Native Tongues that preached blackness and social awareness. There was Kool G. Rap and other street rappers as well, but it was just on a different basis. Look who we have now! No disrespect, but cats like Waka Flocka Flame…the most social rapper we have now is Young Jeezy and he talks about dealing dope damn near all the time. A Kanye West, whose album is filled with references to selling his soul to the devil and he’s our biggest artist right now. We have a Lil Wayne; I’m from L.A. and have a brother in jail for life who may never come home because of gangbanging. Lil Wayne never gangbanged, waited until he was super platinum and decided to become a Blood. That’s what he’s promoting to our kids: get rich and be a gangbanger.”