MW: Welcome to Hip Hop Kemp! Is it Your first time at this festival?
M: Yeah, first time. I'm honored to be here.
MW: Thank You for an amazing show - I think it was the most energy we've had at the festival.
M: Really? These are very kind words, considering how many great MC's are here.
MW: How do You feel after the show?
M: I wanna perform more!
MW: It really is true, that You have unlimited amounts of energy...
M: Everybody says this! I do get tired. I'm thankful to all my crew, the show wouldn't be as good without them.
MW: Can You tell us about Your squad, EMS?
M: It;s big crew. There's Rev, Mayhem, Kore, Desco, Undu and Benefit. It's a group of friends - that's why it works. It's friends first - selfless, not selfish dudes. Nobody puts himself above the group. We've been friends forever, I'm lucky to make music with them.
MW: When was EMS formed?
M: Me, Rev and Mayhem - we started in college. We were rapping before, but EMS as a squad started in college, when we added Kore, Desco, Undo and Benefit, from all over New England. I'm lucky to have these brothers support me.
MW: Let's go back to the very beginnings - was there a particular artist, album or track that inspired You to make hip-hop?
M: Originally, I actually loved Nirvana more than rap - and I still do. From rappers - 2Pac, for sure. "Me Against the World" - 2Pac knew he might not have long and he wanted to do so much in this short time. I was always fascinated by that. This album was a perfect blend of his younger years and before he became complete "Death Row thug". I mean, he did "Thug Life" before, but "Me Against the Wolrd" was a perfect balance, it still has these boom-bap undertones. Everything he said sounded so passionate. That's the way I want to do it. I want people to believe that I care about what I say, that it's not me just saying some random shit. That these words are important, they matter to me. I say things that happen in my real life, I'm not faking anything. I make trackwith core concepts and messagess that hit different people. Of course we do fun records too, but not only them.
MW: How do You remember creating Your very first raps?
M: On the sophomore year in high school, I was writing and recording on the tape recorder. Back in the days, nobody in high school was a rapper. I was writing and freestyling, but I took it more seriously. When I got to college, they started paying us for shows.
MW: So that's when You're started to tour...
M: Yeah, in college, because they were paying so good. We were so excited, because they were people at the show and we were getting paid. In college we realized we have to work harder, because people get older and they have responsibilities, they can't come out to shows every night.
MW: You visited so many places touring!
M: Yeah, earlier this year I was in Poland too - March, with my homie RDW. Shout out to him. That was in Sopot.
MW: During all these years, was there a parricular concert that was the most memorable?
M: This is it - it's Hip Hop Kemp! Germany was pretty fun too. I did the show in Duisburg, also this March, with The Pharcyde. It was about 500 people there. The promoter said it was the best show he's had. He promised he's gonna tell his friend at Hip Hop Kemp about me. That's what it's all about - creating something from nothing. Taking the show in Germany and making it here.
MW: Let's talk about Your album, "egO anD The eneMy". How long did it take to assemble the album?
M: A long time. Probably over 10 years! 99% of the producers line-up is from friendships made over the years, not money. That's the coolest thing for me. B.A.M. got Marley Marl, 'cause that's his homie. Krumbsnatcha got Khrysis. Camp Lo - because of my man Tribeca. Method Man - because of the producer, Soulplusmind. Snowgoons gave me the beat, 7L is my homie, Buckwild is there because of my homie Benefit. Large Professor? I met him at the video cypher, then I hit him up every day for like a year, and then he sent me three beats out of nowhere. I still have two more! I asked him if I can do an EP - he didn't say no!
MW: Especially Marley Marl's beat is interesting.
M: Nobody has Marley Marl's beat! I think this is the first album with Marley Marl's beat since 2013.
MW: What is, in Your opinion, the meaning behind the title - "egO anD The eneMy"?
M: If You carry yourself with an ego, You'll never going to succeed. If You think You're better than something/someone, how can You grow as a human? When we're on tour, we don't act like primadonnas - we don't get drunk, lose our voice, we show on time... No ego. If You think You're too good for something, You can't learn more. Ego IS the enemy. In rap, there are too many guys with egos, and they're messing it up for everybody.
"egO anD The eneMy" is a dark world. I dealt with a breakup - which was actually the best thing that happened to me, because I met the girl I'm with now. On this album there is a lot of pain and different stuff I've been dealing with, built over time. Look at the last three songs - "Reliant" is about being addicted to alcohol, "Death to Raquel" is about killing a woman - but not like Eminem's "Kim" shit, more like "Thank You, You make me want to kill You, this is what's driving me to make music"... And then "911" is about killing yourself. I was influenced a lot by Biggie and his "Suicidal Thoughts". My album is really dark, but it has the feel and heart.
MW: The artwork for the album is also great.
M: Yeah, it was done by my homie Gooba, shout out to him. He actually also did the cover for the CD I'm selling at the tour - "Kempilation". It's a compilation of my features and unreleased tracks.
MW: Your videos are also very creative. For example, the one for "123 Flow"...
M: I don't like doing rap videos - they're so boring! Stop rapping in front of graffitti or trains - start doing something different! We want to inspire people, show them that rap can be more. For example, we did videos with no rapping. Look at "Reliant", "Late Homework"... I am so excited about what we have coming. We shot a video in Prague, right before Kemp!
MW: Going back to producers - have You actually tried producing yourself?
M: I did back in the day. I actually want to go back into it. Why not? But I have so many dope beats I need to put verses on! Form Large Pro, Snowgoons... A little inside story - Snowgoons gave me a beat a couple of years ago, I've been sitting on it for too long. I spoke with Illegal today - this beat is on Nine's new album!
MW: What is Your creative process?
M: I like making music in the morning. I like doing it fresh, to catch a rhythm, reflect on things - unless it's a song where we just write bars. I want to place that reflection within other people's perspectives, so it's not just about me, so everyone can relate to that. I also like recording right away. I'm not into late night studio stuff.
MW: So, what's next for M-Dot?
M: "Ego 2"! It's official - on "Ego 2" You'll hear Apollo Brown, Pete Rock, Erick Sermon, Method Man... I want to make better album than the first one. I'm not the dude who puts albums out constantly. The first album is the "Ego" side, the second will be "the Enemy" side - through the mirror. I have my vision for it. It's tough to do it, with three kids, but we're doing our best.
MW: Do You have any message for Your fans in Poland?
M: Thank You for messing with me! Shout outs to Peja, RDW, Gajos - he's on new album too, he performed in the video. Shout outs to anybody who's listening to our music. Shout outs to JP, Kore, Lateb, Alex, Victor Keys - who shot the video for "123 Flow", DJ Workshard....
MW: Thank You for the interview!