8Ball & MJG Interview
|Artist:||8Ball & MJG|
|Next Project:||Ridin High|
|Twitter:||8Ball & MJG on Twitter|
|Website:||8Ball & MJG's Website|
When it comes to longevity in the rap game, Memphis duo 8Ball & MJG are the gold standard (although I am sure they’d much prefer a platinum standard). Reppin’ the South long before Mike Jones picked up a microphone or Chamillionaire won a Grammy award, 8Ball & MJG return to the limelight with their second album release off Bad Boy South. Ridin High, featuring a medley of cruisin’, club and laid back joints is in stores now and is being heavily promoted by the Tennesse natives who are touring across the country. During an interview with DJBooth.net’s DJ “Z,” the guys discuss their new album and its featured guest selections, why they don’t feel the need to defend the south from Hip-Hop criticism, and what success to them means for Ridin High.
Listen to the 8Ball & MJG Interview
8Ball & MJG Interview Transcription
DJ Booth: What up people? It’s your boy “Z” doin’ it real big as always on DJBooth.net, and on the phone with me, repin’ Memphis, Tennessee, a city they have been repin’ for over 15 years, and 10 albums—8 Ball & MJG. What up fellas?
8Ball & MJG: What’s up bro? How you doin’ man?
DJ Booth: Im trying to do big things like you guys! The album dropped [two weeks ago], its in stores right now, how are you guys doing?
8Ball & MJG: We good. We just on the road right now promoting the whole album.
DJ Bootht: I’ve listen to the entire album, and I must say “Ridin’ High” will have listeners doing just that—Ridin’ High. The make up of the album is very club-friendly, and radio oriented. Now, during the creative process, were you guys at all worried that your long time fans might think this was “too commercial” of a release?
MJG: No, we think the hardcore 8-Ball and MJG fans is gonna love this album. It’s reminiscent of some our older material.
DJ Booth: Definitely, now, on the current single “Cruzin’” featuring Three 6 Mafia & Slim [of 112] 8-Ball, you had a line that reads: “I know I aint the best lookin’ nigga, but I’m far from the worst’ lookin’ nigga.” Have you ever used this one in the clubs, and if so, has it worked?
8Ball: [laughing] Oh no man, that was just a lightening bolt that hit me, while I was writin’ it, man.
DJ Booth: Have you considered using it?
8Ball: Haha, No, I would have to come up with something original, man.
DJ Booth: Well I like it. I think I might use it, if you don’t mind me stealing your line?
8Ball: Yeah—yeah, you can use it man!!
DJ Bootht: Don’t worry. I’ll give you full credit for it. Now, most of the album features are heavily southern, Pimp C, Three 6 Mafia, Juve, and Killer Mike and then you also have Diddy. Was his feature a situation where you went to him and asked him to jump on? or did Diddy come to you guys and ask to do his feature?
8Ball: Well…it was kinda a little bit of both. Diddy liked the song, and really wanted to do it, so that’s really how he ended up on it.
DJ Booth: How do you think the final product came out?
MJG: With the whole album?
DJ Booth: No, “30 Rocks” [featuring Diddy]—how do you think people have responded?
8Ball: I like it. We think the people really like it; you know what I’m sayin’?
DJ Booth: Ok, “Alcohol-Pussy-Weed” is probably the best song title if you wanted to characterize what rap music is about today. If you guys could create a whole album on material that has not already been covered, what’s something you both feel strongly about, that would inspire enough creative material for an entire album?
8Ball: We would just go with things we experience in our everyday lives, all the things we really been goin’ through.
MJG: Just in the 8 Ball and MJG fashion. We stick to the format.
DJ Booth: Do you think your music has evolved over the course of your musical career, since the beginning, or has it turned in a direction that you never thought it would?
8Ball: We really think it has evolved. I think we get better every album. I think we got better on this album with the production, music, lyrics, everything…
DJ Booth: One thing you guys have had to do throughout your recording career is switch labels [both major and independent] several times. How has this affected your recording experiences, now as you release your second album off Bad Boy?
MJG: Overall everything’s been cool. It’s just been a different experience for us.
DJ Bootht: Describe “different” for me.
MJG: Well, it’s definitely not independent [laughing]. We were independent most of the time in our career.
DJ Booth: Fellas, lots of cats from both the east and west coast[s] are quick to label Hip-Hop from the south as unlyrical and lacking in true talent. Now, for a duo like yourselves, you’ve been doing this for a long time. Do you really feel like you have to respond? Do you feel like you even need to defend the south, with your experience and your resume? Or are you void of that criticism?
MJG: We try not to really get rapped up in that…we really just try to stick to making good music….just doing what we do to make good stuff, no matter what’s goin’ on. We just have to stick to the format and we should prevail.
DJ Booth: For you guys to deem “Riding High” a success, what has to happen?
8Ball: If people, like yourself “Z,” who hear the album, love the album, that’s the reward. We’re hoping for ten time’s platinum, but in the real world, if one person likes it, that’s love. We definitely wanted to do the best that we can do, so if one person says they love it, that’s true love.
DJ Booth: I’m heading down to the Dominican Republic, and I’m taking the album with me; so you guys should have some new International sales and listeners, after this weekend.
8Ball & MJG: Aww Yeah! Thank you. Thank you (from both).
DJ Booth: Where can your fans and our readers go to find out more about your brand new album and where you’ll be on tour?
8Ball & MJG: You can find us at www.8ballandmjg.com, www.mjgmuzik.com , www.8ways.com, www.badboy.com.
DJ Booth: Beautiful, you guys got 15 plus years, 10 albums, and 6 websites, and I wish you nothing but the best for this coming year, in 2007.
8Ball & MJG: Thank you.