NY Hip Hop veterans Constant Deviants make their second appearance in our The Whole 9 interview series. The duo has a new album dropping on June 28th titled Omerta, which is 100% Hip Hop with no additives, definitely a project to check out when it’s released. In this interview, we chopped it up with M.I., the emcee of the duo about the album, Hip Hop’s relationship with the mafia lifestyle, the lead single So Underrated, the duo’s foray into film making through their company Six2Six and their future plans. These two are really trying to expand themselves, not only from music standpoint, but creatively with making films, and that’s really nice to see. Check out the interview below.
the9elements: You guys have a new album Omerta coming out. What was the inspiration behind the album?
M.I.: Sometimes you just come up with an idea and it takes a life of its own. We came up with the concept for this project in Switzerland at a show we did with Sean Price. We wanted to follow Avant Garde up with something hard hitting. We also wanted to mix it up a little more, put the fun back into it creatively, so we came up with a theme like other artists used to do back in the day. It’s also the first we recorded in the studio together for many years. I’m splitting my time between Baltimore and Miami, Cutt’s in Jersey, so logistically it’s one of the reasons we’ve worked another way in the past, but again we wanted to try doing something different this time around.
T9E: This album keeps up the relationship between Hip Hop and the mafia lifestyle. Where do you think that comes from?
M.I.: I’m not exactly sure where that connection comes from. But I don’t think only Hip Hop is influenced by the mafia. I think it’s just generational. In this album’s case, we applied a theme drawn from our Italian and Russian backgrounds. This isn’t an album claiming to be living that lifestyle. I wanted to speak on that lifestyle a little more intelligently than has been done before, but it’s mainly being used metaphorically. Using recognizable reference points, scenes and settings comparatively with the things we’re saying. Role playing, story telling, adopting the characters of Luciano and Lansky to take the listener on a journey. That’s the reason for the mafia portrayal in this case, if others want to claim they’re living that life, it’s up to them.
T9E: The lead single off the album is So Underrated which is pretty self explanatory. The song has a 90’s feel but mixed with what’s going on now in NYC’s underground scene. Going back to the theme, do you guys feel like anyone can really fuck with what you guys do musically collectively, but trying to do so individually?
M.I.:I just feel we can hang with the best, but in this game like anything else its very cliquish and we don’t do that. I’d rather be underrated and be different than to follow what others are doing. The history and back catalog’s there, we don’t have anything left to prove. We enjoy what we’re doing and will continue to do it. Our set up is the simple tradition of an MC and his DJ, like I was saying in Cutt for President. After all these years we have a bond and an understanding that’s probably hard to duplicate if you ain’t in that situation. It’s served us well over all these years and we’re still here.
T9E: On top of making music, you guys are also making a movie Six2Six, which features Treach. How did that movie come about, and what can we expect from it?
M.I.: The movie thing is actually a direction we are headed in with our company. Our company is Six2Six Films and we are actually in the process of filming our second movie. Six2Six the movie was entered into the Hip Hop Film Festival that is coming up in August. I would say you can expect from our films the same thing you can expect from our music. Originality!
T9E: Being that you guys have extensive backgrounds in music, what is it like making a movie by comparison?
M.I.: Movies take a lot more people to make happen. They are nothing alike! Making a record’s a lot easier logistically, but it’s just as creatively rewarding in that sense.
T9E: With you guys making music and movies now, what else is next for you now?
M.I.: I would say we will continue to do both and God willing we will get in tour sooner than later. As I mentioned, we have the album Omerta releasing in June, the film Six2Six hopefully later in the year and right now I’m shooting scenes for another new movie. There’s never a time when we’re not working on some kind of new project, always moving forward.
T9E: Thank you so much for doing this interview. Any last words?
M.I.: Thank you for giving us an outlet and thank you to everyone that takes the time to check our music out and/or took the time out to do this. You make it worth doing! If people want to connect with us online, Constant Deviants have the twitter handle @Cnstnt_Dvnts and the Facebook page. Our site is simply http://constantdeviants.com
So drop by and say what’s up.