Mystic is one of Hip Hop’s most overlooked emcees..She’s incredibly talented, extremely prolific and a serious artist who brings thoughtful lyrics in the form of singing and rapping to every song she records..
Mystic who originals hails from Oakland and now lives in LA is more than just an emcee. She is also an activist and educator.. For years she cut her teeth as a school teacher. Her passion for uplifting kids has only increased over the years as she is now pursuing additional degrees in that profession..
In our interview which was done about a year or so ago.. Mystic talks about her love of kids and teaching. She talks about her involvement in Occupy LA and of course she goes in about her music, future projects and the current state of Hip Hop among other things.. She also talks about how to be business savvy in an industry notorious for taking advantage of folks.. This interview originally aired in Jan 2012
Listen to the Hard Knock Radio interview by clicking the link below
Today April 18th 2013 is Public Enemy Day… Yep that’s right.. Today we celebrate the landmark group that has been together for almost 30 years.. They are deemed Hip Hop Royalty and tonight they get inducted into the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame.
Last night they performed at House of Blues in LA and absolutely killed.. DJ Terminator X who retired from the group several years ago to do some ostrich farming.. returned to the fold to help celebrate.. Also on hand at HOB was Kool Moe Dee and the Treacherous Three, DMC, Doug E Fresh, Method Man, Whodini, JJ Fad and many more.. It was a testament to the love and respect folks have for Public Enemy..
I first met Chuck D back in summer of ’88 at the New Music Seminar when the group was just starting to make noise.. They had already released their album Yo Bum Rush the Show..But it was Nation of Millions and the singles like Rebel Without a Pause that came off that album that forever define the musicality of the group.
Chuck D along with fellow group members, Professor Griff, Flava and S1Ws willingness to sit down and build with folks for hours at a time would forever define the group as stand up individuals who would garner life long friendships and relationships with folks all over the world.. I know for myself, I would hang with Chuck for hours after a show building on all sorts of stuff related to politics and Hip Hop in general. It was he , who got me to abandon my fear of flying , get a passport and see the world, a move I have never regretted. thousands of folks have stories about uplifting interactions with the group..
In any case, as we celebrate their induction, i went digging through my archives and found an old cassette from an interview/press conference Chuck and I believe Brother Roger or James from the S1Ws did on after one of their early concerts in Oakland. It was at the Kaiser Convention Center in 1989.. EMPD was on the ticket.. I never played the interview on air, because at the time, my tape recorder had run out of batteries and the sound was all messed up.. I finally transferred it over to my digital docks and cleaned it up somewhat and am now happy to share.. What Chuck is talking about in 1989 is why so many at the time were drawn to the group. The honesty, the fearlessness, the intelligence..
In this interview, Chuck’s main theme was dealing with outsides points of view trying to dictate terms and regulate on folks.. Chuck also takes issue with famed writer Greg Tate who trashed the group in a column he penned for the Village Voice. Chuck noted Tate was an ‘outsider’.. I started recording just as someone was asking about violence in Hip Hop.
Chuck D pt1
Chuck D pt2
Below is a great documentary on Public Enemy called Prophets of Rage…Definitely worth watching
Ak’Sentaka Krystle Kantrece Johnson is from LA..I remember when she first hit the scene around ’05, ’06, she looked like she was ready to be that main person everyone was checking for.. But then she disappeared.. Not sure what happened, but her music was dope and as an emcee she was up there..
Her father is of African-American descent, while her mother is of Mexican descent. Ak’Sent grew up quickly thanks to a rough childhood.Her father was an aspiring rapper caught up in the gang lifestyle and was killed in a gang shooting when she was four years old, and with her mother unable to support her on her own, she was sent to live with her grandparents in South Central, Los Angeles. Ak’Sent was signed to Capitol Records when she was only 16. Since then she has worked with a number of well-known professionals such as The Jugganauts, DJ Quik, & Beenie Man. Ak’Sent aims to avoid the glorification of violence and prefers to think of Hip-Hop as a form of “street poetry.” Her first album, International, was released on September 26, 2006. She released her second album Gem-In-I under the Avex label. It was released on July 16, 2008 in Japan only. She is currently recording her third album and a mixtape.
Although Ak’Sent signed to a major label when she was only 16 years old, her African-American/Latino background had her wondering where to fit in. Adding to her challenges, rap music wasn’t allowed in her grandparent’s house, but as Ak’Sent learned more about her father’s hip-hop aspirations, she decided she should carry on in his honor. She eventually spent time in several R&B-based girl groups and began dance training with Debbie Allen. One showcase at the age of 16 had the young multi-talent signed to Capitol and working with the production duo The Jugganauts. Ak’Sent was especially excited about the Caribbean-styled beats the Jugganauts were working on, and soon she was writing a series of dancehall numbers. One was the future hit “Zingy”, featuring guest star Beenie Man, who Ak’Sent herself had chosen because she was a huge fan. Her debut International landed in 2006 with a Spanish-language remix of “Zingy” and an ode to her departed father titled “My Life”.