Brotha Lynch Hung, but the bitches call him Kevin … Kevin Mann that is. He has been creating classics since the early ’90s. 24 Deep, Season of Da Siccness, and Loaded are among his auditory masterpieces. His explicit portraits, crowded with abstract metaphors afflict the public’s psyche, destroying any sense of convention.
Over the years, this resilient MC/producer has refused to lose his artistic perspective. Recognizing Lynch’s unorthodox talent, Strange Music signed him to a three-album deal. Dinner And A Movie, the inception of his Strange trilogy, dropped in March of this year. Snatching the listener and thrusting him into a tangible world, Dinner And A Movie is suspenseful from start to finish!
BallerStatus.com is granted unprecedented entrance into Lynch’s world. In part one of this two-part interview, the Sacramento native discusses his hip-hop start, his new label, and his latest album.
BallerStatus.com: I’ve read that you began rhyming back in ’86. What was it about hip-hop that motivated you to invest your energy into it?
Brotha Lynch: It was something different at the time. You know, I had been like the high school “celeb,” in a sense — as far as doing my back flips. I used to do gymnastics. I [also] used to draw, so I was sorta like, somebody that the school already knew. So, when this rap thing came along I just clamped onto it. I was raised by New York rappers. It was just something like, “Dang, I want to do that.” So, I started trying it out. My brother said I was good, even though he may not of meant it. So, I kept going.
BallerStatus.com: Did you do your cover art for Dinner And A Movie? Or, did someone else do that?
Brotha Lynch: Liquid 9 did it. I can’t wait to see what else that they come up with for the next two albums, [Mann-A-Bal Lector and Tha Coathanga Strangla].
BallerStatus.com: I have always wanted to get your definition of the metaphor behind Brotha Lynch Hung. At first, I thought of you being the Grim Reaper annihilating your adversaries. Then, I thought of you as hip-hop’s Willie Lynch; because, you make these pitiful rappers want to kill themselves. So, why did you choose Brotha Lynch Hung?
Brotha Lynch: (laughs) Yeah, that’s the thing. Well, my brother gave the name to me back in high school. He was like, “Dang, you lynched that rapper, bro.” He used to always call me, bro. So, I took it. He gave me Lynch Hung, so with that I just put “brotha” on the beginning of it. He used to always say, “Hey my brother, lynch hung.”
BallerStatus.com: The late ’80s to mid-90s are hailed as hip-hop’s “Golden Years”, there was an abundance of lyricism. From 2000 up until now, it seems like corporate hip-hop is only pushing happy-feet rappers. What are your thoughts on hip-hop’s progression?
Brotha Lynch: Well, I think the happy-feet rappers — I guess everything is cool to keep the genre going. But, I could never really get into that. In my opinion, I think they make it harder on the real artists. Mainstream is going to pick up those one-hitter-quitter artists all day. You know what I mean? I try not to be like one of those one-hitter-quitters. It also made it harder on us, and it led some of us to having to do more grimy stuff. It kinda killed it (lyricism) a little bit. But, I feel like a survivor in any weather.
BallerStatus.com: In your opinion, who is responsible for insuring hip-hop’s integrity? Is it a mutual responsibility between the MCs and the audience? Or, is the corporate machine ultimately responsible for the end product?
Brotha Lynch: Well, it starts with the artists. I mean, we’re all not doing this for nothing. So, if I hooked up with another artist and his mind-frame is off, or even, my mind-frame is off, and he hits me with some new sh**, then it’s all good. It starts from us, and then you can add the fans. Sometimes, I ask them what they want to hear, sometimes I don’t. But, they’re definitely second in line with what stuff that they feel [that] most people would listen to.
BallerStatus.com: Now that you’re aligned with Strange Music, are you confident that they’ll have your back?
Brotha Lynch: Oh yeah, definitely! Strange’s machine is ridiculous! The reason why I didn’t release a lot of albums in the 2000s is because of that reason. I didn’t have somebody like Strange behind me. I mean, I had my own label, but I was only able to do so much. So, you know, it was just minimum albums. But now that I got signed to Strange — man, the number one indie label — I think it’s a good look.
BallerStatus.com: Do you ever plan to get a distribution deal through Strange Music, so that you can put out your artists? Or, are you more so, focusing on your personal material right now?
Brotha Lynch: Well, I want to get back to where Strange feels they can put me, as far as my so-called fame level. I want to get back there first. Right now, I’m working on my label. A lot of my artists are working on their material and I don’t want to rush and waste a lot of money putting them out before they’re ready.
BallerStatus.com: Does Dinner And A Movie prove that the idea of artistry can still exist in an album?
Brotha Lynch: I tried to make it like that, because I feel we were truly missing that. We were missing the artistry. You can put out a single right now and it’ll blow up, but then after that you put out a whole lot of junk. It’s like, “Wow!” People really don’t get to buy a whole album anymore. They’ll go to iTunes and buy one song that they just might like. To me, that is riff-raff. You want the artist to make a whole album that you can listen to all the way through. That’s what I tried to do with Dinner, and I’ll continue to do that on the next two albums, [Mann-A-Bal Lector and Tha Coathanga Strangla].
BallerStatus.com: I am a fan, s, I expect a lot from you. The first time I listened to Dinner and a Movie, I thought it was great. I only skipped “Sit In That F***ing Corner Bitch.” I loved First Degree as the narrating detective; he is a fool! (laughs)
Brotha Lynch: Oh yeah, oh yeah, this dude is pretty crazy in his mind, man! He does a lot of good stuff. Plus, we’ve been working together for a while, so he kinda already knows what I want. It makes it a little easier.
BallerStatus.com: Yeah, I thought he was perfect for that part.
Brotha Lynch: Yeah, he’s a young actor. He just doesn’t want to pursue that part. But, he could be an actor. Well if you don’t want to do it, do it on my album.
BallerStatus.com: I heard that.
The second part of this interview will be posted later this week. Stay tuned!