5 ON IT
The Warrior. One of the most loved and the most hated symbols of the battlefield. Feared for his ability to show his strength in battle, but at the same time respected for the very sacrifices and the courage that he shows. One respected Warrior in the Tulsa hip-hop scene who has been making waves, whether the battlefield be; on stage, in the booth, or in rap battles is Mr. Burns. With just 4 bars he has been known to end some of the most fierce wars, while on the other hand his music has the ability to unite the people and bring about peace over the very land he battles on. Though his journey has not been an easy one, and this definitely ain't Springfield, you may need a hazard suit to decode the lyrical bombs of this warrior. So without further ado.... we present Mr. Burns.
When did you start rapping? Umm. I started rapping..uh..around like the age of 16. I been writin' poetry and music..since I was like 10..12 years old. But as far as hip-hop and really being so deep into it..and being deeply rooted into it like I am now.. I would say like 16 years old.
When did you know rapping was for you? Umm..My first battle..I had, back in 9th grade, when I first started writing raps. um. My first battle... I wrote my rap, I went home, I studied it, the next day I ain't expect to be in no battle. I spit my 16 bars man.. and uh everybody was like.. you stole that off Eminem. That sounds like Eminem's shit. I'm like. I got every Eminem tape, even his underground shit. that nobody had. And I blast my shit everyday. You should know Eminem's songs by now. I was like, no Eminem didn't write my shit, I didn't still from him. And that's when I knew, umm..yea. I'm good wit this shit. I'm good.
Who are your musical influences? Umm.... Miles Davis, Pharoahe Monch, Mos Def, Bilal, Sly and the Family Stone, just soul music man. That's actually for the people... anybody who has been through the struggle, and anybody still goin thru it. I mean just life in general. You know people around me. Most of all people around me. You know. People like you, people like Verse, u know...people like Gabby.. different friends who appreciate music. Is that the kind of message that you put into your music? Ohh yea..yea..All real life stuff.
Who are your top 5 rappers? Ooohhhh maann... That's hard. umm. If I had to pick and stick with 5, I would go with Rakim, Gza, The Last Emperor, Pharoahe Monch,...annd Verse. First Verse.
Is see you have multiple names, you have 'Mr. Burns', you have 'Earl Hazard' what's the reason behind that? Its multiple... Its different entities. Its different people. u know. You got different people ,that tell different stories, that went thru different walks of life. And each character has a persona of..different walks of life, and the different experiences I have had thru-out life. Mr. Burns is all me. Mr. Burns is all the entities together. Earl Hazard is like.. the ah.. u know about DBZ (Dragon Ball Z)... Go ahead and say it. Alright. It's this character on DBZ named Boo. And when he comes into the saga, he starts off as ah evil character, but while he's fightin', Vegetta and Gohkoh and everybody, he changes.. he has many forms. He has Boo, he has Super Boo, he has Evil Boo..Evil Boo extracted out of the original Boo, and that was the all evil that was inside of him, and the original Boo became a good character. So um..its kind of like that man. u know what I'm sayin'.. Earl Hazard is like the Evil Boo, Mr. Burns is like the regular Boo, he's evil but he's not. uhh, 'Carnage' is like Super Boo. Low Heim is like Kid Boo, he's like pure evil, but its like, he don't talk. It's like pure destruction, but with Low Heim, he's about love, but it's love in a way.. its like tough love. He will actually destroy in order to make peace and make love. It's just different personas. And its different characters, and its different sides of me.
Do you worry about that confusing the market or your fan base? Ahh, naw cause um, people that are fans of my music and people who support my music, they either know me personally or they get to know me personally. So, u know, if I'm..um..goin by Mr. Burns, lets say just in my regular life, if I'm goin by that people will be like, "What up Burns?", u know. And if I'm goin by Earl at the time, people will be like, "What up Earl?" It's like they caught on to it. They know the deal with all of my characters. So its kind of like a marketing thing, if u will... but that's a different story (laughing)
So unlike a lot of local artists, you have been signed before. Can you tell us a little about that? Yea. umm. the first time I got signed, me and my friends we started this click called 'The Label Ent' and my friends Matt Leone, Mathew Miles, Melvin Miles.. they're cousins, they're older cousin DJ Quinn, put the money behind us, and started Grind Time Incorporated. And we just basically signed our self. The second time I got signed... is when me and a former friend. ya know. He didn't even know I did hip-hop, he thought I only did rock music. Cause that's where he knew me from. He knew me from 'Freak Juice'. And umm, when I left Freak Juice, last year in February, u know.. he was like, what are you doin with your music. u know. Are you tryin to get a band? I let him know I been doin hip-hop. I showed him my music, and he said, "I wanna put my money behind you, I don't wanna be tied to it or nonthin that, I just want to support you, and get you to where you need to be". And it started off pretty good but like any situation, especially with labels, no matter if its local or its major, they're not a good idea. Its not.. cause when it comes down to the business side.. you never know whose goin, to support you and be behind you.. for you, and not their own ulterior motives. and it was some good I got out of it.. but it was a lot of bad. A lot of stress. umm. I really didn't have no creative control like that. And it was just a bad situation. A really bad situation.
So what's some advice that you would give to someone lookin to maybe sign? DON'T DO IT, DON'T EVER DO IT. Stay away from 360 deals, you can do it urself, anything these labels are doin now, artists can do now, because of the technology, and the secrets are out. Cause artists are tired of being slaves to these labels....and being product. u know what I'm sayin... No human life should be a product. Even though we are born that way, but still So my advice for artists is.. Do it urself, and get people behind u who are genuinely there for u. That are gonna work with and for u. And they're not gonna work with u to put them self ahead u.
So your originally from Tallulah, La, what brought you to Tulsa? Ahh.. A better life. Tulsa saved my life. Where I'm from it's like.. if not the poorest city in America, it's right under the poorest city. u know. My family was down here, and it was my chance to get away from all of the poverty. And all of the messed up crime. Its more crime there... even though its smaller than Tulsa, its more crime there then it is here, and I had to get away from it. I had to... being 16.. fresh in high school.. and my mom gave me the opportunity and was like "If you wanna leave, then you can leave". And I took the first ride here (laughing). I love this place, buut I can't do it. And I probably wouldn't be here where I am today, if I didn't move here. I would probably be in college somewhere... doin somethin that.. I don't have no passion for, just become another robot to society.
What do you think about the Tulsa hip-hop scene? Umm. It's really really good, as far as the artists, who are known to have talent, but every scene has a bad side. So it's good and bad. But its not fully united. We still need to weed out, the ahh..untalented. Because like I said earlier. You can not have an infantry, or an armory, with a weakness. If ur gonna go in. You gotta go in all the way, and put ur best into it. If ur best is not good enough....then do somethin else. Tulsa hip-hop scene..its bigger than any scene in hip-hop. Well as far as music goin now. I would say half of the artist that are dope. Are doper than anybody in the industry. And we have a flourishing hip-hop scene, And its not just with the music. We have some of the best graffiti artists, we have umm. some of the best DJs, and some of the best B-boys, and we have some of the best people..as supporters. The Tulsa hip-hop scene is the best..by far..to me. I been to New York, I been to Cali, I've experienced going to these places. Nothings like Tulsa. Nothing. So what do you think is preventing Tulsa from reaching that next level? The vultures, the artists that don't have talent that people get behind..so tough, the venues that are leechin off of artists. Because we have some venues..that really need to be put in check, because they will bring wack major artists here and expect the artists locally make up the money. And that's not our job. And most of all the people need to get out and explore the Tulsa.
Back to your projects. So what's the difference between your first project "Need Money for Weed and Food" and your last project "King of Tallulah"? Ooouu. "Need Money for Weed and Food" is a project, its was my introductory, it was my first original project. Other than the mixtapes. Umm. It was very.. it was like the first introduction to me, my talent. That EP was... kind of personal. And "King of Tallulah" is just like, my debut to the world. u know what I'm sayin...cause when "Need Money for Weed and Food" came out, it wasn't given among the people. Cause even though the world... u know the world can get it.. and most of the people, heard it, or touched it, or experienced it, where the people around me.. the people closest to me. But "King of Tallulah" was a message to the world, like.. Ohh..I'M HERE. And I got high credentials from the likes of Canibus, the likes of Rakim. These people personally told me about my talent.. and Tulsa hip-hop.. So "King of Tallulah" is somethin for the world, and "Need Money for Weed and Food" is for those people who are close to me.
How did the feature with Canibus come about? Alright...It was ahh.. It was kind of a weak situation.. Cause... the marketing that my former manager had, and label owner. He said that I only get 1...ah major feature. The feature that I wanted was Mick Jenkins. He don't like Mick Jenkins. But you see.. my former manager don't know nuthin about hip-hop, which he openly admits. But I told him I wanted Mick Jenkins... he's only 800 bucks. But he said I have a list of artists to pick from that I'm only willing to pay my own money for... and we got a cheap deal. And everybody on the list was dope. A few I didn't know, Canibus... And I knew Canibus just had that battle with Disaster, that fucked his career and his image over. And I'm ah still a fan of Canibus. Everybody Back then. Back when Canibus first came out..then everybody that loved hip-hop, that wanted to be a lyricists, wanted to rap like Canibus. At the time when he came out. I was like...nobody was doin this shit right now. He was being a battle rapper...but on records. you know. And I said I want Canibus.. And Canibus was like..down to do it, but he didn't know I was dope. So when he heard my verses... he was like..., "Yo, I had to go in.. yo I want to talk to Earl..I want to talk to him personally." He told me "Yo, you brought me back, you brought me back into the game. You made me want to fuckin want to put out 'Can-I-Bus Part 2." u know I'm like "I DID THAT?" That's dope. It was a good move because it was the first track we put out from the album. And everyone saw his name. And I can Google my name now and.. fuckin see my name on different blogs that I like.. always dreamed about being on. It was a business move. But it pretty much naturally happened. And when a legend tells you.. "You got it... U should have been been out." That tells you alot, about ur talent, and ur work, and ur music, u know. It means a lot man.
So lets talk about the track 'The Elite'. You destroyed that track. Was there somebody you were directing that towards? No. umm.. When I heard that beat. It automatically. I'm not a fan of mixtape beats or gettin on other people's beats, but Nas is one of my favorites.. One of my top. He's a top 5 rapper, because my top 5 always switches. But when I heard that track, I was like... I gotta do something to it. But with 'The Elite'. It was the rage built up.. and every time I heard that beat it brought. it built that energy back up. And with the recent shooting of Terrance Crutcher. Rest in Peace. And I have had the experience of a family member killed by a cop.. My cousin Melvin. He was shot by a fireman first, and then he was killed by a cop. And this was back in my hometown. So all of this stuff going on in the world made me want to go in the booth destroy it.
I see that you are a rap battler. What got you into rap battlin? That was the first thing I wanted to do in hip-hop. Cause I was a huge fan of Eminem, of Canibus, at this time I'm gettin deep rooted into hip-hop... I'm not a battle rapper no more... but I am an MC, and I embrace it all. But battle rappin keeps my rhymin' on point. And its steel sharpening steel. You can't be apart of an art and not keep your tool sharpened. It's healthy ... but it's unhealty.
What's the difference between battle rappin and freestylin? Battle rappin... Your attacking. And your basically boasting. how good you are, over your opponent. Minus freestyle.. there are two different types of freestyles. You have spontaneous rhymes, is improvision, and you have non-conceptual written ryhmes, but freestyle is an art of rapping. Rapping and freestyling is a sub-element of the main element of emcing within hip-hop.. those are the differences. Battlin' is straight war and freestyle is cypher. Your building rather than destroyin. The battle your destroyin'.
What's one line that you feel goes over people's head the most? Ooouuuu.. I got this one track I did to ahh.. Gangstar 'Skillz' that I'm going to make an original track. It says. "Like a slipped disc, shift my position, I'm bringing back pain." And like Method Man said "I came to bring the pain". (singing) And I'm bringing back the pain. But I incorporated it..with a slipped disc. And I'll wrap that line at Cyper 120.. and I'll hear ahh "ooouuu" 4 lines down. And I'm like... ya'll just now gettin it.
Other than hip-hop and other than music. What would you like to do? One of them is cooking. I love cooking. Art. I love painting and drawing. I can do all of that shit. And ummm.. I want to become a teacher. For middle school kids or high-school kids. Kids that are in the stage of... they really don't know what they want. But there able to grasp, what their suppose to be doin.
Scars a funny thing, they start out as wounds, they start out as means to an end. But what you can't deny is that scars are the ultimate reminder that you survived... that you learned.... that your better prepared for next time you are put in a similar situation, and that you never want to feel that pain again. And if your a warrior you learn very early that the battle scars that you get from war are forever. Mr. Burns is a warrior who has survived and and lived to tell the story. So get to know him, get to know his music, and who knows, maybe one day he'll share with you his battle scar war stories.
Thanks to Mr. Burns for the interview. It was sooo many gems dropped, that it could've been a podcast.
Check him out on Facebook, SoundCloud, and Instagram, and cop his music.
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