interview MELO KAN (October 2011) | Interview By: Chad Kiser

   Fusing an eclectic blend of passion and insightful lyricism, Melo KAN creates a sound that resonates universally. To put it simply, Melo is not an artist created in a demographic vacuum. His stories of struggle and triumph transcend age, race, and demographic barriers and serve as inspiration to a generation lacking any definitive leadership. His artistry stands out in an industry of sameness as he pushes the limits of creativity while balancing the needs of his listeners who crave much more than just a short sugar high. Similar to early rap pioneers such as Public Enemy, Ice Cube and Grandmaster Flash; there is a message in Melo’s music.

While he believes music should be fun, he also believes it should address socio-economic issues of the time.  With no luck from a major label, Melo founded his own company in 2002; 4LB Musik. Under this umbrella, Melo’s extensive catalog of music stretches over ten mixtapes, two underground releases and one officially released album on Itunes entitled "EPU" (short for E. Pluribus Unum which is latin for “out of many, there is one”).

"EPU" garnered Melo acclaim in the streets, but more importantly it received the accolade of People’s Choice Album of the Year at the 8th Annual Independent Music Awards. He’s shared stages with the likes of Little Brother, Dead Prez, Mike Jones, Dem Franchize Boys, Nappy Roots and others. Whether his set is with resident DJ’s Swank or Mino from his 4LB camp, or with a live band, he leaves the crowd pondering one question, “why isn’t this kid signed?” Melo has produced two music videos independently; one entitled “Still Wanna Leave” which is a song off of the EPU album; and another more recent video "Don’t Talk 2 Strangers" off of the straight to internet EP "Bring Da Bluez II", both of which have received positive responses from viewers.

Melo’s grind is a result of pure dedication and shear will at times. With no assistance from managers or investors, Melo continues to come up with innovative ways to push his music and brand to the public. He is currently working tirelessly on his next album "The Heart of the City", which is being produced solely and entirely by industry renowned THX.

Dubcnn recently sat down with Cali emcee Melo KAN to discuss his latest project "The Unkomfortable Silence" the west coast’s influence on the music industry, the rebirth of hip hop, 360 deals and much more...

Interview was done October 2011

Questions Asked By: Chad Kiser

Melo Kan Interview
A Dubcnn Exclusive
By: Chad Kiser


Dubcnn: What's going on Melo KAN? Tell Dubcnn readers where you hail from.

What up Dubcnn thanks for having me. I'm coming to you live and direct from Rialto by way of Compton, CA.

Dubcnn: Your latest project "The Unkomfortable Silence" is an eclectic mix of hits. What was your inspiration for this project?

I wanted to branch out and work with different artists throughout the industry and create a "welcome back" project so-to-speak for fans that have been waiting on new material while I worked on my next album.

Dubcnn: Who are some of the artist and producers you collaborated with?

On this project I worked with producers FOC, T.A.T, For'son, Chris Chiles and a few others. As far as artists I got it in with my main man Bad Lucc, J-Dawg (Boss Hogg Outlaws), Kornbread (Those Chosen), Jazzy, Nic Jackson and a few others. I feel it's a good blend to display my range and the different types of music I'm able to create.

Dubcnn: That's a serious bunch of talent. You recently partnered with Grammy award winning Production Company 1500 or Nothing for a series of projects. How did this come about?

Me and my guy THX were digging into my album and recruited a singer by the name of Sha'leah Nikole for some hook work. Thru that relationship, I linked with Rance from 1500 or Nothin' and from there we just started working. They ended up doing a few tracks for my upcoming EP "Mamas Only Sun" which also has production from Grammy producer Ric Rude. Shout out to both of those brothas for blessing me with the opportunity. We are entering the mixing phase of that "Mamas Only Sun" EP which I'll definitely shoot to Dubcnn first and foremost to see how the people are feeling it.

Dubcnn: We definitely look forward to hearing it, moving forward how much influence do you feel the west coast has on the music industry?

ur influence on the game itself is undeniable and extremely evident in the styles and content of a lot of rappers. West coast lifestyle itself has been duplicated across the country and world for at least two decades now. However, when it comes to homage and respect for our impact on the game, I think that's where the love stops. It's been very difficult to break a west coast artist (with the exception of Game) for a while now, but I feel like the climate is changing. We have a ton of talent and mad different styles and flavors out here and the world will be on our bandwagon again.

Dubcnn: Yeah the energy coming out of the west is crazy. Now, you have found a way to add something extra to your performances by incorporating the element of a live band into shows. How did this idea come about and do you find this adds a special element to your shows?

The Live band changes everything! I would do shows all the time and just think about ways to separate myself from every other emcee with a mic. I wanted to be different. I didn't want to just put on a show; I wanted it to be an experience. So the live band gave me the opportunity to reach into the souls of people and allow them to not only hear me, but feel me.

Dubcnn: Alright! What is Blokk Movement?

On the surface, it may just seem as another slogan, entourage or camp supporting an artist, but it goes much deeper. Blokk Movement was gettin' it in before the term "movement" became such a cliché in hip hop. These dudes say things like "it's not just a record label, it's a movement" and things like that. Well a movement to me, has a definitive cause. It's not just something cute to say. The Blokk Movement is community oriented. It consists of men and women, some come from the streets and some from other walks of life, but the goal is to change the face of the "hood". We have several programs in place such as a literacy drive for elementary students, a clothes drive for our brethren and sisters on skid row, and eat to live program which educates our people on proper diets to maintain healthy lives. So the Blokk Movement is definitely more than your everyday street cats trying to get recognized off of music; we are in the streets for real with a real agenda to get our folks out of this vicious cycle of dependency and violence that has been consuming us since crack hit in the 80's.

Dubcnn: Much respect family much respect. What are your thoughts on the current state of hip hop?

Hip Hop is in a cleansing stage. I see it like a junkie going through withdrawals. After it's done purging itself of all the bull****, more quality music will again be the norm and not the exception.

Dubcnn: What separates you from other artists in the game right now?

Aside from my humility, probably not much. I feel like most artists have more in common then we like to admit to. We are all chasing a dream and wish to get paid for something we love to do. I just choose to be humble in my pursuits because I understand that hip hop is a blessing. I don't take my talents for granted so whenever I go in, I go hard. I'm just a solid dude whose words actually mean something unlike most people in this industry as I'm sure you know.

Dubcnn: (Laughing) what are your thoughts on 360 deals?

In the words of the Doggfather, "quite bootylicious". (Laughing) Those deals are horrible! I understand that labels are taking a bigger risk on breaking artists these days but those deals have the labels pudgy paws in EVERYTHING. I'm not with that at all.

Dubcnn: If given the opportunity should indie artists sign to major labels?

It depends. If they're already pop'n (which is probably the case if the label is interested), then it might be better to not sign unless the deal is in their favor. These days a lot of artists are doing it on their own and being successful. Much respect to those guys.

Dubcnn: Wrapping up where can people go and get more info on Melo Kan?

Hit me up at Melokan.com. All my twitter, Facebook, YouTube info is on there.

Dubcnn: Before we go do you have any final words for our readers?

The tenacity of the human spirit cannot be quantified. Take the word "try" out of your vocabularies and will your dreams into existence. Talent will get you cheered, but humility will get you respect. One love and double shouts to Dubcnn for giving me this space and Leira Public Relations! Also go to Melokan.com and vote for your favorite tracks.





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