If there is no Tanya Morgan there is no Lessondary Crew. We caught up with the center of the Lessondary core right before they were gearing up to hit the road on their 40+ “Freshly Dipped” tour with the Hieroglyphics. We linked up online to chat and get a bunch of vital questions answered including finding out what Don was deleting off of his ipod. If you missed the first feature of the Lessondary Month with Jermiside.. no excuses go read. Done? Now read this:
ML: What up sir?
Ilyas: Chillin man…chillin.
Don: Party people.
ML: So this is probably going to turn in to same craziness, making in the history shit.. I can see the whole G-Unit talking to The Source in an AIM chat next week.
Von Pea: lol.
ML: So just jump on whatever you want to say something about.. lets go.
Ilyas: My 4th of July was great! lol.
ML: Well first thing.. who came up with the Kyte channel (I’m guessing Don?), what did the rest of the guys think?
Don: Our label got the kyte channel, in promotion for our tour with Hiero[glyphics]. Its a promotional tool to help tune people in and keep em interested.
ML: Where are all of guys located right this moment?
Ilyas: Cincinnati, I dont have NY money right now.
Von Pea: NYC.
Don: I’m in Brooklyn.
ML: Are you waiting till the tour starts in a few days to regroup?
Don: Well the tour kinda starts tomorrow for real. The travel part, we go to LA tomorrow.
ML: Is there a date any of you are looking forward to the most?
Don: All of them, its a few cities I’ve never seen before on there, but its kinda just all of em. They all should be major.
Von Pea: Yeah, I’d agree.
ML: What has been your favorite live show you’ve done to this point?
Don: Toronto with The Roots, hands down.
Von Pea: Yeah, the Toronto show with The Roots was the best, thus far…
Ilyas: Yeah, T dot! love the T dot! the women are suuuperb! hahaha.
Don: We won that crowd over, hard. Thats a great feeling to watch people fall in love.
Ilyas: I fell in love with the crowd right back lol.
ML: and then to seal the night with The Roots, who I’m sure tore it down.
Von Pea: Hell yes.
Ilyas: I was walking with a little more pimp in my step that night lol.
ML: So you needed a cane at that point?
Von Pea: lol.
Don: I had a broke toe the whole tour, I needed a cane, hahaha.
ML: hahaha, hey canes can serve all kinds of purposes. It’s 30 minutes before you guys hit the stage.. what are each one of you doing, whats going through your minds? Other than polishing your canes.
Ilyas: I’m acting like a boxer warming up for a night while Von and Don tell me “It aint that serious man, we got this”.
Von Pea: LOL.
Ilyas: At the Roots show they had jokes cuz a brother was neeervous.
Don: Right before we get on stage? lmao.
Von Pea: Me I’m nervous but I try to relax I’m usually quiet right before.
Don: I’m usually doing my ‘beer, water’ thing and casing the stage. finding out where I’m gonna sit my beverages. Or texting on my sidekick.
Ilyas: Always texting on your sidekick lol.
Don: Or just bouncing around the room messing with Ilyas.
Ilyas: While I case the room for…lol.
ML: Casing the room for? I’m not a snitching blogger!
Ilyas: For ….ummm…fans…kinda..lol.
Ilyas: To see who wants a CD.
ML: Or a handshake?
Ilyas: Yeah, exactly.
ML: Do you have any personal goals for this tour?
Don: Expand the fan base, soak up some Hiero hustle knowledge
Von Pea: Expand the fan base! We usually do good when we open for people so doing that for 30 dates will be great.
ML: Do you have any sort of a previous relationship with the Hiero crew?
Don: Nope, our label does, the industry is small.
Von Pea: Yeah, it will ll be my first time meeting them in person.
Don: So its one degree of separation between a lot of shit. Tajai likes our music, and when he heard we could come out, he was like ‘lets give em a try’.
ML: I feel like the whole industry is 3 degrees max.
Don: That’ s being generous, 2 tops.
Von Pea: Yeah, haha.
ML: Who’s idea was it to do Lessondary Nose? Why that beat? Were all the verses done together or people just did theirs wherever they were at? After watching the Kyte video of it.. it fits your whole crew perfect.
Von Pea: It was my idea, thats actually not a Tanya Morgan song at all but some people have been labeling it Tanya Morgan. I’m the only member of TM on it along with other MCs from our collective Spec Boogie, Elucid, and Che Grand. I just knew that it would fit what those guys do.
Don: People label anything we do as a Tanya Morgan song. And if we are in a picture with Che Grand it becomes a Tanya Morgan photo.
Von Pea: haha, that’s true.
ML: Is it fair to call it a Lessondary anthem of sorts?
Don: Very fair.
Von Pea: Yeah, definitely. Che grand and I did our parts together, Spec and Elucid did theirs later
ML: It’s perfect timing you mentioned the mislabeling.. whens the last time each one of you have encountered someone not realizing Tanya Morgan is a Hip Hop trio?
Von Pea: It’s been a while for me..maybe like a month…ha!
Don: it happens alot, I don’t remember. But, everybody has that story about how they didn’t know it was a rap group. Thats kinda the point.
ML: Do any of you have a favorite specific moment of someone being confused?
Von Pea: Haha I don’t, personally.
Don: The worst are when the people announcing you don’t know who you are, and will say Tracey Morgan.
ML: I just spit out my water, I’m sorry. LOL.
Ilyas: Or when we say who we are and they ask where is Tanya Morgan like we’re backup dancers..but that hasnt happened in awhile lol.
Von Pea: lol! Yea.
Don: Yo man I’m cleaning my ipod and its mad dumb shit on here.
Don: Wrong Window.
ML: Don.. now you gotta tell us.. or at least me-what dumb shit?
Don: The clean version of [Kanye's] Graduation, wtf? I’m a minor? The hell is that about. lol. And them stupid ass street albums [too], niggas make mixtapes now and don’t care about em or how they sound. Just put some shit out and move on, I’m deleting all that shit. Niggas albums is dumb.
Ilyas: Brb I gotta run to the store for my son.
ML: Don & Von better pick up the slack.
Von Pea: Yeah I’m here.
Don: Yo, pick up the slack son.
Von Pea: Back onnnnnnn track.
ML: Don might be the most impressive interview ever- deleting songs, other conversations going and answering questions.
Von Pea: Haha
Don: I’m wild nigga, somebody throw some water on me.
ML: I’ll say a track and you tell me how the track happened, if it has any special meaning for you? any random facts)?
ML: The Bridge (ft. Elucid)
Don: We came up with that in Vegas.
Ilyas: I’ll answer that before I leave.
Don: The idea to do it.
Don: NIGGA IM DOIN 4 MUCH RIGHT NOW.
Don: YO GAVIN GET ME A REDBULL THESE THINGS GET ME SO FOCUSED.
Ilyas: But yeah when we were in Vegas, I work with this producer “Mysterious” in Cinci on some of my solo stuff, well actually alot these days. Anyway, I played the beats for the fellas and Von heard the beat like “Oh Shit” and Don felt it too. I called up Mysterious, he said the beat was open and Von came up with the hook right there. Don laid his verse next, then Von, then me. Elucid came in toward the end i believe to do the hook.
Don: You can only pick 3 songs from The Bridge mr interviewer… cus von needs to save some oomph for his liner notes project
Don: IM MAKING IT DIFFICULT FOR YOU.
Don: PICK YOUR FAVORITE SONGS.
Don: I am deleting Nas Hip Hop Is Dead.
ML: Well since you are deleting Hip Hop Is Dead, talk about Hip Hop Is Dead II.
Don: Thats actually an old song that Von brought back to life for this project. My verse is just talkin about if hip hop is dead then you are dead as a fan. Cause if its a mind state and a way of life to some. You are saying the people who love it are dead.
Don: Oh god, I have kingdom come on here.
Don: Yeah nigga naw. That shit is GONE.
ML: Was there any relation to Nas with the title?
Don: Nope, the song was recorded in 04.
Von Pea: 03 actually.
Don: It’s related to andre3stacks.
ML: Von why did you decide to bring it back?
Von Pea: It was a song for my solo, but with timing and everything it was never the right time for me to come out solo [full out album]. I had a song called Hip Hop Is Dead back in 03 and that was the remix/part 2. So instead of letting it sit around forever I asked them if they’d like to redo it and update it for 08 a little
ML: How about Get Me Inside?
Don: Lmao, yo Von wasn’t that and got to get done demoed on the same day? At any rate, that song happened more around Von’s beat if I’m not mistaken it just kinda happened.
Von Pea: I remember how that came about.
Don: Like Von laid the track and it was just one of those ‘this is for the album’ tracks.
Von Pea: Me and Aeon-hes a frequent collaborator of the Lessondary producer. We were playing that beat and based on something he said I started writing my verse. Then it just read like a frugal verse and I wanted a hook that wasn’t obvious because the song isn’t about being broke, but living a simple life I guess
Don: Yo i can NOT delete tweedy bird loc, nigga i can’t. It’s the worst album I’ve ever owned
Von Pea: Don what the hell, lol.
Don: Next song. lol.
Von Pea: 88 Keys Joint.
Don: Omg, that song, Threeemcees. I sat in 88 Keys house for 8 hours with a slight fever hounding him to finish that beat, lol. That was a song that we got in exchange for cuddlbums. We went to 88′s house and he made like 200 dope beats and scrapped em on the spot. More like 5 and scrapped em. He cooked that up and he liked it, we liked em all, lol. We were just happy that this guy was doing a beat for us, its fuckin 88! Thats my story, lol.
ML: Von anything to add?
Von Pea: I was sick at the time.
ML: How did you link up with 88 originally?
Von Pea: A friend of ours, Tim see gave 88 my number and told him we should try to link up. Then he gave me the number and I called and he was actually making beats as I called. So we didn’t talk long but about a month later we went to his house and worked on music
ML: The last song is Be You.
Von Pea: Thats from the same time we came up with The Bridge song in Vegas in the hotel. Damn a lot happened in Vegas. Ilyas picked that beat and I later went and worked on the beat more then gave it to him. He got the singer on it too.
Don: Yeah, Von led with the cadence, he demo’d his verse first and we thought it would be dope to make our verses symmetric- the cadences. I wrote the chorus, Czelena submitted a hook and i just ironed out a few kinks. Like she was singing the name of the beat in the hook at firs and i was like ‘thats not the name of the song!@. So i reworded it and kinda helped out with that.
ML: Haha, Quick background on Czelena?
Von Pea: Shes from Cali-The Bay
ML: Did a lot of non-musical related things happen in Vegas too?
Von Pea: Not really.
ML: Even multitasking Don??
Von Pea: That time we were there it was for this competition, myspace “show em what you got!” was this contest we won.
Don: Yeah, I multitask a lot, but business is business and i handle mines.
ML: What did you get from that competition?
Von Pea: They sponsored the mixtape we did with DJ Soul, the Tanya Morgan Is A Rap Group mixtape. Basically the cool ass trip to vegas….they put us up for the weekend it was so much fun
Don:We have a secret show with myspace and an xm radio interview but we haven’t done that yet. We want to dot hat when BKnati drops.
ML: Do you guys have anytime time frame for that?
Von Pea: January/February.
Don: Yeah, we wanted it to drop this year but tour pushed our process back.
Von Pea: With the tour coming up we won’t be able to finish it til the fall so realistically is around January/February
Von Pea: Maybe it’ll leak this year! (jokes)
Don: *Leaking it now*
ML: In a few sentences whats going to be most different from Moonlighting?
Don: We have changed as people.
Von Pea: This time it’ll be more thought out too.
Don: You can hear it in our music. No skits.
Don: The songs are more thematic, conceptual.
Von Pea: Just good songs! This time its not a big concept or running gag.
ML: Is it going to have any sort of theme or any concept at all?
Don: There will be a concept in the artwork and The Bridge EP and BKnati that bridge to bknati. The themes are subtle now, less blatant. I mean the thing is concept albums are dope, but the concept of this album is just being dope, that’s about it.
ML: You guys have been on Okayplayer for a while, who I think are some of the most critical
hop heads ever, what do you think of it is a community? have you come across haters?
Von Pea: OKP I used to think it was brutally honest, now i think there’s some people who have taken that concept and they just say things to get a rise out of certain people.
Don: Yup, its still home base tho.
Von Pea: The brutal honesty can be cool when its constructive though
Don: They definitely have an opinion, but at the end of the day it doesn’t slow up how we rock. Opinions matter as much as you make them matter, and to me if Von, Don and Ilyas like it, its awesome.
Von Pea: Yeah, you have to always go with your own instinct when it comes to opinions negative or positive. Its all welcome though sometimes you have to know how to get good out of negative opinions too.
ML: If its something the 3 of you agree, you don’t care what anyone else says?
Don: Why would we? I mean its public opinion. You put your art out there to be judged, but you hating it doesn’t affect my love. That’s like your mom loving you less if somebody calls you dumb. Nah, if anything you get defensive or block it out I tend to just live in my own lil world now.
Von Pea: I care but only when they really listened.
ML: That’s a very legit of looking at it.
Von Pea: You can tell when someone didn’t pay any real mind.
ML: But in the end OKP is still one of your top spots right?
Von Pea: They always support us! Be sure to put that in the interview! Okayplayer always shows us love, the hateful stuff i was talking about is more on other sites, or on okp to other artists lol. We don’t really get dissed a lot up there.
Don: I am at okp everyday, from the site admins to the posters I love it there. But i don’t really hang out there for music, I got a lot of friends there. So I’m not there on some NEW TM SONGS, I’m just there talking about random shit.
ML: This is a question I ask everyone, what is the last thing you bought?
Von Pea: Does paying a phone bill count? ha!
Don: Last thing I bought.. some shot that had a pickle juice chaser and a pabst tall boy.
ML: Any material object Von?
Von Pea: Nothing really like travel stuff for the tour, lotion and stuff.
ML: I need to try that.. pickle juice chaser (could work as a good rap name)
ML: That works, I’ve gotten answers from lambos to condoms.
ML: Condoms=Rev Run Lambo=Akon in case you were wondering.
Von Pea: Rev Run condoms??!!?
Don: Him and his wife can afford more kids. I love them as a couple.
ML: Do either of you follow sports? If so, favorite teams?
Von Pea: I don’t.
Don: Nah, I don’t watch sports.
ML: Then i gotta flip it whats the last book you read?
Don: I read half of the Tipping Point before i had to give it back. I wanna read the new chuck Palanhuick book.
Von Pea: I havent read a book in a while i just been watching a lot of movies.
ML: I remember last time I talked to you guys had a bunch of rants, any rants to share?
Don: Nah, no ranting lol. Just cop The Bridge EP. Show up to a show and don’t buy me any drinks. If you wanna buy a drink spend that on a CD. Even if you got one, anybody offering to buy me drinks, just buy a CD.
ML: What if they buy out all the CDs, can they THEN buy you a drink (no t-pain)?
Don: Buy a CD for somebody else then.
ML: But I’m saying if they buy out the whole merch stand, then can they buy you a drink?
Don: If they are that pressed to see me drink id be kinda scared to take that drink, lol, nah.
Don: I’d rather they bought CDs than buy me drinks tho. I got drink tickets probably.
Von Pea: I’d say come check out the freshly dipped tour and if you show us support just know that we live off that! So keep doing it! They can buy me one [drink].
ML: Any cool stuff to look out for other than the cd and the very dope t shirts i saw the other day?
Von Pea: The kyte TV. On myspace.com/tanyamorgan, they can keep up with us (or at least Donwill! lol) up there visually.
ML: Thanks so much for your time.
Download (Mp3): Tanya Morgan - How Low
Download (Mp3): Tanya Morgan Ft. Czelena – Be You
Download (Mp3): Tanya Morgan – Hip Hop Is Dead II
Walk My Way: