The latest MusicalFury interview is with none other than Cormega. This was an honor because Cormega is a legendary lyricist who has delivered classic albums and has been on tracks with some of the greatest MC’s of our time while holding his own. His next album is scheduled to come out in July of this year titled Mega Philosophy with production from Large Professor.
Pre-ordered Mega Philosophy on iTunes Here
MusicalFury – Hey Cormega, first off want to just say I am a big fan, have been for years so appreciate you doing the interview with us.
Cormega – Thanks, I appreciate the interview.
MusicalFury – July is the release date of your latest project Mega Philosophy, how do expect fans to perceive this album?
Cormega – To be honest with you, every time I make an album I don’t know what to expect, I only hope. But, this Mega Philosophy album, is very different for me and judging by how people reacted to my new single, “Industry” yesterday, I think this album is going to be well received. The feedback that I have gotten from “Industry” is humbling and I couldn’t have asked for a better response.
MusicalFury – It has been a little while between projects from now and the last full-length studio album, Born and Raised, what have you spent most time doing in the interim?
Cormega – I spent most of the time being a Dad; never a break from that. I have been really just trying to cook this album up the right way. I wanted to come out last year but there were a few technical difficulties.
MusicalFury – Not all rappers are able to make a living off of being an artist but you on the other, as far as I can gather, have done very well. Didn’t you win an award for True Meaning and independently sell over 100K albums?
Cormega – When I released The True Meaning, I got an “Impact of The Year Award” at The Underground Awards for making the most impact as an independent artist and a Source Award for Independent Album of the Year. I am the type of artist who doesn’t even keep up with the sales but I do appreciate the money that comes in. This marketing and sales of this album is difficult because today you have digital sales and it’s a different realm than before. I just want this album to be appreciated as a part of my legacy. Some artists are just there for co-sign or affiliation or record label generated hype. This album will determine if I really belong here.
MusicalFury– You are one of the first rappers to really make a great introduction starting in the independent route. Has this been a more lucrative choice for your career than if you would have stayed on Def Jam?
Cormega – There are advantages if you unlearn; you have to erase everything you thought you understood about the industry. Once you unlearn, then there are no disadvantages. A lot of rappers anticipate the big money, cars, popping bottles etc… but until you recoup, you’re actually paying for those bottles. What you don’t see is cars being returned back to the label. Eventually some of the artists end up going through financial struggles. Being independent, you aren’t going to see all of those illusions and you may not sell a million records. Look at the major label artists who have sold a million records who aren’t doing well. If you make a dollar off each record sold in the majors, then you have a good deal. So many independent artists who are not household names are living better then some of those who are household names. When you are independent artist, you maintain your own garden and inevitably get to see the growth and enjoy the fruits of your own labor.
MusicalFury – That’s true, I was reading about Tech Nine and how he has become very successful as an independent artist also and pulled in upwards of $7 Mill in one year!
Cormega – Tech 9 is definitely a huge success as an independent artist. E-40 is also doing quite well, people from the Bay area in particular are going to eat off the regional sales in their area regardless.
MusicalFury – You have a really cool single cover artwork for your new track Industry, how did you choose what rapper was going to go where in the last supper portrayal?
Cormega – I didn’t really know who I was going to put where, but I did know that I had to put Tupac in the middle. He’s the one artist around the world who everyone likes. Everybody loves Tupac so I decided to put him in the middle; of course I had to have Biggie right there too. But after them, I didn’t really put them in any particular order. All of those brothers are legendary and contributed to the legacy of hip-hop.
MusicalFury – Where do you find the inspiration and motivation to write rhymes and create these masterpieces that you do?
Cormega – Inspiration, there is no way to really explain because there are so many things you can get inspiration from, pain, fears, etc…There are a number of things that inspire and motivate me to write my lyrics.
MusicalFury – Does the composition of music come naturally for you? Is it very easy for you to put together your rhymes or do you actually get writers block from time to time?
Cormega – I think every writer gets writers block, it is very natural for that to happen. Everybody who walks is going to stumble one day. Everyone gets writer’s block, but the question is how are you going to come back from it? You need to know how to close the book, then recharge, and come back. Recently I have had a surge of energy and the inspiration I am getting lately is incredible.
MusicalFury – What are your aspirations for the remainder of 2014?
Cormega – I want to put Mega Philosophy out and film videos to accompany some of this music. I already have remixes done for some of the songs too. There are also a lot of features I have done with a lot of artists on their albums. I want to tour with this album and put out an entire remix album for Mega Philosophy. Then I am doing a whole other album that is completely separate from this one that I am planning to release this year. I don’t know if I can sustain this zone that I am in, but if you listen to some of the features I have done recently you can see the difference of how I am coming now. This surge of creativity and energy that I possess now, I want to be able to make the most out of it.
MusicalFury – From what I gather, you seem to tour quite a bit. Is that your favorite aspect of this business since you are able to 1. See other parts of the world that most will never see in their lifetime and 2. Get that incredible adrenaline rush from entertaining people that love your music?
Cormega – Traveling is definitely something that artist have to take advantage of and not take for granted. My music has taken me to London, Italy, throughout Europe and Africa. When I go to all these different places I make sure to bask in it – the architecture, landscape the people. It is a blessing. If you watch a lot of documentaries, artists all say that being on stage is the ultimate high. That feeling that you receive from adulation is very hard to explain; it’s an incredible feeling. When people embrace it and salute what you are doing it is one of the best feelings that you can ever get.
MusicalFury – How have you changed since you released the Realness 13 years ago?
Cormega – I have changed a lot as a person, I am obviously not hanging in the hood every day. I don’t feel obligated to certain people anymore. Before I felt obligated to certain people in the streets. I’m not seeking acceptance from certain people anymore. If someone has a problem with me these days I don’t have to be a peacemaker, fuck it. I don’t use the word bitch anymore and I am a father now. Everything isn’t based on street credibility or how real I am anymore like street bravado, all that stuff that doesn’t mean anything.
MusicalFury – You are a sneaker head like myself, what is your favorite sneaker of all time?
Cormega – I don’t even know how to answer that one, I really couldn’t answer that, there are so many that I really love. I really really really admire suede Pumas. I have an affinity for them and they are my old school joints that I really love.
MusicalFury – You have worked with some of the best in the business, who that you have done a song with in the past has made you kick it up a notch?
Cormega – I have done songs with some that are arguably the best ever like: Nas, Prodigy, Krs-One, Ghostface, Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, Pun, DMX, Styles P, MOP, Poet, so many that made me step my game up, unless you have a style that is really predictable. For the most part I am a competitor and as an artist I like to go in, I don’t put it in cruise control.
MusicalFury – Who are some of your biggest influences as far as MC’s that came out before you?
Cormega – Rakim, T La Rock, LL, MC Shan, Kane, Slick Rick.
MusicalFury – Last but not least, I love to hear other’s spiritual beliefs and opinions. Do you follow any particular religion? What is the Cormega Philosophy?
Cormega – My philosophy on religion is uh, there never was supposed to be a religion. We all believe in the same God. God is God and God has messengers. Sometimes it is the messenger and how he/she conveys the messages that has an impact or has an influence. I think the concept of religion is beautiful but people flaw it. All these religions are Abrahamic (originating with Abraham) but then you have people that corrupt the message. I respect everyone’s spirituality and I believe in God. There is no better religion because everyone is created equal. There are some that exploit religion because they know it is a powerful mechanism over the power of the peoples. I am Muslim and the word Allah translated means God; it is not I thinking my God is better than your God. I respect all people of peace and ones who believe. The fact that Jesus is worshipped in religion is questionable because every religion tells you not to praise anyone more than God. My perfect church is one where everyone gets along and respects each other. Now a days, Islam is given a bad rep due to some of the radicals in worldly events, but a lot of these events, true Muslims don’t condone. Suicide is a sin in Islam and if you have people doing radical things, you cannot put that on the religion itself. Columbus came here to America with the Cross decimating whole communities in the name of God. I respect religion but don’t respect how it is being exploited.
Follow Cormega on Twitter at @Realcormega
Cormega ft. Raekwon – Honorable
Cormega – Get Out My Way (The Realness)