Having just released their album The Ghetto Is Tryna To Kill Me on June 11, the odd industry amalgam that makes up The White Mandingos took some time to speak with HipHopDX about the formation of the group and how they arrived at their current formulation.

After noting that he and ego trip co-founder Sacha Jenkins first joined forces informally more than a decade ago, Bad Brains bassist and White Mandingos member noted that in the early 2000s the two got together with legendary Long Island, New York emcee R.A. The Rugged Man before a cohesive project fizzled out. “[Sacha Jenkins] had interviewed me some time back. We started kickin’ it a little bit with the concept of The White Mandingos,” said the man who helped make the Punk anthem “Pay To Cum. “We fucked around with R.A. [The Rugged Man], then kind of put it down for a minute.” After asking for confirmation that it was R.A. The Rugged Man he spoke of, Jenifer continued: “Yeah, well, we were working together but I don’t know if we were doing the White Mandingos type of thing, it was just a project we were doing.”

Photo by Jason Goldwatch

While he didn’t mention the emcee by name, White Mandingos guitarist, ego trip Book Of Rap Lists co-author and former music editor for VIBE magazine, Sacha Jenkins, further contextualized that initial working relationship: “[Daryl Jenifer and I were] just playing around for years and this White Mandingos thing came together and there was another emcee who was interested in working with us and we wound up, back in 2003, recording a bunch of songs and we actually had a lot of interest from labels and we were poised to open up for Big Daddy Kane and that kind of went sour and then everybody went their own way and everything just kind of went away.”

Thankfully, the project wasn’t put on hold permanently as Jenkins rediscovered some of those initial recordings nearly a decade later and quickly enlisted Murs as emcee/lead vocalist, a task the West Coast seemingly took in stride.

Notably, R.A. The Rugged Man released his long awaited debut album the following year, in 2004, in the form of Die, Rugged Man, Die, well over a decade after first signing to Jive Records in the early ’90s, followed by a stint at the Priority label. R.A. released his second album, Legends Never Die, in April of this year.

A feature interview with all three members of The White Mandingos is forthcoming on HipHopDX.

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