Is hip-hop dead? No. Has the commercialization of hip-hop confined it to a near-catatonic stupor? Yes! MCs like Kevin Mann, better known as Brotha Lynch Hung, are the reason why hip-hop will never succumb to a vegetative state. Mr. Rip-Gut is the current MC that catalyzes growth and development within the genre. Call him Captain Kirk; he’s boldly going where no MC has gone before.
Coathanga Strangla, the clever collision of a tangible reality with a menacing fantasy is unnerving with its lyrics, its production, and its subject matter. Wack rappers should hide or retire; Mannibalector is out there and he’s hungry! Is that change jingling or is that the rustle of human bones? Coathanga Strangla definitely picks up where Dinner And A Movie left off. The listener is thrust into the odyssey of this malignant MC, chronicling his plunge into the depths of depravity. In this exclusive interview with BallerStatus.com, Brotha Lynch Hung begins dissecting his latest project.
BallerStatus.com: Coathanga Strangla, your second Strange Music release dropped on April 5th. Upon listening to it, it’s apparent that you’ve modified your delivery. Why’d you challenge yourself to switch your breath control, your timing, and your cadence?
Brotha Lynch: Well, I do it every time. If you check back to some of my earlier albums, I’ve never tried to make an album that sounds the same. I love that I’m the man of a hundred styles; that’s what I call myself. I love to keep everything different. I like to show a wide range of talent, instead of clinging on to one style that everybody loves.
BallerStatus.com: You’ve promised us a Strange Music trilogy. How did you ensure that the Coathanga Strangla complimented Dinner And A Movie with a cohesive sound without it sounding like a bogus reproduction?
Brotha Lynch: Basically, I just keep the story going with the skits. The songs kinda come to me. I’ve had these albums in mind for a couple of years before I signed with Strange [Music].
BallerStatus.com: It is no secret that you’re a word wizard; you have the power to make them materialize and make sense. In an interview that you did with Murder Dog magazine you say, “I never try to use the same words that I have in the past…” How does having such high standards impact your creativity?
Brotha Lynch: I think it works good for me. Who wouldn’t? I think that’s how rap started. To me, everybody should practice that. That’s why a lot of people are listening to this funny-styled rap on the radio and stuff; it’s just basic rap. Like, the stuff I was doing in the ’80’s, they’re doing it now. I guess that’s what the radio wants to play. I think that rap should be about every rapper playing with the words. Every rapper should do that. That’s where it came from.
BallerStatus.com: When you’re writing for an album, are you meticulous with every verse? Do you write and rewrite, how long does it take for you to get a verse to where you feel it’s polished and it’s time for the next one?
Brotha Lynch: It comes in different spurts. Sometimes it will come to me in 20 minutes and sometimes I’ll have a piece of paper with a whole lot of scratched out [attempts]. To me, in my head it has to sound right. I’ll be scratching all day if I have to. Sometimes it comes in like 20 minutes. That’s my quickest rhyme.
BallerStatus.com: Which rhyme was that?
Brotha Lynch: It was “Blinded By Desire.”
BallerStatus.com: Tracks within an album can be viewed as emotional time capsules. Coathanga Strangla has a very Hitchcock-esque quality to it. The lyrics are restless and gritty; it felt as though you were enveloped in despair. In your personal life, what were you experiencing when you were creating this album?
Brotha Lynch: I was pretty much going through it. I’ve been through a lot.You know, I got my daughter taken away from me. I was going through a whole bunch of problems with my ex. I kinda got low for a minute. Like I said — the whole three subject album — is about a rapper going bad. It just happened to go bad on me in real life. So, it’s like I should have knocked on wood before I came up with the concept.
BallerStatus.com: So, it just got that much more real when you were making the album.
Brotha Lynch: Yeah, that realness helps. It always seems like something bad happens when I’m making an album. The same thing happened with Season of the Siccness and the same thing happened with Loaded. My cousin Q-Ball died during Season of the Siccness. My mom died when I was doing Dinner And A Movie.
BallerStatus.com: Do you ever think that if you change your perspective that you’ll be able to manifest good things as opposed to despair? If you plan on making a happy album, do you think good things will happen?
Brotha Lynch: It could be, but I don’t really believe in stuff like that. I mean, it could happen like that. It would be a trip if it did. Usually there are bad things going on and I’m just rhyming about what I’m going through. I just couldn’t picture myself making a happy album.
BallerStatus.com: Not hokey-pokey-happy, but realizing-happiness-happy.
Brotha Lynch: Well, when I’m happy, I usually go out and do happy things, you know what I mean? When I’m happy I’ll go camping or something. I don’t know; maybe I should give it a try. But, I don’t know how it would turn out. Basically, what I’m saying is when I am sad and I feel like I don’t have anybody to talk to, writing is my outlet. My music comes easier that way. I couldn’t imagine being without music. It helped me get to where I am today. I still ain’t big, but I’m big enough.
BallerStatus.com: What’s bigger than music and fame?
Brotha Lynch: Sanity! Privacy.
BallerStatus.com: Can you be an entertainer surrounded by countless fans and still feel lonely? Does that lonesome feeling still cling to you?
Brotha Lynch: Pretty much, because I do feel lonely. Like the big shows that I’ve done, they don’t even call me by my name, you know what I mean? So, it still feels like they don’t even know me. I grew up as an only child, so being lonely doesn’t really bother me.
BallerStatus.com: Are you more comfortable being by yourself?
Brotha Lynch: Definitely by myself. I like doing a lot of thinking. And I can’t think in front of a lot of people.
BallerStatus.com: It just seems so out of left field, because you’re linked up with Strange Music, and they’re known for their ruthless road work. In the near future, will you be on the road with them? How do you schedule it, so that you’re able to participate with the Strange artists and still hold on to Kevin Mann?
Brotha Lynch: Well, this tour, on the way out, I’m doing a tour with my label, Made Sicc Music. You know, I have artists too. I’m working to blow them up. Me and Strange did a big 63-day tour last year. I’m sure I’m going to do some more tours. Since I came so quick with both of those albums, they are gracefully letting me handle some [of my] label business.
BallerStatus.com: I had to listen to this album a couple of times before I could appreciate the entrenched metaphors and its overall quality. I can appreciate the growth from Dinner And A Movie to this one. Do you ever feel like your creativity is too advanced for the average listener?
Brotha Lynch: Yeah, it’s a thin line with that. Sometimes I think, man, if I use this metaphor, will they understand it right away? But my style has been working best for me. Sometimes a fan will come up to me years later and bring up a line. I’ll be like, “Yeah, I wrote that two years ago.” And he’ll be like, “I just caught on to it though.” So, when that happens, that makes me feel good. I mean, because I love the Lil Wayne metaphors, I love the Drake metaphors; they’re metaphoric rappers, you know what I mean? But, I don’t know, I can’t reduce [myself] to being that obvious with a metaphor.
BallerStatus.com: I respect you for that, if I listen to an album and I don’t discover a metaphor until two to three months later, it makes me respect the MC that much more; I love creativity.
Brotha Lynch: Yeah, man.
BallerStatus.com: On Coathanga Strangla, your fingerprints are on everything from the lyrics, to the production, to the visuals. How do you accomplish getting your ultimate vision across while incorporating other folk’s creative contribution?
Brotha Lynch: Well, it was a little harder for Coathanga Strangla. You noticed on the first album, I had Snoop and other guys. For me to get into the story, of the subject of this trilogy, it was harder to bring in people. Because, I was going to have Crooked I and a couple of other people on this record, but I didn’t really know how to put them in. I went with Tech N9ne, of course. And I went with my people, because they’re around me and they’re helping me create this vision, too. So, it was easy to get them on.
BallerStatus.com: Yeah, I had a question about that. So, you weren’t limited to Strange-affiliated people?
Brotha Lynch: No, not at all. I wanted to work with people. But, when I started getting the beats for this album, you know, I try to make each song tight to its greatest ability. I couldn’t find nothing for Crooked. I couldn’t find nothing for Snoop Dogg. Last summer, I met Nelly, he wanted to do something, but I couldn’t find nothing for him neither, for this album. I don’t know; I’m not a commercial dude.
BallerStatus.com: Please, don’t ever become one.
Brotha Lynch: Yeah, I love what I’m doing. I ain’t getting as rich as the rest, but I love what I’m doing. This is why I keep doing this.
BallerStatus.com: That’s why you have such a timeless quality to your music. You can tell that you put in time to make your music, what it is, rather than just slinging some sh** together.
Brotha Lynch: Yeah, that’s what I thought you were supposed to do. But, that kinda went away in the early ’90’s.
BallerStatus.com: (laughs) Then we have our veteran MCs, like yourself, who do it the right way and y’all’s music mocks time. You’re able to gain new supporters and you still have the supporters that you’ve had since jump.
Brotha Lynch: Yeah, that’s crazy. Strange did say they would do that for me. They got me some of the younger fans. I didn’t know they’d take to my rip-gut style. But, sh**, those Juggalos go crazy!