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Tanya Morgan Brooklynati to the fullest People who are staying up with hip-hop’s latest will not be surprised of the fact that Tanya Morgan is not a soul singstress but a hip-hop group consisting of three rappers, Donwill and Ilyas from Cincinatti, and Von Pea (also producer) from Brooklyn. Founded in 2003, after meeting up through the Okayplayer.com fora, the group is about to release their sophomore album ‘Brooklynati’ after this year’s ‘The Bridge Ep’ and 2006’s critically acclaimed ‘Moonlighting’.

'The last time Brooklyn and Cincinnati came together a classic was made' you announce in the first track, are you talking about the Reflection Eternal collaboration or about your debut LP?

Von Pea: On the debut LP I was talking about Reflection Eternal and on the EP I was talking about the debut, but actually it was just something I thought to be funny, I wouldn't call my own project a classic seriously.

'The Bridge' EP, it's 'the bridge' between BK and Cinci, a bridge that was made by means of the Okayplayer forum, a lot of people have followed your example and became connected through the Internet, do you have some advice for those groups, like what are the most important things to look out for when you're working together through the Internet?

Donwill: It’s no different than working with a person offline, it’s a commitment.

V: Everyone seems to work via the net because it’s easier with peoples’ personal schedules, but I’d recommend working together in a room if you can, even if you don't record, just brainstorming together. It’s important to talk together about your ideas beforehand.

Whose idea was it to put a piece of BDP's 'The Bridge Is Over' in the outro, that was fun...

Illyas: Von Pizzle! (laughs)

V: Thank you! I sequence our albums and I thought it would be "cute" to do that. (laughs)

Ilyas and Donwill; would you wanna change with Von Pea and go live in Brooklyn, and Pea would you wanna go live out in Cincinatti?

V: I don't have a license so no way, if I did live in Cincinnati, I’d get me a bitty out there and just drive to her house and chill then go home and make music...then go to Kentucky on the weekend and party!

I: Well Don has already moved to Brooklyn and I'm trying to get up there soon but I do love Cinci.

D: So I've got the best of both worlds. (laughs) I love being from Cincy and I love living in BK.

You guys have personal blogs, an Okayplayer blog, Myspace, etc. how do you find the time to be so much involved with the Internet besides makin music and touring?

V: Yeah it’s blog mania ain’t it? (laughs) Personally I thought it was important to have my own site/blog, then Okayplayer wanted us to do one with them about the tour, I had the Myspace one already but I don't use it much anymore. Touring is a lot of hurry up and wait so a lot of times I'm in the car and I might type up a blog then post it from a computer later, and when not touring I'm just home working on music so there's enough downtime.

D: There is actually a lot of downtime on the road, a lot of sitting around in hotels and at venues. The only catch is finding a reliable wi fi-connection.

I: I'm not much of a web head at all. I check my email and Myspace on occasion...and may watch some pirated movies but that’s about it.

So would it be offensive if we call you computer nerds?

I: Yes. (laughs)
V: Just don't call De La Soul hippies.

D: I’m a self proclaimed geek but honestly I’d rather not be pegged as such, I just enjoy how convenient everything is online. It’s interesting.

So what is your top-5 of favourite internet links?

V: (laughs) Google is #1 and that's it.

I: I would tell you but I'd hate for my pirated movie sites to somehow get shutdown because of me. I'd feel like a snitch. (laughs)

D: mcdayjob.com, 2dopeboyz.com, okayplayer.com, flickr.com, gmail.com.

With the digital evolution, what do you think of the decline of CD's, vinyl and most of all cassettes (since you released your music on tape once), which one of them would/will you miss most of all and will they ever really disappear?

V: I love vinyl because of the artwork. I’d hate if vinyl disappeared forever. I think it’s wack that CD’s may disappear, tapes are nostalgic but I don't miss tapes really.

I: I'd say tapes because tapes got me into this music. And I remember making slow jam mixtapes to ‘kick it’ with ya honey too. A lot of time and energy went into it. When you made a mixtape it was kinda special. It was an art. Now you can just open up your iTunes, scan your songs for 20 minutes, pick a few, then click burn. Sorry there's no passion in that. If you lose your burnt CD, it’s ‘Oh, I 'll just burn another’. If you lost that mixtape you would not be a happy camper. Maybe even spend some hours looking for it. (laughs)

D: I’ll miss cassette and vinyl equally. Those formats really lend themselves to listening to an album with your full attention.

You're on tour with the Hieroglyphic crew right now, how's it been so far, could you describe the first few shows?

V: The Hiero fans come out early and line up outside, and they're also younger than I expected. I'm used to classic groups having fans my age (26) and older but they have a lot of teens too. The shows have been fun as hell so far!

D: Sharing the stage with some of the most influential groups in hip-hop’ve been a wonderful experience. I’m learning a lot from just watching them on and off stage. The first few shows have been very exciting.

What countries-we-really-wanna-tour are still on your list?

V: We haven't been out of the country yet other than Canada so anywhere! (laughs)

D: Shit honestly all of em. I wanna see Australia bad, I've heard Spain is gorgeous and everyone raves about London. I wanna see em all!

Okay so who came up with the name Tanya Morgan and whose ex-girlfriend is she?

V: (laughs) I wish that was the case. That would be good controversy one day to sell records.

I: All of ours....psyche!

D: I thought of the name, thought it had a nice ring to it.

If Tanya Morgan actually would be a woman, how would she look like and what would be her characteristics?

D: In my mind Tanya Morgan is Clair Huxtable from the Cosby show (Phylicia Rashad, ed.). That's who she'd be.

V: She would look like Phylicia Rashad and Pam Grier put together! She'd be like a Bond girl or some shit.

I: Phylicia Rashad...period!

What was the most funniest misconception about the name that you have come across?

V: It’s always the ‘I thought you guys were neo soul singers!’ or ‘Is Tanya Morgan someone’s mom?’ That's the usual one we get in my experience.

D: That Tanya Morgan is the name of the woman from Weird Science (laughs).

The EP is in anticipation of the new full length, are there gonna be songs of the EP on the LP?

V: Oh nah, that wouldn't be fair to the people who support us, it’s going to be about 15 or 16 brand new songs.

I: That would be sacrilege. (laughs)

What can we expect from it?

D: Expect a more aggressive record. We are still having fun with it but we are definitely making a serious record. It’s a departure from anything else we've released.

V: Brickbeats and I produced the whole thing, other than Aeon (who produced ‘Walk My Way’) who did one. The album doesn't have a running concept this time, as of now anyway. Blu did a joint with us, Phonte, Carlitta Durand, Muhsinah is supposed to be doing something with us soon.

So there's gonna be more features than we're used to from you guys..?

V: Yeah, but we promise to keep it to where it fits and makes sense.

D: We bringin a few friends along this time. But it still won't be a feature-heavy record. Just a few tasteful cameos from friends.

What was the first rap album you bought/got?

V: I think it was ‘He's the DJ I’m the Rapper" by DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince.

I: It was 2 Live Crew’s ‘As Nasty As They Wanna Be’. This was the first one I owned that wasn't a dub I think…or was it...anyway it was the first one I played out....sex-ed at its finest (laughs)

D: The first one I remember buying was Salt N Pepa's ‘Hot Cool N Vicious’.

What was the last album you've uploaded unto your iPod?

V: 9th wonder and Spectac.

I: DMX ‘Flesh of My Flesh Blood of My Blood’, an oldie but goodie.

D: Donny Hathaway – ‘Everything is Everything’.

What's next for Tanya Morgan?

V: Just continuing to promote ‘The Bridge EP’ and working on ‘Brooklynati’!

D: Another album, another tour, another fan..

Shout-outs?

D: Shout out to my Dreamskape family, Piakahn, Diezel, Elimination, and Legacey and to Mysterious, Sal Dali and the whole IllumiNATI fam. Big Up to my hometown Cincinnati!

V: Shout to platform8470.com and that's it (laughs).

 

POSTED 07|01|2008
conducted by cpf

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