What does a Hip Hop blogger (what a cornball term) do a on a lazy Sunday evening you ask? He hooks up with Tanya Morgan’s Underground Collective, the Lessondary crew on a Kyte channel to setup a month full of interviews. This whole month will be Lessondary Month on ML as we will be featuring Lessondary interview after interview. First up is Jermiside, an upcoming MC hailing out of Cincinnati, who has a healthy obsession with everything art.
But before we jump into the interview, some 411 you need to have.
Tanya Morgan is hitting the road this week, get all the dates on their MySpace.
& Check out the Lessonadary group anthem of sorts, Lessondary Nose over NERD’s Everybody Nose.
(Note: There is a OG Tanya Morgan interview from 2006, that will be hitting ML before summers out, as a time capusle of sorts.)
MetalLungies: : Where are you at right now?
ML: Nah, physically
J: Ha, physically I’m in Atlanta man, just kickin it really, working on some music.
ML: Can you break down your name, Jermiside?
J: Well, first off my birth name is Jermaine so its kind of a play off of that. I used to do my little graffiti thing under the name Jermz and it kinda bled over from that into my rap name. It also kinda stands for ‘the cure’ you know?
ML: How about Red Giants? is that a homage to Cincy?
J: Yeah, it is. As some people may know, me & Brickbeats are both from Cincinnnati. The Reds had a nickname, “The Big Red Machine” back in there heyday so we kinda just flipped that around. A red giant is also a dying star that as a result begins to shine like 3 times brighter. So we kinda used that as a metaphor for the place we want to have in hip-hop, like people say its dying so we are just gonna come through with the dopest music possible and shine brighter than ever.
ML: Does your approach differ when you are doing solo stuff vs Red Giants?
J: Absolutely. I always try to adapt to the vibe of the production and just go wherever the beats take me. Usually Brickbeats’ production gives me a nostalgic kinda feeling so The Red Giants material comes out kinda light hearted for the most part. As a solo artist, my music tends to be a little more dark and personal.
ML: Are you more focused on a solo or a Red Giants project right now?
J: Right now, both actually. We are working on a new Red Giants project called “Chain Reaction” at the moment. Im also finishing up a “mixtape” called Die Jerm Die and a project with a producer from Ireland named Danny Diggs.
ML: Ireland, how did that come about, a Nicolay-Phonte (of Little Brother) type situation?
J: Sorta like that, yeah. If my memory is correct he heard some of The Red Giants music and just hit me up via myspace and asked I wanted to do some work. He sent me a joint, I knocked it out and we just kept on knocking out songs after that. The chemistry is just really dope. But yeah, the internet be making things happen man, haha.
ML: How did you meet up with Tanya Morgan & the Lessondary crew- I know it was through being out of Cincy, but was there a particular moment where you decided to roll together?
J: I was brought in by Tanya Morgan, Im pretty sure the crew was Von Pea’s brainchild but I could be wrong. I had went over to Ilyas’ crib to record a verse for what became “Paper Thin” and the next time I came back through Donwill says Von had an idea for a crew and I was a member and I’m like “dope, I’m down”, thats basically it. Me and Ilwil (Donwill & Ilyas) had a mutual respect anyway though, we were always trying to pull each other up so it was only natural i guess.
ML: Do you yourself in any particular role with the Lessondary crew?
J: Umm, thats a good questiton and I’m not sure if I have a good answer, haha. I would say the “utility verse guy”, when brothas need a really quick 16 I usually don’t disappoint, if I do say so myself lol.
ML: You are always ready to bat cleanup.
J: For sure, and i don’t mind it either. To keep it real I like to have a small creative space to work with, thats why I’m working on these current projects which will most likely be EP’s because I like to keep things short and sweet, clear cut and concise. Im really a quiet kinda dude so I try to put a lot of effort in the things that i do present.
ML: It seems like you can do a lot of work too,Your range of talents is pretty complex, from djing, rhyming, producing, graphic design, photography & graf?
Which do you think is your biggest strength? weakest of those?
J: Strongest is rhyming, I’ve been doing that for the longest. Weakest is graffiti because I only did it for a couple years as a youth.
ML: Whens the last time you did some photography? graphics? graffiti?
J: Im constantly on the graphics design thing, thats the main gig really. I do little freelance jobs here and there. Graffiti though, its been at least 6 or 7 years man, I’d like to jump back in a little bit though before I get waaay to old for that shit.
ML: While you can still hop fences!
J: Right! I think my knees are going bad already anyway.
ML: What about photography?
J: Photography is some shit i just picked up on the way to compliment the graphic design thing. I’m into a lot of artsy fartsy shit like Lomo’s (toy cameras) and the likes.
ML: Are you big on fisheyes?
J: The fisheye joint seems pretty cool, havent really tinkered with it yet. I have the LCA-LOMO joint, its been my little sidekick for like 5 years now, thats my shit.
ML: Gotcha, anything digital or are u just into 35mm?
J: Mostly 35mm, but I’m working my way into the digi realm of things, the Rebel is the next on the list. I just copped a little digi cam just to get acclimated with the whole thing. I’m just a big fan of analog shit when it comes to anything equipment wise, whether its music production or photography or whatever. I just like the quality of it all, the imperfections and things. Everything is not so clean, y’know.
ML: Do you have a favorite photographer, graf artist or a graphic designer that you look up to?
J: The artists I look up to are mostly graffiti/street artists, Dalek, Kaws, a lot of local Cincy cats like Merz, Devious, Five. I was just always fascinated by how they take there art from being all over the streets, rooftops, trains etc… and moving on to other things like album covers, logo designs and shit but still banging away at bombing at the same time. Kaws & Dalek just always have some simple but fly shit. Simple but very effective, thats how I like to do things. As far as a favorite though I can’t really say. I try to draw from as many outlets as possible.
ML: How did you start listening to at X-Clan at age 9? Did you have a particular song of theirs that was your favorite?
J: Funkin Lesson, I think thats what the joint was called. He was talking a bunch of shit I had no clue about but I knew just about every damn word though “the pull of a trigga goes zoom, not boom”! All the Red, Black & Green African shit really intrigued me when I was younger. That whole time in hip-hop really had an effect on how I view things I think. My brother put me on to that stuff If I remember correctly, but I was just an all out hip-hop fan anyway.
ML: I gotcha, that just really stood out to me that a 9 year old was listening to X-Clan.
J: Haha yeah, I laugh about that when I think about it and look at the 9 year olds I know.
ML: You started producing at 12, what was your setup like then and what is it now?
J: My setup then wasn’t much of a setup. It was some kind of crappy Yamaha drum machine I bought from a pawn shop or something, a Casio keyboard my sister used to play, and some very odd no name sampling keyboard my friend let me borrow lol. My setup kinda changes a lot over the years but from there I moved WAY UP. The last recent real setup was a MCP2000XL, Techincs 1200 Turntables, Yamaha S10 for my bass sounds and whatnot, A K-Station novation Synthesizer and some other random things. Right now I’m messing with the MPC1000 and learning the bass. Oh, and using FLStudio. Gotta keep up with the times
ML: Your sister wasn’t mad at you hijacking her keyboard?
J: Nah, she was probably out somewhere doing something she shouldn’t be doing by then
ML: Good excuse.
J: Haha, nah but she used to play the piano pretty good and gave it up so she wasn’t tripping by that time.
ML: I was browsing your myspace and I listened to the tracks on there, what is the background story on Like Never Before? How did it come about? It gave me a very 9th wonder-esque vibe.
J: I was working on what I thought would be my sophomore solo album and I hit Von Pea up for a beat. He said it was a joint he couldn’t do anything with but he thought I might be dope over it. I thought the joint was flame so I carried it out to Cali with me where I was recording the album and knocked it out there. I never got a chance to really put that song out so I might stick it on the Die Jerm Die mixtape.
ML: What about Heaven?
J: Okay “Heaven” is a song I produced myself, it was for that same album that never got finished. The girl on the track is my homegirl Joi from the bay area. My homeboys were playing my beats when I sent them out and she was really digging that one so I was just like “go ahead and do your thing on it. Thats probably one of my favorite beats and songs that I’ve made really. Yet another I might put on the mixtape
ML: On Like Never Before, you referenced Stringer Bell, are you a big fan of the show? If so, did you see any parallels to Cincy in that?
J: Yeah, I dig The Wire. I missed out on a couple seasons though. HBO got like the best programming out right now seriously. As far as parallels though, I cant really call it. I’m not really from an environment like that but from a distant perspective I would say the hood is similar everywhere, same vice grip.
ML: Very valid point, you really need to check all of the seasons of The Wire, the genius of the show is not fucking with anything I’ve ever seen.
J: Yeah, i missed out on the season that was based on the docks with the Russians and all of that, whichever season that was. I gotta get up on the DVD collection. The Wire was my shit.
ML: I know you are a Nas fan, have you listened to the leak thoughts? What else are you listening to?
J: Nah, I haven’t listened yet. What is the official name for it? Untitled?
ML: Yeah J: Man, I’ll just say this. He loses points from me just because he changed the title. I’m sure he could’ve found SOMEBODY, maybe not a major label, but SOMEBODY that would’ve put that album out with the original title but thats neither here nor there I guess. Right now though, I’m listening to Flying Lotus “Los Angeles”, Kam Moye (Supastition) “Self Centered” EP and of course Tanya Morgan “The Bridge EP”.
ML: Its awesome to hear an MC listening to Flying Lotus, that shit is pure dope. i don’t even know what genre to put that in, experimental?
J: Strange but dope, if thats a genre.
ML: You need to coin that before some one jacks it.
J: Yeah man, I like instrumental shit something crucial. Fat Jon, Madlib, RJD2 etc…
ML: Whats the last thing that you’ve purchased ?
J: An Engagement Ring.
ML: Thats pretty big, congrats man!
ML: The final question I have is, are you a sports fan, if so what teams do you follow?
J: Nah man, as strange as it is, i hadn’t really got down with the sports in a minute. I’m total artsy fartsy rapping kinda character now, lol.
ML: Haha, but at least you’ll throw on a Bengals or a Reds jersey to rep the city at least right?
J: Ah yeah, no doubt. Especially since I don’t stay in Cincy no more, man I be rocking the Reds attire EXTRA hard! When you move away from a place you just become that much more of a “patriot” and shit, haha
ML: Def keep in touch man, it was great talking to you
J: Cool. Will do. I appreciate you reaching out to a Brotha.
Stay up on Jermiside on his MySpace page.
Download (Mp3): Jermiside Ft. City Centric-Move Back
Download (Mp3): Jermiside Ft. Joi-Heaven