THE FOLLOWING IS EXCERPTED FROM
WITH LORD SUBLIMINAL HIMSELF
IN ORDER FOR YOU TO GET TO KNOW HIM BETTER.
REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION OF
Do you consider yourself more a rapper or a hip-hop artist?
I consider myself more of a hip-hop artist than a rapper. Rap is something that you do and hip-hop is the cultural aspect of it. It’s something that you live out. Hip means to be aware and hop is movement or motion, which means change. That’s why I consider myself more of a hip-hop artist.
Do you find yourself being a student of rap and hip-hop the more you get involved with it?
I’m going to continue to be a student and student continues to learn. I don’t know everything about hip-hop, I can just give you the things I’ve seen from my own personal life. There are things that I’ve experienced. I’m going to continue being a student of this movement. I’m going to continue to be a student and servant of the movement, to help better this movement.
You like to write a lot. Do you have a favorite poet or author?
I’ve had a few of those. Gil Scott Heron for instance is one of my role models that I pattern myself after as well as George L. Jackson. I can actually feel his work the way he writes because he puts passion and soul into it. He dabbles in jazz and some blues, but he’s a poet. That’s whathe’s known for. Nowadays some of the people I still look up to in hip-hop, I still look up to Busta Rhymes even though he kind of changed his direction a little bit. I understand that now. You can’t just stay in this same state of mind all the time. As you get older and time changes you must change. Sometimes you have to stick to the same formula that made you the person that you are, but sometimes you have to branch out too to try and draw in more. Then bring it back to that universal sound that everybody knows and then you’ve got twice the fan base.
What is your goal with this new album?
Basically I’m trying to get out the message that hip-hop is real. Everything is real.
Everything is everything and nothing is nothing. I’m trying to bring back to the forefront righteous music.
Life is music
Most rappers are known for their rhymes basically, or the verbal composition.Were you involved at all with the backing tracks and musical bed? Where did you get the music?
A lot of the music that was done on this one, I had producers to drop me off certainthings. I took in actual samples and composed certain tracks. I sent in actual music for them to use so it would make it easier for me to do what I want to do and that certain feel that I wanted on this album with the music. I think some of the producers like Golden Master or Last Bronzeman or White Lotus actually captured that element just the way that I wanted it to be captured. Snake vs. Crane and Iron Curtin out of Berlin, they actually captured what it is I wanted. So it made it easy for me to paint like a mental picture with my rhymes. That’s what I was trying to do paint a picture so you could actually see. You listen but you can see everything that I am saying.
How did you become Lord Subliminal?
When I was living in El Paso I had a group called Public Syndicate. I gave my deejay the title DJ Subliminal. After I moved on from there I got here and went under a few different names DMS was the one I used first before this one – Divine Master Savior. One day I thought about it. Subliminal, subliminal – I’m going to use that name. I’ll go by the name Lord Subliminal. It’s been Lord Subliminal ever since. That awakening came somewhere about ’94.
What do you think most people don’t understand about Lord Subliminal?
What most people don’t understand about me is my Islamic nature. They don’t understand why I’m so militant and why I’m so angry. People don’t understand what motivates me and what pushes me, and what my drive and passion is. Nobody understands what I’ve been through, and seen, and experienced. People are saying the cops aren’t bad. You say that. Have you had one harassing you? I had one draw a pistol on me just for walking alley to alley to use the bathroom when there was no place open for me to go to the bathroom. I came back from the alley and he drew his weapon on me. There were several witnesses that had seen this. But if you never been through stuff like that, but of course the cops aren’t bad. Until you’ve been in those shoes, it can be hard for you to understand that. You won’t understand why I would be so militant.
You’ve been in Chattanooga for 13 years. What influence has living in Chattanooga had on your music?
Since I’ve been in Chattanooga I’ve experienced a lot of different things from being homeless and living in train cars. Some people can’t say they’ve been through that. They chastise people that live in those conditions from what I see - things that I experience. I’ve experienced a lot of different things. I write about things that have been an oppression on me since I was here. You’re going to hear a lot of this in this album. All that’s going to be heard on this album as well as how I was raised in a military background. My father was into the Black Panther movement. I was raised with this militant vibe. That’s why I’m the way I am. I am militant. I have gone down for the cause a couple of times.