IB, Tekst, Matty J (left to right)
New York City is known as the birth place of hip-hop, with underground and old school legends hailing from all over Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. However, Staten Island has its fair share of legendary lyricists as well- the WU-Tang Clan. The WU are/were some heavy hitting emcees and producers coming together to form rap the way it should be- raw, gritty, emotional, thought provoking. The mastermind creators of the "Shaolin World" over came obstacles and hard living to create a legacy on this Island that will be tough to follow. Yet here we are today, on an Island filled with a decent amount of good rappers. So to anyone who doubts Staten Island's place in hip hop history, don't sleep on us. The vision was laid by the WU, and portrayed on their records. Now their concepts are pushing forward to the future of lyricists who just want to be heard. The Higher Concept is this future, bringing back the fresh feel to a genre desperately needed a face lift.
Here's an interview with The Higher Concept. Answers are from IB Profyn with collaborative help from Tekst and Matty J.
How did you guys form? Did you know each other, or was it by chance?
Senior year of high school consisted of after school time spent in Glaze's mom’s apartment working on a “real” album. We named the group Manifest Destiny and released an 18 song album by the end of the year. All three of us knew we wanted to follow this career path so we went off in three different directions to meet as many people as we could and make as many connections as possible. Tekst went to
As far as us being booed off the stage, that has never happened. The closest instance was probably back in 05 or 06 when we did our first show on
Usually it’s the other way around. We get on stage and see people pointing and snickering and joking with their friends about us, but once we get off stage, they are the first ones to come up and tell us how surprised they were by how good our show was
Our biggest venue to date would definitely be the
Give me a list of all your achievements and successes.
My favorite success to date came at a show we played three years ago in
Matty J has been my nickname since I was in middle school, and there's no hidden meaning. What you see is what you get!" - Matty J
Hip Hop was started as a means to keep gang members off the streets and get them dancing and having a good time. Hip hop is returning to that vibe by becoming much more dance party oriented.
3. Gift of Gab
4. Chali 2na
Tekst: I’ll base this answer on a combination of my favorite artists but also judging them all on ability to perform live along with the album material and everything else. In no real order -
Matty J: These are my top 5 favorite artists, which is a different list from my best lyricist, best rapper, and also my best emcee list. No order, except that Black Thought is #1-
Does THC freestyle?
Does THC freestyle well? Not exactly…
Being in this game for this long it’s been impossible not to dabble in freestyling. When you’re doing tons of shows, there will always come a point where you forget a lyric or something goes wrong and it’s imperative to freestyle to save the set. In those cases I think we thrive because of our skills as emcees. We've been doing it so long that we know how to move and control a crowd. We also try to visit Sin Sin in NYC once every couple months to work on our freestyles. Every Monday night in the city at Sin Sin (
I read about the Projectivity Movement. Pitch it to me in a nutshell. Why is it important, and how do you become involved?
-You should listen to The Higher Concept when the sun is shining and Life's Good.
-You should listen to The Higher Concept when you need somebody to relate to.
-You should listen to The Higher Concept because we make music specifically for YOU.
I think The Higher Concept brings a new sound to a game that has been lacking in freshness for some time. We make feel good music with a positive message and there aren't too many groups doing what we do. The majority of our fans are not hip hop fans; they are people who appreciate good music. I often hear comments about our music like “I don’t normally listen to rap, but you guys are great.” I think we bring a new image to a culture dominated by guns, drugs, and misogyny. We will make you think twice about your perceptions of rap music.
Most groups that make music in our genre ignore or abhor the commercialized version of the genre so much that they refuse to analyze the better qualities of commercial rap music and so their message or lyrics, though they may be great, get lost because the production quality isn't up to par. We mix a strong message and a feel good attitude with more modern and poppy production so you get the best of both worlds.
check out all of our free downloads here - http://www.thehigherconcept.com/downloads.html
check out all of our video content here - http://www.youtube.com/knotlionthc
Our website is http://www.thehigherconcept.com/
Twitter is Http://www.twitter.com/higherconcept
myspace is http://www.myspace.com/thehigherconcept
facebook is http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Higher-Concept/26801494552
to download our newest album for free - http://piff.me/3d3648b