featured interview

Magestik Legend The Great Escape One of Detroit's most prolific MC's is about to escape. Not from any war camp, but from the pressures of life, a mindstate in order to become great. On his route he has collaborated with like-minded artists such as Elzhi, One Be Lo, Supastition, a.o., now he's releasing his second solo. Guards and traditionalists worldwide be aware!

Sup Magestik Legend. How do you feel now that you're on the verge of releasing your new album?

I feel like there's a big weight being elevated from my shoulders. This is my second album actually, but still it feels like the first official to me. This time everything feels right and I have the chance to showcase my art on a larger spectrum. So yeah, I feel great right now and it can only get greater!

For our readers who might not be familiar with you: who's Magestik Legend?

My name is Magestik Legend. The name is a goal in itself. I've been a part of this music industry for about 12 years. My humble beginnings started off with my crew 9-2-5 Colony (w/ Nick Speed & Elzhi) in 1997. Then later came my track record with the Subterraneous Crew (Binary Star fam) around 1999. After many tours as a crew member or a featured artist, I felt it was time to exercise my right to being a completely solo artist. In 2007 I independently released 'FREE Magestik Legend'. Then traveled and toured for 2 or so years. This year, I've released 2 free projects, 'To Be Continued...' Chapters 1 and 2, hosted by T3 and Big Pooh. And on November 30, 2010 I will release the 'The Great Escape' LP...my best work to this day.

The cover of that album is very dope. It boasts action and power. Two important aspects for you?

Thanks. My homie Josh Crilley did the cover art. Yes, you hit the nail right on the nose. Action and Power are two of my main goals in life right now. I can't sit around and complain about the problems in my life. I have to exhaust all solutions until I'm exhausted and then still keep going. I have to stay moving to make my own opportunity, to build my kingdom, to claim my glory and with that power I can help others.

It's clearly a concept album, but is the title 'the Great Escape' also a metaphor? Breaking out the underground? Escaping from the industry? Please explain the concept...

It's all of the above, but more so it's about escaping your own mind state to be great. On my first project I was in the mind state of being freed from my obstacles. On this project I am embracing my power to free myself and sharing that journey with the audience. In order to escape you have to move with intention to free yourself. I'm not waiting for anyone to lend a hand of charity. Anyone who gets on board from here on is going to have to hop on the boat while it's still moving. The pressures of life will imprison you mentally if you allow them to fill you with doubt in the form of excuses. I wlll conquer any and every goal I put my mind to.

You been in the game for so long now, so after some free projects (FREE, To Be Continued?) it was only due your album came out. Was it that kind of struggle or did you focus more on side projects and touring?

I always completely focus on my album until it's done. After the album is done, then comes 'the waiting game', which is when I have to figure out how to release the album correctly. Within that 'waiting game' comes ideas for promotion and exposure, and that's usually when the free projects are created. Touring has been more sporadic for me in the past. In the future I plan to have more control over that schedule.

'I feel like every song I write is another chapter in my story. I feel music is timeless.' I picked this quote from your bio. Do you actually look at writing a song like writing another page to your official biography? Please explain that quote

Every page I write is part of a chapter in my 'majestic legend'. My 'majestic legend' will live longer than I do. These music recordings artists create are like modern day hieroglyphics. When I'm all said and done my music will still be speaking for me. So I have to make sure every song is timeless with substance. Im very careful with every word. I'm very honest with every emotion. Every concept will serve its purpose in the long run. It's all about longevity to me. So when the next civilizations discover my album hundreds or thousands of years from now, and claim it to be an ancient artifact, they will have a good understanding of what we went through.

Production is mostly handled by French producer Astronote (who also did an album with LMNO recently). You been working with him for a few years now. How did you two get in touch?

Astronote and I got in touch through his former manager. About 4 years ago, Astronote's manager approached me about a France to Detroit project. He wanted me to connect him with the best MC's in Detroit. Long story short, when I finally got to hear the production from Astronote I was blown away. We started talking directly through e-mail instead of through a middle man. We connected as like-minds from the jump and shortly became 'Classic Stereo'. And the rest was future history in the making.

What is it about Astronote's production that makes you match that well?

One of the biggest factors that makes us match so well is: Astronote is one of the greatest producers I've ever worked with. We are both versatile artist. I don't feel like you can really box us into one style or approach. Also, I feel that we have a predestined chemistry that I can't even explain. Any dope MC can rap to a dope beat, but few MC's can find the chemistry of say a Gang Starr- or Eric B and Rakim-equation. Astro is also very flexible when it comes to creativity. He doesn't catch an attitude if I ask him to try something different which leaves room for growth. He doesn't sell my beats if I sit on them for months. He just keeps making beats non-stop. So musically it's natural for us to grow together.

The guests on the album are picked with great care. Now that Supastition has supposedly stepped back a bit from the game, how did you manage to get that verse from him?

Thanks. Supastition aka Kam Moye has been the homie for a while. That's a real good dude. We recorded 'Shutdown' before he went on his hiatus. That's my joint right there!!

How long you and Guilty Simpson been down? You make a great combo together.

I've know Guilty since I've been a part of Detroit hip-hop. We go waaaay back. He's part of a dope crew called The Almighty Dreadnaughtz (Hexmurda, Supa Emcee, Slauhtah, Shi Dog etc.). His crew and my old crew Subterraneous have done a good amount of shows together. We been building off and on for years so it was only natural for us to knock out a Banger. We got a few more on the way. Stay connected...

I been following you since your appearance on the Waterworld project with Subterraneous. Was that an important moment, cause that must've been the moment when a lot of fans picked you up?

Yes, every moment has been important. The Subterraneous days were great for training and sharpening raw talents into professional tools. I was touring fresh out of college thanks to the Binary Star fam. That's priceless experience. I still have hard core fans that stem back to that time. Shouts to everyone that was holding my down before I even released anything recorded!

What's the deal with Subterraneous and the moment? You still down?

I'll always be down with the ideals of the movement. Every great crew won't last as a whole though. The Original Sub Crew is currently still making power moves individually and some together. I'm still down for the fans. That's what I'm here for. Who knows what the future holds...

Do you remember the first thing that made you say 'one day i'm gonna be an emcee'?

I wanted to be an MC the day that I realized that some of the MC's that I admired weren't even writing their own lyrics. That's when I started writing diss raps to all the fake MC's I had at one time liked.

Word is out you had a group with Elzhi?

That collective is called: 9-2-5 Colony. That's Nick Speed, Elzhi and myself. Would be incredible for us to find time to make music as a unit again one day. Time will tale...

You been down with the AML click as well. In a certain way you and Buff1 have some rhymin' similarities. You're influenced by each other of is it just a Detroit thing?

That's a Detroit and a Chemistry thing. Buff1 and I have a group called The Black Opera. Look out for that...

In the clip 'All Eye Know' we can see you with him in the studio. Is that your own basement studio?

Yes, that was my former basement which housed 'Legend Lab' version 1. Since then I've moved the Legend Lab into an actual studio space. Things are looking up!!

I want to go back to the FREE MAGESTIK LEGEND project. You made it available for free as appreciation to the fans. What was the exact idea behind it?

'FREE Magestik Legend' was dedicated to all the fans that would come out to my shows and recite my lyrics while I performed before I even had an album out. I just wanted to pay them back for holding me down with relentless support when they didn't even have to. Also, I wanted to get across message. That message was to let the fans know how much power they have in this industry. Whatever you support can be successful. So instead of dissing your favorite artist cause he hasn't released an album yet. Ask yourself: 'What can I do to help him get his music out?' You'd be surprised how much influence you have as a fan when you go all-out to support the music you love.

Are there actually copies pressed of it? I been looking like crazy for that.

The physical copies will be available on the newly relaunched www.magestiklegend.com soon along with all the other releases.

You're credited to have learned producing at a young age on borrowed equipment. Do you still produce or co-produce?

Yes, I've been in more of an executive producer-chair lately. I took a break from actually making beats to sharpen my rhymes, but I'm still very hands on with whatever production, I choose to rap over. From finding the beat, to sequencing arrangements to the complete mix...I'm there. I plan to start making beats again this Winter in the new Legend Lab. Stay tuned...

Since Dilla and Proof died, has there been another atmosphere in the Detroit scene? Like everybody tries to keep the D strong on the map?

I think the Detroit scene is starting to realize why Dilla and Proof were so successful. It's because they didn't sit around and wait for some one to come hand-deliver them a record deal. They did everything they could in their power to get their music out to the masses. A good number of artists are catching on to the independent hustle and team unity needed to not only survive but to conquer and control.

Which MC's influenced you?

Slick Rick, LL Cool J, KRS One, 2Pac, Outkast, Nas, Pharoahe Monch, Early Slum Village, Ice Cube, WU , Common Sense, Scarface, E-40, Too Short...I could go on for days.

What's in your iPod or car stereo right now?

Astronote, 14KT, Audible Doctor, Jordan Rockswell, J-Bizness, Apollo Brown and Nick Speed beats to name a few.

First record you ever bought?

LL Cool J 'Bigger and Deffer'...I think.

Shout outs?

Shouts to Team Legend and all the Magestik Legend supporters worldwide from Belgium to Detroit. If you've ever even mentioned my name or attempted to spell it right...THANK YOU!! Shouts to Platform8470 for this interview too. Whutupdoe!!


POSTED 11|01|2010
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