DJ Muggs and Meyhem Lauren continued their incredible collaborative team-up with the recent release of their new EP entitled Members Only. The four-track set is the third release from the pair following their 2017 Gems From The Equinox LP and the Frozen Angels EP, which dropped last year.
Members Only is another dope Meyhem and Muggs’ collaboration. With songs like “Aztec Snowflakes” and “GT3,” they continue to seamlessly bounce off of each other’s own raw styles very well.
With Mey flowing in a classic New York tone over the masterful production of DJ Muggs, the duo gives Hip Hop a monumental experience.
In this DXclusive, both Meyhem and Muggs talk about the Members Only EP, the making of “Aztec Snowflakes” and how they each inspire each other among other things.
HipHopDX: Describe the Meyhem Lauren and DJ Muggs Members Only EP.
Meyhem: It was pretty smooth because Muggs and I have a real good chemistry. It was cool to throw a concept in there and keep correlated without it being over-correlated. Basically just doing what we do, but adding a theme to it, with a great group of people from the CCC.
HipHopDX:What’s the significance behind the Members Only EP title?
Meyhem: It has a couple of meanings. One, being that the car club is an amazing club that you have to be a member of to enjoy all of the benefits. The way me and Muggs rap, we kind of have tight circles. It’s really like Members Only in terms of we rock with who we rock with. We’re cordial with everybody and cool with everybody we’re hanging with, but we only rock with who we rock with.
HipHopDX: Having also collaborated on 2017’s Gems From The Equinox and 2018’s Frozen Angels, what about collaborating with each other keeps you coming back to do more work together?
Meyhem: Just the opportunity to do cool things, man. The idea is to have fun and keep things going, and this was an interesting twist. Maybe next time we’ll do a boat album, or an airplane album, who knows?
Muggs: It’s like I grew up with Meyhem for like 20 years, it’s easy. If I never make beats with him again, I’d hang out with Mey all of the time. Drinking organic wine, making fun of Alchemist’s hairline [laughs], you know, just kicking it.
HipHopDX: Meyhem, like in the “GT3” video of you in the booth, describe what it’s like to be in the studio collaborating with such a legendary and pioneering producer like DJ Muggs.
Meyhem: It’s just an amazing process. What Muggs has done in the game, not many have done before or will do after. That alone is an honor. After that, that’s just my man. We make fire and we’re going to continue to.
HipHopDX: Mey, how has your relationship with Muggs influenced you musically or artistically?
Meyhem: He teaches you to focus, work hard, and keep growing. Look at his career, he’s been going for thirty years and he’s still one of the sharpest in the game. So that just shows you what you can do if you keep going.
HipHopDX: Likewise, Muggs, how does Meyhem challenge or inspire you as a producer when crafting tracks?
Muggs: We have fun first of all! We hang out, drink some wine and put some beats on. Some days I’m looking for a particular sound and I’ll come across something I’m not really into, and Mey will say he’s feeling it. I trust Mey’s instincts and his taste in music extraordinarily. I’m cool, and it ends up becoming a fucking banger! I was going to erase that shit, and that happens quite often with Mey.
Mey stretches me and makes me go places I probably wouldn’t normally go. I definitely trust his instincts with music.
Meyhem: And I think that’s why we make the fire because everything he said is exactly how I feel. That’s why we just do what we do.
HipHopDX: Tell me about putting together “Aztec Snowflakes” and how that song was built.
Muggs: I actually made that for the new Cypress Hill record. I made it in like 2012, 2013 and they just didn’t want to rap on it. So, I just had it there and I played it for Mey and he was like, “Yo, that’s fire!” Mey wrote a hook to it, and when I heard the hook the fucking hairs on my arm went up.
When you make hit songs, there’s a feeling you get. That shit doesn’t come around all of the time, but when it does come around you have to trust your instincts. I’m not musically trained, I don’t know how to read or write music or none of that shit, but I know I got an instinct that you can’t buy it or read it in a fuckin’ book. When I heard Mey kick that hook I was like, “Yo, that shit right there!”
Meyhem: It’s bugged out because I loved the beat, but I couldn’t write to it. I just loved to listen to it all of the time. I was like, “Damn, why can’t I write to this?” And then one day I’m just sitting in the crib and I’m like, “All my niggas getting money…” And I was like, “Get out! That’s it!” I came up with the hook and I just built my verses around that, and we got the Lambo and fit it in. It just made perfect sense.
HipHopDX: Meyhem, who were the guys that inspired you to get into rapping?
Meyhem: Man, East Coast it was Nas, AZ, Wu-Tang, Mobb Deep, and Biggie. On the West Coast, it was a lot of Cypress Hill, Snoop, Dre, Ice Cube, and I like MC Eiht a lot. All of that early to mid-90s East and West Coast built me. When you become who you are, you get a lot of your personality in your teenage years and you start to develop your character traits. So, a lot of the music that dropped between me being twelve to 18 years old made who I am as an artist.
I soaked all of that in and now you got Meyhem Lauren.
Photo: Soul Assassins
HipHopDX: When you hear a beat, what’s your creative process to putting the song together, Mey?
Meyhem: Sometimes I write the hook first and build around it, or sometimes I think of a first line. But the way that I know a beat is for me is that I immediately start rapping. Even if it doesn’t make sense and it’s just a flow. When a beats been playing for thirty seconds and I don’t start spitting, that’s not it. It happens all the time. Muggs will be in the studio playing beats and I’ll blurt something out. I know right away
Muggs: You know, sometimes I’ll hear something he won’t be hearing, and same way with the beat he might hear something I’m not hearing. You just have to sit back and trust.
HipHopDX: Mey, I came across some videos of you cooking, and I’m a cook myself. I love being in the kitchen cooking some stuff. So, I hear you guys talking about the aspect of working together, but is that what a typical session is like with you two, cooking, drinking, making beats and rhymes?
Meyhem: One thousand percent, man! In between verses I’m running out to the grill, we’re cooking things in the crib. Let them know, Muggs!
Muggs: Yo, we’re at my studio with the barbecue going, burgers and fish steaks going and just cooking it up. We make shrimp parm, and chef-ing it up with the beats going all day because it ain’t like we go to work, this part of our life. We eat, make music; go to the gym, go back and make music, it’s all just part of our life flow, you know? It’s what we do every day, you have to eat, you hang out and talk shit with your friends, you hit the gym, and you do that on a loop.
HipHopDX: With Gems From The Equinox, Frozen Angels and now Members Only, what’s next up for Muggs and Meyhem?
Muggs: Right now, the focus is 100 percent on this. But in the future? Absolutely! We started this journey about a year ago, just talking about it with the Car Club. It just started with us just collecting sounds from cars like the Lamborghini, the NSX from the Porsche. And then giving me the sounds and me making some beats myself. I made a couple of them on my own, and then I made a couple of them Mey right there. Then I incorporate the sounds into the beats, and then Mey writes around the sounds effects of the cars.
It was a big collaborative effort. For us to start and finish at the finish line at the same time feels fucking good, man. It’s great to work with inspired people. With Mey having that, and me having that and bringing to the table, the shit’s fucking fun, man! The goal for us at this point in our lives is to just do cool shit with cool people and have a good time.