Tell us a little bit about Musa, the musician, and how you got into music?
Well actually Musa (Mansa Musa) is a name that comes from a very prominent and prestigious African king, who is most known for his wealth, which is an attribute that I aspire to have one day. At the time I chose the name, I was coming into consciousness and this was a person that really stood out to me, so I chose to take his name. Plus Jay-Z mentioned it in "Devil is a Lie", which confirmed it for me even more.
As for being a musician/artist, I've only been doing it seriously for about 2 years. I don't have any musical/instrumental (even though I love the guitar) background except for having those type of parents that played the Isley brothers, Teddy Pendergrass, and other oldie but goodies every weekend. I get my taste for hip hop from my Popz though, he would always jam mostly West Coast and Dirty South; a lot of heavy bass. That real hard shit, which is very evident in musical style. I'm also a huge fan of R&B mainly because I really enjoy melodies and a calmer side of music. I really started rapping because I got tired of feeling like I was capable of making better music, writing better rhymes, and constructing more creative songs than all the people around me and the people that's are on the radio. It was more so a challenge that became an obsession.
You chose to release your music under the record label, ELVTD music. What about the label influence your decision to release with them?
ELVTD Music is actually a label that I'm part owner of, consisting of Fluke (manager) and Jeus (producer). ELVTD is our platform that we use to promote thinking, creativity, artistry and humanity on a higher level, which is why you will hear me speak on certain topics that are relevant to our era or you may hear sound/beats that you may have never heard before. We just aim to change the game and it's perspective; and if possible elevate it (pun intended). Plus, no one major has tried to get at us lol.
How does ELVTD music go about selecting artists to represent?
Well, as of now there are only two artist on the label, myself and Jeus. We do plan to expand we're just waiting to run into that person that vibes with the collective personally and sonically.
Are there other artists within ELVTD music that we should be paying attention to? if so, why this artist(s)?
Yes, definitely. My bro, Jeus. He has a catalogue of his own for y'all to explore. He produces about 99.9% of music I rap over. He released a beat tape in February 2016 by the name of FM 99.6, as well as a collection of beats called "Got Jeus". This is when he would release a beat per week. My dude has quite a repertoire and I highly recommend that everyone explores his work.
Coming from the south side of Houston, there must be a lot of goings on that impact and infuse your music. What are some of the themes you explore in your lyrics and how does your culture feed into the beats you choose?
Definitely the area I grew up in is a direct influence on my music. I grew up in Houston in the 90's, when everything was player made. The slab culture was very active and the SUC legends were still living and on the scene. Niggas was wildin then, just like they are now, except it wasn't that extreme. It was really "playa made" out here. So I usually just draw from the nostalgia of being in that environment, being in middle school, being mischievous with the homies etc. Typical hood boy shit. My latest music will be more of what I have experienced and learned in the past 10 years but that's a whole other topic. As far as production, my bro Jeus already knows what I'm looking for sonically, adds his flavor and makes a new sound of his own. We had similar childhoods, so we're always on the same frequency. Plus he's a Virgo and I'm a Libra so we kinda share [similar] characteristics. It is a lot of deep shit but it all feeds in to how we make music. But yeah He made that beat in front of me, from his phone. Wavy.
Two of our favorite tracks here at 107 are Space City and Sabotage the Sabbath from the mixtape, Indecisive. Two very different tracks but equally striking. What is the story behind both tracks?
I appreciate y'all taking the time to Listen!
This song is basically Houston, from my perception. Scenes from my childhood flash in my head when this song plays. It is an ode, as well as an anthem.
Sabotage the Sabbath
This idea/song actually came around the time Mike Brown was slain by a police official and naturally, as an American, me and Jeus both felt disgruntled and emotional behind it. Also again at that time, we had come into some knowledge and decided to share. So Jeus sent me the beat and a melody and we made the song.
That makes a lot of sense now. So, how much of a role does politics play in your music? re: Sabotage the Sabbath and N.W.O (Noire World Order) and why is this important?
I have a love/hate thing with politics. It's interesting but it's a rabbit hole, which can make learning it and applying it quite frustrating and difficult. Also the way it is perceived on the news is depressing. So I'm aware of what's going on but I try not to feed into it so much that I'm consumed. If that makes sense? But that's how music is. I touch on certain things, say [in] a bar or two, maybe even a full song. So, politics play an essential roll but only to certain degree.
With that said, where can we see you perform next? and what future projects should we be looking out for?
Next performance won't be till around February during the Super Bowl festivities. After that it will be SxSW. I actually have two new projects that I plan on releasing soon. One is called "Texas Hold Em" and the other is "EMO". They are both in the works, and should be released in the first quarter of the year. Texas Hold Em will be a tape to set up the anticipation for EMO, and it also gives our listeners a variety of sound and style to enjoy.