Lyve City began as three blood brothers from Boston, The General, Mr. Lyve and Nitty Gritty (R.I.P.). Heavily influenced by life experiences and their father's run with record producer/musician/songwriter Maurice Starr (New Edition & New Kids on the Block), they started producing all their own music and writing their own lyrics. After doing shows and shopping their music they eventually received a call from Jay Brown who at that time was an assistant to Shakir Stewart of Def Jam. After a few meetings were postponed it was later learned Stewart Shakir had passed. Although the 3 brothers took this as a setback they did not let the tragedy stop their music. Despite being tried and tested multiple times, Lyve City continues pushing forward. Mr. Lyve & The General took some time to talk to NEHH about their forthcoming project entitled "The Worst Mixtape Ever", their trials A tribulations and more.
J-Biggz: We have Mr. Lyve & The General from Lyve City. First of all thank you for taking the time and doing this interview with us here at NewEnglandHipHop.com. How is everything with you fellas?
Mr. Lyve: Feeling good man. Just working hard and enjoying some of this weather. We appreciate the opportunity.
The General: We digging what your site NewEnglandHipHop.com is doing by having this outlet to reach our fans and gain new ones. GLO! (Good looking out)
J-Biggz: What inspired you to pursue a career in Hip Hop and start making music? Do you have any favorite artists who have been influential in your development?
Mr. Lyve: Aside from the fact our pops was in a local music group back in the day, we grew up listening to nothing but that real music in our household as kids. It’s ironic because that same music is what inspired our upcoming mixtape actually. We used to beat on the walls and tables in the crib, freestyling, and were just fans of music in general. It was always obvious we wanted in on the industry early even before we started hitting the studio.
The General: As far as influences for us to rap; Not to be cliché but Nas, Jay Z, BIG, NWA, Snoop,Cube, Eight Ball and MJG, Scarface, UGK, Mobb Deep, Tribe Called Quest, Black Moon, Kanye West, Outcast, Roots, Common, Raekwon, Slum Village, Devin the Dude, The Lox, CNN, (N.O.R.E) 50 just to name a few. We can go on for days because there’s so many..
J-Biggz: Being that both of you are not only rappers but producers as well, what is it that you like about the production side of things? Do you have any producers you would cite as influences?
Mr. Lyve: We like the freedom of it actually. It’s that “no boundaries” aspect y’know? Neither of us took any music lessons and learned to produce by ear based on our musical influences growing up. Some producers literally only make beats yet call themselves producers. We believe it’s more to music then just creating “a beat”. The ability to make it into a “song” within a structure and format is still important to us as far as what we do. We don’t want to give too much of this album/mixtapes concept or theme away but we definitely went hard on it.
The General: As for as producers that influenced us.. That would be Dre, The Hitmen, QTip and The Ummah, J Dilla, Neptunes, Kanye West, Track Masters, Just Blaze, Swizz Beats, DJ Quick, The Alchemist, Beatminerz, Lex Luger, Drakes producer 40, Havoc of Mobb Deep, Timberland, Rodney Jerkins, The RZA, Pete Rock, Premo, Justice League, Jahlil Beats just to name a few.
J-Biggz: For the new fans out there, how would you describe your music and who would you say you make it for?
Mr. Lyve: If you ever turn the radio on and instantly get a dirty look on your face because you’re so disgusted by what they're playing, that’s who our music is for. We have a song called Radio Assassins that addresses that as well.. Our sole purpose is to get this real music to our fans to let them know good music still exists out here. Our music is just like our list of influences. It’s for all regions. Might sound eastcoast, westcoast, down south or just random period. We’re versatyle and just well-rounded in general. We’re talking about life, hardships, good times, relationships, what we’re seeing in society, the streets, this crazy music industry, motivation, and just about anything from A-Z. As a fan if you can appreciate the artists doing any of that or all of the above then you can appreciate Lyve City.
The General: You still have people that remember going to buy some of those artists classic albums we named earlier. Illmatic, Reasonable Doubt, The Chronic, The Infamous, NWA, Get Rich or Die Trying, College Drop Out and etc. While others that did their research and went back to download that music just to find out why these albums are considered classic. That’s who we make our music for. The fans that really give a f@! about music and/or that can relate because they been there too.
J-Biggz: Now later this year you plan on releasing your forthcoming project entitled "The Worst Mixtape Ever" entirely produced by by yourselves. Explain why you chose this title and what the fans can expect from it.
Mr. Lyve: Lyve City always consisted of us 3 blood brothers. Nitty Gritty, me, (Lyve) and The General. As you can see there’s only 2 of us in the group now. We lost our youngest brother last year right as we were finishing up the album. It’s the kind of feeling you can’t explain to anyone unless you lost someone that close. It was the worst thing we ever been thru. Which is the main reason we entitled it “Worst Mixtape Ever”.
The General: There’s not enough time in the world to talk about all the struggles we been thru to get to this point but I can honestly say we paid our dues and it’s inevitable we put this out. The mixtape is a conceptual album and is the soundtrack to our lives. We wanted to create a certain feeling that represents Lyve City along with a different sound and theme..
J-Biggz: From the mixtape you have released the Dre Edmonds directed visual for "Let's Go", which came out great. Tell us about this video and if there are any plans for more to come.
Mr. Lyve: The video was shot by the homie Dre Edmonds for Left Film Productions, The song and video itself is an anthem about hustling. However this time instead of showing what we see so often in videos, dudes standing on the corner slanging, taking trips making moves hustling or whatever, we decided to go against the grain and show what it’s like having to go to a real job.
The General: Exactly.. In this case we show what it’s like to work that graveyard shift LITERALLY. There’s millions of people doing what they got to do to get by, survive and make ends meet every day including people slanging. Can never hate on what the next person is doing what they have to do to survive regardless. More importantly the video also shows us getting ready to “put that work in” but not in a way people are used to . We got scenes of me staring at a pic of Nitty, and then Lyve watching a video from 1 of our shows of all of us performing as we’re both getting ready for work while reflecting on our brother we lost, (who spitting on 1st verse). Thats what inspires the “Lets Go” theme. Also the irony of losing him is symbolic to us working at that graveyard. High energy, get live music is the best way to put it.
Look out for that “We Don’t Care” video coming soon too! Our next single.
J-Biggz: Now through the pain and struggle of losing your brother and third member of Lyve City, Nitty Gritty last August you both have remained strong and continue on. How important is it to you to go on with the music and keep his name alive?
Mr. Lyve: When he was here our project and our music meant a lot to all of us. So it’s that important to keep that same motivation going. My bro was a livewire. We also know this is what he’d want as well if he was still here. When something like that happens it scar’s you beyond words can explain. There’s some crazy things a person can do in spite when a situation like that happens so we had to make a decision…
The General: So we made that decision. Lyve Citys still here and Ty’s still here within us.
J-Biggz: Nitty Gritty will still be featured on "The Worst Mixtape Ever", right?
Mr. Lyve: Of course. We recorded a lot of material before we lost him
The General: He’s all over the mixtape spitting hard. He’s on there just as much as me and Lyve actually.
J-Biggz: You also have an artist you produce for by the name of Gemini Wired, who has been featured on NEHH as well. How did this pairing come about and what can you tell us about her upcoming project?
Mr. Lyve: Long story short. We was in a studio session and she was in the other B room putting it down. So me and my brothers went to check out her music. Only to find out she was in there by herself and just the engineer. No help! Her own music and was writing her own material. Just getting it in dolo. That was something different..
The General: So basically it was just on from there. As far as her project we want to keep the concept and title in the bag. Nowadays artists have a hard time being original and creative but it’s coming this year. Also look out for her next video and single.. “Bubble Gum Kush”. That 1 is copywritten so we can speak on it. *laughing* (For all you thieving ass artists and producers)
J-Biggz: What are your thoughts on the Boston/New England Hip Hop scene whether positive or negative?
Mr. Lyve: I think we need a lot more venues to perform at for shows and so forth. To me. There’s no such thing as too much support so I’m always going to say we need to step up in both areas. There’s a lot of talent here and Boston is the shit.. Nothing but love from us. However on the same note you can’t get ahead in life if your too focused on what the next person doing.. Right now it’s all about getting this Lyve City music out and letting it speak for itself.
The General: To be honest. I think that’s a whole separate interview. But to keep it short I’m co-signing what he said. You hear a lot of talk about what the issues are but don’t see enough people willing to put their egos and gangsta to the side to do something about it. Hopefully that’ll change at some point.
J-Biggz: Do you have any other website links the fans can check for?