Sunday, November 30, 2008

Who Says Three is a Crowd

Hip hop in itself is blood sport; it intrinsically evokes bravado and machismo, everybody claims to be the best and are constantly vying for the title of king of this or that. So given the history of the game, it comes as a surprise that two emcees and one emcee/producer would take up the name Tanya Morgan- especially since none of them are women-Von Pea, Donwill and Ilyas make up the aforementioned group who call Brooklynati home. Evident in their music is not only their entertaining originality but their contention to stay true to themselves. The result is beautiful music, proving that when Brooklyn and Cincinnati link up it is Reflection Eternal. Much like A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul, there is a classic album yet to come from Tanya Morgan. I recently caught up with this well spoken novel trio amidst their tour, thirty minutes before show time in ATL, where I am sure they shut it down.

ER: What it is, could y'all introduce yourselves and state what you bring to the mix?

Von Pea: My name is Von Pea; I am the emcee slash producer of the group.

Donwill: My name is Donwill; I am pretty much an emcee slash charm. (Laughs)

ER: (Laughs) Ok

Donwill: ...And Ilyas he is the other emcee in the group, three emcees, one emcee slash producer.

ER: How did y'all meet?

Von Pea: We met cause' I was working on my demo back, like in 2000 and Donwill, he had made music. And I just knew him as a music dude from the internet. So I was like, "Yo I am going to mail you my demo, I want you check it out" And youknow he heard it and he liked it a lot. So we started working together. He was in a group called Ilwil (A bell goes off indicating another caller has entered the conference call) "Hey IL wassup...Ilyas is here"

ER: Wassup Ilyas

Ilyas: Hey- Wassup y'all

ER: Basically y'all just introducing yourselves to the readers what have you...

Ilyas: Oh ok. This is Ilyas of Tanya Morgan, aka I L representing Cincinnati, Ohio.

ER: OK (Laughs)

Ilyas: (Laughs)

ER: Iight so...Who or what is Tanya Morgan or why do you go by Tanya Morgan?

Von Pea: Being Tanya Morgan is just ...more or less it just means you know expect the unexpected. I think youknow it takes on a different meaning all the time. But for the most part, it's just expect the unexpected youknow. You wouldn't expect a group to be called that, It's a just a metaphor for us and how we just get down.

ER: Does the name lead to....compromising situations...does it cause any confusion?

Donwill: Of course it causes marginal confusion because it is a woman's name...Oh shit it's a rap group.

Ilyas: But like one advantage is like once people recognize who you are, the name is so different it sticks with them. Cause' if we were just like named, "Three Dope MCs" YouseewhatImsayin you would forget about that in a heartbeat.

ER: Do you feel the internet has helped y'all as a group?

Donwill: The internet itself is a huge tool. I mean like I feel like that's why the music industry itself is faltering. So it's kind of like it helps and it hinders, just like anything it has a pros and a cons to it, but it helps in my opinion.

ER: At the beginning of The Bridge Von Pea mentions... "The last time Brooklyn and Cincinnati got together a classic was made" or something to that extent, I can't front as soon as I heard that I thought of Reflection Eternal but soon realized he was referring to your Debut Moonlighting; so I went back to listen to the aforementioned album, how do you think you have evolved as group since '06?

Von Pea: I think that it shows the natural progression of some guys just working on some music for fun and it turns into an album on its own, or I guess turn into a career on its own. Just natural growth in getting to know things about the industry and about learning more about music and the ins and outs of it all, and just growing as artists and growing as men at the same way, it was a natural progression for all three of us youknow, It comes out in the music.

ER: It definitely does. Now what is the bridge supposed to represent?

Ilyas: It's kind of like; it's kind of a few things because we are weird like that. The first thing it is doing is like bridging the gap between like Moonlighting and our next main LP, Brooklynati. It also represents bridging Brooklyn and Cincinnati together.

ER: What does Tanya Morgan hope to achieve with its' music?

Von Pea: I just hope that in the years to come more people will just respect what we do, and not flip it inside out and be tryin' to look and see what we doing... youknow all the stuff that's beyond music. I hope they look at us as hip hop artists trying to make some fly shit for the sake of music and not for the sake of trying to do what is cool at the time or simply trying to make some money or whatever. We will be respected for good music. We will be one of them groups like the way people look at The Roots

Donwill: I would just prefer our music to be good music instead of it being a good look. I'm tired of people looking for the political side of everything, I just want to be able to enjoy the music, so in a few years I just hope people like Von said look at us at artists and enjoy our music as art.

Ilyas: Yeah - I agree

ER: Apart from the touring, what's next for y'all?

Von Pea: After the tour all three of us are going back to work on the LP, Brooklynati. We trying to put that out January, February of next year and youknow back on the road.

ER: What is Brooklynati besides that it's Brooklyn and Cincinnati put together?

Donwill: Yo, Brooklynati is our hometown. It's a state of mind and it represents everything we are as a group. We live in our borough and Brooklynati is our borough we welcome people to come visit us at home.


Tanya Morgan feat. Euclid- The Bridge

Tanya Morgan - Hip Hop Is Dead II

Tanya Morgan - How Low

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