THE LAST REAL AFRICAN IN AMERICA…PERIOD!
Always down for a nice analysis and a remarkable quote, Infinito2017 aka Marcellous Lovelace is a pleasure to interview. As a matter of fact, each of his releases –and trust us, his discography is quite extensive- should be a reason to go and ask Marcellous what he thinks of music, society and politics… This time around, the reason is the release of ‘Outer Body Experience 9.0: Thinking The Unthinkable’. Below conversation underlines the album’s subtitle well…
If you look back at your music career; what are some of the most memorable moments for you?
When I got my first set of turntables and ordered vinyl from Beat Street Records in NY to say my rhymes over them. Making my first tapes and making sales hand-to-hand in the late 90’s. Freestyling with my cousin Fatnice of 84, he was always fresher and doper than even some of the people on wax in my eyes. When I pressed my first piece of vinyl ‘Vintage Rhymes E.P.’ and me and Mr. Skurge drove to Nashville to pick them up and they gave us a tour through the pressing plant. I’d also say getting a 12 inch released on Fat Beats Records I thought that was classic for a Regular Black Dude aka The Last African In America (or Anywhere Period!). I always look at myself as a man first and I’m no different from others in the ‘African Diaspora’ and opportunity is a wonderful thing.
When you look at the future…what are some things you still want to achieve within music?
Well in the near future I want to have a child, create a home somewhere on the planet, make more music, create more paintings, collect money for my labour, travel the globe and tour with my art and music involved. Earn my respect from my heart-felt ideas.
Dissing is an element that is strongly represented in your work. Is that an aspect that you see disappearing in your work? Because if you look at some rappers: the older they get, the more ‘relaxed’ they become on that issue?
Well that’s funny because I got peers who I do music with who deal with me like critiques, always having ideas on how I should do me and I’m mostly laughing at the comedy some ‘rappers / musicians’ have become. It’s all like decorations and brightly designed patterns -that included the words as well as the clothes- that people have become. I mean when I was young it was some wack stuff like poka dots, house nation pants, etc…. But now you got more of that with all the materialism in the appearance which kinda kills the rawness in the music, where is the creativity and originality? Which one of these clowns are going to be a man or a real down-to-earth person? So if I’m dissing it’s mostly just disrespect to all the foolishness in hip-hop and checking these punks who come soft and act as if they have no home training. I’m a man and I don’t want to see no one with their pants hanging down, some pants that’s too tight –that’s for woman- name brand labels etc. and just over all wackness in substance.
In your albums there’s often this message to ‘see through the facts’, ‘don’t believe everything you see or hear on the news’…nowadays there’s a lot to do about WikiLeaks, the organization that leaks top secrets, what do think of this phenomenon?
I think nothing of it. It’s all relevant to the all. Information is for those who choose to seek the right knowledge and the rest are left blind, deaf and dumb. It comes a time when we all have to wake up and decide what we need truth or fantasy. I think most people are living in an episode of some Tell Lie Vision sitcom as they sit calm and feed themselves garbage. This later spreads over to the next generation who grows up lost and confused. Education still teaches children about Indians (‘In The America’s’) and Columbus as if it’s factual when anybody with the ability to read can see it’s a lie. I know for the ex-slaves’ perspective (blacks, African Americans, Negros) we all need to keep it perfectly clear that we as a whole are mislead and need to learn how to do for self now. See that slavery is a condition as well as economical gain for others and not us. When you are placed in a debate but not heard through your own thoughts, language, traditions, than you are not saying much. Pro’s, con’s whatever evolution it’s nothing to gain from an existence that’s not fit for you mentally. (This is my 2012 Berlin Conference)
There’s mid-terms coming up. It looks like Obama’s star is fainting. What caused the decrease in popularity d’you think?
Well, what Obama is dealing with from perspective is racism because of his skin colour. It’s a nice cover up to use someone as an example of hope to a dying people without heritage. He was never the president for colored people. What he is, is an excuse that all colored people are failures, when America has been on the decline for a while now. The people are all mixed up, lost neutralnoids with a brainwashed mentality. People believe in things that clearly show no evidence of independent ability. A president whose star is fading means nothing to me, because he never was supposed to shine, he was just used to keep the people confused until the next big overhaul, soylent green type of Tuskegee experiment takes place. Funny isn’t it? People will never know they are trapped until they drop the X-box, drop the remote, stop looking for a saviour and save themselves from the psychological warfare they place on themselves. (Run ones jargon)
So how would you evaluate Obama’s policy yourself?
I think it’s cool that Obama used to do community assistance in Altgeld Gardens in Chicago, a public housing complex, that’s it. I hope unemployment supplements stay afloat. I think that we live inside a cereal box (Metropolis) where all the people race to the bottom to get the prize only to find out it’s a toy. Washington DC is real laid back over near Howard University. And I don’t like Eurocentric views. It teaches black woman the wrong values. (I said it, way off subject)
From politics back to music: throughout your releases there’s this constant level of quality production from different producers…how do you maintain your producers’ network?
Well that’s a good question! I learned a lot of this from Memo (Molemen), Thaione (Davis, ed.) -the Virgo Perfectionist- and my cousin Fatnice of 84 that it’s not a dope song if it got a wack beat. I love dope beats and when I didn’t have beats I always wanted the freshest beat box or break to rhyme over. Some of my favourite classics are ‘La-di Da-di’, ‘The Bridge Is Over’, ‘We Got The Jazz’, ‘Tried By 12’ by East Flatbush Project, ‘Verbal Intercourse’ beat, ‘La Flah La Flah’ etc… Dope beats make the listener happy so I surround myself with the dopest producers in any time and I’m not just talking about a dope beat to make a good song but a beat that’s dope minus the song lyrics.
So do you make a beat yourself from time to time?
Yes I do and I have a few releases with my production. About 12 instrumental albums under different aliases and some under my name. I need an MPC or ASR10 so I can get the feel for real production. I mostly have used computer programs. Last summer Blaak The 9th Mann from 84 gave me my first MPC Tutorial and I made a beat but hmm…I need more practice.
How much of your time to you spend on rap? What are some of your other activities?
Well it depends on the project. I can work for days or years on a song or project. I have albums like ‘10/26/75’ that took one day and I produced it also about 22 tracks. And ‘Outer Body Experience 9.0: Thinking the Unthinkable’ took exactly a year. I know you said songs but I normally do songs for albums so it will not just be wasted material. But on average, it can take me from an hour to a week to do one song. I make myself flexible so I can grow into my own comfort levels and not be stuck. My other activities include world travelling, activism, writing books, painting my art, drawing and doing films, videos. It’s all my outlets so I just zone in and out at will.
There’s only one feature on your latest album, Iomos Marad. Why only one? Why Iomos?
Well I told Iomos last year he was one of my favourite Chicago emcees and another reason I wanted a song with him is because I wanted to create a group with all the guys whose names began with I…I worked with I Self Divine and Insight, now Iomos is the last. So it is what it shall be. But yeah, he’s always been a guy I looked up to since like ‘97 in Chicago so it was classic for me. And Thaione hooked it up because we all think it should be a connection between all of us in Chicago so Cap D and Stoney Rock (Black Spade) I still need a verse.
Actually you’ve released a lot of solo material, have you never considered releasing records as a group?
Well I’ve done a lot of collective works with folks… I just find that people are too lazy for my taste. I need too learn too slow down and maybe more work will come with others. I did a new Unorthodox Poets Records (Mr. Skurge), I got a bunch I did with others that will just appear under other names and times you just have to listen. I think a good one is Nkruma Ochieng and I got one coming with Jams Da Boombox, this fresh young producer cat out of Arkansas.
So when the I-plan doesn’t work out, maybe you can start a group with Iomos and Thaione?
Oh you have to ask Iomos and Thaione because hey I already did … cool beans.
2017 is not that far away, only seven years….what does that year mean to you? Will you change your name?
2017 = The Future Before You (1 at completion). By than I will be named ‘The Last Real African In America (Period)’. And the album ‘The Future Before You’ is at Rhapsody.com. It came out in like 2004 produced by Memo. My name is my work name Marcellous Lovelace in which I have several albums released under that name. Oh and 2017 was added because it’s people that use the name Infinito so I just gave myself a subtitle. (Sarcastic)
What books have you read lately?
‘Blue Print For Black Power’ by Amos Wilson (‘For social power to be exercised effectively the power holder must possess or control some important or valued material and/or social resource(s) which is the basis of his power. By strategically rewarding or depriving others of these resources, he may use them to influence behavior in ways compatible with his interests.’) ‘African Origin of Civilization’ by Cheikh Anta Diop and some other book I already have …
What’s next for Infinito?
Love, peace, happiness and having fun in the summer of 2011. A few books ‘No American Dream: but a European Nightmare’ and some Art and Travel, a new www.marcellouslovelace.com and more updates at www.infinito2017.com !
My mother, my madear, my father and my brother and my entire family…I love you all … I’m a happy person who knows what he likes!!!
Peace to that!
©pf November 2010.